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Title: Wide World Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 132, March 1909
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Wide World Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 132, March 1909" ***

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



Jonathan Ingram, Lesley Halamek, and the Online Distributed


[Illustration: "I SLASHED SAVAGELY AT IT WITH MY MACHETE."

(SEE PAGE 525.)]



THE WIDE WORLD MAGAZINE.

  Vol. XXII.      MARCH, 1909.      No. 132.

SHORT STORIES.

    A further instalment of a budget of breezy little
    narratives--exciting, humorous, and curious--hailing from
    all parts of the world. This month's collection deals with a
    thrilling fight between a jaguar and a boa-constrictor, the
    tragic fate of a Canadian cowboy, and a night adventure in
    Japan.



HOW I GOT MY JAGUAR-SKIN.

BY DR. T. A. STODDARD.


In the month of November, 1907, I arrived at the Isthmus of Panama to
do some zoological work, and incidentally to get a better knowledge
of the geography of the infant republic. I landed at Colon, a dirty,
dingy town of about eight thousand inhabitants, built on a low, swampy
island separated from the mainland by a narrow but deep lagoon. Here
I secured the services of two Spaniards to act as carriers, and, going
by boat some ten miles up the coast, disembarked in a drenching rain
near the mouth of the Santa Rita River.

I carried a small supply of tinned and tabloid foods, and these we
packed through the jungle to the highest point of the Santa Rita
mountains, a distance of ten miles. We made a very comfortable camp,
and after a hearty meal turned in for the night.

I slept very little, tired though I was, being kept awake by the
howlings of jaguars, cougars, and bobcats. However, after a hasty
breakfast in the early morning, I started out alone with my Winchester
strapped on my back and carrying a single-barrelled sixteen-gauge
shot-gun in my hand. I also carried a short but sharp and heavy
machete, without which it is impossible to travel in this impenetrable
jungle of mahogany, cedar, yellow-wood, and palms of various kinds,
all supporting vines of every size and character. Some of these vines
hang from a height of seventy-five feet, touching the ground and
sending out tendrils which climb to unknown heights on other trees,
thus forming a most intricate network, through which it is impossible
to see more than a few feet ahead.

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR, DR. T. A. STODDARD, WHO WAS AN EYE-WITNESS
OF A TERRIFIC FIGHT BETWEEN A JAGUAR AND A BOA-CONSTRICTOR, OF WHICH
HE HERE GIVES A GRAPHIC ACCOUNT, AND ALSO OF HIS OWN ENCOUNTER WITH A
SECOND HUGE SNAKE.

  _From a Photograph._
]

I had been travelling for about an hour, trying to locate the source
of the Santa Rita, and winning every inch of ground by hacking and
slashing with the machete, when I was startled by a most fearful
scream, which seemed to come from somewhere immediately behind me. To
say that my blood "froze in my veins," even in this tropical climate,
would be but a poor and inadequate figure of speech to describe my
feelings. I had heard of the treachery of the San Blas Indians who
inhabit the country to the eastward, and my first thought was of them.
Turning round and looking back anxiously over the trail I had just
made, I saw a great commotion taking place among the vines, dead
leaves, and decaying branches which carpeted the ground, and the
blood-curdling screams I had heard rang out again and again. For
what seemed hours to me, but were really only seconds, I could not
comprehend what was transpiring so close to me, and what kind of
creature was giving utterance to such agonizing cries. At length,
however, venturing a little nearer, I discovered it to be a "tiger,"
or, properly speaking, a jaguar or American leopard, and it was
writhing in the coils of an enormous boa-constrictor. The great snake
appeared to have the side of the jaguar's head in its mouth, and a
coil or two of its body around the neck of the beast, which was making
frantic efforts to regain its liberty. The snake had its tail coiled
round a small ebony tree about a foot in diameter, and whenever the
hapless jaguar relaxed its efforts the serpent would swiftly release
itself from the tree and make an attempt to get another coil around
the body of its opponent.

I stood there fascinated with horror, and yet forgetting my fear in
the interest I was taking in this terrible fight between beast
and reptile. Presently the snake, with an incomprehensibly quick
movement--in fact, almost too quick for the eye to follow--succeeded
in getting two more coils around the body of the jaguar, but not
without receiving several severe lacerations from the formidable claws
of its victim. Then letting go the jaguar's head, where it seemed to
have a firm hold, the boa-constrictor raised its head, seemingly in
triumph, and, with its tail still wrapped round the tree, lifted the
body of the jaguar up in the air. I heard the bones crack under the
fearful strain, and with one awful, despairing scream the jaguar fell
back--dead!

During all this time I stood rooted to the spot, too spellbound to
stir. Now, however, I realized that I stood in considerable danger,
for other constrictors might be near, who would treat me in the same
manner as this one had treated the unfortunate jaguar. Taking a
hasty look around I saw nothing but trees and hanging vines in all
directions. I then decided that I wanted the jaguar as much as the
snake did, and, moreover, that I wanted to kill the snake. I had
a charge of small shot in the gun which I carried in my hand, and,
withdrawing this, I replaced it with a cartridge containing B.B. shot.
By this time the serpent had uncoiled himself from his dead victim and
also from the tree, and seemed to be dressing his wounds, for he was
rubbing his nose, if a snake can be said to have such an organ, over
the lacerations caused by the claws of the jaguar. Raising my gun and
taking deliberate aim, I was about to shoot the reptile through the
head, when I detected a slight rustling from the direction in which
I had been travelling. Turning round suddenly, I peered through the
hanging vines and leaves of the jungle, but could see nothing. Then,
wiping the perspiration from my forehead and out of my eyes, I looked
again carefully, but could not see anything animate.

[Illustration: A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SKIN OF THE JAGUAR KILLED BY THE
BOA-CONSTRICTOR.]

I was about to wheel again to secure my snake when I noticed that one
of the vines was swinging as if disturbed by the wind. Looking up,
I saw that not a leaf was stirring on the trees; there was no breeze
whatever. I thought this somewhat strange, and decided to investigate
more closely. So, taking my machete out of the sheath, I leaned the
gun against a tree and started cutting my way towards the swinging
vine. I had taken but a few steps when the vine swung rapidly
towards me. Then, to my intense horror, I discovered it to be another
boa-constrictor, hanging from the bough of a mahogany tree, its mouth
wide open.

Instinctively I screamed, ducked, and slashed savagely at it with my
machete. I drew some blood from its neck, but almost before I could
recover myself the creature swung viciously towards me again. I
repeated my first performance, not forgetting the yell, for I was far
too frightened to run. This time, however, I succeeded much better
with the machete, for I inflicted a severe wound over the reptile's
eye.

Again it retreated and again swung towards me, and thus we fought, I
succeeding at each swing in doing my adversary some damage. Once
it struck me on the left shoulder with the point of its lower jaw,
sending me reeling to the ground. Wildly I sprang to my feet and
dashed with renewed vigour into the struggle, cutting, slashing, and
screaming continually, without presence of mind enough to run or think
of my gun. Finally, in maddened desperation, I made a frantic slash
as the horrible thing was swinging towards me, and by the merest
good fortune caught it fairly behind the head with the sharpest and
broadest part of the machete, almost severing its head from its body.
Its tail uncoiled from the limb above and its sinuous body fell with a
crash to the ground. A second later there was another fall--myself. I
lay there trembling with weakness, fully conscious, but dripping with
perspiration and too much exhausted to stand.

After some time I remembered the jaguar and the live snake which lay
but a few yards away, and at once sprang to my feet, caught up my gun,
and turned to investigate. I speedily discovered the reason for the
snake's quiescence. The jaguar was rapidly disappearing down the
capacious throat of his successful enemy. Again I took careful aim,
and put the whole load of large shot fairly through the body of the
snake about two feet from its head and about two inches from the nose
of the jaguar, which was being swallowed whole. Having killed the
snake, I secured the skin of the jaguar, which measured from tip of
tail to nose nine feet four inches; it was a male, and beautifully
marked. The constrictor that killed the jaguar measured twenty-nine
feet two inches in length and twenty-eight inches round at the largest
part. The one with which I had the encounter was twenty-five feet long
and twenty-two inches round.

I reached camp about noon, covered with blood, but proudly carrying
my jaguar-skin, and just for fun I informed the Spaniards that I
had killed the animal with my ·22. They examined the skin for the
bullet-hole, but failed to find it. Thereupon I calmly told them that
I always shot animals like that in the eye, so as not to spoil the
skin! They now think the "Gringo" a mighty hunter indeed.



OUT OF THE SKIES.

TOLD BY LIONEL BEAKBANE AND SET DOWN BY L. H. BRENNAN.


In 1907 I was employed as a cowboy on the Wally Ranch, situated a
little to the north of Fort Saskatchewan, in Alberta, Canada. It was
there that an incident occurred which I shall never forget as long as
I live. Such a thing has never happened before in Canada, so far as I
am aware, and I hope it will never happen again.

During the particular week I have in mind we had a pretty rough time
of it and were all more or less tired out, but we had to keep going.
There had been some heavy storms and the cattle were unusually
restive, needing a lot of attention. One Thursday, about two in the
morning, we were seated round the camp fire getting something to eat.
There were five of us there, amongst us a comparative new-comer named
Harry Munroe. He was a splendid young fellow, and took to the work
from the first. He was a capital rider and a first-class shot. I had
always liked him, and used to take him with me to outlying posts on
every possible occasion. On this particular night we had a mob of
about two thousand five hundred head of cattle to look after. The
weather outlook had been very threatening for a long time. Great
clouds rolled one after the other across the face of the moon, and
presently the latter disappeared behind them altogether. The next
moment, without warning, the storm burst upon us. In an instant we
were on our horses, everyone ready for action, for each man of us knew
that at the first flash of lightning the cattle would stampede. Only
those who have experienced the spectacle of a thunderstorm on
the American prairies can have any idea of its grandeur. It is a
magnificent display of Nature's powers for a human being who can
understand and appreciate it, but a terrifying thing indeed for a herd
of helpless beasts.

I thought it best to take young Munroe along with me, as he was not
experienced enough in following a stampede to go alone. The three
others were old hands and needed no directions. Very often the cattle
will suddenly turn right about without any warning, and it needs an
experienced and cool-headed man to keep his saddle and save his life
when such a thing occurs.

We had not long to wait--only a few seconds--and then our work
began. A flash of baleful light zigzagged across the skies, and the
terror-stricken beasts rushed off headlong into the night. It was
an appalling sight to see the fear-maddened brutes racing over the
prairie. Heads upraised, mouths open, and tails lashing the air, they
neither knew nor cared where they were going. Sometimes one would
stumble and fall, only to be immediately trodden under foot by his
comrades, and the thudding of their feet could be heard as a dull
rumble in the lulls of the storm.

On and on they went in their mad career, horses and men close behind
them. We could do nothing but follow them and, when the storm abated,
collect them and drive them back to the station. The rain came down in
torrents and the lightning almost blinded one, so vivid and terrific
were the flashes, while the claps of thunder which followed seemed to
shake the earth. We had been going at a tremendous pace for perhaps
ten minutes, when a small range of hills loomed up in front. I knew
what would happen when the cattle reached this, and was of course
prepared. I yelled out to Munroe to keep close to me, so as to follow
my instructions.

"The beasts will stop at these hills and either wheel round or else
turn off to the right or left," I shouted.

Suddenly the whole herd stopped and, sniffing the air for a moment,
seemed undetermined what course to take. At that critical moment an
awful flash of lightning rent the air, completely blinding me for
a moment, and simultaneously I heard a terrific report immediately
behind me. These two occurrences decided the cattle, and they turned
and went pell-mell along the foot of the hills to the right. For the
moment I scarcely knew what had happened, but as the last of the herd
disappeared I turned round and called to young Munroe. "Are you there,
Harry?" I cried, but I got no answer. Again and again I shouted,
riding a little distance after every shout, but no answering hail
reached me. I knew Munroe would not follow the herd without me, and at
length I came to the conclusion that something must be amiss with him.
Perhaps his horse had stumbled and thrown him, or he had been caught
and overwhelmed by the passing herd. There was nothing to be done,
however, but to wait for the daylight; I dare not move in the pitch
blackness for fear of trampling upon him.

Already drenched to the skin, and with the rain still pouring down in
torrents, the lightning and the deafening peals of thunder combined to
make that night the most miserable of my existence. I had to keep on
the look-out, too, for any signs of the cattle, as they might easily,
from some cause or another, return along the base of the hills.

They did not appear, however, and so I kept my watch through that
awful night alone. I do not know how long the storm lasted, but it
must have been two or three hours at least.

[Illustration:

LIONEL BEAKBANE, THE COWBOY WHO HERE TELLS THE STORY OF THE TERRIBLE
FATE THAT BEFELL HIS COMPANION ON THE PRAIRIE DURING AN APPALLING
THUNDERSTORM.

  _From a Photograph._
]

At last, to my infinite relief, the dawn arrived, and I looked round
anxiously for some signs of Harry Munroe. I had not gone far when, at
a short distance, I discerned the figures of poor Harry and his horse,
lying motionless on the ground. Leaving my own horse I ran towards
them. It was apparent, long before I reached them, that both man and
horse were dead.

[Illustration: "THE LIGHTNING HAD STRUCK MUNROE'S CARTRIDGE-BELT,
KILLING MAN AND HORSE ON THE SPOT."]

"Good heavens!" I involuntarily exclaimed, as I came nearer. "What
has happened?" Then, suddenly, I realized the awful thing that had
occurred. The lightning had struck Munroe's cartridge-belt, exploding
the whole of the cartridges simultaneously, and killing man and horse
on the spot. Poor Munroe! It was a terrible end; the only consolation
was that it must have been instantaneous.

Shocked and saddened by this awful calamity I stayed by my dead
friend, for I knew the boys would soon be coming to seek us. Then,
a very quiet procession, we bore our poor comrade's body off to the
ranch for burial.



A NIGHT ADVENTURE IN YOKOHAMA.

BY P. V. ALPISER, OF THE BUREAU OF POSTS, MANILLA, PHILIPPINE
ISLANDS.


The traveller who has visited Japan has, as a general rule, nothing
but good to say of the land and its very polite people; and as a
rule, also, it may be said that such praise is well merited, for the
Japanese certainly try exceedingly hard to please all visitors, and,
if they do not always succeed, the fault in all probability lies with
the visitors and not with the people. Unpleasant experiences rarely
occur to the foreigner in the domains of the Mikado. The Japanese
cities and the country are perfectly policed, and robberies are seldom
heard of. However, I can testify from personal experience that one
_can_ meet with unpleasant incidents in this well-regulated kingdom.

In the early spring of 1903 I was journeying to the Philippines, and
arrived in Yokohama during the latter part of April--in the midst of
the cherry-blossom season, a most delightful time to visit Japan. The
air was full of the agreeable aroma of the cherry blossoms, and all
Yokohama was in festival attire, making a scene of great animation and
gorgeousness.

On the evening of my last day, after dinner, I strolled through the
main streets of the city, down gay Theatre Street, with its rows of
flaunting, unreadable banners, and far out along a broad avenue across
a number of oddly-constructed wooden bridges, not noticing and not
caring whither I went.

My walk took me much farther than I had supposed, and when I started
to return I discovered that a strong wind was blowing and a storm
threatening. When about half-way back to the steamship pier I found,
to my annoyance, that I had lost one of my gloves, and decided that
I had left it in the small restaurant where I had had dinner--a
very nice place kept by a Japanese family who had lived in Boston,
Massachusetts, for a number of years, and which the doctor of our ship
had highly recommended. It seemed to me that I could not be very far
from this place, and I decided to call in for my glove. The restaurant
was located in a side street in the curio district of the city,
branching off from the main thoroughfare I was on.

When I turned down this side-street it was entirely deserted. Not
a living thing was in sight and the road was absolutely and totally
dark, neither the city nor the residents, apparently, providing any
lights to illuminate the street. I had gone some little way down this
gloomy lane when a door on the opposite side of the street suddenly
burst open and two men jumped out and came running towards me. I
stopped and asked them the whereabouts of the restaurant. One of them
answered gruffly, and in bad English, that he did not know. I turned
to go on, noting out of the tail of my eye that the men, after
speaking together for a moment, followed me.

As I walked slowly away one of the pair gave a peculiar call.

It was instantly responded to by two more men, who stepped into the
street from a house just behind me, and as the light from within the
doorway shone upon them for a brief moment I plainly saw the glint of
steel from a long knife one held in his hand.

Late that afternoon, as it happened, I had bought a heavy,
curiously-carved cane as a souvenir, and, fortunately, I had this cane
with me. Now, realizing that I was in a tight corner, I increased my
pace somewhat, swinging the cane with the small end in my hand, and
watching narrowly to prevent any one of the four from getting in front
of me, or stealing upon me unawares from behind.

In another moment I saw they were preparing for a rush, and I knew
that, although I might down one or two of them with my stick, the
others would easily overpower me. Vainly I looked up the street; no
one was to be seen! The houses on both sides were as black as pitch;
there was not a light anywhere! Not even a star twinkled above, for
heavy clouds obscured the sky.

For some reason it did not occur to me to call for help. In fact, I
have always been a rather silent man, doing my work in the quietest
manner possible, and taking my diversions in the same manner. I do
not think I should have uttered a sound if these ruffians had ended
my career then and there. Perhaps a cry would have brought me ready
assistance from a score of adjacent houses, but it never occurred to
me to give it.

I had proceeded but a short distance, always with an eye on my
followers, when I saw, or felt, perhaps, that the rush was coming.
I heard no sound, for the rascals were absolutely noiseless in their
movements.

Hastily I jumped to the nearest house and, with my back to it,
prepared to lay about with my stout stick. The four villains were
right at my heels, he with the knife a little in advance of the
others. A picture of the group at that moment would have made a most
interesting souvenir of Japan.

I was just beginning to regret that I had not suffered the loss of
my glove without protest, when the foremost scoundrel made a lunge
towards me. Simultaneously, a loud ringing, clanging sound smote my
ears, and the quartet disappeared from my view like magic. I am not
sure now that I did not rub my eyes vigorously to see if I was awake.

The noise that had saved me proceeded from the next side-street
parallel to the one I was on, and I was at a loss to account for
it. It was repeated time after time, gradually growing fainter, and
finally ceasing altogether.

Needless to say, I took instant advantage of the respite thus afforded
me, and hurried along at my best pace. I felt sure that my late
assailants would not give up their attempt so easily, and before I had
gone thirty steps my fears were realized.

Glancing back nervously every few yards, I presently saw several dark
shadows gliding along behind me, and I unconsciously drew over towards
the opposite side of the street. As I passed very near the door of a
house that protruded into the street some little way beyond the other
buildings a side door burst open ahead of me and a young Jap stood in
the doorway just long enough for the lamplight to strike squarely on
his face and to reveal, to my surprise, the features of my rickshaw
man of that very afternoon!

A low whistle sounded from behind me and the man jumped out of the
door and stepped in front of me. It was quite plain to me that this
rickshaw man, having seen that I carried considerable money that day,
had organized this attempt to rob me, and that he was determined to
succeed at any cost.

I was surrounded, but, so far as I knew, only one of the precious lot
had a weapon--the man with the knife. I felt the rush again, the one
in front and the two or three behind, and I jumped towards the house,
but was compelled to turn before reaching it and defend myself.

My rickshaw man was the first upon me, and I had the sweet
satisfaction of laying him flat on his back with a tremendous crack
over the head. At the same instant, before I could turn, I felt the
sharp swish of something flying past my head and heard the ripping of
cloth at my side.

[Illustration:

MR. P. V. ALPISER, WHO WAS ATTACKED BY ROBBERS IN A DARK STREET IN
YOKOHAMA.

  _From a Photograph._
]

The man with the knife had slashed at me and had cut my clothes open
from my right shoulder to my hip, but, luckily, so far as I could
feel, without even scratching the skin. I swung about quickly, and
as he raised his arm for another and perhaps more effective stroke
brought my cane down fiercely on his arm; the knife fell to the ground
with a clatter. Another of the rascals stooped to pick it up, while
the rickshaw man began to sit up. It was a critical moment, but the
age of miracles is not yet past!

Again that harsh, ringing clang broke through the blackness of the
night, and this time from almost at my side, and a moment later
into the street, a few doors away, there stepped a black figure, and
brought a long steel rod down on the hard ground with a noise that
sent all four of my assailants scuttling away into complete obscurity
for once and all.

My rescuer was clad in a long black cloak with a sort of helmet on his
head, also black, and carried a steel rod, perhaps eight feet long,
to which were attached several iron rings and a long chain. He was,
it appeared, a night-watchman, and as he proceeded on his rounds he
struck the ground with the rod, thus announcing to all, evil-doers and
righteous as well, that an arm of the law was at hand. This quaint
old watchman--for he was quite old and grizzled--in his queer costume,
seemed a relic of the Middle Ages; he was quite different from the
regular Japanese policemen in their smart and jaunty uniform.

I stepped forward and, kicking something with my foot, stooped to see
what it was, and found the knife which the would-be robbers had failed
to carry off with them. The watchman silently surveyed me for a time,
and then to my surprise spoke slowly in English. "You no good here!"
he said; "go hotel soon!"

I lost no time in taking his advice, and in about an hour's time
reached the hotel near the pier. To my intense astonishment, however,
I found the doors locked. I tried for a few minutes to rouse someone,
but failed entirely.

I then went to three other hotels, without better result. This
consumed some time, of course, and finally, giving up in disgust, I
walked back to the pier, entered the Customs House, and saw it was but
a little past eleven o'clock. Think of it! Hotels closed, locked,
and barred at 11 p.m.! This was another new experience for me; I had
evidently not yet learned everything about Japan.

[Illustration: "I HAD THE SWEET SATISFACTION OF LAYING HIM FLAT ON HIS
BACK WITH A TREMENDOUS CRACK OVER THE HEAD."]

I then tried to get a boatman to take me out to my ship, but none
would do so, all saying that a typhoon was blowing. "No can do;
too much typhoon; turn boat down up!" There was nothing to be done,
therefore, but to wait in a corner of the Customs House for daylight.
When it came I hailed a sampan and went to the steamer, taking with me
my cane and the knife--interesting souvenirs of my night's adventure.



[Illustration: TEN LIONS in a DAY!]

By Walter Cooper.

    The story of an exciting day's sport on the Athi River,
    British East Africa. The lions came not singly, but in troops,
    and no fewer than ten fell to the rifles of the party of
    three! The last lion, however, nearly bagged a member of the
    party before being killed by a plucky native.


We were visiting British East Africa in quest of big game, and on
our arrival at Mombasa at once proceeded by the railway to Stony Athi
Station, taking with us a Swahili headman named Abdullah, a cook, four
gun-bearers, three tent boys, and over fifty porters, who had been
engaged in advance for us by one of the leading trading houses.

Soon after leaving Mombasa one gets into a very desolate thorn-bush
country, which continues without intermission till one reaches Voi.
After Voi one catches occasional glimpses of antelope in the thin
thorn-bush, but it is not until the Capiti plains are reached that
they are seen in numbers.

The vibration of the train unfortunately made the use of field-glasses
impossible, but for all that we saw numbers of zebras and Grant's and
Thomson's gazelle; and once we descried a rhino walking ponderously
along about half a mile off. The country from here onward is
similar in character, being perfectly open plain with short grass,
occasionally broken by a dry watercourse, whilst on either side hills,
or rather rows of kopjes, rose up in clumps. From the dak bungalow at
Kia we could see Kilimanjaro, rising majestically from the flat plain
and looking about four miles off instead of the seventy odd which we
knew it to be. It was cold at this point, as we arrived quite early in
the morning, and we were very thankful for our excellent breakfast.

We all felt rather forlorn, being dumped down on to the station
platform with no one but a Babu station-master to give us advice,
for we were all new at the game except Captain H----, who had done a
little shikar in India. He had brought with him his sister, Miss Sybil
H----, who, being a born sportswoman, was anxious to try her hand at
big game.

The station-master soon fired our imaginations by telling us that five
lions came to drink at a spot close by at which, as it was too late
that day to go farther, we should have to camp. We got our loads
carried there, and soon had the tents up. We also built roaring fires
all about the camp, for, though we were very anxious to meet a lion,
we did not want our first encounter to take place in the middle of the
night. However, none turned up, so next day we made a march of about
eight miles to Lucania, a kopje of considerable height, round which
lions were said to be numerous.

Daybreak showed us a herd of hartebeeste within half a mile of us,
whilst farther off were two small herds of zebra and several lots of
Grant's gazelle and "Tommies," as Thomson's gazelle is usually called.
They were all somewhat shy, but we each managed to bag something, Miss
H---- getting two wildebeeste and Captain H---- an impala.

These uncanny-looking beasts were scarce where we were at that
particular time; we were told they migrated to Kilimanjaro and
returned later. This certainly seemed to be correct, as later on we
saw them blackening the plain quite close to Nairobi. I was with the
young lady when she bagged them, and it occurred in rather a lucky
way. We were sitting under a thorn-bush in a little depression, when
we saw the two wildebeeste coming towards us at a trot. As they got
near their movements became most threatening. After standing for a few
moments surveying us they threw up their heels and, with heads down
and tails waving, charged savagely straight at us. They made several
stoppages in order to inspect us better, but the demonstrations grew
more and more savage, and they had got within sixty yards when Miss
H---- took a steady aim at the biggest and fired. He turned and rushed
off at a terrific pace, the other following suit. Number one, however,
had not covered more than fifty yards when he fell dead, and his
comrade, pulling up to see what was happening, was killed by a second
shot from Miss H----'s Mauser.

We were much elated at her success, as wildebeeste are most
imposing-looking. We afterwards learnt that the apparently savage
charge was nothing more than sheer curiosity concerning an object
which they could not distinctly identify. Hassan, Miss H----'s
gun-bearer, being a devout Mohammedan, rushed up to "chinja" the
animals, their religion prescribing that unless the throat has been
cut from ear to ear, and the blood allowed to flow, the meat is
unclean. The Swahilis were very particular about this so long as it in
no way interfered with their convenience.

The following morning we had just started breakfast when one of the
porters came running in to say that whilst he was gathering firewood
he had seen seven lions, including three fine maned ones. We started
at once, accompanied by our gun-bearers and two Masai boys who were
recommended to us to carry second guns. We were all armed alike,
having Rigby's ·275 Mausers loaded with double ·450 cordite.

The plain hereabouts was broken up by watercourses, in some of which
water still remained, and owing to the moisture there were some large
trees and more bush marking the course than in other parts; indeed,
we could tell exactly where the watercourses were by the lines
of vegetation. Large beds of high reeds covered some of these
depressions.

On our way to the place where the lions had been seen we had to cross
a perfectly open grassy plain, intersected every now and then by
small, dry watercourses. Any one of these might hold a lion, as he
is an animal who likes to slink along unseen. Every donga we came to,
therefore, we searched, expecting to find lions. We passed a lot of
game on the way, but were afraid to fire for fear of disturbing the
lions. Miss H---- was radiant at the prospect, and it required all
our firmness to prevent her rushing on ahead, such was her eagerness.
Personally I was also very keen to get a lion, but I had a lurking
consciousness of my inexperience, which was not improved by the
fearful lion stories, true and otherwise, with which we had been
regaled by every man we met. Captain H---- showed no emotion of any
sort. He was an old hand at meeting danger, but I could not help
admiring his unmoved expression, which showed that he knew what danger
was and was prepared to meet it. Miss H----, on the other hand, had
forgotten all about danger, and her only thought was to get to close
quarters with the utmost speed.

[Illustration:

THE AUTHOR, MR. WALTER COOPER, WHOSE PARTY OF THREE BAGGED TEN LIONS
IN ONE DAY.

  _From a Photograph._
]

We were not far from the trees when we saw a lion slinking along
a depression in the ground towards a clump of dry reeds, which he
entered. After a council of war, it was decided that one of the men
should go round and set fire to the reeds, whilst we posted ourselves
as for a pheasant drive. Miss H---- was in the middle, facing the
reeds, whilst Captain H---- was on her left and I was on her right.
Soon the reeds were blazing high, with a noise like a waterfall. A
crashing, as of a big beast coming in our direction, made our hearts
beat faster, and soon out came, not a lion, but a poor little female
reedbuck, followed soon after by her lord. We let them go with a shock
of disappointment, not unmixed with relief.

An instant later, however, straight in front of Captain H----, a large
lioness bounded across a gap in the reeds, followed by several other
forms not easily distinguishable. She had evidently seen us, for
immediately after the rushing sound stopped and growls succeeded,
increasing in volume as the flames came nearer.

Suddenly, without the slightest warning, out rushed no fewer than
seven lions, no doubt the ones the porter had previously seen. They
passed between Miss H---- and myself, and appeared to be in full
flight, when two lionesses, apparently attracted by the movement the
young lady made in putting up her gun, turned and made straight for
her. They were exactly in a line between me and her, so that I was
unable to shoot. Miss H---- had not descended from a long line of
soldiers for nothing. Standing up boldly, she put in three shots
as they advanced. The first lioness went over like a rabbit, with a
bullet in its left eye which penetrated the brain; the two other
shots merely checked the second. Unable to do anything to help her, in
another instant I expected to see Miss H---- hurled to the ground and
worried to death by the enraged beast. But at this critical juncture
her gun-bearer, Hassan, thinking matters were getting somewhat too
exciting, took to his heels.

[Illustration: MISS SYBIL H----, THE PLUCKY GIRL WHO SHOT FOUR OF THE
LIONS.

  _From a Photograph._
]

The lioness, attracted by the sight of the fleeing man, or else afraid
of the fearless figure in front, who was not to be intimidated by her
charge, swerved off suddenly and made after the fugitive. The man had
not more than twenty yards start, and the great brute rapidly overtook
him. Miss H---- fired again, and we men both fired as well, but we
were not near enough to make a good running shot. The wretched man,
with a courage born of desperation, turned at the last moment and
hit at the lioness with his rifle. The blow fell a bit short, and the
enraged brute, snapping at what came nearest, caught the weapon in her
mouth at the muzzle. The pace at which she was travelling was so great
that Hassan was hurled backwards, and in falling his finger caught the
triggers, letting off both barrels. By the most extraordinary piece
of luck the rifle was pointing straight down the beast's throat at the
moment, and down she went, with her head nearly shot away, right
on top of him. When we had at length hauled him out he was a
deplorable-looking object, simply smothered in blood, chiefly the
lioness's, for his only wounds were claw-marks on his thigh, caused
by the contraction of the animal's muscles after death. These were
slight, however, and as soon as Hassan realized he had, albeit
accidentally, shot the lioness himself, he began to strut about in
a ludicrous fashion, bragging to the other men as to what a great
lion-killer he was.

