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Full text of "Strand Magazine 51"

THE 



STl^HDD MKGHZinB 



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J^n JllusiTaiod Jffontlxti^ 



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♦ EDITED BY 



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;-J* 



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. GEORGE NEWNES 



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^^' Vol. IX. 

JANUARY TO JUNE 






■V, 



Xont)on : 

GEORGE NEWNES, LTD., 8, 9, 10, & 11, SOUTHAMPTON STREET, 

AND EXETER STREET, STRAND 

■T-= * 
.*^ ' ■' 1895 

^ *\ -' 




THE ASTROLOGER. 
{See page 244.) 



The Treasure of the Ram-Bagk. 



By Herbert Russell. 




HE struggle was over ; the last 
spark of rebellion crushed out, 
and the ancient city of Delhi, 
the glory of the Mogul race, 
was again in the hands of the 
English. What a time it had 
been, that summer of '57 ! Never was 
warfare waged with such bitter fierceness as 
between the I'eringhees and the revolted 
Foorbeahs. On the one side was desperation, 
and on the other fanaticism : the atmo- 
sphere of the Punjab was dark with powder- 
smoke, and it seemed to us in those sultry 
regions as though even Nature herself paused 
and stood aside, so to speak, to watch the 
terrific combat between the Black and the 
White. But now it was all over; the last 
cannon had boomed forth its stern voice of 
terrible reprisal, scattering from its mouth the 
limbs of some murderous sepoy ; the feverish 
rapacity of the looter had been appeased, 
and the British soldier, worn out, footsore, 
harassed to a mere shadow, and reduced to 
rags, sat down to rest and to thank God for 
a victory, however hard earned, that still left 
his glorious flag waving over the minarets of 
the great Oriental capitals. 

I had been an officer in one of the native 
infantry regiments, quartered in the canton- 
ments of Mooltan, a regiment bearing a 
glorious record for deeds of valour performed 
in earlier wars. But the spirit of disaffection 
was only too strongly manifest in the ranks 
at the beginning of the Mutiny ; and one 
morning on parade, in the presence of a 
battalion of Europeans and a battery of 
artillery, ready with lighted portfires to sweep 
the barrack square with a hailstorm of grape, 
the commanding officer ordered the sepoys 
to "pile arms," and, almost before the men 
realized it, they were rendered powerless by 
having their weapons taken from them. Yet 
I will vow that none in all that regiment 
felt the disgrace of this disarming more 
than their own officers ; and it is an open 
secret that in the cart which collected 
the muskets to carry them to the magazine 
were found the swords and belts of several 
captains and lieutenants. But when a week 
later the sepoys suddenly uprose eti masse, 
broke out of their lines, forced the bells of 
arms, shot down the quarter-guard, and 
hurried away towards Delhi, we were all 
obliged to admit that the General's measure 
had been only too wise a one. 
Vol. ix.-32. 



The war over, my former regiment no 
longer existing, and having realized quite a 
modest little fortune as my share of the 
fruits of the great Delhi prize auctions, in 
which were sold all the plundered wealth of 
the Mogul palace, I determined to give up 
the service and return to England. I there- 
fore sold my commission, but the season of 
the rains approaching, I resolved to remain 
in Delhi till they should be over. My syce, 
or native servant, who had faithfully served 
me throughout the campaign, I retained to 
act as a valet. His name was Meer Alee, 
and he was a splendid example of the hill 
tribemen, standing about 6ft. 3in., with 
large, flashing eyes, a high, aquiline nose, and 
a heavy, curling moustache. Withal, he was 
as intelligent as he was handsome. 

I was seated one day in the veranda of my 
bungalow, puffing at a "Trichy," and thought- 
fully surveying a slowly-healing sabre cut 
upon my left wrist dealt me by a strapping 
sozvar, when Meer Alee entered the room, 
and, pausing in the doorway, made me a 
profound salaam. 

" Well," said I ; " what is it ? " 

" May I speak with the Sahib ? " 

" Say on." 

He stepped close to my chair, and extend- 
ing a small object, said, "Will the Sahib 
look at this ? " I took the thing in my hand. 
It was a little image of dusky yellow metal, 
and very heavy. I recognised it as a statue 
of Gautama, the incarnation of Buddha, and 
from its weight at once perceived that it was 
made of gold. 

"Where did you get this, Meer Alee?" I 
asked. 

"Is it of any value, Sahib ? " 

" I cannot tell you what it may be worth, 
but it is undoubtedly pure gold." 

He rolled up his fine eyes till nothing but 
the whites of them gleamed forth between 
the dusky lids. Then he said, " I found it 
in the Ram-Bagh." 

These two words, literally translated, mean 
sacred garden. The • Ram-Bagh which my 
servant spoke of was a little, wild tract of 
land surrounding a ruined mosque not far 
distant from the outside of the city walls. 
It was a place where no living creature ever 
went, save maybe some wretched fakir seek- 
ing shelter in the crumbling temple. Doubt- 
less the long grass harboured many snakes, 
and no man in his senses would purposely 



-;*5^ 



244 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



venture into what was pretty sure to prove a 
hotbed of deadly reptiles. 

" What were you doing in the Ram-Bagh ? " 
I asked. 

" I will tell the Sahib everything," answered 
the syce, squatting in Eastern fashion at my 
feet, with the little image in his lap. "Three 
days ago came hither an astrologer, begging 
for alms. The wise man makes friends with 
these people, so I brought him in and gave 
him of food and drink, together with a few 
pice. Then said he unto me, "" Bhai-bund, 
you are the first who this day has given me 
charity. May Silva bless your caste. For I 
am grown old and poor, and people no longer 
have faith in my reading of the planets, and, 
whereas I cannot live much longer, I will tell 
thee a secret in return for thy goodness which 
is written in no book, and known only to Him 
that can divine the unseen.' Well, Sahib, I 
listened with attention, for these astrologers 
often speak words that are worth hearing. 
' Know ye the Ram-Bagh ? ' said he to me. 
• ' Despise not what I tell you, but take a 
.^^ spade, and dig deep, and you shall find 
\ ■ there treasure untold. For I am grown old, 
J and it is no use to me.' So when he 
t* was departed I thought upon what he had 
said, and knowing that he could read secrets 
which it is given but to very few to know, I 
resolved to follow his words. So I went 
forth into the Ram-Bagh with a spade, and 
dug down into the earth, but discovered 
nothing. I was not disheartened by my 
failure, and on the following day tried again, 
still without success. Said I, 'Perhaps I have 
not yet gone deep enough.' So this morning 
I once more went into the Ram-Bagh, and 
dug again in the same place, and found 
this," said he, holding up the little golden 
image. 

"Meer Alee," said I, "why have you told 
me of this thing ? You might have kept it 
to yourself, and have grown rich." 

" How," answered the faithful fellow, 
" should I hide it from the Sahib whose salt 
I eat ? No, no. Even as the astrologer 
gave the secret unto me, because he was 
grown old and did not want longer to keep 
it, so do I now give it to you." 

" Will you leave this with me ? " I asked, 
taking the image from him. 

" It is yours," answered he. 

" No. At least, if I keep it, I will pay you 
for it. Although I have little doubt of its 
being gold, still, to make quite sure, I will 
take an early opportunity to have it tested. 
Meanwhile, not a word on the matter to any- 
body, Meer Alee. Your astrologer has given 



you a secret that should make us both rich 
men, but we must keep it to ourselves." 

" Trust me. Sahib," said he, rising and 
salaaming ; and then, with the gliding stealth 
of an Oriental, he left the room. 

I lay back in my chair, reflecting deeply 
upon the surprising story my syce had just 
told me. Perhaps the one feature in the 
whole business which astonished me most 
was the amazing sense of fidelity the trusty 
fellow had displayed in coming straight to me 
with news of his discovery, when he might so 
easily have kept it to himself. That beneath 
the wild, overgrown surface of the Ram-Bagh 
should lie buried treasure, I considered in 
the highest degree probable. 

It is well known to most people acquainted 
with India that the soil in the neighbourhood 
of the great cities teems with hidden valu- 
ables. Down to within quite recent times, 
when a native acquired wealth, instead- of 
putting his money into a bank or investing 
it, he dug a hole in the earth and secreted 
it. Seeing that this system has been carried 
on from the very earliest ages of the 
ancient empire, it must be readily apparent 
that large tracts of ground are cemeteries 
of untold riches. Delhi in particular, that 
glittering city of gorgeous domes and white 
spires, for generations the seat of the Mogul 
dynasty, has traditions of buried treasure 
beyond all computation. The Ram-Bagh 
stood among the ruins of Ferozabad, the 
ancient city of Delhi, and was just the spot 
to prove a vast earthy coffer. The land was 
all Crown property, but the Commissioner or 
Government Agent chanced to be a personal 
friend of mine, and I had small doubt of 
being able to obtain permission to dig for 
treasure by applying to him. 

I went that same afternoon to a well- 
known money-changer and goldsmith in the 
Chandree Chouk, and, placing the image in 
his hands, requested him to test it. He 
took it, stroked it over, weighed it, and said, 
" No need to test it. The thing is pure 
gold." 

" You are positive of that ? " said I. 

" I will give you thirty rupees an ounce for 
it, if you please." 

This was convincing enough. I told him 
that I did not wish to part with the little 
statue, but merely wanted to satisfy myself as 
to its true value. He repeated, "Well, the 
thing is pure gold," and I left his bazaar. I 
went next to see my friend the Commissioner, 
and found him seated in his office sucking 
iced brandy-pawnee through a straw. 

" Ha ! " cried he, on catching sight of me. 



THE TREASURE OF THE RAM-BAGH 



245 




" THE THING IS PURE GOLD." 

" How are you, old fellow ? Come in and 
sit down." 

" I have come to ask a favour," said I, 
dropping into an inviting canvas chair, v/hich 
at once folded up under me and landed me 
on the floor. 

" To ask a favour, eh ? " he exclaimed, 
laughing at my mishap. " Most of my friends 
visit me for that purpose. I begin rather to 
suspect that my apparent popularity in the 
station is due to my capacity of obliging. 
Well, when you have extricated yourself from 
that chair, perhaps you will tell me what I 
can do for you." 

" Oh, it is a very simple affair," said I, 
getting upon my feet again. " I merely want 
your permission to go digging " — he stared at 
me — " on the Ram-Bagh," I added. 

" What the deuce can you want to go dig- 
ging in that weedy, snake-haunted place for ? " 
said he, screwing a gold-rimmed glass into his 
eye, to view me more attentively. " Going 
to seek for treasure, eh ? " 

" Why," I answered, a little taken aback, 
and wondering whether, after all, the astrolo 



ger's secret might not be 
known to him, "to tell you 
the truth, you have exactly 
hit it." 

He burst into a laugh. 
" I wouldn't give you the 
value of a paper dollar for 
all you're likely to find." 

I drew a deep breath of 
relief. 

"Will you consent to my 
making the experiment ? " 
said I. 

" My dear fellow, dig over 
the whole place, if you like. 
You will be doing a great 
service by clearing it of weeds. 
Take care a cobra doesn't 
abruptly terminate your little 
venture, that's all. But what 
has put the notion of seek- 
ing for treasure in the Ram- 
Bagh into your head ? " 

" Well," I answered, feign- 
ing reluctance to admit a 
little superstitious weakness, 
" an astrologer called at my 
bungalow a few days ago 
begging for alms, and out of 
gratitude for the charity be- 
stowed upon him, he said 
that if I should dig in the 
Ram - Bagh, Heaven would 
reward my goodness." 
" And you are credulous enough to believe 
him ! Well, I confess I am astonished that 
a man who has lived in India as long as you 
have should listen to the words of the first 
native impostor that chances to stop at your 
door. Don't you know these budtnash astrolo- 
gers are the greatest set of rogues ? My advice 
to you would be not to waste your time and 
money in digging up that forsaken spot. 
But if you wish to try, why, then, by all 
means go ahead, and good luck attend 
you." 

"I think," said I, "although there is great 
truth in what you have said, that with your 
good leave I will make the attempt. Trea- 
sure-hunting is at least as good an occupation 
as sucking brandy-pawnee through a straw, 
and far less injurious to the liver." His eyes 
twinkled. I continued : " It will be a matter 
of no very great cost to set a few coolies to 
work to clear away the land. At all events, I 
have your consent ? " 

" Oh, certainly," he answered. " Dig up 
the whole of Ferozabad, if you please." 
"Suppose," said I — "just for the sake of 



'246 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



argument, you know — that I do find any- 
thing, shall I be allowed to keep it? " 

" My poor, deluded friend," he cried, 
laughing, " you won't find anything. If 
your astrologer knew of the existence of 
treasure in the Ram-Bagh, do you think he 
would have let you into the secret ? But if 
you do happen to discover an old coin or 
two, or a bit of antique pottery, why, don't 
tell anybody about it." 

" One thing more to crown the obligations 
I am under to you," said I. " Lest I should 
be interfered with during my explorations, 
will you give me a written permit to dig up 
the Ram-Bagh ? " 

He took a sheet of officially headed paper, 
scrawled a few lines upon it to the effect that 
I was at liberty to seek for treasure upon the 
spot named, and handed it to me. I thanked 
him, and quitted his officCj quite sensible 
that I had sunk in his opinion as a weak- 
minded man whose head was to be turned 
by any native mendicant that should tell him 
a tale of buried gold. But, then, my worthy 
friend did not know of the little image that 
was in the brown-paper parcel which I held 
in my hand while I talked to him. 

My first act on returning to 
my bungalow was to summon 
my syce, and go with him to 
■take a view of the Ram-Bagh. 
The spot lay about ten minutes' 
walk outside the walls of the 
city in the direction of the 
Ajmere Gate, and about a 
quarter of a mile to the right 
of the ruins of Ferozabad. It 
was out of the way of any of 
the great roads leading into 
Delhi, and was probably never 
visited except, as I have said, 
by some miserable fakir or 
goojur seeking refuge in the 
dilapidated mosque that stood 
in the centre of the grounds. 
The place was altogether 
somewhere about three acres 
in extent, and inclosed by a 
crumbling wall. 

The dreariness and desola- 
tion of the spot were unspeak- 
able. There was nothing in 
the hum and life of the great 
city near at hand to neutralize 
the profound sense of loneli- 
ness that came to one on 
entering the wild and over- 
grown sacred garden. Bald- 
headed vultures wrangled in 



harsh screams for scraps of carrion among 
the long grass, and clouds of flies, humming 
as they rose like locusts, hovered over the 
body of a dead jackal or the corpse of a 
famished dog. My servant told me that 
here, so tradition said, was to be seen the 
unearthly shape of the ghoul sporting in 
the moonbeams, though, for his own part, 
he had little doubt that the apparition 
which had presented itself to affrighted 
native eyes, in the form of some strange 
goblin, was nothing more than a wretched 
pariah looking for a place to lay his head. 

We climbed over the wall, treading most 
gingerly for fear of snakes, and Meer Alee 
led me to the spot where he had unearthed 
the little image. It was in a corner of the 
garden, where the undergrowth was less thick 
than in most places. He had only dug a 
hole of about 4ft. deep, and about a yard in 
diameter ; I saw exactly where he had found 
the Httle statue, for the impression of its 
grotesque form lay plain in the clayish soil. 
Having taken a brief survey of the bagh, I re- 
turned with my syce, deliberating plans for 
beginning operations next day. When we 
arrived at my bungalow, I said to Meer Alee : — 



^A 







" MEER ALEE LED ME TO THE SPOT." 



THE TREASURE OF THE RAM-BAGH 



247 



" Now, listen to what I am going to say to 
you. First of all, I have had your image tested, 
and it is of pure gold. Here it is. Next, 
I went to the Commissioner and obtained 
from him a written permission to dig in the 
Ram-Bagh for treasure. His advice to me 
was to keep all I found and say nothing 
about it ; therefore, we shall know how to 
act in this respect. Now, Meer Alee, as you 
have behaved so handsomely towards me, I 
wish to treat you equally well. Therefore, I 
make you this proposal : We will go into 
partnership over the undertaking ; I will find 
all the money requisite to hire labour to clear 
away the wild growth of the place and dig 
up the ground, and we will share equally of 
the profits of whatever we may find. Do you 
consent to this ? " 

"Sure, the Sahib is much too generous," 
replied he. 

" You think it a fair proposal, then ? " 
"Worthy of one of the just and righteous 
Feringhees, our lords and masters," he 
answered, with Hindu humility, which was 
not without a twang of hypocrisy about it. 
But I saw that he was really very well satisfied, 
so I continued : — 

" It must be our business to keep as quiet 
as we possibly can over the matter. Once 
we let it get wind that we are seeking for 
treasure, people will come flocking about us, 
and it may end in the Government laying 
claim to whatever we discover, since the 
land is Crown property. We must have 
coolies to clear away the long grass before 
we can do anything. Where are we to get, 
say, half-a-dozen good, trusty fellows who may 
be relied upon to keep their own counsel ? " 

" If the Sahib will leave it to me, I will 
undertake by to-morrow to find six such men, 
who will eat of my chupatiees, and swear to 
secrecy." 

" Good ! Tell them they shall be liberally 
rewarded for their services. Ten rupees a 
day each shall they have, and as much curry 
and bang as they can eat and drink." 

Meer Alee salaamed and withdrew. I 
was perfectly satisfied to leave the matter of 
employing labourers in his hands, for he was 
a native himself and would consequently have 
a good knowledge of the native character, 
and furthermore his interests were as much 
concerned as my own ; therefore, he would 
act with extreme caution. Had it not 
been for the discovery of the golden 
image, I should have been by no 
means so wiUing to give credence to the 
astrologer's story. Yet I considered it quite 
possible, too, that there might be current a 



tradition of buried treasure in the Ram-Bagh 
of Delhi. Among the Indian races history 
is perpetuated very much as it was in Homeric 
days : by word of mouth. Legends are 
handed down from generation to generation, 
and although in the course of ages the versions 
may become twisted out of all recognition of 
their original events, still they are based upon 
the truth. Not that I mean to say the mere 
circumstance of a strolling beggar calling at 
the door of my bungalow for alms, and 
bidding me dig in a certain spot, where I 
should find reward for my charity, would 
suffice to persuade me into entering upon the 
quest. But the discovery by Meer Alee put 
the matter beyond all dispute. It might 
happen that, almost by a miracle, he had 
chanced upon the only object of value con- 
cealed beneath the surface of the Ram-Bagh. 
But, at all events, the bringing to light of the 
little image of Gautama was a matter which, 
coming on top of the astrologer's story, might 
determine the most sceptical man upon 
making a search in the ancient sacred garden. 

My syce came to me after dinner that 
evening, and asked permission to go out into 
the Subzee Mundee for an hour or two. I 
guessed his motive, and readily gave my 
consent. He carried a small paper pack- 
age in his hand ; I asked him what he had 
there, and he answered "Chupattees." Now, a 
chupattee is nothing more or less than a little 
cake, made of unleavened flour and water, 
and constitutes the chief article of the 
Hindu's food. When a native requires any 
particular service from his brethren, accord- 
ing to an immemorial custom he takes a 
chupattee, and, breaking it into pieces, dis- 
tributes the fragments amongst those whom 
he considers likely to answer his purpose. 
The men who accept the morsels are pledged 
to keep faith with him throughout any under- 
taking they may enter upon ; and be it said 
that no form of oath could be more binding 
in its moral effect upon the native mind than 
the receiving of the chupattee. Consequently, 
when Meer Alee showed me his little supply 
of these unsavoury cakes, I perfectly well 
gathered his intentions, and granted him un- 
conditional leave of absence. 

I did not see him again until the morning. 
He brought me my shaving water as usual, 
and, on my inquiring how he had fared 
during the previous night, he replied : — 

" I have got six men. Sahib. You m.ay 
trust them to serve you faithfully and to 
keep your secret. They will all be in the 
Ram-Bagh at ten o'clock this morning with ■ 
spades, ready to begin work," 



248 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



" Capital ! " I cried. " Meer Alee, you are 
a first-class fellow ! " He acknowledged the 
compliment by an abject obeisance. " You 
understand these coolies better than I do," I 
continued, " therefore, you had better act as 
overseer." 

Directly after breakfast I set out for the 
Ram-Bagh, clad in a suit of kharkee and 
knee-boots, a useful working costume in a 
hot climate. The season of the rains was 
just over, and the heat, even at noon, was 
never intolerable, although it was unwise to 
expose oneself to the sun. Meer Alee, 
whose fine eyes flashed with excitement, had 
gone on ahead of me, carrying such imple- 
ments for cutting away the tangled weeds as 
my little garden-house yielded. When I 
arrived, I found him stripped of everything 
save a cloth round his loins and a turban on 
his head, digging away as though for dear 
life : the hour was only a trifle past nine 
o'clock, and the coolies had not yet come. I 
would have made short work of the thick 
growth by burning it down had I not known 
that the smoke would attract a crowd to the 
spot, which was the very thing I did not 
desire. 




OIGGINfj AWAY AS THOUGH FOR DEAR LIFE. 



However, in due course the half-dozen 
natives my servant had hired arrived. They 
were stout, likely-looking fellows, and came 
well armed with shovels and pickaxes. I 
spoke to them in Hindustanee, briefly telling 
them that our purpose was to seek for a trea- 
sure which was reported to be hidden under 
the ground on which they stood. We then 
set to work in real earnest, and by the hour 
of noon, when I called a halt to rest, the 
coolies had cleared away a broad space of 
land extending the whole width of the hagh. 
The number of snakes, chiefly cobras, which 
lay hidden in the tall grass was incredible, 
and on several occasions one or another of 
the men had a narrow escape of being bitten 
by the disturbed reptiles. 

The shape of the Ram-Bagh was nearly 
square, and my idea was to start by digging 
a trench about 4ft. deep close up against the 
wall whence we began cutting down the 
growth, and work our way from this, turning 
up the soil till we had covered the whole 
length of the garden. I reckoned that an 
average depth of 4ft. would be sufficiently 
far to penetrate, since, being a little bit of a 
geologist, I perceived that the deposit of soil 
had been very slow on this spot. 
Wliilst we were resting, a burkandaz, 
or armed policeman, stepped into 
the inclosure and demanded to know 
what we were doing. I told him I 
had an order from the Commis- 
sioner at Delhi to clear the tangle 
weed of the place, upon which he 
saluted and went away again. 

Meer Alee, who was himself the 
most enthusiastic among the workers, 
turned the coolies to afresh after a 
short interval, and they laboured on 
with but little pause until sundown, 
by which time the Ram-Bagh looked 
as probably it had not looked for 
centuries past : a clear, level space, 
with the mass of sun-browned stuff 
/hich had converted it into a minia- 
ture jungle piled in a huge stack in 
one corner. All was now in readi- 
ness to begin digging, and I am free 
to confess it was with no small 
degree of anticipation that, on the 
following morning, I set the natives 
to work upon the trench I have 
already spoken of 

The soil was of a loose, sandy 
character upon the surface and easily 
turned, though at a little depth it 
became stiff and clay-like. The coolies 
toiled 01:1 for several hours with- 



THE TREASURE OF THE RAM-BAG H 



249 



out lighting upon anything more than some 
fragments of broken pottery ; then we came 
to our first find. This was neither money 
nor jewellery, but an elepha^it. The animal 
lay upon its side about a yard below the 
surface, pressed as flat as a board, and in a 
wonderfully good state of preservation. Its 
hide was almost white, and I thought it quite 
possible that the animal had been one of the 
scarce sacred species, interred in the Ram- 
Bagh on its death. How long it had lain 
buried one could never come to know, yet 
from various things afterwards found at the 
same depth, I guessed it was at least a 
thousand years old. 

Our next discovery, made some yards 
away from the spot where we had come upon 
the elephant, was of a more welcome 
character. It consisted of a long-necked, 
brown earthenware vase, of the size of a 
large melon. The neck of it was filled up 
with clay, but on handling it the weight of 
the thing gave us to know that it was full of 
some heavy substance. I took a pickaxe 
from one of the natives, and by a cautiously 
directed blow shattered the vase : the riven 
fragments flew asunder, and out fell a mass of 
gold coins. Meer Alee gave a shrill cry of 
delight. I picked up one of the pieces, 
about the size and thickness of an English 
florin. I could decipher the date 1400 upon 
it, but the inscription was in some Oriental 
language unknown to me. I afterwards dis- 
covered that the coins were of the period of 
the bloodthirsty Tamerlane, who in 1399 
took the city of Ferozabad, and put 100,000 
people to- the sword. There were 210 pieces 
in all, and their value was exactly ;^4oo 
English currency. 

This was indeed a good beginning, and we 
went to work afresh with renewed vigour. I 
felt persuaded that somewhere within the 
walls of the Ram-Bagh there was a great 
treasure buried, compared with' which the 
trifling discovery we had just made would be 
as a lac of rupees to a Nizam's revenue. 

Collecting the gold coins into my hand- 
kerchief, and securely binding them up, I 
bade Meer Alee carry them to my bungalow, 
and deposit them in a place of safety. He 
must have fled with the swiftness of the wind 
itself, for he was back again in ten minutes. 
The coolies worked as only a willing Hindu 
can work, and the earth flew in showers 
before the flashing blades of their shov:ls. 
But during the rest of the morning we dis- 
covered nothing more, save a large jadestone 
statue of some ancient native god, which 
was so damaged that I left it, 

Vol, ix.^-33. 



A thought came into my head whilst the 
little gang were taking their midday rest, and 
eating their mealies under the shadow of the 
bagh wall. I strolled towards the ruins of 
the temple, and entered. The place was, 
indeed, in a most terribly dilapidated con- 
dition. The roof was gone, and the crumbling 
walls stood gaunt, full of distorted archways 
and gaping chasms. Yet all the fallen 
stones had been at some time or other 
removed, probably for building purposes, and 
the floor of the place presented a clear 
surface, thickly carpeted with a sandy dust. 
I brushed aside a little space of this with my 
foot, and saw that the floor of the temple 
consisted of large stone flags. Wishing to 
get a clearer view of this pavement, and not 
desiring to disturb the natives at their dinner, 
I fetched a broom which I had observed one 
of the coolies deposit in a corner of the 
inclosure, and with my own hands, despite 
the suffocating clouds that arose, I laid bare 
a large square patch. The flags were laid 
not close together, but at intervals of about a 
couple of inches apart, the interstices between 
being filled up flush with dust. 

In sweeping aside the rubbish, I had taken 
notice of a long, rusty iron spike, like a ten- ^ 
penny nail. I now went and sought this, 
picked it up, and stooping down, ran it 
along the chinks betwixt the flagging of the 
floor. Out spurted a quantity of dirt, 
scattering itself right and left, and — could I 
believe my eyes ? — amongst the grains of 
dust there rolled forth a number of pearls ! 
I remained idly looking at the little sparkling 
white gems whilst one might have counted a 
hundred, too much staggered to realize the 
sudden amazing revelation of a hidden 
treasure, which, for all I could tell, was 
perhaps to be computed in millions. Then 
I fell upon my knees, and collected all the 
pearls I could see ; about twenty I think 
there were. None of them were very large 
or of great value ; but there could be no 
shadow of doubt that they were genuine 
gems, and if the floor of the temple was 
going to disgorge jewels in this fashion, there 
might be many magnificent prizes amongst 
them. 

