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Title: Wide World Magazine - Volume XXII, January, 1909, Number 130
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 - Volume XXII, January, 1909, Number 130" ***

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

Jonathan Ingram, Wayne Hammond, and the Online Distributed


(SEE PAGE 319.)]


  Vol. XXII.      JANUARY, 1909.      No. 130.

The Beulah County “War.”


    One of the most striking characteristics of the Westerner
    is the high regard in which he holds womankind. Even in the
    roughest mining camps a woman is absolutely safe, and is
    treated with a consideration unknown in many more civilized
    centres. This remarkable story illustrates the Westerner’s
    innate chivalry in a very striking fashion. Sooner than drag
    the name of a young schoolmistress into a quarrel, a resident
    of Three Corners, Montana, allowed himself to be made an
    outlaw, and for weeks defied the population of a whole county
    to arrest him, even when a field gun was brought out to shell
    his fastness. How in his extremity the girl he had befriended
    came to his rescue and put an end to this extraordinary “war”
    is graphically told in the narrative.

In the extreme western part of the State of Montana, U.S.A., in the
County of Beulah, lies a little town called Three Corners. At first
only a junction on the Rio Grande Railway, from which point countless
thousands of cattle were shipped to all parts of the world, Three
Corners grew to be a flourishing place. The wooden shanties, gambling
“joints,” and dance halls gave way to brick buildings, several banks,
a school, and other signs of progress, as respectable settlers moved
farther toward the Golden West. Of course, a part of the old town
remained, and with it a few of the characters typical of a Western “cow
town.” Among these was a tall, raw-boned man who had drifted West in
the ‘eighties, settling at Three Corners and opening a gambling-house.
His name was “Jim” Cutler. He was a man of very few words, but with
one great failing--he would shoot first and argue afterwards. Yet this
gambler, who was known and feared far and wide as a “gun-fighter,”
was at heart the mildest of men, beloved by all the children in the
town, to whom he gave coppers galore. Furthermore, Cutler would put up
with all manner of insult from a man under the influence of liquor,
or from “Tenderfeet” who did not know their danger. Cutler’s shooting
propensities were directed solely toward avowed “bad men” or those who
delighted in being known as bullies. In the course of his altercations
with such characters this tall, raw-boned man--who could, and did,
“pull his gun” like a streak of lightning--added to the population of
the local cemetery with a score of six.

Among the new-comers to Three Corners during the rehabilitation of that
town was a Hebrew named Moses Goldman. This man, a good-looking fellow
of some twenty-eight years, hailed from New York. He opened a shop,
and, with the business ability of his race, soon succeeded in making
it the principal draper’s establishment of the place. Before long,
however, reports began to circulate that the handsome young Hebrew was
not quite so respectful in demeanour towards his lady customers as he
should have been, and, although highly popular with a certain element,
the major portion of Three Corners’ female population gave Goldman’s
shop a wide berth.

One Monday morning Jim Cutler, who had been up all night looking after
the “game” in his establishment, was just leaving the place when a
young woman, whom he recognised as the schoolmistress, ran up to
him and said: “Oh, Mr. Cutler, would you mind walking as far as the
school-house with me?”

Cutler, somewhat astonished, did so, and was gratefully thanked for
his trouble. After leaving her he walked slowly back to his rooms,
wondering why he of all men should have been chosen to escort the
pretty “school ma’am.”

Some days afterwards Cutler, who passed the school on his way to and
from the Gem Saloon (his place), saw the mistress deliberately cross
the street just before reaching Goldman’s shop, and continue on her
way on the other side. He also saw Goldman come to the door and try
to attract the girl’s attention. When he reached Goldman, the latter;
twirling his moustache, remarked, laughingly, “Shy girl, that, eh?”
Cutler looked at the Hebrew for a moment, and then answered quietly, as
he moved away, “She ain’t your kind.”

Three weeks after this little episode there was a ball at the City
Hotel, and, naturally, almost the entire youth and beauty of Three
Corners “turned out.” The City Hotel was just opposite Cutler’s saloon,
and at about one o’clock the gambler was sitting in a chair outside his
place, listening to the music, when the schoolmistress and her mother
left the hotel on their way home. A moment later a man also quitted the
building and followed them. Presently he stopped the two ladies and
attempted to converse with them. The younger of the women apparently
expostulated with him, and then the two went on, leaving him standing
at the corner. Cutler recognised the solitary figure as that of
Goldman, the draper, and drew his own conclusions. Next morning Cutler
made it his business to leave the Gem Saloon just as the schoolmistress
was passing, and strode up to her.

“Miss Thurloe,” he said, “you were stopped last night on your way home.
Can I be of any assistance to you? I know you have only your mother to
protect you.”

The girl gave him a grateful look, and explained that Goldman had
repeatedly forced his attentions on her. She had done her best to send
him about his business, but he continually annoyed her, even going
so far as to enter the school-house, interrupting lessons and making
himself generally obnoxious.

Cutler smiled grimly during the girl’s hesitating recital, saw her
safely to her destination, and then went home for a sleep. At three
o’clock that afternoon he walked leisurely towards the school-house,
stopped at the fence just by the rear door, and chatted with the boys,
it being the recess hour. Suddenly, approaching from the opposite
direction, he beheld Goldman, who walked straight into the school-house
without having seen the gambler. The latter waited for a few moments,
then he also entered the building. Reaching the schoolroom, at the end
of a short hall, he found the door locked, and promptly threw himself
against it with all his strength. The door gave way with a crash and
Cutler leapt in, to see the schoolmistress struggling in the arms of
Goldman. She was fighting like a tigress, but the Jew’s hand, held
tightly over her mouth, prevented her crying out. Directly Goldman
beheld the saloon-keeper he released his prisoner, who sank back
panting upon a chair, and glared savagely at the new-comer. Cutler,
ignoring him entirely, walked slowly toward the agitated schoolmistress
and stood still, waiting for her to speak.

Goldman, however, was the first to do so. “Oh, no wonder I’ve no
chance,” he burst out, viciously; “Cutler’s as lucky in love as he
usually is at cards.”

Cutler flushed at the gibe, but he said not a word, waiting for the
girl to speak. Presently, having in a measure recovered herself, she
rose and approached the gambler. “Mr. Cutler,” she said, unsteadily,
“this man has insulted me repeatedly. Just now he tried to kiss me by
force, and I’m afraid I shall have to give up my position here and
leave Three Corners.”

In a very gentle voice Cutler asked the girl to leave the room for a
few minutes. After she had gone he turned toward Goldman, who stood
looking at him defiantly, his arms folded across his chest.

“If you were a man,” he said, sternly, “I’d drop you where you stand,
but I’m going to teach you a lesson that’ll do you a heap of good.”
Then, with a sudden bound, he grasped Goldman by the throat, threw him
across a desk, and, with a three-foot ruler, administered a thrashing
such as might be given to a recalcitrant schoolboy, only with somewhat
greater severity. The punishment over, Cutler picked the man up and,
dragging him across the floor, threw him bodily out of the building.
Now Goldman was himself a powerful man, but Cutler’s action had been so
swift and decisive that the Hebrew had practically no chance to offer
resistance. Once freed from the gambler’s hold, however, he turned
and flew at his adversary with clenched fists, snarling furiously.
Cutler stood quite still, and just as the Hebrew came within the proper
distance his right fist shot out straight from the shoulder. It landed
square on Goldman’s jaw, and he dropped like a log.

Several of the school-children, attracted by the noise, now crowded
round, vastly excited. Cutler, having informed Miss Thurloe that he
believed she would not be further annoyed, but that he would keep an
eye on “that fool masher,” walked slowly toward the town, leaving the
vanquished draper lying where he had fallen.

It has been necessary to explain all this in order that readers of THE
WIDE WORLD MAGAZINE unfamiliar with the ways of the Far West may better
understand what follows. I have said that the better element had in a
manner of speaking driven the original settlers at Three Corners to
new fields. These new-comers looked upon Cutler as an “undesirable.”
His reputation as a “man-killer” did not appeal to the emigrants from
the cultured Eastern States, who would gladly have seen him pack up
and leave the town. Goldman was quite aware of this, so, directly he
recovered himself, he asked for and obtained a warrant for Cutler’s
arrest on a charge of assault. The gambler was arraigned before the
local magistrate, where he steadfastly refused to give any reason for
the chastisement he had inflicted upon Goldman. The latter immediately
realized the advantage of Cutler’s chivalrous reluctance to drag
a woman’s name into the affair, and so swore that the assault was
entirely unprovoked and committed out of “pure devilry” on Cutler’s
part. Cutler was fined fifty dollars and severely admonished by the
Court. Everyone wondered why this acknowledged “bad man” did not
promptly wreak vengeance on the Hebrew. The gambler, however, desiring
to protect the name of the school-teacher, said not a word, but paid
the fine and went about his business as though nothing had happened.


Some ten days passed, when, one moonlight evening, Cutler came driving
down the road leading into Three Corners, behind a fast-trotting
horse. Just as he reached the end of a long field of corn a report
rang out and his horse dropped, riddled with shot. Cutler jumped from
his buggy, whipped out his revolver, and made for the corn-field, from
which the shot had evidently come. He made a thorough search, but
the tall corn-stalks afforded a secure hiding-place to the would-be
assassin--for Cutler had no doubt whatever that the shot had been meant
for him. Reluctantly giving up his quest, he walked back to his saloon
and sent several men to remove the dead horse and bring in his buggy.
The next morning he again made his way to the corn-field, and there,
just by the fence, he found five discarded cigarette ends of a very
expensive Egyptian brand which he knew to be smoked by only one man
in Three Corners--Goldman, the draper. Evidently the man had lain in
wait for a long time. Cutler next climbed over the fence, and was about
to return when he saw lying in the path a piece of cloth torn from a
jacket, and on it a button. It looked as though the would-be murderer,
in jumping the fence, had caught his coat on the barbed wire; at any
rate, he had left a damning piece of evidence behind him. With the
cigarette ends and the fragment of cloth in his pocket, Cutler walked
leisurely up the road into the town and made direct for the shop of
Moses Goldman.

The draper was standing on a step-ladder arranging some goods on the
shelves. When the door opened, ringing a small bell, he turned, and
seeing Cutler jumped down from the ladder. The gambler looked the man
straight in the eye. “You miserable cur!” he cried, angrily. “You’d
shoot a man in the dark, would you?”

Goldman, realizing that Cutler had satisfied himself as to the identity
of his assailant, made as if to draw a revolver. That was the last
movement he ever made, for the next instant he dropped dead, shot clean
through the heart.

The gambler waited for a moment to see if the report of the pistol had
attracted any attention; then, as no one appeared, he quietly left
the shop, went over to his saloon, placed two revolvers in his belt,
and filled his pockets with ammunition. Then, taking up a Winchester
repeating-rifle, he went to the stable, saddled his horse, and after a
few words with his bartender rode out of Three Corners in a westerly

It was not long after his departure before the entire town was in
an uproar. Moses Goldman, the energetic draper, had been found
shot--killed in his own shop by Jim Cutler. The latter had been seen
entering Goldman’s establishment by several persons, and the shot
had been heard by people living above the store, who afterwards saw
Cutler leaving. Sheriff Benson, accompanied by two deputies, promptly
called at the Gem Saloon, but the officer was a trifle late, for Cutler
was by that time some miles distant. Lest it should be thought that
Cutler had made his escape through cowardice it may be best to explain
at once, perhaps, that this was not the case. The man realized that
should he be apprehended the name of Miss Thurloe must necessarily
figure prominently in the matter. Strange as it may seem, this six-foot
gambler, knowing no better, believed that by “making himself scarce” he
was protecting that lady’s good name. This was a mistake, undoubtedly,
but the fact remains that he made it.

It happened that Rufe Benson, Sheriff of Beulah County, was a sworn
enemy of Cutler’s, for the latter some years before had taken the law
into his own hands and at the point of his gun liberated a prisoner
whom he believed to be innocent, and who was eventually proved to be
so. Benson now formed a posse of some twenty armed men, and there began
a man-hunt which lasted, so far as this particular posse was concerned,
for a fortnight. They were then reinforced by a body of “Rangers,”
some fifty strong, who in turn found it necessary to call to their
assistance a body of militia. All these officers were ably assisted by
the citizens and residents of Beulah County, altogether some thousand
strong, and yet Jim Cutler proved more than their match. Benson’s men
trailed the fugitive to Kerry’s ranch, some six miles out; from here
he had gone north-west toward the Rio Grande. He was mounted on a
thoroughbred--as were all the men, for that matter--but six miles was
a long start in a case like this, and should the hunted man once reach
the mountains--well, there might be some trouble in getting at him.
The telegraph was put into operation, and a circle some ten miles in
circumference drawn around Cutler. When this cordon closed in, however,
they failed to find the gambler amongst them, but they _did_ find two
self-appointed “man-hunters” lying where they had fallen to the deadly
aim of Jim Cutler’s repeating-rifle.

From every town for miles around amateur detectives joined the hunt,
but no trace could be found of Cutler beyond the Moulin River, a tiny
stream only some twenty feet wide, so the rivulet was dammed and the
water drained off for miles, so as to discover, if possible, whether
Cutler had ridden up or down stream. While one party of men were doing
this, others rode in all directions, searched the ranches, and notified
every town by telegraph to keep a look-out for the slayer of Moses
Goldman. More and more people joined in the hunt, but for some days,
in the slang of the West, “there was nothing doing.” Then, early one
morning, two horsemen came galloping towards Benson’s camp, and one of
the men, dismounting, delivered a message to the effect that Cutler had
been seen at McPherson’s ranch, some eleven miles north-west, where
he had informed Mr. McPherson that he had not the slightest intention
of taking further life unless driven to it, and that, if Benson would
call in all his men, he (Cutler) would promise to give himself up in a
fortnight’s time. (It was afterwards learned that he intended in the
interval to communicate with Miss Thurloe and arrange a story, leaving
her name entirely out of the matter.) Benson, however, was on his
mettle, and so refused to parley with his quarry.

“If Jim Cutler thinks he can defy the law and officers of this county,
he is mightily mistaken,” he said, “and we’re going to take him, dead
or alive.” This ultimatum duly reached Cutler through “non-combatant”
friends, whereupon he smiled grimly. Being now outlawed, it was
impossible for Cutler’s friends to assist him without making themselves
amenable to the law, so the hunted man demanded and secured everything
he required at the point of the pistol.

Within fourteen days thereafter nine men who had attempted to interfere
with the escaping gambler paid for their foolhardiness with their
lives, and all the time, little by little, Cutler was getting closer
to the mountains, whose shelter meant so much to him. Sometimes hidden
for hours in a haystack, or lying flat under the rafters of a barn
loft, the fugitive moved on his way. The main body of pursuers often
got within gun-shot of him, but luck favoured the man, and he always
managed to find cover just in time. Finally, completely worn out--he
had ridden two horses to death and abandoned others commandeered for
the time being--Cutler reached the foot of the scrub hills or little
range which lay between him and his goal. Here, for the first time, he
came in contact with a number of the “man-hunters.” “Lon” Masters--a
noted character in Montana, and himself a dead shot--accompanied by
eight cowboys, suddenly appeared over a rise in the ground. Cutler, on
foot, saw them coming. He dropped on one knee and his rifle flew to his
shoulder. The horsemen drew rein, and Masters, making a trumpet of his
hands, shouted, “Don’t be a fool, Jim; you’re sure to be caught sooner
or later. Let me take you, and I’ll promise no harm shall come to you.
You know my word.”

a Photograph._]

“Can’t do it, Lon,” Cutler shouted back. “If they give me ten days
without interference I’ll give myself up--you know _my_ word.”

“Jim,” responded Masters, “if you don’t drop your gun we shall have to

“Crack! crack! crack!” came the answer from Cutler’s gun, Masters and
two others of the party being hit. The remainder now urged their horses
forward, but, as first one and then another rider was “winged” by the
desperate man in front of them, the remainder decided that they had
urgent business elsewhere, and rode back for reinforcements.

At last, after a weary night’s climb, Cutler reached the place he had
been making for. He had not slept more than an hour or two for days,
and so, secure for a time at least--for no one could climb these hills
quicker than he had done--the worn-out man dropped in a heap. Cutler’s
hiding place was a barren ledge, some fifty yards in extent, the only
approach thereto being the bridle-path by which he had come. Two, or
at most three, at a time was the only formation in which his pursuers
could get anywhere near him, and with Cutler’s knowledge of the use
of firearms this was a ticklish undertaking, to say the least of it.
Moreover, he could see anyone approaching along the valley for a great
distance. There was plenty of water a little distance down the path,
Cutler had sufficient food with him to last for a week, and he felt he
could “make a get-away” during this time.

The erstwhile gambler awoke when the sun was high in the heavens; he
felt lame and sore all over. Walking towards the edge of the ledge he
saw, away in the distance, a large party of horsemen spread out over
a great area. Cutler went down the path, bathed his face and arms in
the cool spring water, and took a long drink; then, returning above,
he sat down and leisurely ate from his store of dried beef, biscuits,
and corn bread. At midday the approaching horsemen were in full view,
and Cutler saw that they had come with prairie wagons, containing camp
paraphernalia, evidently prepared for a siege, for they knew as well as
he did himself of the hiding-place where he had taken refuge. Soon the
riders came to a halt and Cutler laughed as he saw others coming from
all directions, evidently anxious to be “in at the death.” It looked
rather a big camp to the solitary figure high in the air, but numbers
meant nothing, only--well, his ammunition would give out sooner or
later. Then, of course, would come capture--but he wouldn’t look that
far ahead.

During the afternoon several men approached, one of them displaying a
white handkerchief, which he waved to and fro. When the men reached
the bottom of the hill they dismounted and one made his way slowly up,
shouting now and again, “It’s me, Jim--Joe Ludlow.” Cutler made his
way down the path and, suddenly coming upon Ludlow, ordered him to
throw up his hands. The man did so, saying, “Jim, you and I have been
friends for fifteen years; believe me, I’m unarmed; I want to talk to
you--trust me.” Thereupon Cutler lowered his rifle, and the two men
shook hands. Then followed a long confab, during which Ludlow did his
utmost to get Cutler to surrender. He said Sheriff Benson was prepared
to starve Cutler out, or get him at all costs. It would only mean loss
of life and must eventually result in the fugitive’s capture. Ludlow
said that he, with half-a-dozen “pals,” would assure Cutler a safe
return to Three Corners, sending Benson and all the rest on ahead. Then
Cutler could stand his trial, and, with a good lawyer from Butte to
defend him, would no doubt stand a chance of some sort.

Cutler listened patiently; then he shook his head.

“I know what’s coming to me, Joe,” he said; “they have been after me
for years in a quiet way. Now they want my life, but they sha’n’t have
it--at least not until I’ve paved the way with a few of them.”

Ludlow was a very decent sort of fellow, and he tried his utmost to
convince Cutler that his argument was a good one. Cutler then took
the man into his confidence, and, Ludlow promising not to say a word
to those below, he was told the whole story--told of Miss Thurloe’s
complaints, the episode at the school-house, the shooting of Cutler’s
horse, and everything.

“Well, I’m jiggered!” cried Ludlow, when the tale was finished. “Why
didn’t you let us know this in the first place?” He then informed
the gambler that he would ride back to Three Corners and explain the
situation to the schoolmistress. She had only to tell her story to the
judge, he said, and it was a certainty he would interfere in some way.
Cutler demurred, but Ludlow bluntly told him to “go to h----; he wasn’t
going to see a good man hounded to death.” With that, turning on his
heel, he left without another word.

Going back to the camp, Ludlow informed Sheriff Benson that under no
circumstances ought he to attempt to take Cutler, and asked him to
await his return from Three Corners. Benson replied, “I want none of
your conversation, Ludlow; Cutler is a downright murderer, and I mean
to have him.”

Ludlow, disdaining further argument, rode off at full speed toward the
little town where all the trouble had occurred.

Not knowing just what card Ludlow had up his sleeve, the sheriff
decided to make quick work of Cutler’s capture. He therefore sent a
party of deputies to Malvern, the nearest telegraph station, and in
the name of the law asked the county militia to send him some men with
a mountain gun, the property of private individuals who practised
soldiering as a pastime. Each State in America, it may be said in
passing, possesses several such regiments, which are available in
war-time, although in no way a part of the Government organization, and
having no connection with the State militia. It would have been useless
to attempt to dislodge Cutler as matters stood, but Benson believed
that a few shots from a cannon might have the desired effect. When his
message was received at Malvern it created a sensation. Business was
for the nonce neglected and everybody--men, women, and children--made
their way toward the sheriffs camp at Table Hill.

Several attempts were made to parley with Cutler, without success, and
so three days went by. On the afternoon of the fourth day the refugee
on the rock was thunderstruck to see a body of soldiers approaching
from the south, with a field gun hauled by four horses. He did not
know whether to laugh or to regard this seriously. Surely the officers
of the law would not resort to bombarding him with a cannon? Soon the
soldiers reached the camp, and about an hour later Cutler saw that the
gun, a howitzer, was being trained on the hill where he lay enjoying a
smoke. There was no chance of his getting away other than by the path
by which he had come. Behind him there was a sheer drop of hundreds of
feet into the gully far below. True, he could descend some distance
down the mountain-side, but if the besiegers really meant business this
would not help him much. Nothing was done that day, but Cutler kept
vigilant watch all through the night. He had regularly built a huge
fire some way down the mountain-side, which was protected by trees to
some extent, but lit up the path for a considerable distance.


The next morning a party numbering a dozen came toward the hill again
bearing a white flag. They stopped some distance off, one man only
continuing--Benson, the Sheriff of Beulah County, himself. Cutler
allowed him to approach much nearer than had Ludlow; then he covered
the advancing sheriff with his rifle.

“Cutler, if we haven’t rushed this place,” said Benson, “it is only
because I did not want to sacrifice human lives, knowing full well that
sooner or later you must give up. I know you are on the square, so I’ve
come up unarmed, being sure you wouldn’t take advantage of the white
flag. I’m only doing my duty. I give you this chance to come back with
me, otherwise I’m afraid they’ll blow this place up and you with it.”

“Regular war, isn’t it?” replied Cutler, smilingly.

“Looks like it,” admitted the sheriff.

“Well, seeing you are trying that game, I’ll just do a little in the
war line myself,” said Cutler. “You walk up this path towards me, and
if you so much as wink your eye I’ll put a hole in you that a tramcar
could go through!”

The sheriff could hardly believe his ears. “Don’t be a fool, Cutler,”
he said, angrily.

“Never mind about my being a fool; you do as you’re told or I’ll drop
you quick.”

Benson evidently had no doubts about the matter, for, though beside
himself with rage, he promptly did as Cutler ordered. The sheriff
was forced to walk ahead, and no doubt, had his captor been almost
any other man than Jim Cutler, there would have been one big fight
on Table Hill, gun or no gun, but Benson knew that Cutler would do
just as he said he would. Arrived at the top, Benson was forced to
write a note saying that he was a captive, and that perhaps it would
be just as well not to fire the cannon in the direction it was now
trained. Furthermore, one man was to approach the hill with food,
whisky, and tobacco. The note was then secured to a large stone by the
aid of Sheriff Benson’s braces, and while Cutler “stood by” Benson
was ordered to throw this stone toward the deputy in charge of the
waiting horsemen below. This man, or one of those with him, picked up
the stone, and read the message to the others. There was a great laugh
below--plainly heard by the two men on the ledge--and, needless to
say, the merriment of his assistants did not add to Benson’s peace of
mind. Cutler now laid his rifle down, first having drawn a six-shooter.
Then, approaching Benson, he searched him for concealed firearms, but
the sheriff was unarmed. The latter was now told to sit down and make
himself comfortable at the opening which led to the path, Cutler being
thereby able to watch both his prisoner and the approach from below.
Soon a solitary figure came from the camp, carrying the food “ordered.”
It was brought as near as Cutler permitted it to be, and then Benson,
under cover of the rifle, was sent to fetch it. It looked for a moment
as though there might be a fight after all, but Cutler’s business-like
demeanour soon caused his prisoner to change his mind.

With the food there was a note, reading, “Are we to wait for you or
not?” This did not appeal to the sheriff’s sense of humour, and he tore
the paper into shreds.

Just at sundown a large cloud of dust was noticed in the distance,
which soon turned out to be a number of mounted men with a wagon, or
“prairie schooner.” The new-comers were presently merged with those in
camp, and not long afterwards two men, escorting a woman, rode slowly
toward Table Hill. Again the white flag was raised, and a voice shouted
from below, “Hi, Jim, it’s me--Ludlow.”

Cutler permitted his friend to approach, and when he gained the ledge
Ludlow had a hard struggle to restrain his laughter at the unfortunate
sheriff’s predicament.

“I’ve brought some news for you, Jim,” said Ludlow. “That school-ma’am
is a brick, and no mistake. When I told her how things stood, she came
right to the front, and not only saw Judge Nolan, but drove twenty
miles to see Governor Hill, and here’s the result.”

Ludlow then handed Sheriff Benson an official communication paroling
Cutler in his own recognizances pending investigation of Miss Thurloe’s
story. Western men are nothing if not intensely chivalrous, and, if
this girl’s story was correct, Cutler, in their estimation, deserved,
not death, but a medal.

The amazed sheriff scratched his head and Cutler seemed undecided, but
Ludlow grasped his hand eagerly. “Come on, old fellow, down to the
sea-level,” he cried. This broke the tension, and all three men smiled.

“There is nothing for me to do but obey this, Cutler,” said the
sheriff, slowly; “but I’ll tell you straight I don’t feel like doing

Ludlow turned to Benson and informed him that Judge Nolan had made
him a Court officer, the tenure of his office being thirty days, and
that he would brook no interference from Benson or anyone else. That
settled it. The trio walked down the path, where Miss Thurloe, with
tears in her eyes, thanked Cutler for his brave and manly action on her
behalf. She said that she had reason to believe he would be acquitted,
and that, as no warrant had been issued for his arrest until after he
had shot the men who had attempted to stop him, it must be a case of

Cutler was received with cheers by the crowd in camp--the same men
who were thirsting for his blood an hour before--and soon everybody
was seeking the nearest way home, and the scene of action was
shortly deserted. It is not possible to chronicle that Jim Cutler
was triumphantly acquitted at his trial. His character went strongly
against him--that is to say, the fact that he had previously figured in
“shooting scrapes”--but, nevertheless, his sentence was a comparatively
light one. The State’s attorney (analogous to counsel for the Crown)
laid great stress on the fact of Cutler’s having visited Goldman’s
shop, obviously seeking trouble, when he should have reported the
attempt on his life to the authorities. He was sentenced to five years
in the State prison, but was pardoned at the expiration of eleven
months. He is now living in Butte, the capital of the State of Montana,
where he has opened a saloon. Miss Thurloe left Three Corners, and is
believed to be teaching in Pittsburg, U.S.A.

The local newspapers poked much fun at the soldiers who took their
cannon miles out to bombard what they jocularly called “a one-man
army”; but all the same they meant business, and had matters not ended
as they did there would have been a change in the landscape just there,
for the top of Table Hill would in all probability have been blown to
pieces, and Jim Cutler with it.


Photographing a Volcano in Eruption.


    A vivid description of a photographer’s adventures in securing
    pictures of the eruption of Makuaweoweo, in Hawaii. With pen
    and camera Mr. Davey depicts the awe inspiring grandeur of
    the lake of fire in the crater of Mauna Loa, the pyrotechnic
    display afforded by the active cone on the mountain-side, and
    the horrors of night amid the lava-wastes, where death menaced
    the party on every hand.

On Tuesday, July 1, 1899, reports reached Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands,
that the volcano of Makuaweoweo, situated at the summit of Mauna Loa,
thirteen thousand six hundred and seventy-five feet high, on the island
of Hawaii, had burst forth with all the fury of years gone by. I was
anxious to get some photographs of the eruption if possible, and so
made all the haste I could to get my paraphernalia together and catch
the steamer _W. H. Hall_, bound for Hawaii.


_From a Photograph._]

I left with the intention of reaching the scene of action from the
Kau side of the island, but when, upon arriving at Kailua, Kona, I
telegraphed to Mr. N. S. Monsarrat, at Kapapalu, I found that he had a
house full of guests bent on the same journey, and that all his horses
had been engaged. Rather than lose time, therefore, I decided to take
the most difficult route of all--right over the great mountain from the
Kona side. The obstacles to be overcome may perhaps be imagined when I
state that Mauna Loa is a volcanic mountain, nearly fourteen thousand
feet high, and that one has to make one’s way for the entire distance
over every kind of lava formation.

EARTHQUAKES. [_From a Photograph_.]

It was with great difficulty that I managed to get horses and mules
from the natives, who knew the condition of the country, for the
animals inevitably get badly knocked about, their legs being terribly
cut by the lava, which is divided into two classes--“Pahoehoe” and
“A. A.” The former term is applied to tracts of comparatively smooth
lava, which appears as though it had cooled while flowing quietly; the
latter is applied to stretches of broken lava which seem to have cooled
when tossing like an ocean in a bad storm, and to have afterwards been
broken up by earthquakes. No words of description can convey an idea
of its roughness and hardness, which may be faintly realized from an
inspection of the above photograph.

During the time I was hunting for horses a number of gentlemen arrived
and expressed their desire to join me in the expedition. I was only too
pleased to have their company, so five travellers threw in their lot
with me: Professor Ingalls, Colonel McCarthy, and Messrs. Sterns Buck,
J. Ballard, and H. C. Klugel. These, with three guides, completed our

We were up early the next morning. The first part of the journey was
one of the most delightful rides I ever had. We rode for hours through
magnificent tropical growths. There were giant ferns, some of which
must have been thirty or forty feet high and three feet in diameter,
groves of guavas, coco-nuts, and other fruits, miles of wild mint and
bright-coloured flowers, and orchids of most delicate shapes.

At dusk we reached the edge of the timber-line, in a drenching rain,
a downpour such as is experienced only in the tropics, where the rain
descends in sheets. We ate our supper and then spent the night huddled
miserably together, trying in vain to keep dry.

We resumed our journey at daybreak, over the most terrible country that
can be imagined. The sharp edges of the lava cut through our stout
boots like broken glass, and the poor animals suffered greatly. Still,
however, we persevered, and finally reached the summit just as it was
getting dark. Near the centre of the mountain-top an area of about four
square miles sinks to a depth of one thousand feet. This is the great
crater of Makuaweoweo, which we had endured so much to see.

As I stood there in the cold, in the midst of those cheerless and
God-forsaken wastes, I gazed down with speechless awe upon the
untrammelled frolics of the God of Fire. The tempest-tossed lake of
molten lava below the rim of the great cauldron was a typical workshop
of Vulcan. The face of the lake of liquid fire alternated continually
between black and white, like molten iron in a furnace. Oxidation
and cooling of the fiery fluid would blacken the surface with a pall
that covered it in darkest gloom; then a trembling, caused by further
subterranean outbursts of steam, would break this ice-like oxide into a
fretwork of tens of thousands of incandescent cracks, lighting up the
smoke-charged pit with a fierce glare. Another moment, and in different
parts of the lake geysers of fire of every imaginable colour would rise
like fountains in a public garden.


_From a Photograph._]

The great forbidding-looking walls of this “home of everlasting fire”
sparkled with the unusual light, and then, as the spouts of flame died
away, the surface would again turn black, leaving the whole mass to all
appearances dead.

We found that the worst outbreak was about five thousand feet farther
down the mountain-side. Some of our party were seized with such a
sickness of horror at the crater’s edge that they rolled themselves
up in their blankets and refused to look down upon this fiery
maelstrom--and that after two days of arduous effort to reach a point
of view!

When the time came for sleep, another man and I turned into a
“blowhole” in the lava; it was an immense bubble that had cooled
and left an opening so that we could crawl in. We little thought
that there was another hole at the other end, and the piercing wind
blew through this like a funnel; but we had to stay there, for it is
dangerous to wander about over the rifts and chasms of jagged lava in
the darkness. Here, in this strange bed-chamber, we slept, or tried
to sleep--shivering and shuddering through the chilly solitude of the
night in those desolate mountain wastes.


_From a Photograph._]

Walking across the congealed masses of lava next morning, one began to
think that at any moment one was liable to drop through to the very
gates of Hades and be precipitated to the most horrible of deaths.
Underneath one was a bottomless abyss of mud, sulphur, and rock; and
to contemplate being cast into that fearsome-looking lake of fire and
brimstone was not at all comfortable. The Biblical description of hell
does not convey even a faint idea of that terrible lake of fire below
us, which appeared to be fretting and fuming as though anxious to get
loose and destroy everything in its path. The crater of Makuaweoweo at
that time, without doubt, afforded the spectator a more awe-inspiring
display of the forces of Nature than has been granted to man elsewhere
on earth without the sacrifice of life.