[Illustration: "THE LION SWERVED OFF SUDDENLY AND MADE AFTER THE
FUGITIVE."]

Miss H----, who, in spite of the narrow escape she had had, seemed
to have forgotten it already in her pride at having killed her first
lioness, insisted on following up the others, who had now gone into
some long grass on the open plain. We therefore advanced in line,
about eighty yards apart. We had gone about a mile when my gun-bearer
pointed out the top of a lion's head and ears, just visible above the
grass in a hollow. We passed the word along and at once made for the
place. There was a dry watercourse here, and just in front of Miss
H---- along the edge of it were some big rocks. She was within fifty
yards when, in the gap between the stones, she saw a head. She fired,
and it disappeared. A moment later up it came again. Another shot,
and again it disappeared, only to reappear a third time. Once more she
pulled trigger, and then there was a veritable stampede, for a lion
and five lionesses broke out of the grass, galloping in huge bounds
across the plain. They passed right across my front, and my second
bullet knocked over the lion as dead as a door-nail and my fourth a
lioness, which I got with a lucky shot at the back of its head.

[Illustration: ONE OF THE TEN LIONS KILLED BY THE AUTHOR'S PARTY.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Captain H----, who had seen them coming, had kept down out of sight,
for fear they should pass out of range, and they went straight towards
him. On seeing him they stopped, giving him an easy shot at about
forty yards. He killed one lioness, and then, taking his ·450 from his
gun-bearer, took the neatest right and left I ever expect to see at
the other two, who, having separated, were rushing past him at about
sixty yards' distance. This made seven lions that we had seen dead, or
as good as dead, and we expected to find the eighth, which Miss H----
had had three shots at. What was our amazement and delight when, after
a very cautious approach to the rocks, we found not one, but three
fine maned lions lying dead in a heap, a Mauser bullet through the
brain of each! Two had light-coloured manes, whilst the other had a
black one.

[Illustration: "THE LION ROSE UP AS IF UNHURT AND JUMPED AT CAPTAIN
H----."]

They must have been a different lot entirely to the other troop,
and, as each one fell, the next one, excited by curiosity, must have
stepped on to a slab of rock which enabled him to see through the gap
in the rocks. Hence, what appeared to be the same lion was in reality
a different one each time. It was an extraordinary piece of luck, as
they evidently could not quite understand what Miss H---- was, as she
and her gun-bearer were sitting down, and, the distance being short,
she was able to make a dead shot at each.

Captain H---- had just left us to look at my two lions, when we heard
a terrific growl and my apparently dead lion rose up as if unhurt and
jumped at Captain H----. He did not spring; he simply pushed him over.
The Captain had no time to do anything, and went down like a log, the
impetus of the lion's movement sending him yards away. Miss H---- and
I, after an instant of absolute stupefaction, rushed for our guns,
which we had put down. Before we had time to shoot, however, it was
all over. The Masai boy, who was following close beside Captain H----,
with the splendid pluck of his race, drew his _simé_ (a sort of sword,
with all its weight at the business end) and hit the lion across the
spine. The beast simply stiffened spasmodically, and before it had
time to fall over the plucky Masai had sheathed his weapon in the
beast's shoulder three or four times. Then we rushed up to Captain
H----, who looked in a terrible plight; he was covered with blood from
head to foot, and unconscious.

We had, during the chase, got nearer the railway line, and we could
see a train in the distance puffing slowly up the incline towards Athi
River Station. The Masai are very fine runners, so we dispatched one
of them to stop the train, and proceeded to contrive some sort of a
litter to carry Captain H---- in. Miss H----, with a woman's wit, at
once proposed to skin a lion and use its hide. We accordingly started
to rip off the skin of the very beast which had mauled him, having
first propped up our coats over Captain H---- to give him a little
shade. What was our joy, in the middle of our work, to hear his voice
and see him sitting up, smiling as well as he could from a face that
was all blood except what was dirt. He said he felt perfectly well,
and could easily walk back to camp.

It appeared that he had simply been stunned by the terrific fall he
had had, and that he remembered nothing more till he woke and found
himself under a canopy made of our coats. On examining him, expecting
to find a shattered arm, we were astounded to find he had only
received some very nasty-looking gashes. The explanation of this we
soon saw. My shot, which appeared to have killed the lion, had hit the
beast at the base of the jaw, smashing the bone to pieces and stunning
him. When he dashed at Captain H---- his lower jaw was absolutely
useless, so that the upper teeth only acted as a rake instead of
nut-crackers.

However, the wounds looked serious enough, for we knew that very few
men recover from lion-bites, most of them dying of blood-poisoning.
Captain H----, however, was able with assistance to walk very
comfortably the mile which separated us from the line, and before
we got to it we were met by an engineer on the railway, who had his
travelling carriage attached to a goods train. He at once placed
the carriage and train at our disposal, and, best of all, produced a
bottle of carbolic crystals. He insisted that the carbolic should be
put in undiluted, as the action of the pure acid is so rapid that it
kills the tissues which it touches so quickly that no pain is felt.

Certainly this seemed to hold good, for Captain H---- took it quite
calmly, and assured us he was in no great pain. We all took the train
for a few miles to the point nearest our camp, when I left them. It
was arranged that I was to pack up the camp and follow into Nairobi,
Miss H---- and the engineer attending the patient to the hospital,
where, it appeared, he would have to stay for a period, as a high
temperature was by this time apparent, coupled with a feeling of
extreme exhaustion, caused by reaction after his narrow escape. I had
also to superintend the skinning of the lions, which Captain H----, in
spite of his condition, was most anxious about. I was much relieved
to hear the next day that he was going on splendidly, though still
prostrated by the shock and likely to be detained in hospital for the
next few weeks to get his arm healed.

The Masai boy we sent away rejoicing with a present of a cow, as well
as some smaller gifts in money and kind. Cattle are the one and only
form of riches amongst the Masai--except, perhaps, wives--so he was
proportionately pleased, and promised to join us again as soon as we
were ready to start. But we hardly expect to bag ten lions in a day
again.

[Illustration:

THE MASAI BOY (ON LEFT) WHO SAVED CAPTAIN H----'S LIFE, AND HASSAN THE
GUN-BEARER.

  _From a Photograph._
]



MY FRIEND DALTON: A Tale of the Klondike.

By HARRY DE WINDT.

    Twice--and twice only--the famous explorer met "Dalton," the
    gentleman wanderer, and he here relates the story of the two
    encounters and the tragic episode which finally revealed to
    him the man's real character.


"Good-bye, De Windt; I don't envy you the trip," were the last words
that rang in my ears as the lights of Vancouver faded away in the
wintry darkness.

My friends were right. Business of vital importance called me, or I
should certainly not have left Vancouver at a season when the journey
to Montreal is generally attended with discomfort, not to say danger.
In the summertime it is pleasant enough, for the scenery outrivals
that of Switzerland, and the Canadian Pacific Railway is justly noted
for the perfection of its cars and cuisine. But now the passes were
blocked by snow, and a train had recently been "held up" in the wild,
mountainous district between Banff and Calgary. It was Christmas Eve,
so that I had the cars pretty much to myself. Indeed, east of Lytton,
where a party of Victorians left us to spend the New Year, the train
was practically empty. We numbered, after leaving Lytton, a dozen
passengers in all; none too many to dig a way through the drifts
which, to judge from the steadily-falling snow, were grimly looming
ahead.

The prospect of a week or more of weary travel was not inviting, and
I dined the first evening unable to appreciate a dinner worthy of the
Paris boulevards. The cheerless meal over, I smoked a solitary cigar
in a dimly-lit and silent "smoker," and towards bedtime summoned the
conductor, in sheer desperation, to share a hot grog. Afterwards I
sought my couch. But the frequent stoppages due to the tempest
and driving snow kept me awake--a revolver handy in case of
a "hold-up"--until a cold grey dawn was peering through the
window-blinds. For notes to the amount of thirty thousand dollars
reposed in a note-case under my pillow, and the fact that a friend in
Montreal was awaiting them did not tend to lessen my anxiety.

But fortune and the Arctic weather favoured us, for a starving
wolf would scarcely have faced that blinding blizzard, let alone a
train-robber. We were detained for a time by a fallen snow-shed,
but we forged steadily ahead through minor difficulties, and, on the
morning of the third day, steamed safely into Calgary. Here I put away
my pistol with an easy mind, for open country now lay before us. The
robbers who lurked in the mountains, where trackless forests on either
side of the line afford an easy means of escape, were not likely to
trouble us on the plains.

Dark days were now followed by a blue sky and brilliant sunshine as
we rattled over the prairie, clad in a mantle of dazzling snow. The
monotony of this journey can only be realized by those who, day after
day, have watched the same dreary landscape unfold, as void of life
and colour as the moon itself. A desert, in summer, of withered grass;
in winter the scene of snow-clad desolation so wearies the eye that
the sight of a ruined log-hut or a solitary crow comes as a positive
relief. It was therefore some consolation when, at the little log-town
of Regina, a solitary passenger entered the train.

I surveyed the new-comer with an interest engendered by three days of
solitary boredom. He was middle-aged, with the clean-shaven, clear-cut
face and keen grey eyes common in America, but which, upon this
occasion, were clearly imported. For, although the man's appearance
betrayed rough experiences, his tattered tweeds retained a certain
symmetry more suggestive of Bond Street than Broadway. A "Zingari"
ribbon round his shabby grey hat also hinted at the wearer's
nationality, which was further proclaimed when he called in pure
English for a whisky and soda. The speaker was a gentleman, as shown
by his manner and certain subtle signs that denote the species all
over the world. At first I put him down as a wealthy sportsman, but
the usual arsenal and piles of personal baggage were missing. The
traveller, whoever he was, was uncommunicative, for he drained his
whisky at a draught with a sigh of relief, lay full length upon the
cushions, and slept like a baby until dinner-time.

I generally mistrust the chance acquaintance on Canadian railway cars,
but there was nothing of the "sport" or "bunco-steerer" about this
man. At dinner we got into conversation, and the discovery of mutual
acquaintances in England banished any lingering suspicions on my part;
my companion was apparently glad, after many months of solitude, to
exchange ideas with a fellow-countryman. The stranger had not seen
England for seven years, during which period he had apparently tried
his luck at most things--from gold at Coolgardie to rubies in Rangoon,
in the lazy, desultory fashion of one to whom money is no object.
His name, "Edgar Dalton," told me nothing, but the magic words, "Turf
Club," in a corner of his card augured much. I expressed surprise at
this lengthened and voluntary exile, but Dalton's sudden change of
manner warned me that I was skating on thin ice. Domestic trouble,
perhaps, or a woman, had sent him aimlessly roving over the world,
and, anyhow, it was no business of mine. My eccentric friend had
lately turned his attention to fur trading, he told me, and was now
returning to Chicago from York Factory on Hudson Bay. The winter
journey is a perilous one, but Dalton spoke of a thousand miles in a
dog-sled as though it were a summer picnic. "I like roughing it," he
said, frankly; "civilization bores me, and I loathe the very sight
of a frock-coat!" I did not quite believe him, for the most ardent
globe-trotter occasionally yearns for a sight of Piccadilly; but,
anyhow, as I have said, it was no business of mine.

The evening passed pleasantly, for Dalton was excellent company, and
we sat long and late over our cigars, chatting over his reminiscences,
which would have filled an entire issue of THE WIDE WORLD MAGAZINE. It
was only towards bedtime that a subject was broached destined to bring
about strange consequences. "You say you know Milford well," said
Dalton, naming a small town in Yorkshire; "did you ever meet a Mrs.
W---- there?" The words were spoken with a hesitation that made me
glance sharply at the speaker. Could this be the secret of his life--a
hopeless passion for the beautiful woman whose sufferings had excited
universal sympathy and whose love so many had sought in vain? To know
Milford was to know or, at any rate, to have heard of Mary W----, who,
a few years since, had figured as the innocent heroine of a notorious
forgery case. The affair never reached a criminal court, for James
W---- had successfully absconded with a large sum of money, and had
never since been seen or heard of. Rumours were rife; some said he had
gone to Australia, others that he was in the Argentine, others that
suicide had wiped him out of existence as completely as a pebble
dropped into the sea. And he would have been no great loss, for,
according to all accounts, a more heartless scoundrel never breathed.
But Mary W---- was still leading a quiet and lonely life, although she
might legally have chosen a second husband from among the many men
who had sought her hand. W---- I had never known, but his portrait
had been freely circulated at the time of the crime, and a momentary
suspicion that Dalton might himself be the man was quickly dispelled
when I recalled the portly frame and bearded countenance of the
forger. Not only did I know Mrs. W----, but I had, only the preceding
winter, saved her life in an ice accident--a fact which raised me
considerably in my fellow-traveller's estimation.

"I only asked you if you knew her," he said, "because I happened to
know him. Poor beggar! He was shot last year in a gambling hell in
Coolgardie."

Here the subject might have dropped, but that fleeting hours and the
frequent reappearance of the conductor with refreshments revived
it. There had clearly been something between Dalton and the forger's
beautiful wife, either before or after her marriage. "I may tell you
in confidence," were his last words that night, "that Mary W---- is
and always has been very dear to me." A cloud passed over Dalton's
face as he continued: "If things were different I should have been a
better and a happier man. There, I won't bore you with my troubles,
but here's my hand, Mr. de Windt, for saving that brave, unselfish
woman's life. And remember, if ever you need a friend you'll find one
in Edgar Dalton."

I was right, then, after all. This was but another victim who had
worshipped vainly at the shrine of pretty Mary W----, and I wondered
vaguely, as I dropped off to sleep, whether the "good angel of
Milford," as she was called, had yet heard of her merciful release.
For here, possibly, was a man who might bring some sunshine into her
lonely life.

The next morning found Dalton seated at breakfast with a mysterious
individual who had joined the train during the night. The stranger
was a stout, florid man of about fifty, with shifty blue eyes, grey
whiskers, and a perpetual smile. He wore a serge suit and a yachting
cap, also a profusion of tawdry jewellery, and might have been
anything from a prosperous drover to the skipper of a tramp steamer.
The new-comer addressed Dalton as "Cap," and until the mystery was
explained I marvelled at his apparent familiarity with the quiet,
refined Englishman. But Mr. Hiram Knaggs, it appeared, had acted as
agent in Chicago for Dalton during his northern trip, and had now met
him by appointment to settle about the disposal of a consignment of
valuable furs. Knaggs was a cheery, amusing fellow, notwithstanding
his vulgarity and a painful habit of parading his wealth. At dinner
that night he displayed a bulky pocket-book with which he pleasantly
averred he could buy up the train and everyone in it. Encouraged,
perhaps, by champagne and good fellowship, I then carelessly alluded
to the comparatively modest sum that had caused me such anxiety, but
a significant look from Dalton closed my lips. "Knaggs, of course,
is all right," he explained afterwards, "but in a public car you can
never be too careful." The incident struck me as being curious, for at
the time there was no one within earshot of our table.

Dalton and his agent were leaving us at Winnipeg, and we had
reached that town--then far from being the bustling city it has now
become--when I awoke on the following morning. The berths lately
occupied by my friends were empty, and I was surprised that Dalton, at
any rate, should have left without a word of farewell. There was yet
half an hour before departure, and I dressed hastily, intending to
alight for a breath of fresh air. But a terrible shock was in store
for me. My heart stood still and a cold sweat bedewed my temples, for
when I placed my hand under the pillow it encountered only a worthless
silver watch. My pocket-book and the thirty thousand dollars had gone!

I was about to call loudly for help, when a touch on the shoulder
arrested me. It was Dalton, with a smile upon his face and the missing
note-case in his hand.

"I was the thief," he said, quietly. "Here are your notes, but take my
advice. Never talk about your money before strangers." Intense relief
overcame a feeling of resentment at the trick played upon me, and,
after all, was it not in my own interest? So I put my pride--and
my notes--in my pocket and thanked my friend for the service he had
rendered me, which I never duly appreciated until long afterwards.

[Illustration: "MY POCKET-BOOK AND THE THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS HAD
GONE!"]

On the platform we found Knaggs in a very surly frame of mind, which
Dalton laughingly ascribed to overnight indulgence in "tanglefoot."
But the joke was apparently ill-timed, for the American turned and
left us with an oath, to his friend's amusement.

"Good-bye, De Windt," said the latter. "We may meet again, and if ever
I can do you a turn, for Mary W----'s sake, count upon me."

Three or four months elapsed, during which period I heard nothing more
of my fellow-travellers, but I received a letter from Mrs. W----,
who had been informed of her husband's death by an anonymous
correspondent--Dalton, no doubt. This was in the spring of 1897,
however, and my mind was too much engrossed with personal affairs to
give the matter much attention. A bad attack of the gold-fever then
raging on the Pacific Coast had resulted in my resolve to leave
Vancouver and seek a fortune in the Klondike. I need not describe the
now familiar perils and privations of that ghastly voyage: the grim
passes, stormy lakes, and treacherous rapids; the cold and starvation
that littered the dark and dangerous road to the "Arctic El Dorado"
with dead and dying victims. Suffice it to say that I eventually
reached my destination, and in less than a year had "struck it
rich" enough to acquire several good claims. Early in March, 1898, I
returned from my claim up the Koyukuk to Dawson City, and took up my
quarters at an hotel, intending to return by the first steamer to St.
Michael, and thence, by the sea route, home.

The River View Hotel was not a cheerful residence, although its
numerous guests were very festively inclined. The restaurant at
dinner-time resembled a bear-garden, and between meals dapper New York
barmen ministered to the wants of a rowdy mixture of nationalities
from all ends of the earth. Time hung heavily on my hands, although
there was plenty of gaiety of the disreputable kind to be found in
most mining camps. Dawson swarmed with gambling and drinking saloons,
but crime was rare, for the North-West Police keep a sharp eye on
evildoers, especially the harpies of both sexes who fleece lucky
miners. You did not need, in those days, to go to the creeks for gold,
for the dust was flung about so recklessly that modest incomes were
made by sweeping out the dancing halls. One night of debauchery often
left wealthy men as poor as when they first started out from home
without a penny. And there was some excuse for the poor prospector,
coming straight from months of cold, hunger, and hard work on some
lonely gulch into a crowded, brightly-lit saloon, with champagne,
music, and friends galore, to say nothing of a gambling table in the
background. Even I, who should have known better, was occasionally
drawn into some dazzling pandemonium which, by daylight, would have
sickened me to contemplate.

Thus it came to pass that I found myself one night at the Imperial
Casino in company with a friend who, like myself, was heartily sick of
his gloomy bedroom at the River View Hotel. The Imperial, like most
of its kind, consisted of a dancing-hall leading into a smaller
compartment screened with green baize, which occasionally parted to
disclose a roulette table. The noise and stifling air of the first
room were, as usual, unbearable, and we struggled through a rowdy
crowd of men and women to the inner sanctum, where a number of players
were assembled. For a time we watched the game with interest, for the
high stakes would have attracted a crowd at Monte Carlo, but these
ragged, mud stained gamblers lost or won their money gracefully and
without the push or wrangle that often occurs on the Riviera. I have
seen more fuss made over a five-franc piece at Monte Carlo than over a
thousand dollars in Klondike.

To this day I don't know what induced me to fling a stake upon the
table. My friend, sick of the fetid atmosphere, had left me, and I was
following him, when the solitary number I had backed turned up. I then
carelessly heaped my winnings on the zero and became the unwilling
object of all eyes when the ivory ball jumped into the space
numbered by that wicked little circle. From that moment I won without
cessation, chiefly, I suppose, because of my absolute indifference
to loss. In an hour I was the gainer of an enormous sum, which,
consisting largely of nuggets and gold-dust, was difficult to handle.
A carpet-bag was borrowed from the proprietor, by whose friendly
advice I made my exit through a back door, and hastened along the
snowy, silent street to my hotel. As I neared my hotel a figure stood
out from the doorway of the River View, and I recognised Barlow, of
the North-West Mounted Police, who a few hours previously had been my
guest at dinner.

"Don't shoot, old man," said my friend, as a revolver gleamed in the
moonlight; "it's only me. We have got a big job on. The safe in the
office here was rifled last night, and the thief is supposed to be
living in the hotel. J----, of Scotland Yard, and ten of my men are
inside; so if the joker tries any games on to-night it will be all up
with him. By the way, _you_ look a bit suspicious with that bag. Gold
from Gluckstein's, is it? Whew! Oh, pass in; you're a match for any
hotel sneak." And with a cheery "Good night" I left my friend vainly
endeavouring to keep warm in a temperature that would have tried the
patience of a Polar bear.

[Illustration: "THE DOOR WAS THROWN OPEN WITH A CRASH AND THE ROOM
FLOODED WITH THE LIGHT OF MANY LANTERNS."]

The barrack-like building was in darkness, and by the aid of a wax
match I groped my way to my bedroom, a garret for which I paid, daily,
the sum of twenty dollars. The door was fitted with a cheap lock which
a missing key rendered useless, but I secured my winnings, which I
carefully locked up, and then retired to rest with a mind at ease,
thanks to a revolver under my pillow. I must have dropped off to sleep
suddenly, for when I awoke the fag-end of my candle was sputtering
in the socket. The next moment it had gone out, leaving me with no
matches and an unpleasant suspicion that, while I slept, someone had
entered the room. Conviction followed when I heard a moving body and
loudly challenged the intruder. But there was no reply.

"If you don't answer, I shoot!" I cried through the darkness. There
is short shrift for thieves in mining camps, and the next moment I had
fired at random in the direction of the sound. Simultaneously the door
was thrown open with a crash and the room flooded with the light
of many lanterns. J----, the Scotland Yard man, and half-a-dozen
policemen were soon surrounding a prostrate figure, clad in a grey
sleeping-suit, which lay with a dark crimson mark over the heart,
showing where my bullet had reached its mark. Great heavens! Had I
killed him?

The bare idea filled me with horror, as I pushed my way through a ring
of excited men and, kneeling by the side of the wounded man, gently
raised his head. The features were already twitching in the death
agony, the eyes were dull and glazed, but a faint smile flickered over
the face as I realized, with the appalling terror of a nightmare, that
I was looking upon the features of Edgar Dalton.

"Forgive me," he gasped, faintly, as I bent closer to catch his
whispered words. "I never knew it was you. Knaggs will tell you. Give
her----" The hand was raised, with a last effort, towards a thin gold
chain around the neck, but death arrested it half-way. Edgar Dalton,
killed by my hand, had expired in my arms!

"Come, sir, we can do no good," said J----, presently, as I continued
to gaze vacantly upon the ashy face of the corpse. It was borne
away by six stalwart troopers through the now crowded passages and
stairway. "You've no need for remorse," added the detective, "for
you've rid the world of as clever and cruel a scoundrel as it's ever
been my lot to come across--and I have seen a few. Why, he has murders
enough on his hands in Australia alone to hang him ten times over."

"Mr. Edgar Dalton?" I asked, almost speechless with amazement.

"Is that the name you knew him by?" said the Scotland Yard man, with
ill-disguised pity for my ignorance. "Edgar Dalton, indeed! Why, the
Australian Government has offered a reward of one thousand pounds for
this man, dead or alive, for the past three years. I have been after
him for seven years as James W----, the forger, and I think I am
fairly entitled to the reward," he added. "For, you see, I have netted
both birds this time. There's the other"--and he pointed to a man
standing handcuffed between two troopers by the open doorway. His
dejected appearance contrasted oddly with a gay suit of pink
pyjamas, but although the smiling lips were now screened by a bristly
moustache, and a carefully-curled auburn wig concealed the scanty
grey locks, I had little trouble in recognising my old friend and
fellow-traveller, Mr. Hiram Knaggs.

I was permitted to visit him the next day, and found him shivering,
heavily ironed, in a cold, miserable shanty known as the town jail.
Knaggs made light of his discomfort and the long term of imprisonment
before him, but was inconsolable at the death of his leader. "A whiter
man never breathed, Mr. de Windt," said the man, with tears in his
eyes; and although I knew Knaggs for a consummate villain, I could
scarcely restrain a feeling of pity for the abject figure before me.
Nor, indeed, could I think of the dead man without compunction, for
I could not forget the feeling of gratitude that had prompted him to
save my notes from the greedy grasp of his confederate.

"He always spoke well of you," said the man, "and if he'd only known
last night that the swag was yours he'd have been alive now. But I
suppose the game was up, anyhow, with that J---- on our tracks."

[Illustration: A FORM OF PUNISHMENT FOR CRIMINALS USED IN THE KLONDIKE
AND KNOWN AS THE "WOOD-PILE."

  _From a Photograph._
]

And Hiram ground his teeth in silent rage as I left him--to be
eventually sentenced to ten years "on the wood-pile," a local form of
punishment which, owing to the Arctic climate, is seldom endured for
long.

I was permitted to retain the gold chain and medallion, which
contained a faded portrait of W----'s wife. Mary W---- still wears the
little locket in memory of the worthless scamp who wrecked her life,
but who, nevertheless, had loved her in his own wild way.



Two Girls in Japan.

BY IRENE LYON.

    After six weeks of conventional sight-seeing in Japan the
    authoress and her friend decided that they had not yet seen
    the real thing, and so they decided to spend a week off the
    tourist track, living as far as possible the life of the
    natives. This amusing little article shows how they fared
    during their pilgrimage.


Gladys and I had been six weeks in Japan; we had worked hard at
sight-seeing, and done all that was expected of us during that time,
and yet we were not satisfied. Why? Well, we had luxuriated all the
while in the most charming European hotels; we had slept in cosy beds
with soft, springy mattresses; we had lounged in easy-chairs, eaten
with knives and forks, and had been waited on hand and foot by
noiseless Japanese "boys," who anticipated our every want. Within a
week of our departure for Australia the full extent of our slackness
was borne in upon us, and we at once decided to make up for lost
time and to sacrifice personal comfort in a final effort to "see"
Japan--the real Japan.

A trip down the Inland Sea was arranged, as affording a suitable
opportunity to carry out our resolves, and one bright spring morning
we set off from Kobe, armed with a basket of provisions and eating
utensils--to be used only in case of dire necessity!

We travelled all day in an up-to-date, conventional train, and arrived
at Onomichi towards evening. The proprietor of the principal inn had
been informed of our intended arrival, so he came in person to meet
us at the station, and we set off on foot for our new abode with an
escort of some twenty to thirty of the inhabitants.

The "hotel" was a two-storeyed, wooden house, like most of its
fellows. On reaching the threshold we discarded our shoes, took a
surreptitious peep at our stockings, in order to assure ourselves that
no holes were visible, and boldly entered.

[Illustration: THE VILLAGE STREET--THE YOUNGSTERS WERE VASTLY
INTERESTED IN THE NEW ARRIVALS.

  _From a Photograph._
]

[Illustration: THE INTERIOR OF THE INN.

  _From a Photograph._
]

A hearty--but unintelligible--welcome was extended to us by "madame"
and her surrounding bevy of profusely-bowing attendants, and we were
ushered into a room on the first floor which had been set aside for
our use.

Our apartment was divided from the adjoining one by sliding panels
which made no pretence at reaching the ceiling; it was entirely
destitute of furniture, but at one side was a tiny alcove where a
single vase reposed upon a raised dais, while hanging on the wall at
the back was an elaborate "kakimono." The floor was covered with fine
matting, and the inner walls were made of opaque white paper divided
into diminutive squares. Round the outside of the house ran a tiny
veranda, which was closed in at night with wooden panels.

Previously to starting Gladys and I had thoroughly primed ourselves as
to the correct behaviour in Japanese circles, and as we knew that
we should be expected to take a hot bath immediately on arrival we
inquired at once for the bathroom. Another reason for not wishing to
delay the important function of bathing sprang from our vague fear
that every member of the household would perform his ablutions in the
same water, and we were naturally anxious to have the first "look in."

After inspecting the bathroom our determination wavered,--but we
pulled ourselves together and descended to the lower regions
armed with towels and wrappers. Our first difficulty was with the
entrance-panel, which, in addition to having no locks or bolts,
absolutely refused to close properly. After several vain attempts the
gap was eventually stuffed up, and we entered the dressing-room. I
have yet to discover the intended use of the latter apartment, as for
all the privacy it provided one might just as well have undressed in
the public passage. About three yards square, and communicating with
the bathroom, it was furnished with two large windows looking on
to the hall, and there was not even so much as a pane of glass to
obstruct the view of the passers-by. Gladys and I spent a considerable
time in carefully filling these openings, and then, having satisfied
ourselves that we were beyond the public gaze at last, we began, very
diffidently, to undress, and afterwards entered the bathroom together,
as we simply dared not venture in alone.

The bath itself--which looked like a large box--was a wooden structure
built into a corner, and all round the inside ran a convenient ledge,
for sitting on. The water being little short of boiling, our movements
were decidedly cautious, and, curling ourselves up on the ledge, we
tried to grow accustomed to the temperature by degrees before plunging
right in. When, thinking to remove the traces of our journey by a
vigorous application of soap, we began to scrub ourselves, it suddenly
occurred to us that such a proceeding was not "etiquette," out
of consideration to the other bathers. So we stepped out, soaped
ourselves well, and rinsed our bodies with the wooden ladles supplied
for the purpose, before getting back into the water again.

[Illustration: A GLIMPSE OF THE SITTING-ROOM, WITH ITS
SPOTLESSLY-CLEAN FLOOR, SLIDING DOORWAYS, AND PAPER WALLS.