I put the pearls I had gathered up care- 
fully in my coat pocket, stepped back again 
into the bagh, and beckoned to Meer Alee. 
He approached me, and I turned aside in a 
half-careless way, as though I were going to 
speak to him on some matter of no great 
moment, so that the other natives should not 
observe us. 

" I have good news to tell you," said I, 



250 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



subduing my voice, though excitement was 
now working deep in me ; " I have dis- 
covered where the real treasure of the Ram- 
Bagh lies." 

He stared at me in his mild way, and said, 
" Yes, Sahib ? " 

" It is beneath the floor of yonder temple," 
I exclaimed. " Look what I have just found 
among the flag-stones there," and drawing 
forth the handful of pearls, I exposed them 
to his view. 

His eyes sparkled, and he said, " By the 
faith of my fathers, but the astrologer spoke 
true words ! " 

" We will abandon digging in the grounds 
for the present," said I, " and set the coolies 
to work to raise the stones of the temple 
pavement. I got the pearls merely by scrap- 
ing between the chinks of the flags with a 
rusty nail. Who can tell what may be 
concealed beneath?" 

On this he bustled away, and I heard 
him exhorting the Hindu labourers to 
work with a will, making an offer of in- 
creased reward. The coolies moved in 
a body towards the temple, and began 
lustily clearing away the dust from the 
floor, which rose in dense clouds into 
the air. An hour sufficed them to lay 
bare the flag -stones within the ruined 
walls. Stooping to inspect 
them more narrowly, I now 
perceived that they ' were 
formed of the finest porcelain. 

1 determined to start ex- 
cavating from one corner of 
the place, working my way 
diagonally across the whole 
width of it. We found that 
the tiles, which were about 

2 ft. square, needed little 
effort to raise them : if they 
had ever been cemented the 
stuff had crumbled away 
long ago. Under the first 
dozen or so of these which 
the natives lifted the yellow- 
soil lay as flat as the top of 
a table. I carefully worked 
about among the dust on 
the surface with my fingers, 
but found nothing in the 
way of precious stones. 
When as many of the tiles 
had been removed as laid 
bare a space about the area 
of a good-sized room, I 
told the natives to begin to 
dig. Almost the very first 



blow of the shovels into the yielding 
ground gave back a sharp metallic chink. I 
heard it and sprang to the spot, crying to the 
fellows to be careful lest the blades of 
their spades should injure the object 
they had lighted upon. They began 
gingerly scraping away the soil, and pre- 
sently uncovered what proved to be a 
most beautiful model of a pagoda, in 'pure 
gold, and, as I afterwards found, of Chinese 
workmanship. One corner of this lovely toy 
had been chipped away by the workman's 
shovel, otherwise it was completely intact. 
The size of it was about i8in. square at the 
base, and it weighed nearly lolb. 

I fear that I should weary you, besides 
spinning out my yarn beyond all admissible 
limits, if I were to recount step by step 
the story of our excavation of the floor 
of that ruined temple in the Ram-Bagh. 
We were three days in lifting all the tiles, 
and searching the soil underneath. We found 
a great number of stone coffins, containing 
the bodies of Hindu men whose rank 
had entitled them to burial in the musjid — all 




THEY UNCOVERED A MOST BEAUTIFUL MODEL OF A PAGODA. 



THE TREASURE OE ThE RAM-BAGH. 



251 



in a wonderful state of preservation, although 
they crumbled away iniu powder shortly after 
being exposed to the air. In every case these 
cofifins contained money and jewels, the 
former of these showing by their dates that 
they covered a period extending from the 
reign of the atrocious Jenghiz Khan, in the 
thirteenth century, down to the days of 
Aurung-Zeb in the middle of the seventeenth 
century. From some forty-seven tombs thus 
opened we got in all gold pieces to the value 
of ^9,000 sterling, and jewels to nearly 
treble that value. 

But this was not all. With my own hands 
I collected from among the dust which lined 
the interstices of the tiles as many pearls as 
would have filled to the brim a pint measure. 
They were all pearls : not a gem of any other 
description was among them, and roughly I 
estimated the worth of them at about 
^1,200. Many remarkable curiosities of 
treasure did we unearth, for the most part in a 
perfect state of preservation. One object in 
particular, which I thought the most exquisite 
piece of workmanship I had ever set eyes 
upon, was dug out by my syce. It consisted 
of a flower-pot of virgin gold, delicately 
wrought in filigree, containing a plant about 
I Sin. high. The stem of this plant was of 
silver : the wide-spreading leaves of gold, 
densely studded with emeralds, causing 
the whole to stream with brilliant green 
fires. The marvellous skill of the Oriental 
goldsmith was never better illustrated 
than in this incomparable work of art. 
Another wonderfully beautiful toy was found 
by one of the coolies. This was a birdcage 
of golden wires, containing the representation 
of some gorgeously plumed bird in precious 
stones. The body was of rubies, streaked 
with turquoises ; the pinions were diamonds, 
and the eyes were two tiny moonstones. 

Of gold and silver pieces of money we 
found such a surprising quantity in various 
spots beneath the floor of the temple, and 
particularly in the coffins I have already 
mentioned, that we literally grew weary of 
collecting the coins. I caused a number of 
bags to be made, in each of which I placed 
as many of the pieces as it was convenient 
to carry at one load, dispatching them to my 
bungalow by Meer Alee, and by the time 
we had concluded our search in the Ram- 
Bagh, / had twenty-three of these bags in my 
private room. The greater bulk of this 
treasure was gold coins of various dates 
during the Mogul dynasty. 

We likewise discovered fourteen little 
images of gold, all more or less like the one 



Meer Alee had first shown me ; a quantity 
of daggers and small swords of various 
curious patterns, with hilts incrusted in 
precious stones ; several splendid caskets 
full of articles of jewellery; large breast 
shields of pure gold, bearing emblematic 
devices ; a superb spray of diamonds which 
had probably formed the plume of a great 
Rajah's turban ; some jadestone carvings, 
chiefly of native gods, and a quantity of 
broken fragments of gold. As we finished 
our search in one part of the ruined building, 
so I obliged the workmen to shovel back the 
soil into its place, and lay the tiles afresh, in 
order that should we be suddenly interrupted 
during our operations, the intruder, whoever 
he might be, should not be able to perceive 
what we were at. But in all the while we 
were exploring the grounds and temple of the 
Ram-Bagh not a soul came near the place, 
saving the burkandaz of whom I have already 
spoken. One evening, whilst we were still 
working in the garden, my friend the Com- 
missioner drove over after dinner to visit me 
at my bungalow. 

He presently said, " Have you got any 
treasure yet from that dirty old spot ? " 

I answered, " Yes, we have found several ^ 
curious things. I will show you some of ^^ 
them." And then I produced one of the 
little golden images and about a dozen coins. 
I set these upon the table before him. Then 
said he : — 

"There may be more of these sort of 
things." 

" No doubt there are," I answered. 

" I think, on reflection," said he, stroking 
his moustache, "that I may perhaps have 
exceeded the power vested in me by giving 
you permission to search for treasure and to 
keep all you found in the Ram-Bagh. As 
Crown Agent, you will easily understand that 
it is a point of honour with me to look after 
Crown property." 

" My excellent sir," I exclaimed, " you 
have but to express your wish, and I will dis- 
continue digging at once. I am not avaricious, 
and the few trifles I have already unearthed 
will satisfy me, seeing that I have your per- 
mission to keep them. You must admit that 
I deserve some share of the treasure for being 
the first to reveal its existence. So let what 
I have already got constitute that share, and 
meanwhile do me the pleasure to accept that 
quaint httle image and those coins in token 
that the words of a Hindu astrologer are not 
always to be disregarded." 

He stared at me steadily and said : — 

" Have you really had a great find ? " 



252 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



■ " What makes you suspect it ? " 
" Your liberality, for one thing." 

'"Now, see here," I exclaimed, " I will tell 
you what I have done. You gave me per- 
mission to search the Ram-Kagh for treasure 
and to keep what I found. On the strength 
of this I |et to work, hired labour, and had 
the pestilential old place cleared out. That 
in itself was a distinct service. Next, I 
have only explored about one-third of the 
garden, and the temple in the centre of it. 
The rest of the grounds are all ready for 
digging up, but they have not been touched. 
None knows of this secret saving you and me, 
my syce^ and the coolies I employed. Now, I 
will not turn another sod myself, for I am quite 
satisfied with what I have already got. The 
place simply teems with buried treasure. The 
six natives who have been working for me are 
thoroughly trusty fellows, and have eaten of 
my faithful servant's chupattees, consequently 
their lips are sealed. They will go to work 
at sunrise to-morrow morning, as usual, but I 
shall not be there. Meer Alee will attend, 
and tell them they may now dig for another 
master. Do you understand me ? " 

He sprang towards me and grasped my 
hand. " You have given me 
a fortune," cried he. 

"And the Government?" 
said I, drily. 

. "Is always pleased to have 
waste lands cleared and 
rendered fit for cultivation," 
he answered, with a slow 
smile. 

■ " I never knew before 
that you were a humorist," 
said 1. 

He left my house that 
evening in wonderfully good 
spirits, and a month later, 
to the astonishment of every- 
body, he gave up his high 
Civil Service appointment 
for no apparent reason, and 
quitted India to return to 
England. 

. To conclude this narrative 
of treasure-finding : I told 
Meer Alee what I had done, 
in promising to desist from ' 
digging any further, and ex- 
plained that my motive had 
been to conciliate the Com- 
missioner, lest an avaricious 
policy on our part should lead 



MEER ALEE IN PAI.L MALL. 



to a demand from the Government to give 
up what we had already got. He looked a 
little discontented at first, but speedily ad- 
mitted that I had done wisely. " And, after 
all. Sahib," said he, with his bland smile, 
"we have got enough." 

Then came the question of turning the 
treasure into sterling currency. This, in 
India, is never a matter of very great difficulty. 
I contrived to get something resembling 
a fair price for my valuable property from the 
haggling Brahmins. When all was sold, and I 
came to calculate the amount yielded, I found 
that Meer Alee and myself had very nearly five 
lacs of rupees to divide ; which at the then 
exchange value came to near upon ;z^45,ooo 
in English money. 

The last time I saw Meer Alee was in 

London. The handsome fellow was parading 

Pall Mall in the costume of a West-end 

dandy, and a fine, commanding figure he 

looked for all the incongruity of his garb. 

He spied me, and came bounding across the 

road. I shook him warmly by the hand 

and inquired what he was doing in 

England. He told me that, feeling 

a curiosity to view the country of the 

Feringhees, he had come to 

London about six years ago 

along with a young Parsee 

student, who had taught him 

English during the voyage. 

He liked London so well 

that he continued to 

prolong his visit, " until," 

said he, with his old, mild 

smile : — 

" I don't suppose I shall 
ever return now." 

I gazed at his frock-coat, 
and his curly-brimmed Bond 
Street hat, his umbrella, 
gloves, and elegant boots, 
and • could scarcely realize 
that this remarkably well- 
dressed Hindu was indeed 
the same syce who had so 
faithfully serve4 nie through 
the Mutiny. I saw by his 
face that he read my 
thoughts, and said, " What 
a wonderful transformation, 
Meer Alee." 

" Yes," he answered ; " all 
due to the Ram-Bagh. But, 
excuse me, my name is now 
Hopkins," 




Monsieur Got. 



The Father of the Comedie Fran^aise. 
By the Baroness Althea Salvador. 




From a Photo, by] 



M. GOT S HOUSE. 



[Benqtie tt; Co., Paris. 



r^!ss;n-^.r,n>i9^\ 




V 


M 


M 



HE last night of January, 1895, 
witnessed the final appearance 
of the eminent actor, M. Got, 
who, since the ist of Novem- 
ber, had been performing the 
round of characters created by 
him during his half-century of service in the 
House of Moliere. In 1842, M. Got 
obtained the second prize for comedy at the 
Paris Conservatoire, and in 1843 the first 
prize was his award. Then he entered the 
Comedie Frangaise, and made his dedu^ 
as a domestic. His success was assured, 
and at that time even, his advancement 
would have been rapid had he not been 
obliged to serve as a soldier. After a short 
time spent in Algeria, he decided that he had 
more talent for the theatre than for the army. 
" Yes," said the colonel, " you are right. 
Return to the theatre. Here you could not 
have risen very high, but on the stage you 
will never be anything." 

This was not very encouraging, but Got 
had confidence in himself, and at an early 
period in his career created several ro/es, 
among the most important of which was that 
of Giboyer in Emile Augier's " Fils de 
Giboyer." 

Since then, Got's principal characters have 

been Jonquiere's Jean de Thomery ; the rabbi 

of "L'Ami Fritz"; MaUre Pierre, of "La 

' Farce de Maitre Pathelin " ; Brissot, of 

" Denise " ; the grandfather, in '' Flibustier " ; 



and the priest, in " II ne faut jurer de rien." 
But never was the great actor more applauded 
than in October last, when he created the 
part of Bibus, in Jean Richepin's " Vers la 
Joie." Bibus is the shepherd, doctor, philo- 
sopher of the piece, and here Got had an 
opportunity of declaiming the finest verses. He 
made us forget the actor and think only of real 
life: Got is the first member of the Comedie 
Fran9aise who has attained his fiftieth anniver- 
sary. Mole, Preville,Guerin, and LaThorilliere 
all counted many years of service, but did not 
approach the half-century. On July 17th, 
1894, the actors, actresses, machinists, and em- 
ployes of the Comedie Fran9aise, in all eighty 
persons, celebrated, by a family breakfast at 
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the fiftieth anniversary 
of M. Got's connection with the House of 
Moliere. At the close of the dejeuner, M. 
Jules Claretie, the manager, made a brilliant 
speech. Mounet-Sully's remarks related to 
the wonderful career of the oldest societaire ; 
Le Bargy, a favourite pupil of Got, read a 
touching essay; and Coquefin Cadet brought 
the "admiration of the absent." 

The real dramatic career of Got dates from 
his performance of the priest in Alfred de 
Musset's "II ne faut jurer de rien." Theo- 
phile Gautier wrote in 1848 : " Got has made 
of this personage a living and animated 
silhouette, full of curious faults, and without 
caricature." When Got reached the zenith 
of his talent and reputation, he did not 



254 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE 




From a Photo, bt/] 



M. GOT IN 1876. 



iA'adur, Paris. 



disdain to resume the characters in which 
he had made his early success. He has 
never been vain of his talent, but always 
proud of his art. A desire for effect has 
never lessened his good sense, and he has 
always been known as a " reasonable artist." 

Indeed, the finish, the perfection of his 
art is not due to inspiration, but to premedi- 
tation. Got presents a curious and rare 
phenomenon — the union of profound logic 
and great imagination. But this imagination 
is only allowed play at intervals. It never 
dominates truth, the solid foundation of 
studies, pursued by every conscientious artist. 

M. Got is professor at the Conservatoire, 
and on Mondays and Thursdays, the days 
on which he gives lessons, he rises at eight. 
At nine he mounts a Passy-Louvre omnibus, 
for he lives at a little suburb of Paris called 
Bonlainvilliers. Every omnibus conductor 
knows Got, for he never takes a cab : even 
after a performance at the theatre, when the 
applause has been most enthusiastic, he 
hastens to change his dress, so that he may 
not miss the last omnibus. Some of the 
actor's friends call this " principle " ; others 
say he is actuated only by motives of economy. 
In spite of his effort at early rising on the 
day of his lessons (for he usually sleeps 
very late in the morning), Got is always late 
at the Conservatoire. However, he remains 



there longer, in order to compensate his 
pupils for the time lost. His costume never 
varies : in winter, a loose redingote of 
broadcloth, and in summer a sack-coat of 
the same material. The hat is always silk, 
with broad, straight brim, pressed down to 
his nose. When he reaches the Conserva- 
toire, he is respectfully saluted by his pupils ; 
but he merely nods and waits impatiently 
until his assistant has called over the 
names. When the assistant has retired, Got 
says : " Well, my children, whose turn is it 
now ? " Little by little, the actor becomes 
animated and witty, never hesitating to ex- 
press his opinion, even when it is most 
unflattering to his pupils. Sometimes the 
actor goes to the theatre to advise young 
artists, sometimes to assist in mounting 
plays ; and his opinion of manager, author, 
play, and artists is very frank — perhaps too 
frank for those criticised. 

Got once told me that the former adminis- 
trateur, Perrin, understood the Comedie 
Frangaise, and knew how to manage actors 
and authors. " Jules Claretie is very amiable, 
but weak ; he does not rule, but is ruled. 
I am fond of Mounet-SuUy as a friend ; but, 
as a comrade on the stage, he is too self- 
sufficient and too easily ruffled. Coquelin 




GOT IN HIS GARDEN. — PRESENT DAY. 

From a Photo, by Benque tt Co., Paris. 



MONSIEUR GOT. 



255 



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/[. GOT AS MR. POIRIER IN " LE GENDRE DE MR. POIRIER." 



[Benque <t Co., Paris. 



aim should never have been taken back : the 
treasury has suffered thereby." 

Got is not a talker, and never gossips with 
the actors and actresses. He is very con- 
scientious ; he has a right to a certain number 
of seats at the theatre, but he never gives 
them to his friends, because that would lessen 
the receipts. 

His dressing-room is very simply furnished : 
there is not a picture, not a drawing in it, 
but everywhere one sees swords. There are 
two tiny rugs, one for each foot, and a table 
with all the materials for " making up." 
When he is dressed, the actor leaves his 
room and strolls through the corridors, wait- 
ing until he is " called." He tells you that 
he is always frightened before going on the 
stage — that his heart beats violently ; but, 
after the first word, his calmness returns. After 
a scene, sometimes he is gay, and makes witty 
speeches in the corridors. At other times, 
he is melancholy, sits down and speaks to no 
one. Got cares very little for luxury. His 
home is as simply furnished as his dressing- 
room at the theatre, and during all these 
years he has only possessed one work of art — 
his own portrait by Carpeaux. It was painted 
by candle-light, and the artist's thumb re- 
placed a brush. Its strength made so great 
an impression," that Haquette created a 
portrait of Got by throwing the paint on the 
canvas. This portrait is remarkably powerful, 
but does not belong to the actor. 



Got has a wonderful library, and when he 
has not to go to the theatre, he smokes a t 
pipe, and reads or works in the garden. He 
looks like a priest, and this resemblance to 
an ecclesiastic nearly cost him his life during 




M. GOT AS THE RABBI IN L AMI FRITZ. 

From a Photo, by Nadar, Paris. 



256 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




got as ukiac in une jouknee 
d'agrippa." 



the Commune. 
Then he lived 
in London as 
director of the 
company of the 
Comedie Fran- 
gaise. He and 
his comrades 
tried to earn a 
httle money by 
giving perform- 
ances, as the 
theatre had not 
a penny in its 
treasury. One 
day, Got was 
obhged to re- 
turn to Paris, 
and when he 
left London 
he said to his 
comrades : 
" Announce 
that I play the day after to-morrow." Un- 
fortunately, he fell into the hands of the 
Communists. 

" Who are you, and where are you going?" 
" I am Got, of the Comedie Fran^aise, and 
I am going to London." 

" You are not Got : you are the vicar of 
Sainte-Marie-des-BatignoUes." 

" I have never been a priest : see, I 
have no tonsure ! " 

But the poor actor was carried to the 
Place du Trone, and placed with the other 
prisoners in an improvised prison. At the 
close of day, the Communists took him out 
of prison, and said : " As you are an actor, 
recite something for us. Go on. Recite some 
verses." When he had finished, they said : 
" Perhaps you are Got ; in any case, you are 
free." 

The fact was that the commander was an 
Italian, and Got, speaking that language, was 
able to explain the situation, and thus save 
his life. Got never attempts to learn his 
parts. He reads them over two or three 
times, and, while reading, tries to form an 
idea of the personage he is to represent. 
He reflects about people whom he knows, 
chooses a characteristic from this one, an- 
other from that, and so composes his part. 
For example, the priest he impersonates in 
"II ne faut jurer de rien " was a replica of 
the priest in his regiment. Got studied care- 
fully this country abbe — simple, ignorant 
of the world — and, as a result, Parisians 
were presented with a priest of irreproach- 
able taste, and delightfully true to nature. 



Got says : " In order to succeed as an 
actor one must work very hard, and be the 
favourite of chance. Whenever a young 
man comes to ask my advice, I say, ' My 
friend, if you can do something else, do it ; 
but do not enter upon a theatrical life.' But 
the young man never pays any attention to 
this advice, and that is one reason why so 
many actors fail. I never, or rarely, make a 
mistake in my judgment. As soon as one of 
my pupils recites a phrase, I know what he 
can do. It is the same with plays. Often I 
listen to the reading of a play at the Comedie 
Frangaise out of respect for the author ; but 
from the first scene I know if he be a 
dramatist. Only once have I been mistaken 
about the success of a play. 

" When Scribe read us his ' Contes de la 
Reine de Navarre,' I was shocked, for the 
play seemed absolutely absurd. Scribe was 
then the fashionable author, and as I was 
obliged to vote after the reading, I thought, 
' Everybody will put in a black ball, and 
there must be one ball in favour of Scribe, if 
only to please him : a white ball would be 
too flattering, so I will put in a red one ! ' 
Judge of my stupefaction when I found that 
mine was the only red ball — all the others 
were white ! That play was represented a 
hundred times ; but, in spite of its success, I 
have never modified my opinion. I have 
always thought that more was due to the 
talent of Madeleine Brohan than to the play 
itself" 




M. GOT AS AKNOLPHE IN ECOLE DES FEWWES, 



MONSIEUR GOT. 



257 



It is interesting to know that the artist who 
recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of 
his connection with the House of Moliere 
once brought it into the law courts. In 
1865, displeased at the regulations which 
imperilled the privileges and dignity of the 
association, and discouraged because his 
efforts to reform abuses were without avail, 
Got tendered his resignation. Its refusal 
was the cause of the lawsuit that resulted in 
Got remaining a societaire. 



had been appropriated for the use of the 
Government, and great was the discontent 
of the students in the Latin Quarter. It was 
known that the Emperor and Empress would 
honour the theatre with their presence, and 
from pit to gallery the house was filled with 
students, who saluted Napoleon III. by singing 
"Luxembourg — Luxembourg," to the famous 
air of " Lampions" — a souvenir of 1848. 

The courtiers were naturally irate, but the 
students bade adieu to the monarch with 







1 \ 


:•!:.■ 


"**'^ •-j^o-- .. ■ '""* 


n* 


WM^^'^'^^*' ■■■: 


* # 



From a Photo. Sy] 



THE CAST OF " VERS LA JOIE " AT THE COMEDIE FRAN5AISE. [La Photographie Xouvelle, Paris 

M. GOT, MMES. BARETTA AND PIERSON, MM. COQUELIN CADET, P. MOC.VET, LE BABGY, LANGIEB, AND ESQUIEK. 



Soon afterwards, Emile Augier wished Got to 
create apart in his new comedy, ''' .Contagion," 
to be produced at the Odeon. Got's request 
to undertake the character was refused, but 
the Emperor ordered him to appear at the 
Odeon and create the part of Lagarde in the 
new play. "Contagion " caused great curiosity 
and much excitement, as it was rumoured that, 
in the character o{ Baron d Estriganf, Augier 
had wished to depict the Due de Morny. 
The play was represented just at the time 
when a portion of the Luxembourg Gardens 



"Luxembourg — Luxembourg." The Imperial 
carriages were obliged to pass slowly through 
the Rue Corneille and the Rue de I'Odeon, 
while the police were unable to prevent a 
compact crowd from hissing and insulting the 
Emperor and Empress. Four years later 
came the end of the Empire, and hardly a 
voice was raised in its defence. Notwith- 
standing this disturbance, Emile Augier's 
comedy had a great success ; but Got, eclipsed 
by Berton as the hero, returned to his old 
home, where he remained ever since. 



Vol. ix.~-34. 



The Storm. 

From the French of Armand Silvestre. 







1 



I. 

at 



T was at the little hamlet of 
Pilhoel, one of the wildest 
on the coast of Brittany, almost 
savage in its environment of 
blue rocks, the rugged crests 
of which were reddened by 
the setting sun, with the sea, rampant like a 
chained lion, or furious and hurling its 
sonorous waves .to the very thresholds of the 
houses above ; while, inland, the country 
was sheltered and smiling with flowers in all 
seasons, as in a greenhouse — a sunny zone, 
where camellias blossomed in the open air. 

At that time Pilhoel was a corner un- 
known to tourists, and a few painters who 
went there to sketch took care not to lead 
thither the importune crowd of elegants and 
curious. Fifty houses at most, all inhabited 
by fishermen, stood under the shadow of the 
ruined church, the cracked bell of which 
frightened even the sea-gulls on the shore. 
During the working days of the week, none 
but women with children hanging to' their 
skirts were to be seen moving about between 
the dwelling-places. All the men were away 
fishing. 

On Sundays their long nets were spread 
along the weather-stained white of the house- 
walls, holding in their meshes silver spangles 
which glittered in the light ; and there was a 
world of poor people, all resigned, pious, and 
knowing nothing of the unwholesome dream- 



ings of city dwellers, but full of faith and 
courage. 

There is in France — at least, on the borders 
of the sea — no village, however humble, which 
has not its pearl of beauty. It was no un- 
truth so to call Jeanne, the prettiest girl in 
Pilhoel. The humblest garments — for she 
was one of the poorest girls in the hamlet — 
could not disguise her inherent grace and 
beauty. Her superbly-designed bare feet, 
her little hands, which hard toil had often 
wounded, were signs unconquerable of natural 
aristocracy. Good and modest above all the 
girls about her, she had, none the less, a 
love-secret in her heart. 

She was sixteen, and he whom she loved 
was four years older : a handsome youth who, 
equally with herself, felt the flow of noble 
blood in his veins. Something of instinctive 
worth was betrayed in his least gestures, and 
a proud melancholy was strongly expressed 
in his face. He was skilful in his calling and 
bravest of the brave ; with all that, a dreamer, 
taking little part in the Sunday sports on the 
square in front of the church, but oftener, 
at the hour when Jeanne was listening to the 
vespers and singing the verses, re-entering 
the holy building, and, at the foot of 
a pillar, contemplating her in the shadow 
scarcely penetrated by the yellow rays of 
the altar candles ; or wandering away to 
the deserted sea-shore to think of her, the 
music of the waves seeming to bear away to 













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■ WANDERING AWAY TO THE DESERTEP SEA-SIiORE.' 



THE STORM. 



259 



far-off horizons the frail bark of his unspoken 
hopes. 