_From a Photograph._]

Soon after daylight we prepared for the descent to the point that was
throwing out molten lava at a white heat. It was practically impossible
to take the horses farther, so we tethered them to stones near the
yawning depths of Makuaweoweo, and left one of the guides to look after
them. We were very thirsty, but it was some time before we could find
water, though snow and ice were plentiful. Farther down, however, we
discovered water in a deep crack in the lava, filled the canteens,
and started on our downward journey. I was suffering from mountain
sickness; my head felt as if it would burst and my stomach was upside
down. We stumbled along with difficulty for about two miles, when I had
to get the assistance of Mr. Buck to carry my camera. Two of our party
who had started out in advance gave it up and returned--they could not
stand the strain of the rough travelling. This left but four of us,
with two guides.

Presently we reached a cone where the lava had piled up to the height
of about one hundred feet, then, bursting out at the side, disappeared
into the ground, to reappear about a quarter of a mile farther down
and repeat its action. These cones averaged two hundred feet in width
at the base and one hundred feet in height, and we passed five “dead”
ones. A sixth was still smoking, but was not active. Two of the party
tried to climb to the top of this cone, but were unable to do so.

We then pushed on to cone number seven, which was belching forth huge
volumes of steam and sulphur. The fumes, most fortunately, were being
blown away from us. At this stage one of the guides refused to go any
farther; it was too dangerous, he said, so he proceeded to retrace his
steps, while we others continued our journey toward cone number eight.
This was the last and largest, and was, I should estimate, about two
hundred feet high; in fact, a veritable miniature volcano, spouting
red-hot lava a hundred feet in the air with a ripping boom that could
be heard for miles. Boulders that must have weighed a ton were being
hurled high into the air as if shot from a cannon. Others followed
to meet those coming down, and as they met they burst like explosive
shells, scattering molten matter on all sides. This flowed down the
incline in cascades like water, showing red, yellow, blue, and all the
colours of the rainbow.


_From a Photograph._]

It is impossible to describe the grandeur of the effect, and a
knowledge of the force that was causing the display made one feel very
small indeed. Some of the ejected masses were as large as a horse, and
when they were belched forth were at a white heat. They went so high
that they had time to cool and return to the vortex black.

It was three o’clock in the afternoon when we reached this wonderful
display. It had taken us nine hours to reach the volcano, and we were
thirsty and well-nigh exhausted. We could not approach very near on
account of the heat, but I made some photographic exposures, and then
sat for an hour watching the wonderful sight. As the sun went down the
magnificence of the scene increased. The ground shook at each explosion
to such an extent as to make us sick. We found quantities of what is
known as “Pele’s hair.”[1] It is caused by the wind blowing the liquid
lava through the air, forming fine threads like human hair.

[Footnote 1: Pele, according to the native legends, is the goddess of
the volcano, and dwells in the crater.]

As we approached cone number seven on our return journey the wind
changed, and to our consternation we saw a cloud of sulphur blowing
right across our path. These masses of vapour are so impregnated with
sulphur and poisonous gases that it is impossible for any living thing
to exist among them, and to get caught in their midst means death.
Alarmed, we started to go around the other side, but found the lava was
too hot; the surface was cool, but there was living fire beneath, and
we dared not proceed. We kept on until the lava began to move under our
feet, and then beat a retreat to face the sulphur again, for it was
better to be smothered to death than slowly roasted.


We made a number of attempts to pass that deadly barrier of vapour, but
were forced to return each time, nearly suffocated. It looked as though
we should soon be choked to death--the fire at the back of us, the
sulphur in front. Professor Ingalls remarked that we had better make
the best of our time by taking notes, and then prepare for the worst.
Just at this critical moment I happened to turn round and saw an arch,
as it were, in the sulphur smoke, where the wind was blowing it up from
the ground.

“Look! look!” I shouted, in great excitement. “Run for it!” And how
we ran! Providence gave us the chance and fear lent us strength, for
under ordinary circumstances we could never have run as we did, owing
to the condition of our feet. The danger, however, made us forget the
pain, and we ran for dear life. We had scarcely got through that arch
of clear air when down came the cloud again, as though lowered by some
great power. The only guide who had stayed with us fell exhausted at
the edge of the vapour-mass. How I managed to drag him along I do not
know; I hardly realized what I was doing, but I managed to save him.

Once past the danger-point we crawled along at our best pace, for at
any moment the wind might turn in our direction, when we should be
again overtaken by that terrible death-cloud. I had left my camera
behind in our wild flight, but fortunately I saved several plates.

It was now night, and the only light we had was the lurid glare from
the volcano. Suddenly, as we stumbled painfully along, we came upon
a man sitting by the side of a dead cone; it was the guide who had
returned. He said he did not expect to see us alive again, for he had
seen the deadly smoke blow across the mountain.

If it had not been for the light from the volcano we should undoubtedly
have perished of cold and thirst, as we should have been compelled to
stop walking. As it was, we dared not halt for any length of time, or
we should not have had warmth enough to keep the blood circulating.
All that night we crawled over that terrible lava. We fell down at
intervals of about twenty feet, often breaking through the black crust,
sometimes up to our waists, cutting ourselves on the sharp projections
until our hands and legs were woefully lacerated. Almost as soon as
we fell we dropped asleep; then, as we got colder, we would wake up
and force ourselves on again for a few dozen yards or so, only to fall
asleep, wake, and struggle up once more. The agony of the situation and
the pain of our wounds were enough to make a man go insane.

At last it began to get light, but still we had come across no water,
and that in our canteens had long since been exhausted. Very few
people, fortunately, know what it means to have their throats and lips
so swollen and cracked that they are bleeding for want of water. I
could scarcely speak. We hunted the depths and crevices of the lava,
sometimes going down ten or fifteen feet, looking for water, only to be
disappointed again and again. At last I got so weak that Mr. Buck had
to take my package of plates off my back, where I had tied them.

Suddenly I saw a break in the lava nearly full of beautiful water. I
pulled Mr. Buck’s arm, pointing to it, and mumbled, “Water.” Slowly he
pulled off his coat and started to climb down the crack. It was about
eight feet wide, narrowing to three. I leaned over the side, holding
the canteen for Mr. Buck to fill. He went down a few feet, and then
stopped. I motioned to him to fill the bottle, croaking, “Water.” He
did not look around, but mumbled, “I see no water,” as if in a dream.
Picking up a piece of lava, I tossed it down and cried hoarsely,
“_There_ is the water.” But to my astonishment the pebble went down,
down, down, out of sight, with no sound of a splash, into a fathomless
abyss. The crevice was so deep that we could not see the bottom, and
the shock of the discovery made me faint. How Sterns Buck managed to
return he does not remember; it is a wonder he did not fall, to be
mangled upon the sharp corners of lava.

I came to my senses dazed and almost bewildered, and Buck and I sat
motionless for some time staring at each other. After a time we
scrambled on again until we came upon the guide sitting upon the edge
of a high crack, eating frozen snow, and tearing at it with his teeth
like a hungry dog. We followed his example, not without pain, but the
snow tasted good.

Some of the party who had previously returned met us near the summit
with coffee. When they saw us coming they got things ready so as to
make us as comfortable as possible. After washing our lacerated hands
and feet we took a good sleep, and awoke much refreshed. The journey
home was, comparatively speaking, easy, but the memory of that night
amidst the lava will last me to my dying day.

[Illustration: Our Leopard Hunt.]


    An exciting story told by a former official of the Gold Coast
    Government. With a friend and some natives he went out to shoot
    a marauding leopard. They accomplished their mission, but
    before the day was over one and all of the party had received a
    good deal more than they bargained for.

In 1899, while in the service of the Gold Coast Government, and
stationed at Kumasi, I received orders “per bearer, who will accompany
you,” to proceed to a point on Volta not far south of where it
debouches from among the Saraga Hills. “The bearer,” a nice young
fellow called Strange, was newly arrived in the colony, and his
pleasant home gossip was not less welcome to me than my information
about the country we were in was to him. Our rough forest journey,
then, passed as pleasantly as such journeys can, and by the time we
arrived at our destination we were the best of friends.

Akroful, a town of about seven hundred inhabitants, was the nearest
place of any size to the spot where we pitched our camp, and we were
soon on good terms with its headman, Otibu Daku, and his son, Dansani,
both of whom put us in the way of some good shooting.

We had been in this place about a fortnight, when we began to be
annoyed by the depredations of a marauding leopard, who took to
visiting our live-stock pens, and at last we decided to lie in wait
for him. I took the first watch until a snake crawled over my legs;
then I went to bed. It was a harmless one, but it reminded me of the
need of precaution, so next night found our lair surrounded by a very
uninviting floor of cactus leaves.

The fourth night after our vigil commenced Strange succeeded in
wounding our sell-invited guest, and we determined to track him down
as soon as it was light. Otibu Daku and his son willingly agreed to
help us; and I took, in addition, two of my own men who would, I
knew, “stand fire”--Ashong Tawiah, an Accra man, and Nyato, my chief
steward-boy, a Krooman.

The two Ashantis led the way, Otibu Daku carrying a “long Dane” gun;
his son, a machete. Tawiah and Nyato also carried machetes, and the
former, on leaving camp, had picked up a broad-bladed Hausa spear.
Strange and I each had a repeating rifle and a revolver, for, as Nyato
told me, “Dem headman, ’e say, plenty tiger lib dem part.”

The trail was easy to follow. There was not much blood, but the
ground was soft from recent rain. It was rough going, however, and
the machetes were constantly at work clearing a way. Up and down
small watersheds, squelching through marshy bottoms, crossing streams
on fallen trees, we frequently lost the track, but by some sort of
instinct our guides always found it again.

At last, after descending a more than usually steep incline, we found
ourselves in a valley of some size. The bush here was very thin, and we
progressed without difficulty until we came in sight of the inevitable
stream, the opposite bank of which, rising steeply, evidently formed
the commencement of the next divide. I was about a dozen yards to
Strange’s right; the ground was clear of bush between us and the
stream; and on the nearer bank, his head overhanging the water, lay
our quarry, clearly dying. But he was not alone. Stretched by his
side, licking the wound that was letting out his life, lay a fine
female leopard, evidently his consort. On seeing us she rose to her
feet, snarling; she abandoned her ministrations and became militant--a
defender-avenger. Strange fired hastily on sight, and a convulsive
heave of the prostrate body showed where the bullet struck. With a
light leap the leopardess cleared her mate, and with long, low springs
raced down towards my friend. He fired again at thirty yards, wounding
her, and she swerved slightly and came in my direction. We both fired
together, whereupon she stopped suddenly, reared straight up, pawing
the air--then fell backward, stone-dead.


Hardly had the double report died away when our attention was attracted
to a movement on the other side of the stream. Tawiah pointed.

“Oolah! tiger him piccin!” (“Master, the leopard’s cubs”), he cried.
Slinking away downstream, with long, stealthy strides, their muzzles to
the ground and tails trailing low, were two half-grown leopards, the
head of one level with the other’s haunch.

“Tally-ho!” cried Strange, and let fly at them. His one fault as a
sportsman was a too great eagerness to get the first shot in. The white
splinters flew from the buttress of a great cotton-wood, and the nearer
cub, startled as never before, leapt a man’s height from the ground,
and, coming down, raced away downstream after its companion.

“Come on! We’ll bag the whole family,” said Strange, jumping into the
stream. Otibu Daku was already across and I was about to follow, when
I noticed, fluttering up the farther slope, one of those beautiful
insects called the “dead leaf” butterfly. You will see one fluttering
along like a fugitive piece of rainbow--then suddenly it will alight on
a withered branch or heap of dead herbage and disappear, the underside
of the wings being in shape, colour, and even veining an exact
imitation of a withered leaf.

I was an enthusiastic collector, and never went out without a folding
net that could be fixed to any fairly straight stick. Bidding Tawiah
remain with me, then, I let the others go on after the cubs, and in a
couple of minutes was in pursuit of my own particular quarry. The slope
was nearly bare of bush, and I did not have much difficulty in making
the capture. Placing it in a flat box containing some poison-wax, I
took my rifle from Tawiah and went on up the hill, leaving him tying up
a scratch on his leg.

I was not quite easy in my mind. We had been too hasty in concluding
that the cubs we had seen belonged to the leopards we had shot. They
had been driven away too easily, and most likely were heading straight
for their own den, where, at that time of day, the old ones would
certainly be at home.

I hurried on in the hope of getting some indication of my friend’s
whereabouts. At the top of the ascent a soft breeze met me, it was
pleasant and refreshing, but it brought that with it that made me drop
flat behind a bush and throw my rifle forward. There is no mistaking
the odour given off by the larger carnivora, and the strength of the
smell that assailed my nostrils was such as to convince me that my
first hasty thought--that I had headed off the cubs--was wrong. Such an
effluvium could come only from a den, and an occupied one at that.

There were three possibilities. It might be the home of the dead
leopards, of the strange cubs we had seen, or the lair of yet a third
family. I looked back. Tawiah was not in sight, but I knew he would
follow. In front, for a hundred yards, the level crest of the ridge
was covered by a sparse, wand-like growth that was no impediment to
the view. Beyond the ground fell away again, and just on the edge, and
rather to my right, stood two enormous cotton-woods, the space between
them being a labyrinth of roots standing thigh-high from the ground.

To this point, with what speed and silence I could command, I made my
way. Midway I stopped abruptly to listen. A deep snarling, worrying
sound filled the air, coming from straight ahead. Reaching the nearest
root, I looked over. The rapidly falling ground beyond was hidden by a
far-sweeping buttress from the tree on my left, which, running parallel
with the one I stood against, made a passage about four feet wide and
two high. Stealing away to the left, where the nearer root sank below
the surface, I entered the passage, and, on all fours, reached a point
midway between the two trees. The noise I had before heard was now very
distinct, and, blending with it, yet dominating it, came a continuous
buzzing sound like the far-away roll of a drum. I knew it for the
purring of a full-grown leopard.

Looking back, I was glad enough to see Tawiah reaching the level. I
raised a warning hand, and, waiting only to see that he observed me,
turned, and very cautiously looked over the root in front. From where I
crouched the ground fell away very steeply and was bare and stony. Then
began a gentler slope covered with a low scrub and running down into a
valley similar to, but larger than, the one we had just left. Down the
centre flowed a stream, the same on whose banks, higher up, we had left
the dead leopards. I was on a kind of spur, round which the stream made
a bend away to my right. To my left it lost itself in an expanse of
shallow water covered with great water-lilies, which merged in its turn
into the stream of the Volta, half a mile away.

Just where the change of slope began was a great outcrop of rock. About
a foot above the base, and facing me, was a ragged opening, and in
this, with both paws hanging over the edge, lounged a fine she-leopard.
The air hummed with her complacent purr, as, with blinking eyes, she
watched the rough play of two well-grown cubs. Presently she rolled
over on her back, and, with downward-hanging head, struck idly with
a mighty paw at a white butterfly flitting above her. She was the
personification of soft and sinuous strength.

Suddenly, away to the right, a shot rang out. The purring ceased,
and instantly the great cat was couched, rigid as a bronze casting.
Except for the tip of her tail, not a muscle moved. Presently the
tense expression relaxed, and with a guttural sort of sigh her head
dropped on to her paws. But only for an instant. The stealthy rustling
of something approaching reached her ears, and she resumed her alert
attitude. Then her eyes half closed again, and she seemed to go smooth
all over. A suave, fawning expression came into her face; her purring
redoubled; she rolled softly on to her side and gazed intently in the
direction of the sound. The noise came nearer, and presently, as I
expected, her mate appeared. He paused for an instant to look back,
and at that moment Strange’s rifle spoke again, and the leopard sank
down, biting savagely at his hind-quarters. With one movement as it
seemed, and with a sort of deep-throated cough, his consort was by his
side, and then began an awful duet of snarls and growls, rumblings and
snufflings, with the cubs for chorus.

It was high time for me to take action; a wounded leopard and a
leopardess with young can make themselves pretty awkward. I aimed at
the female as being the more dangerous, and was about to pull the
trigger, when a movement in the valley attracted my attention. One of
the cubs we had first seen was tearing across the open, making for the
stream. Some distance behind followed the other, evidently wounded.
Close upon him ran Dansani, machete in hand. As I looked the cub turned
and Dansani struck. Nyato was close behind, and level with him, but
farther out, Otibu Daku stole swiftly with long, bent-kneed strides,
his “long Dane” gun held across his body. Strange was not in sight.

The foremost cub was nearly at the stream when he raised a howl of
fear or of warning, I do not know which. On the instant, from a clump
of bushes on the farther side, there leapt two greyish-white forms.
Clearing the stream, they charged straight down on the young Ashanti.

All this was photographed on my brain while my finger was on the
trigger. The scene was blotted out as I fired, and from that moment I
had enough on my hands to occupy my undivided attention. The leopardess
was killed outright. The next instant I fired at the male, but one of
the cubs gave a jump and received the bullet meant for his sire. How
the brute did it I do not know--for he had a broken thigh-bone--but
next moment the old leopard was tearing up the slope towards me, and
very business-like he looked. I fired again and clipped his ear; then
his claws were hooked on to the root in front of me, and all I could
do was to smash the butt, pile-driver fashion, down upon his head. He
seized it in his jaws, and the hard wood cracked like pitch-pine, while
the wrench nearly tore the weapon from my grasp. He gave me no time to
reverse it for another shot, or to draw my revolver. Four times did he
struggle to draw himself up, and but for his broken leg I could not
have prevented him. Four times, luckily for me, he allowed his fury to
vent itself on the rifle-butt. The struggle only lasted seconds, but it
seemed hours, and already the fury of it made my breath come short.

And then the cub decided to take a hand! It had been pacing to and fro,
snuffing the blood and growling; it then suddenly turned, and dashed
straight to the scene of combat. A leopard cub by itself is not more
than a man can manage, but as a reinforcement to an infuriated parent
it is a serious matter. I heard Tawiah behind me.

“Take the piccin,” I yelled, and put all my strength into an effort to
thrust my foe back. Instinctively he tried to use his injured leg, and
this time he lost grip altogether, and his claws scraped down the root,
making great furrows in the wood. I let him have the gun, and seized my
revolver in time to plant a couple of bullets in his head as he came up

Meanwhile Tawiah had accounted for the cub, but he was badly clawed
down the leg. To my surprise--for I did not remember the brute using
his claws at all except to hold on by--my coat was ripped, and I had
several nasty, but not severe, scratches down chest and arms.

Our attention was now diverted to the scene below, and what we saw sent
us both down the slope as fast as we could race--Tawiah ahead. One cub
lay dead--Dansani’s victim--and a few paces from it stood the young
Ashanti, preparing to dodge the foremost of the parent leopards I had
seen break cover. He sprang aside as it reached him, but the brute
wheeled as if on a pivot and reared. Then came the crashing report
of the “long Dane,” a fearful yell, and Dansani reeled away with his
hands to his head, and fell. The leopard, roaring horribly, rolled over
and over, apparently broken in two. Its mate, swerving at the report,
turned and raced straight for Tawiah, who had just reached the level
ground. I shouted to him to come back to me, thinking that revolver and
spear together would match the furious brute, but apparently he did
not understand, for, waving me to follow, he tore off to where, midway
between him and the advancing leopard, stood a small Dequa palm. His
object, I learnt afterwards, was to hold the leopard at bay there till
help arrived. It was a mad idea, for the savage brute was covering
three yards to one of his.

Just at that moment I caught sight of Strange--hobbling along,
supported by his rifle, five hundred yards away; there was no help to
be expected from him. Nyato was rushing on to settle with the remaining
cub, that, screaming, was alternately dashing towards its wounded dam
and back to the stream. Otibu Daku was carrying Dansani to the water,
and the female leopard, her hind quarters straddling like those of a
frog, with the small of her back blown away and reared on her front
legs, was rending the air with the most awful yells.

The male passed the tree, and only about forty yards separated him from
my faithful follower. I ran on. Trusting to luck, I fired two chambers,
but without success. The distance between them decreased rapidly, and
Tawiah, seeing the hopelessness of his position, grounded his spear,
and, gripping it by the middle, backed up the butt with his knee in
the hope that the brute would impale himself. Then I saw that Strange
was kneeling, taking aim. He could never hit a running leopard at that
range, I told myself; it would appear no bigger than a cat to him.

I was twenty yards behind Tawiah, and barely ten separated him from
the leopard, when a ball of smoke floated away from Strange’s rifle.
I dared not hope, and Tawiah remained like a rock. Then, suddenly, the
leopard halted, and--for all the world like a kitten chasing its own
tail--spun round and round till we could hardly tell one end from the
other. I sent two bullets as near the centre as I could, and Tawiah,
charging in, drove his spear in at one side and out at the other. The
battle was over.


We found that Strange’s bullet had pierced the skin of the neck just
where it joins the head, and had half stunned the animal. But what a
glorious shot! I paced the distance to him; it was four hundred and
sixty odd yards! He had made just a little too much allowance for
speed, but what of that?

Strange, it appeared, had stepped on a loose stone and strained his
ankle badly. Poor Dansani was horribly mauled. The beast had clawed him
from the crown of his head to the knee in one awful sweep. Half the
scalp overhung his face, one eye was destroyed, the muscle of the upper
arm was in ribbons, and the stroke, glancing from the elbow, had laid
open his thigh to the knee. A revolver-shot finished his assailant. We
did what we could for Dansani on the spot, and Nyato and his father
carried him home on a hastily-constructed litter. Later he recovered,
but was terribly disfigured.

Tawiah and I took it in turns to help Strange along, and when we
reached the spot where our first victims lay we found their young ones
mewling over them. They slunk away, and we did not molest them. The
cub Nyato had chased allowed self-preservation to triumph over filial
affection, and got away also. My rifle was utterly ruined. And so ended
our leopard hunt.



    An interesting description of the way in which turtles are
    “farmed” in various parts of the world. The most up-to-date and
    scientifically-conducted of these curious establishments is
    that of Mr. Hattori, in Japan, where the snapping-turtle, the
    most vicious of his species, is bred and reared.

That strange creature, the turtle, is now receiving the attention of
the farmer, and is being scientifically bred and reared in various
parts of the world. Indeed, turtle-farming on a large scale is now
carried on both in Japan and in America, while the great palisade
enclosures on the shores in the West Indies, where turtles are confined
until wanted for the London market, may well come under the same

Curiously enough, the species of turtle favoured respectively by the
Japanese, Americans, and by English people are totally different. For
instance, the Japanese farmer gives his attention to the propagation of
the snapping-turtle and American to the diamond-backed terrapin, while
the turtle soup so much prized by the wealthy and sought after by the
sick in this country is made from the green turtle of the West Indies.


_From a Photograph._]

The terrapin is quite a small creature, rather flat-backed and rounded
in outline, its scales being marked by independent black patterns
composed of many geometric figures placed one within another. At one
time it was found in large quantities in the shallow bays and salt
marshes along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Texas. The
discovery that its flesh made a delicious stew and an ideal soup,
however, resulted in the creature being hunted so vigorously that
to-day it is exceedingly scarce. Indeed, whereas a terrapin, seven
inches in length, could be picked up a few years ago for a few cents,
it would be difficult to secure one to-day for a five-pound note. It
was this scarcity of the terrapin, and the big demand for it among the
hotels and restaurants, that have led not a few enterprising men to
establish farms, where these much-sought-after creatures are bred and
reared for the market in large numbers.

The terrapin being small, perfectly harmless, and requiring but a
little pond of salt water to dwell in, there is nothing particularly
exciting in farming it. Indeed, a terrapin “farm” consists merely of
a number of small ponds or basins in which the creatures are confined
according to their age and size. Thus, in the smaller ponds, we
discover those just hatched from the eggs--curious little things not
much bigger than a billiard ball. As they breed well, and it is not
necessary to keep the creature long before it is ready for the _chef_,
terrapin farming may be described as a fairly remunerative business.


_From a Photograph._]


_From a Photo. by M. Ichikawa, Japan._]

Decidedly more up-to-date are the snapping-turtle farms of Mr. Hattori,
situated just outside Tokio, the capital of Japan. The Japanese people
will proudly tell you that they are the only turtle farms in the world,
but, as I have already shown, this is hardly correct. These farms
were established some few years ago now, and are, without question,
a great success. On an average, Mr. Hattori supplies to the hotels
and restaurants of Japan over sixteen thousand turtles a year, while
another five thousand are shipped to China. So far as the farm itself
is concerned, it consists of a number of rectangular ponds, large and
small, the larger ones having an area of fifteen to twenty thousand
square feet.


_From a Photo. by M. Ichikawa, Japan._]

One or more of the ponds is always reserved for large breeding
individuals, or “parents,” as they are called, and one of the
assistants visits this pond twice a day to look out for new deposits
of eggs. Over these he places a wire basket, with the date marked upon
it. In one of our photographs a number of these wire baskets may be
seen, though unfortunately the eggs are not shown, being covered with
a slight layer of sand, this work being done by the turtle itself.
The covering serves a twofold purpose--the obvious one of marking the
place, and, in addition, that of keeping other females from digging in
the same spot. When hundreds, or even thousands, of these baskets are
seen along the bank of a “parents’ pond,” the sight is one to gladden
the heart of an embryologist, to say nothing of the proprietor.

The hatching of the eggs occupies, on an average, sixty days. The
time, however, may be considerably shortened or lengthened, according
to whether the summer is hot and the sun pours down its strong rays
day after day, or whether there is much rain and the heat not great.
As the turtles lay sixty eggs to the nest at two sittings, it will be
seen that in a single season many thousands are added to this unique
establishment, but at least five years must elapse before they are
large enough for the _chef_.


_From a Photograph._]

One would imagine, remembering the quantities of eggs laid by turtles,
that they would be very plentiful, but there are few creatures that
have more enemies. All that the mother turtle does is to deposit her
eggs on the sand of some island and there leave them to be hatched
out by the sun. Before this process is accomplished they are often
destroyed by rats and birds, while very few of those that are hatched
survive very long. The moment the young turtle emerges from its shell
it seeks the water, and there crabs and various kinds of fish are ever
ready to devour it. The young just hatched at the farm under notice are
put in a pond or ponds by themselves and given finely-chopped meat of a
fish like the pilchard, while the bigger ones are fed largely on live
eels. This feeding continues to the end of September. In October the
snapping-turtle ceases to take food, and finally burrows in the muddy
bottom of the pond to hibernate, coming out only in April or May.

Snapping-turtle farming is much more exciting than raising the
American terrapin. The former is a vicious creature and will snap
at anything--hence its name. Indeed, in disposition it is the very
opposite of its American brother. It believes most thoroughly in the
survival of the fittest, and to it the fittest is number one. It is a
chronic fighter, and inasmuch as its jaws are very strong and, like a
bulldog, it never knows when to let go, it is a reptile to be either
mastered or avoided. Indeed, the men at Mr. Hattori’s farm can tell
many exciting little stories concerning the voracity of this strange
creature. One farm hand, for instance, is minus a finger, the result of
not using sufficient care when transferring one of the larger reptiles
to a new pond.


_From a Photo. by M. Ichikawa, Japan._]

Many naturalists have visited this unique farm and, after a close study
of the turtle and its habits, have confirmed all the bad qualities that
have been recorded concerning it. In securing its food it shows that
it possesses no mean intelligence. At one time it crawls slowly and
silently along with neck outstretched towards an unsuspecting fish,
springs upon it by a powerful thrust of its hind legs, and snaps it
up; at another time it drives the fish around the basin and terrifies
it until it falls an unresisting victim. Again, the reptile may be
observed buried in the sandy soil of its prison with only its bill and
eyes protruding. On the approach of a fish the head and long neck dart
forth from the sand with lightning speed and the prey is caught and
instantly killed by a savage bite.

In its wild state the snapping-turtle is distinctly a nocturnal animal,
and does its hunting after sunset, when it emerges from its muddy home
to look for food. In the presence of danger it becomes bold, defiant,
and even desperate. When driven to bay it retracts its neck, head, and
widely-gaping jaws into its shell, awaiting a favourable opportunity
to thrust them forth slyly and bite savagely. Anything which it has
seized in its jaws it holds with wonderful tenacity, at the same time
vigorously scratching the earth with its sharp claws. There is only one
way to catch the snapping-turtle, and that is to secure it by the tail.
Some of the men at Mr. Hattori’s farm are very dexterous in seizing
their victims in this fashion.

A little time ago a Russian officer visited the establishment and
listened, with some incredulity, to the stories of the voracity of
the reptiles in the ponds before him. He carried in his hand a stout
cane, and was told to place it near one of the bigger animals. He did
so, and was surprised to find that in a few minutes it was bitten
clean through. Before now the snapping-turtle has been known to bite
through the flat of an oar. Not only will this turtle catch all kinds
of fish and frogs and devour them greedily, but it is not averse to
hunting waterfowl. Mr. Hattori declares that, in addition to raising
turtles, he could rear ducks and geese as well, but dare not, as the
reptiles would only kill them. When a snapping-turtle detects a duck it
cunningly makes its way towards the creature, seizes it by its legs,
pulls it down under water, and then drags it to the bottom of the pond.
Here it tears the duck to pieces with the aid of the long claws of its
fore paws and devours it.

It is this snapping propensity which makes it desirable to keep the
reptiles in ponds according to their ages; it would not do to put
those just hatched in the same basin as the bigger ones, as they would
quickly be eaten. Until they reach their sixth year they are never
“mixed.” When they reach this age, however, they are capable of taking
care of themselves and are allowed access to the bigger ponds. By this
time the turtle has reached maturity and may begin to deposit eggs,
though it is not at its prime till two or three years later.

[_From a Photograph._]]

What the Japanese epicure prefers are turtles not more than five years
of age, when the flesh is soft and in desirable condition for the
making of stews and soups. At this age the snapping-turtle weighs from
sixty to eighty pounds. Those that are destined for the table are kept
in a pond to themselves, and taken as required in nets or pulled out of
the water by their tails. They are then placed in tin boxes or cases
with air-holes, and sent by train to their destination.

The turtle that is consumed in this country is the green species, from
the West Indies. The creatures are imported by Mr. T. K. Bellis, who
will not hesitate to tell you that of edible turtles the green variety
is the best. Mr. Bellis imports some three thousand turtles a year.
They arrive in batches of one hundred or more every fortnight by the
Royal Mail steamers from Kingston, Jamaica, and are obtained from the
coral reefs lying to the north of the island of Jamaica. Twelve to
fifteen small schooners are employed in the trade, and upwards of a
hundred and twenty men.


These fishers of strange “fish” (the turtle’s technical name) stretch
nets of twine from rock to rock, and the moment the turtle feels itself
entangled it clings tenaciously to the meshes, and is then hauled to
the surface. The schooners in due time return to Kingston with from
eighty to a hundred and fifty of these remarkable creatures, which
are promptly deposited in palisaded enclosures, flooded at every tide
by the sea. Here they are fed upon a certain kind of herbage known as
“turtle grass,” and taken as required. The bringing of these creatures
overseas is a very delicate business, and frequently sixty out of a
hundred perish _en route_, in spite of the most elaborate precautions,
such as the constant spraying of salt water daily on board the mail
steamer, and the use of foot warmers for the turtles in the railway
vans from Southampton to Waterloo. Before now, Mr. Bellis has lost
eighty-eight turtles out of a shipment of a hundred.

This susceptibility to travel is one of the most remarkable things
about the turtle. If you are anxious to transport him alive it is a
hundred to one he perishes of cold, but if you do succeed in getting
him home the difficulty then is to kill him. The vitality of this
strange sea creature after decapitation is almost beyond belief. Mr.
Bellis once sent a large turtle to an hotel in Newcastle. The _chef_
cut the turtle’s head off and hung the body upside down to bleed.
Twenty-four hours after that turtle knocked down a man cook with one
blow of its fin! The green turtle is not a vicious creature to handle,
like its snapping Japanese brother, but its fins are very strong, and
one blow from them is quite sufficient to break a man’s arm.

Mr. Frank T. Bullen gives a remarkable instance of the tenacious hold
of the turtle upon life. “On one occasion,” he records, “our men cut
all the flesh and entrails of a turtle away, leaving only the head
and tail attached to the shell. Some time had elapsed since the meat
had been scooped out of the carapace, and no one imagined that any
life remained in the extremities. But a young Dane, noticing that the
down-hanging head had its mouth wide open, very foolishly inserted two
fingers between those horny mandibles. It closed, and our shipmate
was two fingers short, the edges of the turtle’s jaws had taken them
clean off, with only the muscular power remaining in the head. Then
another man tried to cut the horny tail off, but as soon as his keen
blade touched it on the underside it curled up and gripped his knife so
firmly that it was nearly an hour before the blade could be withdrawn.”
Signor Redi, the great zoologist, records how he once cut a turtle’s
head off and noted that it lived for twenty-three days without a head,
and another whose brains he removed lived for six months.