  _From a Photograph._]
]

We were sitting on the ledge, chatting peacefully, when a sudden
premonition of danger made me look up, and the spectacle which greeted
my eyes caused me to utter one agonized gasp and then sink rapidly out
of sight. The pains we had taken to block up the gap at the entrance
had all been in vain, for the various garments which we had used for
the purpose lay scattered on the floor, and the opening was occupied
by a line of little heads, one above the other, whilst ten gleaming
eyes were interestedly fixed upon us! Having followed the direction of
my horrified gaze, Gladys gave a shriek of dismay and joined me at the
bottom of the bath with surprising celerity; and there we remained
in agony, feeling as though we were being boiled alive, and gazing
ruefully at our garments, which all lay well out of reach. Help came
at length in the shape of the proprietor, who, lighting upon the
little group of spectators, immediately sent them off about their
business. Feeble and helpless, we eventually emerged from our retreat
and retired behind our towels to dry; but our trials were not yet
over, for Gladys, leaning too heavily against the flimsy framework
which constituted the partition wall, suddenly disappeared from sight,
and the whole wall with her! Fortunately, the only occupant of the
passage at that moment was a little maid-servant, who speedily rushed
to her assistance, and the damage was soon repaired. Feeling much
shattered in mind, we at length departed from the scene of our
disasters and returned to our own apartment. With the help of two
merry little "nésans," who thoroughly enjoyed the proceedings, we
succeeded in donning kimonos and obis more or less after the correct
manner, and then, determined to carry out the programme quite
properly, we sat down on our heels to partake of our evening meal
before a table three inches high. We drank fish soup out of lacquer
bowls, we dissected unfamiliar concoctions with chopsticks (no easy
matter) and tried manfully to do our duty by them, but when a
large bowl of rice made its appearance we flung etiquette--and
chopsticks--to the winds and fell back upon spoons, as being the only
way of ensuring ourselves anything to eat. Also, when we were certain
of being unobserved (as certain as it is possible to be in a land of
paper walls and sliding panels), we hastily demolished huge chunks of
bread from our private provision store, as, though we did not wish
to hurt the feelings of the "chef," we felt that our inward cravings
_must_ have something substantial to satisfy them.

After dinner we ventured on a stroll through the town; but the fact
that we were repeatedly obliged to retrace our steps in order to pick
up our sandals--which showed an extraordinary facility for parting
company with our feet--considerably hindered our progress, and the
close companionship of many of the inhabitants, who were vastly
interested in us, prevented us from gaining a very good view of the
streets.

When we returned to our abode the little maids made us up beds on
the floor out of "futans" (thick quilts) which were pulled forth
from wonderfully hidden cupboards, and we retired to rest, thoroughly
wearied out by our first day of Japanese life.

The next morning we were awakened early by the arrival of green tea in
baby cups with no handles, and big, luscious peppermint creams. After
tasting both, and appreciating the latter, we rose to dress. Our
landlord had entertained European visitors before and considered that
he was thoroughly acquainted with their habits, as well as knowing how
to provide for their comfort; consequently, the pride of his heart
was a wash-stand--which was an object of wonderment to the whole
household--and that useful article of furniture was placed on the
outer veranda, in full view of the main street! It went to our hearts
to hurt the feelings of "mine host," but in this case we felt it to be
unavoidable, and the household treasure was removed to a more secluded
spot before we performed our ablutions.

Later in the morning we took steamer to Myajima, and sailed all day
down the beautiful Inland Sea. There were no seats on board, so we
made ourselves comfortable on a big coil of rope, and as there was
also no buffet we were obliged to picnic for our meals. We reached
Myajima at dusk and halted in mid-stream. A sampan came out to take us
on shore, and we were hauled down the side of the steamer by a piece
of rope, swaying feebly about in mid-air before being unceremoniously
seized by the feet and deposited in safety.

As we crashed on to the pebble beach a number of girls came round from
the hotel to meet us, each one carrying a paper lantern, which waved
fantastically to and fro from the end of a long pole. We were
escorted by them round the narrow, winding path to our quarters,
which consisted this time of a little summer-house away from the main
building of the hotel and in the midst of a delightful wood. We were
too tired to examine our surroundings that night, and tumbled as soon
as possible on to our lowly couches, where we slept "the sleep of the
just."

[Illustration: MORE INTERESTED VILLAGERS.

  _From a Photograph._
]

On opening our eyes next morning our first thought was that we had
wandered into fairy-land; the smiling-faced "nésan" had arrived during
our slumbers and pulled back the outer wooden shutters, and as one of
the inner panels was ajar we could look straight out on to the woods.
The sun was shining brightly through the green of the trees, a spring
of clear water trickled musically down by the side of our hut, and
but a few hundred yards away lay the Inland Sea itself, looking like a
huge lake amidst the surrounding chain of misty, blue-grey mountains.

[Illustration: A VILLAGE FÊTE IN FULL SWING.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Our tiny habitation, which consisted of two compartments and a small
veranda only, was scrupulously clean, and we could have eaten off the
floor, as well as sit on it, without the least misgiving.

Every morning we interviewed the landlord on the subject of our day's
menu, as, after the first evening, we decided that a strictly Japanese
diet would not be conducive to either strength or comfort. There was
not much variety in the food which we managed to obtain, but it
was both healthy and harmless, consisting chiefly of fried fish,
omelettes, and wild strawberries.

Myajima is a sacred island, and no means of conveyance are allowed
to profane its shores. The temple is built out into the sea, a unique
specimen of its kind, and a great, dark torü rises from the water
some yards in front; all along the main coast, and built at irregular
intervals, are the sacred stone lanterns, five hundred in number.

For three days we spent our time in wandering about the island,
swimming, lounging on our tiny veranda, and darning, European
stockings being scarcely equal to Japanese "tabi" in the matter of
endurance. The third evening being beautifully fine and calm, we
arranged--by paying a very modest sum--to have all the five hundred
lanterns lit up for our benefit, and rowed out in a sampan to see the
effect from the water. Nature seemed to be at her devotions, and such
a wonderful hush spread over all around that the scene was impressive
as well as beautiful.

On the fourth day it began to rain. A Japanese inn does not exactly
lend itself to either comfort or amusement in wet weather, our stock
of literature was limited, and by midday we were at our wits' end. And
still it rained.

Finally, in desperation, we invested in brilliantly-coloured oil-paper
Japanese umbrellas, and wandered about holding these huge structures
over our heads, so that only our feet--mounted on high, wet-weather
"geta"--were visible. Still it rained, and rained unceasingly. On the
evening of the fifth day--the deluge showing no signs of abatement--we
packed up our baggage and sorrowfully departed, taking our seats
in the evening express for Kobe, after a damp passage across to the
mainland in a sampan.

The train was crowded with Japanese, and as each person was
accompanied by at least four mysterious and peculiar-shaped bundles
there was not much room to spare, and before long I had a pile of
"luggage" two yards high in front of me. When some of the little
ladies in the carriage with us grew tired of sitting up in European
fashion they slipped off their sandals and climbed right on to the
seat, where they sat comfortably on their heels and were happy at
last.

When night came the long seat was divided up into portions, the upper
berths were pulled down, and we all huddled into our respective
bunks, men and women mixed up together. It was distinctly trying to
be obliged to hoist oneself up into a high upper berth before a mixed
assembly, and more trying still to descend in the morning with the
very incomplete toilet which one was enabled to make in a reclining
position, but the blissful ignorance of our Japanese neighbour that
there was anything unusual in such a proceeding considerably relieved
our embarrassment. His attitude and calm matter-of-factness was very
reassuring, and the wonderfully cheerful conductor who brushed our
clothes and fastened our blouses seemed to consider himself specially
suited for the post of lady's-maid.

We arrived back at our hotel in Kobe feeling that for the first time
in our existence we had really seen life in a different aspect, and a
few days later we left Japan with a clear conscience, satisfied that
we had fully accomplished our duty, as well as considerably added to
our experiences.

[Illustration: OIL-PAPER UMBRELLAS DRYING IN THE SUN.

  _From a Photograph._
]



[Illustration: THE LAST CREEK.]

By John Mackie.

    The story of an eventful journey in the Australian bush, with
    hostile blacks on the track. Mr. Mackie got through, but
    the passage of the last creek was a distinctly touch-and-go
    affair.


Schooners must have grub, and I had accompanied ours round to
Normanton for supplies, leaving only one white man, a Malay, a
Cingalese, and two semi-civilized black boys to look after the station
and store I had established on the lonely Calvert River, in the
south-western corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Now a bushman had just arrived at Normanton who had passed my place on
the Calvert a few days before. He told of a sorry state of affairs. My
men had run out of rations and, what was worse, powder and shot. They
were now subsisting on a little rice, what few fish they could
catch in the swollen river, 'possums, iguanas, and snakes. This was
certainly pretty near bed-rock; but people in the Gulf country in
those days did not trouble much about their bill of fare; it was the
blacks, flies, and fever that concerned them most, and the blacks near
my place just then were particularly bad. They had come down in a body
some days previously, killed two or three of my remaining horses, and
tried their level best to get at my men. Fortunately, after a ruinous
consumption of powder and shot, they had been driven off.

There was only one thing for it--I must get to my station at any cost,
and that at once. To have it left to the mercy of the blacks was to
have it looted and burned to the ground, and all my schemes knocked on
the head.

More important, still, there were my men. I knew that if they
attempted to go eastward they would find themselves hemmed in by the
great creeks, and must be drowned or perish for want of food. I did
not take two minutes to make up my mind. I was young, of a girth that
is denied to most men, and the love of adventure ran hot in my blood.
It was now late in the evening, but I would start before sunrise in
the morning, and some time on the following day, if I had luck, would
reach my place. I had swum dozens of swollen rivers before, with a
horse and without a horse; and as for the blacks, I had got used to
them like the flies, and I had my Colt.

Next morning, while it was yet grey-dark, I strapped a small knapsack
on my back, containing a quart bottle full of powder, some small shot,
and other essentials, and prepared to start out. I told my partner to
push round to the Calvert River with the schooner as soon as the gale
abated, and was rowed to the eastern bank of the river in the dinghy.
The landing was bad, and here I had my first accident; for while the
man who rowed the boat was throwing after me the packet of bread and
meat that was to sustain me on my sixty-odd miles walk, it fell short
and splashed into the river. Back to the boat for more I would not go;
there was a considerable vein of old Highland superstition deep down
in my composition somewhere. I had gone, on more than one occasion,
without food for two or three days; I could surely do it now for
some thirty-six hours or so, even although I had not troubled about
breakfast before starting.

Sixty-odd miles of partially-flooded country infested by niggers! It
hardly gave me a thought in those days. My revolver was in my belt,
the cartridges were waterproof, the load on my back was light, and had
it not been for the thought of those poor chaps on the banks of the
Calvert my heart would have been still lighter.

I had traversed that uncertain track before on horseback, and, being
a fairly good bushman, there was not much danger of my losing it. I
wended my way through a gloomy pine-scrub, but as the rain had packed
the sandy soil the walking was fairly good, and I did my first few
miles as easily as if I had been walking on a macadamized road. Then I
came to an open patch of lightly timbered country, and sat down on the
crooked stem of a ti tree for a few minutes to fill and light my pipe.

A sickly, wan light had by this time appeared in the eastern sky.
A laughing jackass crashed into the tender spirit of the dawn, and
startled me for the moment by shrieking hysterically from a high gum
tree. A pale lemon glow showed over the tree-tops to the east, spread
upwards and outwards, and then gave place to a tawny yellow; the few
faint stars went out one by one, like lights in a great city at break
of day; a little bird among the boughs called sleepily to its mate,
and in another minute a noisy flock of parrakeets flew screeching
past. It was a wet, melancholy world, and when the sun showed behind
the trees like a great white quivering ball of fire, and a thin,
gauze-like mist arose from the damp sandy soil, I knew that the fierce
tropical day had once more set in.

I stepped gaily out again. Dangers? Why, the walking was almost as
good and pleasant as it was in any settled part of the country. Then,
all at once, my feet went splash! splash! into what seemed to be a
large pool of water; still on I went. In a few yards the water was
over my ankles; some fifteen or twenty yards more, and I realized
that it was up to my knees--fresh, warm, pellucid rain-water with dead
leaves and forest _débris_ floating through it. It was heavy wading,
and I paused for a moment to gain breath and look around.

There was water everywhere; it spread out like a great carpet over
the fairly level ground, and only the fine points of the very highest
grasses could be seen. Soon the flood was up to my armpits, and then
I began to swim. Even had I not been a strong swimmer, I could hardly
have been drowned, for all I had to do was to climb into a tree and
rest in the branches. In a few minutes more I came to a comparatively
open space and was swimming among the shaggy, drooping heads of
Pandanus palms. Then, all at once, I found I was being carried away by
a powerful current. I must get across that creek, wherever it was,
or else my strength must necessarily give out. Luckily my light
linen trousers and cotton shirt did not impede me much; my watertight
knapsack was but a trifling inconvenience; it was my boots that were
tiring me. I did not want boots, anyhow, in that sandy soil. I swam
hand over hand to a gum tree that reared its head above the water,
and, grasping a strong limb, drew myself up. I left my boots, tied
together by the laces, dangling over a bough, and was descending
the limb when, to my consternation, I saw just beneath me one of the
largest tiger-snakes I ever in my life had the good or ill fortune
to meet. It had doubtless been coiled round one of the upper branches
when I first came to the tree, and, being as much afraid of me as I
now was of it, had again made for the trunk, only to find its retreat
cut off. There was no time to cut a stick and have a sportive five
minutes; besides, I had but scanty footing and room to fight nimble
tiger-snakes, and so there was only one thing for it. The reptile,
when I threw a small piece of dry wood at it, positively refused
to budge. I took one last disgusted look at its gleaming, mottled,
sinuous coils and flat, repulsive head, from which its black, wicked,
basilisk eyes looked dully out, and flopped into the water from my
perch, a distance of some ten or twelve feet. At one place the current
resembled a mill-race; this was doubtless the creek proper. In ten
minutes more I touched bottom with my feet, and soon, to my great joy,
I was stepping along on the firm sand again. I soon found the track,
but on it I also found what I least desired to see--the tracks of
savages going in the same direction as myself. I kept a sharp look-out
after that.

The sun shone out all through that long, arduous day with a fierce,
intense heat, but there was no time for rest. I swam several creeks,
which carried me hundreds of yards down stream at a pace which meant
certain death if I ran against the business end of a snag; and I waded
and swam for many hundreds of yards at a stretch along the track in
places where it was flooded. By drinking copiously of the lukewarm
water I kept off the cravings of a healthy hunger. My pipe had slipped
from my pouch, and, anyhow, my tobacco and matches, which I carried
inside my hat, had got wet when I dropped from the tree; and this, to
me, was the greatest drawback of the situation. The sun rounded slowly
towards the west, and it was fast becoming dark, when suddenly I heard
the jabbering of blacks at some little distance. To climb into a thick
pine tree and conceal myself in its branches was the work of a few
minutes. I had hardly done so before a straggling mob of blacks passed
slowly underneath; the bucks, or warriors, went first with spears
and boomerangs in their hands, and the gins followed, carrying the
piccaninnies and household goods slung in numerous dilly-bags over
their backs. A few wretched half-tame dingoes brought up the rear,
snarling and fighting with one another. It seemed strange to me that
these savages should be journeying along the track, for at other times
they were rather anxious to avoid it. Perhaps they did it for the
sake of the novelty of the situation, naturally supposing that their
enemies, the whites, would not be travelling during the wet season.
There might have been fifty or sixty of them altogether in the band.
To my intense annoyance they went on about a couple of hundred yards,
and halted, to camp for the night, on what was evidently a drier piece
of ground than usual. There was no help for it--I should have to pass
the night in that tree. It would be folly to wander about in the dark;
besides, I was dead tired and could hardly keep my eyes open.

[Illustration: "WHEN I THREW A PIECE OF DRY WOOD AT IT, THE REPTILE
POSITIVELY REFUSED TO BUDGE."]

I unslung my knapsack, wedged myself into a sitting position among the
close, dense boughs, and, in spite of the proximity of danger and a
few stray mosquitoes, was asleep in two minutes. Had I descended the
tree and camped on the ground, sleep must have been almost impossible
on account of the insects. The blacks lit numerous tiny fires, or
"smudges," to drive them off.

I awoke about an hour before dawn, stiff and chilled to the bone on
account of my cramped, airy position, strapped my knapsack on my back,
and descended the tree. There was a silence as of death in the blacks'
camp. Taking my bearings, I made a wide detour and passed round them
safely. After that I avoided the track as much as possible. I must
have walked nearly thirty-five miles on the previous long day, but
it should be borne in mind that it was one of continuous, determined
toil.

I walked on steadily all that day, hardly pausing to rest, swimming
flooded creeks and wading in places up to my armpits, but my progress
was better than on the preceding day. I felt the pangs of hunger more
keenly, but I continued drinking large quantities of water, and this,
as I had often found before, to a certain degree stood me in good
stead. At noon I came to a wild, broad water-course called Scrubby
Creek, and I knew I was now within fifteen miles of my destination.
I had been speculating all day as to the state of affairs at my
camp--wondering if my men had deserted it, and if I should find it
in the possession of the savages. If so, I should have to be wary in
making my approach; I should have to follow the river down towards the
sea and wait and starve until the boat came round. The prospect was
not cheerful, but still I never for one moment allowed it to affect
the course I was pursuing. If I failed, then I had done my level best
to do what I could, and at least no soul-harrowing reflections would
be mine.

I was just about to step into the swirling, hurrying current of
Scrubby Creek when, happening to glance round, I saw something that
made my heart throb wildly and arrested my further progress in an
instant. A large number of savages were following me up, and there
was not one of them but carried a spear or weapon of some sort in his
hand. I wheeled about in an instant and drew my revolver, resolved to
give them something more than they bargained for.

The blacks stopped short when they found they were discovered, and
spread out in the form of a semicircle; then they closed in until,
with their _wimmeras_, they could make sure of throwing their spears
with precision and effect. I waited until I also could make sure of
my man, and then, as one of them drew back his arm to lever his spear
home, I raised my revolver and fired. He dropped all of a heap, like a
bullock that has been knocked on the head with an axe. A spear whizzed
past me and buried itself in the thick bark of a ti tree close to my
head. My blood was up, but I took deliberate aim, and the savage who
had thrown it also bit the dust. At eighty yards my Colt was almost as
deadly as a rifle. Somewhat taken by surprise, the blacks retired, and
I emptied the remaining chambers of my revolver at them with effect. I
even made to follow them up, reloading as I walked, and they actually
broke and ran before me.

This was exactly what I wanted, and I seized my opportunity. I
turned and dived into the brown, tawny-crested creek, and by vigorous
side-strokes made for a narrow, island-like strip of wooded land that
stood right in the middle of the stream. I had all but passed it when
I caught hold of an overhanging bough and drew myself into a thick
clump of reeds and undergrowth. I stood up to the arm-pits in water.
There was now some seventy yards between me and the bank I had just
left--about half the distance I had yet to accomplish. As I expected,
the blacks, who had rallied, now appeared on the scene. Quick as
thought I placed my soft-felt hat brim downwards on the water, and
away it went sailing down that boiling torrent. The blacks saw it, and
thought they had me now safely enough; they directed spear after spear
at it, but I noticed that none of them took effect; they ran along the
bank in a great state of excitement, shouting and skipping, and in a
few minutes more were out of sight. If my hat would only continue to
float it might lead them quite a nice little goose-chase.

I waited for some time, and was just about to strike out for the
opposite shore when, to my no little surprise and chagrin, two of the
savages returned. They went for some little distance up-stream, and
then made straight for my little island. Evidently they had thought
there was something suspicious about my hat. Only my mouth, eyes,
nose, and my revolver-hand were above water now, and I waited for them
to come on.

And what a wait that was! Every moment seemed an eternity. I could
hardly control the intense longing that possessed me to be up and at
them. But I knew I must bide my time and make sure of both, otherwise
they could easily elude me in the water, attract the attention of the
other blacks, and then it would be all up with me. I knew the chances
of my coming out of that creek alive were very slight indeed; but
life seemed sweet just then. Every now and again a little wave would
unexpectedly dash over my face, and I would be nearly suffocated. Were
these savages never going to reach me? The suspense was too terrible.

They reached my island and came down the narrow strip, prodding the
undergrowth with their spears. In another second they were within a
few yards of where I was ambushed. Both of them saw me at the same
instant, and up went their spears. Fortunately, one was almost behind
the other, and this interfered with their concerted action. I fired
point-blank into the grinning face of the foremost savage, and he
dropped where he stood; I saw the little round hole my bullet had
made right in the centre of his forehead. The flint spear-head of the
second black ripped open my shirt and made an ugly gash in the fleshy
part of my arm. He was within six feet of me, and I levelled my
revolver at him and pulled the trigger. To my dismay the weapon
snapped uselessly, and I realized that my last cartridge had been
fired. In another moment that savage and I were wrestling together
in deadly grips. Once he had me under water and I experienced all the
first horrors of drowning, with the waters thundering in my ears. It
was surely all up with me now! But by one supreme effort I pulled the
rascal down, and then it was my turn. When I had done with him I knew
he would give me no more trouble. Next I tore off part of my shirt
into a long strip and bound it tightly round my injured arm in a
rough-and-ready but effectual fashion. Then, with only one arm
which was of any real use, I essayed to cross the remaining strip of
hurrying flood. In a few minutes more I was on the other side, more
dead than alive. Thank God! It was the last creek I had to cross.

[Illustration: "HE DROPPED WHERE HE STOOD."]



[Illustration: THE ROMANCE OF WILD ANIMAL CATCHING.]

By Harold J. Shepstone.

    An interesting article describing how Mr. Carl Hagenbeck, the
    famous animal dealer, collects his curious merchandise. Often,
    to secure specimens of some particularly valuable species,
    special expeditions have to be organized. These are frequently
    away for many months, traversing thousands of miles of
    practically unexplored country and meeting with all sorts of
    exciting adventures.


A little way outside the busy shipping port of Hamburg is the pretty
little suburban village of Stellingen. Here is located the largest
wild-animal exchange in the world--the one place where strange and
curious beasts from the four quarters of the earth are received and
housed until wanted by the great zoological gardens and menageries. It
is hardly necessary to add that this unique establishment is presided
over by Mr. Carl Hagenbeck, famous as the most successful animal
dealer the modern world has ever seen, and as the creator of a
decidedly original zoological garden.

At Mr. Hagenbeck's great depôt there may be seen at any time the
finest and rarest collection of animals in the world. When the writer
was in Stellingen recently the value of the wild beasts gathered there
was put down at fifty thousand pounds, and they certainly included
almost every living creature one could name, among them being many
very rare species.

Naturally, the most romantic part of the whole business is the way
in which the animals are captured in their native wilds and
brought--sometimes thousands of miles--to the depôt, and the object
of the present article is to describe this side of a strange yet
fascinating trade.

There is a vast difference between the hunter who kills for pleasure
and the hunter whose business it is to capture his quarry alive. The
former merely seeks his quarry, shoots it, secures a skin or horn as a
trophy, and then returns. True, he meets with many adventures and has
often exciting stories to tell of fights with enraged beasts. But
the collector stands on a different plane; his mission is not
to exterminate, but to preserve for the education and benefit of
civilized man. He may rightly be described as the humane invader of
the forest, jungle, desert, and plain, for he never kills unless it is
necessary for self-preservation. He sets out with the determination to
bring back typical specimens of the wild life of out-of-the-way parts
of the earth, so that those who pursue more peaceful callings at home
may obtain some idea of the characteristics and habits of the curious
beasts that inhabit the more inaccessible parts of the globe.

Needless to say, the animal-catcher's task is much more difficult than
that of the ordinary hunter; from first to last every quest is one
long period of anxiety. The simplest part of the work, in many cases,
is the capture of the beasts. Thereafter his chief concern is their
welfare. He has to attend to their many and varied wants, doctor them
when they are sick, and transport them safely for many thousands of
miles--often across trackless and practically unexplored country.
Not only must he know how to deal with the savage beast, but with the
savage man as well, for to accomplish his purpose he has frequently
to rely upon the natives to assist him, and he can only do this
efficiently by knowing how to handle them. Indeed, there are few
callings demanding more qualifications than that of the seeker after
live wild animals. The modern collector is a hunter, explorer, and
zoologist rolled into one.

Naturally, it is the rarer species, such as the rhinoceros,
hippopotamus, giraffe, and zebra, that the dealers most prize. And
here a word of explanation is necessary. A traveller returning from
the wilds of Africa will tell you how he detected hippos floating down
the streams and spotted giraffes on the horizon; he will also relate
to you how many had been shot in the district only a short while
before by some famous sportsman. Yet, if you wished to procure a live
rhinoceros to-day, you would probably have to give as much as eight
hundred pounds for it, and almost as much for a hippopotamus. Why,
one may well ask, this enormous price for a single specimen of these
creatures, when they appear to be fairly plentiful in the land of
their birth? The reason is easily explained.

[Illustration: ELEPHANTS AND BABIES--THE LATTER WERE BORN ON THE WAY
TO EUROPE FROM SIAM.

  _From Photographs._]

To-day no hunter would dream of trying to capture a full-grown hippo
or rhinoceros. Indeed, it would be practically impossible to hold such
an animal, and, even were it possible to entice one into a cage, it
would probably only kill itself in its frenzied efforts to escape, or
refuse to eat, and so die of starvation. What the hunter endeavours
to do, therefore, is to secure the young ones. This he does by hunting
along the river banks until he happens to discover a hippo and her
young. The thing then is to capture the calf.

Mr. Hagenbeck's hunters, or rather the natives engaged by his men,
resort to two methods in catching the hippopotamus. The so-called
Hawati, or water-hunters, of the Soudan, all of whom are excellent and
daring swimmers, harpoon their victims at the noon hour, when they are
sunk in deep slumber. Then they pull them to the bank by means of a
cord attached to the harpoon, and there make them fast. The hunters
use for this a special kind of harpoon, made in such a way that it
does not make a deep wound. Fully three-quarters of the hippopotami
exhibited in Europe have been captured in this way.

[Illustration: NEWLY-CAPTURED ELEPHANTS ENJOYING A BATH IN THE SEA OFF
THE COAST OF CEYLON.

  _From a Photograph._]
]

[Illustration: TRANSPORTING WILD ANIMALS DOWN A RIVER IN NORTHERN
ASIA.

  _From a Photograph._]
]

Hippopotamus hunts are also conducted on land. There advantage is
taken of the fact that the female hippopotamus makes her young walk
in front of her. The reason for this is that the beast, being well
protected in the rear by its abnormally thick skin, prefers to have
its offspring in front, where it can guard them better against danger.
But, in spite of its affection for its children, the mother hippo has
no particular desire to meet danger when it comes. So the hunters
dig large pits in the forest, cover them over until they are
fully concealed, and then lie in wait near by. Presently a female
hippopotamus comes along with her child trotting before her. Suddenly,
without warning, the young one disappears before its mother's eyes.
This is too much for the old animal. She dashes away leaving the
little one at the mercy of its enemies.

A fence is built at once around the pit and the captive is ensnared,
thrown to the ground, and securely tied. Then it is placed on a sort
of litter and carried by native carriers through the dense forest
to the hunter's camp. This is arduous work, as a two-year-old hippo
weighs from 1,000lb. to 1,200lb.

[Illustration: A HUNTERS CARAVAN ON THE MARCH--THE OUTFITTING OF
THESE EXPEDITIONS IS A VERY COSTLY BUSINESS.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Having secured the object of his mission, the next thing the hunter
has to do is to feed his prize. Now, a baby hippo will drink thirty
pints of milk a day and bellow for more, so that the question of an
adequate supply is very important. The nutriment is supplied by goats,
which have to be brought along with the expedition. This means, of
course, that the hunter's caravan is an unwieldy affair, and can only
move across country very slowly. Every step it advances it increases
in size, being continually added to, for in addition to collecting
live animals the collector also gathers skins and other things of
value to the dealer.

All the great animal collectors are agreed that the finest hunters in
the world are the natives themselves. They know how to frighten and
confuse the parent animals, and are quick at seizing an opportunity
for snatching up the young, a thing which has to be done quickly
and without the slightest hesitation, or the consequences may prove
serious.

In catching giraffes the hunter engages only natives who are expert
horsemen; he may recruit as few as a dozen or a corps of a couple of
hundred. Scouts are sent out until a herd is sighted, and then off go
the natives on their speedy Abyssinian ponies. Having come up with the
herd, with yells and shouts they dash towards the animals. Frightened
out of their wits by the din, the long-necked creatures turn and bolt
for dear life. For some time the chase is kept up at furious speed,
until one by one the young ones fall behind exhausted. Instantly they
are cut off from the others by a couple of men on horseback and headed
towards the camp, soon becoming entirely exhausted and falling an easy
prey to their captors. Halters are then fastened round their heads and
they are led and driven back to the camp. They are fed principally on
goats' milk, corn, and various kinds of green stuff.

It would be practically impossible to secure a full-grown giraffe,
for if you managed to corner one you could not hold it. This animal
is more plentiful now than it was a few years ago, on account of the
opening up of the Egyptian Soudan. Indeed, between the years 1880 and
1900 only three giraffes were imported into Europe, two coming from
South Africa and one from Senegal. "I have had rather bad luck with
giraffes lately," said Mr. Hagenbeck. "Out of six recently sent to us
from the interior of Nubia, only one arrived alive; the remainder all
died on the way. Last year, out of eight, only two reached Hamburg."

A more hardy animal, and one that is decidedly more plentiful, is the
zebra--that is to say, the common mountain kind. Certain species of
this beautifully-striped African horse, however, are getting very
scarce, including the Grévy and Burchell. Zebras are caught by
"drives." First of all, the hunter builds a large stockaded enclosure
with a kind of funnel-shaped opening. As many as three to five
thousand natives are then called into requisition. Some of them come
mounted on their swift ponies, the majority, however, being on foot.
Each man carries a harmless-looking little flag on the end of a stick.
Scouts are sent out in various directions, and when they report the
presence of a herd the army of natives quietly files out of camp and
for hours tramps over the ground, spreading out in the form of a vast
semicircle, measuring perhaps five miles across at its widest part. In
this way they manage to surround the unsuspecting zebras. Then, at
a given signal--generally a pistol-shot--they commence shouting and
beating tom-toms, moving meanwhile towards the animals.