What was it separated these two beings, so 
completely made to unite their laborious and 
resigned existence ? Their common poverty. 
Both were orphans. Loehic had earned his 
scanty hving in service on the boats, and 
only, at last, had been able to buy one for 
himself, and such a boat ! — the oldest and 
most sea-battered of the little fleet ! 

As to Jeanne, she had been reared by her 
old Aunt Mathurine, who had brought her 
up with infinite tenderness, but, at the same 
time, promising herself not to allow her niece 
to marry any but a man who would be 
in a position to assure her (Mathurine) 
a comfortable provision for her old age. 
For there is always a basis of selfish- 
ness in our devotion. 

This man she had chosen without say- 
ing anything about it : it was Mathias, 
the pilot, who was looked up to by the whole 
fishing community of the little hamlet. A 
rough man, with his weather-beaten face and 
hands of bronze, yet hale and hearty in spite 
of his fifty years ; who had often faced 
Death, from whom he had snatched his in- 
tended victims ; and who had made enough 
fortune to insure his ease and allow him to 
retire from his perilous calling. He had 
known Jeanne in her infancy, had danced 
her on his knees, and had seen her grow with 
increasing and affectionate interest. And 
Mathurine, who had the natural sharpness of 
all peasants, had guessed that the old pilot 
was in love with this flower of grace, slowly 
expanding under his eyes. 

But Mathias was no fool, and when he 
thought of his age he laughed at himself, 
and again became paternal with the young 
girl, who, innocent creature, had never even 
suspected the combat that was being waged 
in the old sailor's heart. With him she was 
always the same — simple, frank,' and some- 
times cruelly charming ; admiring him, but 
in the way in which patriarchs are venerated. 
All her tenderness was reserved for Loehic, 
and, knowing that her aunt was opposed 
to her marriage with him, she had resolved 
to remain unwed rather than become the 
wife of any other man. She had sworn it 
to him one evening when they had met upon 
the shore in the soft moonlight, broken by 
the sea into a rain of gold ; at one of those 
mysterious hours, sweet to lovers, when their 
hearts seem to open widest to solemn con- 
fidences, when their souls bathe deliciously 
in the same concert of abandonment and 
sincerity ; he had even placed upon her 



finger a ring in remembrance of her 
promise — a poor brass ring, but one which 
Monseigneur the bishop had blessed at the 
last confirmation. 

" Before God I am your betrothed," she 
had said to him, all her soul vibrating in her 
voice, "and death alone can part my thoughts 
from yours ! " 

And both had melted into tears, the bitter 
drops of which ran down to their lips, 
mingling with the salt vapours rising from 
the waves and the tossing seaweeds of the 
shore. And from the shelter of a block of 
granite, in the lande, he had plucked a wild 




" I AM YOUR BETROTHED." 

flower and given it to her, and she had placed 
it between two leaves of her poor " Book of 
Hours," the face towards a picture of the 
Virgin bearing this epigraph : " Ave maris 
Stella." And she turned her eyes towards a 
star, on the golden eyelashes of which a tear 
of pity seemed to tremble. 

Both had moved away, overcome by this 



26o 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



idyll, but confident in each other, expecting 
nothing of men, but everything from some 
marvellous and heavenly intervention, which 
would not permit the future viewed by them 
wMth a like tenderness to be for ever de- 
stroyed, or that such a dream as theirs should 
be the eternal despair of their lives. 

After that supreme interview, existence 
had, so to speak, returned to them. Loehic 
every day, without rest or truce, risked his 
life in his miserable boat for trifling gains ; 
and Jeanne repaired the nets of old or un- 
married fishermen for a small piece of money, 
which Aunt Mathurine dropped into the 
throat of a nearly empty purse. 

II. 

There was a fete that day at Pilhoel. The 
pilot, Mathias, had solemnly retired. He 
had said farewell to the fleet he had com- 
manded, and his old companions, to do him 
honour, and in gratitude for the services he 
had rendered them, had organized a series of 
rejoicings. 

As soon as it was daylight they went to his 
cottage, to play the drum and fire guns and 
pistols under his windows. Then the maidens 
brought him a large bouquet, which was 
presented by Jeanne ; which made the , old 
sailor's tanned face blush as red as a peony 
with pleasure. Then full cups of the best 
cider — which had been bottled months before 
in anticipation of the event — were drained, 
and the glory of the old pilot commemorated 
in song. 

Loehic had not been the least active in 
all these proceedings ; for he felt towards 
Mathias a child-like admiration mixed with a 
confiding sympathy. Many times he had 
been on the point of confessing to him his 
tenderness for Jeanne and asking his advice 
— for how could he, for a moment, imagine 
that venerable Mathias had ever regarded 
her with other than fatherly feelings? At 
twenty, people think those who are fifty years 
of age veritable Methuselahs. 

As was proper, this touching ceremony was 
not left without its comic side. This was 
secured to it by Aunt Mathurine, by the 
offering of a pair of slippers embroidered by 
herself — a garden in tapestry, with roses 
resembling cabbages and birds that might 
readily be mistaken for gnats : for Mathurine 
had, in her youth, been in service in one of 
the large towns, and had acquired genteel 
accomplishments. The old sailor, who had 
never in his life worn anything but sabots, 
felt an enormous temptation to burst into a 
roar of laughter. 



" If it makes no difference to you, 
Mathurine," he said, " I'll wear 'em on my 
hands in winter-time, to play the dandy in at 
the High Mass." 

And, by way of thanks, he clapped on 
the old girl's two cheeks a pair of such 
hearty kisses as, for a moment, made her 
teeth rattle in her head like castanets. 

Everybody had that morning made holiday 
for this rejoicing, which was followed by a 
copious repast, and ended with a rigadoon, 
accompanied by Mathurine on the guitar — 
a superannuated instrument which had been 
given to her by one of her old employers, 
and which distilled under her meagre fingers 
some vinegary notes, falling drop by drop, as 
it were, into the tormented ear. But they 
had no refined notions as to music at Pilhoel, 
and so this performance of Aunt Mathurine, 
embroidered by the gruntings of a bagpipe, 
played by a lad whose execution had come to 
him naturally and wholly without study, 
seemed to all who heard it as charming as 
any music could be. 

All this revelling had filled the morning 
down to one o'clock, and the time was then 
come for putting off to sea, to make up for 
the early lost hours of the day. 

It was in the month of September, and the 
forenoon had been particularly bright. The 
sun had risen over the ocean in mist, which 
had speedily been consumed by its rays and 
had melted, like the last cloud of smoke at a 
conflagration, into the rosy light. The intense 
azure of the zenith paled down to the horizon, 
where the blue of the sea blended with that 
of the sky in a long kiss — the insensible line 
between reality and dream, between the 
region of' stars and the region of tempests. 

The mild air — too warm, perhaps, for the 
season — was scarcely tinctured with salt, but 
laden with the life-giving perfumes, the nourish- 
ing breath of the immense living thing which 
breathes along the land and warms it with 
the beatings of its heart. On seeing the few 
tiny copper clouds which the dawn had 
rapidly driven before it, some of the weather- 
prophets had said that the day would not 
pass without a storm. 

But this threat seemed to have withdrawn 
behind the glittering curtains of the firma- 
ment, and in the gaieties of Mathias's fete 
had passed from the minds of all. Joyously, 
therefore, the sails had been unbound from 
the masts, dressed with flags for the occasion, 
when, suddenly and unexpectedly, they were 
caught by a rude puff of wind and filled even 
before they were completely spread, while a 
violet-hued vapour rose above the horizon, 



7 HE STORM. 



2O1 



presently shaping itself into a long, slate- 
coloured blade, widening itself obliquely, and 
cutting the azure sky as with a shadowy knife. 

" There'll be a tempest presently ! " said 
Mathias. " Take care of yourselves, boys ! " 

" Ah ! you have done well to quit the 
business, my good Mathias ! " Aunt Mathurine 
murmured softly in his ear. 

Jeanne looked sadly on while Loehic 
adjusted, as well as he could, the rough and 
torn sail which, like a wounded wing, was to 
bear him out to sea. His soul was heavily 
oppressed by melancholy. When he had 
wished to dance with Jeanne, old Mathurine 
had made at him, through her diabolical 
spectacles, such a pair of eyes, that he had 
not dared to invite the young girl. At table, 
before that, they had been placed as far as 
possible apart from each other ; so that what 




" JEANNE LOOKED SADLY ON." 

had been a pleasure to everybody else, had 
been for him nothing but a punishment. 
Never had he felt so completely downcast. 



So, when passing near him, while her aunt 
was offering a pinch of snuff to Mathias, 
Jeanne had said to him : — • 

" Don't go out to sea, my Loehic, I beg 
of you ! " 

The only reply he had been able to make 
to her was : — 

" Oh, let me go ! — I wish to die." 

III. 

A HEAVY gloom poisoned the departure after 
the gaiety of the morning, and many a furtive 
tear mingled with the farewells along the 
range of boats into which the men were 
climbing, to go in quest of the daily bread 
for which they daily prayed. 

The prediction of Mathias had troubled 
the minds of the most courageous ; the old 
pilot knew so well the ocean and its treasons ! 
But all had solid boats, and 
well fitted to withstand the 
onslaughts of the waves. 
Then, they were not going 
far out, but meant to con- 
tent themselves with fishing 
within sight of the coast, 
ready for a prompt return, 
in case the winds and waves 
should prove too hostile. 
Loehic alone, in his shattered 
boat, would run any real 
danger. 

" Take my better boat, lad," 
said Mathias, with rough 
tenderness. 

But, for the first time, the 
poor young fellow had noticed 
the old man's assiduities to 
Jeanne, . and with what fond 
eyes he had gazed upon her, 
and he answered, shortly : — 
" No, thank you ; I don't 
want it." 

And with a last look, 

charged with agony, cast 

upon his loved one, he threw 

himself into his leaky boat, 

and his tattered sail, fiUing 

with the rest, bore him away. 

The wind grew every moment 

stronger, and, one by one, 

the boats disappeared into 

the violet mist, their grey 

sails looking to the end like 

the wings of frightened gulls. 

Mathias and Mathurine 

had retired into the cottage of the latter, who 

had prevailed on him to partake of a last 

pitcher of cider ; for she could think of no 



262 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



better artifice for drawing to her house the 
only nephew she could hope to secure in this 
country, so far removed from the shores of 
Pactolus. Moreover, the moment appeared 
to her an excellent one for making a first 
trial. The old sailor had given up the sea ; it 
was the very time for him to take to himself a 
wife. Jeanne was the prettiest girl in Pilhoel ; 
Mathias was the richest fisherman there. 

These two aristocracies were made for one 
another, evidently. The match-maker, there- 
fore, set about diplomatizing, commencing 
the campaign by a significant enumeration of 
her niece's virtues : she augured well from 
the enthusiasm with which Mathias declared 
that she had still fallen short of the truth. 

During this conversation, in which she was 
so much concerned, Jeanne had remained on 
the sea-shore, anxiously, and with moistened 
eyes, peering into the horizon overspread by a 
dark curtain which had, 
at length, veiled the 
whole sky. Suddenly 
this veil was torn by a 
flash of lightning, skim- 
ming the dense green 
surface of the sea afar 
off; followed by a 
scarcely perceptible 
rumble, after a long in- 
terval. The storm was 
yet distant. 

But she already felt 
its commotions, and a 
chill fell on her heart. 
The light had faded out 
of the sky. Heavy drops 
of rain fell upon the 
sands, tinting them grey. 
A fresh zig-zag of fire 
rent the air, reflecting 
itself on the^lVice of the 
deep water, and the 
voice of the thunder 
immediately followed. 

Jeanne uttered a cry 
of agony. 

"We had better go 
and see what it was, 
perhaps," said Mathias, 
emptying a last glass of 
rider to the health of 
Jeanne. 

" Nonsense — stay 
where you are," said 
Mathurine, restraining 
him. 

Like a flight of pigeons 
regaining the dovecote, 



pressing closely one against the other, white, 
and rapidly increasing in size, the sails of 
the fishermen appeared, all low upon the 
water, all flying before and under the stress 
of the tempest. A third burst of thunder had 
brought all the women and children in terror 
to the beach. 

In spite of Mathurine, Mathias had hurried 
down to the shore, his rough face expressing 
a strange anxiety. This one and that one 
uttered cries of relief and joy on receiving 
those belonging to them. The wind came in 
aid of the courage of the sailors ; a powerful 
gust threw the whole fleet on to the shore in 
safety. 

On all sides kisses, embracings, sobs of 
joy, hand-graspings of friends lost and re- 
stored. One sail alone was behind— a rag of 
canvas on a raft, for the gunwale of the boat 
had all been torn away by the waves ; and 




'A RAG OF CANVAS OX A KAFT. 



THE STORM. 



263 



against it the figure of a young man struggling 
to keep it standing against the fury of the 
wind. Jeanne recognised in him Loehic, 
and, with blanched features and clenched 
hands, felt as if Death had laid his hands 
upon her. 

" He is lost ! " was the cry of all. 
"There is only one man who can save 
him ! " cried a fisherman. 
. " Mathias, alone, could make head against 
such a sea ! " cried another. 

Mathias had already stripped off his waist- 
coat and thrown it on the ground. He was 
going to launch his own boat. 

"Unhappy man — I forbid you ! " screamed 
Mathurine, clinging to the pilot's shirt-sleeve. 
Mathias looked at Jeanne. 
There are moments, solemn, mysterious, 
when language becomes useless, when souls 
understand each other in silence, when hearts 
open themselves, dumb, but readable as 
wide-spread books. The young girl went to 
the pilot and said to him, in a voice so low 
that none but he could hear her : — 
"Save him, and I will be your wife." 
For that look — that one look — had, in an 
instant, revealed to her the pilot's passion. 

With a vigorous movement, Mathias threw 
off Mathurine — so vigorous, indeed, that her 
clutch carried away with it a shred of the 
shirt-sleeve on which it had been fastened — 
and sprang into his boat, already moving out 
through the surf. A turn of the helm^a 
white furrow in the sea — then a cry of agony 
and admiration ! 

The storm raged more furiously than ever. 
The old pilot's boat had reached Loehic's 
shattered vessel in the midst of a cloud of 
spray, which, at moments, hid both from 
view. The mingled forms of two men stood 
out against the grey tumultuous background 
— Mathias holding Loehic, insensible, in his 
stalwart arms. The double shadow stoops — 
the shadow of a single man rises : Mathias 
has laid in the bottom of his own boat the 
body of the man he has saved. Another 
turn of the helm, and in a few seconds the 
rescuer lands the still insensible form of 
Loehic on the beach. 

A ringing outburst of hurrahs ! — ^^the horny 
hand of the old pilot passed from lip to 
lip; his name murmured by all mouths in 
benediction. The women on their knees 
put up thanks to the Virgin also. 

Jeanne, pale, motionless as death ; Mathias 
turns upon her a look appealing for thanks. 
A pained smile passes to the young girl's lips, 
and Mathurine makes everybody laugh by 
breathlessly bringing to the pilot a glass of 



hot sugared wine, which, in spite of all the 
old girl's protestations, he insists on forcing 
between the lips of Loehic, who has not yet 
returned to consciousness. 

IV. 

At the end of six weeks, Loehic, saved and 
sheltered by Mathias, has slowly recovered 
the reason of which, for awhile, he had been 
bereft by excess of emotion. After many 
days of delirium, during which his life had 
been in suspense, consciousness had returned 
to his mind, but on his heart had fallen the 
shadow of an incurable sadness. 

Mathurine had only permitted Jeanne to 
come and see him once ; and Mathias — 
strange as it seemed — had not sought to 
break through that cruel decree, but appeared 
to be completely in agreement on the subject. 
The reason was that, in his sick dreams, 
poor Loehic had so often repeated the name 
of Jeanne, and with such despairing tender- 
ness in the tones of his voice, that the old 
pilot feared he had discovered that love 
existed between them. Jeanne, whom he 
saw every day at her aunt's, appeared, how- 
ever, firmly resolved to keep her promise. 
She had allowed her hand to be officially 
asked of Mathurine, and, without making 
the least objection, proceeded with the 
preparation of her trousseau. 

The young girl hstened to the pilot's 
projects of happiness without responding, 
but with a vague smile upon her lips which 
he might take for contentment. 

One day she was kneeling in prayer as he 
entered, and, in rising, let a faded flower fall 
from the " Book of Hours." Mathias stooped 
for the purpose of picking it up and returning 
it to her ; but, before he could reach it, she 
had snatched it up and jealously hidden it in 
her bosom. 

The eagerness of her action attracted the 
old sailor's attention. 

" Who gave you that flower ? " he asked, 
uneasily, without knowing why. 

" Loehic gave it to me." 

And, as a look of anguish passed into the 
pilot's eyes, she added : — 

" God does not forbid remembrance." 

Mathias did not insist, but a terrible doubt 
had entered his heart. An hour later, on 
taking his place by the bed of Loehic, now 
convalescent, he said to the young man : — 

" How would you answ^er me, Loehic, if I, 
who have saved your life, were to ask some- 
thing of you in return ? " 

" I should answer you : ' Mathias, my life 
is yours ; dispose of it as you please.' " 



264 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



After an interval of painful silence, and 
with a faltering voice, the pilot continued : — 

" It is not much I have to ask of you, lad ; 
give me only the worthless brass ring you 
always wear on your finger." 

Loehic started in his bed and became very 
pale. 

" That ? Never ! " he cried, an angry light 
flashing from his eyes. 

" It was Jeanne, then, who gave it to you ? " 
replied Mathias, his voice choking with pain. 

" Why do you ask me, since you know ? " 
rejoined Loehic, closing his eyes and over- 
come by this sudden trial of emotion. 

The pilot rose, his eyes full of tears. He 
kissed the forehead of the young man, who 
had fallen suddenly into a kind of sleep. He 
listened, and assured himself that he was 
really sleeping. 



" Focgive me ! " he murmured. 

Then, in a corner of the room, before a 
crucifix, he knelt and besought God to give 
him courage. Calmed, a look of admirable 
resignation on his brow, he put on his heavy 
woollen cap and returned to the house of 
Mathurine, whom he found working with 
feverish ardour at the white bridal dress. 

" Well- — will the trousseau be ready soon ? " 
he cried, in a voice which he rendered 
almost rough from trying too much to make 
it gay. 

" You have become very pressing all of a 
sudden. Master Mathias," replied Aunt 
Mathurine. " For when do you want it ? " 

Very simply, this time, in the admirable 
tone of sacrifice, the pilot answered, looking 
at Jeanne : — 

"For when Loehic is well again." 




HE KNF.LT BEFORE A CRUCIFIX. 



-^"1- 



From Belli //J fJie Speaker s Chair. 

XTX. 

(VIEWKD P,Y HENRY W. LUCY.) 



THERE was a report current 
COURT DRESS, at the beginning of the present 
Parliament that the Speaker, 
commiserating the lot of members who for 
various reasons were not disposed to endow 
themselves with Court dress, proposed to 
give a series of supplementary feasts at which 
ordinary dinner dress would serve. I'he 
rumour may be dismissed without a moment's 
consideration. The Speaker is not likely, 
voluntarily, to divest himself of one of the 
conditions which tem])er his official hospitality. 
It suffices to be bound 
to invite in turn 670 
gentlemen to dinner, 
without going out of 
the way to remove a 
possible obstacle to 
the invitation being 
universally accepted. 
Accordingly, this 
Session, as from time 
immemorial, members 
dining with the 
Speaker have 
been required 
to don Court 
dress and carry 
a sword by 
their side, 
when it is not 
between some- 
body else's 
legs. 

So inexora- 
ble is this law, 
that last Ses- 
sion it operated to the extent of banishing the 
seconder of the Address from the Speaker's 
table. It is the invariable custom that the 
mover and seconder of the Address shall be in- 
vited to the dinner to Her Majesty's Ministers 
with which the Speaker hospitably opens 
the Session. Last year Mr. Fenwick, whose 
honourable boast it is that he commenced 
liis career as a working collier, seconded the 
Address. He undertook the duty only upon 
condition that he should not be called upon 
to array himself in military, naval, or Court 
dress, as is the quaint custom of the occasion. 
The point was yielded as far as his appear- 
ance in the House of Commons was con- 
cerned. But the Speaker, tied and bound by 
immemorial custom, did not see his way to 
vary the usages of the Ministerial dinner. 

Vol. ix —35. 




mi;, fewvick (as h1'; michi' havk 

AI'I'KAKMD). 



Accordingly, whilst the mover of the Address, 
arrayed in the martial costume of a major in 
the Militia, dined with the nobihty and gentry 
at Speaker's Court, the seconder, clad in sober 
black, humbly ate his chop at home. 

From their earliest departure on the war- 
path the Irish members have made a point of 
standing aloof from the Speaker's dinner 
parties. There is, indeed, a story of the late 
Mr. Joseph (jillis Biggar having been en- 
countered on the top of a Clapham 'bus with 
velvet coat on his back, ruffles at his wrist, 
black stockings coyly hiding his shapely legs, 
silver buckles on his shoes, and sword in 
dainty scabbard hanging within easy reach of 
his right hand. Questioned as to the occa- 
sion for this disguise, he airily rephed : " I've 
l)een dining with Mr. Speaker." This is, 
however, only one of the many myths that 
linger round the memory of honest Joseph 
( iillis. As upon another apocryphal occasion 
it was announced that " the Tenth never 
dance," so it remains true to this day that the 
Irish members never dine — at least, not with 
the Speaker. 

Shortly after Mr. Bright, in 1868, 
MR. joined the Ministry as Presi- 

KRiGHT. dent of the Board of Trade, 
the clothes difficulty presented 
itself. His Quaker conscience revolted 
against the necessity of assuming the semi- 
warlike costume which forms the full dress of 
Her Majesty's Ministers. To prance around 
in scarlet coat, with gold lace down his 
trousers and a plumed cocked hat under his 
arm, was a sacrifice that seemed too much, 
e\en as a preliminary condition of being 
enabled to serve his 
country. But the uni- 




HE DKKW THE LINE AT THE SWORD, 



266 



7^HE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



THE DIRE- 
NESS OF 
UNCER- 
TAINTY. 



form is imperatively necessary in connection 
with Court duties inseparable from Ministerial 
ofifice. On visits to the Queen, attendance 
at the Prince of Wales's levees, and at the 
Ministerial dinners in Speaker's Court, the 
integrity of the British Constitution demands 
a certain strictly ordered uniform. After 
some protest, Mr. Bright gave in in the 
matters of coat and trousers, even of plumed 
hat. But he drew the line at the sword. 
Finally concession was made on this point, he 
alone of all Her Majesty's Ministers appear- 
ing on ceremonial occasions unembarrassed 
by a sword. 

It is said that fewer new members 
have possessed themselves of 
Court dress in the present Parlia- 
ment than in any of its pre- 
decessors of recent times. The 
reason for that lies on the surface. AMien 
the present Parliament began business, there 
were some authorities who confidently asserted 
that dissolution would fall upon it before it 
had enjoyed its first Easter holiday. When 
nothing happened at Easter, the date of the 
prophecy was shifted to the Committee stage 
of the Home Rule Bill. When nothing 
happened then, other occasions, none remote, 
were with equal confidence named. Whether 
immediately, or by - and - by, Parliament 
could not last long, and what was to 
become of the new member, thrown upon 
the country with a brand-new suit of Court 
dress and no certainty of being returned at 
another election ? The situation, it is said, 
appealed with peculiar force to Scottish 
members ; only those with majorities so 
large as to justify expectation of opportunity 
of wearing out their Court dress in a sub- 
sequent Parliament adventuring on the 
expenditure. 

One peculiar dis- 
LORDS AND tinction between 
COMMONS, the Eords and 
Commons is the 
greater jealousy with which 
the latter guard the sanctity 
of their Chamber. Both 
Houses have staffs of mes- 
sengers, chiefly responsible as 
media of communication 
between members and the 
outer world. But whilst mes- 
sengers in the Lords, charged 
wath a letter, a card, or a 
Ministerial box, may ap- 
proach the person addressed 
and achieve his errand, a 
messenger in the House of 



LEGISLATION 
IN THE 
LORDS. 




LORD CHAN'CELLOR AND I 
CHAIRMAN." 



Commons may not approach beyond the bar 
at one end, or proceed further than the 
steps of the Speaker's Chair at the other. 
I'he consequences are inconvenient and 
sometimes ludicrous. What happens is that 
the messenger, standing by the cross benches, 
hands to the nearest member the message or 
card with which he is charged, and it is 
slowly passed along the line till it reaches its 
destination ; each member in turn thinking 
it is meant for him, occasionally an absent- 
minded statesman opening a letter not 
addressed to him. This is a matter in which 
the Lords are certainly more up to date, and 
the Commons might well take a leaf out of 
their oixlinarily despised book. 

In another respect, that of 
advancing Bills by stages, the 
House of Lords -could, as Sir 
John Astley used to say, give 
the Commons a stone and beat them. Towards 
the end of the Session, when, after sitting for 
months with nothing to do, the Lords find 
themselves overwhelmed with work, the 
rapidity with which legislation is accomplished 
is bewildering to the stranger in the gallery. 

The Clerk, rising from his seat at the end 
of the table, recites the name of a Bill. 
The Lord Chancellor, wigged and gowned 
on the Woolsack, says in a breath: " The- 
question-is-that-this-Bill-be-read-a-second- 
time-those-that-are-of-that-opinion-say-content- 
the-contrary-not- content -I-think-the-contents- 
have it." 

Standing Orders having been sus- 
as is usual at this time of the 
the Lord Chancellor moves half a 
the left of the Woolsack, and sits 
down. By what seems a simultaneous motion. 
Lord Morley, Chairman of Committees, taking 
an equal pace in the same 
direction, slips into the chair 
at the head of the table. 
This means that the House 
is in Committee, the Lord 
Chancellor nowhere, the 
Chairman of Committees 
presiding. "Clause One," 
says Lord Morley, rising to 
his feet. " Question-is-that- 
this-clause-stand-part-of-the- 
Bill - those - that - are -of- that- 
opinion-say-content -contrary- 
not-content - I-think-the-con- 
tents - have - it -Clause - two.-" 
and so on to the end of 
the Bill, with the same 
breathless formula and the 
same unhesitatiuLT con- 



The 
pended, 
Session, 
pace to 



FROM BEHIND THE SPEAKERS CHAIR. 



267 



elusion that " the contents have it.'' 
When the preamble is added to the 
Bill, the Chairman puts the question that 
the House do now resume. The hidden 
machinery underneath the floor works again. 
The Lord Chancellor, sliding half a pace to 
the right, is on the Woolsack, once more 
President. The Chairman of Committees, 
simultaneously moving in the same direction, 
is out of the Chair, and, for the nonce, 
is nobody. " The-question-i.s," says the Lord 
Chancellor, "that-this-Bill-be-now-read-a-third- 
time-those-that-are-of-that-opinion," etc. W'ith 
two able-bodied, active men like Lord 
Herschell and Lord Morley in charge of the 
performance, a Bill can be run through the 
Lords in an incredibly short time. 