The green turtle, the species favoured in this country, is not a
carnivorous creature, like the snapping-turtle, its food being a
particular kind of sea grass found on the coral reefs in the West
Indies. Some time ago Mr. Bellis brought a large quantity of this grass
to London, with the idea of feeding the creatures in captivity, but
they refused to take it. In his cellars in the City one can see any
day a number of these turtles. Here they are kept until a telegram
arrives from a distant hotel, when away goes the turtle to be turned
into soup for the forthcoming banquet. Those hotels which do not care
about the trouble of killing the creature can procure the soup in tins
and bottles direct from the importer, and it is not surprising to learn
that large quantities are sold. It requires eight pounds of the best
turtle-flesh to make one quart of soup.

The green turtle grows to an immense size, but it has been found
that specimens weighing more than a hundred and fifty pounds are not
desirable, the flesh becoming coarse as the animal increases in weight.
The shell of this variety is practically valueless, but the hawksbill
turtle yields what is popularly known as “tortoiseshell,” and the
armour covering of a good specimen may be worth eight pounds. Its
flesh, however, is too coarse for consumption, though here it should
be added that it is doubtful whether those who occasionally partake
of green-turtle soup would relish that made from the flesh of the

It is a notorious fact that turtles grow very slowly and attain a great
age. Curiously enough, neither Mr. Hattori nor Mr. Bellis can tell to
what age a snapping or green turtle will live. Mr. Hattori has quite a
number of turtles that are known to be from thirty to fifty years of
age, while some of the bigger specimens that arrive at Waterloo for the
Bellis cellars are, it is believed, twelve to fifteen years old.


_From a Photo. by Conolly & Goatam._]

[Illustration: SHORT STORIES.]



The circumstances of this little smuggling incident, though known to
several persons in the Far East, have hitherto been hidden, so to
speak, under a bushel. In bringing them to the light it should be
stated that--for obvious reasons--fictitious names have been given to
the individuals chiefly concerned, but the facts are just as stated.

Far and away the most distinguished passenger on the big German liner
was the homeward bound Japanese Ambassador. He did not look the part,
however. He was a squat, unobtrusive little man whose trousers fitted
him badly, and whose carriage, when he was hampered by European
clothes, suggested an insignificance that was only partially belied by
the intelligence of his homely countenance. His appearance reflected no
radiant blaze of glory, yet he was returning to his native land crowned
with some of the finest diplomatic achievements of the century.

This statement is due to his Excellency, but it practically dismisses
him from the story, which mainly concerns his trunk--his trunk No. 23,
to be precise, for the Ambassador’s trunks were all numbered. There
must have been half a hundred of them at least; all the same typical
German steel trunks, but distinguished from other less important trunks
of the same make insomuch that each one was adorned with two broad
painted bands of scarlet, which showed out bravely and effectually
prevented their being mixed up with any ordinary baggage. Apart
from all other considerations, the wisdom of the Ambassador in thus
distinctively marking his own trunks lay in the fact that the process
insured their instant recognition by the Japanese Customs officials, by
whom they were immune from examination.

This last fact was the one which counted for most with Fritz Vogel,
steward and trombonist of the liner, as he daily contemplated the
mountain of luggage and calculated how many Manila cigars one of those
great red-striped trunks would hold.


Carefully packed, he figured it, one might crowd ten thousand cigars
into each trunk. Ten thousand cigars, at eighty Mexican dollars a
thousand, meant eighty pounds. Duty at one hundred and fifty per
cent. _ad valorem_ on eighty pounds would mean a hundred and twenty
pounds, or, as Fritz Vogel calculated, two thousand four hundred
marks. Therefore, as the meditative trombonist further worked out
the possibilities, his Excellency could, by simply loading up a few
dozen more trunks with cigars at Hong-Kong and getting them passed
free through the Customs at Yokohama--or at Nagasaki or Kobe for that
matter--make more in a week than he could hope to earn in a month of
Sundays by sticking to the thorny paths of diplomacy.

Born west of the Suez, the fertile idea germinated in Vogel’s brain
all through the dreary wastes of the Canal, and sprouted up green and
vigorous, despite the withering blasts that pursued the liner down the
Red Sea and across the Indian Ocean to Colombo. At Singapore it had
become an obsession. When steaming through the Narrows into the latter
port, however, on the way to the German mail wharf, Vogel observed
a red-funnelled Jardine liner at the Messageries wharf, with the
blue-peter flying.

An hour later the _Laisang_ left for China, carrying a hastily-written
letter from Fritz Vogel to his friend Max Krebs at Hong-Kong. It
contained a fair statement of the salient facts in the case, and a
crude but lucid sketch of one of the pieces of baggage, together with a
description of the scarlet bands and full measurements. It also stated
what has not been set forth above--that each of his Excellency’s trunks
was numbered in large white figures at each end and on the top, and it
suggested that in the case of any person desiring to have access to
those trunks whilst they were still on board the liner, Nos. 23, 24,
27, 32, etc., were the easiest to reach.

Mr. Krebs was a “runner” for a native compradoring firm. He went out
to the ships to “drum up” business for his employers, who supplied
anything and everything that a ship could require, from cigarettes to
engine-oil. In the old days before the Russian War Mr. Vogel had done
a good deal of trade with Mr. Krebs on the short run between Yokohama
and Hong-Kong. But the stringent Customs regulations that had ensued
upon the increased tariffs imposed after the war had practically
killed the business, save so far as concerned a paltry bit of trading
with passengers in faked curios, and the occasional disposal of a few
imitation gems to homeward-bound tourists when the vessel was west of

Opportunities like the return of an Ambassador to Japan did not occur
once in a blue moon.

The liner tarried a day and a half over cargo at Singapore, and the
_Laisang_ got into Hong-Kong nearly twenty-four hours ahead of her. Mr.
Vogel learned the fact the moment the German liner arrived at the big
China port, and his heart was filled with sickening apprehension. He
had been dreaming of trunks full of cigars--German steel trunks with
red bands, and numbered with big white characters--ever since he left
Singapore. He had marked off the state-room wherein, until the proper
psychological moment, the extra trunks--if any--could be stored safely.
He had mentally arranged every other detail in his projected bid for
fortune, and had even marked down those of his comrades who should be
selected as his accomplices. He had counted over, time and time again,
the round thousand marks that would be his personal profit out of every
trunk full of cigars he could pass through the Yokohama Customs as
the baggage of the returning Ambassador. He did all this while still
faithfully, if mechanically, discharging his onerous duties as steward
and master of the trombone.


It was not until a few hours after the arrival of the steamer in
Hong-Kong--hours that felt like ages--that Vogel heard from Krebs. A
note was handed to him by a Chinese messenger boy, and Vogel opened it
with feverish impatience. Mr. Krebs wrote with that laconic brevity
of diction which indicates the resourceful mind. “Will send you one
trunk.--O. K.,” it read.

Mr. Vogel pondered for a moment whether “O. K.” meant Oscar Krebs or
“All correct” (American fashion); then he heaved a great sigh of relief
as he realized that it was all the same.

That evening Mr. Krebs came on board unostentatiously, and a big
trunk wrapped in rough sacking came with him, and was temporarily
stowed away by Mr. Vogel in one of the state-rooms which held some of
the Ambassador’s spare boxes. Thence it was subsequently carried to
another cabin, where there were some spare things of Mr. Vogel’s. Had
a hypercritical observer subsequently studied all the trunks in the
Ambassador’s collection he might have noticed that one of them appeared
to be the least trifle newer than the rest, but it would have taken
a Sherlock Holmes to detect the circumstance off-hand. The trunk in
question was numbered “23.”

In due time the liner arrived at Yokohama, but the mails that had
been forwarded overland from Nagasaki reached there a day before her.
Thus it came about that when the Ambassador’s baggage was franked
through the Custom House and sent up to the Imperial Hotel at Tokio,
two friends of Messrs. Krebs and Vogel were installed as guests at the
last-named establishment. Thus also it came about that, thanks to ten
yen well spent on a porter, the Ambassador’s trunk, No. 23, was whisked
away to the nether cellars of the hotel the moment it arrived there,
and--as the Ambassador himself did at an earlier stage--it virtually
passes out of this story. That is to say, what must have been the ghost
of the Ambassador’s trunk vanishes from mortal view; but not so the
real article. When the diplomat’s baggage was supposed to be all in,
and a count was taken, trunk No. 23 was found to be missing.

The row that ensued was something awful. Telegraphs and telephones were
called into requisition, and imperative, not to say drastic, orders
were dispatched to the Customs authorities at Yokohama, to the railway
authorities at Shimbashi, and to all other authorities everywhere,
commanding them to instantly produce his Excellency’s missing trunk.


The Customs authorities declared they had not got the trunk; they had
passed it and forwarded it, and got a receipt for it. There could be no
doubt, from their point of view, that the Ambassador had taken delivery
of his trunk No. 23. The railway authorities were equally agreed on
the same point. The baggage was all in special carriages; not a pin
could have been lost between Yokohama and the Shimbashi station at the
capital, whence it had been handed over to his Excellency’s servants
for removal to the hotel. The police authorities were equally certain
that there had been no hanky-panky business of any kind. It would have
been impossible for one of the Ambassador’s trunks to go astray or be
stolen, either in the streets of the seaport or in the capital itself.
The steamship authorities had a receipt for every article. They knew
the Ambassador’s trunks, and especial care had been taken of them
throughout the voyage. Nevertheless, they would again investigate.

Then, Banzai! there came a telegram from the chief purser of the

“_Ambassador’s trunk No. 23 found on board. Must have been left behind
inadvertently. Forwarding to Tokio at once._”

The little Custom House inspectors looked at the newly-found trunk in
utter stupefaction.

“Truly,” said they, “we passed this identical trunk not three hours

“_Hayako!_” (Hurry, there!) shouted the head inspector, as they dallied
over the mystery. “His Excellency waits!”


The trunk was expressed up to the Imperial Hotel by special train.

Ten minutes later the Director of His Imperial Majesty’s Customs
at Yokohama ordered a Commission of Inquiry into the matter of the
registering as received and delivered of one Ambassador’s trunk, No.
23, when the same had never either been received from the liner or
delivered to the railway or to any other authorities by His Imperial
Majesty’s Customs. The matter was also taken in hand by the Imperial
Railway and by the Tokio and Kanagawa police authorities.

Though a couple of years have passed since these investigations were
inaugurated, no definite finding in the matter has yet been officially
published. In certain quarters, however, there is a consensus of
opinion that such a trunk did really pass through the Yokohama Customs,
but that it was a phantom one.

Mr. Vogel took away two thousand two hundred yen (two hundred and
twenty pounds) from Yokohama that trip. At Hong-Kong, nine days later,
he settled up with Mr. Krebs.

The cigars and trunk had cost nine hundred dollars, while the expenses
and “commissions” in Japan amounted to a trifle less than three hundred
dollars. There was a balance of a thousand dollars to divide, and they
duly divided it.



One of the most remarkable and appalling experiences possible to
conceive recently befell a young man named Robert Perry, at Apedale,
in Staffordshire. Tramping about the country in search of work, he
arrived one night, utterly tired out, at an ironworks, and unwittingly
took shelter in an “air furnace,” used for the purpose of reducing
very large pieces of iron, too large to be dealt with in the ordinary
way. As it happened, the fire-bars of this particular furnace had been
taken out, and Perry had no difficulty in creeping through the opening
and thus making his way inside. Here he had to mount a wall five feet
in height, and eventually reached the melting chamber, which at the
time contained about five tons of iron waiting to be smelted. Arrived
at this point, in blissful ignorance of the dangerous character of the
place he had selected to sleep in, and appreciating only its dryness
and seclusion, he lay down to rest. Exactly why he should have selected
such a strange bedchamber it is impossible to say, but tramps have
been known to choose even stranger quarters--such as lime-kilns and
brick-kilns. Anyhow, the fact remains that he went into the furnace
to sleep. What happened afterwards is told below, from information
gathered partly from the man himself and partly from other persons who
figured in his terrible adventure.

After a long walk in the broiling sun Perry arrived at Apedale quite
exhausted, and set about looking for a snug, dry place where he could
lie down and have a sleep. During his weary tramp he had been no
stranger to curious resting-places, and he had spent the previous night
under a railway arch. Presently he came across the smelting works of
the Midland Coal, Coke, and Iron Company, and, seeing a furnace which
he took to be unused, examined it intently. The wide, open front of
the contrivance looked tempting, and he decided to make its interior
his abode for the night. Crawling into the opening for some little
distance, he discovered that he had a wall five feet in height to climb
over, but scaled it without much trouble. Beyond he found himself in
pitch-darkness, but clambered cautiously onwards, trying to find a
comfortable place to lie down. Proceeding up a slope, he reached a sort
of chamber beyond, where a number of great pieces of iron were lying
about. Here the weary man lay down, and, being very tired, it did not
take him long to fall asleep. Let him tell the manner of his awakening
in his own words.

       *       *       *       *       *


_From a Photograph._]

I do not exactly know what awoke me, but upon trying to raise myself
a frightful choking feeling came over me, and I became conscious of
great heat. Then, like a flash, I realized what a dreadful mistake I
had made, and what a terrible situation I was in. The furnace was _not_
disused, and now the workmen had lit it, and I was a prisoner inside!
For a moment I felt sick with horror, but it did not take me long to
pull myself together and try to find a way out.


The whole place was in total darkness. Although I could hear a dull
roaring somewhere, and feel the waves of heated air and fumes passing
over me, I could not see the slightest sign of any light. Tremblingly
I felt up and down the sides of my prison to see if I could find a
door, but nothing of the kind could I discover. I tried to retreat
farther into the furnace to get away from that awful heat, but had
to return and face it again. Now, with a sickening heart, I saw that
flames were approaching my position. Thinking my end was near at hand,
I decided at all costs to go down the slope. This meant that I must
face the fire, which was now licking up towards me, sucked inwards
by the tremendous draught. Shivering with horror I made the attempt,
but the heat and flames were unendurable, and beat me back. Then,
crouching down, I worked myself along the side, thinking this my best
plan. At last--Heaven alone knows how--I reached the foot of the wall.
In a half-dazed, choking condition, I tried to climb up, but was met
by a veritable hurricane of fierce flames, which knocked me down and
burnt all the hair off my head. Half-blinded, scorched, and with my
brain benumbed from the effects of the fumes, I still did not quite
lose heart: something seemed to force me on to make a struggle for
life. Suddenly, as I lay there gasping in that inferno of heat and
flame, I heard voices outside, but I could not understand what was
said. I wondered dully whether, if I called out, the men I could hear
speaking would hear me, so, in my agony of physical suffering and
mental distress, I shouted, “O Lord, save me! O Lord, save me!” The
murmur of voices still went on, but presently one man evidently heard
my cries, and called out to a “Mr. Phillips” that he thought he heard
a shout for help. This, however, Mr. Phillips--who seemed to be the
foreman--ridiculed, and they went on working as before.

I was now on the verge of giving up; my strength seemed to be failing
me, but I decided to make one final attempt to get on the wall. I am
glad to say that it was not in vain, and after a desperate struggle I
succeeded in reaching the top. This seemed to renew my energy, and I
braced myself for what I knew was my last hope. I gave one horrified
glance at the furnace below, the flames roaring and leaping madly, and
then, with all the strength of my fire-scorched lungs, I shrieked out
once more, “O Lord, save me!”

The men outside stopped work at once.

“Did you hear that?” cried one, excitedly; “I heard it quite distinctly
that time; someone is shouting out ‘Lord, save me’!” This time Mr.
Phillips admitted that he _did_ think he heard a noise as if someone
was calling out, but where could it come from? It was impossible for
anyone to be in the furnace alive, for the fire had been going for some
time. Then someone else said, “Open the fire-door and see if you can
see anything.”

The fire-door! Where was it, I wondered--far away or near at hand?
Then, to my great joy, I heard them releasing a bolt just a few feet
from where I was. At last it opened--a place about a foot square--and
I saw daylight streaming in and then a man’s face. He peered in
anxiously, but evidently he could not see me, for I was now as black as
the furnace itself. Then he seemed to half-close the door and I nearly
swooned away, for this was my last chance.

Desperately I strove to shout, but the heat, flames, and smoke
prevented my uttering a sound save a choking gasp. Fortunately for
myself, however, I moved, and the watcher happened to catch sight of
something about me--probably the whites of my eyes shining in the
reflected light. “Good God!” he cried. “There’s a man in the furnace!
Pull the bars out as quickly as you can.”


I did not trouble to think what or where the bars were; I knew only
that the men had seen me and would do everything in their power to get
me out. I heard them pulling the bars out in frantic haste, and saw Mr.
Phillips trying to squeeze himself through the small fire-door.

With my flesh scorching and my breath rapidly failing me in that awful
whirlwind of heat and flame, I put my arms down for him to catch hold
of. He seized me by the elbows and told me to jump, but this I could
not do, for I felt too far gone. With that he gave me a jerk, and I
found myself falling--right on to the huge fire! The bars were out, and
the fire was keeping itself together by the pressure of one block of
coal on another; but when my weight came upon it, it collapsed, sending
up a rush of flames all around me. To my intense horror, I felt the
skin on my arms giving way, but the courageous Mr. Phillips did not
release his hold. His hands were now on my wrists, and, exerting all
his strength, he pulled me up towards the door.

The pain of my burns was simply fearful, and I could have shrieked with
agony, but somehow, except for a few moans, I kept quiet.


[_From a Photograph._]]

Presently the foreman succeeded in pulling me out of the small door,
but I felt as if dead, and as though I was shrivelling up and growing
smaller. As I lay on the ground, in agonizing pain, I appealed to the
men to strangle me. Again and again, in semi-delirium, I repeated the
request: “I’m done for! Strangle me! strangle me!” My whole body seemed
to be on fire, but my rescuers lost no time. Procuring some oil, they
saturated me with it, thus, in a measure, soothing the pain. Then they
got me on to an ambulance and rushed me off to the Chell Infirmary,
where I received every care and attention.

Never, so long as I live, shall I forget the terrible time I endured
in the furnace, and my unspeakable joy when I saw Mr. Phillips at the

       *       *       *       *       *

I am indebted to Mr. Hill, the general manager of the above-mentioned
company, for a plan of the furnace. It may be interesting to add that,
even had Perry contrived to shelter himself from the flames at the
foot of the wall he mentions, he would very soon have met with a death
too awful to contemplate, as the molten iron would have flowed down
and overwhelmed him. The authorities inform me that Perry’s adventure
is altogether unprecedented in the whole of their experience. At the
moment when his first cry was heard the furnace had been alight for
some considerable time, having been started with a large quantity of
wood and many barrow-loads of hot coal in order to raise the heat


[_From a Photograph._]]



I had just recovered from a troublesome throat affection, and under
the doctor’s orders had moved out of town for a spell of fresh air
and quieter surroundings, selecting the little village of Canewdon,
in South-East Essex, as my retreat. I had always had an eye on the
village, first making its acquaintance whilst yachting off the coast
and in the River Crouch, where my boat had its permanent berth.

Canewdon is actually little more than a straggling hamlet four miles
by road to the north of Rochford, and about nine from Southend-on-Sea.
It required only a very short residence there for me to find that the
secluded little place considered it had its own corner in history, and
a very pretty turn in folk-lore and superstition as well. To begin
with, Canewdon claims King Canute as one of its founders, and its
domestic romances and tragedies would make a presentable volume in the
hands of a scribbling antiquary. It had, however, something more than
mere history, and far less to my liking, for me to feed my imagination
upon, as I was soon to discover.


_From a Photograph._]

After a good look round I settled upon a comfortable old cottage, with
a small garden traversed by a brook, only a very short distance from
the ancient, square-towered church. Into this, having taken it at a
very moderate rental, I moved a small amount of furniture, my books,
and other paraphernalia, and prepared to settle down to the life of
a hermit for a time. The woman who came from close by to “do” for me
looked upon me, I fancy, as something of a curiosity, but, for some
reason I had not then discovered, she seemed a little uneasy at my
solitary existence. She would remark that I must be lonely, or that it
was unlikely that I should stop in the place very long. I put all this
down to a friendly disposition, coupled with a desire to draw me out as
to my place in the larger world I had dropped from so suddenly.

For the first day or two matters went smoothly enough, and I began to
feel that my choice of locality had been a lucky and inexpensive one.
Then something occurred which startled me sufficiently to make me alter
my opinion.

I always used the little kitchen at meal-times for convenience’ sake,
and one night I remained there reading until very late, the kitchen
being lit only by one small lamp at my back. I had just closed my
book--it was about one o’clock--and was summoning the effort required
to take me bedwards, when I noticed a very slight movement of the iron
latch upon the door leading into the back garden. My thoughts naturally
flew to burglars. The locality was lonely, and no doubt my coming had
been duly talked over in the village with all the exaggeration and
surmise an out-of-the-way place is capable of.

I was, of course, considerably startled, and sat watching the latch
slowly rise, evidently actuated by a very delicate and even pressure
from without. The door itself was bolted at both top and bottom, and
when the latch had risen clear of the hasp I fully expected to hear the
bolts rattle as the person outside put his weight against the door to
try it. But nothing of the sort happened; the latch, after remaining
suspended for a moment, fell back again into place as slowly and evenly
as it had risen.

Startled and puzzled as I was, I still held to my belief that this
must be a timid attempt at robbery, and that, finding the back door
locked, the intruder would try the front one also. Nor was I wrong,
for I had scarcely slipped quietly into the sitting-room and taken up
my position when the latch there began to rise in precisely the same
manner. This door possessed only one bolt, and that at the bottom, so
that the door, an old and ill-fitting one, would show the slightest
pressure at once. But none was placed upon it, and the latch fell into
place as evenly and noiselessly as before. By this time I must confess
to being slightly scared, and when a chair banged heavily on the floor
and a loud shout of “Who’s that?” brought no sound of a retreating
shuffle on the cobble-stones outside, I had to summon all my remaining
courage to unbar and fling open the door. Not a soul or a sound met me
as I stepped outside. The night was a light one in early September, so
that a retreating figure could have been followed by the eye for twenty
or thirty yards. After a careful look round the garden I went to bed
nonplussed at the weirdness of the whole affair.

The following day brought another intruder--a material one this time.
I found that during the morning a travelling caravan had taken a pitch
just outside my hedge; and its owner turned out to be an Oxford man,
who, with his wife, was leading a vagabond life about the shires. He
was an extremely well-read man, and we soon got on the best of terms,
exchanging books and opinions, till he inspanned for pastures new a
week later. The night before he left I was treated to another queer

We had been talking and reading in my tiny sitting-room till about
eleven o’clock, when my vagabond friend bade me a sleepy “Good night”
and opened the front door. He had, however, only just put his foot on
the cobbles when he stepped backwards with a sharp exclamation, and a
scared look on his face.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“It’s awfully queer,” he replied; “I could have sworn I saw a face
looking straight at me close to that bush”--he pointed to the privet
hedge at the left of the door--“but there didn’t seem to be any body to
it. I’m certainly not drunk, but I may have been dreaming.”

After my recent experience, which I had not thought it worth while
to mention to such a hard-headed soul as my chance companion, I felt
anything but comfortable. We were both rather ashamed of our brief
lapse from common sense, and laughed the incident off as best we might.

The following day found me in all the doubtful glory of my solitude
once more, and I must confess to having been thankful when an
invitation reached me that same evening, from friends at Fambridge, for
a few days’ fishing.

I have never suffered from that popular present-day malady known as
“nerves,” possibly because of an open-air existence with plenty of
exercise, but, though I had only been there a short time, the cottage
and the locality now seemed to have become almost uncanny to me. Had
I mixed more with the inhabitants, I should have discovered, as I did
later, that this strange feeling was not without some foundation.

The few days I spent in Fambridge put all thought of the two queer
incidents out of my mind, which will show that the subsequent events
were not the outcome of an overtaxed imagination or a course of long
brooding upon disquieting phenomena.

It must have been about nine o’clock in the evening that my Fambridge
friend put a little Welsh pony into his governess-car to drive me back
the four odd miles to my cottage. The night was fine, but there were
clouds about and no moon, so that objects outside the radius of the
lamps were hard to distinguish. The pony had already had a fairly hard
day of it along the coast, but he was a sturdy little beast and pulled
like a steam-engine, rattling us down to the outskirts of Canewdon in
excellent time.

We had been bowling along, talking about the day’s sport, and were
now rapidly nearing a stile leading to a footpath upon the left of
the road, which takes one by a short cut across a field, over another
stile, into the churchyard, and so into the village High Street. We
had barely reached the stile when the pony pulled up short, reared,
and refused to go another step in that direction. The pony, always a
strong and willing little chap, had never done such a thing in his life
before, and my friend was not only puzzled but annoyed. A sound beating
had no more effect than words of encouragement; there the little beggar
stuck, his four legs splayed out, the picture of all that was most
stubborn in nature, whilst we two sat in the car trying to devise some
plan by which to budge him.

My friend was at last obliged to ask me to take the short cut I have
just spoken of instead of being driven round by the road the remaining
mile and a half to my cottage. I was, of course, willing enough. The
short cut would take me barely ten minutes, and I had very little
to carry; so, bidding him “Good night,” I jumped out. As I came from
behind the trap I noticed a tiny flickering light a few yards ahead,
upon the left-hand side of the road, but it was very dim and did not
arrest my attention sufficiently to make any impression on the mind. I
was able to lead the pony round without any difficulty, and when his
head faced Fambridge he seemed to recover his spirits at once, and the
red points behind the lamps receded at a rattling pace up the road.
When these had disappeared I turned again to climb the stile, but
became at once uneasily conscious of something unusual a little way
ahead of me.

The spot the pony had refused at was a good deal shadowed by large
elms, and these, together with the cloudy sky, made the road still
more obscure. The small light, which I had taken little notice of at
first--thinking it probably one of the village lights showing through
the trees--was still ahead; only, instead of being upon the left of
the road, it was now upon the right. For a few seconds I stood looking
at it, feeling very much like turning tail and bolting down the road.
The flame, for it was no other, showed greeny--white against the black
background and shivered in a strange, eerie way.

The most extraordinary part of the business was that it seemed to come
from nothing visible, but to appear, as it were, burning in space three
or four feet above the road.


I had, of course, read ghost stories in which “corpse candles” and
ghostly lights of one sort and another figured largely, but I had never
expected to come across one, and this could be translated in no other
way.[2] The close proximity of the churchyard, with the square tower of
the church itself showing through the trees, added too much colour to
the scene to my liking; but, scared though I was, a certain fascination
took hold of me, and I advanced a step or two in order to examine the
phenomenon at closer range. I had scarcely taken two paces, however,
when the clouds parted a little, giving a better light beneath the
trees, and at the same moment the weird flame flickered wildly and
went out.

[Footnote 2: The light somewhat resembled the _ignis fatuus_, or
will-o’-the-wisp, but was larger and greener in colour. Moreover, there
was no pond or marshy ground anywhere near the road.]

But this was not to be the end of my ghostly experience. The stronger
light brought many roadside objects into prominence, and the moment
the flame disappeared I became conscious of an indistinct black blotch
against the lighter background of the hedge. It was, of course, too
dark for me to be certain of its exact shape, even had I been in a calm
enough state of mind to take in details; but in any case I was allowed
only a momentary glimpse, for whilst I stood with the breath caught in
my throat, this mysterious something took three rapid strides across
the road and disappeared without a sound into the thick hawthorn hedge

At this stage I must confess to having lost all control of myself.
Without another look I took to my heels and ran, as though all the
powers of darkness were behind me.

The scare I had got made me quite oblivious of my direction, but I
suppose natural instinct guided me, for I found myself at last, almost
pumped out, trotting into the little High Street of Canewdon by the
road along which I should have driven, and no doubt in far better time.
I had no relish, in my then state of mind, for another lonely night in
the cottage, although it stood only fifty yards away, so I made my way
to the Chequers, the only inn the village possessed, and asked for a

My recent arrival in the place had given me little time to become
acquainted with the village notables, but I fancy the landlady knew me
by sight, and no doubt thought the request strange. In any case her
“Certainly, sir,” was followed by a close scrutiny. “You’re looking
very queer, sir,” she added; “has anything happened?”

Surrounded by more human elements, I began to feel thoroughly ashamed
of myself, and rather doubted the wisdom of giving the narrative away;
but the thought that, perhaps, being a resident, she might be able to
throw some light upon my weird experience finally decided me to make a
clean breast of the whole affair; and I promptly did so in the little

I had barely got half-way through the incident upon the road when she
sat back in her chair, and said in a quiet, almost matter-of-fact

“You’ve seen the headless woman, sir.”

“The headless woman?” I asked, startled. “Who’s she?”

“I may as well tell you,” she replied, “though we don’t talk of it much
here. Have you noticed a wooden house painted white, and standing alone
about a hundred yards this way from the stile on the Fambridge road?”

I said that I had, and thought it was a farmhouse.

“Well, so it was till the murder happened,” replied the woman. “The
story goes that somewhere about forty years ago a farmer there took to
drink, went mad, and murdered his wife. He didn’t stop at that, either,
for he cut off her head and buried it, and it wasn’t found till some
time after the body had had decent burial.”

“So she’s supposed to haunt the place?” I asked.

“There’s no suppose about it, sir,” she replied, very quietly; “a tidy
few people here have seen her, much the same as you did. My husband
has, too, by the stile leading into the churchyard. It took him a week
in bed to get over it. Sometimes it’s just a face, and sometimes just
a black bundle like a body without a head; but always near one of them
two stiles, and round about harvest time. Heaven send I never see the
sight!” she concluded, devoutly.

“I’m not particularly anxious to renew the acquaintance myself,” I
replied, “but how do you account for the lifting of my latch?”

“Well, I can’t say for certain, sir, but, if my memory serves me, there
was a gaffer living in your cottage--he’s dead now many a year--who
used to work at the White House and was there when the murder happened.
He saw her pretty often in his garden, I’m told, but couldn’t be got to
speak of it. It may be she walks there too.”

I spent a very mixed kind of night at the inn, and on the following
day returned to Fambridge and less ghostly company. From here I made
arrangements for a change of quarters, and from that day to this I have
not set eyes upon Canewdon, nor have I any inclination to do so.

This strange happening is perhaps too strange for everybody’s
belief. My “spirituous” state at the time is an opinion largely
held by chaffing friends; but I ask that three points be taken into
consideration. I am practically a teetotaller; my imagination is no
more abnormal than that of most of my fellows; and, lastly, no whisper
of ghostly visitations in the village had reached my ears prior to the
narrative as told by the landlady.

The whole affair would make an interesting little piece of
investigation for the Psychical Research Society.



    Savages, big and little, play games like other folk, and some
    of their methods of amusing themselves are very curious indeed.
    Mr. Elkington has made a collection of the least-known and most
    peculiar pastimes, and here describes and illustrates them.

Throughout the world there is a peculiar similarity in the games of
the human race, and undoubtedly they all spring from the same sources,
being the result of imitation, by children, of the duties and pleasures
of the elder generation. In the savage races, however, we find them
in their most primitive and interesting state, and in this article I
propose to describe a few of the least known and most peculiar--some
which I have myself witnessed, and others that I have collected from
well-known travellers.

As with ourselves, it is not only the children who play, and the
pastimes of their grown-up brothers are equally interesting. Naturally
the games of the elders require more skill, and in some cases
considerably more endurance and fortitude. For instance, the whip game,
played by the red-men of British Guiana, is one that calls forth the
most enduring qualities of these sturdy natives, and is an ordeal in
which few Englishmen would care to take part. The origin of it is not
known; some say that it was originally an act in a burial scene, but
more probably it is a festival game.

For all functions in Guiana a copious supply of drink is prepared, the
local name of which is “paiwarie.” This is a native-made fermented
liquor, which has the desired effect, in its preliminary stages, of
putting the drinkers into a good humour. After a certain quantity of
“paiwarie” has been handed round, the players of the whip game, men and
boys, line up in two rows facing one another; each is provided with a
whip ornamented with fibre tassels, those of the two end players having
whistles attached. When all is ready a gentle stamping is commenced,
which gradually grows louder and louder till the earth begins to throb
and the players show signs of getting worked up. Then shouts of “Yau,
au!” are heard, and the now excited players wave their whips and sway
gently backwards and forwards as they stamp their feet. Presently the
two end men with the whistles attached to their whips pass down the
centre of the row, whilst those lined up move slowly in an opposite
direction. Now the stamping increases and the whistlers whistle at each
other in wild excitement. Then they begin waving their whips at one
other, feigning to strike with tremendous force, but finally they come
down on their opponents’ calves with only a mere touch. After this has
gone on for some time the two leaders run back to their original places
at the head of the row, and others go out and do as they have done.