The frightened zebras retreat at once, dashing towards the stockade.
As they approach it other animals are surprised, including, perhaps,
antelope, eland, deer, buffalo, and perhaps a giraffe. The one aim of
the four-footed fugitives is to get away from the cordon of yelling
natives, which now surrounds them on every side. There is only one
outlet, which leads into the stockade, and into this they plunge
panic-stricken. Once inside, the entrance is immediately closed. At
a recent drive, organized by one of Mr. Hagenbeck's hunters in German
East Africa, fully four hundred zebras and a large number of antelopes
and other animals were surrounded in this way. As the corral was not
large enough to hold such a number the greater portion were allowed
to escape, and finally eighty-five zebras and fifteen antelopes were
secured.

When first captured the zebra is very wild, dashing about the stockade
at lightning speed, but in a few days he recognises that it is
hopeless to try to escape, and philosophically accepts the situation.
In German East Africa the settlers often tame these newly-caught
zebras and ride them like horses.

Curiously enough, the big cats--such as lions, tigers, and
leopards--do not give the hunter so much trouble as some of the hoofed
animals. In the case of lions they are now only taken when cubs. This
work is done by the natives; the collector merely tells them that he
is wanting lions, and in a short time they return with the desired
number. These men track the lioness to her den, rushing in suddenly
and raining spears upon her till she is dead. The little ones are then
wrapped up in pieces of cloth and handed over to the hunter at
the camp. They are fed on goats' milk--which they drink out of a
bottle--and pieces of fowl until they are old enough to travel, when
they are sent down to the coast in little wooden boxes on the backs of
camels and shipped to Europe.

Occasionally when the cub-hunters visit a den they find both parents
away, and then their task is easy. Should the mother return, however,
there is at once a fierce fight, and unless she is quickly overpowered
it goes hard indeed with the natives. There is no creature more fierce
than one of these big cats when it comes to protecting her young, and
the cries of the infuriated mother will sometimes bring her mate to
the scene, and an enraged male lion strikes terror into all but the
stoutest hearts.

Abyssinia is now the great lion-hunting ground. The best lions were
those obtained from the Atlas Mountains in North Africa, but this
species is now practically extinct. At Mr. Hagenbeck's depôt there are
at present some forty-six lions of all ages. They have come from the
Congo, from the Egyptian Soudan, from Senegal, and from South and
East Africa. Some of these animals are worth as much as three hundred
pounds apiece. In the same section there may also be seen some
twenty-two tigers, representing several very rare species. There
are some, for instance, from Siberia, magnificent creatures, with
beautifully-striped coats, and worth over two hundred pounds apiece.

Tigers are captured as cubs and also when fully grown; often the
animal hunter, to the delight of the natives, will entrap some
much-dreaded man-eater. Tigers are caught in large pitfalls, and
various methods of securing the animals when once they are in the pit
are adopted. In some cases a strong wooden trap is fixed in the pit,
and when the animal falls through the lightly-covered mesh at the top
it traps and cages itself automatically. In others it merely falls
into a big hole, and has to be secured and dragged out by ropes. In
certain parts of India the natives are so daring that they will place
a collar, from which hang a number of twenty-foot ropes, round the
neck of a newly-caught tiger. To the end of each a man will hang on
for dear life, and by pulling against each other guide the infuriated
brute along the path they wish it to follow. In this way they
literally walk the tiger to market.

[Illustration: A HERD OF DIMINUTIVE WILD HORSES FROM ASIA--THEY COST
MR. HAGENBECK TEN THOUSAND POUNDS TO OBTAIN.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Everyone knows how they catch elephants in India--by driving them into
a kheddah or stockade, and then sending in trained elephants to subdue
their newly-caught brethren--so that no description of this method
need be given here. Naturally, no dealer would ever dream of
organizing an expedition to hunt this great creature, save, perhaps,
the African variety, which is now very rare and valuable. In the
course of a single year Mr. Hagenbeck will dispose of as many as
thirty to fifty elephants. On one occasion he received a cable
ordering thirty, and they were duly shipped by the next steamer.

[Illustration: A CARAVAN HALTED FOR REST.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Some few years ago the famous dealer had a remarkable experience
with an African elephant, which stood eight feet in height and was a
magnificent creature of its kind. It was sold to the proprietor of
an American circus, who was then touring in Europe. Mr. Hagenbeck's
instructions were to send the animal by rail from Hamburg to Dresden.
A special wagon was ordered to convey the creature, and when all was
ready it was walked from the depot down to the station.

"He went as quietly as a lamb," said Mr. Hagenbeck. "Arriving at the
station, I fixed a stout rope to one of his forelegs, in case the
animal should get a little nervous or excited. The elephant was
just about to enter its wagon when an express train ran through
the station, blowing its whistle rather loudly as it did so. This
frightened the creature. He commenced to trumpet, spread out his long
ears, and then, with a twist of his foot, smashed the rope as if it
had been a piece of thread. Realizing he was about to bolt I jumped
up and clung to one of his ears, hoping by this means to prevent the
beast from dashing away and causing endless damage everywhere.

"I had hardly grasped his ear, however, before he started off. I had
no option then but to hang on, for if I had dropped I should probably
have been trampled upon, so to the animal's ear I clung for dear life.
At the bottom of the railway yard was a large iron gate. When we
first came through we had closed it behind us, and I thought that this
barrier, perhaps, might stop the elephant's mad career. But it did
nothing of the kind. The brute simply charged it full force with his
head, without in the least slackening speed, and the stout gate was
smashed, portions of the iron bars being hurled a great distance.

[Illustration: THE MONARCH OF THE FOREST IN AN UNUSUAL POSE.

  _From a Photograph._
]



[Illustration: A GENERAL VIEW OF THE ZEBRA STOCKADE, ERECTED TO HOLD
NEWLY-CAPTURED SPECIMENS.

  _From a Photograph._]
]

"Out into the busy streets of Hamburg bolted the elephant, trumpeting
madly and frightening both horses and pedestrians as he rushed along.
Past electric trams and carriages he dashed, with me still dangling
from one of his ears. He went straight back to the depôt, the same way
as he had come--by a road which he had never travelled before. When
he arrived at the depôt the iron gate there was closed, but this was
quickly broken down and the creature dashed into his stable. Entering
the latter, he stood still for a second or two, and then jumped on to
the platform where he had been in the habit of standing and commenced
eating hay as if nothing had happened!"

Here is an interesting instance of the famous dealer's enterprise.
When the Russian traveller, Prjevalsky, startled the zoological world
a few years ago by the announcement that he had seen in the deserts of
Sungaria, in Central Asia, a new species of wild horse, Mr. Hagenbeck
decided to secure some specimens, and an expedition was at once
organized. His travellers penetrated to the northern border of the
Gobi Desert, where they found themselves in the land of the Kirghiz,
a tribe noted for its horses and expert horsemanship. Engaging the
services of nearly two thousand Kirghiz riders, and taking with them
fifty brood mares in foal, the collectors sought the desert home of
the wild horse. After a series of exciting adventures the travellers
succeeded in capturing fifty-two young colts of the wild horse
species.

These were mothered by the domesticated mares that had been taken
along with the expedition for that purpose, and then, after a rest,
the long and arduous homeward journey was begun. It took three months
for the caravan to reach the Siberian Railway and depart for Hamburg.
During the trip twenty-eight of the wild colts succumbed, and only
twenty-four reached Hamburg alive. The expedition was in the field
nearly eighteen months, and its expenses totalled some ten thousand
pounds.

When I was in Stellingen Mr. Hagenbeck was daily expecting the return
of an expedition which he had dispatched to Northern Siberia. His men
were bringing him home some rare deer, bears, wolves, pheasants, and a
host of other creatures. Another hunter was on his way back from West
Africa with some young gorillas and other interesting creatures,
while yet another was bringing home elephants from Ceylon, and still a
fourth Polar bears and young walruses from Spitzbergen.

These collectors journey far into the wilds and literally take their
lives in their hands. They never know what danger awaits them. On one
occasion a caravan was quietly making its way along the dry bed of a
stream in Central Asia, the chief hunter happy in the knowledge that
his mission had been successful, and that he was bringing home a
really valuable collection of wild beasts. Suddenly the heavens
grew dark and loud peals of thunder were heard, followed by vivid
lightning-flashes. The hunter knew what it meant--unless he got out of
that river-bed soon he and his men and their valuable freight would be
washed away. He hastened them forward with all speed, but before they
could find a track up the steep sides the waters were upon them,
and in a few minutes what had previously been a smooth roadway was a
roaring torrent, with men and horses, mixed up with all kinds of wild
creatures, fighting for their lives Most of the men managed to escape,
but three-fourths of the valuable animals were lost.

[Illustration: TRANSHIPPING CAMELS FROM SHIP TO SHORE.

  _From a Photograph._]
]

[Illustration: A SPECIAL CONSIGNMENT OF "ASSORTED WILD ANIMALS" FOR
MR. HAGENBECK'S DEPÔT.

  _From a Photograph._]
]

To describe how every beast one sees in a well-organized zoo is caught
would naturally occupy a great deal of space. The various species of
Siberian deer are taken when young. A herd is driven by the natives
into deep snow, into which the young ones sink and are unable to
extricate themselves. Most of the bears, too, are also secured when
mere cubs. In the case of the giant Polar bear, the cubs are taken
from their mothers, dumped into barrels, and brought across the ocean
in ships to the dealer, often arriving in a very sorry plight. The
Indian hunter will catch snakes for you by setting fire to the grass
where they are known to exist, and securing them in nets as they try
to escape. Those of the boa-constrictor type are taken either when
they have gorged themselves with food, and are more or less lifeless,
or else secured in traps.

The whole business is vastly exciting, and Mr. Hagenbeck can narrate
many adventures he has had while handling his strange merchandise.
When a young man he often went out himself hunting animals. While
bringing home a large consignment once from Africa a full-grown lion
got loose on board ship. It was very early in the morning, and the
dealer was asleep in his cabin at the time. He was quickly roused by
the captain, who was very much frightened, as were also the members
of his crew. Placing a "shifting den" in position, the dealer took his
large whip and sought the lion. He found him in a crouching position,
his eyes glaring, and in no mood to be played with. Cracking the whip
several times, by a series of man[oe]uvres he managed to get behind
the beast and slowly drove him forward. It was very tricky work, and
several times it looked as if the big revolver would have to be drawn
and the animal shot. Then, as sometimes happens, the animal suddenly
lost heart, bolted into his cage, and was safely secured.

In Suez, once, a full-grown giraffe ran away with Mr. Hagenbeck, who
held him by a rope twisted round his wrist. Not being able to free
himself he was dragged along the streets and fearfully knocked about.
When he did get loose he was so exhausted and bruised that he had to
lie quite still for a quarter of an hour without moving. On another
occasion, while unloading a hippopotamus, the animal got loose and
started after him. He ran into its den, and managed to escape through
the bars at the other end just as the beast was upon him.

[Illustration: SOME OF THE GIRAFFES IN MR. HAGENBECK'S ANIMAL DEPÔT.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Animals sometimes start fighting among themselves, and to separate
them is exceedingly dangerous. Perhaps the queerest encounter ever
witnessed at this remarkable animal exchange was that which took
place between a hippopotamus and a kangaroo. "The latter," said Mr.
Hagenbeck, "was the largest kangaroo I ever had in my possession;
it was over six feet high, and a very powerful animal. It occupied a
stable close to that of the hippo, and one night the kangaroo jumped
over its fence into the hippo's pen. The kangaroo landed in the
hippo's tank, which was empty.

"It was two o'clock in the morning when the incident occurred, and
when I arrived on the scene I could not help smiling, the whole affair
being so comical. There stood the monster hippo with his enormous
mouth open, snapping at the kangaroo down in the tank below. The
moment the hippo moved down towards the tank the kangaroo sprang into
the air and smacked his opponent in the face with his great forefeet.
When the hippo got too venturesome, by endeavouring to walk into the
tank despite the blows, the kangaroo took a mighty leap upwards and
struck his enemy with his hind feet, inflicting terrible scratches
with his claws.

"Try as he would the hippo could not get into that tank to attack
the kangaroo. To separate the combatants was a puzzle. We did it
ultimately by fixing up an arrangement by which we dropped a large
seal net over the kangaroo, and then, drawing in the cords, secured
him. To divert the hippo's attention, the moment the net was lowered
over the kangaroo one of my men pretended to enter the cage. The ruse
succeeded, and the kangaroo was safely released and taken back to his
proper quarters.

"I could tell you many more adventures," said Mr. Hagenbeck, as we
shook hands on parting, "but the fact is I have just written a book in
which I have given a complete story of my life, and I have embodied
in it the little adventures I have had while hunting, collecting, and
handling my strange merchandise." That book certainly ought to make
good reading.



[Illustration]


HOW WE CAPTURED THE REBEL CHIEF.

BY E. F. MARTIN, LATE OF THE ROYAL NIGER COMPANY'S SERVICE.

    A powerful native chief was stirring up trouble against the
    white man, and the order went forth that he was to be arrested
    and brought in for trial. The author was in charge of the
    expedition, and here relates the thrilling happenings that
    befell his little band ere the "wanted" rebel was safely caged
    at head-quarters.


It was the month of July, in the year 1898, and we were kicking our
heels in idleness about Asaba, waiting for the return of the Chief
Justice to decide an important local matter, when the senior executive
officer of the district requested me to take political charge of a
mission into the Hinterland, to bring in the paramount chief of a
great secret organization, which was the cause of grave unrest in the
territory behind Benin, its members having vowed to drive the white
man out of the country. Overjoyed at the news, I ran across to the
bungalow of Lieutenant Townsend, the officer commanding the local
detachment of the Royal Niger Constabulary, and handed him the order
to accompany me with an escort of fifty men. After luncheon we mounted
the Maxim gun belonging to the station on Townsend's veranda, and
practised, in turn, on logs floating down the great sluggish Niger,
which passes in a wide sweep by the foot of the slope on which Asaba
nestles.

Our target-practice over, we set to work to review the light column
that had, meanwhile, been getting ready to accompany us on the morrow
on our adventure into the unknown. The fifty Hausa soldiers looked
wonderfully smart and keen in their light khaki marching-kit.

At daylight next day we set out, our transport consisting of sixty
coolie carriers. The dreary pattering of the rain on the myriad
leaves of the forest trees, and the splash, splash of many feet on
the flooded pathway, provided a melancholy accompaniment to the hushed
whispers of the men and our own serious thoughts.

We passed round the native town to the right and plunged up to our
waists in muddy water, through which the pathway led right into the
darkness of the forest. For several hours it rained incessantly; the
whole land was dank and sodden, and reeked of wet, rotting vegetation.
Later on the rain ceased, and on one occasion, when we emerged from
the depths of the forest into open farm lands, we were bathed in a
blaze of sunshine, only to plunge into the cool of the forest glades
again. We pitched camp at Openam, where far into the night I lay
awake, listening to the many strange noises of that strange land.
The beating of the corn for next day's meal sounded like the possible
building of stockades by some malignant enemy preparing to entrap us,
and the cries of the night-birds and prowling beasts seemed like so
many uncanny voices of woodland spirits, warning us of some impending
doom.

We were early astir, and after a quick light breakfast set out towards
our goal--the town of Issèlé. At Issèlé M'patimo we were stopped by a
stockade, and it was only after much persuasion and many assurances of
friendship that we were allowed to pass through--not, however, before
every soul in the place had disappeared. Not a house was to be seen.
We entered a great clearing completely fenced in by impenetrable
barriers of living trees, whose leafy branches interlaced in
inextricable folds. Somewhere behind these barriers were the houses.
We could see no trace of the hundreds of eyes that we felt--we
_knew_--were staring at us from all sides; no inkling of the countless
black muzzles of the Long Dane guns that were covering us. Nobody
appeared, however, and we marched through this silent clearing without
mishap. But we had hardly got beyond the confines of this curious city
of the woods before heavy firing broke out in our immediate rear. We
felt certain that we were in for it, but our guide reassured us,
saying that the townspeople were only giving vent to their feelings of
relief at our not having molested them.

That night we camped in a village outside Issèlé, and on interviewing
the chief found that he had with him a daughter of the man we wished
to capture, and persuaded her to come with us next morning into
Issèlé.

On reaching that town we drew the men up in square before the King's
house--a lofty building of enormous circumference, painted or washed a
pink colour--and demanded to see His Majesty. After a lot of parleying
I entered the building, leaving Townsend outside, but taking my
interpreter and four soldiers with me as a body guard. I was shown
into a large courtyard, surrounded on all sides by a veranda, whilst
in the centre stood a kind of idol on a rude column. Overhanging the
palace outside, an enormous cotton-tree rose some two hundred feet
into the air. Not a leaf or a vestige of bark adorned its mournful,
lonely majesty. From every branch, however, hung some ghastly offering
to the ruling fetish of the place--here a dead fowl, there a skull
dangling by a matted bunch of hair, and many another gruesome thing.
It cast a shadow and a hush of Death over everything; the people
seemed to live in continual fear of some unknown terror. As I
waited in this strange courtyard with my five companions, I took the
opportunity to get my bearings. The doorway by which I had entered led
out into the square by some steps, and was about six feet above the
level of the ground outside. Its heavy, iron-studded wooden door stood
ajar. The only other entrance to the courtyard was opposite this one,
and led into the private apartments of the palace. The middle of
the courtyard was some two feet below the level of the surrounding
veranda.

Suddenly the private door flew open, and a swarm of men entered, armed
with guns, spears, swords, and bows and arrows. At a sign from me my
men quietly fixed bayonets. Then the King came in, gorgeously robed in
red velvet, and sat down on a chair near me, after shaking hands and
indicating another chair that had been brought for me. I then, through
my interpreter, explained my mission. As the King proved to be on bad
terms with Ozuma Munyi, the man I sought, he was quite willing to give
me a free hand, but did not dare to take any open action himself, as
Ozuma was head of a very powerful party and might prove nasty later
on. He, however, agreed to send a messenger to call him. We waited for
fully half an hour, not knowing whether the rebel chieftain would come
or not. Needless to say, that half-hour was one of poignant anxiety,
as on that message depended the success or failure of our expedition.
The messenger was told to say that Ozuma's daughter was with us, and
that if he himself would not come we should return to Asaba with her.
Meanwhile I called Townsend in, and we arranged that, as Ozuma's party
entered, Townsend and twelve men should manage to intermingle with
them, and thus, unnoticed, get into the courtyard. We felt that to
fill the place with soldiers beforehand might frighten our man.

Soon the messenger returned with the good news that Ozuma Munyi was
coming, and shortly afterwards a body of men, armed to the teeth,
entered from the square outside, accompanied by Townsend and some of
his men. When Ozuma and I had shaken hands the tug-of-war began. He
was an enormous, powerfully-built man, and nothing that I could say
would move him to accompany us. At last, seeing that persuasion was
useless, I glanced across at Townsend and nodded. He uttered one word
that had the result of an explosion. A flash of bayonets and a rush
of khaki-uniformed men from behind the veranda columns, and the
whole place was in an uproar. The King and his followers promptly
disappeared through the inner doorway, and Ozuma's men were kept at
bay by the bayonets of my four Hausa guards, whilst our rebel himself,
and the twelve men told off to capture him, rolled and tumbled and
fought all over the courtyard--one man against twelve--amid Ozuma's
frenzied shouts of "The King has sold me! The King has sold me!" Then,
crash! out through the doorway he hurtled, with five men on top of
him. By the time Townsend and I reached the bottom of the steps,
however, the struggle was over, and half the column was sitting on the
prostrate body of our prisoner.

[Illustration: "OUT THROUGH THE DOORWAY HE HURTLED, WITH FIVE MEN ON
TOP OF HIM."]

Having called the men off and pinioned his arms securely, we lost no
time in forming up into marching order and setting out for home, as
our surroundings began to take on a threatening aspect. Hundreds
of armed blacks were gathering from all sides, wondering at
the happenings which were being enacted in the shadow of their
mystery-tree.

We decided to give the Ozuma party the slip by getting out of the
place by a different route to that by which we had come, and, once
clear of the town, set off at the double. That was the hardest and
most desperate race I have ever run. At every few yards great trees
had been thrown across the track, and we had to scramble over these,
or, wherever practicable, dive underneath. We ran for some miles along
this tangled forest path, and then called a halt at the foot of
a short hill, crowned by a town called Nburu-Kitti. Forming up we
marched to the summit, and halting in the marketplace sent for the
King. His Majesty refused to come, so we informed him that, on a
second refusal, we would fire into his house. Then he came quickly
enough. We told him that all we wished him to do was to promise that
we should not be molested by his people, and this promise he readily
gave. I then took the head of the column, followed by five or six
men; then came the Maxim gun and our prisoner and his escort, followed
immediately by Townsend and the rest of the force. As we were passing
the last row of huts the crack of a musket rang out. I turned,
thinking that some soldier had let off his rifle by mistake, but
before I could ask what it was that had happened the whole column was
blazing away right and left. Going back to the Maxim, I had it fixed
up and trained on the town, whence a heavy fire had been opened on
us through the doors and windows and from behind the walls of the
compounds. It was obvious that the local King meant to do his best to
rescue his friend, Ozuma Munyi.

[Illustration: "WE RUSHED IN AMONGST A FRIGHTENED CROWD OF SAVAGES."]

I had barely taken my seat behind the gun when my helmet was shot away
by a slug that tore a slight flesh wound over my right temple. I had
the satisfaction, however, of seeing a whole section of wall crumble
away under my first sweeping fire with the Maxim, and five dark forms
fall across the ruins. Then a blinding rush of blood poured down my
face, and almost simultaneously the gun jammed. Wiping the blood from
my eyes, and getting a Hausa to tie a handkerchief round my head,
I turned to call Townsend to have a look at the weapon, when, to my
consternation, I saw him lying on the ground, with two men bending
over him. Several others had also fallen. The fire from the houses was
getting heavier each second, and I realized that unless we mastered it
speedily we might find ourselves in a serious position. So, snatching
up Townsend's sword and brandishing my revolver in my left hand, I
called on some of the men to follow me and help clear the compounds.
Twenty at once volunteered, and with a yell we dashed straight for the
wall that had crumbled under the Maxim fire. Leaping over the foot
or two remaining, we rushed in amongst a frightened crowd of savages,
who, astonished at the sudden onslaught, tried to retreat through
a narrow inner doorway. With bayonets and rifle-butts, bullets and
sword-thrusts, we hacked and hammered at the seething mass of yelling
blacks. Out of twenty-five that made for the exit, only seven got
through, three of whom fell to my revolver before getting any farther.
Shouting to the men to follow me, I next ran back into the roadway,
ordering the native sergeant-major to form square, with the prisoner
in the middle, and await further instructions. Then, with my
volunteers, I made for the King's house, where we battered down the
door and rushed in. As we appeared the folk inside, dropping their
weapons, ran away through various huts and doorways. Some we shot
down, others were bayoneted. I and a native N.C.O. went after the
chief. Through some huts, and around others, dodging in and out
between mud walls and partitions of matting, we followed him until at
last we cornered him, as we thought, in a house that seemed to close
all exit from the compound in that direction. The King dashed in, I
after him, and the N.C.O. at my heels.

The house was divided into three rooms, cutting it into three equal
parts. When we reached the third room, the farthest from the entrance,
we came to a standstill, for it was pitch dark, and there seemed to be
no windows. The heavy wooden door that led into the place stood ajar,
and the N.C.O. pushed past me and rushed into the darkness. Fearing
treachery, I tried to stop him, but did not succeed in doing so. Just
then there was a noise behind me like the banging of a door. I turned,
but some instinct seemed to hold me where I stood. A dead silence had
fallen on the place, and I must confess to a feeling that something
uncanny was in the air. I could hear through the silence, as though from
miles and miles away, faint shouts, and now and then a distant shot, but
in the rooms around me absolute stillness prevailed. What had become of
the fugitive King and my too eager N.C.O.?

At last, overcoming the strange feeling of apathy that like a spell
had come over me, I called to my companion, inquiring where on earth
he had got to. The sound of my voice rang hollow and strange in that
gloomy place, and seemed to echo faintly, but there was no reply.
Feeling certain now that some kind of treachery was at work, I felt in
my tunic for a match, but found that I had either dropped my only box
or my orderly had relieved me of it that morning, for some reason best
known to himself. The solitary window in the middle room, where I had
come to a full stop, was shuttered--actually nailed up. The only light
that came in filtered through the chinks. I tried to burst the shutter
open, but it resisted all my efforts. Then, bethinking me of my
revolver, I went to the entrance of the innermost room once more, and,
aiming at the floor, fired. The flash revealed the interior to me for
an instant. It seemed absolutely empty! Where were the two men who
had entered? Had they gone out, by any chance, through the roof, I
wondered? Yet there was no sign of daylight anywhere to indicate an
exit under the palm-thatch, and there was no doorway visible in the
farther walls. There was nothing in the room, with the exception of a
few mats lying in the middle of the floor. With the intention of going
round outside the house and trying to discover for myself what the
solution of the mystery could be I turned on my heel and retraced
my steps, crossed the middle room once more, and passed through the
doorway into the first of the three rooms.

Then I started back, nearly suffocated. A great rolling cloud of
thick yellow smoke met me and completely enveloped me. In an instant I
realized what it meant--the house was on fire! Making a wild dart for
the shuttered window of the middle room, I banged and hammered at it
with all my might and main, using both the hilt of Townsend's sword,
which I carried, and the handle of my revolver, but all to no purpose.
There was no doubt about it: I was completely trapped. But, meantime,
what had become of all my men--the twenty enthusiastic volunteers
who had smashed in the door of the compound and rushed in along with
me--where had they got to? A smell of hot smoke filled the room,
and from outside the roaring as of a mighty wind, accompanied by the
crackling of musketry, was all the sound that I could hear. Then it
suddenly dawned upon me that the crackling was not that of musketry,
the roaring not that of wind--but of the town and compound on fire
and fiercely blazing like the house I was entrapped in. There was
no mistaking those ominous red gleams that now began to be reflected
through the imperfectly-fitted shutter. Suddenly the roar became
deafening, and a great lurid tongue of flame shot across the room,
accompanied by a blast of heat that nearly choked me. I had barely
time to make a dash for the third chamber before the fire took
complete possession of the middle one. The heat and the smoke were
terrible. I made a spring for the farther wall in order to try to
force my way through the roof, which at this, the extreme, end of the
house had not yet caught alight. Three times did I make the attempt,
but each time fell back, unable to get a hand-hold on the top of the
wall. At the third attempt, on staggering back, my foot got entangled
in one of the mats that were lying on the floor and I tripped and
fell, half fainting from the terrible smoke and heat. As I went down
the mats seemed to give way, and with great force the lower half of
my body--my left hip and leg--struck against the side of some kind of
cavity, into which I found I had half fallen, for, whilst I had come
on the floor with my hands, the rest of me swung into space. In that
moment I understood, to some extent, why that house held such strange
echoes.

The roaring flames overhead and the dense, stifling smoke, that,
but for the excitement of my fall, would already have rendered me
unconscious, now precluded any possible thought of making my escape
through any of the rooms of the house, and so I turned my attention
to my latest discovery, hoping against hope that it would enable me
to save my life. The sides of the well seemed to be made of smooth,
hardened earth, and were damp and covered with slime. Using all my
strength, I let myself down to the full length of my arms until I hung
well below the level of the floor. Here I managed to draw one of the
mats over my head, and clung to the walls of that gloomy pit like a
beetle. Kicking against the sides with the toes of my boots, I managed
to make holes in the hard clay, large enough to allow of my resting my
feet sufficiently to take off some of the strain from my fingers and
arms. What my thoughts were at that time I do not pretend to know; I
do not think I had any. For the time being I was no better than any
other beetle, clinging desperately to the side of the pit, of the
depth of which I had no idea. A cold, damp draught of foul air seemed
to blow up from below me, and a mouldy stench sickened my nostrils.

Suddenly my dulled senses were awakened by a tremendous crash,
accompanied by much hissing and spluttering, and the red light above
the mat covering my head went out. As I looked up, wondering what this
could mean, something fell upon the mats, forcing the one directly
over me inwards and sending it floating down past me into the darkness
beneath. The falling object also crushed my right hand at the same
time, and the sudden pain caused me to loose my hold, so that for one
awful moment I dangled helplessly, suspended only by my left hand,
over that reeking pit.

Having secured another hand-hold, I stared anxiously up through the
smoke. The cause of all the commotion, I discovered, was a burning
rafter, all blackened and charred, which had toppled down when the
roof collapsed. The fall of the thatch appeared to have temporarily
quenched the fire, and it seemed as good an opportunity of escape as I
was likely to get, so, drawing myself up by my left hand, I managed to
get my right arm round the still smouldering beam and, with a supreme
effort, dragged myself out of the mouth of the well once more, getting
astride of the charred and smoking beam, and thence on to the floor.
Bruised and scorched, with my clothes burning and my helmet gone, I
managed to clamber up the wall of the room by means of the many pieces
of blackened and half-burnt bamboo that had come down with the roof,
and flung myself recklessly over the farther side. I fell on my back,
and by rights ought to have had some bones broken, but somehow I
escaped with a few severe contusions. Picking myself up, I rushed
through the flaming compound, with red-hot ashes swirling about my
face, acrid smoke filling my lungs, and my eyes streaming water from
the fearful heat. Escaping by a miracle more than once, as a roof
collapsed or a wall fell out with a crash across my path, and leaping
over the bodies of natives at every turn, I eventually emerged into
the market-place more dead than alive.

The troops were formed in square as I had left them. Men were issuing
from the burning compounds, singly and in twos and threes. All firing
had ceased, and not a native of the place was to be seen anywhere.
As I approached the square at a staggering trot I ran a great risk of
being shot, for--as I learnt subsequently--the men were so startled
at my appearance that they were seriously thinking of putting a bullet
through me. They told me afterwards that I looked more like a devil
than anything they had ever seen, and they took me for the fire-spirit
that lived in the flames. Some of the coolies even started to bolt,
until reassured by their companions and by the sound of my voice.

I ordered the "Fall in" to be sounded, so as to collect my scattered
volunteers, and then set about seeing what I could do to ease the
horrible pains of my burns. This I accomplished, to some extent, with
various ointments that I found in the medicine-chest we had brought
with us. I then turned my attention to Townsend. On examining him
I found that he had been hit in the shoulder. He had swooned at the
time, but was now quite conscious again. We concluded that it was
nothing very serious, did what we thought best at the moment, and
bandaged the wound up well. Then, with Townsend in a hammock, and
carrying our wounded coolies along with us--no soldiers had been
hit--we set out for Asaba once more with our prisoner.