In the Commons, the best possible in the 
circumstances is achieved, but the Lords 
have certain natural advantages that make 
them the Eclipse of this kind of racing. In 
the first place, the suspension of the Standing 
Orders, so that successive stages of a Bill may 
be taken right off, a matter of course in the 
Lords, is a serious business in the Commons. 
The objection of a single member would be 
effectual in stopping the onward course, and 
such objection is withheld only on the rarest 
occasions. Then there are physical conditions. 
The Speaker of the House of Commons, unlike 
the Lord Chancellor, is not seated on the level 
of the floor. He is raised on a pedestal, and 
when he leaves the Chair on the House going 
into Committee, must needs descend the 
steps and withdraw behind the Chair. How- 
ever urgent the need of haste, it cannot be 
expected that the Speaker, in wig and gown, 
should skip down the steps like a young 
maiden going to the fair. If he did, he 
might come in contact with Mr. Mellor, 
stepping forward to occupy the Chair of 
Committees, which is close by the foot 
of the Speaker's Chair. In the Lords 
there is a wide space between the table and 
the W^oolsack, which makes easy the simul- 
taneous moving of Lord Chancellor and 
Chairman of Committees. 

People who talk glibly of the immediate 
abolition of the House of Lords should think 
over these things. 

It is curious to find so old a 
WRITTEN Parliamentary hand as Sir William 
SPEECHES. Harcourt going back to the use 

of manuscript when delivering 
his speeches. He has been in the House of 
Commons for a practically uninterrupted 
period exceeding a quarter of a century, and 
has taken a prominent part in current debates. 
Before he entered he had established a 



lucrative practice at the Parliamentary Bar. 
In conversation he is one of the wittiest of 
men ; in debate one of the quickest. Yet, 
in these latter days, he invariably prepares his 
speech verbatim in manuscript, and reads it 
from first page to last. He does it exceedingly 
well, his deUvery lacking little in animation. 
But the wonder remains that he should do it 
at all. The practice is reasonable in deliver- 
ing his financial statement as Chancellor of 
the Exchequer. Even Mr. Gladstone, on such 
occasions, condescended to pretty voluminous 
notes. But Sir William Harcourt extends 
the practice in various directions, any speech 
of more than average importance being read 
from manuscript. 

This is doubtless due to sense of responsi- 
bility with his still new position as Leader 
of the House of Commons. The custom 
certainly dates from his assumption of that 
ofiice. That it is not necessitated by failing 
aptitude was repeatedly shown in debate in 
Committee on his great Budget scheme. 
He was then constantly on guard, occasionally 
delivering as many as a score of speeches in 
a single sittmg. There was then displayed 
no lack of well-ordered information or of 
apt phrases. On the contrary, these impromptu 
addresses were more immediately effective 
than the carefully prepared orations. It was 
the old Parliamentary gladiator at his best. 
I'o see him with written copy of his speech 
before him is like watching an accomplished 
swimmer going back to the use of corks. 

Another Parliamentary debater 

T ORD 

of the first rank who went back 

RANDOLPH , , c 

to the use ot manuscript was 
■ Lord Randolph Churchill. The 
last speech delivered by him in the House 
of Commons before his departure on 
his sadly interrupted journey round the 
world was written out verbatim, and read 
to the House. He always carefully pre- 
pared his speeches in his study, and in his 
palmiest days never rose in ordered debate 
witliout a sheaf of notes. But they were 
merely catch notes, from the line of which 
he was, upon interruption, ever ready to make 
brilliant divagation. With his later manner his 
speech suffered much in the delivery, Lord 
Randolph, with head bent over his manu- 
script, not being audible on the back benches. 
Mr. James Bryce, who sat attentive on 
the Treasury Bench immediately opposite, 
and heard every word of ft, told me it was 
a remarkably cogent argument, admirably 
phrased and illumined by happy illustration, 
falling, in these respects, nothing short of 
Lord Randolph's earlier successes. 



268 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




an outsider, it is not his liabit to prepare 
in his study his impromptus, or even the 
saHent points of his argument. The most 
difficult task that can fall to the lot of a Leader 
on either side of the House of Commons is 
to make those set orations, whether over the 
tomb or the altar, for which necessity from 
time to time arises. Mr. Gladstone is, by 
common consent, the only man of the age 
who could rise to either occasion. Mr. 
Disraeli, when occupying in 1852 the position 
now filled by Sir A\'illiam Harcourt, being 



I'xct.F, AMI ni:piie\v. 



UNCLE 

AND 

NEPHEW. 



Of all Parliamentary debaters of 
the day, whether in Lords or 
Commons, there is no man less 
dependent upon notes than is the 
Marquis of Salisbury. As in important 
debates in the present Parliament he usually 
speaks towards the close of a sitting, in antici- 
pation of the Premier winding up a debate, 
he has no opportunity for ])reparation. 
Certainly there is no smell of the lamji 
about his discourses. He does not even, 
as others do, make a note of thoughts or of 
criticism that occurs to him whilst listening. 
When his turn comes he presents himself at 
the table and, leaning one hand upon it, pro- 
ceeds with unfaltering flow of perfectly turned 
j)hrases, most of them carrying barbed points. 
A sonorous voice and unhurried delivery are 
details which complete the intellectual treat 
of hearing jLord Salisbury drink delight of 
battle with his peers. 

Mr. Arthur Balfour shares in 
degree his uncle's freedom from 
the trammels of manuscript notes. 
He is not entirely without their 
assistance, but they are 
merest skeletons, and 
obviously do not con 
fine the range of his 
speech. Such as they 
are, they are invariably 
written on his knee 
in the House of 
Commons. As far as 
may be ol>served by 





A I.UGUBRK^rS MANNKR 



MK. HALFOTr's " NOTES." 

called upon to pronounce a eulogy on the 
Duke of Wellington, who had just answered to 
his name in the final roll-call, borrowed his 
best passage from a lament declaimed by 
M. Thiers over the tomb of Marshal Gouvioii 
de St. Cyr. This second - rate French 
Marshal, dead more 
than twenty years, was 
forgotten. But Thiers' 
flash of eloquence was 
remembered by others 
than Mr. Disraeli. 

Mr. Chamberlain 
made tlie most memor- 
able, if not the only, 
failure of his Parlia- 
mentary addresses 
when he joined in the 
funeral orations in the 
House of Commons 
on the death of Mr. 
Bright. Sir William 
Harcourt is prone on 
such occasions to 
assume a lugubrious 
manner that fatally 
depresses the spirits 
of his audience. The 



FROM BEHIND THE SPEAKER'S CHAIR. 



i6() 



last time Mr. Balfour, in his capacity as 
Leader of tlie Opposition, took part in such 
ceremonial proceedings was when the Hou^e 
of Commons passed a resolution of con- 
dolence with France upon the murder of 
President Carnot. Sir William Harcourt, 
who moved the resolution, read a funeral 
sermon from manuscript he took out of his 
breast coat pocket, whilst his voice rose and 
fell in melancholy cadence. Mr. Balfour, 
taking a sheet of notepaper from the table, 
wrote down the outline of what proved to be 
a short but almost perfect speech, taking as 
his text successive points in Sir William 
Harcourt's monody, and giving them fresh 
turns. 

One result of the sub-division of 
HOPELESSLY parties in the House of Commons 

MIXED, following on the disruption in 
the Liberal ranks has an im- 
portant effect upon the vitality of debate. 
Up to the year 1886 the House of Commons 
was broadly divided between two parties. 
There were, of course, the Home Rulers - 
the tiers parti, as Mr. O'Donnell called them, 
a suggestion that naturally led on to the 
nomenclature of the Fourth Party. But 
their position did not vary the rule. When 
they were on the war-path, there were still, 
at that time, only two parties in the House - 
the Irish members and the rest. 

\\\ such circumstances a member faced his 
opponents, the Irish meml)ers with the 
addition of having some of them also on 
their right flank. When spoken sentiments 
were approved, they were hailed with a hearty 
cheer running continuously along the benches 
on one side. \\'here they were objected to, 
the shouts of disapproval came all from the 
same quarter of the encampment. To-day, 
with the little party under Mr. Chamberlain's 
command wedged into the very centre of 
the Liberal forces, things have grown so 
hopelessly mixed, that the oltl significance 
of cheering and counter - cheering is lost. 
When a member hears Mr. Chamberlain, 
rising from the Liberal benches, lustily 
cheered by the Conservatives, and when later 
the thin black line on the third bench below 
the gangway on the Liberal side hail with 
cheers the appearance at the table of Mr. 
Balfour or Mr. Coschen, the old member, 
accustomed to other times and manners, 
"dunno where 'e are." The situation is 
further complicated by the Irish members 
sitting aligned with the English country gen- 
tlemen, cheering when they sit silent, and 
derisively howling when they cheer. 

Another consequence of this uncanny state 



of things is that the give-and-take of debate, 
which obtains in all well-ordered assemblies, 
has now become impossible in the House of 
C'ommons. It has ever been the custom of 
the Speaker to call alternately upon members 
composing the Ministerialists and the Oppo- 
sition. Now there are the Liberal Unionists 
to be counted with, and if the topic be, as 
it sometimes is, an Irish question, there 
are the Leaders of the Nationalist Party and 
the Parnellites, who claim severally to be 
heard. The inevitable consequence is that 
at critical stages of set debates the House 
has a speech from a Minister, who is followed 
by Mr. Balfour, to whom succeeds Mr. 
Chamberlain. Or, vice-versa, the two allies, 
separated only by the floor of the House, 
say the same thing over in different ways. 
Then, if Mr. Sexton or Mr. McCarthy speaks, 
Mr. John Redmond must needs deliver an 
address of equal length. The same thing 
happens on lower grades, the rank and file 
of factions of })arty getting bewilderingly 
intermingled. 

In the House of Lords this lack 
IN THE of symmetry in the order of 
LORDS, debate is even more marked, 
and from the constitution of 
parties is inevitable. There really are not 
enough of Liberal peers to go round in 
one of the set debates to which the Lords 
occasionally treat themselves. As Lord 
Rosebery, in his famous speech at Brad- 
ford, complained, peers of Liberal per- 
suasion are not more in number than 
5 per cent, of the House of Lords. It 
naturally follows that the preponderance of 
debating force is on one side. To mention 
three names indicative of various hostile 
attitudes towards Liberalism, there are Lord 
Salisbury, the Duke of Devonshire, and the 
Duke of Argyll, who may, and sometimes do, 
follow each other in close succession. When 
Lord Rosebery, Lord Herschell, Lord Spencer, 
the Marquis of Ripon, and Lord Russell of 
Killowen have spoken, the forces of debate 
on the Liberal side begin to be exhausted ; 
whilst in the Conservative camp there are 
many other peers beside the Duke of Devon- 
shire and the Duke of Argyll who, having 
learned fencing in the Liberal school, are 
now ready to turn imbuttoned foils on what 
are left of their former comrades. Regarded 
as a debating assembly, this condition of 
affairs is a distinct disadvantage to the House 
of Jvords, which, paradoxical as the statement 
may appear, would find its majority in a far 
more powerful position if it were numerically 
less strong. 



270 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



HARRYING 
EX- 

MEMliERS. 



Old members of the House of 
Commons withdrawn from Par- 
liamentary life discover on re- 
visiting the familiar scene how 
jealously guarded are the privileges of sitting 
members. The House of Commons, if no 
longer the best club in the world, is certainly 
the most exclusive. All its approaches are 
guarded with almost hectic jealousy. It is 
easier for a camel to pass through the eye of 
a needle than for an unauthorized stranger to 
enter even the lobby of the House. I'hese 
are regulations which, though they may seem 
harsh in personal experience, are absolutely 
necessary for the conduct of business. Human 
interest in the House of Conmions is so 
burning in its intensity, that if approach were 
easy the building would be swamped by the 
idly curious. As it is, strangers unprovided 
with orders of admission are kept at arms' 
length with as much severity as if they were 
infected with leprosy. 

Ex-members find these restrictions par- 
ticularly obnoxious. Looking in upon a 
place of which they were at one time 
privileged and perchance honoured occupants, 
they find their footsteps politely but firmly 
dogged by the perfection of police on duty 
at Westminster Palace. Ordinary strangers 
may not approach the House of Commons 
as far as the inner lobby without special 
permission. Ex-members may go so far but no 
farther, unless they are accompanied bya sitting 
member. They may not enter the corridor 
leading to the dining-room, library, or terrace, 
nor may they pass in or out by the once 
familiar staircase leading down to the cloak- 
room. As for finding a place in or under the 
strangers' galleries, they are on the footing 
of the obscurest stranger, and must obtain an 
order from the Speaker or the Serjeant-at- 
Arms. These restrictions are, perhaps, 
necessary. But they are none the less irk- 
some to men who for years have had the run 
of the House. 

The House of Lords makes a difference 
in this respect in the case of Privy Councillors. 
A right hon. gentleman of whatever distinc- 
tion who has been a member of the House 
of Commons may not, after withdrawing 
from Parliamentary life, approach beyond 
the inner lobby of his old quarters. But 
he has always the right of entry to the 
House of Lords, and may take his place 
behind the rails skirting the Throne, shoulder 
to shoulder with such of Her Majesty's 
Ministers and members of the Opposition 
from the House of Commons as are also 
Privy Councillors. 



The House of Commons is, 

BLOCKING probably, the best place in the 

HATS. world in which to make a joke, 

however poor. It is so pro- 
foundly bored with much talking that it 
clutches with feverish haste at anything that 
will permit it to laugh. An impassioned 
orator who concludes his speech by sitting on 
his hat is regarded as a benefactor of his 
species. Another, who with sweep of his 
right hand knocks over a glass of water, 
instantly become a popular personage. To 
this day tender memories linger round a 
genial Q.C., long severed from Parliamentary 
life, who once in the course of a single speech 
twice knocked off the same member's hat. 
Of all men in the House, the sufferer was Mr. 
Campbell - Bannerman, a circumstance that 
added greatly to the subtle enjoyment of the 
scene. It was in the Parliament of 1880, and 
the question of the hour related to Mr. 
Bradlaugh's status. " It is essential," said 
the hon. and learned gentleman, " that this 
(juestion should be treated in a calm and 
judicial manner." Instinctively sweeping out 
his right hand, by way of illustrating the idea 
of breadth of view, the learned Q.C. smote the 
crown of the hat of Mr. Campbell-Bannerman, 
who sat on the Treasury Bench below him. 

The future Secretary for \\'ar, at that 
time Financial Secretary, is a man of daunt- 
less courage and imperturbable humour. To 
a senator sitting with arms folded, head bent 
down, and mind intent on following the 
argument of an esteemed friend behind, 
nothing is more disconcerting than to have 
his hat suddenly swept off his head. Mr. 
Campbell-Bannerman was equal to the 
occasion.' The House tittered with laughter. 




EQUAL TO THE OCCASION. 



FROM BEHIND THE SPEAKERS CHAIR. 



271 



He picked up his hat as if that were 
his ordinary way of having it taken off, 
replaced it on his head, and returned to the 
consideration of the points of the argument 
he had been considering. Ten minutes later, 
another wave of emotion overcoming the 
orator, the hat of the Financial Secretary to 
the War Office was once more trundling 
along the floor. Then, it is true, Mr. 
Campbell-Bannerman cautiously moved along 
the bench out of range of fire, whilst the 
House gave itself up to uncontrolled laughter. 

In more recent 
times, Mr. ^^'il- 
liam O'Brien has 
driven home his 
argument by 
bringing down a 
clenched fist on 




DRIVING HOME AN ARGUMENT. 

the top of the hat of an hon. member sitting im- 
mediately below him. But the record in which 
the present Secretary of State for War pas- 
sively assisted remains unbroken. 

A less vigorous form 
LAPSUS of humour in which 
LiNGu.^i. the House delights 

is a slip of the toiigue 
on the part of a member." The 
more matter-of-fact he be, the 
fuller is the enjoyment. Last 
Session Mr. Arthur Balfour fell 
upon a phrase, the possible 
double meaning of 
which delighted the 
House. In the course 
of debate on the affairs 




of Matabeleland, the Leader of the Opposi- 
tion emphatically declared that what was 
needed for the welfare and prosperity of 
South Africa was "the extension of roads." 
As the name of Mr. Cecil Rhodes had been 
prominently mentioned throughout the 
debate, not without unfriendly hints that 
self-aggrandizement was the base of his 
policy, Mr. Balfour was interrupted by a 
burst of boisterous laughter, at which he 
affected innocent amazement, and repeated 
the phrase again and again, till the House 
permitted him to conclude the passage. 

There was much controversy at the time 
as to whether he had perceived the double 
entendre^ or whether in persisting in reitera- 
tion of his phrase he was unconscious of its 
possible application. Talking the matter 
over later on the same night, he told me 
that he recognised the slip as soon as the 
phrase had escaped his lips. But he was not 
going to give himself away by accepting the 
construction humorously put upon it. To 
those who were present and remember his 
appearance of genuine astonishment at the 
interruption, this will show that an old Parlia- 
mentary hand may still be young in years, 
and ingenuous in manner. 

Incomparably the best mixed 

MR. saying of this kind ever uttered in 

COBDEN. the House of Commons dropped 

from the lips of Mr. Cobden. It 

was told me by one of the few members of 

the present House who heard the debates on 

the Commercial Treaty with France. 

" Now I will give you an illustration of 
what I mean," said Mr. Cob- 
den, reaching a certain point in 
his exposition. " My hon. friend 
who sits near me " (indicating 
Mr. Bright) " spins long yarns of 
poor quality." 

Mr. Cobden got no further 
with the sentence, the remainder 
bjing lost amid inextinguishable 
laughter. Only Mr. Bright, then 
in the prime of his powers, a 
frequent and voluminous contri- 
butor to Parliamentary debate, 
did not see the joke. 



THE EXTENSION OF RHODES. 



Some SJiapes of Heads. 

V>\ |. K. Barnard. 




HE study of the external form 
of the head has at various 
times admitted of much con- 
troversy and 
speculation. 
The " bumps " 
or superficial prominences, so 
readily felt on carrying the 
hand over the head, afford 
phrenologists a large field for 
the imagination ; and some 
scientific men have adopted a 
method of surface measure- 
ment for the purpose of study- 
ing racial peculiarities and 
descent. 

During the past few years 
a large number of heads, 
amounting to several thou- 
sands, have been measured 
under my supervision. It 
has, therefore, occurred to 
me that a brief account of 
some of the more striking 
shapes might be of interest 
to the general reader. 

For this purpose a selection has been made, 
embodying those which are chiefly interesting 
for their irregularity and asymmetry of out- 
line, or because they point out certain racial 
or individual fea- 
tures. The most 
casual observer 
cannot help being 
struck with the 
great variation in 
all directions of 
the examples here 
figured. There is 
often an almost 
total absence of 
symmetry, and the 
size varies within 
wide limits. A fre- 
quent observation 
of those to whom 
such shapes are 
shown is : " How 
like a foot I " and, 
indeed, the excla- 
mation in many 




cases is fully justified. The size is in every 
case considerably reduced, the scale being 
approximately a reduction of 5 diameters. 
The figures have been taken 
from men alone, the shape of 
the female head being difficult 
to gauge accurately owing to 
the arrangement of the hair. 

That there are certain shapes 
of head peculiar to different 
peoples there is no question, 
and this is often so marked, 
that the sha])e may form a 
fairly reliable guide to the 
determination of a person's 
nationality, or, at any rate, that 
of his antecedents. 

Taking, for instance, nii 
ideal head, as Fig. i, one 
notices that it is rather long. 
Its length should exceed its 
breadth by i^Mn. An I'Jiglish 
head, as I<"ig. 2, is generally 
slightly longer than this, 
broader at . the back, and 
tapering rather towards the 
forehead. The English of to-day are some- 
what mixed in their antecedents, and cannot 
therefore claim to have such a characteristic 
head as the Highlander or Irishman. 




SOME SHAPES OE HEADS. 



73 




The Figs. 6, 7, 8, and 9 are all Scotch 
heads, and have not been selected because 
of any peculiarity, but are, in all cases, typical. 
It will be seen that they taper very much 
towards the front, narrowing at the temples, 
and very often becoming square and 
prominent at the forehead. A Highlander 
is, in fact, a " long-headed " man, not only 



chosen, one is that 
of a noted, and 
unciuestionab 1 v 
highly intellectual, 
Irish ParlianitP.- 
tary leader, and the 
other is the head 
of a nonentity. 

The Welsh and 
Cornish head 
differs considera- 
bly from either of 
the types so far 
noticed, as Figs. 
19 and 20 show. 
It partakes more 
of the shape cha- 
racteristic of the 
I*' r e n c h m a n o r 
Spaniard. Doubt- 
less, in the west 
of Cornwall there is a slight trace of 
Spanish blood, which is possibly due to a 
few who escaped from the Spanish Armada 
settling there. At the Fizard, for instance, 
the name of Jose is common or even 
predominant, 'fhis is no doubt a corruption 
of the Spanish name Jose. In the case of 
Cornwall, however, the trade carried on for 




proverbially, but in reality. Figs. 3 and 5 
are also long, but are abnormal specimens of 
English heads. 

An Irishman, also, has a long head, as Figs. 
10, II, and 12 show, but it is not so narrow 
in comparison with the length as a Scotch 
head. It does not contract so much at the 
temples, and is squarer. Of the examples 

Vol. ix —36. 



centuries, even before the time ot Christ, 
with Brittany, Spain, and other countries, 
might account more satisfactorily for the 
apparent admixture of foreign blood. The 
relation of the shape of the head to 
nationality might broadly be associated 
with climate, for one finds that, the further 
south the examples are taken from, the 



274 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



rounder do heads become, and a north 
country head is proportionately longer. This 
applies to other countries than our own. 

Fig. 15 shows a Frenchman's head, which 
is much rounder than an Englishman's. Fig. 
13, German, is rounder still, and broadens 



is that it is a result of the habitual use of 
the right hand. Recent investigations into 
the functions of the brain have shown 
that the several members of the body are 
what is known as " represented " on its sur- 
face. For example, the impulse to move the 




very much at the back, although Fig. 14 is 
a most unusual exception. Fig. 1 7 is Dutch, 
the peculiarity being a smaller head, but 
still much the type of the Cierman. Fig. 16 
is a Spanish and P'ig. 18 is an Italian head. 
A negro's head is rounder still : in LxcX, 
almost bullet shape. 

The illustrations are not only remark- 
able for their general shape or outline, but 
an even more extraordinary feature is the 
great want of symmetry before mentioned. 
The line dividing each shape is tak-en from 
the top of the nose 
to where the spinal 
column meets the head 
at the back, therefore 
dividing the head into 
two lateral parts. In 

l^^igs- 2, 4, 3p, and 31 
this inequality is so 
marked that it almost 
amounts to a deformity. 
Curiously enough, the 
larger portion is almost 
invariably on the left 
side, the cases whe-re 
the opposite occurs 
being rare. Many 
theories have been ad- 
vanced to account for 
this, but probably the 
most satisfactory one 



right arm comes from a special part of the 
surface of the left side of the l)rain. In 
right-handed persons, the centres subserving 
the faculty of speech iare located on the left 
side of the brain, whle there is evidence to 
show that in left-handed persons these 
centres are more probably situated on the 
right side. It is not by any means im- 
probable that as we have through countless 
generations been in the habit of using 
our right hand and arm, and leaving the 
left hand uneducated, it has at length 




SOME SHAPES OE HEADS. 



275 




resulted in the brain on tlie left side becom- 
ing enlarged. 

It might be suggested that, such being 
the case, a left-handed person should have 
an enlarged right side of the head, and 
in some instances this was found to be 
the case. Fig. 21, for instance, is a case in 
which the left hand was thoroughly developed, 
and performed all required of it in the same 



existence they would in 
a few generations have 
an enlargement on the 
right side as character- 
istic as right-handed 
persons now have on 
the left side of the 
head. Such a marked 
inequality, as just de- 
scribed, might be made 
a subject of much 
theory ; but as the 
object of this paper is 
chiefly to state facts, 
we do not propose 
entering into contro- 
versial matter. 

In the cases under 
our notice, it has most 
fre(|uently happened 
tliat a person of more 
than average intelligence has a head above 
the average size. 'rhi,s«is not by any means 
without exception, as, for instance, Fig. 24, 
which is the head of a well-known surgeon, 
and is one of the smallest we have noticed. 
On the other hand, the very large one. Fig. 
32, is the head of an insane person; a not 
uncommon accompaniment of lunacy or 
idiotcy being an abnormally krrge head. 




way as most right hands do. The result is 
seen in a marked development of the right 
side of the head. It might happen that the 
heads of left-handed persons would not in- 
variably show this, but it is not improbable 
that if a race of left-handed people came into 



It very often happens that a large-headed 
father has a small-headed son, the converse 
rarely occurring. In Figs. 22 and 25, the 
larger is the father's and the smaller the son's 
head, but this case presents a peculiarity in that 
the shapes are so entirely different. It generally 



276 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



difference in -oge 
between the young- 
est and the eldest. 
Fig. 26 varies rather 
from the others, 
and the tempera- 
ment of the owner 
of this head is 
different in many 
ways. P^ig. 2% again, 
represents an abnor- 
mal head in a large 
family, all the rest of 
which are peculiarly 
normal. 

The size of the 
head seems to bear 
little relation to the 
size of the body. A 
very big man often 
has a small head, 

happens that even if the head is smaller, the or, at any rate, one of average size ; on the 
shapes resemble each other, as, for instance, other hand, a small man may have a large 
in Figs. 26, 27, 28, and 29, which are those of head — in fact, we have been unable to trace 
four brothers, the same general outline pre- any relationship between size of head and 
vailing in each, although there is a wide body. 





Note. — The illustrations are so placed that the forehead is towards the top of the page. 




W'\fS5 



The Story of a Oirl's Adventure Underground. 



By Mrs. St. Loe Strachev. 




MUST begin all over again 
the weary, heart-breaking search 
for work — the repeated failures, 
the weariness, the sickness of 
hope deferred — all' this must 
be gone through again — again I 
And how many times more ? No employment 
of mine seemed to last long : always a new 
struggle to obtain my daily bread lay darken- 
ing before me. Truly, an evil star had 
gleamed on the horizon on the night of my 
birth, for to my lot it had fallen to carry 
Adam's burden though I lay under the curse 
of Eve. 

But misfortune must be faced, some work 
must be found. I must live, and my store 
of money in hand was dwindling in a terribly 
rapid manner ; it was time to make a 
desperate effort for employment. But the 
month was unfavourable. At the beginning 



of August work, at any rate in London, is 
scarce. Perhaps I might get an engagement 
as a holiday governess to little children, to 
tide over the time till people came back to 
town. I looked over the advertisements in 
the penny morning papers, but could find 
nothing which even promised well. One 
afternoon, however, I obtained the loan of 
the Times, and in it 1 found the following 
advertisement ; — 

TIT ANTED. — Cultured lady (under 30 preferred) 
VV to take charge of valuable domestic pet during 
owner's absence in country. Caretaker left in house. 
Liberal honorarium. Apply to-day (Friday) to Mme. 
Lebrun, . 