When all the players have gone through this exhibition the real
business begins; so far it has only been play.

The women now come on to the scene bearing calabashes of wine, which is
greedily swallowed, and then two of the players challenge each other to
a real whipping competition.

Silence soon prevails, and the onlookers take up their places ready to
watch this extraordinary ordeal.

As soon as the challenge has been accepted the two men step out in
front of the audience and stand facing each other. As a rule they are
splendidly-built fellows, and as they wear practically no clothing for
this ceremony, their physical development is very noticeable.

Cautiously they judge their distance, letting the lash of the whip
just touch their adversary’s calf. When they have thoroughly satisfied
themselves that they can get a perfect swing, one of them stands
firmly, half turned away from the other, who immediately swings his
whip with tremendous force and brings it down on his opponent’s calf
with a crack like the report of a gun.

DEEP INTO THE FLESH. [_From a Photograph._]]

The man who has received this blow, though it has in all probability
cut right into his calf, does not flinch, but joins the whipper in a
wild sort of dance, accompanied by loud shouts of “Yau, au!” Again the
same man presents his calf to be cut at, again the lash descends, and
more dancing follows, until it is time for the other man to go through
the same ordeal. When he has had his share the two adjourn to the hut
and indulge freely in “paiwarie,” and other players take their places,
until all the grown-ups have tasted of the delights of the game. The
younger fry then step forth and challenge each other. Women, of course,
do not take any active part in this weird performance beyond handing
round the drinks.

Though this is rather a strenuous game, there are many less painful
ones with which the children amuse themselves. One of these, called
the “Jaguar Game,” is similar to our own “Fox and Geese.” A long
procession of boys line up and grip each other by the shoulders, and
sway backwards and forwards crying out, “There is no jaguar to-day!”
Whilst they are singing this merrily, a youngster bears down upon them
from his hiding-place amongst the onlookers. He comes running along
on his hands and one leg, the other leg being raised in the air to
represent the tail of the jaguar. On his appearance the whole line of
boys is thrown into confusion; they grow wildly excited and swerve and
sway, and dodge round, always keeping in a long, snake-like line, with
the foremost boy facing their adversary, the jaguar. It is the jaguar’s
duty to catch the last one in the row and bear him off to his lair.

Sometimes this game is varied by the jaguar having two young cubs with
her, who also run on “all threes”; they add greatly to the excitement
of the sport by snapping, snarling, and generally behaving as young
cubs should. The game goes on till all the row has been captured.

In the “Monkey Game” laughter reaches its highest point, for this is
one of the wildest they play; and not only the children indulge in it,
but the grown-up men sometimes take it into their heads to play it,
when it assumes a very different aspect. With the children it is pure
fun, with little or no danger attaching to it.

A crowd of youngsters line up and move about like monkeys who are
merely enjoying themselves. Suddenly one of them stops and gives vent
to a shriek of fear; the others take up the cry and immediately break
their line and run wildly all over the place, chattering excitedly.
When the simulated panic is at its height the smaller boys spring on to
the backs of the bigger ones, and are raced about all over the place
till fatigue puts an end to the fun. When their elders play the “Monkey
Game,” however, they often become so worked up that they really behave
like a crowd of monkeys gone stark, staring mad.

Sir Everard F. im Thurn, K.C.M.G., at present Governor of Fiji, to whom
I am indebted for the photographs of these Guiana games, relates a most
trying experience he went through during one of these mad frolics. He
says that the players suddenly burst in amongst the huts, swarmed up
the roofs, tearing great mouthfuls of thatch away in their flight,
and then dashed into the rooms, upsetting everything they came across
and destroying food and furniture. “The old man of the settlement and
his wife, in real anxiety for their goods, tried to protect what they
could, tearing it even from out of the ’monkeys’’ hands or throwing
food to them to distract their attention from more valuable property.
At last, with the help of two bystanders, the old man secured the more
violent of the players, and, despite some too genuine scratchings
and bitings, managed to fasten them by ropes round their loins,
monkey-wise, to the posts of houses. At last five had been so caught
and tied in one house; and then, if there had been uproar before, there
was pandemonium now. The captives screamed and shrieked and yelled;
they rolled as far as their cords would allow, and tore with their
teeth everything that came in their way: food, clothes, hammocks, pans,
and calabashes.... The whole mighty uproar only ceased when all were
literally too tired to do more.”

This quaint instance of a game running away with its players seems
strange to us, but probably if a savage saw some of our football
matches he, too, might think the players had suddenly gone mad.

BLOODSHED BY CHOSEN TEAMS. [_From a Photograph._]]

The “Shield Game” is another pastime of the grown-up natives. In this
each man is provided with a strong shield made of palm-leaf stalks.
Armed with this he faces his opponent. After much preliminary stamping
and feigning they close and a mighty struggle commences, in which each
man endeavours to push his adversary back. It is a kind of tug-of-war
reversed. Besides being a game, it is often used as a means to settle
disputes, in which, of course, the strongest man wins. The accompanying
photograph gives an excellent idea of the pastime. Occasionally when
tribes fall out a whole line of experts are chosen from each side, and
the dispute is settled without bloodshed by the success of either side.
It will be gleaned from this that the quality of “pushfulness” has an
added value in British Guiana.

To go back to the games of children and also to jump a few thousand
miles to the west, we find some interesting and curious pastimes among
the aboriginals of Australia, where the young idea copies the ways of
its fathers and makes games of their serious ceremonies. Amongst other
things they play at marriage, taking some of the romantic details prior
to the ceremony to make their game. In some parts of Australia an
aboriginal has first to catch his wife before he can marry her, and
the youngsters have probably heard from their mothers that this was not
always the easiest thing to do, for there may have been others anxious
to wed her--provided always that she was a good worker, looks being
of small account. So the children have taken all these things into
consideration and made their game from them.

As these aborigines have no proper villages, but live in shelters
thrown together in the most primitive fashion, the children choose a
spot in the bush where Nature has made a sort of covering; they then
congregate and imitate grown-up people, chattering about nothing in
particular, whilst the young man hovers round in the bush. Suddenly
he bears down on the players and attempts to abduct one of the girls.
This arouses the others, who all try to stop him, and one of the young
gallants attacks the would-be abductor and a mock fight ensues, the
winner bearing the maiden off in triumph to the bush.


_From a Photo. by permission of the Queensland Government._]

Amongst the men there are few real games; they all seem to take life
rather seriously, and as soon as they are grown up they devote their
whole time to obtaining food and taking part in the numerous religious
ceremonies, some of which are most elaborate and trying functions. To
us these may appear very like games, but to the aborigines they are
particularly sacred. Of late years, however, they have turned one or
two of these ceremonies into dances or corroborees, but probably this
has been done to amuse the whites and extract money from them--like the
Maoris, who now dance the “Haka” as if it were a spectacular dance for
the benefit of the Pakeha. With the coming of civilization and peace
some phases of its serious import have gone. The photograph given above
shows Australian aborigines performing the kangaroo dance, which is
a modified exhibition of one of their ancient ceremonies. It is not
an exciting affair, nor beautiful, as these savages are not adepts at
dancing. All they do is to crawl about, stamping and gesticulating,
whilst the man dressed as a kangaroo goes backwards and forwards and up
and down the line with a sort of high-stepping action. This kangaroo
dance at one time had a significant meaning, and was probably danced in
connection with an old-time legend, but, like many similar ceremonies,
it is now carried on simply because the ancestors of the present
generation taught it. This in itself would be quite sufficient to keep
the most absurd custom alive, for ancestors are held in great reverence
amongst savages.

One of the most amusing games I have ever witnessed in savage lands was
in New Zealand, where I saw a crowd of children dancing an imitation
“Haka.” The “Haka,” when danced seriously by grown-ups, is a most
awe-inspiring and thrilling exhibition which stirs every nerve in your
body; but when children dance it, it becomes a grotesque and laughable
affair. The Maoris, men, women, and children, have a well-developed
sense of humour, which is more than most savages have, and the word
“savage” hardly applies to them, for more civilized and Christian
beings would be hard to find. When white men first came in contact with
them they found them anything but civilized except in their ideas of
justice, in which they were able to give us lessons; in hospitality
even now they can put a white man to shame. However, for the purpose of
this article I will call them savages.

The children from their earliest days begin to laugh. I do not remember
ever seeing one cry--and they seem to spend the rest of their days with
a smile hovering somewhere near their faces, ready at the slightest
provocation to come out. As the “Haka” is composed of a series of body
movements, in which facial expression plays a prominent part, the
children have plenty of scope to caricature the whole performance,
which they turn into a merry pantomime, stamping and shouting, rolling
their eyes, and hanging out their tongues in curious imitation of the
real performers. The girls, too, have their dances, and these are
really both pretty and interesting, for they are handsome creatures who
know they are good looking, and enjoy showing themselves off to the
best advantage, as one can see by the pretty and fascinating movements
of the various dances they practise. The only thing that mars them is
their anxiety to make grotesque faces every now and then, but perhaps
this too is done by way of contrast. The men have the same failing, and
though their expressions are more savage they do not add to the charm
of the dances. To perform a dance of welcome in front of a visiting
tribe, and pull horrible faces at them the while, is hardly likely to
make the visitors feel at home, but the Maoris understand it, and so do
not get cross, as you and I might.


_From a Photo. by permission of the New Zealand Government Tourist

In the Solomon Islands, British New Guinea, and the New Hebrides the
children are also of a playful disposition and have many games which
resemble ours, such as leap-frog and pick-a-back, whilst the elder
generation have musical instruments resembling the jews’ harp, the
fiddle, and the Pandean pipes.


_From a Photo. by E. H. Man._]

Certain musical instruments are more or less common all over the world,
but often the method of playing them differs, as the accompanying
photograph will show. It represents a young Nicobarese playing a reed
flageolet with his nose! Lots of people in the most civilized lands
sing through their noses, but playing through them is, I believe,
only practised in savage lands. In these same islands the natives
have a sounding-board which I suppose they would call a musical
instrument, for it takes the place of the well-known tom-tom used in
other countries. Here it is beaten to keep time for dancers. It is a
curiously constructed instrument, resembling a native shield; in fact,
some travellers have mistaken it for one. Scooped out of the trunk of
a tree in the same way that ordinary dug-out canoes are made, it is
about five feet long and two or three feet broad; like a shield, it is
concave in shape. One of the ends is pointed, and when in use this is
stuck in the ground diagonally; a stone is placed under the other end
to raise it. To play it the native plants one foot firmly on the buried
end whilst he strikes the board with his disengaged foot.

“Musical” entertainments are popular in the Nicobar Islands, and the
young men vie with each other in composing ditties which they hope will
become popular and thus make them famous. So far none of these songs
have been pirated in England, but this does not say that in the islands
they are not “all the go.” Such tunes are composed to be sung to the
accompaniment of the sounding-board and dances. These, among the women,
resemble more than anything else the antics of timid ladies bathing at
the seaside. The dancing of the men is not much help to the musician
either, as it consists of a few movements rather like dumb-bell
exercises for chest development, so that it can be understood that the
young Nicobarese has no light task before him when he seeks fame in


_From a Photo. by E. H. Man._]

On the West Coast of Africa there is a remarkably interesting dance
in which the movements of the dancer supply the “music.” For the
particulars of this dance and for the photograph of the performers I
have to thank Mr. T. J. Alldridge, some time District Commissioner.
The native dancing girls wear most fantastic garments. Their bodies
are covered with a net made of native cotton, from which hang great
bunches of palm-leaf fibre. Tufts of the same material decorate their
wrists and waists, and some wear curious knicker-bockers. To these
latter garments are attached small pieces of hollow iron, from which
rings are hung, and when the dancer gets in full swing these make a
curious jingling noise. An accompaniment is also played by other women
on another quaint instrument called a _sehgura_, which is made out of a
hollow gourd covered with a net, on which are fixed a number of seeds.
To produce the sound the ends of the net are held in the two hands and
tightened and slackened alternately, while rhythmic shaking is now and
then indulged in to vary the accompaniment.

In this part of the world there are several interesting games of
chance, for natives are inveterate gamblers and will stake all they
possess--huts, wearing apparel, and even their wives. One of their
favourite pastimes is played with a concave board, which is put on the
ground facing the players, who stand or squat a little way off. They
then spin a sort of top into and across it until one of them fails to
send it with sufficient force to carry it to the far end; it is then
the business of the next man to spin his top with sufficient force to
drive his opponent’s out, and so beat him.

Gambling seems to be common in all parts of the world; the Eskimo have
many interesting games where chance and skill are combined. One called
“nuglutang” is very popular and is played by several men at a time.
From the centre of the room (generally from the roof) is slung a plate
of ivory having a hole in its centre. The Eskimos stand away from it,
and each in turn endeavours to throw a stick through the orifice.
In one of their games, called “saketan,” they have a curious way of
“staking.” The game is a sort of roulette; a board is placed on the
ground, and a small cup with rounded bottom and a lip is spun on to it.
The man in front of whom the lip stops is the winner, but, unlike most
winners, he is actually a loser, for he has to go and fetch something
to pay in as a stake, which the next “winner” takes, but he in turn
pays in another forfeit in its place for the man who follows. So the
game goes on until the last man wins, and he appropriates the stakes
out and out, making himself the only real winner, whereas the first
player to whom the cup pointed is the only loser in a game which causes
the wildest excitement whilst the issue is in doubt.


_From a Photograph._]

It is a peculiar thing that string games, like some others already
mentioned, are popular all over the world amongst the coloured races,
and what is perhaps far more extraordinary is the fact, recently
discovered, that some of these string figures are made in exactly the
same way, and are of the same design in places as widely apart as
America, the South Sea Islands, and Japan. The last photograph, taken
by Mr. William A. Cunnington, shows a very interesting string figure
from Central Africa called “Sumbo” (a fishing net), which is by no
means a simple one.

For the description of this figure and permission to reproduce the
photograph I have to thank the Secretary of the Anthropological

Besides having tricks of this sort in which the hands only are
employed, there are many now known which are made with hands and feet,
and others again are worked round the neck and the hands.

Dr. Haddon has made a particular study of the subject, and has, in
collaboration with Dr. Rivers, published particulars of many of the
string tricks performed in various parts of the world.


_From a Photograph._]

_The Marriage of Lulu._


    The author is a missionary who has travelled extensively in the
    East, and is thoroughly familiar with the wild tribes of the
    desert. In the subjoined narrative he relates the love-story of
    a young Arab girl--a real life romance with the conventional
    happy ending of fiction.

It was that time of the day which Orientals call _asr_, between
four o’clock and sunset--just the time when the Arab chief likes to
be on hand so that he may receive and welcome any who may seek the
hospitality and shelter afforded by his simple home, and see for
himself that sufficient food for man and beast is provided, so that
both may sup and be satisfied.

On a certain afternoon Sheikh Khaleel sat at his tent door watching the
sun slowly sink toward the west, wondering, as he pulled at the dying
embers in his pipe, if it would be his lot to entertain any guest that

As his sharp eyes looked out from under his shaggy eyebrows he saw
in the distance a rider mounted on a camel, whose head was directed
straight for the camp under the chief’s control.

It was not long before both camel and rider stood at the door of the
guest-tent, and the chief, having tethered the ship of the desert to
one of the tent-pegs, invited his guest to enter, and at once set about
preparing the coffee according to Arab custom.

The new arrival, whose name was Abd-el-Thullam (the servant of cruelty)
was well known to the Arabs for scores of miles round, and a visit from
him always meant something unusual and of importance, hence the wonder
of the host and his neighbours at the coming of one with so uninviting
a name, which was obtained by deeds that gave subject for conversation
around many a camp-fire after supper. Speculations as to the coming of
this well-known chief were many, and although not audibly expressed
filled the minds of all present, and of none more so than the women,
who were separated from the menfolk only by the coarse goats’-hair
curtain that divided the tent. Little did the host’s only daughter
think that she was the cause of this unexpected visitor coming among
them, or how much his presence meant to her and others.

Arab etiquette forbids any direct asking of questions or quizzing
into the affairs of a guest, so both before and after supper the
conversation was upon subjects far away from the one that had brought
Abd-el-Thullam into the camp of Sheikh Khaleel, and the simple folk of
the wilderness closed their eyes in sleep without having the faintest
idea of the object of Abd-el-Thullam’s visit.

With the morning light the camp was astir, both men and women going
about their daily callings, each one wondering what the day would
reveal. After the matutinal cup of coffee the guest made known the
object of his coming, doing so in such forceful and measured language
as to impress upon the little company of listeners the fact that his
wishes must be complied with.

Condensed into a few words, the rather lengthy speech of the “servant
of cruelty” was somewhat as follows: “Sheikh Khaleel, may Allah grant
you a long life and build your house (grant you sons to perpetuate your
name and family). To the women of my household I desire to add another,
for has not our Prophet given us permission to have four wives? Already
I have three. Now I have come to ask for your daughter, and am ready
to give the price that you may ask for her. As I am to join a raiding
party in a few days the matter must be settled at once. May Allah give
you patience and wisdom.”

The statement was so unexpected that no one could make reply for a
minute or so. At last the silence was broken by Khaleel saying, “The
will of Allah be done! What is decreed must come to pass.”

Now, the business of a betrothal and marriage is not usually hurried
among Arabs, for much talking is necessary to settle the price of the
bride, and time is needed in which to pay the amount agreed upon, and
to arrange and comply with the wedding festivities and customs. Hence
Sheikh Khaleel and his neighbours were surprised in a two-fold way,
first by the boldness of the request, and secondly by the desire to
hasten the matter. So, reminding the impatient suitor that “God was
with the patient ones,” Khaleel bade him wait a while.

But the man desirous of many wives pressed his claim and asked the
price of the girl, again saying that he was ready to give whatever was

All the while Khaleel had been wondering if this was not his chance to
make a good bargain, although for two reasons he was loath to part with
his daughter, whose name was Lulu (the pearl). Was she not his only
daughter--in fact, the only child Allah had spared to him? Moreover,
although there had been no formal or public betrothal, he knew well
enough that Lulu’s heart and affections had already been won by a young
man of his own camp and community. But here was the opportunity to
drive a good and hard bargain. And what did it matter, after all? It
was only about a girl, who might any day be taken ill and die; also, he
might have to get her off at a small return later on if he allowed this
chance to slip by.

At last Khaleel spoke, making known the terms on which his daughter
could become the fourth wife of the unwelcome guest. They were as
follows: a mare, one hundred goats, fifty sheep, and two hundred silver
medjidiehs (each worth three and fourpence), all to be paid within
three days, with the stipulation that, should Lulu die before the time
for taking her to her new home, viz., seven days of feasting, the above
payment should become the sole property of Chief Khaleel, her father.
In addition to the above the new son-in-law was to give for five
successive years one hundred measures of new wheat and fifty of barley.

The terms were received in silence, and anyone glancing at the faces
of those assembled could gather that each thought the price high, but
all knew that the visiting chief was rich and well able to pay the fee
demanded, if he chose to do so.

Nearly the whole day was spent in arguing, persuasion, and calculation,
but Sheikh Khaleel was immovable, the more so as he saw a chance of
getting his terms.

Finding that talking was of no avail, Abd-el-Thullam finally consented
to the terms on condition that, as soon as the purchase price was paid,
the seven days of wedding festivities should commence. To this Khaleel
gave his consent, and, although the day was far spent, the prospective
bridegroom mounted a horse which had been brought for him and rode
away, leaving the camel on which he had arrived as an earnest of his
return. For three days the camel was tied before the guest-tent, and
was only redeemed just in time to save it from being forfeited.

We must now leave the guest-tent and for a time consider some other
people who were keenly interested in the happenings just related.

First, a word about Lulu. As already stated, she was the only child of
her father, and, such being the case, she was naturally better cared
for and more thought of than if there had been rivals in the shape
of brothers. Her father spared her in many ways the indignities so
commonly imposed upon females in the East, one distinction between her
and other girls of the tribe being that her face had not been tattooed.

At the time of our story her age was about fourteen. The bloom of
youth on her cheek, with the uprightness of figure so common among
Arab girls, made her queenly in appearance in spite of her oft-patched
flowing robes.

Among her own kith and kin she reigned supreme, for, having lost her
mother soon after her birth, she had claimed the nursing and attention
of most of the women in the camp; hence she was ruled by none and
spoiled by all.


_From a Photograph._]

Some of the youths, too, had paid her attention, and, having grown up
side by side with her, were more than mere friends. One, whose name was
Abd-Salaam (the servant of peace), had even found it in his heart to
love her, which aspiration he knew was not in vain, for on more than
one occasion Lulu had assured him that when the time came for her to
become a wife none but the “servant of peace” would suffice.

Now it so happened that all that had passed and been settled in the
guest-tent between father and visitor was unknown to either Lulu or
her lover, for the former had been away all day gathering fuel on the
hill-sides in company with another girl, while Abd-Salaam had gone with
others to a distant town in charge of some sheep, the day he left the
camp being the one on which the wife-seeker arrived.

It is customary among the Arabs for the girl who is to be betrothed not
to be consulted as to any likes or dislikes on her part, and she knows
nothing about her being traded off to some stranger until informed by
having the large outer garment of the suitor thrown around her, and
hearing the announcement that she belongs to him.

The surprise of Lulu, therefore, on her return to the camp may be
imagined when the scribe of the community approached her and, all
unawares, covered her with a large camel-hair _abba_, saying, “The name
of God be with thee, O Lulu. None shall have thee but Abd-el-Thullam.”

Surprised as she was, she threw off the cloak and entered the tent,
inwardly vowing that none should have her but the constant companion of
her girlhood. With the liberty allowed her as the chief’s daughter she
went into the guest-tent, and, with hands clenched and determination
written on her face, informed her father that her home and lot should
not be among strangers, and that the hated “servant of cruelty” should
be no husband of hers. In this way warfare was declared, and the
probability of trouble in the near future announced.

That night she was sprinkled with sheep’s blood, as a sign that her
life belonged to another. Next day she was accompanied by the women to
a spring, and, according to custom, thoroughly washed and purified,
while on the day following busy fingers worked incessantly making
a wedding-robe for the supposed bride. Lulu tolerated all these
formalities in silence, but inwardly decided that, do what they would
and act as they might, she would never be the bride of the one who was
to supplant the choice of long ago.

The afternoon of the third day came round, but no suitor with the
price of the bride had appeared, and it looked as though Lulu would
be released from her probable marriage, and her father become the
possessor of a camel for little trouble. Just an hour before sunset,
however, a cloud of dust in the distance told of the coming of flocks,
and ere the golden orb disappeared altogether Abd-el-Thullam had
handed over what was demanded in return for his prospective bride. The
bleating of the sheep and the clinking of the silver pieces only made
Lulu vow afresh that no tent of a stranger should shelter her.

The price having been paid in the presence of witnesses, the wedding
festivities commenced. The firing of old flint-lock guns was the signal
that announced holiday-keeping for a week. Sheep were killed, bread
baked in abundance, and coffee-drinking went on continuously. This is a
time much appreciated by the dwellers of the wilderness, for then they
are able to satisfy the cravings of hunger and for once in a season eat
until satisfied.

Whilst the men raced on their horses or fought imaginary battles, the
women whiled away the hours in dancing, singing, or sipping coffee
between puffs at their long pipes. So the days passed, and the end of
the marriage feast approached.

Only Lulu took no part or interest in all that was going on, and as the
men or women chanted in turn the virtues, praises, and good fortune
of both bride and bridegroom, it all fell like water on a duck’s back
so far as the girl-bride was concerned. Inwardly she longed for the
return of her boy lover, so that he might in some way intervene to stop
the proceedings, and so win her for himself according to their mutual

But the “servant of peace” did not come, for the demand in the town for
sheep was poor, and he had to wait many days ere the flock was disposed
of and he free to return to his goats’-hair home. As time and tide
wait for no man, neither did the last day of the wedding festivities
tarry, and all too soon for the greatly-distressed Lulu the seventh day
dawned, and with it no visible escape from what seemed her inevitable

With the constant attention of the women, escape by flight was
well-nigh impossible, but before noon a probable way of deliverance
presented itself which Lulu was not slow to grasp. A small company of
gipsies arrived at the camp, one of whom--an old woman--professed a
knowledge of drugs, and verified her statements by producing a small
box of mysterious-looking compounds in powder.

The arrival of the party drew away attention from Lulu, but she engaged
the attention of the vender of drugs, and elicited from her the fact
that among her wares was poison. It was only the work of a few minutes
to exchange cash for a mysterious powder, directions for the use of
which were imparted to Lulu in an undertone.

As evening drew on preparations were made for the sending away after
supper of bride and bridegroom. The camel that was to carry Lulu to her
new home was decorated and made ready, and the torches and tom-toms
seen to and handed out to those who were to accompany the procession on
its way to the camp of Abd-el-Thullam. It seemed that nothing remained
to be done save to partake of supper and start.


During the serving of the unusually large meal, which occupied the
attention of the women for a time, Lulu slipped out backwards under
the rear curtain of the tent and disappeared. Few missed her for a
time, for all were busy, but when the call was given, “Bring out the
bride and let her husband claim her,” great was the astonishment, for
no bride was on hand. One abused the other, and the angry bridegroom
accused his host of treachery and would have shot him but for the
interference of others, who reminded him again that Allah was with the
patient ones.

All denied that the girl was dead, for had they not seen her alive only
a short time before? She would return soon, they said, and put an end
to the confusion and mystery.

Meanwhile scouts were sent out around the camp, only to return later
without tidings of the fugitive. All that night watch was kept, but
morning dawned without the mystery being solved, and as the day wore
on speculations were indulged in as to whom the purchase price of
Lulu belonged, for, although she had now disappeared, she on her part
had not done anything within the seven days of the feast to cause her
intended master to claim the price paid for her. The sun set again
without any light being shed on the disappearance or whereabouts of the
girl-bride, and Abd-el-Thullam was furious at being balked of his prey,
swearing by every oath available that he would lose neither wife nor
purchase price, even if the regaining of one or the other made lifelong
enmity between the two tribes.


[_From a Photograph._]]

We must now leave the puzzled company in the guest-tent and see what
had become of Lulu. After slipping under the tent-cloth, she commenced
to run as fast as her bare feet would permit her. In her excitement and
joy at being free she cared little in which direction she fled, and
although the night was unusually dark, by reason of heavy storm-clouds,
she sped on over hill and valley until thoroughly tired and exhausted.
As she rested her weary little frame on the soft herbage of the
wilderness the solitude and stillness made her nervous and afraid.
Her trepidation was not lessened by a sudden movement near her--made,
probably, by a jackal more alarmed than herself.

The fright made her rise quickly and again take to flight, but after
running a few hundred yards misfortune overtook her, for, without
warning, she tripped and fell headlong into an old unused cistern quite
twenty-five feet deep. The fall made her unconscious, and as the pit
was far from the camp she was safe for that night, while a tangle of
creepers and thorns over the mouth of the cavity made her fairly secure
by day.

Here, bruised and unconscious, the poor little bride-to-be lay until
daybreak, when, with the rising sun, her senses returned to her. Having
considered her surroundings, she decided to secure herself further by
creeping into an old tomb hewn in the side of the cistern, where at
least she could die in peace rather than be the slave of one utterly
distasteful to her. So, with one last fond thought for her absent
lover, she swallowed the gipsy’s potion and crawled into the small
aperture. Here she soon fell into a stupor, caused partly by weariness,
but mainly by the powder bought from the old drug-vender.

But what had become of the boy-lover all these days that he had not
returned to the camp and become conversant with all that had happened
to his little companion?

As already stated, he was delayed by a slack market; but after some
days he was free to return, and, in charge of two camels, he set out
for his wilderness home. On the day after Lulu’s escape he was crossing
the great plain, happy at the prospect of reaching camp before evening.
Being somewhat religiously inclined, he halted at noonday to pray, and
soon after remounting was warned to seek shelter from a storm that
was announced by a sharp crack of thunder. Looking about him he saw a
cavity in the ground wide and high enough to allow his camels to enter.
By dint of pulling, coaxing, and beating he forced the beasts in, and
at last all three found themselves in the same pit into which Lulu had
fallen the night before.


_From a Photograph._]


The heavy rain dripping through the opening above made the youth seek
better shelter, so he presently crept into the old tomb, and, to his
amazement, found that it was already occupied by someone apparently
deep in slumber.

Curiosity made him try to rouse the sleeper, but it was of no use.
Crawling farther in, it was not long before the amazed camel-boy
discovered that the insensible girl was his dearly-loved Lulu. Assuring
himself that she was not dead, and, of course, ignorant of the
circumstances that had brought her to the cavern, he left her, and,
taking the best of the two camels, rode off post-haste to carry the
news of Lulu’s condition to the camp and get help.

The announcement caused a good deal of talk, stir, and excitement,
which was suddenly put a stop to by Abd-el-Thullam jumping on his mare
and making off at full speed toward the cavern, hoping to be the first
to secure his dearly-bought bride.

Others joined in the race, but it seemed as if no one would overtake
the eager chief, when suddenly he was seen to fall heavily, having been
thrown to the ground by his mare putting her foot into a hole.

He did not move, and when the others reached him they discovered to
their consternation that he had broken his neck and was quite dead.
Instead of a reluctant bride being escorted to the distant camp,
therefore, the corpse of the unfortunate chief was carried thither.

On reaching the cavern the men found Lulu still deep in the
drug-induced slumber, and, making a rough litter out of their roomy
outer garments, they carried her to their camp and laid her on her rude
bed of heather and dry grass.

Fortunately, the old gipsy-woman had not left the camp, and now, taking
in the situation, she administered a dose of some concoction that soon
had the effect of rousing the sleeper and making her able to explain
her presence in the rock-hewn tomb.

Slowly but surely Lulu regained vigour, and the old youthful spirit
came again, much to the joy of Abd-Salaam and her father. After a few
weeks another marriage feast was kept, for there was now no obstacle to
the wedding of the lovers, the price of the bride having been paid by
the ill-fated “servant of cruelty.” The affair was hurried this time,
for the feast was to have a happy ending; love, instead of custom, had
won the day.



    The amusing story of an American who set out to eclipse the
    round-the-world record. The author, himself a globe-trotter of
    many years’ standing, describes him as “the most extraordinary
    man I ever met,” and after reading the narrative we fancy the
    reader will be inclined to agree with him.

I met him at Dalny, in August, 1903--the year before war broke out
between Japan and Russia.

I had been travelling in Manchuria, and had come down from Mukden only
just in time to catch, by the skin of my teeth, the weekly steamer to
Japan. The train was more than an hour late, and the drosky that I
hired at the station--with my luggage piled in anyhow by the Chinese
porters--had been driven by the dishevelled moujik in charge at a pace
that laughed at speed limits and scorned such trifling obstacles as
ruts and holes nearly a foot in depth.

As we tore up to the steamer’s berth at the great wharf, that was later
to prove of such inestimable value to the Japanese, the driver shouting
and lashing his three horses into foam, the gangway was on the point of
being lowered, and I had horrible visions of having to spend a week in
that most dead of dead-alive towns, in which I already seemed to know
every house.

With commendable courtesy, however, the officials permitted me to get
myself and effects on board, and a moment later we were steaming out
into the fine harbour.

The steamer was the _Mongolia_, which had the misfortune six months
later to be the first Russian vessel captured by the Japanese.

I was leaning over the rail, watching the hills receding from view,
when I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder, and on looking round was
confronted by a rather sallow-faced, wiry-looking individual of medium
height, with steel-grey eyes that seemed to pierce through mine clean
into my brain.


“Say, d’you speak English?” he asked me.

I admitted that, being an Englishman, I had a moderate command of the

“Well, I ain’t English, I’m Amur’can,” he replied.

“So I see.”

“Well, say now, how’d you know I was Amur’can?”

“By your accent; one would scarcely make the mistake of taking you for
anything else.”

“Well, say, you’re smart enough to be an Amur’can, too, at that rate.
Anyhow, I’m mighty glad to see you, for since I parted with my friend,
who went to Port Arthur, I ain’t had a chance of hearin’ a language
that anyone could understand. I’m out to beat the record round the
world for the _New York_ ----, and if I only make it in Japan I’ll beat
the previous best by exactly twelve days.”