[Illustration: A LETTER FROM THE ROYAL NIGER COMPANY TO THE AUTHOR
THANKING HIM FOR HIS CONDUCT OF THE EXPEDITION.]

After half an hour's marching we met a friendly native, who told us
that we were to be ambushed some quarter of a mile farther on. On
receipt of this cheerful piece of information we retraced our steps;
we had had our fill of fighting for that day, especially as our
instructions were to avoid bloodshed if we could possibly do so.
The alternative route we determined to take added five miles to our
journey, and I shall never forget the weariness and uncertainty of
that long _détour_. The knowledge that, at any moment, a stealthy and
wary enemy might suddenly start blazing away at us from five yards on
either side of the path, which was shut in with dense undergrowth to
right and left, surmounted with towering trees, made the journey seem
endless, and the strain on our nerves was terrible. We marched for
hour after hour in a gloomy twilight; not a single ray of sunlight
filtered through the thick leafy canopy overhead. Then, all at
once, the path opened out, and to our unutterable joy we entered the
principal avenue of Openam. We were in friendly country once more--or
as nearly friendly as anything in the Hinterland of Asaba could be.

Here we rested for half an hour, while I attended to Townsend and our
other wounded. We then set out on our final march, and without further
incident reached Asaba at 8.30 p.m., all utterly tired out, but happy
in the consciousness that we had accomplished our mission.

The N.C.O. who had so mysteriously disappeared at Nburu-Kitti, and
whom I had given up for lost, arrived at Asaba a few hours after the
column. He came to my bedside and woke me from my well-earned sleep,
whereupon I stared at him in utter amazement. On asking him to prove
that he was not a ghost, he explained that, when he rushed into that
end room in pursuit of the flying chief, he pitched headlong down the
well and nearly broke his neck. The bottom, however, consisted of oozy
mud, which considerably softened his fall. After lying stunned for how
long he could not tell, he began to explore the pit, and discovered
a tunnel about five feet from the bottom of the well. Crawling into
this, he followed it without difficulty until he emerged into another
compound beyond that of the chief's. It is to be supposed that the
fugitive King must have made his escape in the same manner, but, as
the N.C.O. naively said, he did not wait to inquire.



ROUND THE WORLD WITH A BILLIARD CUE.

BY MELBOURNE INMAN, BRITISH BILLIARD ASSOCIATION CHAMPION.

    In this amusing article the well-known professional describes
    some of the curious experiences that befell him during his
    recent tour round the world--a tour on which his "only visible
    means of support" was his cue. He met all sorts and conditions
    of men, and--what was more important--all sorts and conditions
    of billiard-tables, but, as this narrative shows, managed to
    extract not a little amusement from his misadventures.


The hundred and one minor accidents which occur in the average
globe-trotter's journeyings were, in my case, added to and enlarged by
the fact that to a certain extent my tour depended upon the amount of
patronage I received. To travel round the world with a billiard cue
and case as one's only visible means of support is an undertaking
which requires a considerable amount of doing. That I succeeded so
well I put down to the fact that the Britisher abroad is a sportsman
of the best sort, and will do anything and pay anything to see one of
the Mother Country's champions playing his game, no matter what that
game may be. During my journey I went completely round the world,
visiting Ceylon twice, Australia three times, New Zealand twice,
Tasmania, China, the Straits Settlements, India, and Burma, the total
distance covered being close on a hundred thousand miles, and the time
occupied by the tour over eighteen months.

[Illustration: MR. MELBOURNE INMAN, BRITISH BILLIARD ASSOCIATION
CHAMPION.

  _From a Photograph._
]

My chief difficulties were the tables which were provided. I did not
expect to meet with absolutely correct ones, but sometimes I would
be led into a room and introduced to some bedraggled wreck on four or
five legs and blandly informed that _that_ was the thing upon which I
had to show my powers as a billiard-player! The only thing which saved
me from a sudden and total loss of reputation was the fact that my
opponent usually did a great deal worse than _I_, and my efforts to
avoid the unorthodox pitfalls, such as open gaps in the cloth,
grooves at the pockets, and so forth, were seen and appreciated by the
habitués of the place who used the table themselves, and were only too
familiar with its peculiarities.

My first really amusing adventure occurred at Colombo, Ceylon. I was
booked to play a Mr. G----, who was a well-known personage, being
sub-editor of the local paper, and had to give him eight hundred start
in a game of twelve hundred up. The match took place at the Globe
Hotel, and when I entered the room I saw that a good crowd of natives
had gathered to watch the game. They were evidently very anxious to
see their champion win, and chattered away volubly while the game was
in progress. Now silence is indispensable if good billiards is to
be played, but I stuck to my work until suddenly dull thuds began to
sound on the ceiling above. The lights over the table quivered and
danced with the reverberations, and presently, in despair, I called
the proprietor to one side and asked him what on earth was happening
up there.

"Oh, that's all right," he said, cheerily. "There's a troupe of
dancing girls come here to practise every evening, and they are doing
it now!"

With a stifled groan I went back to my task, but the din grew louder
and louder, and at last became so continuous that I could not hear
the marker's voice registering the score, while the vibration was
positively alarming. At last, feeling I could endure it no longer,
I went over to the marker and informed him that I was going to stop.
Handing him my cue, I told him to put it away in my case, as I would
play no more.

He took my cue from me and, turning to the spectators, cried,
stolidly:--

"There will be an interval of ten minutes for refreshments."

The cool way in which he gave out this announcement tickled me, and I
forgot my annoyance. Presently, the landlord having prevailed upon the
nautch girls to cease their gyrations, the game was continued.

I was in the middle of a decent "break," and rapidly overhauling my
opponent, when I noticed a black shadow whizzing about the table legs
and flashing up and down among the spectators. Now, anyone who plays
billiards will know that the light on the table makes it extremely
difficult for the eyes to follow movement in the shadows around the
room, and it was not until the thing brushed against my legs that I
stopped playing and looked around.

The audience was standing up, wildly excited. I thought at first that
it was my play which made them do this, but the flattering idea
was quickly dispelled. I saw a lean brown arm sweep down and a
wildly-spitting, furry object swung across the room and shot out of
the window.

"What on earth was that?" I asked, startled.

"It's all right, Mr. Inman," replied the marker. "A wild cat has been
rushing around here for the last ten minutes, but one of the gentlemen
has just pitched it out of the window!"

I succeeded in winning the game all right, but did not finish until
long after one o'clock in the morning. As we started at 9 p.m. and
the heat during the whole four hours was terrific, it may be imagined
that, what with interruptions from nautch girls and wild cats, I
considered I had earned my fee, and a trifle over.

I came across something really unique in the way of rules in an hotel
at Newara-Eliya, where I was booked to play. In the billiard-room,
immediately opposite the table, where everyone could see it, hung a
card bearing the following announcement:--

  Gentlemen cutting the cloth will pay--

  For first cut           100 rupees.
  Second cut               50 rupees.
  Third cut                20 rupees.
  Any subsequent cut       10 rupees.

Judging from the appearance of the cloth, I should think that
table must have been a veritable gold-mine to its proprietor, if he
collected all the fines. Evidently his motto was "Cut and come again."

[Illustration: "JEST PUTTIN' THINGS TO RIGHTS A BIT."]

While staying at Wellington, New Zealand, I was invited to play at the
Tararua Club, Pahiatua, some hundred and twenty miles away. I accepted
the offer and, assuming that my stay there would be very short, left
my wife at Wellington and travelled up to Pahiatua alone. I was met
at the station by a number of gentlemen, and, after the usual liquid
refreshment, went along to see the table on which I had to play. When
I entered the room I saw a long, thin man squatting cross-legged in
the centre of the table, stitching away at the cloth for all he was
worth. Somewhat surprised, I introduced myself, whereupon the man
explained that he was the local tailor, "jest puttin' things to rights
a bit" for me.

[Illustration: "A WILDLY-SPITTING, FURRY OBJECT SWUNG ACROSS THE
ROOM."]

[Illustration: THE TARARUA CLUB, PAHIATUA, N.Z., WHERE MR. INMAN MET
WITH SEVERAL AMUSING EXPERIENCES.

  _From a Photograph._
]

The table itself wasn't at all bad, but when I looked at it closely
I noticed that the billiard spot (the black spot on the table which
indicates where the red ball is usually placed) was at least three
inches too far to one side.

I had become fairly hardened to trying conditions by this time, but
to attempt to play with the red ball inches out of its recognised
position was more than I dared do.

"What's the matter with that spot?" I asked. "It isn't right, is it?"

The man of the needle slued around on the cloth and squinted at the
spot.

"Seems sorter crooked," he agreed, slowly; "but the fac' of the
matter is that we change the position of that yere spot once a week.
Otherwise it'd work a hole in the cloth!"

That beat me. I fled for the hotel and sought out the gentleman who
had invited me to come there. He listened to my tale of woe and then,
asking me to wait for a moment, disappeared.

I don't know whether they balloted or not, but the spot was moved into
its right place, and the situation--so far as I was concerned--saved.

I had been told when I arrived there that, although there were no
passenger trains from Pahiatua to Wellington at that hour of the
night, I should still be able to get to Wellington when the game was
over, as a goods train, known locally as the "Wild Cat," stopped at
Pahiatua some time about midnight on its way down-country.

When the game was over, however, and I got back to the hotel, I found
that the "Wild Cat" was a very doubtful kind of train and only stopped
at Pahiatua when it thought it would! This particular night, it soon
appeared, was one of its "off" nights--it never showed up at the
station at all!

[Illustration: "THE 'UMAN RACE STARTED FROM MONKEYS--AND DON'T YOU
FORGET IT!"]

Everybody was very kind to me and made me as comfortable as possible.
While I sat in the bar, waiting for the train which never came, I
noticed in a corner a couple of men with their heads together, talking
very earnestly. One of them was an old squatter, the other an obvious
new-comer, and their argument seemed so heated and absorbing that I
gradually edged my way along the seat towards them to try and hear
what it was they found so engrossing.

I half expected it would be sheep, or land values, or old-age
pensions, but when I came within hearing distance the squatter was
saying:--

"I tell you, sonny, the 'uman race started from monkeys--and don't you
forget it!"

Darwin's theory in the back-blocks of New Zealand! I went straight to
bed after that. To run up against a philosophical tailor, a movable
billiard spot, a train with ideas of its own, _and_ Darwin's theory,
all in the same afternoon, was putting too severe a strain on a mere
perambulating billiardist.

Even then, however, I had not finished with Pahiatua. In the small
hours of the morning I awoke and saw that the room was filled with
a dense, pungent mist. It would clear away for a moment, and the
daylight would filter into the room; then down would come the fog, and
the same peculiar smell would rise to my nostrils again. I lay still,
watching this peculiar phenomenon for some time. I had seen so many
strange things happen in the country that I accepted this as another
of them.

Presently I heard heavy footsteps crossing my room.

"Who's that?" I asked.

"Only me, Mr. Inman," answered the voice of one of my friends of the
previous night. "I've just come along to tell you not to be scared.
The fire is nearly out."

[Illustration: "FIRE! I JUMPED FROM THE BED AND RACED TO THE WINDOW."]

Fire! I jumped from the bed and raced to the window. Immediately
opposite the hotel I saw a huge pile of blackened wood, from
which thick clouds of smoke were slowly curling. The mournful heap
represented all that was left of a huge store, whose proprietor I had
met and chatted with some eight hours before.

[Illustration: THE GRAND HOTEL, THURSDAY ISLAND, WHERE THEY HAVE
EARTHQUAKES "ONLY ABOUT THREE TIMES A WEEK!"

  _From a Photograph._
]

I turned to my friend and saw that he was fully dressed.

"How long have you been up?" I asked.

"Three or four hours," he replied. "You see, the flames were coming
over this way, and we all lent a hand to get it under."

"But, bless my soul," I said, "why on earth did you let me sleep on
here?"

"Oh, you were all right," he returned, airily. "We didn't want to
disturb you till the last minute. You've a long journey before you."

I knew that it was kindly meant, but at the time, at least, I did not
quite appreciate it. I had been a sort of unconscious Casabianca for
the best part of the night, and that "last minute" might have been a
very exciting one. Yes, Pahiatua is one of the places I shall _not_
easily forget.

I suppose one does get used to these little eccentricities of Nature.
I remember, when I visited far-away Thursday Island, the landlord
of the Grand Hotel, who had arranged a match for me, said in a
confidential aside to me just as I landed on the quay:--

"I don't think you will find the table very straight, Mr. Inman. We
had a bit of an earthquake here last night, which shook it up a bit!"

"That's nice, cheerful news," I said. "How often do you have
earthquakes?"

"Well, we're not so bad as some places," he answered. "They only
happen about three times a week!"

My stay at Thursday Island lasted exactly twenty-four hours; I am not
anxious to acquire an intimate knowledge of earthquakes. I brought
away with me as a souvenir a copy of what is proudly claimed to be
"the smallest newspaper in the world," the _Thursday Island Pilot_, a
facsimile of which is here reproduced. It is a single sheet, measuring
about fourteen inches by eight.

On one occasion I "put my foot in it" fairly. It happened in Southern
India, at a place where I was booked to play at the local club. The
journey took twelve hours by boat, and when I arrived I was told that
a gentleman was waiting for me. I thought that he was bound to be
the secretary of the club, who had arranged all details with me, and
chatted to him as we made our way towards the village.

Presently we passed a ramshackle-looking building, the walls of which,
as far as I could judge, were made out of empty biscuit-tins and
soap-boxes. It straggled over half an acre of ground, and troops of
hungry dogs were sniffing around it.

[Illustration: THE "THURSDAY ISLAND PILOT," WHICH IS BELIEVED TO BE
THE SMALLEST NEWSPAPER IN THE WORLD.]

I thought that I might venture on a little humour just to liven up the
conversation, so, pointing to the building, I said:--

"A cow shed, I suppose?"

He followed the direction of my outstretched finger, and a pained look
came into his eyes.

"That's the hotel you're going to stay at," he said.

I gasped, but blundered on.

"What a horrible-looking hole!" I cried. "I shall never be able to get
my wife to stay there."

"It's not so bad inside," was the reply, in rather a peculiar tone of
voice.

The rest of our tramp was finished in a strained silence. I thought
that, perhaps, as secretary of the club, my new friend was afraid that
the accommodation would not please me. On the steps of the club I was
met by a dapper little gentleman, and my companion, nodding to both of
us, turned on his heel and disappeared.

"I am Mr. ----, Mr. Inman," said the man on the steps, and mentioned
the name of the secretary with whom I had been in communication.

"Then who was that gentleman I have just left?" I asked, in surprise.

"That is the landlord of the hotel!" he explained.

Then, of course, I saw my mistake, and, when I met mine host again,
hastened to make my apologies and patch things up as best I could. I
am sure, however, that, deep down in his heart, my thoughtless words
rankled. Both my wife and I took it in turns to praise everything
whenever we saw him listening, but, alas! to the very end of our stay
he wore a look of anxiety and care. Only when we stood on the deck
of the little steamer and waved our farewells to him did the faintest
suspicion of a smile flicker on his brown face. It may have been the
fact that he was seeing the last of us that conjured the smile up, but
I hope not.

One other little incident, and I have done. While playing at
Kalgoorlie, Australia, I was approached by a resident and asked to
call at his house to give a few lessons to his wife. The terms he
offered were so high that I could not refuse, and so, when I had a few
hours to spare, he and I went to his home.

I was introduced to his wife--a charming woman with all the true
Colonial hospitality and kindliness--and we sat down in what was
obviously the best room in the house and chatted for about half an
hour. Finally, thinking that I ought to be up and doing something for
my money, I suggested that, if the lady was quite ready, we ought to
adjourn to the billiard-room, so that the lessons might commence.

"_This_ is our billiard-room," said my host.

I looked round in amazement. "But where is the table?"

[Illustration: "THAT'S THE HOTEL YOU'RE GOING TO STAY AT."]

He went to one corner of the room, lifted a small three-feet-by-six
miniature table top, and placed it on the dining-table in front of me.

"This is our table," he said, proudly.

I felt as though it was taking money under false pretences to try to
teach billiards on such a makeshift affair, and said as much, but the
old gentleman would have none of it, so I set to work and did my best.
But it was an ordeal which I have no wish to repeat, for cue, balls,
and everything else were in proportion to the size of the table. In
fact, I believe that the old fellow could do more on the thing than
I could. Anyhow, he seemed a little hurt at my inability to run up a
three-figure break on it, and on the way back to town again regaled
me with yarns of what several of his squatter friends could do on that
table in the way of piling up centuries.

We parted good friends, but I don't think he thought quite so much
of my billiard-playing then as he had done at first. He was pained,
perhaps, to find that it had limitations, and that a three-feet-by-six
table was one of them!



[Illustration: When "Tenderfeet" Go Hunting Bears.]

    "Tenderfeet," as our readers probably know, is the expressive
    term applied out West to new-comers, or greenhorns. When
    such men meet Bruin, or Bruin meets them, there is apt to be
    trouble sometimes ending in tragedy, sometimes in the
    broadest comedy. The instances here given belong to the latter
    category, and will be found extremely amusing.



AN EVENING CALL.

BY ERNEST LAW.


It was June, 1906, and I was working at a small portable sawmill near
Armstrong, British Columbia. George (the boss), Frank, "Texas," Jim,
and myself made the entire crew. "Texas" was so called because of
his frequent references to the State of his birth. For myself, being
English, I was dubbed "Charlie," though it wasn't my proper name.

We had rigged up a fairly decent shack, and, with Jim at the head of
the culinary department, managed to make ourselves pretty comfortable.
The country round was well settled and we were only about six miles
from Armstrong, a rapidly-growing town. There was plenty of bush-land
about, however, some of it very rough, and deer, coyotes, and cougars
were frequently seen, but seldom a bear.

On the evening I am writing about Frank had ridden into town directly
after supper to "have a good time," as he expressed it, and we didn't
expect him back till early morning. The rest of us were sitting around
telling yarns. "Texas" was giving us something extra fine concerning
his good work with a gun. He could usually hold his own at
story-telling, could "Texas," but Jim, in particular, always openly
doubted him. On this occasion he related how he had once bagged a doe
and two fawns with a single shot. Jim guffawed incredulously, and was
rewarded with a look of mild reproach.

"Any o' you fellers seen them bear tracks t'other side the creek?"
asked George, suddenly.

No one had.

"When did you strike them, George?" asked "Texas."

"Just this morning, when I was waterin' the cayuse. They looked kind
of fresh, too."

Now, George was a quiet sort of fellow, but I fancy he knew as much
about hunting as the rest of us put together, and wasn't taking much
notice of the boasting.

"What do you say to a hunt, Jim?" I ventured.

"No, sir; not me," replied Jim, hastily. "I ain't lost no bear."

"You're not scared of a brown bear, surely, Jim?" observed the Texan,
with a grin.

"Well," said Jim, "if there were three bears I'd maybe look around
and have a plug at them, but I don't waste no shell on just one ornery
bear."

"No, I guess not," said "Texas," dryly.

"D'you ever _see_ a live bear?" pursued Jim, offensively.

"Well, I guess I've shot more bear than _you've_ ever seen, Jim,"
retorted the American.

"Maybe you'll hunt this one for us, then," suggested Jim,
sarcastically. "We're all dead scared to sleep here."

"If I run across him at all, I guess there'll be a dead bear around
mighty quick," replied "Texas."

Jim was silent for a moment, then he looked up quickly, struck by a
sudden idea. "Say, Texas," he cried, "s'pose the bear comes around
here, will you take a shot at him?"

"You betcher life!" snapped "Texas."

Thereupon Jim rose, with a look of determination on his face, and
proceeded to set fire to a few sticks. Next, going indoors, he brought
out some sugar, which he threw on the blaze. I had heard somewhere
that the smell of burnt sugar attracted bears from a long distance,
and began to understand what he was about.

Meanwhile, "Texas" looked on cynically, suggesting that if Jim were
to whistle it would have just as much effect. But Jim only said, "You
wait a bit."

Well, we waited a bit, discussing the approaching festivities in
town on the 1st of July (Dominion Day) until the others, I think, had
forgotten all about the bear. About nine o'clock we turned in. We had
bunks fixed up at the end of the shack farthest from the door--three
in a row a little way above the floor, and two more above them. The
table stood right in the centre of the room, and the stove in a corner
by the door.

About eleven o'clock I woke with a start, aroused by an unholy racket
outside. My first thought was that the bear had arrived, but soon I
distinguished the husky tones of Frank, expostulating with the cayuse
while he was taking his saddle off. In a few minutes he stumbled in,
leaving the door wide open, and after a muttered conversation with the
lantern managed to get it alight. By this time all of us were awake,
and we could see that our companion had been imbibing heavily. He had
brought a bottle of whisky back with him, and now, rolling it on the
floor, he started to show us how they rode logs "back home."

After one or two futile attempts to balance himself on the bottle, he
collapsed miserably in a heap, just as Jim flung a heavy logging-boot
at him. He missed Frank, but smashed the lantern, leaving us in the
dark. Frank was grunting and cursing on the floor, trying to strike
the wrong end of a match.

[Illustration: "WHEN HE LOOKED UP AND SAW THE BEAR HE LET OUT A YELL
LIKE A REDSKIN WAR-WHOOP."]

George had just scrambled out of bed to close the door when we heard
a rattling among the old cans and general _débris_ outside the shack,
and a moment later we saw in the doorway, a black blot against the
dark-blue sky, the bear himself! At that critical moment Frank struck
a light. When he looked up and saw the bear he let out a yell like a
redskin war-whoop, and I think he got sober on the spot. Anyway, when
the brute started to come inside Frank knew enough to go round the
other side of the table. Thence he dodged out of the doorway and off
down the road at terrific speed.

Meanwhile, the bear went sniffing along on the other side to where
our bunks were, while George, Jim, and I cleared out hurriedly. It was
quite dark inside the hut, and we all thought "Texas" was with us. Jim
was certainly scared. Once outside, he picked up an axe and went away
down the road so fast that the tail of his nightshirt flew out stiff
behind him. He must have flung the axe away after a while, to expedite
his flight, for we found it quite a long way off in the morning.

Now, "Texas," it subsequently appeared, had slept right on till Frank
gave his yell. Then he sat up, rubbed his eyes leisurely, and caught
sight of the bear. Then he in turn let out a yell or two. Mr. Bear,
somewhat startled, went to the other end of the hut. While he stood
there, sizing up "Texas," and while "Texas" was wishing he was in
mid-ocean, or on a cloud, or some place where there weren't any bears,
George crept in and grabbed his rifle.

Fortunately, he kept his head and didn't fire, or "Texas" might have
got hit, for it was impossible to distinguish objects plainly inside
the shack. Instead of shooting, he started to throw all the small
articles he could lay hands on in the direction of the snuffling and
grunting, and finally the bear went out again. During the latter part
of these proceedings "Texas" had been trying to tear a hole in
the roof, and, standing on his bunk--one of the top ones--had been
successful in ripping off a shingle or two.

Directly Bruin got clear of the shack George let drive. He must have
hit him in the leg, I think, for the brute seemed to limp afterwards.
I was up a tree at the time, and when the next cartridge jammed
I fully expected to see George have a lively time. According to
precedent the bear should have got savage on being hit and made things
interesting; but he must have known better, for he just walked calmly
into the bush and we lost sight of him.

When we tried to get into the shack again we found that the door
wouldn't open. We hammered and yelled, while George showed his mastery
of English idiom, and after a while we heard "Texas" inside moving
one or two pieces of furniture away. You can imagine how sheepish
he looked when we went in, but nobody said a word as we put back the
table and things.

Frank was sitting outside on a pile of stove-wood, ruminating deeply.
I think he had an idea he had seen an imaginary bear, for he vowed
eternal teetotalism for about ten minutes on end. Jim came in last,
shivering with cold, for the evenings in that part of the country are
chilly for a promenade in one's nightshirt.

We all climbed into our bunks again and went to sleep, and I don't
think any of us felt inclined to boast about our evening's work.
George was the only one who had kept cool. But the figure "Texas" had
cut, after all his boasting, was lamentable. He left us a day or two
after, and none of us heard any more of him.

We followed up the bear's tracks next day, but lost them in the thick
bush after a few hundred yards. I think, however, that it was "our"
bear a Siwash Indian shot a little while afterwards about half a
mile off. This tale has now been improved beyond recognition in the
neighbourhood, but mine is the correct version.



TWO "GREENHORNS" AND A BEAR.

BY A. WRIGHT.


In Chatham Straits, Alaska, only a stone's throw from the mainland,
there is a little island called Kilasnoo. It boasts of a tiny Indian
village named after the island, and a factory where they turn out
fish-oil. At a little wharf belonging to the factory, in the summer of
1895, lay the United States survey steamer _Patterson_, on board which
Charles Henderson, a native of Gefle, Sweden, and myself were able
seamen. We were fast friends, and had agreed to be sporting companions
whenever we got the opportunity. Up to the present time we had never
done any hunting, although we owned two guns. The only things we had
shot at so far were condensed milk cans, which we threw into the water
and fired at from behind a bush, at a distance of about fifty feet. I
regret to add that we never hit one. It was our first year up there,
and so far we had had no chance of showing what we could do against
big game, but the chance came along rather sooner than we expected.

One Saturday afternoon, seated in a canoe, Henderson and I paddled off
to the opposite shore. Landing just above a large inlet called Hood's
Bay, we hauled our canoe up into the edge of the wood, and then,
taking our fishing-tackle and guns, we started off along a trail which
brought us, after a three-mile tramp through the wood, to the shores
of a lake where we intended to fish for trout. Although we had
brought our guns, we knew that no game had been seen around there
for years--at least, so the Indians told us. We carried our guns,
therefore, but there was no likelihood of them being required, and I
believe in our hearts we were both glad of it--I know I was, at any
rate.

Presently, tramping steadily through the woods, we arrived at a
clearing or flat at the head of the lake, where, for a space of about
twenty yards, from the edge of the forest to the water, the ground was
bare, save for a solitary dead tree in the middle. We were crossing
this barren stretch when, all of a sudden, a sight met our gaze which
brought us to a standstill. There, coming round the corner of the
clearing, was a bear! I had seen one before at a zoo, and knew at once
what it was, only this bear looked about three times as big as the
beast at the zoo.

I will not speak for Henderson, but if I could have moved just then I
should have taken a header into the lake. When we got our breath after
the first shock of surprise, my companion shouted excitedly, "Shoot!
Shoot!" He yelled so loud that the bear stopped in surprise, had
a good, comfortable look at us, gave what sounded like a grunt of
disgust, and then turned tail and quietly trotted off along the trail
in the direction we had come from. Directly he had disappeared we
unslung our guns and consoled each other by declaring that the reason
we had not fired at the bear was not because we were scared, but
because we were fascinated by our first sight of a real wild bear.
Nevertheless, it was remarkable how quickly and with what touching
unanimity we climbed up that dead tree in the middle of the flat,
in case Bruin should take it into his head to return. Seated in its
branches we at least felt more comfortable, until Henderson suddenly
remembered that bears could also climb. To make matters worse for
us, it was now getting late in the afternoon, and the sun had already
dipped behind the mountains. The thought of sitting up in that tree
all night was no joke; but, still, we considered it better than going
back through the woods, with thick undergrowth on both sides of the
trail, in which countless bears could lie in wait for us.

[Illustration: MR. A. WRIGHT, ONE OF THE "GREENHORNS" WHO HERE RELATES
HIS AMUSING ENCOUNTER WITH A BEAR.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Presently Henderson suggested lighting a fire.

"All right," I replied. "You get down and collect the sticks; I'll
keep watch up here."

But this brilliant suggestion found no favour with my companion.

"No," he said; "let's toss for it." So we did, and I won. Henderson
got down--not so quickly as he got up, however--and began to look
round for sticks, circling warily round and round the tree at arm's
length. He did this two or three times, and then suddenly he shouted
out loudly, "There are no sticks down here." The yell so scared me
that I lost my balance and toppled down off my perch, landing with
a crash on the ground. When I picked myself up, fortunately unhurt,
Henderson was half-way up the tree, and I soon followed suit. Neither
of us had the pluck to descend again, so all night we sat perched up
in the tree, afraid to sleep lest we should fall, and shaking with
cold, fear, and hunger. The night was terribly dark, and the stillness
all around us was something that could almost be felt. The man who
says he never knew fear when spending his first night in the primeval
forest can have no respect for the truth. It is not excitement or
nervousness, but absolute fear of the unknown, and I know it from
experience, for Henderson and myself killed many a bear and spent many
a night in the forest after that first one. But we never experienced
the same sensation again.

When daylight arrived we clambered stiffly down from our perch,
crouching in a hollow at the foot of the tree, and held a
consultation. We finally decided to wait until the sun was well up
above the trees before making a move, as otherwise we might lose the
trail.

We had sat there chatting and smoking for about half an hour, when
suddenly I heard the sound of breaking twigs. It sounded rather faint
at first, but gradually got louder. "The bear!" I whispered excitedly
to Henderson, and we both grabbed our guns and knelt upon a little
stump ready to fire, our hearts beating like steam hammers behind our
ribs.

We had not long to wait. Within a couple of seconds we saw Bruin's
head between two trees, about a hundred yards in front of us: he was
coming along at a quiet trot, with his shaggy head swaying from one
side to the other. He did not look half so large as he had done the
night before; perhaps it was because we were not so scared. "You cover
his head and fire first," whispered Henderson.

[Illustration: "JUST AT THAT MOMENT HE FELL OFF THE STUMP AND HIS GUN
WENT OFF."]

Well, I did my best to cover his head, but speedily discovered that,
though I could have covered anything the size of Ireland, I could
tackle nothing smaller; I was shaking like a scarecrow in a gale. "Let
him get right in front of us before we fire," said I, unwilling to
confess my weakness. My companion did not answer, for just at that
moment he fell off the stump on to his face and his gun went off. The
report scared poor Bruin so badly that he stopped, bellowing loudly.
Thereupon I fired three shots at his head, or as near as I could get
to it. By this time Henderson had scrambled up in a mighty hurry, and
Bruin started off at a gallop. We fired about twelve rounds at him
before he disappeared into the bush, but did not go to see if he
was wounded or dead, because we shrewdly suspected he had not been
touched. He was moving too lively when we last saw him to have been
hit--unless he dropped dead with fright at the noise we made.