And here followed the address of a house in 
one of the old-fashioned squares in the north 
of London. It was getting late in the day, but 
in spite of that I thought it would be worth 
while to make an effort to obtain the place. An 
omnibus landed me within about ten minutes' 



THE STRAND MAGAZLNE. 



walk of the square. As I passed through 
the streets the wind was blowing gustily, 
and from the square gardens a few slightly 
turned leaves fluttered to the ground. 
Autumn was beginning her harvest early. The 
houses in the square I was seeking were tall 
and thin, and over the doors and windows 
skeleton rams' heads and delicate mouldings 
of flowers told 
of the Adams 
decorations 
within. But the 
exterior of the 
house which I 
was seeking was 
at first sight 
plain — then I 
saw that the 
handles of the 
bells were of 
sphinxes' 
heads, and each 
knocker a 
bronze cat's 
head. At my 
ring the double 
door split in the 
middle, and an 
old man-servant 
asked me my 
business, ahd 
on hearing it 
admitted me 
without a mo- 
ment's hesita- 
tion — admitted 
me apparently 
into the halls of 
Memphis, for 
the doorway 
leading into the 
inner hall had 
been converted 
into an archwax , 
over which an 
unknown hiero- 
glyphic inscrip- 
tion was painted. 

A bronze sphinx stood sentinel on either 
side of the great chimney-piece, and the 
walls were covered with paintings such as 
are found in Egyptian tombs. As I followed 
my guide up the dark staircase, a dim, oblong 
form showed from the corner of the broad 
landing — a shape broad at the top and 
narrowing to the feet. Memento mori. 

But all was changed when the wide door 
of the drawing-room was thrown open. Here 
was PVance. France of the beginning of the 




TH1-~.V SEE.MKD TO UNDKKSTAM) J-;ACII OTHKR. 



century was seen in the deep crimson satin 
hangings ; France of to-day in the small wood 
fire which smouldered on the hearth— for the 
evening was chill— in the varnished boards, 
and in the very places of the furniture. This I 
learnt afterwards. At the moment my atten- 
tion was fixed and held by a figure standing 
in the middle of the room. The figure was 

small, slight, 
and fragile, 
draped in long 
grey folds and 
crowned by a 
bushy mass of 
grey hair. Its 
arm was out- 
stretched, and 
on the wrist sat 
perched an old, 
old parrot, al- 
most featherless, 
with a look of 
s u p e r h u m a n 
cunning and 
malice in its 
eyes. This old 
bird and its 
older mistress 
were apparently 
holding an 
actual conver- 
sation. They 
seemed to un- 
derstand each 
other perfectly. 
For a moment I 
stood transfixed, 
then the voice 
o f t h e m a n - 
servant broke 
the spell : — 

"A lady, 
madame, has 
called, in answer 
to your adver- 
tisement." 

"Ah! I have 
already seen so 
many," and the grey figure, speaking with a 
strong foreign accent, came floating quickly 
towards me ; " but perhaps this time better 
luck. J/fz/jr— but I think this is more hopeful. 
Eh, Gustave ? Come, mademoiselle, and give 
yourself the trouble to, be seated; you are, 
no doubt, fatigued." And with her left hand 
— her right was still occupied with the 
parrot — she led me to a comfortable chair by 
the fire. 

" I called, madame," I began, when seated. 



THE DEAD REVEL. 



279 



"in answer to your advertisement which I 
saw in the Times this morning." 

"Ah! ma foi, yti<.. That announcement — 
what trouble it has given me. You cannot 
figure to yourself the persons I have seen 
to-day who all declared themselves ' ladies of 
cultivation.' But for you, mademoiselle, it 
is a different thing. I could not leave you 
alone in this great house ; you are too young, 
too pretty. It would — how shall I say it ? — 
it would walk out of the conveniences." 

" I implore you, madame, not to let con- 
siderations like these influence you. I am 
entirely dependent on my work, and there is 
so little work I can do," and as I thought of 
the cruel disappointments I had had in the 
last fortnight, my voice broke. 

" Ah, pmwre enfant, we shall see. The 
case is this. My doctors tell me I must 
positively have a change of air. My parrot, 
Gustave, like other old people — for he is 
older still than I — cannot bear to be 
deranged in his habits : he is miserable if he 
quits this house. Qjte /aire ? Accustomed 
as he is to my society and conversation, I 
cannot leave him to servants : he would expire 
of dulness. So I thought if I could get some 
lady to see to him, to talk to him during my 
two months' absence " 

'' Ah, madame," I interrupted, " if you 
would only try me, I would take such care of 
him." 

" \\'e shall see," again said Mme. Lebrun. 
"(lustave, man ami, dost thou think thou 
couldst stay with mademoiselle ? Dost thou 
like her ? " 

At this a[)peal (lustave with great solemnity 
fluttered to the floor, and, to my alarm, began 
solemnly hopping round me in ever-lessening 
circles. At last he stopped in front of me, 
and, looking straight up into my face, emitted 
a sound like drawing a cork and screamed 
out in a high, fast, monotonous shriek : 
" Pretty girl, pretty girl, don't cry, my dear ; 
don't like being kissed ? That's what pretty 
girls are made for. Ha ! ha ! ha I " and 
he exploded into a fit of cackling, gasping 
laughter. 

But Mme. Lel)run was apparently quite 
satisfied, and then and there we settled our 
luisiness arrangements, salary, which was 
indeed liberal, included. I was to take 
possession that day week. As I rose to go, 
Mme. Lebrun said : — 

" Two last injunctions I must give you. 
You will not, will you, leave Gustave for 
more than two hours at a time ? And you 
must not permit him to go into the cellars. 
Yes, thou old rascal, I speak of thy sins. 



Into the cellars. i)v hook or by crook, thou 
lovest to go. And they are cold, and thou 
coughest when thou comest out. Made- 
moiselle, he is a curious bird. He belonged, 
as did this house, to M. Beckford." 

" The great Beckford, the author of 
'Vathek'?" I cried, much excited, thinking 
this explained the general curious aspect of 
the place. 

" Ah, you have heard of him. Yes, to 
him. My mother rented the house from 
him. This is her portrait," and she pointed 
to a large portrait on the wall of an extremely 
pretty woman in lilmpire dress, with an ex- 
pression, half arch, half wistful, in her dark 
eyes. "This room she furnished in her own 
taste — here probably you will like to sit — it 
is less friste than the other apartments." 

I thanked her heartily, for, indeed, I had no 
notion of living in an Egyptian museum, and 
took my leave. A week after found me 
comfortably established in the house, in the 
care of the old man-servant and his wife, who 
I found was a super-excellent cook, (iustave 
stayed with me night and day. He was 
generally drowsy in the morning, but was 
painfully restless and wide-awake at night. 
He had a habit of waking me by making a 
sound as of a violent slap being given to a 
thigh tightly breeched in satin, after which 
he would cry : " Doose take it, did yer ? " 

But it was a pleasant time, filled with 
dreams of the curious people and things 
that the house had seen. It was not fated to 
last. 

One day the man-servant asked me if he 
and his wife might go that evening to some 
family gathering and festivity to which they 
were bidden. Pleased to do a little kindness 
to people who were so attentive to me, I gladly 
consented. My usual dinner was converted 
into a tempting cold supper, which was 
spread ready for me. At six o'clock they 
left me. I was absorbed in a book, and 
hardly noticed what happened till the clock 
on the mantelpiece chimed seven. It was 
growing dusk. I was hungry, I would take my 
supper. 

" Gustave," I called. No answer. No 
impatient flutter such as usually greeted a sum- 
mons to eat, for Gustave took his meals with 
his family. I searched in vain for him. Then 
conviction flashed across me. He had nm 
away into the cellars. There was nothing to 
be done but to go after him. I took a 
candle and a box of matches and started on 
my quest, down, down, through the hall, the 
kitchen, till I reached the great, vaulted 
cellars. I went through them, guided l)y the 



THE STRAND MAGAZTNE. 



sound of Gustave chattering and swearing 
excitedly. 

At last, in the furthest vault of all, I 
found him. He was hopping excitedly 
round and round in a circle in the middle 
of the floor. With voice and hand I tried 
to soothe him, but he eluded me. At last 
I tried to catch him by force. Suddenly, as I 
sprang after him, I felt the paved floor beneath 
my feet tremble. The stone on which I stood 
wa» giving — turning. I sprang off it, un- 




I TRIED TO CATCH HIM. 



consciously giving it a further impetus as 
I did so. It turned half round, leaving a 
black vault at my feet, up which an icy wind 
blew suddenly and extinguished my light. 
With trembling hands I tried to strike a 
match, hearing in the darkness a scream of 
triumph from Gustave ; then he suddenly let 
fall a volley of strange oaths, and it struck 
me with dismay that his voice was sounding 
fainter. 

At last I lighted my candle, and, shading 
the flame with my hand from the draught, 
I looked into the blackness at my feet. I 



saw a flight of worn steps winding down- 
wards, and from below sounded the hoarse 
laugh of Gustave. 

1 followed him ; I allowed myself no pause, 
no moment of hesitation, but passed rapidly 
down the narrow winding stair. At last 1 
reached the bottom. Before me was an arch- 
way, still hung with dusty,, tattered fragments 
of what had once been heavy portieres. 
Round the arch I could distinguish an 
inscription in high, blood - red letters. 
Slowly I deciphered it : " Ftxii 
ce que voudras.''' I shud- 
dered ! Dim memories of 
Medenham Abbey surged in my 
mind, and of that unholy revel 
when the blasphemous revellers 
found suddenly that one had 
been added to their number, and 
yet no man could tell which was 
the uninvited guest. 

I pushed on and stood at 
last in a vast, vaulted hall. By 
my dim light, I saw a great 
table, where lay musty remnants 
of a long dead orgie. Masks 
and tattered, mouldy dominoes 
were scattered about in wild 
profusion — chairs overset and 
pushed back. Apparently, a 
sudden interruption had broken 
up the feast. 

Then a ghastly imitation of a 
human voice struck my ear. It 
was Gustave. He had perched on 
the arm of the great chair at the 
top of the table, and vvas scream- 
ing out with horrible articu- 
lateness an old-world drinking 
song :— 

To kiss wilh the ir.aid when the mis- 
tress is kind, 
Believe me, you always are loth, sir ; 
But if the maid's fairest, the oath 

doesn't bind, 
Or — you may, if you like it, kiss both, 
sir. 

This, then, was the meaning of his wish to 
constantly roam about the cellars. He had en- 
joyed many a revel in this horrible hall, and he 
could not believe that the good old time 
was dead for ever. But the spark cf energy 
soon died in him, and he sat perched there 
stupidly, with his eyes glazed and dim. I looked 
round the hall, and found that there were other 
openings besides the one I had come through 
leading out of it ; how was I to know my 
own ? Suddenly the sound of footsteps and 
hoarse voices approaching struck my ears. 
Who was coming, and on what dark errand. 



THE DEAD REVEL. 



281 




'MUSTY KE.MNANTS OF 



to that dreadful place ? Nearer and nearer 
came the sounds. I seized one of the 
mouldy dominoes which were scattered about, 
wrapped it round me, concealed Gustave 
in it under my arm, blew out my light, and 
crept beneath the great table just in time. 
The light of many burning torches filled the 
hall, and a rough voice cried : — • 

" Aye, here the place is, just as Cartwright 
thought. There's room enough for stuff here 
to blow up all London. The chief will be 
pleased at this." 

And then to my horrified ears was revealed 
a plot, sheltered under the sacred names of 
Liberty and Freedom ; a plot which showed 
the ingenuity of Satan himself, and a cruel 
callousness to the sufferings of millions which 
was superhuman. This plot, I am told, it 
were prudent not to reveal. 

I lay still as death: one laugh from Gustave, 
one gasp for breath from myself, and I was 
dopmed. Mercifully, at last the tension 
became too great and I fainted. When I 
came to myself all was dark and still again. 
I crept out from the table and struck a 
match. This roused Gustave, who apparently 
had been sleeping off his excitement, and 
unhesitatingly he fluttered to the ground and 

Vol. IX ..-37. 



hopped through the right archway. As we 
emerged from the cellar I found that it was 
daylight — -the night had passed in that 
terrible place. 

Exhausted as I was, I instantly went to 
Scotland Yard and told them what I had 
heard. They fortunately believed me and 
set inquiries on foot. Jingland was saved 
from a disaster which would have brought 
her enemies flocking like vultures around 
her, and the world from a crime which 
would have stained the Book of Fate 
with a record black as death. Utterly ex- 
hausted, I went straight to bed when I 
reached home, and had food brought to me 
there. 

As I am, alas, only too well used to 
adventures and misfortune, I quickly re- 
covered my usual strength — but yet I woke 
next morning with a presentiment of mis- 
fortune, a foreboding of evil. Too well was 
this justified. The excitement of visiting his 
old haunts had proved too much for Gustave. 
The parrot was dead ; my occupation was 
gone. 

I telegraphed immediately to Mme. 
Lebrun, and received an answer that she 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



would return home that evening. She came, 
and great were her lamentations over her 
dead companion — for Gustave was nothing 
less to her. 

That day the police searched the whole 
of the underground part of the square. 
It appeared that the existence of this 
place had long been rumoured in the 
thieves' quarter of London. The origin of 
it was, so far as can be discovered, as 
follows : — 

Many years ago the now half deserted 
square was a fashionable centre in London, 
and a certain noble Earl, famed in history 
for his fearful deeds and his wild life, 
inhabited a great house which formed one 
side of it — now split into separate habita- 
tions, of which that of Mme. Lebrun formed 
one. Under the square, so said rumour, he 
excavated a great subterranean hall. Was 
it simply to outdo his neighbours in the 
recklessness of his expenditure, or for some 
darker reason ? At this distance of time who 
shall say ? Enough that the tradition of the 
place still lingered, and on his return from 
Italy, Beckford heard of it. It touched his 
whimsical imagination, and he bought the 
house subsequently rented by the mother of 
Mme. Lebrun (or Mile., as she should rather 
have been called, for she had never married, 
but had merely taken brevet rank). 

The other openings which I had dimly 
seen, and down which one of the Anarchist 
conspirators (as they were subsequently 
proved) had come, must have been con- 
structed in Beckford's time, for it was found 
that the houses which they led to had all 
been inhabited, by his friends. Down those 
steps what companies had flocked to what 
unimaginable revels ! But the reason of 
the great fright which had broken up their 
last orgie, and why everything had been left 
in such a sudden hurry, had never been 



discovered. Had the legend of Medenham 
been repeated ? 

The Anarchists had found the hall through 
one of their members telling, when they were 
looking for some safe place to store their 
explosives, that he remembered his father, 
who had been a mason, had told him that 
as a lad he had been employed in mending a 
flight of stone steps in No. — , in the square, 
which steps led to a great subterranean hall. 
The house indicated was to let — they took 
it — and but for the wonderful chances of 
Gustave on that night escaping to the 
cellars, and of my accidentally treading on 
the secret spring of the turning stone, their 
fell designs would in time have been accom- 
plished. 

The whole occurrence was a terrible shock 
to poor Mme. Lebrun. She could not 
bear to leave the house in which her whole 
life had been passed, and yet she said she 
would never feel safe in it again, and no 
wonder. The police knowing of the hall, 
and keeping a watch on it, made some 
difference, but she could not rest until she 
had the flight of steps destroyed, the stone 
cemented down, and the door of the 
cellar which contained it bricked up. 
Then she said she felt a great " soulage- 
ment" To me she was most kind, for 
she felt that I had dared more than most 
girls would have done for the protection of 
her favourite. 

But it had been too much for her, and 
she died a short time afterwards. Her 
heir, some distant cousin, a little, dried- 
up, black -avised Frenchman, made short 
work of the Egyptian antiquities. He carried 
off the pictures and the furniture, and in a 
little while a great board announced that for 
the first time for nearly a century No. — , 

Square, was "To let." Who will 

take it next ? 



Girls Schools of To-day. 



I.— CHELTENHAM COLLEGE. 
By L. T. Meade. 




N these days when the 
" Woman's Question " is dis- 
cussed on all sides, and when 
even the most prejudiced of 
the opposite sex are forced to 
admit that women are their 
competitors in almost every walk of life, it is 
interesting to trace the fact to its primary 
source. In this last decade of the century, 
women are being thoroughly educated in the 
broadest and fullest sense of the term. 
Their brains are being developed, their 
bodies stimulated to grow to their full 
dimensions — in consequence, weakness, 
timidity, nerves, mental cowardice, are gradu- 
ally, but surely, creeping into the background, 
and the girls of the present day are able to 
hold their own with their brothers. 

School life is undoubtedly at the root of 
this vast improvement, and my intention in 
this paper is to say a few words with regard 
to school hfe as it now exists for girls. 

All those who know anything of girls' 
education will feel". that the primary place 
amongst English schools must be given to 
the far-famed ladies' college at Cheltenham. 
Here, from the child in her kindergarten to 
the girl who is undergoing her examination 
for her London degree, is to be found the 
most perfect training for 
spirit, mind, and body. 

The name of the prin- 
cipal, Dorothea Beale, is 
widely known. I have 
had the privilege of visit- 
ing her at Cheltenham 
College for the purpose of 
writing this paper; but, 
much as she told me, and 
much as I saw of her 
work, it is difficult in so 
short a space to give any 
just estimate of her modes 
of operation and her 
wonderful personality. 

It would be impossible 
to get any just idea of the 
life which now goes on at 
Cheltenham College 
without knowing a little 
of its past history and 
growth — its past struggle 
for existence seems to ac- 
centuate and strengthen 
the effect of its present 
remarkable success. 




MISS BEALE, PRINCIPAL OF CHELTENHAM COLLEGE. 
From a Photo, by County of Gloucester Studio, Cheltenham. 



I should like to give the story of the 
college in Miss Beale's own graphic words, 
but as the limits of a magazine paper make 
this impossible, I can only allude to the 
leading and most interesting facts. 

In beginning her account of the college, 
Miss Beale speaks of the great change which 
took place in the education of girls about 
the middle of the present century. Up to 
the year 1847 it was impossible, except in 
very rare cases, for a woman to take a high 
place in the intellectual world — her educa- 
tion generally was unsystematic, and had 
no thoroughness. True, there were such 
women as MarySomerville, Harriet Martineau, 
and Caroline Cornwallis — there were also 
a few poets and novelists whom all the 
world justly holds in honour; but these 
were exceptional, and showed the strength of 
their characters when they broke through the 
barriers which fenced them off from the fields 
of intellect in which their brothers roamed 
at will. In those days, girls of the middle 
classes were usually taught at home by private 
governesses assisted by masters, or they were 
sent to small boarding schools. Most of 
their time was spent in learning by rote 
what the Schools Inquiry Commissioners 
call " Miserable Catechisms," " Lamentable 
Catechisms," "the Nox- 
ious Brood of Catech- 
isms." They worked 
from books which taught 
facts, such facts as the 
following: "State the 
number of houses burnt 
in the fire of London." 
No subject was taught 
scientifically, but merely 
as so much information. 
Mr. Fitch wrote : "I 
have seen girls learning 
by heart the .terminology 
of the Linnaean system, 
to whom the very ele- 
ments of the vegetable 
physiology were un- 
known — they learnt from 
a catechism the meaning 
of such words as divisi- 
bility, inertia ; knowing 
nothing whatever of the 
physical facts, of which 
these words are the re- 
presentatives." 

Miss Beale says of 



J HE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



A 


^ 


X HiMh., '!Mfc .M^ 




'3 


1,1' / 

11 ..«-»:» 




i 





i<'ra»n a] 



CHELTENHAM COLLEGE. 



herself: "In 1848 I was a pupil in a 
school in Paris, which was kept by English 
ladies. We were taught to perform con- 
juring tricks with a globe, by which we 
obtained answers to problems without one 
principle being made intelligible. We were 
even compelled to learn from Lindley Mur- 
ray lists of prepositions, that we might be 
saved the trouble of thinking what part of 
speech it was." 

In her delightful paper, which can be read 
in full in the college magazine, Miss Beale 
graphically states how this condition of 
things passed away, how first one .college and 
then another was opened to women, how 
Professor Maurice took up the cause of girls' 
education, and at last how Local Examina- 
tions of the University of Cambridge were 
opened to women — but as this paper refers 
primarily to Cheltenham College, I must go on 
at once to speak of it. 

The college, which now occupies so high a 
position in the educational world, was first 
opened in 1854, in a house which was 
called Cambray House, and is now an 
overflow school. Miss Beale gives an amusing 
account of the opening day. One lady, 
who was present at the opening, writes : 
" I was at the opening of the ladies' 
college on the thirteenth of February, 1854. 
Nine o'clock was the time appointed for us to 
assemble. I remember I was standing in the 
large school-room and our names being called 
over. The eldest of us was eighteen, and the 
infants' department contained some very little 
mites. The subjects taught at present are 
very different from what we had ; nevertheless, 
we worked hard, and the teaching was very 
thorough. Of course, there were clever girls, 



and stupid girls, 
and idle girls ; but 
the tone of the 
college was one of 
work.'"' 

Another writes : 
''The opening of 
the ladies' college 
is so very long ago, 
and I was only 
eleven. My chief 
recollection of the 
first day is that a 
good many pupils 
brought their dogs 
with them, and 
that there was a 
general scrimmaj.e 
among these ani- 
mals — eight of 
them fighting in the cloak-room. Naturally, 
no dogs were admitted in the future." 

The number of pupils when the college 
was first opened was eighty-eight, and by the 
end of the year there were one hundred and 
twenty. From several causes, however, a 
decline in the numbers soon set in, and 
when Miss Beale was appointed principal in 
1858, affairs were in a very critical condition. 
The pupils had fallen to sixty-nine, and of 
these about fifteen had given notice to leave. 
In short, the next two years were ones of 
extreme difficulty, and Miss Beale says that 
it is impossible to give an adequate idea of 
the hard struggle for existence which the 
college had to maintain, and of the minute 
economies they were called upon to practise. 
The principal says : " I was blamed for 
ordering prospectuses, at the cost of fifteen 
shillings, without leave from the secretary. 
Second-hand furniture was procured which 
would not have delighted people of esthetic 
taste ; curtains were dispensed with as far 
as possible, and it was questioned whether a 
carving knife was required for me in my fur- 
nished apartments. In short, society was 
opposed to the college. 

" Cheltenham was a conservative place, 
and the very name ' college ' frightened 
people. It was said ' Girls would be turned 
into boys if they attended the college.' 
The kind of education, too, was not ap- 
proved ; the curriculum was too advanced, 
though it would now be considered quite 
behind the age. It embraced only English 
studies, French, German, and a very little 
science ; all was taught, it was true, in a 
somewhat thorough way. ' It is all very 
well,' said a mother, who withdrew her 



GIRLS' SCHOOLS OF TO-DAY. 



'■^5 



daughter at the end of a quarter, 'for my 
daughter to read Shakespeare, but don't 
you think it is more important for her to 
be able to sit down at a piano and amuse 
her friends ? ' 

" ' I had my own opinion,' said Miss Beale, 
'about the kind of amusement she would 
afford them.' " 

Speaking of herself, she continues : " I had 
been for some years mathematical tutor at 
Queen's College, London, but I was advised 
that it would not do to introduce mathematics. 
Some objected to advanced arithmetic. ' My 
dear lady,' said a father, ' if my daughters 
were going to be bankers it would be very 
well to teach arithmetic as you do, btit really 
there is no need.' 

" ' No, I have not learnt fractions,' said a 
child, ' my governess told me they were not 
necessary for girls.' " 

Miss Beale also speaks of the great diffi- 
culty of obtaining good teachers. 

" Do you prepare your lessons ? " she 
asked of a candidate for a vacant post. 

" Oh, no " ; was the answer, " I never 
profess .to teach anything I do not under- 
stand." 

One was sent to her with such excellent 
recommendations that she thought she had 
found a " black swan." She asked her to come 
down that she might judge for herself. This 
lady could teach literature, history, physi- 
ology, but Miss Beale, to her astonishment, 
discovered that she had literally read nothing 
but little text-books, and proposed to teach 
on the notes of the lessons she had had. 

The college in those early days was not only 
poor, but on the verge of bankruptcy ; this 




From a] 



STUDENTS BEDROOM AT FAUCONBERG HOUSE, DIVIDED LY CURTAINS. [Photograph. 



want of money made itself felt in all sorts of 
ways. I'here was no library, and a grant of 
five pounds did not go very far. There was, 
besides, no lending library in the town ; a 
few stationers lent out books, but the supply 
was meagre indeed. Miss Beale relates how 
she went into one of the two principal shops 
to see if she could get the " Idylls of the 
King," when the book came out. She was 
answered : " We never have had any poetical 
effusions in the library, and we don't think 
we shall begin now." 

The time of trial, however, was not to be 
followed by defeat. The spirit of the brave 
principal was not to be daunted — the numbers 
in the school rose again to seventy - eight. 
Still the balance was on the wrong side of the 
ledger ; but just then a gentleman in the town, 
a Mr. Brancker, was asked to be auditor. He 
drew up a financial scheme on altogether new 
lines : this was adopted, and from that hour 
the college entered on a new and prosperous 
career. This good man undertook all the 
duties of a secretary gratuitously. His clear 
judgment, his insight into character, his 
courage and frankness made him a most 
valuable adviser, and Miss Beale feels sure 
that had he not taken the helm at that time, 
the college would not have been safely 
steered through the rocks. 

From that hour, however, prosperity 
attended all efforts, prejudices began to give 
way, and the number of pupils increased 
yearly. 

In giving her brief history, Miss Beale 
considers that Cheltenham College has gone 
through three epochs. In the first, she in- 
cludes the twenty years of its life in the 

original college of 
Cambray. The 
second decade is 
occupied with the 
internal growth 
and consolidation 
of the new college. 
The third takes 
the period of ex- 
ternal develop- 
ment from the 
foundation of the 
College Guild in 



It was at Lady 
Day, 1873, that 
the principal and 
pupils took pos- 
session of the 
present lovely and 
extensive college. 



286 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Miss Beale speaks thus of the change : — 
" I am sure that the change from the plain 
bare walls of Cambray to the beautiful and 
stately surroundings of our new college was 
not without its effect upon teacher and 
taught. Mr. Thring, of Uppingham, used 
to insist, by word anddeed, that if we would 
have learning honoured, we should build it a 
fitting habitation. The greater dignity of our 
surroundings made us feel that our teaching 
must not be meagre and bare, but as perfect 
in its form, as attractive in its expression, as 
exact in its details as we were able to make 
it, and thus the material environment re- 
acted upon the intellectual and spiritual : the 
same music is different in a concert-room and 
in a cathedral, where arches and vaulted roof 
respond to the pealing organ, and spirit 
answers to spirit in subtones and harmonics." 