He then related to me how he had left New York and travelled
_viâ_ Liverpool, London, Dover, Ostend, Berlin, Moscow, and the
Trans-Siberian Railway to Dalny; and here he was, bound for Nagasaki,
Japan, where he would take the train for Yokohama, and thence travel by
the _Empress of India_ to Vancouver, by the Canadian Pacific Railway to
Quebec, and from there back to New York.

“I’m going to publish a book on the trip, and I’ve got about enough
information to fill it already. Say, though, my wife’ll be glad to see
me back again in New York. She’s a beautiful woman, my wife. She’s
tall and dark, and has a straight-front figure--a woman can’t be
fashionable without a straight-front figure--and when she walks she
leans forward like a kangaroo and does the glide. Ever seen it? I tell
you, sir, there’s nuthin’ like it; and it takes a New York girl to do
it properly, and there ain’t many girls in New York as can lick my wife
at walkin’. I’ll introduce you to her sometime if I ever see you in New
York, an’ if you don’t say she’s about the slickest thing you ever saw
in skirts, well, you ain’t much of a judge o’ weather.

“Say, now that I come to look at you, I’ve seen you before, I guess,”
he rattled on. “Wasn’t you the chap that come rushin’ on to the
platform at Mukden just as our train was movin’ out of the station?”

I acknowledged that I was. Owing to the impossibility of obtaining any
reliable information in the town, several miles away, as to the time
of departure of the trains, I had reached the station, to my great
chagrin, just in time to see the _train de luxe_ move away from the
platform. I had thus been compelled to take a slow and very dirty train
three hours later, and hence the reason of my nearly missing the boat
at Dalny.

“Looks as if cuttin’ things fine was rather in your line, eh? Say,
though, you couldn’t take risks like that if you was doin’ a record
round the world. You nearly missed this boat. I was watchin’ you, and
if you’d been on my job you’d have perspired like a pig as you was
drivin’ up to the wharf, with that woolly-faced pirate yellin’ and
thrashin’ them horses to soapsuds, and the steamer whistle blowin’ and
the whole durned push hollerin’ and monkeyin’ with the ropes of the
gangway. You’d have had your heart in your boots, young feller, if
you’d been on my lay-out and seen how near you came to botchin’ up the
whole job.

“And talkin’ of botchin’ jobs, if this steamer doesn’t arrive in
Nagasaki in time to catch the eight o’clock train on Thursday, I’m
done. That train’ll just give me time to catch the _Empress_ at
Yokohama. If I miss it there ain’t another boat until the _Gaelic_ for
San Francisco, nine days later, and as that’s a slower route I’ll be
fourteen days longer than if I catch the _Empress_. Gee whiz, though,
it’ll break my wife’s heart if I don’t clip that twelve days off the
record. She and I figured this whole thing out together months before I

“Now, this boat’s due to arrive at Nagasaki at eleven o’clock, and
if she does no better’n that there’s no power on earth can help me;
the game’s lost. Guess I’ll have to try and square the captain to get
her into harbour by seven o’clock. If I can’t do that my wife’ll be
heartbroken; she’s set her heart on this. You ought to see her; she’s
the finest girl in New York--tall and slender, with dark eyes and hair,
and she’s got a straight-front figure. But, say, I guess I’ll have to
try and square the captain; I ain’t a nervous man, but I’m gettin’
nervous about this.”

With that he took me on one side, where there was no possibility of any
eavesdropping, and, drawing his watch from his pocket, said, “You see
that watch? How much do you suppose it’s worth?”

I looked at it closely. It appeared to be a handsome gold-cased,
centre-seconds hunter, but, after the American fashion, the gold was
not hallmarked. I confessed that I could form no idea of its value, but
it appeared to me to be an expensive one.

“It’s a most difficult thing for anyone but an expert to tell the value
of a watch, and you aren’t the only one to think this is somethin’
choice,” said my new acquaintance. “Now you’ve got a whole lot to
learn, and I’m goin’ to put you up to a tip that’ll save you a pile of
money. There’s not many experts on watches to be met with travellin’,
and most people would think this worth fifty dollars at least. That’s
where they’re wrong. I buy these watches by the dozen, and they only
cost me one dollar and twenty cents each that way. They’re gold-washed,
but they look like solid gold. I always have one on my chain; it’s no
good havin’ it anywhere else. It must be on the chain you’re wearin’,
and when the time comes for business you’ve got to tenderly draw it out
of your pocket as if it was somethin’ you valued more than your life.

“Now, when I started out from Moscow I bought a second-class ticket,
and I got into the best unoccupied first-class compartment I saw on the
train. After a while the conductor comes along to examine the tickets.
I handed him mine. He couldn’t speak a word of English, but he gave me
to understand by pretty good actin’ that I’d have to clear out into the
other end of the train.

“Not bein’ a bad hand at actin’ myself, I was right _in_ it. I gently
pulled my watch from my pocket--it was one like this I now have on
me--and showed him clearly that I intended to give it to him when we
reached Irkutsk if he let me stay where I was. I repeated the word
Irkutsk several times, each time touchin’ his pocket.

“Well, sirree, you ought to have been there to see his face when he
caught sight of that watch! His eyes bulged out of his head so you
could hang your hat on ’em, and to show what he felt like in his heart
he took hold of my hand and shook it.

“After that he was like a mother to me all the way. Other compartments
were filled up, but I had mine to myself always. Every time I passed
him I gave him a wink and tapped my watch-pocket, and he switched on
the nicest smile he kept in stock.

“Gee whiz, though, comin’ across Siberia the inside of that train was
hotter’n the gates of Hades, and every day that feller would come to my
room two or three times to see if he couldn’t do something to make me
more comfortable.

“At Irkutsk I handed over the watch, and either his joy at receivin’ it
or his sorrow at partin’ with me was so great that he tried to kiss me.

“Irkutsk is where they change trains, and I met an Englishman on the
platform who lived in Port Arthur; he was goin’ back there by way of
Dalny. He had been on a holiday to England, and was comin’ back on
third-class trains, as he had spent about all his money, and had only
just enough to skin through third-class. When I found he knew the
country and could talk Russian, I invited him to come along with me; I
told him I’d fix things up all right.

“Well, by and by the conductor comes along, same as the other had done.
There we were, both in a first-class compartment, one with a second
and the other with a third-class ticket. I didn’t have need to do any
dumb show this time, for my friend, who spoke the lingo, did all the
gassin’, and told him there was a nice present waitin’ for him when
Dalny was reached if we could stay where we were, and when I tenderly
took another watch out of my pocket and looked at it as though it was
the only thing I’d ever loved on earth, he was as much overcome with
joy as number one had been.

“Well, that watch fixed it just as I knew it would. We both stayed
where we were, and when, at Dalny, I handed it over to the conductor,
I calculated those two watches, worth two dollars and forty cents, had
saved me about one hundred and twenty-five dollars.

“That Englishman was as chock-full of knowledge about Manchuria as an
egg is full of meat, and I got enough information out of him to write
up the whole trip across Russia and Siberia.

“Now you see the point I’m gettin’ at. There’s more of them watches in
my bag, besides this one on my chain, and I’d like to see the captain
of this ship richer by one of ’em, provided he does somethin’ to earn
such a valuable present as he’ll consider it, until he gets to pryin’
into the works and askin’ experts’ opinions about it; but by that time
I’ll be a long way off and it ’ain’t likely as I’ll ever see him again.
There’s one disadvantage about this game that’s worth remarkin’--you
can’t play it on the same man twice.

“As soon as I came aboard this ship and found out from the steward
the time she gets to Nagasaki, I saw another watch would have to go,
and that the captain o’ the ship would be the fortunate possessor.
There’s a difficulty in the way, as he can’t speak English; and I can’t
approach him through the steward, as that would give the captain away,
but I’ve discovered there’s a Russian lady in the saloon, whom the
captain’s already gettin’ on with like a house on fire.

“She speaks English with the prettiest accent you ever heard, and I was
talkin’ to her for half an hour in the harbour before you showed up.
I’ve already told her what I’m doin’, and got her quite worked up about
it, an’ I’ve decided she’s the one to work the captain for me. There
she is now, comin’ out on deck. Excuse me; there’s no time to be lost;
I’ll get hold of her before the captain sees her.”

As they walked up and down the deck talking animatedly together, I
could see my new acquaintance was making a deeper impression every
minute. Once a few sentences reached me, and I chuckled inwardly.

“She’ll be broken-hearted if I fail to make it.... I’ll introduce
you to her if you come to New York. She’ll like you and you’ll like
her. She’s tall and dark, with big black eyes, and she’s got a
straight-front figure and a----” I had to make a guess at the rest, for
they had turned the corner by the wheel-house before the sentence was

I never doubted what the result of his interview would be. Already I
felt that the arrival of the _Mongolia_ at Nagasaki by seven o’clock
on Thursday morning was the only thing at present to live for. I was
completely dominated with enthusiasm for the success of this man’s
undertaking, and felt certain he would as surely win the Russian lady’s
sympathy and co-operation in his project as he had already secured mine.

After half an hour he came back to me.

“That little woman’s all right. She’s made o’ good enough clay to be
Amur’can, an’ says she’ll do everythin’ she can to help me. She’s gone
to call the captain now.”

Soon she appeared with the captain, talking in the most animated manner
to him and punctuating every sentence with most expressive gestures.

Then they came together towards us and she said, “I haf ze captain told
what you say off your great journey, and he tell me it iss impossible
we come to Nagasaki so early unless he burn extra fifty tons of coal.
Ze captain say if you pay ze coal he can do it, but if you not pay ze
coal it iss impossible, but ze captain he like verry much to help you.”

To this my travelling companion made reply, “Madam, will you please
tell the captain that the cost of the extra fifty tons of coal is but a
trifle, and I’ll do a good deal more than pay for that. I am so anxious
to catch that train that if the captain will bring the ship into the
harbour by seven o’clock I’ll make him a present of my watch.”

The lady interpreted this. The captain shrugged his shoulders, then
he looked up at the funnel, from which great rolling convolutions of
thick black smoke were belching, and he let his eye run along the line
of reek floating lazily in the cobalt astern for many miles--almost,
it seemed, to where the yellow, sun-baked Manchurian hills were
disappearing below the horizon--his brows knitted in thought.

Before he had finished his cogitations the would-be breaker of records
put his hand into the left pocket of his waistcoat and drew out his
watch. He carefully removed the chamois skin bag, soiled sufficiently
to show it had long protected the treasure it covered, and holding the
watch, which looked a perfect beauty as it caught the sun, in the palm
of his hand, he addressed himself straight to the captain.

“Captain, I _must_ catch that train, and if you’ll help me to do it,
sir, my watch shall be yours before I leave the ship. Ain’t it a
beauty?” and he held it out for admiration.

All this he said in a manner that carried conviction with it. The lady
interpreted again, but even that seemed unnecessary. The captain had
capitulated, and from that moment the result lay in little doubt. The
success or failure of this man’s trip had hung in the balance, and the
issue was decided by a five-shilling watch glittering in the sun on the
deck of a Russian steamer in the Yellow Sea.

Being in the secret, I could feel only admiration at the
record-breaker’s sang-froid and the clever and dramatic manner in which
he played his part.

The captain smiled and made a gesture of deprecation, but his eyes told
us that he meant that watch should be his, and presently he went below
to give directions to the chief engineer. From that moment the black
smoke rolled out of the funnel thicker than before, hanging over the
steamer’s wake clear to the horizon.

The record-breaker contemplated it and the unrippled seas with joy.

We went up into the fo’c’s’le, and as we leaned over the bow and saw
the speed at which the sharp prow was cleaving the glassy water,
sending thin feathers of spray high up along the steamer’s trim and
tapering sides, his enthusiasm knew no bounds, and his praises of
“God’s country” and his wife became almost dithyrambic.

All next day, as we steamed past the archipelago of rocks and barren
islands that fringes the coast of Korea, the sea remained calm as a
pond, and when at half-past six o’clock on Thursday morning we dropped
anchor off the quarantine station at Nagasaki all doubt seemed to
be at an end. There was some delay, however, as, though the doctors
quickly came on board, made their examinations, and gave us a clean
bill of health, it takes time to get under way again, enter the
harbour, and take up a berth amongst the shipping this bustling port
always contains. We anchored at seven-twenty. The record-breaker knew
nothing about the place, and it is a long way to the station. I knew
it well, however, and, as I felt as keen on his catching that train as
he did himself, I chartered a _sampan_ and had all our luggage lowered
into it, whilst he went up on to the bridge to express his thanks and
present the watch to the captain. I saw him take it from his pocket
and make a little speech as he handed it over, and I saw the captain
bow his thanks. Then he shook hands, and in another moment he was
beside me and we were being rapidly pulled to the landing-place, or


There was not a moment to lose. It was past seven-thirty, and a good
twenty minutes to the station. Hastily bidding the _sampan_ to wait
with my luggage, I engaged rickshaws and we were off at full speed. We
reached the station at seven-fifty-five. Having Japanese money on me I
paid the rickshaws, whilst he bought his ticket with money he had got
exchanged by the steamer’s purser.

He hastily shook hands, thanked me, and got into the train just one
moment before it left.

The watch had _really_ done it, but by actually less than a minute, and
if I had not been there to help him he would have failed after all. He
promised to write me from Yokohama, but this he never did. The last I
saw of him he was waving his hat out of the window to me till the train
was out of sight.

The last I heard of him was a few weeks later, when I read in an
American Press telegram that he had won his spurs and had beaten the
previous best round the world by exactly twelve days.

[Illustration: A White Woman in Cannibal-Land.]


    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.


Towards the end of my stay in Papua my special work was translation,
chiefly of the Scriptures, and there was a big pile of manuscript
awaiting revision. This was generally done by one of the mission clergy
and myself, assisted by intelligent natives who possessed a quick ear
for mistakes. The little boy seen in the first photograph was known
as “the Pundit,” because, although only fourteen years old, he gave
us great assistance in the difficult work of translation. He had a
wonderful memory, and was very discriminating in his choice of words.
He would sometimes volunteer opinions as to the style of the sacred
writers, and considered the Prophet Jeremiah, on the whole, “easier”
than Isaiah--in which I agree with him, so far as concerns rendering
the books into a native dialect. Perhaps it was for this reason that
our youthful “Pundit,” when he was baptised and formally discarded his
heathen name of Bonagadona, chose that of “Jeremiah,” by which imposing
cognomen he is now known.

Before long the revision work came to a standstill, however, for my
fellow-reviser had gone far north to a pioneer station called Ambasi.
It was finally decided that, accompanied by our mission nurse, I should
take the MSS. to Ambasi and finish the revision there. So we set out on
our long journey up the coast in the little fourteen-foot schooner. I
am not a good sailor, and I found the journey very uncomfortable; I was
only able to admire Nature when we anchored.


_From a Photograph._]

We spent a very interesting time in Collingwood Bay, where only two
white women had ever been seen, and that within the year. The women
here wore strips of tappa cloth from waist to knee, instead of the
grass skirts of the more eastern tribes, and the houses were of a finer
and larger type.

The villagers, after they had got over their surprise at seeing us,
gave us almost too hearty a welcome. We were implored to pull down our
hair, and great was the astonishment expressed at the sight when we did
so. They also failed entirely to understand our hairpins, hats, and,
above all, our long noses and small waists! The Papuans’ methods of
hairdressing, however, would certainly cause almost equal astonishment
in civilization. Look, for instance, at the following photograph, which
depicts the coiffure of a man belonging to the dreaded Doriri tribe,
a people living inland from Uiaku, whose warlike instincts have not
yet been subdued. It will be noticed that the hair is allowed to grow
long, divided into plaits, and elaborately braided until it looks like
a collection of rope-ends.


_From a Photograph._]

At Wanigera, a few miles away, where a mission station had been in
existence longer than at Uiaku, we met with a quieter reception,
though one old woman, after a long look at me, asked a child if I were
_really_ a woman. I wondered what strange creature she imagined I was,
for surely, in a white muslin frock, she could hardly have taken me for
a man!

During our stay at Wanigera a great hunt took place, and some of the
warriors called on us before setting out. Their ornaments were very
striking, and the colours almost dazzling. Altogether they looked a
very fine set of men, and would, no doubt, prove enemies much to be
dreaded in the day of battle. On this occasion, however, they only
waged war with the brute creation, and they told us at the close of the
day that the bag was a very good one.

The interior of the great church on Sunday was a fine sight, being
filled with from two to three hundred natives, all decked out in
feathers, shell ornaments, gay tappa cloth, and vivid flowers. Not
less striking was the almost military precision with which each row
of worshippers left the building in turn at the close of the service.
If these natives went in for such amenities of civilization as church
parades, the spectacle would be a striking one indeed.

In a neighbouring village to Wanigera there is a remarkable tree house,
prepared by the tribesmen as a place of refuge from marauding enemies.
From the heights of this arboreal retreat they were able to hurl down
stones upon the attacking party.


[_From a Photograph._]]

A fine specimen of Papuan womanhood may be seen in the middle figure
of the next photograph reproduced. These women are natives of Nonof,
a village not far from Wanigera. They were profusely ornamented in
order that they might take part in a dance held after the death of a
chief. It is almost an unheard-of occurrence for women to don such
decorations, which are regarded as the exclusive property of the men,
and it looks as though the ladies were beginning to agitate for equal
privileges in the way of finery with their lords and masters. A native,
on being shown my collection of curios, which included some ornaments,
remarked that I was _me oroto_, or “like a man,” because of my many


[_From a Photograph._]]

The natives of Papua are very much addicted to betel-chewing. Areca
palms are plentiful up the coast, but pepper-leaf and lime are required
as well. The lime--which in some districts is prepared from coal--is
obtained in Collingwood Bay by burning shells. The above photograph
well illustrates the primitive process in use for slaking the lime
after the burning of the shells. The lime is then stored, and ladled
out from a calabash when required.


[_From a Photograph._]]

Our stay at Wanigera having come to an end, we embarked once more on
the little schooner and set off again. We anchored each night, for the
native captain was not very certain of his bearings, and reefs were
plentiful. On the third day after leaving Wanigera, however, he was
either influenced by the crew or had a sudden impulse of recklessness,
for after the sun had set he tried, in the uncertain light, to bring
the boat into harbour on a particularly reef-bound part of the coast.
There was a strong wind blowing, and the waves were slapping angrily
against the sides of the vessel, when suddenly, without a moment’s
warning, there was a grating shock, and we realized that we had struck
a reef. It was almost dark by now, and the lights of the settlement
could be seen two or three miles away.

The captain let go the anchor at once, but the boat began to roll so
violently that we felt doubtful as to whether the cable would stand
the strain. Meanwhile the boys scrambled into the dinghy and rowed
around to investigate our position. Strange though it may seem, no
harm appeared to have been done to the boat, but we were so surrounded
by reefs that we did not dare to move from where we were anchored. So
there we pitched and rolled about all night, though the strength of
the wind abated later on. What with one thing and another, I felt like
a very frightened tennis-ball, and I was extremely thankful when, at
sunrise, we were able to make for the shore, where we spent the day and
night at the house of a friendly magistrate.


[_From a Photograph._]]

We were now only thirty or forty miles from our destination, and the
next afternoon arrived at Ambasi. No white women had ever been there
before, and for many days we were visited by parties of natives, all
eager to see the strange white ladies. Women carrying their babies
astride on their shoulders, old men leading little boys, and married
couples, with or without their families, would pay us long visits,
wanting to know what a sewing-machine was, to look at our bedrooms,
and, above all, to taste our food. The nurse had her hands full soon
after she arrived, for the people had great faith in her remedies, and
patients presented themselves in shoals for treatment. Her pet patients
appeared to be old men, who became frightfully jealous of one another
if she appeared to devote more attention to one than another. They
would glare fiercely at the patient who was being rubbed or otherwise
treated, and were only partly mollified when their own turn came.

During our stay at Ambasi we dispensed with such luxuries as mirrors
and sheets, and rolled ourselves in blankets, to sleep contentedly
in hammocks slung on the veranda. We could not, however, do without
mosquito nets, for without them rest would have been quite impossible.
At night we were surrounded by the pale sparks of fireflies, and far
below, on the beach, the natives’ flaring torches would flicker for
hours as they fished, standing patiently in the sea. In the early
morning the sweet notes of a bird would wake us from some lofty tree at
the edge of the thick forest close by, behind which rose in majesty the
great Owen Stanley range, standing out distinctly in the clear morning
air. The highest peak, Mount Albert Edward, over thirteen thousand
feet high, had not long before been ascended for the first time by a
magistrate and one of the mission staff.

We could not always keep dry under our roof, which allowed the rain to
penetrate it in many places. One memorable night I piled nearly all my
belongings in a heap covered by a mat, and at last sought shelter from
the prevailing showers under the table, which was, I am glad to say,
rainproof. But it would not have done to be without rain, for it was
our only water supply, the spring on the beach being too brackish to

The Ope, a small river, was only three miles distant, within easy
reach of the station by boat or beach. I visited it one Sunday morning,
taking with me a village boy who knew a little broken English. It was
a glorious walk on the hard yellow sand, for the tide was out, but the
return journey was most fatiguing, for the waves had covered the firm
portion, and at each step I sank ankle-deep in the yielding sand.

When we reached the Ope no canoes were to be seen, except on the
farther bank. We called and beckoned, and after a time a small boy
brought one over to us, on which we embarked. There were no paddles,
a very slender stick being our only means of propelling it, and we
naturally made poor progress. Our little ferry-man, however, was not
disconcerted. Kneeling down and putting his right leg overboard he
obligingly paddled with that, and most successfully.

It was at the place to which I was going that the launch had once been
wrecked, and where, some years before, the Bishop of New Guinea and
one of his laymen had spent the night in peril of their lives, after
escaping from drowning and from a shark. It was with some anxiety,
therefore, that I looked forward to our arrival.

I am bound to say, however, that no one could now accuse the villagers
of evil designs on us, for I was presented with a young coconut to
drink, and saw nothing amiss in the behaviour of the natives, unless a
request to take down my hair can be regarded as such.

A chief had died the week before, and the dead man seemed to have been
related to the majority of the people, for many were daubed with light
yellow clay, which is their form of mourning. The widow herself was
seated on her husband’s grave, which was situated _inside_ the house.
There, according to tribal etiquette, she must remain until she had
finished making her mourning jacket of netted string trimmed with
“Job’s tears.” I was glad the poor thing had something to occupy her
mind, for the horror of the situation was increased by the presence of
two old crones who, one on each side of her, wailed incessantly.

Burial in the house in more settled parts of Papua has been forbidden
by the Government, and where the missions are located graveyards have
been set aside and fenced in.

When my work at Ambasi was over the little schooner arrived once more
to take us back. It was now the calm season, and our progress was
decidedly slow. The little cabin below, where the nurse and I slept,
was stuffy in the extreme, and it was delightful to get on deck in the
early morning, though I was seldom able to do more than lie there with
a bit of sail or a blanket stretched above to keep off the rays of the
sun. Then it would become unbearably hot, and I would retreat to the
airless cabin once more until the cool of the evening approached. All
day long the sails flapped aimlessly and the blocks thudded loudly on
the deck, for the breeze was usually too light to help us. Towards
evening a wind sprang up, but too late to enable us to make for an
anchorage among the reefs in the treacherous half-light. Matters
improved as we got farther down the coast, however, and though on the
last day we saw a waterspout in the distance we met with no mishaps,
and finally reached our journey’s end in safety.

Though there are marked differences in the Papuans themselves, as well
as in their dwellings and languages, the time will come, no doubt,
when, under the influence of the white man, they will abandon their
primitive Stone Age ways for twentieth-century ones. Then, probably,
much of their charm will vanish. They may reap many benefits, but, as
with so many other savage races, it is more than likely that the change
will not be altogether to their advantage. At any rate, I am glad that
I have lived with them and known them at home, while they are still
unspoiled children of Nature.


[Illustration: My Experiences in Algeria.]


    The Baroness’s husband, an officer in the French army, was
    ordered to Algeria, and took his wife and children with him.
    There, located at a tiny post far from civilization, in the
    midst of fierce and unruly tribes, the authoress met with some
    very strange adventures, which she here sets forth in a chatty
    and amusing fashion.


Some time after my arrival at Teniet-el-Haad my husband and I, together
with our first lieutenant and his wife, were invited to a “diffa” given
in our honour by a Caid named Si Benrajah.


_From a Photograph._]

He most politely sent his wagonette to fetch us and was at the door
of his house to receive us. He was a tall, good-looking man, and
his costume was exquisite. His _serronal_, or wide trousers, were
of pale-grey satin cloth, the large pockets on each side richly
embroidered in silk braid of the same shade. Silver lace covered his
short bolero, which opened over a shirt which was a mass of green and
red silk, gold and silver embroidery. Over that again he wore a lovely
white silk “haik,” which, covering his head-dress and kept in place
by the “camel cords,” fell round his shoulders, and was then caught
up in front from the knee to the gold waistbelt by a cerise coloured
silk handkerchief. Over his shoulders hung his burnous, the outer one
of fine grey cloth to match the costume, handsomely embroidered at the
corners and round the hood, the under one of fine white flannel.

He led us majestically into his “drawing-room”--which, alas! bore
unmistakable traces of the Caid’s various journeys to Paris. There was
nothing Arab but the lovely carpets and the smell.

A rickety Louis XV. _canapé_, with chairs to match, stood stiffly
against the walls; their coverings of chintz badly wanted washing.
An oval table, a walnutwood wardrobe, a washing-stand without the
accessories, and two big mirrors, whose frames had once been gilded,
completed the furniture. We here partook of refreshments in the
unromantic shape of absinthe and lemonade, accompanied by Huntley
and Palmer’s biscuits and wafers. I was much disappointed, for I had
hoped to see something more Arab and to eat and drink according to
the customs of the land. I supposed this was “progress” in Benrajah’s
idea; at any rate, he looked most satisfied with himself and his
surroundings. He introduced another Caid to us--the Caid of Biskra, I
think, who was passing through--a fine, handsome man, whose photograph
is here reproduced.

[Illustration: THE CAID OF BISKRA.

[_From a Photograph._]]

We breakfasted in a large tent, as Benrajah said it was still too warm
in the house. Remembering the close, “camelly” sort of smell, I quite
agreed with him.

As we entered the tent Mme. G----, the lieutenant’s wife, whispered to
me, “Now, mind you don’t refuse a single dish the Caid offers you. If
you do you will mortally offend him, especially as it is the first time
you break bread under his roof, and the ‘diffa’ is in your honour.”

“All right,” I answered, cheerily.

“Bon! bon! bon!” she cried. “Don’t forget, you _must_ eat everything he
offers you.” She skipped off roaring with laughter, which, at the time,
I thought very silly of her.

I was again very disappointed by the civilized, European way in which
we ate. Instead of squatting cross-legged on the ground, eating
with brotherly love out of the same dish with a wooden spoon or our
fingers, we sat round a well-laid table, with knives and forks, and
dinner-napkins embroidered with the Caid’s initials. Everyone and
everything is getting so horribly civilized nowadays, I reflected,

The repast began with a red-hot liquid in which vermicelli floated.
It burnt my unaccustomed mouth and I did not fall in love with it,
but as I had never tasted anything like it before I did not even want
to refuse when the Caid offered me a second helping. After the soup
came some boiled chicken, on which the red liquid had been poured. He
helped me largely--twice. The third course was mutton, with prunes; the
fourth mutton, with red liquid; the fifth a French _ragoût_, with an
Arab taste; the sixth was chicken without the red liquid; the seventh
an Irish stew gone wrong; the eighth--well, perhaps my readers are
beginning to feel as tired as I did after having partaken twice of all
these dishes. Indeed, I was beginning to feel very serious, and longed
ardently for the end of this Gargantuan repast.

After about the twelfth course an Arab in waiting cleared a space on
the table before the Caid. My hopes were raised to the heights, but,
alas! only to fall to the lowest depths in a very short space of time.
Suddenly something knocked my hat on one side, and everyone yelled
at me. Dazed, I looked round and rubbed my nose into a sheep’s leg.
Starting back, I met the convulsed and, as I imagined, reproachful
eye of an enormous sheep lying in a contorted attitude on a big brass
platter. Si Benrajah turned to me with a gracious smile. “I am much
honoured, madam,” he said, in perfect French, “in being the first to
offer you a ‘meshui’ on your arrival in Algeria.”

[Illustration: A TYPICAL ARAB HUT.

[_From a Photograph._]]

A “meshui,” I learnt, is a royal dish, and is only offered to those
the Arabs delight (or are compelled) to honour. It is simply a whole
sheep roasted over wood embers, and served uncut on a brass or silver
platter. It should not be cut with a knife, but torn off with the
fingers and eaten. If you wish to be particularly polite to a friend
who is present, you wrench off a piece of flesh and present it with
your greasy fingers, and he receives it much flattered, returning
the compliment with _his_ greasy fingers. This style of eating was
certainly not over-civilized, so I ought to have been better pleased
than I was. As a matter of fact I felt very bad, and hoped against hope
that the Caid would forget me.

“You are not yet accustomed to our habits,” he said, kindly. “Take a
knife and fork and cut off the meat.”

So I cut off a few small bits in a dilatory way, secretly wondering if
I could not surreptitiously throw them to some lean, hungry dogs who
were peering into the tent door.

“What silly little bits!” cried Benrajah, laughingly. Then, after well
licking his brown, henna-stained fingers, he tore off a huge piece and
offered it to me! A cold perspiration broke out on my forehead, and I
almost longed for death.

“Eat! eat!” he cried, gaily; and, choking down my despair, I ate.

How could I dare to do otherwise after Mme. G----’s warning? Are not
the laws of hospitality sacred and to be observed throughout the world?
But it was terrible tribute to pay to foreign customs, and I felt a
lesser desire for originality.

“It is good?” inquired the Caid.

“Delicious! delicious!” I answered, with a ghastly green smile.

“Ah! Here is a _comme il faut Roumia_!” he cried, enchanted--and
promptly tore me off a beautiful brown piece of meat, weighing, I
should think, about three pounds! My cup of anguish was full, and I
prayed--yes, actually prayed--to be delivered from that three pounds of

And I was.

Crash! The table-cloth was half dragged off, and, amid a rain of knives
and forks, plates and glasses, my little girl rolled on to the ground.
I did not lose my presence of mind, but, seizing my pounds of meat,
all unseen in the commotion I threw them to the lean dogs, who made
very short work of them. Then my motherly feelings came to the fore,
and I went to the rescue of my child. It was soon apparent what had
happened--the poor mite had been given too much wine by the thoughtless
Mme. G----, and was very seedy for some days afterwards.

It would be reasonable to suppose that the “meshui” was the last of the
courses, but it disappeared only to give place to the Arab national
dish, the “couscous.” At sight of the snowy pile of rolled semolina,
surmounted by more mutton, a feeling of revolt took possession of me.
I felt I could dare Lucifer himself; and so I refused the couscous,
although in a cowardly way, by pretending that fresh air was necessary
for my poor little Renée. Perhaps it was, but if it had not been I
should have said the same.

I do not think I ever quite forgave Mme. G---- her two practical jokes,
for practical jokes they were. When I described my sufferings at having
to eat all the Caid gave me, she laughed herself ill and said, “What
a ‘blue’ you are!” Which is the French military way of calling you a


One of my husband’s great amusements in this out-of-the-way garrison
was to construct a hiding-place, in front of which he fixed the
carcass of some dead animal, and there, gun in hand, to await the wild
beasts such as hyenas, jackals, lynxes, and golden foxes, who scented
from afar the goodly supper awaiting them. On these occasions they
generally found too much pepper, and often suffered from a mortal
indigestion. I sometimes accompanied my husband on such expeditions,
and greatly enjoyed crouching silently in some hidden corner, listening
to the wailing of an approaching hyena, or the querulous squabbling
and howling of the shrieking jackals. And then, when the dry sticks
cracked and the dead leaves rustled quite close to me under their
stealthy pads, my heart would leap into my mouth for fear they should
mistake _me_ for their supper. One night whilst thus listening to some
approaching creature my husband, crouching about twenty yards from me,
suddenly rose up and called out in Arabic, “Who goes there?” I looked
round just in time to see an Arab huntsman lowering his gun, which was
pointed full at _me_. He thought I was a hyena!

During the winter, when the snow lay thick on the ground, I preferred
staying at home to keep up a huge fire and fabricate hot drinks in
readiness for the frozen huntsman’s return; it seemed to me more a
wife’s duty!