When the bear had vanished we decided to let well alone and cleared
out for the ship, which we reached without accident. We told no one on
board of our adventure--simply said we had seen a bear's fresh tracks,
and had waited all night to have a shot at it in the morning. "You're
hunting mad," growled the boatswain. "Never mind," said I, sagely;
"there's no sport like it."



A NIGHTMARE ADVENTURE.

BY G. BENNETT.


The Arctic Red River, a stream which has its source on the east side
of the Rocky Mountains and flows in a series of rapids and treacherous
falls into the Mackenzie, has tempted many a band of adventurous
spirits to brave its difficulties in the hope of finding that elusive
"mother-lode" which every miner is convinced exists to supply the rich
alluvial deposits that have made the fame of the Klondike fields.

A little band of three had struggled about two hundred miles up the
stream in the face of apparently insurmountable difficulties,
having to unload their boat and "portage" the whole of their year's
provisions over rocky, precipitous banks, which were often densely
wooded, or tow her up rapids, under the fierce Canadian sun, when the
strain on the rope must not be relaxed for a single moment lest the
bows of the boat should be wrenched round by the current and the
towers jerked backwards into the boiling waters.

They camped at last on a part of the bank that was low and grassy
and clear of the eternal spruce trees for a short distance. Here
they built a rough shack, laid up the boat, and took a spell of
prospecting. Into their camp on the second day limped a tattered,
woe-begone, helpless-looking individual, a Swede, who explained in
broken English, almost on the verge of tears, that he and his friends,
seeing the business-like way in which the others had prepared to meet
the difficulties of the river, had come to the conclusion that they
were old hands, and followed at a safe distance, hoping to be able to
keep modestly in the background till those in front had made a find,
and then, as the Yankee of the party put it, they were ready to "whirl
in and get the pickings of a right soft job." However, they had been
forced to come into undue prominence because their boat had become
hopelessly jammed between two rocks in a rapid and they could not move
her without help. He ended his tale of woe and stood looking from one
to the other of the three disgusted men who faced him.

"Well, of all the derndest cheek!" said the Yankee. "To explain so
nicely how they planned to jump us, and then expect help so's they can
do it!"

"We must sho'ly lend a ha-and," drawled the Southerner.

"Oh, yes," said the Englishman, the youngest of the party. "Of course
we must help the poor beggars."

It was arranged at last that Bantling and Fox, the two Americans,
should go to the rescue, while Rogers, the Englishman, kept camp.

They had dinner, and then, with the Swede as guide, started off down
the river bank to the rapids.

Left alone, Rogers washed up the dinner-things, put up some grub, got
his blanket and a rifle, and set off into the scrub. The day before,
when getting wood, he had come upon the track of a moose, and was
determined to try for a shot at him, picturing to himself the delight
of the other two when they returned, to find a store of fresh meat.
He followed the trail through a thicket of ground alder and willow,
stumbling into muskegs and bursting through tangled undergrowth. It
was frightfully hot, for this was the Canadian summer, and when he at
last reached a small clearing, through which ran a little stream from
a "sienega" or small lake higher up, he thankfully camped there for
the night.

The next morning, having had some breakfast, he found the trail of
the moose clear and straight before him, and decided to return to the
shack for more food before setting out on a hunt that might last days.
So, leaving his blanket and rifle behind, he set out. It was much
easier going back, as he had forced a fairly clear path and knew the
way. He was surprised how quickly he found himself once more at the
edge of the clearing round the camp, and was just about to cross the
open to the shack, when a curious, exasperated, whining growl made
him draw quickly back into the shadow of the trees, wishing, too late,
that he had brought his rifle with him. At the foot of one of the slim
pines upon which they had built the platform for their "cache" stood
an immense "cinnamon" bear, nearly as large as a fair-sized bull,
stretching his enormous fore-legs as far as possible above his head in
a vain endeavour to reach the dainties he could smell above him. But
though he could reach twelve good feet, the "cache" was up fifteen,
and the trees that supported it were young and slim, so that, when he
tried to get a grip to climb, his fore-paws overlapped; and no bear
can climb a tree unless it is bigger than the circle of his arm, so
that he can grip it with his claws.

If he had not been in such an awkward predicament, Rogers would
have been immensely tickled at the antics of the big brown beast. He
stretched himself upon tip-toe in his efforts to reach the platform,
giving little jumps, for all the world like a small boy in a jam
cupboard. Then he backed slowly away, staring at the unattainable with
grunts and whines, shaking his great heavy head from side to side.

Next he squatted on his haunches, as if thinking deeply; then made a
sudden rush at one of the trees and, clasping it, shook it viciously,
but finding that of no avail lost his temper completely, and gave it
an angry slap with his heavy paw, tearing off a great strip of bark.

Then he turned his back as if disgusted and, ambling to a sasketoon
bush, took the branches between his paws and pulled off the berries,
which are like bilberries, with his mouth, as daintily as a girl
eating raspberries.

But the stores upon the platform drew him once more. He tried each
tree in turn for a grip, scoring great grooves with his claws, and
rocking stiffly on all four feet in sullen anger at his failure.
Finally he started on a reconnoitring tour round the "cache," which
brought him near the tree behind which Rogers crouched, weaponless
save for a pocket-knife.

To the man's horror the bear stood suddenly still, and, throwing up
his head, sniffed suspiciously, looking round him meanwhile. Then,
with a curious twitch, he tilted the end of his great nose up and
back, thus lifting the upper lip clear of the great white fangs--an
unpleasant and terrifying trick he shares in common with the "huskie"
dog.

The perspiration streamed from every pore of the man behind the tree,
and with some vague idea of selling his life as dearly as possible he
was beginning to fumble stealthily for his pocket-knife, when, to his
inexpressible relief, the bear swung round in his tracks and trotted
back to the "cache."

[Illustration: "TO THE MAN'S HORROR THE BEAR STOOD SUDDENLY STILL,
AND, THROWING UP HIS HEAD, SNIFFED SUSPICIOUSLY."]

Here he found an empty beef tin, which he eagerly seized upon, tucking
it securely into the crook of one arm, while he investigated inside
with the other paw. Holding it between both paws, he licked the
inside, his long, red tongue worming into every crevice. Before
finally discarding it, he held it up before him on one paw, gravely
considering it.

The effect being so ludicrously like a woman taking in the points of a
new bonnet, Rogers would have found it difficult not to laugh, had not
the bear at that moment ungratefully smashed the tin flat with his paw
and, getting purposefully to his feet, started off once more towards
Rogers's sheltering tree.

The strain was beginning to tell, and the man could have shrieked
aloud for very terror. The sweat poured down his face, blinding him,
and he dared not lift a hand to wipe it away for fear of making some
tell-tale sound. On came the bear at a curious jog-trot, his heavy
head wagging to the motion, saliva dripping from his jaws.

He came within twenty feet of the tree; then, as if deliberately
playing with his victim, once more swung round and went back to the
"cache." He made no more futile attempts to reach the platform, but,
squatting on his haunches at the foot of one of the trees, appeared
to sink into a profound meditation upon the difficulties of the
situation.

There they were, the bear and the man, each crouching against a tree,
each mind busily scheming how to obtain the unobtainable--the man his
rifle, and the bear the stores.

Suddenly Rogers realized that he was hungry, and smiled grimly as he
saw that this was another point of similarity between them; the bear
was also very hungry.

The day was wearing on, and the clouds of mosquitoes that always come
with the sunset found in Rogers a victim powerless to resist. The
first cloud sounded the glad news in the shrill trumpeting buzz that
has no counterpart in sound, and clouds more came hurrying gladly to
the attack.

He was just beginning to think that if he did not die of bear he would
of mosquito, and that on the whole the bear might be the lesser evil,
when to his delight he heard, faint in the distance, the voices of the
returning rescue party.

The bear heard them too, and with many grunts and backward looks at
the "cache" rolled off into the scrub.

It was now perfectly safe for Rogers to cross the open to the shack,
but so shaken were his nerves that he could not have left the shelter
of the tree for all the gold in Canada.

He waited till he could see the figures of the returning men moving in
the scrub, and then sent forth a long hail.

"Boys! Oh, boys! Come quick and bring a gun!"

A figure halted, listened, then started at a run towards him, slipping
cartridges into a Winchester as he came. It was Fox, the Southerner,
and as he caught sight of Rogers his natural ironical speech slipped
from him.

"Why, sonny," he said, "you are sho'ly playing touchwood."

And Rogers realized with something of a shock in what a limp,
nerveless manner he was clinging to that friendly pine. He
straightened himself up with a shaky laugh.

"No," he said, "it's been puss-in-the-corner, with the biggest
cinnamon I have ever seen. He went off there to the right when he
heard you coming. For Heaven's sake, try for a shot at him."

But Fox was already off through the scrub, murmuring to himself as he
hurried, "Puss in-the-corner! My sakes! An' whatever ha-ad the young
fool done with his gun?"

Rogers crossed over to the shack, where he found Bantling anxious
to hear the trouble, but casting a concerned and hungry eye round in
search of the supper that should have been awaiting them, and was not.
However, a fire of dry pine-knots was soon lit, a frying-pan put on
with cold pork and beans, tea made, and they exchanged accounts of
adventures as they ate.

It seemed that Fox and Bantling had been led by the Swede about two
miles down the river bank, over very bad ground full of muskegs, which
are patches of slimy bog and water. When they reached the scene of the
catastrophe, they found three men calmly sitting round a fire they
had built on the bank, smoking their pipes and staring at their boat,
which they had left forlornly wedged between two rocks, not far
out from the bank, without even attempting to unload her. It was a
queer-looking craft, like an enormous punt, with a great square sail,
heaped untidily with a mixed pile of stores without any attempt at
balance. The wonder was that they had managed to get so far.

It was a typical case of incompetence expecting to succeed in a
country that will only consent to accept the best that every man has
to give. Men start off to venture up the unknown reaches of these
Arctic rivers without the slightest knowledge of what is before them.
They will vaguely announce that the only essential is "grit," and
deem such things as a knowledge of carpentry and shipbuilding and a
smattering of geology entirely superfluous.

Such a party were these four men, all their boasted grit taken clean
out of them, by hardship, sitting down before their stranded boat,
trading on the unwritten law of the wild that each man must help his
brother.

Bantling and Fox set them to work unloading, which they did with much
grumbling; then yoked them into the tow-lines and set them to haul,
while they stood up to their waists in water levering up the boat with
spruce poles. When she at last floated it was with several seams badly
sprung, which meant she had to be beached and caulked.

Having seen to this, and feeling they had done enough, the two
Americans started back, having been away nearly two days.

Bantling had just finished the account of their labours, and he and
Rogers had had supper and been back to the other clearing to fetch
the latter's blanket and rifle, when Fox strode disgustedly up to the
fire.

"Get him?" he repeated scornfully, in reply to their eager inquiries.
"Never got a sight of him. If you hadn't been so unmistakably scared
limp, Rogers, I should think you'd been pulling my leg."

Rogers, in proof of good faith, recounted his harrowing experience
once more.

"But you never left your gun behind along with your blanket?" demanded
Fox.

"Well," said Rogers, hesitatingly, "you see, it was so hot, and I was
only just coming back to see everything was all right and get some
grub. It seemed so useless to bring it up here just to lug it back."

"An' you air supposed to know the country!" was the Southerner's
comment upon these excuses, delivered in tones of deepest scorn.

For the rest of the evening, smoking round their glowing fire, the
three men raked over their memories in search of queer experiences
with which to cap the events of the day.

They turned in at last about ten o'clock. Fox and Bantling had bunks
on either side of the shack beyond the stove. Rogers's was across the
end, opposite them. He was just slipping into that moment of exquisite
rest before sleep comes when it is positive pain to be roused, when a
drawling voice said:--

"Oh, sonny, next time you go out walkin' in this little ol' country
don't use rifles to prop trees with; it's quite likely to come
expensive. An' don't get dreamin' of bears--if you can help it," he
added, with a chuckle.

A disgusted grunt was the only answer, as Rogers dived still deeper
under his blankets. "Bang!" Bantling awoke with a start and felt for
his revolver, with a vague idea of Indians. "Bang!" Something fell
with a crash and a rattle. "It's the stove-pipe," thought Bantling.
"Bang!" And he heard the thud of a bullet entering wood.

The Yankee collected his scattered wits and lit a candle. By its light
he discovered the Southerner sitting up in bed, his usually calm,
lean, brown face working with excitement, blazing wildly in every
direction.

Rogers had bolted from his bunk and was crouching in the farthest
corner. A large flake of wood chipped from a log above him had fallen
on his pillow, and lay there to show what had awakened him to the
dangers of the situation. The sheet-iron stove-pipe which carried
off the smoke through the roof hung limply in two, a shot having
undermined the strength of the joint at the elbow, and, as Bantling
was taking in all this, a tiny looking-glass that one of them had hung
on the wall fell in a tinkling shower of splinters from another shot,
while Fox muttered wildly:--

"Mind that bear! Don't let him get away on you. I've hit him once in
the shoulder."

To be shut up in a shack fourteen feet by ten with a man afflicted by
nightmare in the form of imaginary bears to be shot is not an enviable
situation, and for Rogers it was an extremely dangerous one, as Fox
was shooting straight at him. Bantling slipped from his bunk and,
striding across the hut, seized the dreamer's wrist in a paralyzing
grip. With the touch Fox's eyes, which had been wide open all the
time, lost their unseeing stare. He turned a bewildered gaze from the
hand on his wrist to the angry face above him.

"There was a bear," he explained, mildly. "Did I get him?"

"Get him!" said Bantling, wrathfully. "You fool! You nearly got
Rogers! And look at the damage you've done!"

As the situation dawned on Fox his dismay knew no bounds.

[Illustration: THE HUT WHERE THE NIGHTMARE INCIDENT HAPPENED, WITH
ROGERS STANDING IN THE DOORWAY.

  _From a Photograph._
]

"I'm real sorry, you fellows," he said. "I guess I've had a touch of
the worst kind of nightmare. Bantling, you'd better take charge of my
six-shooter."

"You bet your life!" replied Bantling, briefly, but with immense
feeling, as he took possession.

"I'm real sorry," said Fox again, turning to Rogers, "to have given
you such a time. It appears it isn't me who ought to tell folks not to
dream about bears, and I guess it'll be as well for the health of you
fellows, if not my own, that I shouldn't eat quite such a hearty meal
in future just before turnin' in."



The Life of a Steeplejack.

BY WILL LARKINS.

    In this impressive article, =Mr. W. Larkins=, the well-known
    steeplejack, of Bow, London, sets forth some of his most
    exciting experiences in the way of felling chimneys and
    repairing steeples--a form of "high art" which has perils
    peculiarly its own. The striking photographs which accompany
    the text lend additional realism to a straightforward
    narrative.


I come of a race of steeplejacks. My father earned his living at the
business, and met his death at it, falling from a church spire at
Dumbarton, in Scotland.

Strictly speaking, the work is not really and truly so extraordinarily
hazardous as people seem to think--that is to say, if a man takes
proper precautions. Steeple-climbing is very much like mountaineering
in this respect: it is the foolhardy folk who get hurt, and those who
are inexperienced or careless.

Look at myself, for instance. I have been climbing since I was seven,
and am now past thirty, and I have never met with an accident. But,
then, I am a life-long abstainer and non-smoker, and I take no risks
that forethought is able to provide against.

Narrow escapes I have had in plenty, but they hardly count in my line
of business. All dangerous trades involve risks to those following
them.

A rotten coping; a puff of wind, coming up unexpectedly from nowhere
in particular; a loose brick, or a piece of decayed ironwork--any one
of these may easily spell death.

Then, too, there are what, for want of a better term, I may call
"outside risks": outside the regular run of our hazards, that is to
say. For example, I once came very near to losing my life through
being attacked by a swarm of bees while repairing a tower at
Culmstock, in Devonshire. I had to descend very quickly, but I
returned at two o'clock in the morning and asphyxiated the lot while
they were asleep. Incidentally, I secured for myself thirty pounds
of very excellent honey. The insects had been there for years,
having found their way into the interior through a cavity left by a
scaffold-pole used in erecting the edifice.

Another nasty experience that befell me occurred so recently as
October, 1908. I was engaged to fell two lofty stacks at Millwall.
They were each about a hundred feet high, and were known locally as the
"leaning chimneys," being about four feet six inches out of the
perpendicular.

This peculiarity made the task of cutting into their bases a somewhat
ticklish one, since it was difficult to say, even approximately, when
they were going to fall. Also, of course, I had to perform the work on
the side to which they were inclined.

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR, MR. W. LARKIN, OF BOW, LONDON, WHO HERE
RELATES SOME OF HIS MOST REMARKABLE EXPERIENCES.

  _From a Photo. by F. W. Pickford._
]

However, the first one toppled over all right, the "groaning" of the
undermined mass, as it swayed ever so slightly to its fall, giving
me timely warning of what was about to happen. But the second one
collapsed far more suddenly, with the result that the "heel" of the
falling portion actually "kicked" me clean off the base that remained
standing! I fell fifteen feet, turning a complete somersault and
alighting on all fours. I was somewhat shaken, but quite uninjured.

The biggest job I have undertaken up till now has been the decorating
and repairing of the Nelson column in Trafalgar Square. This was my
Matterhorn, so to speak.

I carried out the decorations to the order of the Navy League. It was
the year 1905, the centenary of the great Admiral's crowning victory
and death, and it was determined to do the thing in style. Nearly
forty tons of laurel were used, and the greater portion of this had to
be carried aloft and fixed to the column at varying heights right up
to the top.

My orders as to not damaging the memorial in any way were most
stringent; no nails or spikes of any kind were to be driven into it.
This meant devising an altogether new method of ascent.

I thought out many plans, but eventually decided to lash ladders to
the structure by means of ropes passed round and round it. It was a
ticklish, trying job, but it was accomplished without hitch or mishap
of any kind.

[Illustration: MR. LARKINS AT THE SUMMIT OF THE NELSON COLUMN IN
TRAFALGAR SQUARE.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Two sets of ladders were used, placed opposite to one another. This
was necessary, as the column measures forty feet in circumference--too
far to pass a rope round with ease. The most difficult part of the
ascent to negotiate was the cornice at the top of the column. This is
the heaviest projection for "throw-back" work in England, and I had
to climb up and over it with my back to the ground, for all the world
like a fly on a ceiling.

[Illustration: FELLING A CHIMNEY AT PIMLICO.

  _From a Copyright Photo. by The Sport and General
          Illustrations Co._
]

I am not ashamed to confess that I breathed more freely when I had
rounded the obstruction, and was able to cautiously slide myself on to
the platform which supports the statue. From below this appears flat,
but it is really bevelled, with a sharp slope outwards. I found it,
too, covered with an inch-thick layer of greasy soot; so that to walk
about on it was exceedingly risky. However, once I got the life-line
secured to the statue all was plain sailing.

I discovered a crack in the hero's arm, which I afterwards repaired.
When I tell people this they not infrequently ask, on the spur of the
moment, "Which arm?" Of course, the figure has only one.

By the way, I have read many accounts of the statue, professing to
give its size and dimensions, and they are nearly all wrong. The
exact measurements, as taken by my assistant, and afterwards carefully
verified by myself, are as follows.

The figure itself is seventeen feet four and a half inches in height,
and it measures five feet three inches across the shoulders. The sword
which hangs by its side is seven feet nine and a half inches long.

Besides repairing the statue I also re-pointed the column from top
to bottom. It is a splendidly-executed piece of work, solid granite
throughout, and should have lasted for centuries, but the authorities
have allowed an underground railway station to be excavated right at
its base, and this must undoubtedly have weakened the foundations.
I do not wish to pose as an alarmist, but I should not be greatly
surprised if, owing to this cause, the memorial suddenly collapsed
some day, like the Campanile at Venice.

Speaking of statues, I had the task of repairing that of the first
Duke of Sutherland. It stands out in my memory as the very coldest
and most uncomfortable piece of work I ever undertook. The memorial
is situated on top of Ben Bhragie, a mountain more than twelve hundred
feet high, near Golspie, Sutherlandshire. The figure is of colossal
size--thirty-three feet six inches from heel to head--and the pedestal
on which it stands measures ninety feet from base to summit.

[Illustration: THE BEGINNING OF THE END--A STACK JUST BEGINNING TO
FALL.

  _From a Copyright Photo. by Gale & Polden, Ltd._
]

The time was mid-winter; there was five feet of snow on the mountain,
and gale followed gale with irritating persistency. Ladders and gear
froze solid during the night, so that it became necessary in the
morning for me to chop my way to the top through the ice that had
accumulated meanwhile. The ascent and descent of the mountain, too,
proved so long and arduous that I could only put in about two hours'
work in a day. Altogether, I was not sorry when the job was completed.

[Illustration: CUTTING INTO THE TOOTING CHIMNEY--THIS STACK FELL
UNEXPECTEDLY, ACTUALLY GRAZING MR. LARKINS'S SCALP AS HE SLIPPED FROM
UNDER IT.

  _From a Copyright Photo. by The Sport and General
          Illustrations Co._
]

Personally, I consider there is more risk in felling chimneys and
such-like structures than in climbing them; that is to say, when they
are felled in "my" way. The old-fashioned method was to undermine
the base and prop it up with timber. This was then saturated with a
mixture of oil and tar and set on fire. When it burnt through, down
came the chimney.

The other way, which I may truthfully lay claim to have invented, is
to cut away the bricks without under-pinning, keeping a sharp look-out
aloft meanwhile. Sometimes I stand a small, straight twig upright in
the gash. When this bends ever so little it is a sign to me that the
thousand tons or so of masonry above me is inclining away from the
perpendicular, and that its collapse is imminent.

One has to be very careful and very agile. I remember felling a shaft
at Summerstown, near Tooting. It was brick-built and circular, a
hundred and forty feet high, and weighed about eight hundred tons.
Experience has taught me that this kind of chimney can usually be cut
about halfway through at the base before it shows signs of giving way.

On this occasion, however, the collapse came when I was barely a third
of the way through, and with scarcely any warning. I leapt aside, but
the descending stack grazed my scalp as I slipped from under. I was
able to realize then something of the feelings of Marmion when he
galloped out of Tantallon Castle across the rising drawbridge, and
felt the falling portcullis bars "raze his plume."

There were probably not far short of a thousand people present, and in
the silence that followed the fall of the stack they sent up, as with
one voice, a loud cry of horror. I was completely hidden from view by
the clouds of dust that always arise on these occasions, and they were
quite sure I had been killed. All I lost, however, were my tools and
cap and jacket, which were buried under the mass of masonry. They are
there now.

It transpired afterwards that the chimney had been built too close
to the banks of the Wandle River, so that its foundations had become
undermined--hence its premature collapse.

One reads not infrequently of fights with madmen in mid-air. I used
to regard these as fiction pure and simple, until such an adventure
actually befell myself.

It happened at Deptford, about two years ago. I had been engaged to
repair the outside of the top of the shaft at the waterworks there.
The fires were not drawn, and the heated fumes and smoke that were
continually being belched from the mouth of the chimney made the job
a far from pleasant one, especially as the day happened to be
exceptionally warm, with scarcely a breath of air stirring.

Still, a "jack" takes but little notice of these things, and I and my
two assistants worked steadily on for some hours. I was just thinking
of giving the word to knock off for dinner, when the man nearest me
suddenly stopped of his own accord, threw down his tools, straightened
himself up on the coping, facing inwards, and clasped his hands above
his head, like a man about to take a dive--which was, in point of
fact, precisely what he was going to do. Only, it was not into water
that he intended plunging, but straight down the reeking chimney, to
be presently incinerated by the flaming furnaces far below!

I think the two of us that were left divined his intention at the same
moment. "Quick! Grab him!" I cried, and we both dashed at him. Only
just in time, for his head and shoulders were disappearing within the
mouth of the shaft as we clutched him by the legs. It was a wonder
that he did not drag us down with him, for he struggled fiercely. But
it was two to one, and eventually we overpowered him and hauled him
out on the coping.

There he lay, limp and gasping, half choked with the fumes, while we
bound him hand and foot with a ladder-rope. Then, with assistance, we
managed to lower him to the ground. The doctors said that the heat of
the sun had temporarily affected his brain.

Another nasty turn I had was while I was engaged in repairing the
steeple of a church in Wiltshire. I was sitting in a cradle under a
coping, while my man was standing on the projection immediately above
my head. He leaned over to ask me a question, lost his balance, and
the next thing I knew was that his body was hurtling downwards past me
through the empty air. I nearly followed him, so sick and unnerved was
I at the sight.

[Illustration: THE WALLINGFORD CHIMNEY--OWING TO THE CONFIGURATION OF
THE GROUND THIS HAD TO BE THROWN UPON ITS CORNER.

 _From a Copyright Photo. by The Sport and General
         Illustrations Co._
]

[Illustration: THE WALLINGFORD CHIMNEY FALLING--IT WILL BE NOTICED
THAT THE BRICKWORK IS STILL ALMOST INTACT.

  _From a Copyright Photo. by The Sport and General
          Illustrations Co._
]

[Illustration: ONE OF THE ALDERSHOT CHIMNEYS FALLING, WATCHED BY AN
IMMENSE CROWD--THIS STACK AND ANOTHER FELL EXACTLY UPON THE LINES
MARKED OUT FOR THEM.

  _From a Copyright Photo. by Gale & Polden, Ltd._
]

This may sound strange, but I think any man who has done much climbing,
whether on mountains or on steeples and other high artificial erections,
will bear me out when I say that to witness an accident of this kind,
and to know oneself impotent either to prevent or assist, is one of the
most terrifying experiences that it is possible to conceive. Whymper has
left it on record how, when during his most memorable ascent Lord
Frederick Douglas and his friend fell to their deaths, he was so utterly
unnerved for the time being that he could only cling to the face of the
precipice, trembling and crying, unable to move a step one way or the
other.

Luckily the end of my little adventure partook rather of the nature of
comedy than tragedy. When I mustered up courage to look down, I saw
my mate sitting on the corrugated iron roof of a building far below,
vigorously rubbing that portion of his anatomy upon which schoolboys
are popularly supposed to be birched.

He had fallen squarely upon it, and the resilient roof, acting like
a spring mattress, had broken his fall, bouncing him up and down some
half-a-dozen times with continually decreasing momentum until at last
he came to rest. He was much bruised and shaken, but no bones were
broken, and after a few days' rest was as fit as a fiddle again.

Most jobs a steeplejack has to undertake are hard ones; hard, that
is to say, from the point of view of manual labour. Occasionally,
however, one drops across one that is ridiculously easy.

For example, I was called to Truro because the vane on top of the
steeple of its famous cathedral refused to work. Residents were making
obvious jokes about its being a weather_hen_, and not a weathercock at
all, because it "sat so tight."

I travelled three hundred miles on the level, and then climbed four
hundred feet into the air, with visions of displaced masonry and
fractured ironwork before my eyes, only to find that the socket in
which the vane worked was badly in need of oiling. I rather think
that that is a record in big efforts for little objects. Three hundred
miles by rail, four hundred feet by ladder--and all to grease a
weathercock!

This, by the way, was the highest steeple I ever climbed, also
the most southerly, except the French Cathedral, Jersey. The most
northerly was that which surmounts Dornoch Cathedral. This is Mr.
Andrew Carnegie's regular place of worship, and quite close to his
residence, Skibo Castle.

[Illustration: FELLING A CHIMNEY A HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OLD--IT
STOOD TWO HUNDRED FEET HIGH AND WEIGHED TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED
TONS--THIS AND ANOTHER CHIMNEY WERE THROWN WITHIN AN HOUR.

  _From a Photograph._
]

[Illustration: THE OLD-FASHIONED METHOD OF BURNING PROPS--APPLYING THE
MATCH TO THE MATERIAL. WHEN THE SUPPORTS HAVE BURNT THROUGH DOWN COMES
THE CHIMNEY.

  _From a Copyright Photo. by The Sport and General
          Illustrations Co._
]

"I suppose," I remarked to some of the local residents, "that Mr.
Carnegie is pretty generous round here?"

"No," they replied; "he has made it a rule not to give anything to any
charity that is situated within twenty miles of Skibo."

At the time I thought this was hard, not to say foolish. On further
reflection, however, I can see he is wise; he does not want his
demesne to become a magnet, drawing hospitals, almshouses, and what
not to its immediate vicinity from the uttermost ends of the earth.

When I am given a job, I usually keep quiet about it beforehand. It is
no use attracting a crowd, and that is precisely what happens if the
news gets spread abroad. The work of a steeplejack seems to exercise a
quite extraordinary fascination over all sorts and conditions of men.

Thus, at Aldershot recently, some twenty thousand people assembled
to see me throw two chimneys. They flocked to the scene from the
surrounding neighbourhood, and Aldershot itself made high holiday of
the occasion, most of the big works being closed.

The authorities kept the ground clear, although I must say that the
crowd showed no disposition to invade the immediate proximity of
the stacks, when once we had got fairly to work on them. Even the
dwelling-houses within a possible radius of the falling masses were
deserted, and one family erected a tent in a neighbouring field and
camped out in it until all danger was at an end.

They need not have been scared, however, for the stacks fell exactly
upon the lines I had chalked out for them. Outsiders can rarely be
made to understand how comparatively simple it is for a steeplejack
who knows his business to make a chimney fall precisely where he wills
it to.

In many instances exactitude in this matter is the first essential. In
the case of the great Par stack, in Cornwall, for example, I was under
forfeit of two hundred pounds not to deviate more than a yard either
way from the space marked out for it, which was only a foot or two
wider than its own diameter.

This insistence was quite reasonable, for the chimney was surrounded
with cottages, and stood close alongside the main line of railway.
Officials and populace were alike alarmed, and the former begged of me
to desist. When I declined, they held up the traffic as a measure of
precaution until I had completed the job. As a matter of fact, not
even a window in the cottages was broken nor a shilling's-worth of
damage done to the railway line.