Large as the college was, however, when it 
was opened, it has been added to immensely 
from time to time until it has reached its 
present important dimensions, and there are, 
as it seems to an outsider, class-rooms of 
the most perfect kind, for every possible 
course of education which can be entered 
upon. The richness of the architecture 
of these noble room', the beauty of the 
painted windows, the intelligent and wide 
sympathy of the spirit which has governed 
and planned the whole can scarcely be de- 
scribed ; the rooms must be seen, the kindly 
spirit must be felt, to make it possible to 
understand the vastness of the influence 
which has been at work. 

The guild of the college was formed in 
the July of 1883, and thus began, as Miss 
Beale says, the period of external develop- 
ment. The guild is the means of uniting 
old and new members in a common interest, 
which does not cease with school lifie. It 
maintains a mission at Bethnal Green. 

The badge is a daisy — that flower loved of 
poets. The open daisy is the emblem of 
the soul ; closed, it is the pearl of flowers, 
the emblem of purity. " It is," writes 
Ruskin, " infinitely dear, as the bringer of 
light ; ruby, white, and gold, the three 
colours of the day, with no hue of shade in it." 

The objects of the guild are many, some 
articles of its creed being that it is a duty all 
through life to continue one's own education 
— that the worst thing one can do with any 
talent is to bury it. 

Junior members are expected not only to 
follow a definite course of study, but also to 
undertake some domestic form of work. 
Miss Beale feels very strongly that the better 
trained a woman is mentally, the more 



thoroughly she will attend to the minutiae of 
daily life, and that a knowledge of mathe- 
matics, so far from militating against home 
comforts, will, by the training it gives in 
system and effort, enable her all the better 
to keep the household machinery in order. 

It was a bright day in the end of October 
when I paid my first visit to Cheltenham 
College. I found the principal standing on 
a raised platform at one end of the great 
hall. She received me in the heartiest and 
most genial manner, and told me at once she 
had made arrangements to give up her day to 
me. I can truly say that she kept her word. 
I arrived at the college at about half-past 
twelve, and from then until half-past five we 
went from class-room to class-room, from 
boarding-house to boarding-house, with only 
brief intervals for refreshment. While she took 
me round, Miss Beale explained her systems 
and methods of work in a clear, incisive style, 
peculiarly her own. There was no attempt 
at boasting, no trace of gratified vanity in the 
enormous success of the wonderful place 
which she has practically made. Her whole 
soul is in her work, but she is too great and 
also too simple of heart to be vain. 

Viewed as a whole, the college has a 
colossal and almost bewildering effect upon 
a new-comer; but the boarding-houses, fifteen 
in number, strike one at once as pictures of 
simplicity and home comfort. Two of the 
houses are specially devoted to girls of 
limited means, where the fees are exception- 
ally low ; but here, as in the others, there is 
the same delightful sympathetic house- 
mistress, the beautifully arranged sitting- 
rooms, the cheerful dining-halls, and the 
bright, cosy bedrooms, either single, or 
curtained off into cubicles. 

Of the many boarding-houses, St. Hilda's 
is probably the most perfect. It was built 
especially for the college, and is full of all 
modern beauty and contrivance. No girl is 
admitted to St. Hilda's under eighteen. 

After going round the college and the 
other boarding-houses I arrived there in time 
for tea, and shall not soon forget the cosy 
effect of the charming little room into which 
I was ushered. Tea was ready, a fire was 
burning brightly, there was a sofa, some easy 
chairs, small tables, little bookcases, photo- 
graphs, ornaments of all kinds. 

" And where am I to sleep ? " I asked of 
the girl-student who was with me. 

" Why, here," was the reply : " this is your 
bedroom." 

I looked around me in some bewilderment 
and momentary dismay. A charming sitting- 



GIRLS' SCHOOLS OF TO-DAY. 



287 




Froin a] 



room was all very 
well, but I was 
tired and hot, 
and dirty. In a 
moment, how- 
ever, the secret of 
the magical room 
was revealed to 
me. When a 
cover was slipped 
off the sofa a 
comfortable bed 
appeared. When 
a spring was 
touched in the 
bureau a shelf 
dropped sud- 
denly down, and 
all necessary 
washing appa- 
ratus came into 
view. That 
bureau is such a 
clever construc- 
tion that it de- 
serves a word to 
itself. At one 
side are the washing arrangements, at the 
other a writing-desk and chest of drawers; on 
the top is a cabinet with glass doors, meant 
to contain either books or ornaments. 

I had supper at St. Hilda's, made the 
acquaintance of Miss Lumby, the delightful 
principal of the house, and afterwards saw 
the girls dance in the beautiful drawing-room. 
They all dressed for the evening, and it would 
have been difificult to see brighter, more 
interesting, or happier faces. 

Early next morning I returned to the 
college, where I was present at what is 
perhaps the most impressive sight in this 
beautiful house of learning, morning prayers. 
The great hall, more than looft. long, 30ft. 
wide, and 41ft. high in the centre, with its deep 
gallery at the farther end, was completely filled 
with girls and teachers. The short service 
was all that was solemn, sweet, and in- 
vigorating. It was worth going to prayers to 
hear the singing alone. Afterwards the girls 
filed out, one by one, going immediately 
to their different class-rooms. Miss Beale 
took the second division in Scripture, 
and I had the privilege of listening to 
a most impressive and practical address. 
Afterwards she took me round the class- 
rooms again, and I saw teachers and pupils 
busily at work. There was no haste, no 
excitement, no undue pressure. All the 
work is done in the mornina;, the afternoons 



ST. HILDAS. 



^Photograph. 



being devoted to 
necessary pre- 
paration, and to 
games, walks, etc. 
I have alluded 
already to the 
beautiful college 
buildings, but I 
must add a few 
words about the 
lovely stained- 
glass windows, 
which are very 
fine examples of 
the art, and are 
not easily for- 
gotten by those 
who have seen 
them. The win- 
dows are given in 
c o m m e moration 
of some special 
friends of the col- 
lege, and the sub- 
jects are taken 
from the story of 
Britomart, in 
Spenser's "Faery Queen." Britomart gives 
the poet's ideal of a perfect woman. 
A short time ago the story of Brito- 
mart was dramatized and acted by the 
guild. 

There are six hundred regular pupils, 
besides many occasional ones. Such is the 
completeness of the organization that each 
pupil is cared for as an individual, and no 
two girls have exactly the same time-table. 
There are about fifty regular teachers, besides 
many visiting lecturers and masters. The 
institution may be call,ed an aggregate of 
schools. There are, in fact, seven Head 
Mistresses, or Heads of Departments, work- 
ing with considerable independence under the 
Principal. There is the Vice-Principal, the 
Head Mistress of the second and third 
divisions ; the Head of the London B. A. 
and B. Sc. class, of the Cambridge Higher 
and the Oxford A. A. local classes ; lastly, 
the two Heads of the Education and Kinder- 
garten deptirtments. The Principal also 
gives a considerable share of the workings to 
the class-teachers, thus training up com- 
petent heads for all other schools, whilst these 
are able to avail themselves of her larger 
experience. She considers the right maxim 
for a ruler is : " If you want a thing done, 
don't do it yourself," and comm.ends 
especially the old woman who set everything 
in motion to get the pig over the stile. As 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



nearly all the teachers are her own pupils and 
they understand one another thoroughly, the 
whole works most harmoniously. 

The Musical Department is extremely 
efficient. There are thirty teachers, a special 



Gymnastics are not neglected. These are 
taught by a Swede. There are twenty-six 
tennis grounds, and two fives, besides a play- 
ground of about twelve acres for games which 
require much space. 




From a Photo, by] 



PRAYERS IN THE GREAT HALL — CHELTENHAM COLLEGE. 



[P. Parsons, Gheltenlmvi. 



wdng is devoted to it, and about fifteen 
hundred lessons are given weekly. 

The science department is very complete, 
containing a central lecture - room, two 
chemical laboratories for practical work, a 
weighing -.room, one for physics, two for 
biology, besides a museum 70ft. by 26ft. 

There is a beautiful studio 60ft. by 30ft. 



The fees for the ordinary course of 
education at Cheltenham College for pupils 
over fifteen are eight guineas a term ; 
under fifteen, six guineas ; under ten, four 
guineas. 

The fees for residence at the boarding- 
houses vary from fifty to seventy guineas per 
annum. 



Portraits of Celebrities at Different Times of their Lives. 



THE EARL OF WINCHILSEA AND 

NOTTINGHAM. 

Born 1851. 





From a\ age 2. liliniatxin. 

URRAY EDWARD GORDON 
FINCH-HATTON, EARL OF 
WINCHILSEA AND 
NOTTINGHAM, was educated 
at Eton and Balliol College, 




Fr(iima,\ 



[Plwtograpn. 



Oxford, and graduated M.A. in 1876 ; he 
sat as M.R for Lincolnshire S. (C.) in 1884, 
and for Holland, or the Spalding Division of 

Vol. ix.— 38. 




Lincolnshire, from 1885 to '87. His lord- 
ship's name is now prominently before the 
public in connection with the great interest 
taken by him in agricultural matters. ; 




From a I'lwto. by'i 



PRESENT DAY. 



\J. Thomson. 



290 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




m 



] AGE 21. iPhotograph. 

MR. BARON POLLOCK. 
Born 1823. 
HE HON. SIR CHARLES 
EDWARD BARON POLLOCK 

received his education at St. Paul's 
School. When his father was 
Attorney - General, in 1843-44, 
Mr. Pollock acted as his secretary, and later 
became a pupil of the late Mr. Justice Wills, 
and was called to the Bar in 1847, being made 
a Q.C. in 1866. He was appointed Baron 
of the Exchequer in 1873, ^^^ soon after 
received the honour of Knighthood. 





h..<bi .JUuUaM-m- ■•~, 



J4. IRohinson & Cheirill. 



■■•JS 






ji 


9§ 




Lb 




S 


S 


1 


1 


^^ 




P 


' A 



Ftomu Photo by] agi 51 [John yValkmi 




From a] 



AGE 27. 



[Daguerreotype. 



From a Plioto. by] present day. lit. J. Whitlock. 



PORTRAITS OF CELEBRITIES. 



291 



AGE I. 

Fr(ym a Drawing. 







From a] 

MRS. GLADSTONE. 
RS. CATHERINE GLAD- 
STONE, eldest daughter of the 
late Sir Stephen Glynne, Bart., 
was married to Mr. William Ewart 
Gladstone in 1839. She is not 
merely known as the wife of the Grand Old 
Man of England, but she has also won no 
unimportant place in contemporary history by 
her large-hearted and systematic benevolence. 





During 
cholera epi- 
demics, Mrs. 
Gladstone 
devoted 
niuch of her 
time to the 
sick and con- 
valescent, and has since founded the Conva- 
lescent Home at Woodford, Essex, with whose 
good work everyone is well acquainted. 



292 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 







mm 

AGE 10. 

From a Silhouette. 

SIR MYLES FENTON. 

Born 1830. 
NE of our ablest railway managers 
is Sir Myles Fenton, whose long 
experience of railway work fully 
entitles him to control the destinies 
of the South-Eastern Railway. 
Sir Myles began his railway career as early as 
1845, by joining the Kendal and Windermere 
Railway, since when he has varied his 
experience during his connection with variou'; 
lines, such as the East Lancashire, the I ondon 





From a Fainting by\ 



IJ. 1). W'ltauii 



and South-Western, and also as CiLiicral 
Manager of the Metropolitan Railway, a post 
filled by him for eighteen years with con- 
spicuous success. In 1880, the important 



position of General Manager of the South- 
Eastern Railway was offered to Sir Myles 
Fenton, who ever since has given unmistak- 
able proofs of his being well qualified to 




From a] 



[Photograph. 



AGE 53. 

control "the most difiicult railway to manage." 
Sir Myles is a Lieut.-Col. of the Engineer 
and Railway Volunteer Staff Corps, and was 
knighted in 1889. 




From a Photo. 6y) 



PRESENT DAY. 



[Elliott & Fry. 



PORTRAITS OF CELEBRITIES. 



293 





From a Photo. &y] 



AGE I. [Gordon d: Co., Putney. 




MR. T. SULLIVAN. 

Born 1868. 
HE English championship of the 
sculling world was held until 
quite 
recent- 



Prom a Photo, by] age 17. {.Gregory, Auckland. 

Tyne for ^400 and the championship 
cup, but is reported to be so dissatisfied 
with the result that a second match is to 
take place shortly between the rivals. 




ly, by 
Tom Sullivan. 
He first started 
sculling at 13 
j'ears of age, and 
in 1888 and 1889 
he met M'Kay, 
the then amateur 
champion of New 
Zealand, whom 
he conquered. In 
i8gi he met and 
defeated George 
Bubear upon the 
Nepean with ease, 
while on only two 
occasions since 
he joined the 
professional ranks 
has he suffered 
defeat, the first being at the hands of Stansbury, 
when he rowed for the championship of 
the world. It may be mentioned, however, 
that Sullivan holds the records for both 
the Parramatta and Nepean rivers, the only 
two recognised waterways of Australia. For the 
latter his time^ is igmin. 15 sec. for the full 
championship course, and the former i8min. 
41^ sec. One of his greatest races was that 
against Bubear on the Thames for the champion- 
ship of England and the Sportsman's challenge 
cup, in which he won as he wished. On the 
1 6th of last month, Sullivan was beaten by 
C. R. Harding, of Chelsea, in a match on the 



AGS 24. 

From a Photo, by Smythe, Putney. 




PRESENT DAY. 

From a Photo, by Gordon <t Co.. Putney. 




By Mrs. Egerton Eastwick (Pleydell North). 




HEY came across one another 

at the Hotel, Brighton. 

John Brownlow Winterden, 
in passing the door of No. — , 
had heard the sound of cough- 
ing within, varied occasionally 
by a moan of pain and disease; or by a 
voice, weak, monotonous, depressed. One 
•day he asked the chambermaid the name and 
condition of the sufferer ; the voice was 
plainly that of a man. He learned in reply 
that the occupant of the room was a 
Mr. Julius Hatton, that his present illness 
was the result of a severe attack of 
inflammation of the lungs, and that his 
ultimate recovery was considered more than 
doubtful. He was under the care of a 
hospital nurse, sent by the doctor in attend- 
ance. No relations or friends had been to 
see him, and no inquiries had been made. 

After John Winterden had gathered these 
particulars, he went out to the beach, and for 
an hour ploughed the shingle, watching with 
'his bodily eyes a grey horizon, merged in the 
greens and browns of a turbid sea, but having 



before his mental vision a far different scene. 
The whole thing had been recalled by the 
name "Julius Hatton "^ — although Julius 
Hatton had played no part in the affair when 
it had most concerned John Winterden. 

The picture he saw was that of a long 
dining-room, warmly lit in the sombre after- 
noon by the blaze of a great coal fire ; at the 
table sat a woman, her head bowed upon her 
arm, which, outstretched upon the crimson 
cloth, showed its round proportions through 
the tightly-fitting sleeve of black ; the warm 
light caught and illumined the coils of yellow 
hair. 

The figure was very plainly gowned, but 
upon one of the white fingers which lay so 
listlessly upon the crimson cloth a great 
diamond shone, and that, too, caught the 
fire gleam, and flashed in it. The diamond 
had been his, John Winterden's, gift. 

Not far from the hand, lying as though 
pushed away, was a book, newly bound, 
newly labelled, from Mudie's, 

" Oh, Jack — how could you — how could 
you?" 



THE SECRET OF JULIUS HATTON. 



295 



The words fell with the pained moan of a 
creature wounded to death, but resentless. 

" Clothilde, I give you my word." 

" Your word, when not another soul knows 
but yourself, when the very phrases that I 
used in my letters to you are repeated there ! " 
She made a gesture towards the book. 
^' Words as sacred as my love — sacred as 
death — and you have coined them into 
money, won notoriety out of them, and 
thought to shield yourself behind a false 
name. Oh ! how could you, how could 
you ? " 

In the excitement of her speech she had 
raised her face ; it was pale, moulded with a 
generous and yet delicate touch. It bore 
no signs of tears, but it was drawn and pitiful 
with a grief worse to see. It was the face of 
a woman of perhaps twenty-six years of age. 

John Winterden stood silent beneath the 
reproach of the eyes that a week ago had 
held for him the secret of all joy. Every- 
thing that he could say had been said ; he 
had only his word to offer. The head 
drooped again until the face was hidden. 
Then he spoke : — 

"Clothilde, I swear I will find the man 
who wrote that book. The story is yours, 
the words are yours : I know them. They 
have been stolen from me ; how, I cannot 
tell. I have never left your letters in any 
unlocked place. I have never spoken of the 
history you intrusted to my honour, much 
less sold it, as you hint, or made capital out 
of it for my own aggrandizement or profit." 

Now, looking back, John Winterden knew 
that he had spoken coldly and with measured 
words. He, too, was smarting under the 
sense that she could so mistrust him, and the 
inexplicable nature of the thing. 

He had waited, half hoping that she would 
again look up, perhaps with some light of 
faith and reassurance in her eyes, some 
word that might hold possible comfort for 
them both ; but neither word nor look had 
been given, and he had left her, sorrowfully, 
but still with some indignation on his side. 
Afterwards he had written to her, saying that 
imless she summoned him to her presence 
he would not see her again until he could 
bring with him his justification. The 
summons had not come, and she had sent 
him back the diamond ring. 

He had not known until then how deeply 
he had loved her, and the knowledge had 
lasted until now; indignation had died out 
long ago, in a deep pitifulness for all she 
must endure in the betrayal of the sorrow and 
suffering of the past; the exposure of the 



thoughts, the love, the hopes, and the fears 
that had been meant for him alone. 

And this would affect her the more, because 
she was by nature a very reticent woman, 
and her reticence had been increased by 
pain. There was no escape for her. The 
book — -on account of its deadly realism, its 
unveiling of the true tortures of a true 
woman, of a soul that had been dragged 
down the path that should have led to 
destruction, and yet had escaped unscathed, 
and in its essence unsullied — became popular; 
and those who knew something of the bare 
outlines of her story associated her with the 
hideous revelation, and attributed to it the 
separation from her lover, which almost 
immediately followed its appearance. 

That he had already been made the sole 
recipient of her confidence no one knew, and 
no one consequently thought of crediting him 
with the cruel exposure. It was generally 
held that this might be the work of some 
slighted or discarded lover, in whom she had 
unwisely confided. No effort at concealment 
had been made ; the story had been told in 
the form of letters and a duplex diary ; her 
share in it had been reproduced almost 
verbatim from actual documents in the hands 
of John Winterden ; the answers, except for 
an occasional phrase, in which the latter 
recognised comments that he had made and 
written upon the margins of her letters, were 
imaginary and consequently less effective. 

The hero was felt to be, in spite of the 
author's assertions to the contrary, a shallow 
and slight creation, unworthy of the woman's 
passionate confidence. A fundamental diver- 
gence from the truth lay, moreover, in the fact 
that the friendship of the lovers was placed 
during the husband's life-time,' and their 
passion (minutely analyzed in the diary 
portions) supposed to have culminated in 
the death of the heroine. Whereas John 
Winterden had never met Clothilde d'Alton 
before her widowhood. 

And now two years had passed, and the 
authorship of the book that had wrought so 
much misery still remained a mystery. To 
all inquiries the publishers merely replied that 
the writer desired to remain unknown : and 
Winterden had no case to justify persistence 
in unearthing him or her — he sometimes 
thought the work must be that of a woman. 
He could point to no time when the letters 
had been out of his own keeping ; when he 
had travelled they had travelled with him, 
always safely secured ; his possessions had 
never, to his knowledge, been abstracted or 
broken into. If he produced the letters to 



296 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



prove that they had been copied verbatim, 
he would only fit and fix more firmly 
the insult and notoriety upon the head he 
loved. Indignation against her had died 
long ago ; love and the thought of her inno- 
cent suffering had overpowered any memory 
of his own wrongs ; even when, at the end of 
a year, he had heard of her engagement to 
Julius Hatton, resentment had found no 
place in his regret. 

He had gone abroad then, and only 
returned within the last few weeks ; he had 



he might have the pleasure of seeing Mr. 
Winterden that afternoon, provided always 
the latter had not repented of his kind offer 
of the previous day." 

John Winterden had not repented, and 
about four o'clock went to the sick man's 
room. A small, emaciated figure lay upon 
the bed ; a figure with a boyish, sensitive 
face, a woman's mouth, and eyes which, the 
restlessness of fever having passed, remained 
large in humid greyness and seeming pitiful 
prayer for the life that was slipping away. 




Ax. j^ 




A SMALL, EMACIATED FIGURE LAY UPON THE BED. 



never heard either of the marriage or that 
the engagement was cancelled ; only, how 
came it to pass that Julius Hatton lay alone 
and sick to death in an hotel ? Where was 
she ? Could it be the same man, or another 
of the name ? 

That evening John Winterden sent in his 
card, and offered his services if his presence 
could be of any assistance or comfort to the 
sick man. The reply was brought by the 
nurse ; she said that her patient shrank from 
receiving the visits of a stranger in his present 
state, although sincerely thanking Mr. 
Winterden for his kindness. 

There the matter seemed to be at an end ; 
not without, on John Winterden's part, a keen 
sense of disappointment. The following 
morning, however, he was surprised to receive 
a note, written, he judged, by the nurse, but 
dictated by the sick man. It said that 
"Mr. Hatton, feeling slightly better, hoped 



The strong man whose physique had re- 
sisted the shocks of fate and fortune felt 
strangely moved ; he sat down by the other's 
side, and the nurse, thankful for a respite 
from her cares, slipped away for an hour's 
rest and a quiet cup of afternoon tea. 

That visit was the commencement of a 
curious friendship between these two most 
dissimilar men. Julius Hatton had reached 
a stage where^ life might flicker out and die at 
any moment, while yet the faint vitality craved 
interest and amusement ; and these, in his 
present dearth of close ties, it seemed to 
fall naturally to the lot of the stronger man 
to supply. 

The name of Clothilde d' Alton was never 
mentioned, and seeing the weak, boyish 
nature of this Julius, the idea that he could 
be identical with the man upon whom her 
second choice had fallen died from John 
Winterden's mind. 



THE SECRET OF JULIUS HA 7 TON. 



297 



Hatton, however, had two strong personal 
claims : a great natural sweetness of disposi- 
tion which underlay the irritability of disease 
clothing his deficiencies with that undefinable 
attraction that creates love in stronger 
minds ; while through a certain slight morally 
defective or oblique organization flashed now 
and again the light of a clear and far-seeing 
perception, which blinded John Winterden's 
honest practical limitations and deductions, 
and proclaimed the weaker soul a genius 
and a poet half-born. 

Autumn deepened into winter, and still 
Julius Hatton lingered. No friends came to 
see him, he received few letters, and no 
inquiries were made, so far rs Winterden 
could discover. Once he asked, Was there 
anyone whom the sick man would wish 
summoned or communicated with ? Hatton 
replied, whimsically, that, barring a brother in 
India, his only remaining relation was an 
elderly aunt, from whose attentions he pre- 
ferred to be exempt. 'He was plainly not a 
rich man, though he showed no immediate 
want of funds. 

Under the genial influence, the slight 
excitement of John Winterden's society, he 
so far rallied as to be able on bright days to 
leave his room and take a turn upon the 
Parade, leaning upon his friend's arm ; but 
as October days shortened into the bleaker 
outlook of November, he again failed rapidly. 

John Winterden, watching him, knew that 
no care could prolong his life through the 
winter, and suffered so much in the thought, 
that he was angry with himself for having 
risked the possibihty of this new pain. 

At last, in December the time came to be 
numbered by hours ; Hatton was plainly 
dying of heart disease and consumption, 
engendered by pneumonia. 

Winterden had been out for his lonely 
afternoon walk, and returning met the doctor 
upon the stairs of the hotel. 

" I have just left Mr. Hatton," he said. 
" It is right you should know : another forty- 
eight hours, perhaps ; I cannot give him 
longer. The vital principle, always slight, is 
almost exhausted ; there was no stamina to 
resist disease." 

It was then dark ; John Winterden went 
for a few moments to his own room, then 
straight to that of his friend. Hatton lay 
upon the bed, the mere semblance of a man ; 
wasted, thin, and small ; only the grey eyes, 
shadowed by dark brows and lashes, looked 
larger, blacker for the change. The nurse 
was sitting by the fire ; she rose and went 
out of the room, as she often did when 

Vol. ix.— 39. 



Winterden entered. John took his usual 
place beside the bed. 

" Winterden, I want you to do something 
for me ; to-night, when we are alone." 

"Anything that I can." 

" This is not difficult. You see that black 
leather case, there, on the chest of drawers ? 
It contains letters, papers. I want you to 
burn them, to let me see them burnt." 

A faint flush had risen to the thin face ; the 
voice held an eagerness hitherto absent from 
vibrations which had been languid, pettish, 
affectionate, or even inspired, but never 
expressive of desire ; the one great desire, 
the desire of life, had lain in the eyes, where 
now also had crept the fear of death. 

" Be quite at rest; I will do as you wish. 
I will sit with you through the night : it is my 
turn." 

The night came ; the night of a vigil 
which John Winterden was not likely to for- 
get. The nurse had made up the fire, placed 
medicines and nourishment within reach, 
and retired to rest until five in the morning, 
at which hour Winterden was to be relieved. 
For a time Julius Hatton seemed inclined to 
sleep, but about midnight he roused and 
called to his companion. Winterden went at 
once to his side. 

"You will do it — what you promised — 
now ? " said Hatton, eagerly. " The keys are in 
the right-hand drawer." 

A few minutes more and Winterden had 
laid the open case upon the bed, and the 
thin white fingers pointed out a packet of 
letters and a flat manuscript book. 

"There," he said ; " let me see them burnt 
before my eyes." 

Winterden closed and replaced the case, 
then went over to the fire with the letters and 
the book in his hand. He threw the former 
at once upon the embers ; and the red light 
flamed up and lit the face of the man whose 
life-story was perishing with them. 

The book seemed too thick to consume at 
once, and Winterden tore out some of the 
pages, that he might destroy it by degrees. 
The flame from the burning letters fell upon 
the papers he held, illuminating them for a 
morhent with a most vivid brightness ; and a 
name, a sentence, flashed itself across his 
eyes and struck into his brain with the force 
of an electric shock. 

Without an instant's hesitation he crumpled 
the papers in his hand and tore others from^ 
the book ; these, after a rapid glance, he 
threw upon the flames in place of those he 
held. In a few minutes the grate was strewn 
with ashes, the flame had finally died down, 



29S 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



and the man upon the bed breathed a sigh 
of relief. 

Winterden quietly crossed the room and 
gave him his usual sleeping draught, to-night 
purposely postponed. 

" Now," said Hatton, gratefully, " I think 
I can sleep," and turned upon his side. 



few necessaries for the one night he was to 
spend at the hotel. Intending to cross by 
the night boat, he did not reclaim his posses- 
sions until the evening of the following day, 
when they were safely delivered up in ac- 
cordance with the ticket which he held ; but 
he now remembered that he had been asked 




'let me bee them burnt before my eyes." 