Another short incident of my life in Teniet-el-Haad may not be
uninteresting. My husband had gone to the manœuvres with his Spahis,
and our _bordj_ was only guarded by about thirty “Tirailleurs
Algerians.” Then, one day, a terrific storm burst over the land. The
air was so thick with fine sand that I could not distinguish the trees
before my windows, and the sun hung in the sky like a lurid orange
ball, seemingly about to drop. The heat was stifling; one gasped for
breath, and, although every door and window was hermetically closed,
the rooms were full of sand.

Presently a terrible clamour arose from the village--shouts, cries,
screams, gun-shots. Then from the _bordj_ courtyard I heard sharp
orders given, the clanking of weapons, and finally the sound of a body
of infantry running. The wind howled and shrieked, the sand-storm grew
denser and denser, and still the clamour continued in the village.
I sat in the drawing-room with my little ones around me, wondering
if it were a serious revolt, and what would happen to us if it were.
For the district of Teniet-el-Haad was a large one, containing thirty
thousand Arabs, and we were far from any important garrison, while our
protectors, all Arab, consisted of thirty “tirailleurs,” and ten Spahis
belonging to the “Commune Mixte.” Pensively I placed my revolver close
to my hand, and waited anxiously.

After a few hours the sirocco cleared somewhat, the noise ceased, and
the tirailleurs returned. The whole affair, they told me, had been got
up by the mountain Arabs against the Jews, who had been “doing” them.
So the Arabs had taken the law into their own hands and administered
justice by repaying themselves a hundred-fold and making off with their
booty up the mountains, well hidden by the sand-storm. In the scuffle
a boy and two men were killed, all Jews--so it did not matter, so the
folks said.

My husband was second captain at Teniet-el-Haad, having given up his
rank as first captain in the Hussars in order to facilitate his return
to a regiment. He was therefore the oldest in grade in the 1st Spahis,
and the earliest vacancy as first captain fell to him. We had been at
Teniet about ten months when he received orders to take command of the
Laghouat squadron. It was the beginning of February; snow lay thick and
deep on the ground up in this high altitude, and the great question
arose how we were to get to Laghouat. Should we take the short cut by
carriage across the mountains to Boghar, where the regimental brake
would meet us and take us on, or go down to Affreville by the rickety
diligence, train to Medeah, and continue by carriage?

Going by train was a difficulty and an extra expense on account of our
dogs. We had four--three fox-terriers and a shooting dog. I do not
know what he called himself, but he had a double-barrelled nose and an
over-frank and exuberant nature. He and Charleston, the old fox, could
not bear each other. It was quite impossible to put them together in
the dog-box, and to pack them separately would have cost as much as
four times as many children. So, in consideration of their feelings
and our purse, we decided--oh, irony!--to take the short cut if the
snow and slush would allow of a carriage travelling along the narrow
mountain tracks.

We consulted the different French and native authorities, and finally
decided, if the snow and slush would allow, to take the short cut over
the mountains. We started off one fine morning at five, in a small
brake lent by a Caid, who also promised to send us four strong mules
to an inn some twenty miles off. The first twenty miles were soon
done, and at half-past seven we were enjoying some good hot coffee,
whilst our Spahi was unharnessing his team and making inquiries as to
the whereabouts of the new relay and coachman. Ten minutes after he
appeared, with a very concerned face. “Mon capitaine, Sidi Belgacun has
sent two mules no bigger than donkeys, and the boy who drives them is a
mere baby!”

This sounded cheerful, and with one accord we went out to inspect.
The Spahi’s account was unfortunately but slightly exaggerated, and
we stood staring at our tiny steeds with dismay. We had still fifty
kilometres before us, and the roads for at least twenty-five were
nothing but cross-country paths. Should we turn back, or try to find
other horses and go on? I voted emphatically for going on. Aided by the
Spahi, my husband finally unearthed a man and two horses, and at eight
o’clock we set off once more.

Everything again went well for ten kilometres; then our misfortunes
really began. When going up a hill the ground grew soft and the wheels
of the brake sank in.

“The snow is melting farther on,” remarked the coachman, laconically;
“the underground springs are overflowing.”

On we went laboriously, our Jehu yelling at the struggling horses,
whilst the carriage wobbled to and fro in a most alarming fashion.
“Don’t you think it would do us good to walk a bit?” I suggested. “It
would make things easier for the horses.”

“It would be safer,” said my husband, who was looking anxious.

So out we got--and two minutes later the whole concern toppled over,
our boxes, portmanteaux, and packets flying all over the place. The
horses were plunging and kicking; the coachman, an Italian, and the
Arab boy were yelling and swearing in their respective languages,
whilst my husband _exclaimed_ in French (he doesn’t swear, but I am
sure he would have liked to on this occasion). The scene was so
unutterably comic that I could not help myself; I laughed until the
tears rolled down my cheeks. I draw a curtain over the face my better
half turned on me--scowling was not in it--and although I assured him I
was really quite as upset as the carriage he has not recovered from my
frivolity to this day.

The men picked up the carriage and the baggage and put all in order
and we thought we should get on again, but, alas! the wheels refused
to move an inch; the more we tried the deeper they sank. After two
hours of vain endeavour, Peppino, the coachman, suggested sending Ali
to have a look round the country to see if he could find a village and
get men with spades to come and dig us out. The boy set off, returning
later with five stalwart men, who comparatively soon dug us out and
accompanied us for a few kilometres on our way, pushing and yelling
when necessary. Then they left us, saying the road was good right up to
Boghar. It was now past two o’clock, and our lunch loomed very dimly in
the far distance, having been ordered for twelve o’clock at Boghar.

About three o’clock we saw snow on the side of the road, which again
grew slushy and soft. My husband and Peppino were obliged to run
behind, pushing at the wheels at the difficult places, whilst the Arab
boy cheered on his mules and Peppino’s horses.

The snow got deeper and deeper. Presently we passed a carriage
abandoned on the side of the road, farther on a dead horse, and again a
form, which looked terribly human, covered by a white pall.

After a while we came to a wider part. On the right was a sloping
mountain-side half covered with snow, half with golden narcissus,
and showing a dry watercourse, dotted about with huge stones. On the
left was a smooth field of snow, across which wheel marks could be
distinguished. “We must cross here,” said Peppino, “as someone has
before us; the snow is doubtless hard, and by whipping up the horses I
will get you over. The road is impossible.”

My husband was not of the same opinion. He considered the watercourse
a better road than a snow-field, and the presence of stones made him
surmise that the bottom was hard.

The matter was hotly discussed, but finally my husband gave in, seeing
that Peppino knew the road and he did not.

Away we galloped--bump, bump, bump. Then, without warning, there came
a tremendous crack, and, lo and behold! there we were, sitting in our
carriage, whilst the horses and Peppino continued with the wheels! It
was, of course, a terrible dilemma, but again I had to laugh; it was
really too funny.

My husband and Peppino carried me and the children and perched each of
us on a stone, where I stood on one leg and cawed like a crow. “One
should always take misfortunes gaily,” I said. That was the last straw;
my better half had to laugh, but the smile was rather sickly. Then we
held a council of war.

Peppino, good man, saved the situation. “I will go back with the horses
and fetch the carriage we saw abandoned at the side of the road,” he
said. “I know the owner, and will take the responsibility for borrowing
it on my own shoulders.”

So off he went, whilst we cawed to one another from stone to stone and
ate snow, there being nothing else to do. Before long Peppino returned
triumphantly with the borrowed carriage, the luggage was transferred,
and we started off again, leaving our first equipage standing
disconsolately in the snow.

All went well until eight o’clock, although my husband and Peppino had
constantly to push at the wheels. They both looked ten years older than
at the start, so lined and weary were their faces. At about eight we
came to a narrow track, a real road winding round the mountain above a
fathomless precipice. On each side the snow lay in drifts of five and
six feet deep, and the centre track showed no sign of previous passage.

We had not gone fifty yards along this road when the horses stopped and
the wheels disappeared in a drift. Yelling, pushing, and pulling had no
effect whatever. The horses were then harnessed to the splash-board,
but their strenuous efforts only resulted in tearing it from the body
of the carriage.

All this time I was sitting in the snow trying to keep the little
one warm, and hopefully encouraging the two elder ones, Charlie and
Renée. From the mountain top came the discordant howling and barking of
jackals; from the blackness below arose the sad wailing of a hyena. I
very nearly became tearful.

Peppino again offered his services, and proposed riding off to fetch
help at a sheikh’s some ten miles away.

“Get into the carriage, wrap yourselves up warmly with everything
available, and wait,” he said. “In five or six hours I will bring

There was nothing else to be done, so we made the best of a bad job,
packed ourselves up, and tried to sleep. The children, of course,
succeeded at once, as did my husband, worn out with the efforts of the
day, but I could not. My hunger was great, and I do not think I have
ever before or since imagined such cold. Talk of African heat; African
_cold_ has the first place in my memory.


The night was pitch-dark, and it was far from amusing to sit there
listening to the animals prowling round. A hyena or so came very near
to our mules, who shivered and snorted for a long time after.

Numbed with cold, I suppose I at last fell asleep. Suddenly I was
awakened by a great commotion. Then came yelling, the sound of
horses plunging, and I heard the children shrieking “Mother!” I rose
precipitately, a light flashed in my face, baby was seized from me, and
I myself was borne off like an infant by a man who appeared to be a
giant. He hurried away up the mountain-side without a word, which did
not at all seem to me the right behaviour of rescuers. Why thus seize
us and bear us off into the mountains?

We must have been attacked by brigands, and my husband knifed as he
slept! I kicked vigorously, shouting “Henri!” and “Peppino!” but
received no answer, and my heart sank. Then I called “Charlie!”
“Renée!” and to my great joy their voices answered quite close behind
me. I therefore left off kicking--which, indeed, had no effect on
my burly captor--and consoled myself with the thought that, though
apparently a widow, I was not left childless.

After five minutes or so my giant began to shout. Other voices
answered; then suddenly I was planted on my feet in the inky darkness,
but almost at once a dozen matches were struck and held to a huge heap
of dry brushwood. In two seconds we had a royal bonfire, which not only
warmed us but lit up the country all round.

Brigands or no brigands, I thought, these Arabs were very thoughtful

I asked several times, “Where is my husband?” but they all raised their
hands and shoulders in vague denial of any knowledge of his existence.
I was beginning to be really alarmed when his welcome form loomed in
view astride a mule. I do not think we have ever quite understood how
he came to miss us in the confusion caused by the headlong arrival of
our rescuers. He had galloped after us along a road where we had not
been at all; but, not finding us, had come back, and had been guided by
the firelight.

After a good warming at the fire we started for the sheikh’s house,
ten miles off, the children being carried by Arabs on horseback, and I
astride a mule on a “barda.” On our arrival we found couscous and sour
milk awaiting us, and--what was far better--some good mattresses spread
on the ground in a big, white-washed room. At ten next morning we left,
the kindly sheikh having lent us his wagonette. Peppino had gone back
with some Arabs to dig out and bring along Carriage Number Two.


[_From a Photograph._]]

About half-way to Boghar we met the regimental brake coming spanking
along. The soldier driving told us that at eight o’clock an Arab had
come to him saying that he was to harness up at once and drive for
eight miles along the Teniet road, when he would find the Spahis’
captain, who was stranded with his family at Sheikh ben Shinan’s.

This experience of Arab telegraphy rather astonished us, for we were
still greenhorns in this respect. Since then nothing of the kind
surprises us; I have often learnt of distant happenings from the Arabs
long before our own civilized methods brought me the news. Arabs travel
a great deal by night, passing on the tidings from one to another--they
are terrible gossips--so that it is the case of the hare and the
tortoise. Their signalling is done by movements of the burnous by day
and fires by night. In each district certain heights are especially
used for this purpose. Whilst travelling by road on one occasion I
remember hearing a long hoot-like call, and on looking in the direction
of the sound I saw an Arab on a hill, evidently signalling with his
burnous, for he was making regular up-and-down and to-and-fro movements
with it. Half an hour after we saw another Arab with a huge flock
of sheep. In the evening, when we arrived at the place we meant to
camp at, we found ourselves expected by the sheikh, and a hospitable
couscous prepared. He bade us welcome, saying we were later than he had
thought. When we inquired how it was he expected us at all, he only
vouchsafed to say, with half-closed eyes, that he had known we were on
the road some hours before, and had supposed we would stop the night
there. Thereupon we remembered the white-robed Arab on the hill and the
shepherd far away, and began to understand.

(_To be concluded._)

[Illustration: “Shot-Gun Jim.”]


    It is safe to say that few commercial travellers meet with such
    exciting experiences as befell the three “drummers” who figure
    in this narrative. A business trip into the wilds of Arizona
    landed them into as fierce a skirmish with Indian outlaws as
    could well be imagined.

Take a young fellow just raw from city life, throw him into the wilds
of Arizona, and arrange for him to tumble head-first, so to speak, into
a brisk skirmish with Indians, and he will have something to remember.
Such was the experience which befell me about 1890.

For some years I had been travelling through California, visiting the
largest cities and towns, introducing a “line” of goods for a large
San Francisco importing concern. Such had been my success that nothing
would suit my firm but to add Arizona to my territory, a proposition I
made no objection to.

Of late years Arizona has vastly improved, and trouble with the Indians
has become almost unknown, especially since that notorious warrior,
Geronimo, was deported to the State of Florida, but up to the ‘nineties
there was still an occasional flare-up.

Both Geronimo and the villainous “Apache Kid,” a bloodthirsty red-skin
brigand, figure in this story, the first indirectly and the second very


_From a Photograph._]

Having reached the town of Wilson, in the southern part of the
territory, I fell in with two fellow-commercial salesmen--Levy,
representing a large dry-goods concern, and Bates, handling a line of
boots for a St. Louis house.

Levy imparted the fact that he was going to visit a large mining camp,
called World City, located some hundred and sixty miles to the north
and as many miles distant from the railway. Bates said he would join
Levy provided I would make one of the party.

Although my route did not include this side-trip, I became convinced
that it would pay me well to visit World City. By sharing expenses with
Levy and Bates, the trip could be made most reasonably, so I wired my
house accordingly, and Levy hastened to make arrangements with a local
celebrity, a Scotchman named McGill, for transportation.

An agreement having been made with McGill, the balance of the day was
consumed in making preparations for our departure on the following
morning. There were blankets to buy, for one is never safe without
them. No matter how hot and burning the day may be, the nights are
always crisp and chill on the Arizona plains, and one never knows while
making such a trip when he will land at his destination. Nine chances
out of ten he will be hours late. Our journey was no exception to the

On the following morning I was aroused by McGill. On the wagon, which
was a heavy four-wheel affair, he had loaded three shoe-sample trunks,
the property of Bates, and two immense square trunks carried by Levy.
Beside this there were sundry boxes and bundles of blankets, as well
as our heavy overcoats and small personal luggage.

After a hasty breakfast of ham and eggs--I generally ordered ham and
eggs in Arizona because other meats were far from tender in those
days--we took our places on the wagon. Levy occupied the front seat
with McGill, while Bates and I sat on top of a huge trunk, slippery and

Although the animals seemed good and hardy, they were small, and I do
not think we realized the great weight of the combined load. At the
wheels we had a pair of small and nimble mules, and as leaders a pair
of small bay horses, whose looks did not recommend them.

The first day out all went well, and we reached the little town of
Bonita, a most desolate-looking place. We had travelled less than
thirty miles.

We drove up to the door of a little adobe building with a thatched
roof. On the front a crude sign informed the public that it was
a “General Store.” Another placard indicated that it was also a
public-house, or “saloon,” as they are called in America.

On entering we found ourselves in a small room with a rough counter
running down one side, behind which was the smiling face of the
proprietor, who lived with his wife and two beautiful daughters in the
one adjoining room--these two rooms constituting the entire building.

We spent the night on the floor of the store, in front of the counter,
and next morning resumed our journey, hoping to reach the little group
of buildings known as Standard before night. In my own mind--and I
think the others believed the same--I did not really expect to reach
Standard that night, for it was nearly fifty miles distant and our
animals were far from fresh.

I think it was about ten o’clock in the morning that we saw a cloud of
dust several miles ahead. In time it proved to be a company of negro
soldiers, marching to a neighbouring military post.

As they came alongside we could see a number of rifles sticking out of
the canvas of the great covered wagons which accompanied them. They
halted, and an officer, whom McGill said was a colonel, came over. He
saluted us pleasantly and asked laughingly:--

“Are you not afraid to travel in this direction?”

McGill inquired why, whereupon the officer explained that “Apache Kid”
was out with a small band of warriors, that Geronimo had disappeared
from the Indian Reservation, and that serious trouble was brewing.
The troops, he added, were being moved for the purpose of heading off
“Apache Kid” and his crowd.

The smiling face of the colonel rather misled me. He did not seem
really serious, and, as I sized up the situation, I believed it quite
possible that he recognised our party as “tenderfeet,” and desired to
frighten us.

After the soldiers had become a mere blur in the distance we resumed
our journey. We had gone but a few miles farther, however, when an
accident occurred to our wagon. Something gave way--I don’t remember
what--and it became impossible to proceed. Levy took a look at the
wagon and declared it was “no good, anyway”; Bates joined in the
abuse, and McGill lost his temper. Finally, I acted as peacemaker, and
suggested that something would have to be done as the afternoon was
advancing. Either we must return to Bonita on foot, abandoning the
wagon and contents, or McGill would have to take the team back and
secure another conveyance.

The last alternative being accepted, we drew lots, and it fell to Levy
to return to Bonita with McGill, while Bates and I remained to look
after the property.

McGill insisted that with the load off he would be able to haul the
wagon back to Bonita for repairs, so we set to work and, after a
struggle with the trunks, got the vehicle in shape to be drawn.

It was with great misgivings that I saw my companions depart. It was
not to my liking to remain as a guardian of that mass of luggage. Bates
did not seem to mind it. He simply offered me his last cigar, then
lighted it himself and sat down on the bare ground.

I think we could see in every direction for twenty miles and more,
except toward the mountains, which were to the east, some five miles

“Well, Bates,” I said, “what are we going to do? It’s getting mighty
cold. The wind sweeps down from that mountain as if we might get a
little of the storm brewing up there.”

“That’s no mistake, my boy, and if I am not in error we are going to
get snow inside of two hours. Most extraordinary for Arizona.”

“Don’t you think we could arrange some shelter with these trunks and
roll of canvas?”

“Just the thing, my boy. Glad you suggested it.”

So we set to work and built our house, forming our walls by arranging
the trunks in a square, leaving a small opening to be used as a door.
On this we spread the great piece of canvas which had been brought
along to cover the wagon in case of storm, thus making a roof. That
it might not be carried away by the wind, which was now howling like
a hurricane, we weighted it with small boulders. With other rocks
we built a small fireplace and chimney, without and facing our door.
With the limited supply of wood, which was very scarce--sagebrush and
gnarled mesquite--we built a small fire in our fireplace, much to our
joy, for we were now actually blue with the cold.

The sky was now thoroughly overcast with snow-clouds and the snow was
beginning to fall, settling in miniature drifts beneath the sage bushes.

In removing the trunks from the wagon our labours had been heavy, and
we realized, as Bates expressed it, “we were twenty miles from nowhere,
and not a drop of water nearer than Bonita.”

Bates rummaged through the kit for a drink of any kind, but was only
able to produce a diminutive flask with about one swallow of whisky in
it. After offering this to me he took it down with a cheering “Here’s
to you!”

“Don’t throw away that flask, Bates,” I called to him as I saw him
taking aim at a near-by sage bush. “I may be able to collect a drink
with that.”

I filled the little flask as full as I could pack it with snow which
I collected under the bushes, then held it carefully over the fire,
reducing the snow to water. This barely gave us enough to moisten our
lips, and I gave it up.

Then we wrapped ourselves up in our blankets and reclined inside our
improvised house and discussed matters.

“I say, Bates, what did you think of the colonel’s story about Apaches
being out?” I asked.

“Can’t say. I know if I were an Apache and had a warm wigwam to
crawl into, the warpath could go to perdition. I’m sure I wouldn’t
bother with it this kind of weather. You won’t have the pleasure of
meeting Geronimo, ’Apache Kid,’ nor any other human--and, I might add,
inhuman--being till the weather lets up.”

“What have you got for protection in case we do run across them?” I

“Well, the only protection I have is a pair of boots made by the Sun
Shoe Company, which I represent. With these on, and a fair start, I
might outrun them. That’s all I’ve got for protection. What have you

“Well,” I said, rather apologetically, “I have a revolver here, but it
isn’t much good. It might do to fire salutes with, but I’m afraid it
would not do much execution. The fact is, I’ve not fired the thing for
some years.”

“Now, look here, my boy. If you should ever shoot me with that thing,
and I should find it out, I should be quite put out about it,” said
Bates, with a laugh. “We might as well quit worrying. If the wild and
woolly Apaches get us, it’s fate. They’ll get us, that’s all. I’m going
to sleep.”


[_From a Photograph._]]

Suiting the action to the word, he rolled over and left me to my dreary
thoughts. I tried to sleep and did drop into a light slumber, from
which I was suddenly awakened by a startled exclamation from Bates.

As I opened my eyes he was just going through the doorway on all fours.

“Bring that revolver here,” he called to me.

As quickly as possible I was out after him. He was gazing towards the
mountains in the distance.

“What has happened?” I asked, in some alarm at the sudden call to arms.

He explained that something had come to the door of our house. He could
hear it, but only caught a slight glimpse of it as he raised his head,
for it dashed out of sight immediately. It was evidently an animal of
some sort, for we found the marks of its feet and claws in the soft
earth. Whatever it was we never caught sight of it.

We were now thoroughly awake. The weather had cleared, the sun was
shining warmly and my spirits were beginning to rise.

Far off, down the incline of the plain, we could see the spot known as
Bonita. Between us and the town all was open, save for some sage bushes
here and there dotting the view.

Surely McGill should now be on his way back, but not a sign of him
could we see.

We recalled the fact that we were hungry. Bates rummaged in the
kit. The net results were a small paper of biscuits and a tin of
beef--nothing else.

We ate all the biscuits and half of the beef, collected more firewood,
and, at about six o’clock, discovered the team slowly wending its way
from Bonita. It was more than an hour before it arrived at our camp.

Another serious matter now confronted us. Either we must stay with our
improvised camp or, as McGill suggested, make for Brick Dust Canyon, in
the mountain, where lived a frontiersman named James W. Smith, who had
a little farm situated on an oasis of productive earth in the midst of
this vast wilderness of alkali and sand.

Eventually we decided upon the latter alternative, and succeeded in
loading up and making a start.

For a long time we crept upward, no one riding except McGill, in order
to relieve the tired animals.

Reaching the summit of the ascent at last, McGill stopped, for we had
now to descend into a deep canyon.

Daylight had by this time given way to deepest night, and ahead all
looked black and forbidding. Our driver could not even see the road,
which was, moreover, obscured by a growth of trees in the canyon.

“Gentlemen,” said McGill, “this rig has no brake to hold it. There is a
big down-grade here and a sharp turn at the bottom. From there to Jim’s
house is about a mile. We must manage to stop one of the hind wheels,
for these mules will never be able to hold the load in check; besides,
I can’t see the road, and must let the animals take their course.”

We tied the right rear wheel with a stout bit of rope and started
again, but with this difference--Levy, Bates, and I each lighted
cigars, which Levy had brought from Bonita, and, puffing vigorously at
these, walked ahead of the load, endeavouring to pilot McGill by the
glow of the lighted “stogies.”

There were times when the mules and the locked wheel were insufficient
to check the wagon to any great extent, on account of the steepness
of the grade, but at first all went well. It was not long before we
reached the sharp turn at the bottom. We were greatly in advance of
McGill now, and, indeed, we could hear nothing of him, so Levy went
back to investigate and to warn him of the danger ahead. He found
the wagon halted at a fairly level spot to recuperate the exhausted
animals. Levy told the Scotsman that he was about to plunge down the
last and most precipitous piece of road, and urged him to give it up.

McGill was headstrong, however, and insisted upon going ahead, so we
took up our stand with our cigars, to mark the turn at the bottom, and
the big vehicle started.

We could hear it gaining speed every moment. Mingled with the rumbling
of the wagon and the clatter of the animals’ hoofs we heard the shouts
of McGill, who had now lost all control over his team.

On they came with a rush and a roar, and we, who were lighting the way,
discovered we were in some danger. At the last moment we sprang back
into the rocks and brush at the side as the team swept irresistibly on.

The leaders took the turn all right, but the next instant there was a
crash and a yell from McGill. The wagon had left the road and plunged
into a tree, the harness gave way, and Bedlam broke loose.

The Scotsman saved his skin by jumping fairly into a bush, while we
sprang to the animals’ heads to check them. They showed, however, no
disposition on their part to run away; they knew when they had had

Away down in the distance we could see a light, which McGill said was
at Jim’s house. He would leave us with the animals and seek assistance
from the house, he told us.

“I shall go across-lots,” he shouted back to us, “by a trail which will
save a lot of walking.”

For hours Bates, Levy, and I awaited his return in vain. We exhausted
every topic of conversation we could think of, and at last, tired,
disgusted, and feeling thoroughly out of sorts, we set off down the
road, taking the animals with us.

Although we could still see the light, we walked for a long time before
we actually arrived before a small adobe house, which was surrounded by
a thick wall some eight feet high. The road led us to a pair of huge
solid gates, which, being closed, prevented us seeing within. We called
out, and in a few seconds a voice answered us, and we were conscious of
someone approaching the gates with a lantern.

This proved to be Jim Smith himself. He seemed to be in a very merry
mood, for, although we were total strangers, he almost laughed in our
faces. He had a story to tell, it soon appeared, of a misfortune which
had befallen our friend McGill.

It seemed that in attempting to take his short cut “across-lots,” the
Scotsman had struck a cattle trail, which led to a watering-trough set
beside a newly-dug well, the existence of which he knew nothing of.

By a curious accident, he walked straight into this well and plunged
into eight feet of water.

It happened that Smith was at that moment bringing some young cattle
into his walled enclosure, and, hearing the muffled cries of McGill in
the well, believed they proceeded from a cow in difficulties.

Lantern in hand, he made his way to the well and called out. Judge of
his surprise when he heard a voice, as from the tomb, growl:--

“I’ve lost my bloomin’ pipe!”

Looking into the well, he discovered McGill clinging to the sides as
best he could with fingers and nails. It was but a moment’s work to
throw him a line and bring him out, as sorry and dejected-looking a
scarecrow as one could imagine. Strange to relate, it was all that Jim
could do to keep McGill from going back into the well for his cherished
briar, the loss of which seemed to worry him greatly.

We found the Scotsman in a very bad temper, complaining bitterly of the
loss of his pipe, which he told us he was smoking at the time of his

We received a hearty welcome from Jim and his wife. The latter was
busy soothing their ten-months-old baby to sleep. There they lived, in
that little one-room house, eating, sleeping, and cooking in the same

[Illustration: “SHOT-GUN JIM.”

_From a Photograph._]

I began to speculate as to where we tired travellers would find a place
to lay our heads. The house was a solid adobe, without windows. In the
doorway hung a frame, on which was fastened a strip of canvas in lieu
of a door.

A hearty meal was prepared by Mrs. Smith, after which we were invited
to go out and bring in our beds.

On our return we found that Mrs. Smith and the babe were already in
the huge bed in the corner. Jim was preparing to follow, and we were
invited to spread our blankets on the floor, which, like the Bonita
store, was mother earth.

Our sleep was far more restful than on the previous night. At an
early hour we were awakened by Smith, who seemed to be worried about
something. I followed him to the door of the house and discovered that
he was holding a whispered conversation with a stranger, a young fellow
of about eighteen years. As soon as I approached they stopped speaking
and I was introduced to the young man, whose name was given as “Hank.”

Suddenly Smith spoke:--

“We might as well tell ’em about it, Hank,” he said. “They’ve got to
know it sooner or later. Tain’t safe to get out of this place now.
Besides, your horse is used up.”

I glanced in the direction indicated, and saw a horse covered in
lather, with drooping head and general dejected appearance. I knew he
must have had fearful riding to be in this condition.

“Well, you tell ’em, Jim,” replied Hank. “I reckon we’re here, all of
us, to stay awhile.”

“I can’t afford to remain, Mr. Smith,” I said, thinking that the
wrecked wagon might be the reason for the conversation. “If the outfit
will hold together I think we had better go on as soon as possible.”

Smith looked at me with pitying eyes.

“You may never leave this place at all,” he returned, gravely. “This
young man is the only survivor of a massacre, about ten miles from
here. ‘Apache Kid’ and his band are, perhaps, at this very moment close
to our gates.”

Instinctively I glanced at the gates, and noticed for the first time
that heavy timbers were propped against them.

“Not only that, but McGill has disappeared,” continued Smith. “I think
he may have gone in search of his pipe. We dare not risk going outside
the enclosure, and he must get back as best he can.”

Just then the others of our party and Mrs. Smith, with the babe in her
arms, joined us, having begun to realize that something was amiss.

Then Jim began to organize his forces. First he took an inventory of
the available arms and ammunition, calling on our party to exhibit such
weapons as we had about us.

Next Jim brought out a number of guns. There were three excellent
repeating rifles, with several hundred rounds of ammunition, and an
old shot-gun, which proved of no value. Next came Jim’s own pet--a
beautiful double-barrelled shot-gun. With these were several boxes
of ammunition. Last came a motley array of “six-shooters,” a part of
which were serviceable and for which there was a limited amount of
ammunition. Two hand-axes and a small affair for chopping firewood were
counted as weapons for close quarters.

The whole lot was delivered into the care of Mrs. Smith, who was
instructed to load the guns and arrange the ammunition conveniently on
a table brought from the house.

At odd moments the good woman was assembling quantities of food, so
that, in case of an attack, prolonged or otherwise, we might have her
services at the ammunition.

Meanwhile Hank had been sent to the top of the house, which had a
low, flat roof, where he was keeping close watch with a pair of
field-glasses. He called to Jim that he believed he had discovered
McGill in the topmost branches of a tree, a long distance up the
canyon. It appeared that he was making signals, for we soon discovered
that he occasionally waved a white handkerchief, and he appeared to be
trying to draw our attention to something to the south.

Presently Hank reported that McGill was climbing down the tree, and in
a moment he was running down the road towards the house as fast as his
long legs would carry him. Jim prepared to open one of the gates.

Just then a shot rang out, followed by others. We could hear McGill
coming full tilt. Jim opened the gate a little way and reported that a
band of Indians were in close pursuit of the Scotsman.

A moment later, breathless and exhausted, McGill flung himself through
the open gate, which was speedily secured behind him.

As quickly as possible Jim ran a rough wagon out of a shed and placed
it alongside of the wall. It was evident now why this latter had been
built high and strong; the reason for placing the wagon beside it,
however, was not yet evident to us.

Soon we heard the rush of a score of Indian horses, the whoops and
yells of their savage riders, and the crack of their rifles.

Their shots did no damage, however, but were sufficiently accurate to
cause Hank to dodge behind the stone chimney, whence he dropped over
the edge to the ground.

There was a savage onslaught upon the immense heavy gates, but they
held firm, being well braced by the timbers. So far not a sound had
escaped us, and it was evident that the Indians were chagrined that
they had not made a greater impression.

For a few moments we could hear them in consultation before the gates,
and presently a voice called out in broken English.

To this no reply was made, nor was any evidence of life vouchsafed from
our side.

“Now, boys,” whispered Jim, “get ready. They’re going to show their
heads in a minute--just over there, near the wagon. That is the easiest
place for them to look over, and I have tried to make it look more
inviting. So look alive and each pick his game. Don’t miss, or there’ll
be trouble.”

Next moment five ugly Apache heads bobbed up over the wall
simultaneously. They were evidently so sure that the place was
unprotected that four of them, in their enthusiasm, clambered half-way
on top of the wall before they became aware of the reception that had
been planned for them.

The volley that followed their appearance was almost like one shot,
and the four most daring red-skins received the bullets intended for
them. Two were killed instantly, and partly hung over the wall as they
doubled up; two others, mortally wounded, slid off the wall and were
dragged away by their companions. The less venturesome got away with a
whole skin.

With our volley pandemonium seemed to break loose; the red-skins let
out a yell that fairly chilled us to the bone. Jim called us to seek
shelter at the rear of the house.

We were none too soon, for a terrific fire was poured into the
enclosure by the Indians, who were taking haphazard shots towards us,
without putting their heads into jeopardy.