People are always asking me to take them with me to the tops of shafts
and steeples. Usually I decline, but I have to make exceptions. I have
piloted some scores of clergymen to the summits of the steeples of
their own churches; and once I escorted the reverend incumbent's
daughter, a sprightly girl of eighteen. I was rather nervous about it,
but I need not have been. She was the steadiest and coolest climber,
for an amateur, that I ever had any dealings with.

I cannot end this article without speaking about what I always call
"my most romantic climb." This was at Athenry, in County Galway.
A steeple had been struck by lightning and knocked out of the
perpendicular. After this it had been taken down--an easy job--but
nobody could be found who could put it up again. When several other
steeplejacks had failed I was sent for as a forlorn hope, and
succeeded. The romance of the climb, however, lies not in this feat,
but in the fact that it was from the spire, after its replacement,
that I first caught sight of the young lady who is now my wife.

[Illustration: THE DOMINICAN CHURCH, NEWRY, IRELAND--A PORTION OF THE
SPIRE WAS BLOWN OFF IN A GALE. A TELEGRAPH WAS SENT TO MR. LARKINS,
AND THE FOLLOWING DAY THE SPIRE WAS "LADDERED" AND WORK IN FULL SWING.

  _From a Photo. by H. Allison & Co._
]



THE LONGEST CHASE ON RECORD

BY VINCENT M. HEMMING.

    Being the strange experience of Detective Albert Brissard, who
    searched France, England, Belgium, and America for a "wanted"
    man, finally landing his quarry by accident ten months after
    the search began and seven and a half years after the crime
    was committed.


Never in the annals of police history has a detective officer been so
long engaged in the search for a fugitive from justice as in the case
I am about to relate. There have been and are many men "wanted" for
whom warrants are held indefinitely, but never before has an officer
spent ten entire months with but one aim--to "get his man," and that
after an interregnum of more than seven years. On June 3rd, 1900, the
Baroness de Martigny, of Paris, took into her employment as footman
an intelligent, good-looking young man, who had previously been in the
service of General Pellissier, of the French army. The Baroness, the
grand-daughter of a famous soldier who had been one of Napoleon's
closest friends, lived in a beautiful hotel in the Avenue du Bois de
Boulogne, and also occupied a villa for the season each year at Nice.
Her collection of jewels was the envy of the ladies of the French
aristocracy, and she had times without number been offered enormous
sums for them by dealers and collectors. Many of the ornaments had
once belonged to the Queens of France, and one pearl necklace was even
said to have at one time adorned the person of an Egyptian princess
famous in history. These jewels were always kept in a leather-covered
steel box, made expressly for the purpose. When not deposited at her
bankers', this box was in the keeping of a trusted maid, who was in
turn guarded by a "valet de pied" at times when the Baroness might
have occasion to take her jewels with her when travelling.

In December, 1900, the Baroness, accompanied by two maids and the
valet engaged some months before, was to travel to London for a few
days' stay in the capital on a visit to friends. She seldom carried
all her jewels with her, but on this occasion she did so, as an august
personage had expressed a desire to see them. Two servants of
the bank, under the eye of a sub-manager, had delivered the
morocco-covered box to the Baroness in person, and she in turn gave it
over to her maid, Marcelle.

All the luggage had gone on ahead, and the brougham was at the door
to take the Baroness to the Gare St. Lazare Station, when the maid,
Marcelle, came running into the lady's presence and attempted to
speak. Her tongue refused to move, however, and there the girl stood,
her eyes almost out of her head, shivering from head to foot. When
at last she gained control of herself she stammered, "Madame--the
jewel-case--it is gone!"

The Baroness tried to get the girl into a rational frame of mind,
saying the box could not have been removed from the house; Marcelle
must have placed it somewhere else than in its accustomed place.
No; the girl was positive she had put the treasure-box on milady's
dressing-table just for a moment while she had gone for her hat and
coat. When she returned the case was gone!

Orders were at once given to lock the doors, and all the servants were
called together and questioned, but no one knew anything at all about
the matter. Had anyone entered the house? Had anyone left it? Only
Henri, milady's valet. He was at the door with the brougham. "Let
him be called," ordered the Baroness. One of the servants went to the
door. The brougham was there, as was also the coachman, but Henri was
nowhere to be seen.

"Henri has gone to the station," said the coachman. "Yes, he had a
leather bag or box with him." This information was duly transmitted to
the Baroness.

"Very unusual for him to do such a thing," she commented; "but perhaps
he was anxious about the jewels."

Thereupon the trustful lady sent them all about their business, got
into her brougham, and was driven to the station. But where was Henri?
Well, to cut a long story short, Henri had not gone to the station,
and the noble lady, now disillusioned, at once postponed her London
journey, and set the machinery of the law in motion to discover
the young man who had ten thousand pounds' worth of jewels and five
hundred pounds in cash in his possession. No sooner were the police
notified than the criminal quarters of Paris were literally "turned
inside out." The Baroness de Martigny was not only a lady of great
prominence and influence, but she offered enormous rewards for the
recovery of her property. The intrinsic value of the jewels was a
secondary consideration, their romantic associations and the fact of
their having been family heirlooms making them priceless in the lady's
eyes. Every possible loophole of escape was watched, and Herculean
efforts were made by the police; but for the moment the thief had
made good his escape, leaving no clue behind him, and three long weeks
elapsed before anything tangible manifested itself. Then, one morning
the bell rang at the Baroness's house in the Bois de Boulogne, and a
gentleman presented himself, asking that his card should be taken to
the Baroness. It read, "Monsieur Albert Brissard--Agent." The caller
was asked to state his business, and answered by saying, simply,
"Henri Dessaure." This gained him the desired audience, and half an
hour later M. Brissard left the house, having induced the loser of
the steel box and its precious contents to place the whole matter
unreservedly in his hands.

[Illustration: "MADAME--THE JEWEL-CASE--IT IS GONE!"]

M. Brissard, who was known among his intimates as "The Ferret," had
left the French detective service some time previously and started an
inquiry agency of his own. In starting work upon this jewel-case he
followed the idea usually worked on by detectives in such cases, at
least on the Continent--"Look for the woman," and succeeded where
several other officers, working on the case officially, had hitherto
failed. He found the woman.

In the Rue de Mesrominil there was a little _brasserie_, or
public-house, much frequented by servants of the upper class. This
place was owned by a man named Edouard Morant, whose daughter, a girl
of eighteen, had been the sweetheart of Henri Dessaure, the absconding
footman. This girl, learning that Dessaure had been false to her, made
it her business to find out who had supplanted her in the affections
of her sweetheart, and discovered that Dessaure had been seen very
often in the company of a dancing-girl from the Bal Boullier, and also
that this girl had left Paris only a few days ago, having purchased a
second-class ticket to New York. She further ascertained that the girl
had been somewhat in debt, but that shortly before leaving she had
discharged her obligations, and also purchased a large amount
of clothes and finery. All this the jealous Mlle. Morant told M.
Brissard. It was now Saturday, and the dancing-girl had sailed for
America on Wednesday. M. Brissard at once communicated with the
American police, and when the French Line steamer _La Touraine_
arrived at New York a certain young lady, a second-cabin passenger,
was closely followed when she left the ship. No one was at the docks
to meet her, but after her luggage had passed the Customs inspection
she engaged an express wagon to convey her trunks and bags to an
address in First Avenue, near Twelfth Street, giving the address to
the driver from a card on which it had been written, no doubt for her
guidance. One detective followed the luggage, while a second kept
his eye on the girl. Calling a cab, she again showed the card and was
driven off, followed by Officer O'Brien, whose colleague, Kernohan,
remained with the express wagon. Arrived at her destination, the
girl, looking up to make sure of the number, ascended the stairs of a
four-storey brick building, the ground floor of which was occupied
by a small French restaurant. The cab waited, and shortly a young
man came down, who proceeded to pay the driver. The young man exactly
answered the description sent over from Paris of the missing Henri
Dessaure!

After paying the cab fare he returned into the house, while Officer
O'Brien called a policeman and instructed him to telephone to
head-quarters. So it happened that just about the time Detective
Kernohan appeared with the express-man, a third detective arrived on
the scene with a provisional warrant, granted by the magistrate at
Jefferson Market police-court, for the arrest of Dessaure on suspicion
of being a fugitive from justice.

The express-man proceeded to unload his wagon, having first rung
the door-bell, and once again the young man who bore so striking a
resemblance to the Baroness de Martigny's late valet came to the door.
This time he was confronted by two officers, who promptly informed him
that he was under arrest.

"We believe you to be Henri Dessaure, late of Paris," said Detective
O'Brien.

The accused turned pale, then, pulling himself together, answered in
French (in which tongue the detective had addressed him), "That is my
name. It is no use my trying to deny it. Surely you have something to
work upon, or you would not be here."

The officers next searched the rooms occupied by Dessaure, but found
only some fifteen hundred dollars in American money and a few French
franc pieces.

"Come," said Officer Kernohan, "you may as well give up the jewellery.
It will save you much unpleasantness."

"I know of no jewellery," replied Dessaure. "I have come to America to
be married; I have done no wrong."

Seeing that the man could not be induced to speak he was taken to
police head-quarters, and the next morning, having been formally
charged with being "wanted" by the French authorities, he was remanded
and the French police notified. Ten days later two detectives from
Paris arrived with a servant from the household of the Baroness
for the purpose of identifying the prisoner. This accomplished, his
extradition was asked for. Dessaure protested his innocence, and it is
quite likely would have succeeded in resisting successfully, had not
for a second time a woman proved his undoing. The detectives arrested
the dancing-girl as an accomplice, and she at once turned informer,
saying that Dessaure had told her in Paris that he had safely stored
away "enough jewels to give us every comfort for life." Believing him,
she had come to America, Dessaure having given her two thousand
five hundred francs for that purpose, and to purchase some necessary
things. Confronted with this statement, the ex-footman assumed an air
of bravado, saying, "You have got me, but you'll never get what it
took me many hours of thought to annex. Now let us see just how clever
you are."

Dessaure returned to Paris some days later in the company of the
French officers, the girl having been released. Once in the French
capital, he was lodged in the Santé Prison to await his trial, and
meanwhile every effort was made to get some clue as to the whereabouts
of the steel box and its contents; but the police could make no
impression on Dessaure, who absolutely refused to speak. Promises and
threats were alike useless, and finally he was brought to trial. The
newspaper notoriety given to the matter had completely turned the
ex-valet's head, and he imagined himself a hero. He entered the
court-room with a smiling face and answered questions in a most
flippant manner. Even at this late stage the Baroness de Martigny
offered to withdraw the prosecution--at least, so far as she was
concerned--if he would divulge the hiding-place of the gems. But
Dessaure merely folded his arms and said: "Whatever happens, you
cannot kill me. You were clever enough to capture me; now find the
jewels."

Evidence was given by a housemaid who had seen the footman in milady's
rooms and the coachman who had noticed him leave the house with the
morocco-covered box in his hand, carrying it openly by the handle as
though sent out with it. It was also proved that Dessaure had changed
a thousand-franc note at the little _brasserie_ in the Rue Mesrominil
on the evening of the day of the robbery; and, lastly, Detective
Brissard came forward with a small antique necklet--the property
of the Baroness--which Dessaure had given to the daughter of the
_brasserie_ keeper. On this evidence Dessaure was found guilty and
sentenced to seven years' imprisonment, the judge remarking that
on his release, no doubt, such a close watch would be kept on his
movements that a further charge would be made should the prisoner at
any time be found in possession of the stolen jewels.

The prisoner took his sentence most coolly, and, as the officers were
leading him away, turned towards the persons in the court-room and,
bowing low, said, "Until then, gentlemen, _au revoir_!"

For some months Dessaure was left to serve his sentence in peace, the
detectives believing that a taste of prison life might have a salutary
effect on him, or at least induce him to confess where the stolen
jewels were. True, no promises could be made to him, but at the same
time it certainly would not _add_ to his sentence should he divulge
the hiding-place of the Baroness de Martigny's jewels. Detective
Brissard had several long talks with the convict, but they all ended
in the same way, Dessaure saying, "I will serve my sentence and then
enjoy what I have earned; you will not catch me a second time."

Spite of this uncompromising attitude the detective worked
assiduously, doing his utmost to locate the jewels, the hiding-place
of which one man alone knew. Finally, however, M. Brissard was
obliged to consider the case closed, for the time being, and gave his
attention to other matters.

So time went on, until Dessaure had but a few months more to serve.
Then one day he wrote a letter, in which he asked the person to whom
it was addressed, for old times' sake, to supply him with a new suit
of clothes and other articles of wearing apparel, saying he would
repay the kindness a hundredfold. This letter came back to the
prison, the addressee--Mlle. Morant, daughter of the _brasserie_
keeper--having removed several years back. This upset Dessaure
greatly, and he asked and received permission to write another letter,
which was addressed to the girl's father. Again the letter came back,
marked as before. Dessaure's excitement was now great; he cursed and
cried in turn. The warders reported that he did not sleep at night,
and ate scarcely any food.

At last came the morning of his release. The liberated man left the
prison almost a wreck from mental anguish. He was met at the gates by
an aged aunt, who gave him a few francs and took him home with her to
her house in the environs of Paris. Dessaure could not be induced to
eat, and he would not sit down quietly, but walked about the small
house, gazing continually out of the window. No sooner was it dark
than he left the place, looked quickly about him, then hurried to the
nearest point whence he could get an omnibus cityward. Mounting to the
top of the vehicle, he looked about him every few moments to see if
he was being followed. He left the bus at the Madeleine; then, cutting
through the back streets, made his way to the Rue de Mesrominil. He
walked on the right-hand side of the street until he came to the place
where the _brasserie_ of M. Morant had been located. Yes, there was
still a business of the same kind there, but the place had changed
hands.

Dessaure crossed the street and entered the little wine-shop, the
floors above which were rented out to lodgers, as formerly. In the
basement was a long room used as a dining-room for the guests of the
house; behind this was a kitchen, and to the left, at the end of a
short passage, a small yard which was used to store empty casks and
bottles. Dessaure called for a drink and ordered some food; then,
as though an old customer thoroughly familiar with the place, he
deliberately went down into the basement. The cook had received
Dessaure's order, and the latter stood in the doorway chatting to her.
After a moment or two he slowly walked through the passage and stood
in the yard whistling. The cook was busy getting his meal ready and
offered no objection to his proceedings. One stealthy backward glance,
and Dessaure swiftly crossed the yard. Taking a short iron bar,
flattened at one end, from his pocket, he pushed it deeply into the
ground exactly in the corner of the yard, next a brick wall. Again and
again he did this; then, in a frenzy, he tore up the earth to a depth
of two feet, but nothing rewarded his efforts. Jumping to his
feet, shaking with rage, he shrieked out, "All for nothing! All for
nothing!" Then, like a wild man, he rushed up the steps and out of the
place, knocking over a waiter in his headlong flight.

The half-crazed man made his way to the Seine embankment, where he
walked up and down, trying in vain to think calmly. When he left the
Baroness de Martigny's house with the stolen jewel-case he had made
direct for the _brasserie_ in the Rue de Mesrominil, in accordance
with a plan he had thought out. He hid the jewel-case as much as
possible under his long servant's coat, and, after having a drink,
went down into the yard described and buried the jewels with the
aid of a shovel he had previously placed there in readiness. Then,
covering the case over, he stamped the ground down solidly, threw
some earth and stones on the spot, and returned upstairs. Dessaure,
however, as transpired later, had not taken the precaution to
ascertain whether anyone was watching him from the windows overlooking
the yard. It was obvious to him now that someone must have seen him
bury the gems, or else have discovered them subsequently. And now
they were for ever lost to him! Covering his face with his hands, the
heart-broken man repeated to himself the words, "All for nothing! All
for nothing!" Suddenly he pulled himself together, and, walking
toward the embankment balustrade, stood there for a moment gazing
hesitatingly into the waters of the Seine. Then a hand was placed on
his shoulder, and a voice said:--

"Don't do it, Dessaure! Life is all too short in any case."

The startled man wheeled round, to behold Detective Brissard at his
elbow! Dessaure was about to speak, when the officer anticipated him.

"I have watched you ever since your release this morning," he said.
"Come, don't be a fool. We will go to my place and have a talk."

Dessaure, unnerved by the loss of the jewels, for the sake of which
he had served those long years of imprisonment, was as a child in the
hands of the shrewd Brissard, and very soon the two men were talking
the matter over in Brissard's rooms. Dessaure now told the entire
story of how he had stolen the jewels, and the detective in turn
informed him that the large reward offered for their recovery was
still open, and that, if Dessaure cared to assist him, they might
yet obtain possession of them and return them to their owner. The
ex-valet, eager to obtain revenge against the unknown who had annexed
"his" property, readily agreed. So the curious situation arose of
"setting a thief to catch a thief."

Next morning Detective Brissard made diligent inquiries as to the
movements of the Morant family, and these inquiries led to what
developed into the longest chase on record. Just one year after
Dessaure's conviction, it appeared, the former wine-shop proprietor
had sold his business in the Rue de Mesrominil and removed with his
wife and daughter to London, where he opened a restaurant in Greek
Street, Soho, but, curiously enough, under another name. He had been
in business there for some months, when one day a former customer
at the Paris wine-shop entered and recognised M. "Martin," the
proprietor, as Morant. He thought nothing of this, as people often
change their names for business purposes when in other countries. But
what _did_ strike the customer was the fact that Mme. "Martin" was
wearing a pair of earrings of very great value. Now where did Morant,
who had owned only a third-class wine-shop in Paris, get possession
of jewels worth at least several thousand pounds--for madame wore also
several costly rings and a brooch? The customer jocularly remarked
that M. "Martin" must have "backed a winner." The latter, instead on
answering in like manner, turned pale, and gruffly told his former
patron to mind his own business. Within three days the little
restaurant in Greek Street had changed hands, and the "Martin" family
disappeared.

[Illustration: "HE RUSHED OUT OF THE PLACE, KNOCKING OVER A WAITER IN
HIS HEADLONG FLIGHT."]

All this Detective Brissard learnt by judicious inquiries in Soho,
London. Then the search for M. Morant began in real earnest. Dessaure
made friends with many of the French people in this part of London,
ever seeking information. The owner of the restaurant formerly run
by "Martin" was not the man who had purchased the place from him.
His predecessor, however, was, and could be found at an address in
Brussels. To this city Detective Brissard now went, leaving Dessaure
in London. Yes; the Belgian knew where M. "Martin" had gone, for a
trunk was left behind which he had sent to a house in Houston Street,
New York City, U.S.A. Also, the daughter of M. "Martin" was living, he
believed, in Brussels, she having married a travelling jeweller.

Brissard cabled to America, and received an answer from the American
police to the effect that the address given was the office of a
transfer company, and they were looking over the books to see what
disposal had been made of the trunk. Brissard next began a search
for the former Mlle. Morant in Brussels. As, however, there were some
hundreds of jewellers in that city, this was no small undertaking.
Successful detectives often admit that "luck" is a potent factor in
their work, and the French detective now experienced a little good
fortune. The various cities prominent as diamond markets are possessed
of clubs at which congregate buyers and sellers of precious stones,
and which also serve the purpose of a market where the members do
business among themselves. With the assistance of a Belgian official,
Brissard was introduced into such a club in Brussels, and here
he learnt that a young Belgian--not a member, but a good judge
of stones--had married a French girl named Martin. The fact was
remembered because the young man had, shortly after his marriage,
become possessed of several uncommonly valuable emeralds and diamonds.
This man's address was given to M. Brissard, who at once called
there--first, however, changing his appearance as a measure of
precaution.

The jeweller was not at home, he learnt; he was in Amsterdam, but was
returning on the morrow. M. Brissard, posing as a brother jeweller,
said he would call again. The lady of the house now came forward, and
asked if there was anything she could do. One glance was enough for
the detective--she was the daughter of the man Brissard was searching
for! But he still was a long way from M. Morant himself, as after
events proved.

Calling the next day in company with a Belgian detective officer, M.
Brissard was ushered in and presently the jeweller came into the room.
The detective briefly made known his business, informing the jeweller
that it rested with him whether he would be arrested or not, for it
was known that some of the stolen jewels had been in his keeping.
Thereupon the man told a most straightforward story to the following
effect.

He had been to London on business, and took his meals as usual in the
locality frequented by his compatriots, dining at "Martin's." There
he met his present wife, they fell in love with each other, and he was
accepted as a prospective son-in-law. Being an authority on the value
of precious stones, M. "Martin" confided to him that an aged sister
had left him a few heirlooms, her husband having been a wealthy man.
Would his future son-in-law appraise them? He had done so, greatly
surprised at their value and size, and had further, shortly after
his marriage, undertaken to sell several unset stones for his
father-in-law. His wife was absolutely ignorant of all this, and
not until that moment did he know that her real name was other than
Martin.

The young woman was called and questioned, and it soon became evident
that she knew nothing of her father's affairs. He had changed his name
and impressed upon her that under no circumstances must she use the
name of Morant, and thus she had been led to deceive even her husband.
The gems given him for disposal, the jeweller added, had been sold in
Amsterdam to a buyer there, a Mr. H. Van Kloof, for twenty thousand
francs (eight hundred pounds). He had not heard from his father-in-law
for two years, his last address being in Second Avenue, New York City.
M. Brissard, convinced of the truth of this story, took his leave,
after having given certain instructions to the Belgian detectives.

On his return to his hotel he found the following cablegram awaiting
him: "Trunk forwarded Martin, Second Avenue; receipt signed 'Mrs.
Martin.'"

Brissard now communicated with the American authorities, only to learn
that no such person as Martin had resided at the number in Second
Avenue in the memory of the present tenant, the place being a French
boarding-house.

The detective now returned to London, where Dessaure met him,
frantically excited. He had found a countryman who had seen Morant
in New York, where he held the position of _chef_ at a prominent and
fashionable hotel. This was only six months ago, but the man could not
remember the name of the hotel, having lost or mislaid the card Morant
had given him. One thing he _did_ remember, however--Morant was going
under the name of "Melin."

M. Brissard, believing that Morant was still in New York and that he
could expedite matters by going there himself, promptly took passage
with Dessaure. It struck him as peculiar that a man who was in
possession, or had been in possession, of what was practically a small
fortune should seek employment; but the officer did not know, perhaps,
that the position of _chef_ in a large hotel is a most lucrative one.
The two searchers arrived in due course in New York and rooms were
taken in the French quarter of the city, both men posing as wine
merchants. Dessaure, who had been in America before, took rooms in a
house much frequented by cooks, while Brissard lived in a small French
hotel near by. For several weeks the two worked with untiring energy,
making careful inquiries. Brissard himself visited every hotel of
prominence in New York and Brooklyn, inquiring there of the hotel
detectives for a M. Melin, and being quietly taken into the kitchen to
look over the various staffs. Not until three long months had passed,
however, did they come upon even the semblance of a clue. Then, one
evening, as M. Brissard and Dessaure were sitting at a small table in
the bar-room of Brissard's hotel, there entered a young man whom the
detective knew. He had at one time been a pastry-cook in the household
of a French diplomat, and had been an habitué of Morant's wine-shop in
Paris. Greetings were exchanged, and after some conversation Brissard
casually remarked, "I wonder what became of old Morant?"

The young Frenchman looked up sharply. "It's strange that you should
speak of him," he said. "Only two weeks ago he took rooms at the house
where I am living. It happened that I was going out just as he came
in. I greeted him, but he refused to recognise me, and, stranger
still, after paying a month's rent in advance he never came near the
house again."

Here, at last, was something to work on--Morant was still in New York.
Brissard now began what was practically a house-to-house search, for
every place patronized by foreigners was visited, the detective taking
one district and Dessaure another. It was tedious work, but Morant was
somewhere in New York and Brissard meant to find him, his assistant
being perhaps even more eager than himself. For two more weeks the
pair searched for many hours each day; but it was Dessaure who got the
first tangible evidence as to Morant's whereabouts, and this was in
the identical house where Dessaure had lived on his first visit to
America some years before! Dessaure himself had quite forgotten this,
and when the ring of the bell was answered by a maid, he politely
asked if "M. Melin" was living there.

"No one of that name is known here," was the answer. Dessaure, as
usual, then produced a photograph of Morant.

"Ah," said the girl; "that is M. Martin, who has been here some
four weeks. He and madame left only yesterday. They are returning to
France."

Dessaure at once looked up Brissard and told him of his discovery.
Together they returned to the house, and Brissard succeeded in gaining
admittance to the rooms only just vacated by the Morants, where every
scrap of paper in the rooms and wardrobe was carefully collected.
Brissard had an interview with the proprietor of the place, and
then hurried to police headquarters, from where men were sent to the
different steamship offices to look over the bookings. The French
authorities were notified, and the ships which had sailed the day
before and on that day were communicated with by wireless telegraphy.

Meanwhile, Brissard had found the expressman who had removed Morant's
belongings, taking them to the docks of the French line of steamers
labelled for the ship sailing on the following day. This was
getting close. With the assistance of the American police it was now
ascertained that the luggage and its owners were booked under the name
of "Martin," and a man was detailed to watch the trunks in case M.
"Martin" changed his mind about sailing. Next morning, M. Brissard,
Dessaure, and two American detectives, armed with a provisional
warrant, awaited the appearance of the much-wanted man. The ship was
to sail at noon, and shortly after ten a well-dressed woman walked
slowly into the receiving dock and inquired the way to that portion of
the pier where was located the letter "M" (all luggage being collected
under the initial of its owner). She was directed some distance ahead,
and, arriving at the location, inspected some of the luggage.

Evidently satisfied that everything belonging to her was there, she
slowly walked away and out of the dock, apparently not caring to board
the ship so early.

Detective Brissard watched this woman closely, but not quite closely
enough. It was Mme. Morant, and she had seen him and recognised him,
having been sent by her husband to see if the coast seemed clear for
their flight. On reaching the street she took a handkerchief from
a bag hanging at her waist and passed it across her face, an action
which M. Morant observed from the window of a restaurant opposite,
where he was anxiously watching. Brissard, not knowing he had been
recognised, or that Morant had heard of the inquiries being made about
him, followed Mme. Morant to the Elevated Railway. As she had still
some two hours before sailing-time the detective naturally supposed
she was going to meet her husband.

Mme. Morant left the train at Forty-Second Street, and made her way to
the Grand Central Railway Station. There she turned round suddenly, as
if looking for someone, and the detective instinctively felt that the
woman knew she was being followed. Throwing discretion to the winds,
Brissard now deliberately approached, and, raising his hat, said:--

"Good morning, Mme. Morant."

The woman smiled sweetly. "I seem to know your face," she replied,
"but for the life of me I cannot recall your name."

"I will assist you, madame," said the officer. "I am M. Brissard, of
Paris, detective agent."

Without showing the least perturbation, Mine. Morant held out her
hand. "Ah, yes," she replied. "It is so long since I have been in
Paris; I had forgotten. How do you do?"

M. Brissard assured the lady he was enjoying the best of health, and
in turn asked after madame's husband.

"Ah, poor Morant!" was the answer. "He has been dead some years; I
have married again."

Brissard sympathized with her. He was extremely sorry to trouble her,
he said, but a certain event in the life of the late M. Morant was
being looked into by the police, and he, Brissard, was afraid that
madame would have to accompany him--simply to answer a few questions.
The woman kept remarkably cool, only the pallor of her face giving
evidence of the emotion she was trying so hard to control.

"Certainly I will go," was her reply. "Only you must excuse me for a
moment."

M. Brissard gently pointed out that this was impossible, a cab was
called, and Mme. Morant was driven to police head-quarters. Now,
American police methods may be somewhat strenuous, but in ninety-nine
cases out of a hundred they are successful. American officers brook no
nonsense, treating criminals as they should be treated, and it must be
admitted they seldom make mistakes. Madame was at once searched by
a female attendant, and then she was asked a few questions by a
detective inspector.

The "strenuous method" bore good results, for the Frenchwoman admitted
that Morant was very much alive. When it came to divulging his
whereabouts, however, she remained adamant. The trunks were now
brought up from the docks and searched, but absolutely nothing was
found in any way bearing on the missing jewels. Madame herself wore
three very fine rings and a bar brooch containing two large diamonds,
but all these were in modern settings, and, if they were part of the
Martigny jewels, had been reset. But, careful as she and her husband
had evidently been, they had not been quite careful enough, for madame
was wearing a small watch encrusted with pearls, on the inside of
which was inscribed, "12 Avril, 1877. C. J. de M."

This was evidence absolute, but Mme. Morant now resolutely refused
to say another word, and the search for the erstwhile keeper of the
little wine-shop in Paris had to be renewed. Meanwhile legal machinery
was set in motion which resulted in Mme. Morant being extradited as
an accessory, and shortly she was taken back to Paris in custody.
Brissard and Dessaure were now assisted in their man-hunt by the
authorities, and again several weeks went by uneventfully. Then M.
Brissard heard from Brussels to the effect that Morant's daughter had
gone to Paris to visit her mother, and also that she had paid several
visits to Ostend. Following immediately on this came word to Dessaure
that Morant had been seen in London and also in Ostend. Then came
another piece of conclusive evidence. A man named O'Keefe, who
travelled to and from Tilbury Docks in charge of cattle, was arrested
in New York for creating a disturbance while under the influence of
liquor. On him was found a valuable unset emerald. O'Keefe admitted
stealing the jewel from a man who had worked his passage over on
a cattle-boat, saying the stone had been dropped by this man. He,
O'Keefe, had picked it up and kept it. He described the man, and
beyond question it was Morant. Brissard and Dessaure at once crossed
the Channel and looked up Dessaure's informant in London. The latter
told them he had seen the wanted man in a restaurant, where
he received a letter addressed to him. The proprietor of the
eating-house, on being questioned, remembered the letter, and also
that it bore a Belgian stamp. Furthermore, he said Morant had looked
up the time of the boat-trains, and he was certain that he had gone to
Ostend. Thither the searchers now went, and one of the first persons
they saw after arriving was M. Morant's daughter. She was taking the
train for Brussels, and M. Brissard at once went up to her. "Madame,"
he said, "you will at once tell me where your father is, or I must
have you arrested."