There was silence in the room. Winterden 
had raked out the ashes and replenished the 
fire ; he drew the night-lamp nearer, and 
waited until the regular breathing of his 
patient told that the draught had taken 
effect. Then he cautiously drew from his 
pocket the crumpled sheets and smoothed 
them out upon the table before him. The 
name and the sentence that he had seen 
assured him that he had a right to their 
perusal, yet he glanced up guiltily at the 
sleeping form with a sense that he was robbing 
a helpless and a dying man, and betraying a 
sacred trust. 

The extracts from the diary which he had 
preserved were dated nearly three years be- 
fore, and recorded a transaction which, in its 
singular simplicity and audacious fraud, filled 
him with amaze and just indignation, but also 
with some pity, and recalled an incident, so 
slight that it had hitherto almost escaped 
his memory, but which, as it now transpired, 
had held the germ of the disaster of his fife. 

The incident was as follows : — 

Passing through town about three years 
ago on his way to Paris, he had left in the 
cloak-room of the Victoria Station all his lug- 
gage excepting the Gladstone, which held the 



to state which of two portmanteaus, almost 
exactly similar in make and size, belonged to 
him. He had been able to identify his own 
by a stain upon the leather — the result of an 
accident ; no hint at previous difficulty had 
been given ; he was late for the train and 
too hurried to ask questions, had in fact 
never given the matter a second thought ; 
his possessions were there, and secure ; and 
they were at once given to the porter to be 
wheeled to the luggage van. 

The first entry in the diary which proved 
of interest was headed George Street, W., 
26th October, 18 — , the same day as that on 
which he had deposited his luggage. 

" 4 p.m. I have arrived in Babylon, and 
secured a room — a roof over my head so 
long as funds last. God knows what is 
before me. Johnson and Grasse write 
suggesting that in place of ' Progress ' I 
should provide them with a realistic romance, 
not immoral. There seems to be a mania for 
analyzing temptation. 

" How am I to write of that of which I 



THE SECRET OF JULIUS HATTON. 



299 



know comparatively nothing ? I am twenty- 
two, and have not yet experienced a grand 
passion ! What an anomaly. At the same 
time, I am likely to starve and seek to assuage 
bodily hunger by taking a clerkship at ^60 
per annum, provided always that I can get it : 
and then I should starve — body and soul — 
starve for freedom and fresh air. What was 
the story of the man who committed a murder 
that he might be realistic over the murderer's 
remorse? Must I — bah !- -I must go out, 
tramp the streets — there's tragedy there if I 
could fathom it — and back to the station. 

"8 p.m. A curious coincidence, almost 
I might say a special Providence — or a 
favour from the Evil One — which ? At any 
rate, a temptation, a horrible temptation. 
- " I went to the station to take out the 
portmanteau which holds the greater part of 
my worldly belongings, and which I had left 
in the cloak-room while I tramped in search 
of a shelter, a cab not being allowable under 
the circumstances. I got it here for a 
shilling ; mine in shape, size, general appear- 
ance and number of ticket ; also, more 
strange, the lock yielded to my key. Within, 
a suit of dress clothes, not mine, and a 
packet of papers. 

" My first feeling was one of annoyance at 
discomfort for the night, the possible loss of 
my own belongings, or the trouble of return- 
ing at once, tired out as I was, to the station 
to rectify the mistake. Then the papers 
fascinated me, my curiosity was roused ; they 
were bulky, and written apparently in a 
woman's hand. 

" At last I touched them, moved with my 
finger the corner of an envelope which lay 
at the top ; the address on the under side. 
On a folded sheet beneath I read these words : 
' I have told you the history of my life, laid 
bare before you the story of my soul as it is 
known to none other save God, and therein 
you will read the truth so far as words can 
tell it, for it is in the heart, not in incident, 
that the depth of tragedy lies.' 

"After that I took the packet into my 
hands. The envelope was addressed to 
' J. Brownlow, Esq.,'. the letter was signed, 
' Clothilde.' Beneath the letter were many 
folded sheets, closely written. It took me 
more than an hour to read them through ; 
having commenced, I found it impossible to 
stop. They contained the revelation of a 
noble woman's soul, in the throes of ignoble 
bondage, struggling through misery, degrada- 
tion, and shame, yet clinging to some self- 
revealed standard of purity and truth ; 
striving to shake off the contamination of 



foulness, but at times dragged down, hopeless, 
despairing. 

" She had borne, first, the actuality and, 
afterwards, its memory in silence, until she 
met the man to whom, because she loved 
him, she revealed the secret of her life. She 
judged him large - hearted, magnanimous, 
pitiful— and from a few notes written in 
pencil on the margin of the papers, I fancied 
that her confidence was not misplaced. I 
also gathered that, although never condemna- 
tory, he was not afraid to rectify the errors of 
her less disciplined nature. 

" The husband's picture was drawn with a 
touch here and there, highly f-uggestive. The 
smooth face, the finely-cut lips that could 
smile so sweetly, and yet were sensually 
cruel ; the loss of all sense of honour, covered 
by an air of benignity — the outline was not 
difficult to fill. 

" The whole story presented itself with the 
clearness of a revelation, which it was — for 
revelation is truth ; and this was truth. 

"Then came my temptation. I knew that 
in the discovery lay my worldly salvation ; 
and I had not sought it : it had come to me 
by what is called pure accident. Who would 
know, who would be the worse for my avail- 
ing myself of opportunity ? 

" The facts must be in some way disguised. 
I gather from the MS. that the husband is- 
dead : I would make him still alive; and with 
the impossibility of redemption apart from 
dishonour, I would make her die like a 
broken flower upon the rock of passion, 
shamed by her surroundings, but nervously 
shrinking from the only other possibility of 
escape. 

"The man, as I see him, is painfully strong 
and upright ; the woman inherently pure and 
cruelly sensitive. 

" It will be interesting to imagine these 
two natures coming into contact under the 
influences of present danger and denied 
happiness, rather than under the comparative 
calm of retrospect. To-night I can take 
down the greater part of the papers in short- 
hand ; to-morrow morning, early, I will return 
the portmanteau to the cloak-room ; provided 
that I do not encounter the owner, my posi- 
tion is safe ! If this be dishonour — it is fate, 
not I, that is responsible, and the morbid 
craving of the age." 

Winterden read this analysis of himself and 
her with growmg anger and contempt for 
the trickster who had wronged them both ; 
but also with the consciousness of great 
possible joy. His time had come ; the 
means of his reinstatement lay within his 



300 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



hand. The identity of names between the 
man who had violated the sanctity of her 
hfe, and the man who had afterwards taken 
the place which he himself had once held in 
her regard, was not the least strange part of 
the affair. 

It seemed almost impossible to credit this 
poor weakling, whose faintly drawn breaths 
broke the night stillness, with the double part, 
yet no other solution of the mystery presented 
itself. If the assumption were true, Clothilde 
d'Alton was at all events doubly free. 

The fact that no idea should have occurred 
to Hatton of associating him, John Winter- 
den, with the J. Brownlow of the letters, was 
accounted for by the fact that he had rarely 
made use of his 
original patrony- 
mic since his 
adoption of that 
of his mother 
with the falling in 
of a small estate 
some eighteen 
months before. 

"Winterden — 
John " 

Hatton was 
awake and call- 
ing to him. He 
went over to the 
bed, and the grey 
eyes, wide open 
now and restless, 
watched his com- 
ing. 

" You have 
burnt the papers 
—all ? " 

Winterden 
hesitate(J..<+r6w 

wasjie^ lie to a dying man, and yet, still 
tiore, how tell him the truth ? He stood 
silent. 

" Because," said the other, restlessly, 
" I have been dreaming — dreaming of — of a 
woman I wronged. I dreamed that she 
came — here — and stood where you are 
standing, and that her anger and contempt 
went with me through death, and there was 
no pardon in her eyes. But — I — loved her 
— I grew to love her first through — through 
some letters of hers that I read — and — -and 
published. It is a secret, but I must tell 
you before I die. You will not betray me ? " 

The papers were in the breast-pocket of 
John Winterden's coat; they might have 
been live coals. 

The sick man luckily waited for no answer. 



" I know that I can trust you," he went on, 
with the weak, halting rapidity of tongue that 
belongs to numbered hours. " I have proved 
you — I — I met her afterwards, sought her 
out. I heard that the published letters had 
wrought trouble. I thought I might atone — 
but — I — I was always a coward, and I grew 
to love her so dearly. I wanted her for 
myself, and the other man was gone — what 
was the use? — and for a little while she 
listened to me, talked with me, told me how 
she had suffered ; then we quarrelled — I was 
jealous — I began to see that through it all 
she loved that other man. Jack — Jack — it 
was always Jack." He spoke the last 
sentence pettishly, turning his head away like 

a spoilt child, 
remembering un- 
merited wrong. 

The heart that 
beat beneath the 
letters throbbed 
tumultuously. 
For a moment 
Hatton lay still, 
-\ exhausted; then 
the grey eyes 
opened again and 
travelled back to 
the grave face 
that awaited their 




YOU WILL NOT BETRAY iME? 



message. 

"Give me 
something — I 
am tired." 

Winterden 
held the usual 
cordial to his 
lips, raising the 
frail body gently, 
as though the 
spirit within had 
done him no 
wrong. 

"Well — we 

quarrelled — and 

y parted — went 

our different 

ways. Then I got ill. Money had come ; 

although I dared not publish as the author 

of ' Tried in the Furnace ' ; still my work 

sold, but it was too late. I have never seen 

her — again — but now I want her to come 

before I die — I know where she is." 

" What do you want me to do ? " 

" Write for me, just a line, will you ? Say 

Julius Hatton is dying — say I shall live to 

see her if she comes at once. Only, if she 

had that look in her eyes — if she knew and 



THE SECRET OF JULIUS HATTON. 



301 



condemned — I could not bear it ; promise 
that you will not betray me. Let me die 
quietly, looking in her face — seeing her smile 
— assured that she will never know." 

" Never ! " said Winterden. He thought 
his passion must have betrayed itself even 
in the single word. 

" Oh, perhaps hereafter, if there be one. 
That is beyond you and me — but can't you 
understand that I desire she should think 
well of me as long as possible ? — remember 
only that I loved her. Death atones for so 
much." 

"Yes." 

" You will write at once ? You will find 



and a miniature, a delicately -tinted photograph 
in a frame of carved ivory. 

He had kept nothing ; not a line of her 
writing, nothing to remind him of that which 
he had lost. He looked so long and so 
intently at the well-known face that Hatton 
grew restless. 

" You are going to write ? " he said. 

" Yes, I am going to write." 

The other gave a sigh of relief. " She 
will surely com 2," he muttered. He was 
exhausted with the excitement of memory, 
the effort of speech, and now lay perfectly 
still. 

Wniterden went over to the table, and, 




■ HE LOOKED LONG AND INTENTLY AT THE WELL-KNOWN FACE. 



the address there in my pocket-book, with 
the portrait — I did not give that back." 

"Yes, I will write." 

" And my secret, you will keep my 
secret ? " 

" What have I to do with your secret? It 
is no affair of mine." 

The dim eyes stared at him uneasily : — 

" You strong, conscientious people can be 
very hard — perhaps you have never been 
tempted ; but still, give me the pocket- 
book." 

Winterden complied. He did not say 
how well he knew the address of Clothilde 
d'Alton. 

Presently he held in his hands a short 
note, a mere formal invitation to dinner, 
addressed from the house in Cadogan Square, 



with the portrait before him, 
wrote a few formal lines : — 

"Dear Mrs. D'Alton, — I 
am writing to you by the re- 
quest of Julius Hatton. He 
has been lying at this hotel for 
some months seriously ill, and 
is most anxious to see you. 
To make you more inclined to 
grant his request, perhaps, I 
should tell you that I believe it to be that of 
a dying man. If you decide to come, come 
at once. 

"Yours very sincerely, 

" J. Brownlow Winterden." 
He folded, inclosed, and addressed the letter, 
and then sat for awhile staring into the fire. 

When his vigil was at an end, and the 
nurse came to relieve him at the turn of the 
night, the papers which contained his justifi- 
cation were still in his possession. He had 
given no definite proniise to Julius Hatton, 
and he could not assure himself that he had 
no right to this means of tardy vindication 
which had fallen into his hands. 

If it were his own welfare alone that was 
concerned, perhaps honour would have coun- 
selled further endurance ; but Hatton had 



302 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



assured him that the love of Clothilde still 
belonged to John Brownlow. Was she, too, 
to be sacrificed ? Let the issues of this 
crisis be worked out ; for the present, he 
would retain the proofs of his position. 

His letter to Clothilde was sent by the 
first post, and after the hour at which he 
calculated it would be delivered in town, he 
watched in anxious expectation for a telegram. 
None came; the afternoon wore into evening; 
the sick man grew restless and feverish, ask- 
ing constantly for news. 

Winterden could not keep away from the 
room ; he felt drawn by a sort of fascination 
to the presence of the man who had wronged 
him, and who, to satisfy the cravings of his 
self-love, was ready to die with a lie upon his 
soul. Such a nature was to him a curious 
study, and in its presence he felt he could 
better estimate his own possible lines of 
action. Could he pierce the soul of this poor 
weakling in the hour of parting, or should he 
let him play out his pitiful part to the end, 
and unfold the truth to Clothilde across a 
dead body ? 

Either alternative was sufficiently painful. 
How would she regard an explanation vouched 
for by a confession stolen from the dead ? 
Although he had long ceased to blame her, 
he could not help realizing now what infinite 
pain might have been spared by a more 
perfect trust. 

As a third and last course, was he to allow 
things to drift, keep silence, and bear the 
odium of another man's wrong-doing, and her 
condemnation, until the end ? 

He looked out the trains, and saw that it 
was possible she might arrive about nine 
o'clock ; the letter might not have reached 
her immediately. Then he busied himself in 
making preparations for heV comfort. He 
could not think, provided she was in town, 
that she would risk the delay of a night. 
Hatton had changed rapidly during the last 
twenty-four hours ; it was doubtful whether 
the morning would find him conscious. 

It was nearly ten o'clock when he was told 
that Mrs. D'Alton had arrived, and would 
like to see him. He found her, already 
divested of her bonnet and travelling cloak, 
awaiting him in the room he had engaged for 
her. She was standing near the fire, a tall, 
straight figure, clad simply in a dark gown. 
Any awkwardness that he might have feared, 
or any hopes he had entertained from the 
meeting, were at once set aside as she came 
forward a few paces to greet him. She was 
perfectly self-possessed, and had entirely taken 
the position into her own hands. 



" I have to thank you, Mr. Winterden, for 
sending for me, and for making the necessary 
arrangements for my comfort. I left town 
immediately I received your letter. I am 
not too late ? " 

" No ; Mr. Hatton is still conscious, but 
you must be prepared ; he has sunk very 
rapidly during the day." 

" Shall I go to him at once ? " 

" If you wish it, but ought you not to rest, 
to take some refreshment ? " 

" I feel neither tired nor hungry. I should 
like to see him as soon as possible." 

" If you will allow me, I will take you to 
his room/' 

He had a strong wish that they three 
should meet face to face ; to see if any idea, 
any consciousness of the truth would force 
itself upon either of the two others con- 
cerned. 

She hesitated — 

" I am giving you a great deal of trouble. 
Is there no one else ? " 

"Only the nurse. If you will allow me, 
it is no trouble. I am constantly with him : I 
left him, in fact, to come to you." 

She signed her assent, and he led the way 
with a somewhat elaborate exaggeration of 
the cold politeness of her manner. The 
irony of the situation supplied him with a 
cynicism which no suffering had hitherto 
been able to evoke. He saw her stand 
beside the dying bed of Julius Hatton, and 
take the wasted hand in hers, while a smile 
of boyish gladness stole over the sick man's 
face. 

"You have come — thank you — and not, 
as I dreamed, in anger. Now I shall carry 
the memory of your sweetness through 
death." 

She sat down beside him, and, his hand 
still in hers, he seemed to sleep. Winterden 
stole out of the room. When he returned 
an hour later she was still there ; Hatton had 
hardly moved. 

" It is time you went to rest," he said, with 
some authority. " Can you withdraw your 
hand without disturbing him ? " 

" Thank you, I will remain. He is sleep- 
ing so quietly." 

" He might drift away in that sleep," he 
whispered. 

" Then I shall be with him to the last. 
You do not understand. I feel I have 
wronged him. It is not much to make this 
small atonement." 

" You — wronged him I " 

"Yes, I was glad of his sympathy; his half 
boyish enthusiasm comforted me. Then he 



\ 



THE SECRET OF JULIUS IJATTON. 



Z^Z 



gave me his love, and I, having nothing to — you look worn out," she said, with a sudden 

offer in return, threw it aside." access of womanly pity. 

" And now ? " Hatton was watching them ; he made a 

" And now — I love him — I am so sorry sign for Winterden to approach. 

for him," she said, simply. 

" And you have no pity for me ? You 

still believe that I did that thing ? " 




HE SAW HER STAND BESIDE THE DYING BED OK JULIUS HATTON. 



" You have never shown me that you did 
not," she said, uneasily. " I told Julius the 
whole story. He agreed with me that the 
facts seemed beyond doubt. But he saw, or 
fancied that he saw, that I had not forgotten 
you, and so, through you, I have lost him also. 
You have robbed me of everything." 

Hatton moved, and opened wide the 
grey eyes in which vision seemed already 
growing dim. They travelled restlessly from 
one to the other of the two faces at his side, 
and he appeared anxious to speak. Clothilde 
leaned down towards him, but at that moment 
the doctor entered to pay a final visit, and 
the words were left unsaid. 

" He may last till the morning," was the 
verdict given to Winterden in the corridor a 
quarter of an hour later. " He is conscious 
now, but if there are any further requests or 
wishes to be attended to " 

Winterden went back to the room and 
whispered this report to Mrs. D'Alton. The 
tears rose to her eyes. 

" How thankful I am that I did not delay 
— at least, now, I can remain with him to the 
end." Then she caught sight of Winterden's 
face. It looked almost more drawn and 
_than that upon the bed. " But you 



" Good-night, John." 

Winterden hesitated a moment ; then laid 
his hand upon the feeble one that was 
carrying his life in its grasp. The eyes of 
the two men met, in quick revelation, almost 
mutual prayer — and Winterden gathered that 
Hatton knew him and still trusted to his for- 
bearance. So he read that last look. 

He turned away in silence and went to his 
own room. There he put the leaves of the 
diary upon the fire, and pressed them down 
among the embers, till nothing of the paper 
remained but a few black ashes ; then he lay 
down upon his bed ; and, after a time, fell 
asleep, for he was physically, as well as 
mentally, wearied. 

About six o'clock the nurse came to 
his door with a message. Hatton was 
dead : he had passed away in sleep quite 
tranquilly. 

A few hours later, Winterden sent a note 
to Clothilde to inquire if he could be of any 
further service. The answer was that she 
intended returning to town by the twelve 
o'clock train, but would he speak with her 
first ? He went at once. She met him, he 
thought, with a little more kindliness ; and 
this he attributed to the presence of death. 



304 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Her face showed signs of tears. They spoke 
quietly about the needful arrangements, and 
she expressed a wish to put a small stone 
cross upon the grave. Winterden promised 
to give the order. 

" When you return to town, will you come 
and see me and tell me about it ? " she said. 

" I am thinking of going abroad again, but 
I will write." 

" As you will ; but I wish to say that I 
regret having spoken so harshly last night. 
The irrevocableness of death makes one 
feel that one 
should be more 
gentle in one's " "^ 

judgments.--- 
Could we not be 
friends ? " \ . . ^ 

" That is im- 
possible. You 
require proofs, 
and I have none 
to give. Doubt 
is incompatible 
with friendship." 

" Yet, pro;nise 
me that you 
will not leave 
England with- 
out communicat- 
ing with me." 

" I will attend 
to your wishes 
about the grave, 
and. write to 
you." 

C 1 o t h i 1 d e 
turned away. 

All these 
months she had 
been learning 
that doubt, if in- 
compatible with 
friendship, is not 
always incom- 
patible with love. 
An hour later 
she had left for 

town ; but Winterden remained to see that 
the last rites were decently rendered to 
Julius Hatton, and to arrange for the carry- 
ing-out of Clothilde's wish with regard to 
his grave. He told himself that he did 
this merely because he would have been 
ashamed of the heartlessness and cruelty 
implied by a different course. 

He found that there was money in hand 
sufficient for the needful expenses ; the 
balance, a very small sum, went, together 




HE I'UT THE LEAVES OF THE DIARY UPON THE FIRE 



with the personal effects of the dead man, to 
his heir-at-law, the brother in India of whom 
he had spoken as his sole near relation. 

So soon as he was free, John Winterden 
started for Algiers ; he spent nearly fifteen 
months in wandering, but the spring of the 
second year after Hatton's death found him 
again in London. 

The question of the memorial cross once 
settled, there had been no further intercourse 
between himself and Clothilde d' Alton ; but 
he heard of her occasionally, knew that she 

was still unmar- 
ried, and longed 
intensely to see 
her again. Still, 
he told himself 
that unless her 
heart prompted 
his full and un- 
questioned ac- 
([uittal, they 
must meet as 
comparative 
strangers. 

He had been 
in town about a 
fortnight, when 
he was startled 
to see in the 
papers the an- 
nouncement of a 
new work by the 
author of " Tried 
in the Furnace," 
To whom could 
this posthumous 
production of 
Julius Hatton's 
writings be due ? 
Possibly he had 
left MSS. in the 
hands of his pub- 
lishers at the 
time of his 
death, which 
were only now 
given to the 
In that case, unless the embargo of 
secrecy were removed, this stirring of the 
memory of a half-forgotten scandal was hardly 
likely to benefit his, John Winterden's, 
position. 

He bought a copy of the book, and found 
it inferior in matter and style ; it struck him 
as juvenile work resuscitated, and likely 
rather to damage the memory of the author 
than otherwise. The reviews were not yet 
out. 



world. 



^■^ 



THE SECRET OF JULIUS HATTON. 



305 



Within the week he met Mrs. D'Alton at 
dinner, their first encounter since his return. 
He scarcely saw her, however, until they 
were seated at the table. The party was a 
large one, and he arrived rather late. Then, 
however, he found that she occupied the 
place almost opposite his own, and that she 
had been assigned to the care of a man 
whose face seemed strangely familiar, although 
he could not at the moment recall the place 
or manner of their meeting. The stranger 
had the look of a soldier, recently returned 
from foreign service. Mrs. D'Alton seemed 
deeply interested in his conversation, and 
scarcely aware of Winterden's presence, who 
covertly watching the pair became gradually 
conscious that the haunting familiarity of the 
man's face was due to a certain likeness of 
feature and expression to Julius Hatton, 
oddly disguised by a long moustache. 

During the second course one of those in- 
explicable pauses occurred which leave to 
one unfortunate speaker the attention of the 
whole table. 

" by the author of ' Tried in 

the Furnace ' : who can it be ? " 

These were the words that fell upon the 
silence. Evidently the matter under discus- 
sion had been the authorship of Julius 
Hatton's last book. One or two persons at 
the table knew the subject to be an awkward 
one in the presence of Mrs. D'Alton, and 
would have rushed in to cover the mishap, 
but her neighbour leaned forward and spoke 
clearly. 

" Don't you know ? " he said. " Why, my 
brother, Julius Hatton, wrote that book ; it's 
hard he shouldn't have some of the fame now 
he's dead, poor fellow. He was too modest, I 
suppose, in his life." 

People at the other end of the table tried 
to talk hurriedly, the hostess turned to her 
neighbour with a remark upon a new play, 
but in the immediate group round the speaker 
there was still silence. 

" I was in India, you know," went on 
Colonel Hatton, turning innocently to Mrs. 
D'Alton; " in fact, I should not have returned 
now but for being invalided, and I only 
discovered the poor lad's secret by some 
shorthand notes, verbatim of the most telling 
parts of the book, which I found in an old 
box of MSS. Then I had an interview with 
the publishers, who confirmed my suspicions. 
There is no doubt, but I wonder he did not 
tell you,^'' he added, in a lower tone. 

The buzz of general conversation had re- 
commenced before the sentence was con- 
cluded. Winterden could scarcely catch the 

Vol. ix.— 40. 



last words, but Clothilde's face had grown 
white as the damask upon which her eyes 
were fixed as though she would never again 
dare to raise them. Fearful of adding to her 
embarrassment, he hardly dared again to 
glance in her direction during ■ dinner, and 
when, later, he entered the drawing-room, she 
was on the point of leaving. She held out 
her hand to him as she passed : — 

" Will you come to see me tO;morrow ? I 
shall be at home till luncheon." Her eyes 
were almost imploring. 

" Most certainly I will." 

The hours that intervened before he could 
carry out his promise dragged slowly for John 
Winterden ; being spent chiefly in utterly 
futile speculation. 

How would Clothilde receive him — what 
was her object in asking him to come ? 
Would she hold him finally acquitted without 
further explanation, or did she want merely 
to question him? Surely, she could hardly 
suspect him of deeper complicity in this 
miserable affair. 

He arrived at the house in Cadogan Square 
about noon, and on being announced found 
her standing near the middle of the room, 
evidently expectant. He guessed that she 
had been pacing the length of it, as was her 
habit when excited or restless ; her im- 
petuosity was not yet cured. 

It was not, however, until they were both 
seated that she found words for the question 
uppermost in her mind. 

" You heard what Colonel Hatton said last 
night?" / 

" I did."/ 

" Was it news to you ? " 

" No. I had been aware of it for some 
time." 

" Since when ? Do you mind telling me ? " 

" Since the night on which I wrote for you 
to come to Brighton." 

" Well, I have something to tell you. 
Julius Hatton asked me, that last night, if 
you, John Winterden, were the Jack Brown- 
low I used to speak of. He overheard us 
talking." 

" Yes, and what then ? " 

" He became terribly agitated, evidently he 
had no idea of your identity. Later on, he 
seemed anxious to tell me something, but 
he could not make me understand. It was 
such a little while before the end. I think 
now that he wanted to repair the wrong he 
had done you, for I gather that you and he 
had never met, never had any intercourse, 
until you met at Brighton." 

" Never. I had never heard of Julius 



3o6 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Hatton until I heard of him as engaged 
to you." 

"How, then" — their eyes met — "how, 
then, did he read my letters ? " she said, 
below her breath. 

" Are you sure that he did read them ? " 

" Would you have me believe that the 
whole thing was a coincidence ? " 

" I cannot say what I would have you 
believe, except that I had nothing to do 
with it." 

" But you know the truth ? " 

He shifted his position uneasily. 

" You have known it ever since that night ? " 



Still he did not answer. 

She looked at him for a moment, steadily, 
wonderingly ; then she crossed the room and 
laid her hand upon his arm. 

"Jack!" 

He looked up at her. 

" Of what use is it ? " he said ; " he is 
dead." 