Presently we discovered that one lot of the savages were trying to
burrow under the gates, and were indeed making some headway. Jim seemed
to be everywhere at once, using his shot-gun as his sole means of
defence. The moment a hand was seen in the growing excavation under
the gate he let drive with his shot-gun, and another Indian was out of

I remember I kept a sort of mental tally of the fallen. Hank had told
me that there were about twenty-three in the band, so I calculated:
“Four dead on the first attack on the wall; one shot through the hand,
under the gate. Balance to their credit--eighteen.”

Just then we received an unexpected shock. We saw a curl of smoke
rising above the gates; the savages were piling brush against them, to
which they had already set fire. This was a serious matter, which even
Jim had not calculated upon. He ordered us to lie low while he took a
look round.

I was so interested to know what he would do that I could not resist
the temptation to put my head around the corner of the house, and this
is what I saw.

Jim crept on hands and knees towards the wagon which we had placed
against the wall. In a moment he had reached it, shot-gun in hand, and
silently and slowly raised himself into it, gradually straightening out
with his head and arms just above the wall. Then, quick as a flash, he
took aim. There was a crash--or rather a double crash, for he had fired
both barrels--an awful yell from the Indians, and he was speeding back
to safety.


One savage, braver than the rest, took a quick shot at him. The bullet
did no harm to Jim, but came near being fatal to me, for I had been
so intent on watching him that I now found that I had unconsciously
stepped into the open.

Instead of bolting for shelter, I had but one thing in mind--to check
up the account and see how many “good” Indians there were and how many
bad ones.

Consequently, in a moment--foolhardy as it may seem--I was on the
wagon, peering over the wall, taking account of the dead and wounded at
the gates.

Although Jim’s shot-gun had done fearful execution, there were but two
who appeared to be actually dead.

Just then something struck me in the face, a hand grasped me from
over the wall, and I felt myself being dragged over, into the arms of
the “Apache Kid” himself! Several other savages were running to his
assistance. All that I can recall is that I thought my last hour had
come, and struck out blindly with my fists, clinging, as best I could,
to the wall with my legs.

I am not an experienced boxer, but I had the advantage over my
assailant, for I was uppermost.

Things seemed to be going badly with me, however, for I felt my hold on
the wall gradually weakening.

Just at that instant I heard a rush behind me. I was so done up that I
could only think of more Indians, but in reality it was Levy, Hank, and
Jim coming to the rescue.

I was grasped from behind and felt that I should be pulled to pieces.
I let out with my fists with renewed vigour, and landed such a fierce
tattoo on the face of my captor that he involuntarily sought to protect
his face with his hands, whereupon Levy, Hank, Jim, and I fell into a
confused heap over the side of the wagon.

It was a few minutes before they restored me to my senses, and I found
myself with clothing half torn off, covered with dust, and generally

My first words were:--

“Two killed, three wounded badly; net balance thirteen. That number is
unlucky. We’ll win!”

“What in the name of common sense are you talking about?” asked Bates,
who was bending over me.

“Well, there were twenty-three Indians when we started; we killed four
at first shot, three at the second, and two at the third, besides
wounding three beyond present help. That leaves thirteen, doesn’t it?”

We were recalled to a sense of our peril by the sound of breaking
timbers. The gates were being forced!

Through the chinks we could see the Indians working industriously with
a battering-ram, improvised from the trunk of a tree. At any moment the
gates might fall, and we knew there would be little hope for us once
the red-skins gained an entrance.

Jim now sent his wife inside the house for better protection. The
little babe had, up to this time, been peacefully sleeping on the
bed, which must now be used to barricade the door of the house.
Consequently, the little fellow was disturbed as his mother moved the
huge affair against the opening, and he, too, added to the din of the

“Now, gentlemen,” said Jim, “we’ve got to make a last stand. The gates
will be down in a minute; they have been greatly weakened by the fire.
Every one of you to the roof!”

Up to the roof we climbed as a last resort. I think we all realized the
gravity of the situation.

We stretched ourselves flat, weapons in hand, and waited. It seemed
ages. We could hear the cries of the infant mingled with the sobs of
the distracted mother. Bates, who had an abominable voice, tried to
sing a hymn. Smith told him to be quiet--the situation was trying
enough without his music.

Presently there came a crash--the gates were down. In rushed the
red-skins, a fearless crowd. There were just thirteen; I counted them.

“Now, gentlemen, let ’em have it,” called Jim, in a low tone.

Well, we did let them have it; there was no mistake about that. There
was a blaze from the rifles, Jim’s shot-gun, and the revolvers, and we
all pumped lead as fast as we could.

When the smoke cleared a little we looked below. There were eight
red-skins as dead as ever they could be. Three more were crawling away
on all fours, seriously wounded.

This left two on my record unaccounted for. We soon spied them making
off over the little hills towards Brick Dust Canyon as fast as their
legs could carry them.

One of them was “Apache Kid,” the leader. He got off with a whole skin,
but I’ll wager that he had some marks about his face.

When we got down from the roof we could no longer hear Mrs. Smith or
the babe, and feared they had been killed by stray bullets. Repeated
calls failed to bring response.

When we forced an entrance we found her in a dead faint, lying on the
bed beside the infant, who was chewing his fist and chuckling as if in
great glee.

Woman-like, Mrs. Smith deferred her swoon till all danger was past.

To the delight of McGill, his miserable briar was recovered that day by
Jim, who said he did not want the well spoiled, otherwise he would have
left it there.

“Shot-gun Jim”--for that is how he is always known now, on account of
his fearful execution with his shot-gun, for it was he who really saved
the day--has never been troubled by Apaches since. He still insists
on living in that forsaken spot, forgetful of the terrible scenes of
carnage and danger he has passed through, working at a copper mine
which he discovered up beyond Brick Dust Canyon.

[Illustration: A Perilous Mission.]


    The modestly-told story of a daring deed. At a time of
    great anxiety, when England and France were on the verge of
    conflict in Africa and the powerful Mohammedan native States
    were watching for an opportunity of throwing off the yoke of
    both countries, Mr. Martin was District Agent of the Royal
    Niger Company at Borgu. He was instructed to secure reliable
    information as to what was happening in the turbulent robber
    kingdom of Kontogora, and he obtained it by the hazardous
    expedient of disguising himself as a Haussa and, taking his
    life in his hands, penetrating right into the enemy’s capital.
    His adventures during this journey are set forth below, though
    the narrative contains barely a hint of the strain of the
    ordeal or the awful fate that would have befallen the author
    had his real identity been suspected.

Towards the latter end of 1898, before the conquest of Nigeria, I was
placed in charge of the interests of the Royal Niger Company, Chartered
and Limited, in the Borgu district of the Niger Territories. My
instructions, amongst other things, were to watch events, political and
otherwise, and to report the same to head-quarters.

It was a time of great stress and no little peril to our West African
Empire, for not only were the various races of the Territories in a
state of unrest and hostility to the white man’s domination, but at
that period we were also at loggerheads with the French, whose troops
were encroaching on our frontiers from all sides, necessitating a
special field force being formed, under Colonel (later General Sir
Frederick) Lugard, to deal with the situation. The native Mohammedan
States, seeing this, thought to take advantage of the crisis to the
detriment of both nations.

The most turbulent of all these native States was Kontogora, a town
lying to the eastward of the Niger River. At the time of which I write
there were British troops at Jebba, Leabba, Boussa, Roffia, Gomba,
Lafagon, and Illa, as well as smaller garrisons scattered about, all on
the Niger. There was a strong force also at Zaria, a large town away to
the east, some distance south of Kano. The French were prowling about
in between.

It being reported that Kontogora was preparing to take up arms, I
determined to find out the facts of the case for myself, as, if this
State seriously intended causing trouble and gained any successes
against us, the whole Mohammedan Empire was sure to rise to a man,
and it would be difficult for us to hold our own, to say nothing of
expelling the French. My orders were to remain in Boussa, but, having
weighed the pros and cons very carefully, and decided that it would be
well within the spirit, if not exactly the letter, of my instructions
to take the action I intended, I determined to find out in person how
far this rumour was true and how great the danger really was to our
Imperial interests. I had mastered the Haussa tongue, the prevailing
language of those regions, and could hold my own easily with the
Haussas themselves, my natural aptitude for picking up tongues standing
me in good stead. Consequently, without informing anyone where I was
going, beyond leaving word that I was off on a shooting trip, on the
night of the 17th of November, 1898, I dyed myself from head to foot
a deep brown, arrayed myself in very shabby Haussa clothes, and set
off, with my guide, Mama, for Kontogora. I took the name of “Abdu
Maidowda”--Abdu the dirty. All carriers in Haussaland take nicknames,
given them by their masters or companions. It is seldom that a white
man ever knows the real names of his servants.

We tramped all that night, and next morning stopped at a small village
in the midst of farmlands in the N’gaski Kingdom. The whole country
hereabouts was bitterly hostile to the white man’s _régime_. The state
of unrest was manifest everywhere; people went armed to their work in
the fields, as raids from neighbouring towns seemed to be of frequent
occurrence. Although the various native kingdoms were quite at one with
regard to their hatred of the white man, yet amongst themselves they
were always warring and raiding for slaves--the big towns bullying the
smaller villages. The main cause of this was the heavy slave tribute
levied by the Sultan of Sokoto--the great head of the Moslem Church in
the Sudan--on all his vassal States.

Having rested for a few hours, we set out again about midday. It
was fiercely hot as we trudged through the guinea-corn fields that
stretched for miles all around us, and the heat, striking down from
the fiery sun, that hung directly overhead, made me dizzy. I staggered
along at times in a kind of hot, sweltering day-dream--seeing things
that did not exist, and thinking the most absurd thoughts. Once I
called a halt at a well of very dirty water, flung myself down on my
hands and knees, and bathed my head and neck for several minutes, Mama
looking on amused. The people in the fields were gathering in the corn
in feverish haste, but every now and then they paused long enough to
question us as to our destination and whence we came. We invariably
told the same tale--we were travelling to Kontogora from Illorin.


_From a Photograph._]

It must have been about 4 p.m., judging by the sun, when, on that
second day out, we topped a rise of rocky ground and came face to
face with the head of a caravan of some thirty people, with a large
number of goats, coming from the westward. There were several women
on donkeys, ten armed men on horseback, and the balance consisted of
carriers. As we stood watching them the caravan halted and one of the
horsemen came prancing up to us with a great flourishing of his spear.
He asked us, very roughly, whence we came and whither we were bound.
Mama answered that we were from Illorin, whither we had taken loads for
a rich merchant from Kano, and were now bound for Kontogora, where we
hoped to obtain work, as we understood that the Emir was preparing for
war on the white man. He then asked our questioner if we might not join
his caravan, and if he would let us carry a load each in return for our
food. At this we were taken before the head of the party, who proved
to be an enormously fat woman. With a wave of the hand she gave her
consent, and we were forthwith enlisted in the line of coolies.

We pushed on that afternoon to some farmhouses, where we halted for
the night. The fat lady took up her abode in the headman’s hut, and
we carriers wandered about to find quarters for ourselves. For the
most part we slept in the open, beneath a great tree growing outside
the entrance to the headman’s compound. Mama and I had no intention
of losing sight of our companions, as we did not wish to let slip
this excellent chance of getting in to Kontogora, which was also the
destination of the caravan, without danger of possible discovery.
The farm people were good enough to give us food and drink, and also
supplied us with plenty of firewood.

After sitting around the fire for a short time, we coolies one by one
curled up on our mats (each carried a small grass mat) and, with our
feet to the fire, slept the dreamless sleep of the utterly weary.

Next morning I was awakened by Mama shaking me by the shoulder. My
clothes were wet with dew, and I commenced to shiver with cold, cursing
myself in my sleepy condition for being so foolish as to put myself in
such a perilous predicament.

As I arose and stretched myself I beheld silent forms passing to
and fro, and signs that the world was awakening became increasingly
evident. Then fires were lit and breakfast cooked; but not before we
had washed our eyes, mouth, and hands, uttering a few words from the
Koran the while. After partaking of boiled guinea-corn and soup, we
espied the fat lady preparing to mount her donkey, and, securing our
loads, took our place in the column that began to form up. Soon we were
once again trudging through the open country on our way to Kontogora.


All along the route I was struck with the apparent haste with which
the people were gathering in the corn. Our companions told us that the
Seriki (King) of Kontogora was preparing to wage war on the white man,
and had ordered his people to get in all their corn at once.

The day before we entered Kontogora we were overtaken by a raiding
party, who were returning to that place with their spoil--about twenty
young girls and women, as well as several little children--all tied
together, each having one wrist made fast to the neck, across the chest.

Their captors were Fulehs and Haussas, on horseback, armed with swords
and spears, and one or two with guns. Some of the poor captives looked
terribly emaciated, and could hardly get along. I saw one woman get a
slash of a hippo hide whip across the face, that sent her reeling to
the ground, with a great gash on her forehead. The incident stopped
the whole column for a few minutes, as the woman was fastened to her
fellow-prisoners by the neck, and, when she fell, prevented them from
advancing. The whip was then applied freely in all directions. The
chief of the band ordered the wounded woman’s squirming comrades to
pick her up and carry her, but they were unable to do so, being too
utterly worn out, I could see. They were coated in dust from head
to foot, and the perspiration trickling down their naked skins and
mingling with the dust made the poor things appear a sorry sight. The
band had, apparently, captured them at some far-distant spot, and must
have brought them along at a great pace, judging by the rate they were
going when they overtook us.

Furious at their inability to pick the woman up, the ruffian in command
raised his spear and plunged it three times into the body of the
prostrate woman. He followed this up by actually trampling her under
his horse’s feet, while I groaned in an agony of horror and impotent
rage at the ghastly spectacle.

The brute, having satisfied himself that his victim was dead, cut the
grass rope that bound her to her fellows with a slash of his sword,
and ordered the party to proceed. They left us at a quick walk--some
of the poor captives even running in their terror--and were soon out
of sight over a rise in the ground. Our party followed at a slower
pace in dead silence, leaving the poor mangled thing by the roadside
to provide a meal for the vultures and hyenas that would soon be on
the scene. I for one, however, realized then that no wild beast of the
desert could compare for utter brutality and lust for blood with the
human satyrs who overran that land at the time of which I write. For
miles around, between Kontogora and the Niger, and farther afield to
the north, south, and east, the smoking ruins of raided villages told
the ever-repeated tale of death and violence, robbery and rapine, and
I knew full well what would happen to me should my disguise, by any
mischance, be penetrated.

About five miles outside Kontogora our caravan was stopped by some
horsemen who came galloping towards us and drew up across our path.
They had a long parley with our chiefs before allowing us to proceed,
and only did so on payment of a toll. These men were scouts, and I
found out later that the whole country for five miles around the city
was effectually patrolled, no one being allowed to enter or leave
without permission. When we finally arrived outside the walls of
Kontogora it was night, and in the moonlight the scene was beautiful
and striking. The high castellated ramparts, with watch-towers over the
gates, looked strange and fantastic in the soft, mysterious light.

As we approached the gate we mingled with the members of another
caravan. Mama and I were at the tail of the line, about five or six
from the end. We chose this position to minimize the possibility of
trouble, although there really seemed little chance of that in such a
deceptive light. Still, there was just the chance, as we soon found out
when the head of the caravan reached the gate. Here it was abruptly
ordered to halt, and the guards held quite a long palaver before it
was allowed to proceed. At the same time a little incident occurred
that made my blood run cold for a few minutes. There was a cry of
“Abokai! Abokai! Kai!” (“Friends! Friends! Halloa, there!”) from the
gate, and the whole column was soon calling “Aboki! Aboki!” (“Friend!
Friend!”)--the Haussa manner of hailing anybody. They were shouting,
it soon appeared, for myself and Mama, and we were speedily hustled
forward by our companions. When we reached the gate our employer,
the fat lady merchant who had engaged us, indicated us to the guards
with a haughty wave of the hand. We could see a crowd of mounted and
unmounted men in the darkness of the gateway, and one among these, who
seemed gigantic in the moonlight as he rode forward on a horse equally
gigantic, curveted up to us. Striking my turban from off my head with
the tip of his spear, he loudly asked for our names. I answered that we
were two poor travellers from Illorin, come to offer our services to
the Emir. He asked us where our belongings were and the money that our
master had paid us at Illorin. I told him that the white man had met
us on the road and taken everything, as we were friends of Kontogora.
At this the captain of the gate gave vent to some extremely sulphurous
language. Then, with a slight movement of the reins, he caused his
horse to rear up on his hind legs and, with pawing fore-feet, to burst
furiously through the crowd of coolies round about us, trampling one
or two badly. Finally, the caravan was allowed to move on under the
gate into the town. As we entered, the _mallams_ (priests) were calling
to prayer, and the long-drawn cry, like an appeal for mercy, floated
through the night, striking on the air with that strange, indefinable
sense of mysticism that belongs to the East alone.

We wound in and out, out and in, through the moonlit streets with their
black shadows, their mud walls, and conical, thatch-roofed houses. Then
we emerged into the market-place, near which our employer resided.
Entering her compound, we put down our loads, and, seating ourselves,
awaited our wages. Mama and I were the first to be paid. We were handed
one string apiece of cowrie shells--equivalent to one shilling each,
at that time and place. We haggled over this like true-born carriers
for fully half an hour, and, as the fat lady’s head slave refused to
budge, accepted what we got with a blessing--and promptly received
another five hundred cowries for our good nature. The Haussa will often
do this, for, as much as he fears a curse, by so much does he value
a blessing. A great many rogues take advantage of this trait in the
native character.

Having been paid off, Mama and I left the compound rejoicing. Here we
were, in the very heart of Kontogora--scatheless! We wandered into the
market-place, where some people were still loitering, and decided to
sleep in one of the stalls and begin our investigations in the morning.

It was many hours before I got to sleep, as my feet ached fearfully and
were badly torn and blistered. During the march I had alternately gone
barefoot and in sandals to rest them, and at times I got badly knocked
about when carrying the leathers in my hand. Several times during the
night bands of young Haussas passed through the market-place, shouting
and laughing, boasting what they were going to do to the Turawa (white

Four batches of labourers passed through also, between the time we
retired and dawn, dragging dead horses out of the town. Tom-toms
were going all the night; at times the whole air quivered with the
rhythmical sounds. The quaint tinkling of the Haussa guitar rose
and fell at intervals, and from time to time the weird notes of the
“ghoghie,” or native fiddle, could be heard from the compounds. A
spirit of excitement and revel seemed to pervade the whole town.

Next morning we loitered about until the market began to fill, when we
bought some food. We then repaired to the Galadima’s residence, and
enlisted in the army of labourers that were employed in repairing the
walls of the town. Many of these labourers were slaves, sent by the
various chiefs and big men; others belonged to the Emir himself. About
four hundred of us were dispatched to the north wall. Here some made
bricks out of the soft clay; others, including myself, stood on the
wall and laid them, and yet others passed those already dried up to us
on the wall.

While working in this way I gathered a lot of information. Raiding
parties had been out all the week, I learned, and spies and runners
from Zaria brought in news every day concerning the movements of the
white men in that city. Bands of armed men were continually bringing
in slaves from the ruined villages in the surrounding country. It was
said that N’gaski and Kontogora would join forces, attack the whites in
Zaria, and drive them out. Dandugnsu and Ridjion, neighbouring towns,
had promised their support in the campaign. I also learnt that orders
had come in from the Sultan of Sokoto that the Emir was not to commence
a war against the white man, but to remain on the defensive. The Emir
of Kontogora had replied that he was quite prepared to meet all comers,
from whatever direction--a pretty broad hint to Sokoto, I thought.
One fellow laying bricks told Mama that the man who killed Lieutenant
Thomson at Bida, in the late Niger Sudan campaign undertaken by the
Chartered Company against the Fulehs of Bida and Illorin, was now in
the town and was considered a very great hero.

About midday an order came for some twenty men to repair to the Emir’s
compound. I was chosen as one of the gang, together with Mama. So
off we marched. When we arrived we found that a horse and a cow had
died, and were to be dragged out of the town and thrown into the moat
under the walls. Tying up the hind legs with grass rope, we hauled the
carcasses through the streets and out by one of the gates and dumped
them into the ditch. Having finished our unpleasant task, we trudged
back to the north wall and recommenced laying bricks.

One swaggering youngster had annoyed me very much all the morning. He
was an overseer amongst the men, and apparently one of the wealthy
young bloods of the town. Shortly after my return from removing the
dead horse this youth strutted up to me and started cursing me roundly
in Haussa, saying that I was more like a woman than a man and that
my work was no good. Finally, raising his hand, he struck me in the
mouth. Forgetting myself completely for the moment, I stepped up to the
fellow, who promptly drew his sword. Without any trouble I disarmed
him; then, catching him by the neck, I shook him like a rat and dropped
him into the ditch on the far side of the wall.

For a moment there was dead silence; next a chorus of applause and
laughter broke out. But Mama plucked me by the sleeve. “Go,” he said,
in a low tone; “I will meet you to-night, an hour after sundown, at the
place we slept in last night.”


Divining my danger, I slipped away and mingled with the crowd, nobody
venturing to interfere. I passed down some side streets that zigzagged
about confusingly, wandered in the outskirts of the town for an hour or
more, and then made my way to the market-place, which I found swarming
with people.

Buying some boiled guinea-corn, I sat down outside a stall and munched
my lunch. The woman who sold me the food was a garrulous old person,
but perfectly good-natured. She asked me all about myself, and I
told her that I had come from Zaria, where I had fled through fear
of the white men. She informed me that I had nothing to fear from
them; were it not for their guns they would be quite harmless. Then
I asked her when it was that Kontogora intended setting out to drive
the Turawa from Zaria. “Go round the blacksmiths’ shops and inquire at
the smithies,” was all the answer I could get. I thought the idea a
good one, and, bidding my new friend “Good day,” I sauntered through
the crowded market-place, stopping at various booths. In one of these
some blacksmiths were hard at work, making arrow and spear heads from
bits of iron and tin. As I stood looking at them I gathered, from
the conversation that was going on around, that some of the Emir’s
sons were expected to arrive in Kontogora that day, and that they were
bringing some of the white men’s guns with them that were taken at
Hella, when Lieutenant Keating’s party was massacred. Here was a bit
of news worth having! The conversation turning on matters that did not
interest me, I strolled on until I arrived at the head blacksmith’s
shop, near the Emir’s compound, where I watched the hammers pounding
the red-hot metal. I could see that the whole town was busy making
arms, which boded ill for the whites.

Suddenly I heard a shout of “Gashi! Gashi!” (“There he is! There
he is!”). Then there was a rush of feet, and a flash of swords in
upraised arms. Evidently my pursuers had found me out. I backed
into the blacksmith’s shop, followed by a yelling crowd, and caught
a momentary glimpse of my tormentor of the morning. Then, without
warning, something was thrown over my head, and I was dragged violently
backwards, flung to the ground, and stunned by a succession of heavy

When I came to my senses I found myself being hauled unceremoniously to
my feet, my arms bound firmly. In this ignominious state I was dragged
amid curses and cuffs through the town, a yelling crowd of bloodthirsty
ruffians surrounding me. They hauled me through a doorway into a
compound surrounded with high walls, on into a big building, through
many rooms and passages, and ultimately down some rough steps into
a filthy, stinking dungeon, reeking of mould and damp. Here, with a
violent push, I was flung headlong to the bottom, where I lay helpless
in absolute darkness.

The air was damp and chill, and the place was infested with all manner
of loathsome crawling things; I could hear them tick-ticking and
scuffling along the floor and walls. Shortly after my entry some filthy
thing touched my fingers, and I shook it off with a yell. It was a
dread place, and drove all hope of saving my life clean out of me.

How long I lay there I do not know; it was long enough, at any rate,
for a sharp attack of fever to seize me and run its course. It racked
my bones; I tossed and turned on the slimy floor, groaning aloud
in my discomfort. The hot fever-blood throbbed in my head; my eyes
and face burned, and my body became parched and dry. I moaned for
water--oh, for one drop of cool water! At one time I thought I saw
the door open and Mama enter and loose my bonds, but it was only a
vision of my disordered brain. Finally I sank into unconsciousness. I
awoke--drenched in a profuse perspiration--with men’s voices sounding
round about me. A figure was standing over me holding a lamp--an
earthenware, ewer-shaped vessel with a cotton dip--which gave a
wavering yellow radiance and cast grim dancing shadows on the walls. I
could see that the door was ajar, and a pale light was stealing into
the horrible place from outside. Roughly I was dragged to my feet. I
staggered a bit, but soon steadied myself, and--pushed, cursed, and
beaten--I accompanied my captors up the steps and out into the light of
day again, or, rather, of evening. One glorious breath of the upper air
repaid me for all that I had suffered in that black hole of Kontogora.
I did not care now if they were leading me out to kill me; I was not
going to die like a rat in that horrible pit.

As we emerged from the compound we were joined by a chattering,
mocking, hostile crowd of men, women, and children. Every now and then
one of the latter would strike me with a stick, my guards making no
effort to protect me. At last we entered the Emir’s compound and I was
taken into his presence. He was seated on a dais covered with mats and
a leopard skin, and was talking in a low monotone to some men lying
round about him on the floor of the chamber.

The young blood that I had flung over the wall, and who was the cause
of all my troubles, stepped out and told the King what I had done,
asking leave to kill me then and there. Next, to my astonishment, Mama
stepped out of the crowd and told the Emir plainly that he and I had
come all the way from Illorin to serve him, and had intended craving
his permission that morning had not my tormentor interfered and sought
a quarrel with me, in which he had got thrown over the wall for his
pains. Subsequently, through treachery, continued my faithful guide,
my enemy had had me taken and flung into prison without the Emir’s

The Emir, who seemed a decent sort of old man, listened patiently
to his two petitioners. Then, advising my enemy to calm himself, he
told one of his retainers to question me. I thanked Heaven that the
simpleness of my disguise and my grip of the Haussa tongue precluded
any very great possibility of detection. The Emir, before my questioner
started, informed the assembled crowd that, were I proved to be a rebel
and a traitor, he would hand me over to my enemy to do what he wished

My inquisitor was a type of the grovelling bully. He tried to put
one or two posers to me, but got more than he expected in return;
and I actually got a smile out of the Emir, which elicited the loud
and flattering applause of the retainers, when I suggested that my
questioner was behaving very like a traitor himself in trying to cast
a slur on the character of one of the Emir’s most faithful subjects.
I told that monarch that I had come all the way from Illorin to serve
him, and this was the way I was being treated--dragged, beaten and
bleeding, before him from a dungeon, and bound like a common slave.
Suddenly the Emir asked me how many white men there were in Borgu;
I told him about one hundred thousand, and more to come. He seemed
greatly impressed, as well he might be. I then craved permission to
enter his service, and he inquired if I could ride. I told him to try
me. This he agreed to do. If I could ride and prove myself worthy of
entering his service he said he would pardon my imprudence of yesterday
and make me a member of his bodyguard.

My bonds were cut, and as these fell from me the pain of the blood
returning to my swollen, half-numbed hands was excruciating. I managed,
however, to keep a brave face. We retired from the Emir’s presence
and waited outside under a great shady tree, where, eventually, a
fiercely-pawing stallion was brought up, and I was ordered to mount.
This I did, the brute biting, kicking, and plunging all the time. I
had to get into one of those horrible native saddles that box you
up completely, fore and aft. Once mounted, I let the horse do as he
pleased, and he led me a terrible dance, rearing and plunging about,
dashing first to one side and then another. As he was in the midst
of his attempts to buck me off, the Emir appeared and stood watching
the tussle with interest. As a matter of fact, the horse had not much
chance when once I was on his back, for I had had a great deal of
experience of the Haussa beast, and knew his ways. He soon grew tired,
and within half an hour was quite submissive. I used no stick, but just
sat quietly in the saddle. To my surprise and delight the Emir told
me that the horse was mine, and that I was to come to see him on the
morrow, about noon. I thanked him gratefully and rode off, Mama walking
by my stirrup.

After a consultation we agreed that it would be dangerous to remain
in the town any longer, as our enemies were bound to try to get the
better of us, sooner or later. We therefore arranged that Mama should
leave the town at once, and make for Boussa as best he could, on foot;
I would leave that night. We then parted, and I was left alone in the
midst of the enemy.

At sundown I rode through the south gate, but was immediately stopped
by the guard. I told them that I came by order of the Emir, but they
demanded proof. This was distinctly awkward, for, of course, I had no
proof to give. I therefore resolved upon a bold stroke. I requested
the chief to ride with me, telling him I would give him in confidence
all the proof he would require. Unsuspectingly he rode up alongside.
Leaning over towards him, I suddenly gripped him by the throat with
both hands, at the same time ramming my heels into my horse’s sides.
The startled animal leapt forward, wrenching my opponent from the
saddle with a jerk, and I swung him across my horse’s withers, where I
held him--my right hand on his throat, my left gripping his left knee,
bending him backwards like a bow. In this fashion we flew along the
path by which two days before I had entered the robber city on foot.

A howl of execration and a clatter of hoofs followed us, and a shower
of arrows and spears fell harmlessly on either side of me. When we had
gone about a quarter of a mile I slid my hapless prisoner off on to his
head, intending to stun him. My horse, feeling the relief, went away at
renewed speed, and I had no difficulty in outdistancing my pursuers,
especially as they stopped to see to their unconscious chief. I met one
party of traders coming into the town, but they stood aside to let me
thunder past, not doubting that I was an emissary of the Emir on some
urgent business. The moon was just rising as I topped a low ridge, and
all the world was soon bathed in a soft and silvery veil of light.
Kontogora was far behind in the plain, the thousand conical roofs away
in the distance looking strangely unreal.

As I drew near the five mile radius I began to wonder how I was going
to get through the line of scouts. Capture now would mean death in
some horrible form or other; at all costs I must not be taken alive.
Suddenly I heard a shout far away on my right, and in the dim light
saw a body of horsemen coming my way. Touching my mount with my
heels I again gave him his head, and he flew like the wind, with
ever-increasing speed. The pace was terrific and absolutely foolhardy
in that light, although the road was fairly good. I expected every
moment to be pitched head foremost to the ground, but the surefooted
beast kept on without a stumble. The shouts and thunder of hoofs behind
grew fainter and fainter, until at last, to my infinite relief, they
entirely died away. Still, however, I kept on. Here and there, when
the road passed through a village or beside a farm, frightened figures
would slink away into the shadows and a startled cur would burst into
a violent fit of barking, as I clattered by on my panting steed, now
reeking and white with sweat.


I rode fast all through the night, my horse showing splendid spirit
and pluck, and at sunrise halted on the banks of a river. Leaving my
hard-ridden beast to cool a little first, I then watered him and,
cutting some guinea-corn stalks from a patch near by, gave him a good
feed, munching some myself at the same time and quenching my thirst at
the river. Then, after about two hours’ rest, I proceeded, but at a
lesser speed.

I rode all that day and well into the night, finally resting by the
pool where I had cooled my heated brow on the way to Kontogora. After
some hours’ halt I pushed on again, obtaining food at farmhouses
on the way, and next evening, utterly weary, arrived at the Niger
opposite Boussa. My journey was over; I was safe at last! Arriving at
my quarters in the Niger Company’s compound, I flung myself down on my
camp bed just as I was and slept for sixteen hours.

The faithful Mama turned up four days later. He went to Yauri, a
friendly State, coming down river by canoe. For his services I
presented him with the Emir of Kontogora’s horse.

During all the years that have gone by since my secret trip to
Kontogora and my subsequent escape I have never regretted having run
the double risk of disobeying orders on the one hand and risking my
life on the other. I had been instructed to get news and I got it--not
the idle tales of paid spies, but a record of sights seen and things
heard with my own eyes and ears.


_A Voyage on an Ice-Floe._


    Dr. Grenfell may be described as the “Good Angel of Labrador,”
    having for years devoted himself to ministering to the hardy
    toilers who live in that grim land of snow, ice, and fog. In
    this enthralling story he describes how, while on an errand of
    mercy, he and his dog-team got adrift in the open sea on a tiny
    cake of ice; how he killed three of the dogs to provide himself
    with warm clothing; how he made a flagstaff out of their bones;
    and how he was finally rescued when hope was well-nigh dead.

It was Easter Sunday, but still winter with us, and everything was
covered with snow and ice. Immediately after morning service word
came from our hospital to say that messengers with a large team of
dogs had come from sixty miles to the southward to get a doctor for a
very urgent case--that of a young man on whom we had operated about a
fortnight before for an acute bone disease in the thigh.


_From a Photo. by De Youngs, New York._]

There was obviously no time to be lost, so, having packed up the
necessary instruments, dressings, and drugs, and fitted out the sleigh
with my best dogs, I left at once, the messengers following me with
their own team.