The young woman staggered and would have fallen had not the detective
assisted her. "Believe me, I do not know," she answered, piteously.
"My mother sent me here with a message. I was to meet my father at
the station. I have been here all day and have not seen him, so am
returning."

Brissard hurriedly spoke to Dessaure, and then boarded the train which
carried the young woman to Brussels. Dessaure now wore a full beard,
and was not recognised by his former sweetheart. He went to a small
hotel and had some food, then returned, as he had been told to do, to
the railway station, to await word from M. Brissard at the telegraph
office.

At a late hour this arrived, telling Dessaure to go on to Paris at
once. This he did, meeting the detective the next day at the latter's
rooms. Brissard seemed in very good spirits. "Our man is here
in Paris," he said; "he is human, and has followed his wife. The
son-in-law is an honourable fellow, and, although he has helped his
father-in-law, is desirous of putting an end to all this. He will
induce Morant to give himself up. I have every faith in him."

"But what about the reward?" asked Dessaure.

"We will see to that," replied the detective, confidently.

At nine o'clock the two men walked down the boulevards to the
Montmartre district. Arriving in the vicinity of a wine-shop there, M.
Brissard stationed himself directly opposite. Dessaure did not quite
understand all this, nevertheless he did as he was told. Looking up
casually toward a cross street, he saw approaching on the opposite
side a man whom he thought he recognised. The man wore a light
overcoat and a straw hat, and seemed to be looking for someone. With
a cry Dessaure, unable to restrain himself, rushed across the street,
and grasping the man by the throat struck him repeatedly in the face.
It was the long-sought Morant! The men were separated by Morant's
son-in-law, who had been waiting for him, and who upbraided M.
Brissard for being there. He said he had given his word that he would
bring Morant to the police, and that Brissard had broken faith with
him.

"You are quite welcome to carry out your agreement," replied the
detective. "All I want is the jewels this man has in his possession,
and I thought it advisable to get them in case--well, in case he
decided to leave them elsewhere before giving himself up."

The four men now proceeded to the Prefecture of Police, where Morant,
on being searched, was discovered to have on his person more than half
of the twice-stolen jewels.

He now told his story. How his wife, sitting at a third-storey window,
drying her hair after a shampoo, had been an interested spectator of
Dessaure's man[oe]uvres in burying the box, and after his departure
had informed her husband. Morant had promptly dug the case up and, on
discovering what it contained, at first intended to hand it over to
the police. Then greed overcame him, and, despite the protestations
of his wife, he decided to keep them. He narrated how he reburied the
jewels in another spot, in case Dessaure should divulge their original
hiding-place to the police, and how he waited for some months alter
Dessaure's conviction before selling his _café_. Then he departed
for London and opened a restaurant there. He knew the detectives in
America were searching for him, he said, and so took a situation
as _chef_ in another name. The jewels had proved a curse to him
throughout. Morant's story was listened to by the Prefect, and he was
then placed under arrest as an "accessory after the fact."

He was tried some weeks later, convicted, and sent to prison for a
term of three years. His nerves had been completely shattered by his
long ordeal, however, and five weeks after his reception at the Santé
Morant died in the prison hospital.

[Illustration: "GRASPING THE MAN BY THE THROAT, HE STRUCK HIM
REPEATEDLY IN THE FACE."]



THE LAND OF SUPERSTITION.

[Illustration: HOLDING A BOY OVER "ST. JOHN'S FIRE," IN THE BELIEF
THAT IT WILL CURE HIP-DISEASE.]

BY FREDERIC LEES.

    Nowhere in France are curious beliefs so rife as in Finistère,
    the Morbihan, and the Côtes-du-Nord, where most of the
    little-known facts contained in the following pages were
    collected. As to the photographs by M. Paul Géniaux, the
    well-known authority on Breton folk-lore, they are unique,
    since they represent for the first time a number of the
    superstitious ceremonies to which the Bretons, in spite of the
    spread of education, still pin their faith.


We were cycling through Brittany--my Breton friend and I--and the turn
of the road suddenly brought us within sight of a typical Finistère
village, with its picturesque grey cottages surrounded by verdant
orchards. Slackening speed, we began to look about us, and it was then
that, glancing to my right down a narrow side road, I beheld a scene
that made me dismount and call to my companion.

"I say, Géniaux, whatever are they doing to the little chap?" I cried.
"Are they grilling him for supper?"

My friend's only reply was a chuckle and the click of the shutter of
his camera, which, on coming to me, he had instinctively swung into
the right position for a snapshot. Not until the photographic record
had been obtained and the plate had been changed did he vouchsafe to
give me an explanation of what we saw before us. In the middle of the
road a small bonfire was merrily crackling. Over it a boy of six
or seven was being held by a man and a woman, whilst three other
peasant-women and some children looked on with solemn faces. What
could be the meaning of this extraordinary proceeding, which looked
for all the world like a human sacrifice?

"No; he's not being prepared for supper," replied Paul Géniaux,
with another chuckle. "That boy has something the matter with his
leg--hip-disease, I should say; and these good people think they are
going to effect a cure by holding him over a bonfire on St. John's
Day. I hope they'll succeed. Poor little chap! We are lucky to have
seen the ceremony and got a photograph, for this is one of the most
curious of our Breton superstitions. I'd quite forgotten that to-day
was the 'Jour de Saint-Jean.' Many a bonfire will be lit in Brittany
to-night, and many a cripple will be submitted to this ordeal of
fire."

Whilst my friend was speaking the ceremony had come to an end and the
little boy had been handed over to his mother, who departed on her
way, probably rejoicing. As the other members of the group were about
to disperse we drew near, with the usual salutations, and entered into
conversation. Though I knew that my fellow-traveller's knowledge was
quite equal to that of these simple peasant folk, I was anxious to
learn something from their own lips, and above all to judge for myself
of their sincerity. At first they were decidedly shy, but when my
friend spoke a few words to them in their native Breton they became
quite open, and evidently no longer regarded us as "strangers."

[Illustration: THE TOMB OF ST. YVES--HUNCHBACKS COME FROM FAR AND NEAR
TO CRAWL THROUGH IT AND SO GET THEIR DEFORMITY REMOVED.

  _From a Photograph._
]

"Yes; we were quite right," explained the man. "The boy was suffering
from hip-disease; and as all the doctors in the district had failed
to do him any good they were trying a remedy in which they had every
faith. It was a great pity that the mother had not resorted to it
sooner. But she was a young woman, full of all sorts of new ideas,
and she had preferred to waste her money on the doctors. _He_ was
a believer in the old remedies. He had known a 'feu de Saint-Jean'
perform miracles. But to be thoroughly effective it was essential that
the two people who held the child should concentrate their thoughts on
the work and have perfect faith. Nothing could be done without faith."

There was such a ring of sincerity in his voice that we two sceptics
were disarmed. It was useless to try to disillusionize the man, so we
asked him further questions and obtained the additional information
that a "feu de Saint-Jean" was good for other things besides
complaints and diseases. A horse, for instance, that had been passed
through the fire was rendered proof against illness, and would perform
its work much better than one that had not undergone the ordeal. This
chance meeting with an interesting example of Breton superstition
prompted an idea. We determined that whilst on our journey through
Brittany we would collect as many similar examples as we could, so as
to form the nucleus of a book on the folklore of that part of France.
And wherever we went we found something to add to our records, as the
following examples will show.

A very large number of the superstitions of Brittany apply to
ailments. Poor food, the excessive use of alcohol, and profound
ignorance of the laws of health make the Bretons subject to numerous
complaints, which they endeavour to cure by means that were adopted by
their forefathers as far back as the fourteenth century. On reaching
a little village near Tréguier we were advised to see the tomb of
St. Yves in the church-yard, and on going there found an old woman--a
hunchback--creeping through a narrow aperture with which that
beautiful monument is pierced. Though she had been deformed since
childhood, she was quite convinced that the saint, who had been
renowned during his life-time for the miraculous healing of the sick,
might still be able to do something for her. This "Hunchbacks' Hole"
in the tomb of St. Yves had already cured quite a number of _bossus_,
in accordance, legend said, with a promise made by the holy man. He
himself, in his youth, had been hunchbacked. Remembering this when on
his death-bed, he gave instructions that his tomb should be fashioned
in the particular form in which it is to-day, at the same time
promising that every cripple who crept through it should have the
benefit of his prayers in heaven.

[Illustration: A CURIOUS CURE FOR WARTS--DROPPING HARICOT BEANS ONE BY
ONE DOWN A "HOLY" WELL.

  _From a Photograph._
]

The minor troubles to which poor humanity is subject are also "cured"
by the carrying out of certain other peculiar ceremonies. When
a Breton girl suffers from warts, for instance, she has herself
blindfolded, takes a handful of haricot beans, and feels her way to
the nearest well, into which she must throw the beans one by one, at
the same time wishing. Should the well be a holy one--and most
wells in Brittany have been blessed by the priests and are therefore
considered to be "holy"--all the better; for her warts will disappear
the very next day. In the case of an ordinary well, however, they will
not be "charmed away" anything like so rapidly. Still, in the end the
sincere wisher will get rid of them. To combat acute forms of headache
a very curious method is employed near Billiers, in the Morbihan. The
sufferer pricks his or her forehead with a needle until blood flows;
then, with the same needle, he or she pricks a certain cross that was
erected in 1874 near the village. By this means it is believed that
the headache is made to "enter the wood," where it will remain for at
least a fortnight. This "cure" is attributed to the intervention of
the Virgin Mary, who is said to have appeared in the above-mentioned
year where the cross is erected, with a promise that she would perform
miracles "to prove her descent at that spot." Adjoining the cross for
curing headaches is another that is reputed to be of great service in
the cure of diseases of the scalp. All that the sufferers need do is
to come and pray there, leaving their bonnets or caps behind them,
attached to a forked branch stuck in the earth.

[Illustration:

    HOW TO REMOVE A HEADACHE--HAVING PRICKED YOUR FOREHEAD WITH A
    NEEDLE TILL BLOOD FLOWS, YOU STICK THE NEEDLE INTO THE CROSS
    ON THE RIGHT. THE SECOND CROSS IS HELD IN HIGH REPUTE FOR
    CURING SCALP DISEASES.

  _From a Photograph._
]

[Illustration: UNLESS ONE OF THE HIVES OF A DECEASED PEASANT IS
IMMEDIATELY COVERED WITH CRAPE THE BEES WILL FLY AWAY AND SEEK ANOTHER
MASTER!

  _From a Photograph._
]

When, in the case of serious ailments, a cure is not effected by one
or other of these means, the sufferer considers that he has received
a very bad sign. Everyone must die sooner or later, and he recognises
that he has received a warning. Sometimes the "warning" is a very
definite one, as we were told on passing through a place called
Muzollac. A candle is seen to float out through the church door and
fall down the chimney of the house of the sick person! Death is not
far off when that phenomenon is observed, and one of the first things
that the relatives do, should there be bees in the garden, is to cover
one of the hives with crape. If this is not done they believe the bees
will all fly away and seek another master!

There are all sorts of superstitions in Brittany connected with
candles and death. On the occasion of a marriage, for instance, the
bride and bridegroom take great care to give an extra large tip to the
choir-boy whose duty it is to light the candles on the altar and see
that they burn well throughout the ceremony. For, should one of the
candles begin to flicker and go out, it is certain that someone is
going to die within a year. If it is one in front of the bride, then
she is to be the victim; if it is one opposite the bridegroom, then
the misfortune is to descend upon him.

[Illustration: DIVINATION BY NEEDLE--IF THE GIRLS' NEEDLES FLOAT
TWICE OUT OF THREE TIMES THEY WILL SECURE A HUSBAND. SOME UNSCRUPULOUS
INQUIRERS "SQUARE" THE ORACLE BY GREASING THEIR NEEDLES!

  _From a Photograph._
]

The majority of the strange beliefs of ancient Brittany apply,
however, not to so gloomy a subject as death, but to the joyful one of
love and marriage. Especially are the maidens of that part of France
believers in signs and portents. They begin at the age of sixteen or
seventeen with the floating needle superstition. In little parties of
three to six they set out for a walk in the country, choosing a day
when there is not much wind, for there must be hardly a ripple on the
surface of the pool where they intend to question the future.

When, in the beautiful, orchard-covered suburbs of Quimper, we met one
of these bright-faced, laughing groups of lasses, the object of whose
journey was evident from the plaster statuette of St. Catherine which
one of them carried in her arms, we asked to be allowed to accompany
them. Hearing that their portraits were to be taken they willingly
consented. So we set off across the fields together and soon arrived
at a shaded pool of clear spring water.

[Illustration:

    ANOTHER METHOD OF "QUESTIONING ST. CATHERINE"--THE STATUETTE
    OF THE SAINT IS AFFIXED TO A TREE AND A HEAD-DRESS PLACED
    UPON IT. IF IT FALLS TO THE RIGHT THE GIRL WILL MAKE A HAPPY
    MARRIAGE; IF TO THE LEFT, SHE WILL BE AN OLD MAID.

  _From a Photograph._
]

The statuette of St. Catherine--the patron saint of old maids--was
then placed on one of the banks, and the girls, taking out their
needles, began to see if they would float on the surface of the water.
If they succeeded twice out of three times in making them float,
then the saint had answered in the affirmative; they were to have
a husband, and perhaps before many months had gone by. But if the
needles went to the bottom, then they would remain spinsters all their
lives. In the eyes of the Breton girl this is a terrible fate; and
Géniaux told me, as we continued on our way towards the ancient
cathedral city, that sometimes those who go on needle-floating
excursions do not play fair: they take care to grease their needles
well, so that they cannot do anything else but float!

In other parts of Brittany, especially in the northern departments,
another method of questioning St. Catherine is adopted. The statuette
is affixed to a tree in an orchard. One after the other the girls then
arrange a head-dress above the saint's head. If the wind blows the
_coiffure_ down to the right, it is regarded as proof that the girl
to whom it belongs will make a happy marriage; but if it falls to
the left, she will be an old maid all her life. To the girls in the
Côtes-du-Nord this is an absolutely reliable test, and no amount of
argument will make them believe that St. Catherine does not control
the wind in such a manner that it answers "yes" or "no."

[Illustration: IN SOME PARTS OF BRITTANY IT IS BELIEVED THAT NO
MARRIAGE WILL TURN OUT WELL UNLESS THE YOUNG MAN DEPOSITS A CERTAIN
SUM OF MONEY WITH HIS INTENDED--IF THE MAN BREAKS THE ENGAGEMENT HE
LOSES HIS MONEY.

  _From a Photograph._
]

[Illustration: THE VILLAGERS OF BILLIERS PUT LARGE CROSSES IN
WHITEWASH OVER THEIR DOORS TO PROTECT THE HOUSES FROM LIGHTNING.

  _From a Photograph._
]

Before leaving the subject of marriage superstitions, I must not omit
to mention the belief that is common around Pont-l'Abbé to the
effect that no marriage will turn out a happy one unless the _fiancé_
deposits a sum of money, varying from fifty to five hundred francs,
according to his social position, with his intended. Parisians are
well acquainted with this custom in the case of their tailors, who,
when a customer is not very well known, insist on a deposit. "On est
prié de laisser des arrhes" is a common notice in the shops of French
_tailleurs_; but until I went to Brittany I was not aware that it was
also observed in the marriage market. The money is deposited, as I have
said, in order to assure a happy union; but should no marriage take
place, and this through the fault of the _fiancée_, the sum must be
returned. If the engagement is broken off by the man, then he loses his
deposit. When at Pont-l'Abbé we were told an amusing story in this
connection.

A certain shrewd Breton maiden, whom the inhabitants of the little
town still called "the perpetual _fiancée_," got herself engaged no
fewer than seven times in succession, and each time she succeeded
in forcing her _fiancé_ to break the engagement. In this way she
collected close on one thousand francs. After the seventh young man
of Pont-l'Abbe had been cast aside she could not succeed in finding
an eighth, for everybody fought shy of her. One day, however, the
announcement went forth, to everybody's amazement, that "the
perpetual _fiancée_" was to be married. The fortunate, or unfortunate,
bridegroom turned out to be a sailor of the neighbouring port of
Loctudy, who had been away on a long voyage, and to whom, people said,
the girl had been engaged all the time. During his absence she had
simply been collecting a little dowry for the man of her heart!

As will be seen, superstition enters so largely into the daily life of
the Breton that wherever you go you are sure to find instances of it.
The millers of Pont-l'Abbé and district nail a pair of sabots to their
water-wheels in order to make them turn well and grind the corn to
perfection.

Even the sportsmen, whom you would think would depend entirely on
their skill, are superstitious. Near Billiers we came across one of
them who was busily engaged in searching for the pellets with which he
had killed a fine hare. After a good deal of difficulty he found three
or four. He then proceeded to fill some new cartridge-cases, putting
one of the used shot into each case; for this, he said, was an
absolutely certain means of killing every time that he raised his
gun to his shoulder. This was, perhaps, the strangest of all the
superstitions encountered during our wanderings through ancient
Armorica.

The inhabitants of Billiers put a large cross in whitewash over the
doors of their cottages, so as to protect them against lightning; they
stretch cords over their huge iron stew-pots, and sit watching them
for hours to see if they are vibrated by some unseen power--vibration
being a sure sign that those who take part in the experiment are to be
happy for the remainder of the year; and on the fish-women receiving
the first proceeds of a sale they fall down on their knees to make the
sign of the cross, which will ensure them having a profitable day's
work.

[Illustration: ON RECEIVING THE PROCEEDS OF THEIR FIRST SALE THE
FISH-WOMEN FALL DOWN UPON THEIR KNEES TO MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS,
WHICH ENSURES A PROFITABLE DAY'S WORK.

  _From a Photograph._
]



THE WIDE WORLD: In Other Magazines.

[Illustration: AN OLD WHEEL OF FORTUNE IN BRITTANY.]

In the village church of Comfort (near Pont-Croix), in Western
Brittany, is a very good specimen of the now rare "Wheel of Fortune."
It is made of wood, with a row of bells on its outer rim and
pivoted between a couple of rough beams--altogether very primitive
workmanship. By means of a cord attached to a crank the wheel can be
made to revolve and set all the bells a-jangling. The peasants believe
that it has miraculous power of healing when rung over the head of
a sufferer who has placed a sou in the box to which the rope is
padlocked.--"THE STRAND MAGAZINE."


THE AUSTRALIAN WAS CONVINCED.

The negro attendant in the cloak-room of a palatial establishment of
this sort in San Francisco was uncommonly sharp. Several prominent men
in Australia had come to Tasmania to inspect the irrigation Colonies
there, and amongst them was the Premier of Victoria. He was told
during his visit that this particular negro could, without a moment's
hesitation, hand out the right hat to every visitor. The colonial
statesman was a little incredulous at such a statement, and was
determined to put the man to the test. So he went up to the counter
and asked the man for his hat, which he turned over and over, as if in
doubt, and regarded critically. At last he said, "Are you sure this is
my hat?" "No, sah," was the instant response; "I don't know whose hat
it is, but I do know you gave it me." The Ethiopian scored, and the
Australian was convinced.--"TIT-BITS."


NEW YORK'S LATEST CRAZE.

New York is just now passing through a roller-skating craze which
threatens to attract the attention of the police. The skating is
not confined to rinks, but is indulged in on the streets by boys and
girls, men and women, who fly along, brushing by innocent pedestrians,
and not infrequently bowling them over. The pavements are rendered
unsightly by the marks of the skates and the dropping of the oil from
the "ball bearings," and at last householders have complained, and the
police have been ordered to arrest skaters who pursue their pastime in
certain sections of the city.--"WOMAN'S LIFE."


WINTER IN KABUL.

Winter, beginning early in October and continuing until March, renders
life in Kabul difficult and uncomfortable. Charcoal is the chief
fuel; and as the houses, owing to numerous doors and windows, are very
draughty, the supply of wood very limited, and coal unobtainable,
it is necessary to wear, even in the house, treble thicknesses of
clothing, and the longest, warmest, and thickest of fur coats outside
the doors. Meal times, under such rigorous conditions, are a distinct
misfortune. All food-stuffs freeze solid; bread has to be chopped with
an axe and drinking water broken with a hammer. Pickles, sauces, jams,
and ink are better put away till the spring. Joints must be
served piping hot from the fire and lying over a pan of glowing
charcoal--even then the centre will probably be unthawed; while the
matutinal cup of tea or the nocturnal cup of cocoa must be gulped
rapidly if it is not to freeze before it is swallowed.--"THE SUNDAY
STRAND."


A BEAUTIFUL EASTERN PLANT.

The annexed photograph, which depicts a very fine specimen of a
Kentia in full bloom, will be especially interesting to those who have
travelled in Eastern countries and have had the privilege of seeing
it growing in its native wilds. Unfortunately, our climate is too
inclement for this beautiful plant, and it is very rarely, if ever,
that a specimen is to be seen in bloom in this country.--"COUNTRY
LIFE."

[Illustration]



Odds and Ends.

    A Piscatorial Acrobat--An Extraordinary Juggling Feat--The
    Fakir's Couch, etc.


The striking photograph below depicts "Abe Ruef," a piscatorial
acrobat who lives in a fountain in St. James's Park, San Jose,
California, and his trainer and friend, Charles Riley. "Abe Ruef" is
a carp about a foot long, and his master claims that he is the only
trained fish in the world. The education of "Abe" was begun a year ago
by Riley, who is one of the gardeners in the park, and has been kept
up continuously, so that now "Abe" prances around his little sphere
of action with all the alertness and agility of a trapeze artiste.
Whether the fish can hear the commands which are given him or not, he
certainly understands what is wanted of him and performs his "tricks"
promptly and with exactness. One of his favourite pranks is to wriggle
over the edge of the porcelain bowl of the fountain into Riley's
hands. The picture here reproduced was taken just as he was coming
over the edge one day, and the photographer made seventeen attempts
before he succeeded in getting the picture. "Abe" will also squirm
over or under a stick held in the water, will crawl between Riley's
fingers, will go half-way under and then back out, and will swim
backward around the tank at the word of command. He takes particular
delight in swimming up to the surface of the water and having his
back stroked by his master. Riley is an animal trainer of considerable
efficiency, and at his home he has the dog and cat, and even the cow,
trained to do tricks; while a number of chickens will beg for food and
jump over sticks at their master's order.

[Illustration: A GARDENER IN THE PARK AT SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, HAS
TAUGHT A CARP TO PERFORM ALL SORTS OF CURIOUS TRICKS--THE FISH IS HERE
SEEN WRIGGLING OVER THE EDGE OF THE BASIN INTO HIS TRAINER'S HANDS.

  _From a Photograph._
]

[Illustration: THE "SKULLERY" AT NATERS, IN THE RHONE VALLEY--BODIES
OCCUPY GRAVES IN THE VILLAGE CEMETERY FOR A LIMITED PERIOD ONLY, BEING
AFTERWARDS DUG UP AND THE BONES STACKED AS HERE SHOWN.

  _From a Photograph._
]

The photograph reproduced above shows the "skullery" at Naters, in the
Rhone Valley. At this village, and at various others in Switzerland, a
curious custom prevails in connection with burials. One is not allowed
to rest peaceably in one's grave for ever, as is the practice in
this country; the grave is permanent, but the occupation of it is a
strictly temporary tenancy, and when needed for a later arrival the
previous occupant is disinterred and his bones are stacked away in the
"skullery," as here seen.

It is not uncommon, both in China and India, to see conjurers
going about from place to place, reminding one of the peripatetic
scissor-grinders who abound in our own country. All the paraphernalia
with which they perform their many and varied tricks is carried in two
boxes, suspended from the ends of a long pole resting on the shoulder,
and for a very small sum they will give a performance lasting an
hour or so. Besides the common sleight-of-hand tricks, such as the
appearance and disappearance of balls, artificial flowers, jars full
of water, live fish, etc., and the spinning and throwing of crockery,
balls, and knives, there are certain other feats which require more
than mere dexterity of hand. For instance, a sleigh-bell is swallowed,
and can be heard tinkling in the stomach as the "artiste" jumps about.
Then a sword is thrust down the throat, and can be heard to strike
against the bell. The bell, needless to say, is later recovered. But
the special and rather disgusting feat illustrated by the striking
pictures on the opposite page, and performed by a Chinese juggler,
seems to outrival anything else of the kind. It consisted in threading
two snakes up the nostrils and out through the mouth! The conjurer
performed this feat at the house of a WIDE WORLD reader living
near T'ungchou, about fourteen miles from Peking, China. The first
photograph shows him standing behind one of the long round boxes which
contain his outfit. On the top of the box is a basket containing a
number of live snakes, from which he selects two of the smoother
and more docile ones, though he afterwards confessed that one of the
snakes had several times bitten him as it passed through the nose.
These snakes were a foot and a half long, and about as large round as
a man's little finger. By the conjurer's side stood a small boy who
acted as his assistant. In the second picture the conjurer is seen at
work, threading the head of the first snake into his nostril. Needless
to say, this is a delicate operation, and even the little assistant
seemed interested. The bringing back of the head of the snake, after
penetrating the nasal passages and beginning to pass down into the
throat, is accomplished in the following manner. The performer puts
two fingers far back into his mouth, the approach of the fingers and
the arrival of the snake naturally bringing on a muscular spasm of the
throat, which throws forward the head of the reptile and enables it to
be grasped, drawn from the mouth, and allowed to dangle several inches
away from the lips. In the third and fourth pictures the conjurer has
succeeded in accomplishing the feat, having forced the second snake into
as uncomfortable a position as the first. In these photographs the heads
of the two snakes are clearly seen hanging from the man's mouth, while
the squirming tails, for convenience, are snugly curled about his ears!
Self-control and resignation fairly beam from the countenance of the
poor fellow, as he seeks to assume an attitude favourable for the
photographer, and yet affording a modicum of comfort to himself. The
development of this conjurer's throat was remarkable. Long practice in
sword and bell swallowing had evidently not only enlarged the muscles,
but also toughened the membranes. Otherwise, it would seem impossible
for a man to endure, without serious inconvenience, the wriggling and
crawling of snakes in this most sensitive part of the anatomy.

[Illustration:

  _From Photographs._

  SELECTING THE SNAKES.

  A TICKLISH OPERATION.

  THE FEAT ACCOMPLISHED.

  ANOTHER VIEW OF THE FINAL
  PHASE.
]

We have published several photographs of religious mendicants in
India, showing the extraordinary penances they inflict upon themselves
to gain merit--and incidentally the alms of the faithful--but none
more striking than that here reproduced, which shows a fakir at
Jubbulpore seated on a couch of sharp-pointed nails. Here, with
eyes closed, wrapped in profound meditation, he sits all day long,
apparently oblivious to the pricking of the spikes. There is no
deception about the business; the nails are quite sharp, but probably
long usage has hardened the fakir's epidermis to such an extent that
the discomfort is hardly felt.

[Illustration: AN INDIAN FAKIR SITTING ON A COUCH OF SHARP-POINTED
NAILS.

  _From a photo. by H. Hands._
]

Twenty years ago, when the villagers living on the borders of Reigate
Heath, Surrey, had no place of worship nearer than the parish church,
a service was held in a schoolroom close by, and was so well attended
that the authorities looked around for a suitable permanent building.
The erection of a church was out of the question, but there stood
on the Heath the remains of an old mill, a picturesque feature in a
beautiful bit of landscape. Inspection showed that once the rats were
got rid of a comparatively small outlay would furnish and render the
mill fit for public worship, and soon it was opened as the Chapel of
the Holy Cross. The circular brick walls of this odd chapel are mostly
ivy-clad, and as the entrance is reached the vestry is seen on the
left. Originally it is reputed to have been a carpenter's shed, and,
except that a few pegs and chairs have been added, its primitive state
is well preserved. The interior of the chapel arouses interest. Four
buttresses, four feet thick by six feet in height, serve as rests for
two massive beams, which cross each other in the centre and support
an upright shaft, cracked with age and strongly bound with iron bands.
The roof slopes down from the vertex of the shaft to the circular
wall, and consequently the building, though no more than thirty feet
in diameter, is of considerable loftiness. The buttresses make four
natural alcoves. The entrance door stands in one, and immediately
opposite is the altar; the harmonium is placed in a third, and the
bell-ringer sits close beside it and rings his bell; the fourth is
occupied by the congregation. The chairs are arranged so as to leave
an aisle from the doorway to the altar, down which only one person can
pass at a time. Above the altar and the doorway are the windows. The
light is fairly good, but there are glass lanterns filled with candles
in the alcoves, and a candelabrum holding nine lights hangs in front
of the altar. All the seats are free, and as many as fifty people can
be accommodated. There is no pulpit, the preacher standing between the
prayer-desk and the lectern. A nominal rental of a shilling a year is
paid to the owner of this curious church.

[Illustration: A SURREY WINDMILL WHICH IS USED AS A CHURCH.

  _From a Photo. by View and Portrait Supply Co._]

[Illustration: A GOLD COAST FETISH, USED TO KEEP EVIL SPIRITS AWAY
FROM THE HOUSE--IT IS SAID TO BE COVERED WITH HUMAN SKIN.

  _From a Photograph._]

The horrible-looking head seen in the photograph below is a fetish
which was, until quite recently, in use among the natives of Sierra
Leone. It is said to be covered with human skin, and the gruesomeness
of its appearance was intentionally exaggerated, as it was intended
to act as a kind of household god and a defence against evil spirits.
These superstitions, it is interesting to note, are gradually becoming
extinct under the pressure of British civilization.

[Illustration: OUR DUSKY ADMIRER--A ZULU BELLE LOOKING AT THE PICTURES
IN "THE WIDE WORLD."

  _From a Photograph._]
]

The photograph reproduced on this page was taken on the station
platform at Ginginhlovu, in Zululand. The young Zulu girl here seen
was waiting for a train, and had picked up a WIDE-WORLD MAGAZINE which
had been inadvertently left behind by some passenger--no doubt much to
his sorrow. Although the vast majority of the natives cannot read or
understand English, they are very fond of looking at pictures, and
this Zulu belle was much interested in her find.

[Illustration: THE MAP-CONTENTS OF "THE WIDE WORLD MAGAZINE," WHICH
SHOWS AT A GLANCE THE LOCALITY OF EACH ARTICLE AND NARRATIVE OF
ADVENTURE IN THIS NUMBER.]





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