Late in April there is always a risk of getting wet through on the ice,
so that I was prepared with a spare outfit, which included, besides a
change of garments, snow-shoes, rifle, compass, an axe, and oilskin
over clothes.

My dogs, being a powerful team, would not be held back, and though I
managed to wait twice for the other sleigh I had reached a village
about twenty miles on the journey before nightfall, had fed the dogs,
and was gathering one or two people for prayers, when they caught me up.

During the night the wind shifted to the north-east. This brought in
fog and rain, softened the snow, and made travelling very bad, besides
sending a heavy sea into the bay. Our drive next morning would be
somewhat over forty miles--the first ten miles across a wide arm of the
sea, on salt-water ice.

In order not to be separated too long from my friends, I sent them
ahead two hours before me, appointing a rendezvous at a log shanty we
had built in the woods for a half-way house. There is no one living
along all that lengthy coast-line, and so, in case of accident, we keep
dry clothes, food, and drugs at the hut.

The first rain of the year was falling when I left, and I was obliged
to keep on what we call the “ballicaters,” or ice barricades, much
farther up the bay than I had expected. The sea of the night before had
smashed up the ponderous covering of ice right to the land-wash, and
great gaping chasms between the enormous blocks, which we call “pans,”
made it impossible to get off. As soon as I topped the first hill
outside the village I could see that half a mile out it was all clear

An island which lies off about three miles in the bay had preserved a
bridge of ice, however, and by crossing a few cracks I managed to reach
this island. The arm of the bay beyond this point is only about four
miles straight across. This would bring me to a rocky promontory and
would save some miles on the round. As far as the eye could see the ice
seemed good, though it was very rough. Obviously it had been smashed up
by the sea, and packed in again by the strong wind from the north-east,
but I judged it had frozen solid together again.

I set off to cross this stretch, and all went well till I was about a
quarter of a mile from the landing-point. Then the wind suddenly fell,
and I noticed I was travelling over loose “sish” ice, almost of the
consistency of porridge; by stabbing down, I could drive my whip-handle
clean through it. This “sish” ice consists of the tiny fragments made
by large pans pounding together on the heaving sea.

So strongly did the breeze now come off-shore, and so quickly did
the packed mass, relieved of the wind pressure, begin to scatter,
that already I could not see one floe larger than ten feet square. I
realized at once that retreat was absolutely impossible; the only thing
to be done was to make a dash for it and try to reach the shore.

There was not a moment to lose, so I tore off my oilskins, threw myself
out on my hands and knees by the side of the _komatik_ to give a larger
base to hold, and shouted to the dogs to go ahead.

Before we had gone twenty yards, the animals, divining their peril,
hesitated for a moment, and the _komatik_ instantly sank into the
slush. It then became necessary for the dogs to pull, and they promptly
began to sink in also. Earlier in the season the father of the very man
I was going to operate on had been drowned by his dogs tangling their
traces around him in the “slob.” This unpleasant fact now flashed into
my mind, and I managed to loosen my sheath-knife, scramble forward,
find the traces in the water, and cut them, meanwhile taking a turn
with the leader’s trace around my wrist.

There was a pan of ice some twenty-five yards away, about the size of a
dining-table, and on to this the leader very shortly climbed. The other
dogs, however, were hopelessly bogged in the slushy ice and water.


Gradually I hauled myself along the leader’s line towards the pan,
till he suddenly turned round and slipped out of his harness. It was
impossible to make any progress through the “sish” ice by swimming, so
I lay there helplessly, thinking it would soon be over, and wondering
if anyone would ever know how the tragedy happened. Suddenly I saw the
trace of another big dog, who had himself fallen through just before
he reached the pan. Along this I hauled myself, using the animal as a
bow anchor, but much bothered by the other dogs, one of which, in his
struggle for life, got on to my shoulders, pushing me farther down in
the ice. Presently, however, I passed my living anchor, and soon, with
my dogs around me, I lay on the little piece of ice. I had to help the
dogs on to it, though they were able to work their way to me through
the lane of water that I had made.

We were safe for the moment, yet it was obvious that we must be drowned
before long if we remained on this little fragment, so, taking off my
moccasins, coat, gloves, and cap, and everything that I could spare, I
tied my knife and moccasins separately on to the backs of the dogs. My
only hope of life seemed to be to get ashore at once. Had I been able
to divine the long drift before me, I might have saved, in the same way
as I saved my knife, a small bag of food. The moccasins, made of tanned
sealskin, came right up to my thigh, and, as they were filled with
water, I thought they accounted for my being able to make no progress.

Taking the long traces from all the dogs but the two lightest, I gave
them the full length of the lines, tied the near ends around my own
wrists, and tried to make the animals go ahead. Nothing would induce
them to move, however, and though I threw them off the pan two or
three times, they always struggled back on to it. Fortunately, I had
with me a small black spaniel, a featherweight, with large furry paws,
something like snow-shoes, who will retrieve for me. I threw a piece
of ice for him, and he managed to get over the “slob” after it, on to
another pan about twenty yards away. The other dogs followed him and
after much painful struggling all of them got on but one.

Taking all the run I could get on my little pan, I made a rush,
slithering with the impetus along the surface till once more I sank
through. After a tough fight I was able to haul myself by the long
traces on to this new pan. I had taken care this time to tie the
harnesses, to which I was holding, under the dogs’ bellies, so that
they could not slip them off. But the pan I was now on was still not
enough to bear us, and so this exhausting process had to be repeated
immediately to avoid sinking with it.

I now realized, much to my dismay, that though we had been working
towards the land we had been losing ground all the time, for the
off-shore wind had now driven us a hundred yards farther out. The
widening gap was full of pounded ice, which rose to the surface as the
pressure lessened. Through this no man could possibly make his way.

I was now resting on a floe about ten feet by twenty, which, when I
came to examine it, was not ice at all, but simply snow-covered “slob,”
frozen into a mass, and which I feared would very soon break up in the
general turmoil and the heavy sea, which was continually increasing as
the ice drove offshore before the wind.

At first we drifted in the direction of a rocky point on which a heavy
surf was breaking, and I made up my mind, if there was clear water in
the surf, to try to swim for the land. But suddenly we struck a rock,
a large piece broke off the already small pan, and what was left swung
around in the backwash and went right off to sea. I saw then that my
pan was about a foot thick.

There was nothing now for it but to hope for rescue. Alas! there was no
possibility of being seen by human eyes. As I have already mentioned,
no one lives round this big bay. It was just possible, however, that
the people on the other _komatik_, knowing I was alone and had failed
to keep my tryst, would, perhaps, come back to look for me. This,
however, they did not do.

Meanwhile the westerly wind--our coldest wind at this time of the
year--was rising rapidly. It was very tantalizing, as I stood there
with next to nothing on, the wind going through me, and every stitch
soaked in ice-water, to see my _komatik_ some fifty yards away. It was
still above water, packed with food, hot tea in a Thermos bottle, dry
clothing, matches, wood, and everything for making a fire to attract
attention, if I should drive out far enough for someone to see me--and
yet it was quite beyond my reach.

It is easy to see a black object on the ice in the day-time, for its
gorgeous whiteness shows off the least thing. But, alas! the tops of
bushes and large pieces of kelp have so often deceived those looking
out that the watcher hesitates a long time before he takes action.
Moreover, within our memory no man has ever been thus adrift on the bay
ice. The chances were one in a thousand that I would be seen at all,
and, even if I were, I should probably be mistaken for a fragment of
driftwood or kelp.

To keep from freezing I took my long moccasins, strung out some line,
split the legs, and made a kind of jacket, which preserved my back from
the wind down as far as the waist.

I had not drifted more than half a mile before I saw my poor _komatik_
disappear through the ice, which was every minute loosening up into
small pans. The loss of the sledge seemed like that of a friend, and
one more tie with home and safety lost.

By midday I had passed the island and was moving out into the
ever-widening bay. It was scarcely safe to stir on the pan for fear of
breaking it, and yet I saw I must have the skins of some of my dogs--of
which there were eight on the pan--if I was to live the night out.
There was now from three to five miles of ice between me and the north
side of the bay, so I could plainly see there was no hope of being
picked up that day, even if seen, for no boat could get out.

Unwinding the sealskin traces from my waist, around which I had them
coiled to keep the dogs from eating them, I made a slip-knot and passed
it over the first dog’s head, tied it round my foot close to its neck,
threw him on his back, and stabbed him to the heart. Poor beast! I
loved him like a friend, but we could not all hope to live. In fact, at
that time I had no hope that any of us would, but it seemed better to
die fighting.

In the same way I sacrificed two more large dogs, receiving a couple of
bites in the process, though I fully expected that the pan would break
up in the struggle. A short shrift seemed to me better than a long
one, and I envied the dead dogs, whose troubles were over so quickly.
Indeed, I began to debate in my mind whether, if once I passed into
the open sea, it would not be better by far to use my faithful knife
on myself than to die by inches. There seemed no horror whatever in
the thought; I seemed fully to sympathize with the Japanese view of
_hara-kiri_. Working, however, saved me from dangerous philosophizing.
By the time I had skinned the dogs and strung the skins together with
some rope unravelled from the harnesses I was ten miles on my way and
it was already getting dark.

Away to the northward I could now see a single light in the little
village where I had slept the night before. One could not help
picturing them sitting down to tea, little thinking that there was
anyone watching them, for I had told them not to expect me back for
four days. I could also see the peaceful little school-house on the
hill, where many times I had gathered the people for prayer.

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR’S DOG TEAM.

_From a Photograph._]

I had now frayed out some rope into oakum and mixed it with some fat
from the intestines of my dogs, with the idea of making a flare. But
I discovered that my match-box, which was always chained to me, had
leaked, and my precious matches were in pulp. Had I been able to make
a light, it would have looked so unearthly out there on the ice that I
felt sure they would have seen me. However, I kept the matches, hoping
that I might be able to dry them if I lived through the night. While
working at the dead dogs, about every five minutes I would stand up and
wave my hands towards the land. I had no flag and I could not spare my
shirt, for, wet as it was, it was better than nothing in that freezing
wind, and, anyhow, it was nearly dark.

Unfortunately, the coves in among the cliffs are so placed that only
for a very narrow space can the people in any house see the sea.
Indeed, most of them cannot see the sea at all, so that whether it was
possible for anyone to see me I could not tell, even supposing it had
been daylight.

Not daring to take any snow from the surface of my pan to break the
wind with, I piled up the carcasses of the dogs. Moreover, I could now
sit down on the skin rug without finding myself in a pool of water,
thawed out by my own heat. During these hours I had continually taken
off all my things, wrung them out, swung them in the wind, and put on
first one and then the other inside, hoping that what heat there was
in my body would thus serve to dry them. In this I had been fairly

My feet were the most trouble, for they immediately got wet again on
account of my thin moccasins being easily soaked through on the snow. I
suddenly thought of the way in which the Lapps, who tend our reindeer,
manage to dry socks. They carry grass with them, which they ravel up
and put into the shoe. Into this they put their feet, and then pack the
rest with more grass, tying up the top with a binder. The ropes of the
harness for our dogs are carefully “served” all over with two layers
of flannel, in order to make them soft against the animal’s sides. So,
as soon as I could sit down, I started with my trusty knife to rip up
the flannel. Though my fingers were more or less frozen, I was able to
ravel out the rope, put it into my shoes, and use my wet socks inside
my knicker-bockers, where, though damp, they served to break the wind.
Then, tying the narrow strips of flannel together, I bound up the tops
of the moccasins, Lapp fashion, and carried the bandage on up over my
knee, making a ragged though most excellent puttee.

In order to run easily and fast with our dogs in the spring of the
year, when the weather is usually warm, we wear very light clothing;
thus we do not perspire at midday and freeze at night. It chanced
that I had recently opened a box of football garments which I had not
seen for twenty years. I had found my old Oxford University running
“shorts,” and a pair of Richmond Football Club stockings of red,
yellow, and black, exactly as I wore them twenty years ago. These,
with a flannel shirt and sweater, were all I now had left. Coat, hat,
gloves, oilskins--everything else--were gone, and I stood there in
that odd costume exactly as I stood in the old days on a football
field. These garments, being very light, dried all the quicker until
afternoon; then nothing would dry any more, everything freezing stiff.

My occupation till what seemed like midnight was unravelling rope, and
with this I padded out my knickers inside and my shirt as well, though
it was a clumsy job, for I could not see what I was doing. Now, getting
my largest dog, as big as a wolf and weighing ninety-two pounds, I made
him lie down in order that I could cuddle around him. I then piled the
three skins so that I could lie on one edge, while the other came just
over my shoulders and head.

My own breath, collecting inside the newly-flayed skin, must have had
a soporific effect, for I was soon fast asleep. One hand I had plunged
down inside the curled-up dog, but the other hand, being gloveless, had
frozen, and I suddenly woke, shivering enough, I thought, to break my
pan. What I took to be the sun was just rising, but I soon found it was
the moon, and then I knew it was about half past twelve. The dog was
having an excellent time; he had not been cuddled up so warmly all the
winter. He resented my moving with low growls, till he found it wasn’t
another dog.

The wind was steadily driving me now towards the open sea, where, short
of a miracle, I could expect nothing but death.

Still I had only this hope--that my pan would probably be opposite
another village, called Goose Cove, at daylight, and might possibly
be seen from there. I knew that the _komatiks_ would be starting at
daybreak over the hills for a parade of Orangemen about twenty miles
away. I might, therefore, be seen as they climbed the hills, though the
cove does not open seaward. So I lay down and went to sleep again.

I woke some time later with a sudden thought in my mind that I must
have a flag to signal with. So I set to work at once in the dark to
disarticulate the legs of my dead dogs, which were now frozen stiff,
and seemed to offer the only chance of forming a pole to carry a flag.

Cold as it was, I determined to sacrifice my shirt for that purpose
with the first streak of daylight. It took a long time in the dark to
get the legs off, and when I had patiently marled them together with
old harness rope they formed the heaviest and crookedest flag-post it
has ever been my lot to see. Still it had the advantage of not being so
cold to hold, because the skin on the paws made it unnecessary to hold
the frozen meat with my bare hands.

What had awakened me this time, I found, was that the pan had swung
around and the shelter made by my dogs’ bodies was on the wrong side,
for, though there was a very light air, the evaporation it caused
from my wet clothes made quite a difference. I had had no food since
six o’clock the morning before, when I had porridge and bread and
butter. I had, however, a rubber band on instead of one of my garters,
and I chewed that for twenty-four hours. It saved me from thirst and
hunger, oddly enough. I did not drink from the ice of my pan, for it
was salt-water snow and ice. Moreover, in the night the salt water had
lapped up over the edges, for the pan was on a level with the sea. From
time to time I heard the cracking and grinding of the newly formed
“slob,” and it seemed that my little floe must inevitably soon go to

At last the sun really did rise, and the time came for the sacrifice
of my shirt. I stripped, and, much to my surprise and pleasure, did
not find it was half so cold as I had anticipated. I now reformed my
dog-skins, with the raw side out, so that they made a kind of coat,
quite rivalling Joseph’s. But with the rising of the sun the frost
came out of the joints of my dogs’ legs, and the friction--caused, I
suppose, by waving it--made my flag-pole almost tie itself in knots.
Still, I could raise it three or four feet above my head, which seemed
very important.

Now, however, I found that, instead of having drifted as far as I had
reckoned, I was only off some cliffs called Ireland Head, near which
there is a little village looking seaward, whence I should certainly
have been seen had the time been summer. But as I had myself, earlier
in the season, been night-bound at the place, I had learnt there was
not a single soul living there in the winter. The people had all, as
usual, migrated to their winter houses up the bay, where they get
together for schooling and social purposes.

It was impossible to wave so heavy a flag as mine all the time, and
yet I dared not sit down, for that might be the exact moment someone
would be in a position to see me from the hills. The only thing in my
mind was how long I could stand up, and how long go on waving that pole
at the cliffs. Once or twice I thought I saw men against their snowy
faces, which I judged were about five or six miles from me. In reality,
however, all the time I knew in my heart of hearts that the black
specks were only trees. Once, also, I thought I saw a boat approaching.
A glittering object kept appearing and disappearing on the water, but
it was merely a small piece of ice sparkling in the sun as it rose on
the surface.

Physically I felt as well as ever I did in my life, and with the hope
of a long sunny day I felt sure I was good to last another twenty-four
hours if my ice-raft would only hold out. I determined to kill a big
Eskimo dog I had at midday and drink his blood (only a few days before
I had been reading an account of the sustaining properties of dogs’
blood in Dr. Nansen’s book) if I survived the battle with him.

I could not help feeling, even then, my ludicrous position, and I
thought if I ever got ashore again I would have to laugh at myself
standing hour after hour waving my shirt at those lofty cliffs, which
seemed to assume a kind of sardonic grin, so that I could almost
imagine they were laughing at me. I thought of the good breakfast my
colleagues were enjoying just at the back of those same cliffs, and of
the snug fire and comfortable room which we call our study.

I can honestly say that from first to last not a single sensation
of fear entered my mind, even when struggling in the “slob” ice. It
all seemed so natural; I had been through the ice half-a-dozen times
before. Now I merely felt sleepy, and the idea was very strong in my
mind that I should soon reach the solution of the mysteries that I had
been preaching about for so many years.

It was a perfect morning, a cobalt sky and an ultramarine sea, a golden
sun, and an almost wasteful extravagance of crimson pouring over hills
of purest snow, which caught and reflected its glories from every peak
and crag. Between me and their feet lay miles of rough ice, bordered
with the black “slob” formed during the night. Lastly, there was my
poor little pan in the fore-ground, bobbing up and down on the edge
of the open sea, stained with blood, and littered with carcasses and
_débris_. It was smaller than last night; the edges, beating against
the new ice around, had heaped themselves up in fragments that, owing
to its diminutive size, it could ill spare. I also noticed that the new
ice from the water melted under the dogs’ bodies had also been formed
at the expense of its thickness. Five dogs and myself in a coloured
football costume and a blood-smeared dog-skin cloak, with a grey
flannel shirt on a pole of frozen dogs’ legs, completed the picture.

The sun was almost hot by now, and I was conscious of a surplus of heat
in my skin cloak. I began to look longingly at one of my remaining
dogs, for an appetite will rise even on an ice pan. The idea of eating
made me think of fire, so once again I inspected my matches. Alas! the
heads had entirely soaked off them all, except three or four blue-top
wax matches which were in a paste. These I now laid out to dry, and
I searched around on my snow pan to see if I could get a bit of
transparent ice with which to make a burning-glass, for I was pretty
sure that, with all the unravelled tow stuffed into my nether garments
and the fat of the dead dogs, I could make smoke enough to be seen if I
could only get a light.

I had found a piece which it seemed might answer the purpose, and
had gone back to wave my flag, which I did every two minutes, when
suddenly, for the second time, I thought I saw the glitter of an oar.
It did not seem possible, however, for it must be remembered that it
was not water that lay between me and the land, but “slob” ice, which,
a mile or two inshore of me, was very heavy. Even if people had seen
me, I did not think they could get through, though I knew all of them
would be trying. Moreover, there was no smoke rising on the land to
give me hope that I had been seen. There had been no gun flashes in the
night, and I felt sure that, had anyone seen me, there would have been
a bonfire on every hill to encourage me to keep going. So I gave it up
and went on with my work. But the next time I went back to my flag it
seemed very distinct, and though it kept disappearing as we rose and
fell on the surface, my readers can well imagine I kept my eyes in that
direction. Through my dark spectacles having been lost, however, I was
already partly snow-blind.

I waved the flag as high as I could raise it in a direction to be
broadside towards those places where I thought people might have gone
out around the ice after ducks, which is their main occupation a little
later in the year. I hoped that they might then see my flag and come
straight on for me. At last, beside the glitter of a white oar, I made
out the black speck of a hull. I knew then if the pan held out for
another hour that I should be all right.

With that strange perversity of the human intellect, the first thing I
thought of when I realized that a rescue boat was under way was what
trophies I could carry with my luggage from the pan! I pictured the
dog-bone flagstaff adorning my study--the dogs intervened, however, and
ate it later on--and I thought of preserving my ragged puttees in my

I could see that my rescuers were frantically waving, and when they
came within shouting distance I heard someone shout, “Don’t get
excited; keep on the pan, where you are.” As a matter of fact, they
were infinitely more excited than I. Already it seemed just as natural
to me now to be saved as half an hour before it seemed inevitable that
I should be lost. Had my rescuers only known, as I did, the sensations
of a bath in the ice when you cannot dry yourself afterwards, they need
not have expected me to throw myself into the water.

At last the boat came up, crashing into my pan with such violence
that I was glad enough to catch hold of the bow, being more or less
acquainted by now with the frail constitution of my floe, and being
well aware it was not adapted for collisions. Moreover, I felt for the
pan, for it had been a good and faithful friend to me.

A hearty handshake all round and a warm cup of tea--thoughtfully packed
in a kettle--inside, and we hoisted in my remaining dogs and instantly
started back, for even then a change of wind might have penned the boat
with ice, which would have cost us dearly. Indeed, the men thought we
could not return, and we started for an island, in which direction the
way was all open.


There were not only five Newfoundland fishermen at the oars, but five
men with Newfoundland muscles in their backs and arms and five as brave
hearts as ever beat in the bodies of human beings. So we presently
changed our course and forced our way through to the shore.

To my intense astonishment they told me that the night before four
men had been out on a point of land, from which the bay is visible,
cutting some dead harp seals out from a store. The ice had been
extraordinarily hard, and it had taken them till seven o’clock at night
to cut out twenty-four seals. Just at the very moment before they left
for home, my pan of ice had drifted out clear of the island called
Hare Island, and one of them, with his keen fisherman’s eyes, had seen
something unusual. They at once returned to their village, saying there
was a man on a pan, but they had been discredited, for the people there
thought it could only be the top of some tree.

All the time I had been driving along I knew well that there was one
man on the coast who had a good spy-glass, and that he had twelve
children, among them some of the hardiest young men on the coast. Many
times my thoughts had wandered to him, for his sons are everywhere,
hunting seals and everything else. It was his sons, and another man
with them, who saw me, and were now with him in the boat. The owner
of the spy-glass told me he got up instantly in the middle of tea on
hearing the news, and hurried over the cliff to the look-out with his
glass. Immediately, dark as it was, he made out that there really was
a man out on the ice. Indeed, he saw me wave my hands every now and
again towards the shore. By a process of reasoning very easy on so
unfrequented a shore, they immediately knew who it was, but tried to
argue themselves out of their conviction. They went down at once to
try and launch a boat, but found it absolutely impossible. Miles of
ice lay between them and me, the heavy sea was hurling great blocks on
the land-wash, and night was already falling, with the wind blowing
hard on shore. These brave fellows, however, did not sit down idly.
The whole village was aroused, messengers dispatched at once along the
coast, and look-outs told off to all the favourable points, so that
while I considered myself a laughing-stock, waving my flag at those
irresponsive cliffs, there were really men’s eyes watching from them
all the time.

Every soul in the village was on the beach as we neared the shore,
and everybody wanted to shake hands when I landed. Even with the grip
that one after another gave me, some no longer trying to keep back
the tears, I did not find out that my hands were frost-bitten--a fact
I have not been slow to appreciate since. A weird sight I must have
looked as I stepped ashore--tied up in rags stuffed out with oakum,
wrapped in the blood-stained skins of dogs, with no hat, coat, or
gloves, and only a short pair of knickers on! It must have seemed to
some of them as if the Old Man of the Sea had landed.

No time was wasted before a pot of tea was exactly where I wanted it to
be, and some hot stew was locating itself where I had intended an hour
before that the blood of one of my remaining dogs should have gone.

Rigged out in the warm garments that fishermen wear, I started with a
large team as hard as I could race for hospital, for I had learnt that
the news had gone over that I was lost. It was soon painfully impressed
upon me that I could not much enjoy the ride; I had to be hauled like a
log up the hills, my feet being frost-bitten so that I could not walk.
Had I guessed this before I might have avoided much trouble.

We all love life, and I was glad to be back once more with a new
lease of it before me. My colleague soon had me “fixed up,” and I was
presently enjoying a really refreshing sleep.


_From a Photograph._]

(Copyright, 1908, by Fleming H. Revell Company.)

THE WIDE WORLD: In Other Magazines.



Some years ago, a traveller recounting his experiences of the early
days of the city of Nebraska, U.S.A., says that on arriving at the odd
collection of shanties that then represented the beginnings of the
city, he inquired for the post-office, and was referred to an old chap
sitting on a log. Of this man he further inquired where he could find
the post-office, as he expected a letter. The old chap removed his
sombrero, and, fumbling inside it, produced the expected letter. Since
then Nebraska has grown into considerable importance as the capital of
the State of Nebraska.--“THE CAPTAIN.”


In British Columbia the Indians ceremoniously go out to meet the
first salmon, and in flattering voices try to win their favour by
calling them all chiefs. Every spring in California the Karaks used
to dance for salmon. Meanwhile one of their number secluded himself
in the mountains and fasted for ten days. Upon his return he solemnly
approached the river, took the first salmon of the catch, ate some
of it, and with the remainder lighted a sacrificial fire. The same
Indians laboriously climbed to the mountain-top after the poles for
the spearing-booth, being convinced that if they were gathered where
the salmon were watching no fish would be caught. In Japan, among
the primitive race of the Ainos, even the women left at home are not
allowed to talk, lest the fish may hear and disapprove, while the first
fish is always brought in through a window instead of a door, so that
other fish may not see.--“TIT-BITS.”


On the coasts of Holland, Belgium, and Northern France fisherwomen
are a familiar sight, with their great hand-nets and quaint costumes.
Many of the towns have distinctive costumes by which their women
can be recognised anywhere. Those of Maria-Kirke, near Ostend, wear
trousers and loose blouses, while their heads and shoulders are covered
by shawls. They carry their nets into the sea, and scoop up vast
quantities of shrimps and prawns, with an occasional crab or lobster
and many small fish. They often wade out till the water is up to their
necks, and they remain for hours at a time in water above their knees,
rarely returning until their baskets are full.--“WOMAN’S LIFE.”


Canada is an ideal country for the sportsman. Notwithstanding its rapid
commercial development, it still has thousands of miles of wild and
unexplored land, where man has seldom or never trodden. Even in the
Eastern provinces, within a very short distance of civilization, wild
animals of many kinds--moose, caribou, elk, deer, and even bears--still
abound. From the Atlantic coast to the Pacific slope, from the
international boundary line north to the Arctic circle, Canada offers
magnificent opportunities to the sportsman, whatever his tastes may
be; big and small game-shooting, fishing, camping, canoeing.--“FRY’S


In the little Hessean village of Nieder-Mörlen, between Giessen and
Frankfort, a strange scene may be witnessed every evening at half-past
five. Some two thousand geese, which have spent the day on the river’s
bank below the village, at a given signal from their leaders make their
way homewards with much pomp and circumstance and raucous noise. The
strangest part of the proceeding is seen when they reach the village
street and, without any guidance or driving, waddle each into its
own yard for the night. Like so many squads they break off in their
dozens from the main body, knowing instinctively their owners’ door,
and with solemn gait enter in as though conscious of their own innate
cleverness.--Mr. A.H. Ross, in “THE STRAND MAGAZINE.”


Odds and Ends.

A Wonderful Balanced Rock--What a Lightning Flash Did--The Sea
Captain’s House, etc.

Near Dome Rock, Colorado, thirty-two miles up Platte Canyon from
Denver, is situated one of the most wonderful balanced rocks in the
world. This rock, as will be seen from the illustration, is poised
with very little of its surface touching the ground. The most peculiar
feature about the boulder is the fact that it does not rest on a flat
surface of soft earth, but is perched out on an incline with a very
steep angle. The slope on which it stands, moreover, is of smooth,
solid rock, too slippery for anyone to walk up, and how the boulder
maintains its position is a mystery.


_From a Photo. by J. R. Bauer._]

Church bells and church plate, as related in a recent WIDE WORLD
article, are not the only kinds of buried treasure of which there are
traditions in Worcestershire. Mr. J.W. Willis Bund, in his “Civil War
in Worcestershire,” says: “There is hardly a family who possessed a
landed estate at the time of the Civil War that has not some legend
of concealed treasure. For instance, the Berkeleys, of Spetchley,
say their butler, to save the family plate, hid it under one of the
elms in the avenue. The butler was wounded, and tried with his last
breath to confide his secret to a member of the family, but could get
no further than ’plate,’ ‘elm,’ ‘avenue,’ and died; so that the plate
remains hidden to this day.” The occasion upon which the Berkeley
plate was hidden was the sack and burning of their family mansion
at Spetchley, upon the eve of the Battle of Worcester, by the Scots
troops who accompanied Charles II. from the North. Sir Robert Berkeley
was a devoted Royalist and had suffered much for the King, and members
of his family were serving in the Royal army; but the Scots, who had
fought upon both sides, were not careful to distinguish between friend
and foe. The only portion of Spetchley which escaped the flames was
the stabling. Here Cromwell made his head-quarters, and after the war
Judge Berkeley converted the building into a house and lived there
for many years. The elm avenue in Spetchley Park, where the plate was
buried, still exists, and is one of the finest in Worcestershire. For
the photograph given above we are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. T.
Duckworth, of the Worcester Victoria Institute.


_From a Photograph._]

The curious little building seen in the next photograph stands at the
end of a private walk on the shores of the River Orwell, in Suffolk.
It is known as the “Cat House,” for the reason that, in the “good old
times,” a white cat used to be exhibited at a window visible from the
river as a signal to smugglers, who flourished in the locality. When
the animal was shown, the “Free-Traders,” as the contrabandists were
euphemistically called, knew that the coast was clear, and promptly
sailed up and landed their cargo, secure from the attentions of the
“preventives.” Near “Cat House” is Downham Reach, which was the scene
of some of Margaret Catchpole’s most exciting adventures.


_From a Photo. by Frith & Co._]


_From a Photograph._]

The accompanying photograph depicts a terrific oil fire, which
occurred on the night of June 23rd, 1908, at Warren, Pennsylvania.
The conflagration started through a tank being struck by lightning,
and in a very short time twenty-five oil-holders, large and small,
together with the wax-house, were destroyed. The fire burned for nearly
twenty-four hours, and its fierceness is almost impossible to conceive.
The total loss incurred was something like one hundred and fifty
thousand dollars.

The extraordinary-looking dwelling seen in the next picture was
built to exactly resemble a steamship’s bridge, with chart-room and
other appurtenances all complete. This curious erection is situated
at Algorta, near Bilbao, in the North of Spain, and is called
“Casa-Barco,” or “house-boat.” It was probably built by a retired
sea-captain, who felt like a fish out of water until he had provided
for himself the same environment to which he had been used during
his active career at sea. One can imagine the old gentleman taking
his evening walk to and fro along the lofty bridge, scanning the
surrounding country with a sailor’s eye, and half inclined now and then
to ring for “more speed,” or to send an order down the tube to the


_From a Photograph._]

The cat seen in the next photograph was the pet of the crew of the
ill-fated whaler _Windward_, which was wrecked in Baffin’s Bay last
season. After the disaster pussy had a long, cold voyage in the open
boats in which the ship-wrecked men pulled--amidst ice-bergs, snow,
and tossing seas--for over five hundred miles, encountering dangers
and adventures galore, till after three weeks of fearful exposure and
hardship they were picked up by the whaler _Morning_, in which the
correspondent who sent us the picture was a passenger. “Pussy then
made up for her sufferings by making her home in my bunk,” he writes.
“During the cold nights of the Arctic autumn I found her a very good
substitute for a hot-water bottle.”


_From a Photograph._]


_From a Photograph._]

On the foreshore of the Mata Beach, Mangapai, New Zealand, stands the
remarkable rock shown above. It is an almost perfect sphere of hard
blue rock, shot with white quartz, of an entirely different formation
from any other known rocks in the district. The mystery is, of course,
to know how it reached its present position on the soft sandstone of
the beach. Popular opinion is that in distant ages it was shot from a
volcano, since extinct. The rock, which probably weighs twenty tons,
rests in a cup like depression in the sandstone formation on which it
stands, and is so nicely poised that four strong men, encircling it
with their arms and all pushing one way, can set it spinning on its


_From a Photograph._]


_From a Photograph_]

The two snapshots reproduced above illustrate striking phases of an
exciting Mexican pastime--that of flooring bulls with the hand from
horseback! The rider, galloping after the bull, seizes it by the tail
and, passing his leg over the tail for the sake of leverage, pulls the
poor beast round sideways until it trips and goes crashing to earth
amidst a cloud of dust. Needless to say, the bull-thrower needs a
strong hand and steady nerves, or he may find himself in trouble.


[Transcriber’s Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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