" How can I ever forgive myself? " 

" Don't try, dear ; let us forget all about it. 
Will you have your ring back ? I have 
brought it in the hope — — " 

She let him take in his the hand that had 
rested upon his arm. 




How Explosives are Made. 

By William G. FitzGerald. 




N writing to a Government 
Department for assistance in 
iterary matters, there is a 
deliglitful uncertainty. You 
may be refused — let down 
gently, it is true^but still 
refused. The refusal, on the other hand, 
may be chilling, or even severely aggressive. 
If the reply is none of these, it surely 
contains official assent — formal, gracious, 
comprehensive. Such was the letter sent by 
Dr. AV. Anderson, Her Majesty's Director- 
General of Ordnance Factories, in answer to 
our application for official permission to visit 
the famous Royal Gunpowder Factory, whose 
main gate is almost 
under the shadow of 
the ugly Norman 
tower of Waltham 
Abbey. 

Here, indeed, is 
the most extra- 
ordinary factory in 
the world. Factory 
is quite a misnomer 
applied to this lovely 
and picturesque 
domain. The estab- 
lishment consists of 
about four hundred 
acres of wooded land, 
intersected by four 
miles of crystal 
streams, which would 
fill the angler's heart 
with delight. 

As a matter of fact, 
the place was bought 
by the Government, 
in 1787, from John 
Walton, a direct de- 
scendant of the im- 
mortal Izaak ; and 
the name of the 

former may yet be seen inscribed on a sun- 
dial in the quadrangle near the office of the 
superintendent. Colonel Ormsby. This sun- 
dial, by the way, is robbed of much of its 
quaint and picturesque nature by eight big 
shells, which are symmetrically arranged 
about the base, and' which, we need hardly 
say, are not described in any work on con- 
chology. 




It goes without saying that Waltham has its 
stirring and exciting moments. Quite apart 
from the fact that the vast powder factory is, 
to put it mildly, a continual menace to the 
local public peace, there are a surprising 
number of h:<^reams about the place, which 
overflow in wL:;ter, and occasionally compel 
the inhabitants to go a-punting down High 
Bridge Street. 

Nevertheless, Waltham is a pretty town ; 
and, as one turns off from the main street 
into tlie lane leading to the principal entrance 
of the factory, one cannot help admiring the 
pastoral scenes of woodland and meadow, 
which render it difficult to believe that the 
most dangerous in- 
dustry in the world 
is carried on within 
a few hundred yards. 
Passing in at the gate 
we beheld an avenue 
of stately poplars, at 
the end of which the 
Union Jack floated 
proudly from a flag- 
staff This gave rise 
to a train of thought 
from which we were 
rudely aroused by a 
sharp challenge from 
the inspector of police. 
We were then re- 
quested to enter the 
police quarters, where 
we were plied with 
(juestions as to our 
lousiness, and whether 
we possessed any 
matches, pipes, or 
steel implements. 
Then we turned out 
our pockets, just as 
Lord Sandhurst had 
to do when he 
visited the factory for the purpose of opening 
the hospital. In fact, all comers, from the 
Prince of Wales down to the humblest factory 
lad, are interrogated by the police at the gate 
with a strict regard for duty that reminded us 
of certain anecdotes in our school - books. 
Our illustration (No. i) shows one of the 
sergeants of police searching the men at the 
main gate. 



sol 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



The gallant colonel assured us that the 
way was long, and therefore it would be 
better for us to set off on our personally 
conducted tour at once. He was right. The 
buildings seemed to be scattered far and 
wide, as though it were the primary intention 
of the authorities to occupy every available 
square foot of land, ^^'e walked miles ; we 
plunged into thickets, crossed innumerable 
streams, and occasionally glided from one 
building to another in a swift electric launch, 
the panting of whose screw scared 
the birds and rabbits that abound 
in this extraordinary place. 

But we must commence ab initio. 
The first place we visited — and we 
were calm and appreciative then, 
not knowing the extent of the 
appalling task that lay before us — 
was the saltpetre refinery shown in 
No. 2. To the right in the photo- 
graph is Mr. Knowler, the " father 
of the factory," as he is called from 
the fact of his forty-three years' 
service. The saltpetre comes from. 
Scinde in bags of loolb., and in 
this state it contains about 5 per 
cent, of impurities. It is dissolved 
in large quantities in water heated 
to 230 degrees, and, after careful skim- 
ming, the solution is pumped into the 
coolers shown in No. 2. The saltpetre crystal- 
lizes in these coolers, and is then raked from 
the bottom in the form of wet snow, which is 
piled up, and subsequently undergoes a wash- 



ing process by means of a continuous stream 
of water. There are four refining coppers 
and seven evaporating pots in the refining- 
room. The saltpetre is ultimately sent to the 
mixing- house in barrels, with a certificate 
showing that it contains between 3 and 6 
per cent, of water. The saltpetre refuse is 
bought by farmers for from 8s. to 12 s. per 
ton. We next called at the sulphur refinery 
(Illus. No. 3), but found it almost impossible 
to breathe within its evil-smelling precincts. 








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NO. 2. — THE SALTPETRE REFINERY. 



NO. 3. — THE SULPHUR REFINERY. 

As regards the worthy man we found there, he 
was as unconcerned as though he were in- 
haling the ozone on Brighton Pier ; more, he 
proceeded to give us, out of the fulness of 
his twenty-six years' experience, a few details 
concerning his own department in quite a 

graphic manner. 
Six hundredweight 
and a half of 
Sicilian sulphur is 
shot into the retort, 
seen to the right 
in the picture, and 
after it has re- 
mained there about 
three hours it 
passes in vapour 
from the retort^ 
through cold-water 
jacketed pipes, into 
the receiving-pot, 
where it arrives in 
a treacly mass. 
Our friend is seen 
ladling this viscous 
matter into the 
casting tubs, in 
which it is left for 
about eighteen 
hours. Next morn- 



HOW EXPLOSIVES ARE MADE. 



309 



ing these tubs are emptied, and out of each 
comes two hundredweight of purified sulphur, 
which resembles a monstrous custard. This 
also goes to the mixing-room, after having 
been ground in the sulphur mill. 

There remains 
one other con- 
stituent of powder 
to be investigated 
— namely, char- 
coal. Why, we 
asked, are there 
such extensive 
groves and forests 
of willow, dog- 
wood, and alder 
within the bound- 
aries of this 
strangest of fac- 
tories? Onereason 
is that the wood is 
converted into 
charcoal; and an- 
other, that a dense 
growth of trees 
serves to locate the 
effects of a possible 
explosion. 

No. 4 is a view 
of the wood stacks, many of which are from 
three to ten years old. 

Now let us see what these workmen are 
going to do with the seasoned branches they 
are loading on to the trolley. 

No. 5 is a view of the charcoal-room. 
The wood is placed in the cylindrical 



drums, and the latter are then run into 
furnaces shaped to receive them, by means 
of travelling cranes. After from three to 
eight hours of very great heat, during which 
time the very gases from the burning wood 





NO. 5. — MAKING CHARCOAL 



NO. 4. — THE WOOD STACKS. 

are utilized as fuel in the furnace below^, the 
drums are withdrawn and their contents shot 
into air-tight iron vessels to cool for four 
hours. The charcoal is subsequently removed 
to smaller coolers, where it remains another 
twelve hours, after which it is taken by boat 
to the store. Here it remains for a day or 

two before being 
picked over' by 
hand, in order to 
see that there are 
no nails or pieces 
of iron in it. The 
responsibility of 
this last-mentioned 
W'Ork may be 
judged when we 
state that, if the 
smallest particle 
of gritty matter of 
any sort is inad- 
vertently passed 
over, it infallible 
means an awful 
explosion and cer- 
tain loss of life. 

The sulphur is 
ground so as to 
pass through a 
sieve having 36 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



openings to the square inch ; the charcoal 
is passed through a mesh 32 to the inch. 
Now we are ready for the mixing - room. 
Of this strange place it was impossible to 
obtain a photograph, owing to the dark- 
ness that prevailed. Grimy men flitted 
through an almost tangible gloom ; and in 
one corner an expert was weighing up the 
saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal in parts of 




which revolve two enormous wheels, each 
weighing four tons. 

Into this bed is shot the contents of the 
half-charge sack brought from the mixing- 
house. A wooden " plough " is then fixed 
from the centre, so as to keep the powder 
continually under the rollers, and then all is 
ready for starting the machinery. Even in 
this stage the mixture is highly inflammable, 
and therein lies the raison 
d'etre of the '' flash-board," 
which is seen over the bed. 
In the event of an ex- 
plosion, either through the 
wheels meeting with gritty 
particles in the mixture, or 
from other causes, this 
board would be violently 
thrown upwards on hinges, 
and in its descent back- 
wards would automatically 
overturn tanks of water, not 
merely on to its own bed, 
but also on the beds of its 
working neighbours, who 
might otherwise be tempted 
to join in the riot. 

Indeed, the risk is so 
great, that in order to 



NO. 6. — INCORrORATliN'G MILLS : EXTKRIOR VIEW. 

75, 10, and 15 respectively. For powder for 
big guns, however, the proportions are 79, 
3, and 18. These constituents were shot 
into a revolving drum fitted with blades 
inside. The mixture is afterwards packed in 
half-charge sacks of 6olb. and sent to the 
incorporating mill — the first of the " danger 
buildings." 

In No. 6 is shown a set of incorporating 
mills, which are built in groups of six, and 
are worked by independent machinery. Ex- 
cept for the division walls, these mills are 
constructed of the flimsiest material possible, 
the roof being of wood, and the fronts 
of canvas, buttoned on to a slight iron 
framework ; this is in order that no resistance 
may be offered to a possible explosion. It 
will be noticed that the arms of the danger 
signals are raised, in order to show that the 
mills are working ; when these signals are up, 
no barrow or truck-load of powder, in any 
stage whatsoever, is allowed to pass by the 
mills. Yet the interior of any one of the 
incorporating mills is not calculated to strike 
awe or terror into the heart of the visitor. 
As will be seen from No. 7, there is nothing 
in the place but a big, circular iron bed, round 




NO. 7. — INCORPORATING MILL: INTERIOR. 



HOU^ EXPLOSIVES ARE MADE. 



311 



start the incorporating mill, the operator 
prudently draws down the flaps of his cloth 
helmet, puts on his gauntlets, and retires 
outside, as is shown in No. 8. The man is 



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NO. 8. — STARTING THE INCORPORATING MILL. 

clothed in a suit of " lasting " — that curious 
leathery material affected by the London 
apprentices in the days of Queen Elizabeth. 
There are no pockets in 
this suit, and the buttons 
are of bone ; no powder 
adheres to this material. 
The men are even for- 
bidden to cultivate long 
beards, lest perhaps these 
hirsute appendages should 
contain particles of grit, 
harmless enough in them- 
selves, but more deadly 
than cholera bacilli when 
introduced into a powder 
mill. 

After being three and a 
half hours beneath the in- 
corporating rollers, the mix- 
ture becomes " mill-cake," 
and is removed in covered 
trucks to the breaking-down 
house. This building, in 
common with most of tlie other danger 
buildings, is lighted at night by electric 
lamps, immersed in water, and placed 
.'ctbide the windows. In the breaking- 



down house the mill-cake is placed in a 
hopper, drawn up on an endless band, and 
crushed into meal powder by two pairs of 
gun-metal rollers. Only twelve charges of 
i2olb. each are allowed in this house at one 
time. 

The next department is the press-house, 
an exterior view of which is shown in No. 9. 
The machine-house is on the left, and the 
men's retiring-room on the right. Between 
these two buildings is placed the " traverse," 
a mighty mass of masonry, concrete, and 
earth, which is intended to protect the 
workmen ; these latter are compelled to 
remain in the lobbies while the machinery is 
in motion. In the press-house one of the 
most dangerous operations takes place. 
Copper plates are fixed in a rack in a huge 
iron box, and about 75olb. of meal powder 
is strewn between them. A hydraulic ram of 
from 6t, to 500 tons pressure is then brought 
to bear upon the plates for half an hour, 
during which time the men are congregated 
in the shoe-room on the other side of the 
traverse. It is no exaggeration to say that 
there is an awful uncertainty about this 
operation. 

A bell rings when the pressure gauge 
reaches a certain point, and the men then 
return to the machine-room and remove the 
" press-cake," as it is now called, from the 
plates. The regulations caution the men 
against "undue haste" in removing the cake, 
and the authorities have thoughtfully provided 




THE I'KESS-HOUSE, SHOWING TRAVERSE, 



deep wells outside each danger building, into 
which men who have been badly burnt may 
plunge. No more than goolb. of powder 
may be kept in the press-house at one 



312 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



time. No. 9 also shows a covered powder boat 
on the left. There are thirty-six of these boats 
altogether, and no one is allowed to go over 
a bridge while one of them is passing beneath, 
lest any dirt or grit should fall upon the 
immaculate deck. 

The press-house is 
the parting of the ways, 
so to speak, of the 
various kinds of 
powder, which are 
made from press-cake 
treated in different 
ways. For pebble 
powder the press-cake 
—which, by the way, 
resembles thick black 
slate — is cut into strips, 
and these strips are 
further cut into " y% 
cubes." The rest of 
the cake is reduced 
to coarse powder by 
three pairs of gradu- 
ated rollers. 

All sorts of fear- 
some notices and cau- 
tions abound in the 
retiring-room of the 
press-house, which is 
depicted in No. 10. A 
rigorous line of demarcation s formed by an 
upright board, before passing which every 
visitor, from the Government inspector down- 
wards, is compelled to put on a pair of enor- 
mous boots over his own. In No. 10 the chief 
foreman is seen 
undergoing this 
operation. This 
precaution is taken 
in order that no 
gritty particles may 
be introduced on 
to the soft leather 
floor of the danger 
buildings. Having 
put on these boots, 
you shuffle shame- 
facedly round the 
traverse to the 
machine-room. We 
say shamefacedly 
advisedly, for we 
defy any man to 
walk a dozen yards 
in these safety- 
boots and yet 
maintain a sem- 
blance of dignity. 




NO. 10. — ENTERING A DANGER 151IILUING. 



The glazed and granulated powder (the 
dust from which has been removed by 
another process and sent back to the incor- 
porating mills) is now ready for moulding 
into prisms for the built-up charges used in 
big guns. The in- 
terior of the moulding- 
room is shown in No. 
II. Coarse -grained 
powder is fed into 
the compartments of 
the wheeled tray to 
the right, and it is 
then pushed under 
the hydraulic press, 
which has correspond- 
ing plungers. The 
hexagonal prisms 
emerge in batches of 
sixty-four, or 13,000 
per day. To the left 
in our photograph 
(No. 11) a skilled 
workman is seen 
weighing a specimen 
from each batch in air 
and mercury. And "if 
the scale do turn (liter- 
ally) but in the esti- 
mation of a hair," the 
whole batch is rejected. 
In the drying-rooms, ordinary grain powder 
is left for from one to three hours ; pebble 
powder, however, takes from twenty-four to 
forty hours to dry, and S.B.C. (" slow burning 
cocoa"), for iio-ton guns, about sixty hours. 




NO. II. — THE MOULDING-liOO.M. 



BOIV EXPLOSIVES ARE MADE. 



Z^Z 




NO. 12. — A POWDER BARGE. 



The last - mentioned powder is proved in 
iiin. guns with a charge of 3601b., and 
gives a muzzle velocity of from 2,010ft. to 
2,050ft. per second. Finished powder of all 



of each kind are blended so as to give uni- 
formity, and the powder is then conveyed to 
Purfleet and Woolwich in special barges, 
which fly a red flag and can be sunk in five 
minutes. One of these craft, together with a 
typical view of the Waltham Abbey establish- 
ment, is shown in No. 12. 

Altogether there are about 900 men em- 
ployed in the factory, and the annual wages 
bill comes nigh unto ^^70,000. One thou- 
sand four hundred tons of saltpetre are 
stocked; 100 tons of sulphur; and enough 
wood to make 40,000 barrels of powder. 
The annual consumption of coal ranges from 
8, coo to 10,000 tons. Very significant is the 
photograph we reproduce (No. 13), It 
shows the interior of the little hospital opened 
by Lord Sandhurst quite recently. The 
hospital stands close to one of the myriad 
streams that intersect the vast grounds of the 
factory, and is intended solely for the benefit 
of injured workmen. By the way, it seems 
strange that, in spite of innumerable pre- 
cautions and all that science can do, frightful 
explosions should take place — explosions as 
disastrous as they are inexplicable. Truly, 
these grave, quiet men, who are turning out 
by day and by night material for the defence 
of our country, " know not the day nor the 
hour." 

Let us now turn to the manufacture of 
cordite, that new and terrible explosive which 
eminent experts tell us will increase a 
hundredfold the carnage on the battle-field of 



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NO. 13. -INTERIOR OF THE HOSPITAL. 



sorts is sent to the splendidly-fitted labora- 
tory to undergo various tests ; it is then 
proved in the guns at the butts attached to 
the establishment. Finally, large quantities 



Vol. ix.— 41. 



the next European war in which we are 
engaged. The following facts attest the 
tremendous power of this explosive : The 
charge of ordinary black powder for the 



314 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



service rifle is 70 
grains, and tliis 
gives a muzzle 
velocity of 1,850ft. 
per second. A 
cordite charge of 
30 grains gives a 
velocity of 2,000ft. 
Again, the powder 
charge for the 
1 2 -pounder gun 
is 41b., while the 
cordite charge for 
the same weapon 
is i5^oz. ; and 
the latter gives far 
better results. 

As cordite is 
primarily founded 
on gun-cotton, we 
first visited the 
picking - room, 
under the cour- 
teous guidance of 

Captain Nathan, the cordite superintendent. 
In No. 14 the girls are seen picking over the 
cotton waste, which comes from the Man- 
chester spinning mills in hundredweight bales, 
and costs about ^30 per ton. It will be seen 
that the connection between peaceful trade 
and this formidable explosive is as close as it 
is curious. The stuff is picked carefully, in 
order that fragments of wood, rope, wire, and 
rag may be removed. The cotton waste is 
then thrown on to a powerful teasing machine, 
which rends and tears its fibre ; after this 





-THE WEIGHING AND UKV1M_ 



NO. 14. — PICKING COTTON FOR CORDITE. 



it is cut up by another machine, and 
then it passes on an endless band into a 
drying -room heated to 180 degrees. The 
cotton is then weighed up into lots of 
ij4^1b., and each lot is placed in a tin 
cooling box ; these operations are shown in 
No. 15. After twenty-four hours, the lots, or 
charges, are ready for dipping. Each dipping 
pan contains 22olb. of mixed acid — three 
parts of sulphuric and one of nitric acid. 
The operator simply throws the dry cotton 
into the acid and leaves it there for about 

five minutes, dur- 
ing which time 
each charge of 
i^lb. will have 
absorbed 13}^ lb. 
of acid. 

The workman 
now takes his im- 
plements from the 
cold water in 
which they sire 
kept immersed, 
for fear that re- 
peated contact 
with the acid 
should corrode 
them, and he pro- 
ceeds to remove 
the saturated 
cotton from the 
ba:h or pan. As 
will be seen from 
No. 16, he has an 



IIOJV EXPLOSn'ES ARE MADE. 



315 




^0. 16. — I HE IMl'I'INO lANks. 



earthenware pot ready to receive the charge. 
The earthenware vessels containing the 
charges are then allowed to stand in shallow 
water for some little time. No. 17 is a 
general view of the cooling tanks, with the 
dipping baths in the background. 

From the earthenware vessels the cotton is 
shot into a centrifugal machine, wliirling round 



at a speed of 1,200 revolutions a minute. 
In a very short time the cotton is compara- 
tively dry ; and the waste acid removed 
by the machine is allowed for by a contractor. 
The next operation is the washing of the 
cotton in a wooden tank full of water, 
which is agitated by a revolving bladed wheel. 
When the foreman thinks this washing has 
gone on long enough, he tastes the cotton, 
and if no flavour of acid remains, it is taken 
out by a man who wades in in big boots. 
The water is wrung out and the cotton is 
then removed to the vat-house, where it is 
boiled in monstrous vats for four or five days. 
Each vat holds about i8c\vt. of cotton ; and 
the interior of this department is shown in 
No. 18. 

From the vats the long-suffering cotton 
comes out like wet oatmeal ; then comes more 
churning and washing, until at length the 
moulding process is reached, and the cotton 
is pressed into big cubes of 2)^ lb. These 
cubes are veritable gun - cotton, and when 
pressed flat and furnished with a dry cylinder 
and a fulminate of mercury detonator, they 
are quite ready for torpedo work. l"he gun- 
cotton press -house, depicted in No. 19, is 
furnished with what is called a protective 
rope mantelet, or wall of rope, such as is 
used in fortifications. 

'J'o make cordite, the dry gun-cotton is 
taken to the nitro-glycerine house, a wholly ex- 
traordinary building, literally buried under a 
mound or hill, and approached by a burrow- 
like, brick-lined passage in the earth. The two 
most dangerous nitro-glycerine houses are 




NO. i;. — Ti;;; cukling tanks. 



3i6 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




NO. l8.— THE BOILING VATS. 



shown in No. 20. Beneath the mound 
on the left is the washing-house : 
the other building to the right is 
the nitrating -house. The dry gun- 
cotton, as we have said, is taken to the 
nitro-glycerine house in boxes, and it 
is there saturated with nitro-glycerine, an 
almost colourless liquid. Should a single 
drop of this fall on the leaden floor, it 
is instantly wiped up with a damp cloth. 
The saturated gun-cotton is now called 
"cordite dough,"and it is taken direct to 
the kneading-house, which is shown in 
No. 21. The men, as may be seen from 
the photograph, wear curious respirators 
as they bend over the sticky mass, 
which gives forth nauseous and deadly 
fumes. When thoroughly kneaded, the 
dough is sent to the incorporating- 
house and placed in drums, which 
have slow revolving screw blades ; this 
mixing process goes on for seven hours. 
The component part<^ of cordite, by the 
way, are as follows : nitro-glycerine 5 7 
parts, gun-cotton 38 parts, and five 
parts of mineral jelly, this latter being 
added three and a half hours after the 



dough or paste has been in the incor- 
porating machine. Acetone is also 
added in quantities of 151b, looz. to 
every charge of 751b. One of the final 
operations takes place in the moulding- 
house. There i^lb. of cordite paste 
is pressed and moulded ; the mould 
and its contents are then placed in 
another machine, and, to the amaze- 
ment of the onlooker, out comes 
2,000ft. of what looks like brown 
twine, with a diameter of •o375in. This 
is finished cordite, and it is wound 
upon a reel. For 6in. quick-firers, 
cordite with a diameter of "31^ is 
turned out, and as it emerges from the 
machine it is cut into i4in. lengths. 

No. 22 shows the interesting opera- 
tion of "ten-stranding." Ten reels 
of cordite, just as they come from the 
machine, are fixed in a rack (the lad 
in our illustration is about to fix the 
tenth reel) and are wound simultane- 
ously on to a single reel, the object 
being to secure uniformity of explo- 
siveness. Furthermore, six " ten- 
stranded " reels are afterwards wound 



NO. 19. — THE CORDITE PRESS-HOUSE. 



BOJV EXPLOSIVES ARE MADE. 



317 



upon one, and the 
" sixty-stranded " 
reel is then ready 
to be sent away. 
Minute details as 
to whose hands 
it has passed 
through accom- 
pany each reel ; 
and the end of 
the thread is 
secured with a 
band of webbing. 
Ultimately, the 
cordite is cut into 
little bits and made into bundles for the 
cartridge cases, but this work is not done at 
Waltham. 

A pool adjoining the cordite works is 




-IIIi; xri KO-GLVCEKINE WORKS, 




accumulated in 
the pool that, 
when it came to 
be blown up, the 
result was really 
startling Colonel 
Ormsby, the 
general superin- 
tendent of the 
works, has lent 
us, for reproduc- 
tion, a photo- 
graph (No. 24) 
taken imme- 
diately after this 
particular blowing-up. A glance will reveal 
the tremendous force of the explosion, which 
blew holes 20ft. deep around the pond. 
The testing armoury and proof range are 
at Quinton Hill, but are 
within the boundaries of 
the factory. It is most in- 
teresting to behold the array 
of field artillery and naval 
quick-firers, all clean and 
bright and with a business- 
like appearance. On the 
occasion of our visit, a 
6in. quick-firing gun was 
mounted in a sort of cave 
formed of earth and masonry 
so as to minimize danger 
in case of the weapon 
bursting. Remember, the 
powder is being tested, and 
no one knows what may 
happen. When the gun is 
ready to be fired, every 
person leaves the vicinity; 



-MIXING CORDITE DOUGH. 



show'n in No. 23. Into this 
pool all water from the vari- 
ous nitro-glycerine houses is 
most carefully drained, 
since such water contains 
a certain quantity of nitro- 
glycerine. Every Saturday 
this extraordinary pond is 
blown up by means of a 
dynamite cartridge, in order 
to get rid of the explosive 
matter it contains. After 
the terrible explosion in 
the nitro-glycerine house, 
on the 7th of May, 1894, 
when four men were blown 
to pieces, such a large 
quantity of nitro-glycerine 




NO. 22. — "ten-stranding.' 



3i8 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




-THK SETTLING TOM). 



the electric switch is moved in the instrument- 
room some distance away, and with a terrific 
roar, accentuated by the confined space, 
the gun hurls its projectile 17ft. into the 
sand of the distant butt. A blank cartridge, 
by the way, is first fired so as to warm the 
gun. Standing here, listening to the roar of 
the Waltham quick-firers, which is answered by 
the sharp, crack- 
ling fusillade from 
the Maxims at the 
Enfield Small 
Arms Factory 
close by, it is not 
difficult to imagine 
that a modern 
battle is in pro- 
gress. 

The Royal (am- 
powder Factory 
turns outabout5oo 
tons of cordite 
and 5,ooo,ooolb. 
of black powder 
every year, though 
the output varies 
according to 
orders received. 
For our own part, 
we would far 
sooner work in the 
cordite factory 
than in the powder 
mills, for once the 
dough is mixed, 
cordite is abso- 



lutely safe to handle ; in- 
deed, you might hold a 
piece of it to a lighted 
match without causing any 
excitement : it would 
simply burn. 

When we had concluded 
our tour of inspection, twi- 
light was falling upon the 
woods and streams of this 
strange place. Night-watch- 
men, armed with wonderful 
little electric hand lamps, 
flitted mysteriously here 
and there, and the electric 
lights immersed in water 
outside the windows of the 
danger buildings began to 
glow softly. We passed 
the explosive pond with 
a shudder of nervous ap- 
prehension, and left behind, as speedily as 
possible, the buried nitrating-house, wherein 
scarlet-clad men were manipulating the 
terrible liquid. The tremendous energy that 
lay dormant in every building oppressed us, 
even though that, energy slept behind massive 
traverses and walls loft. thick; so we came 
away. 




NO. 24. — THE I'ONU AFTER AN EXPLOSION. 



Joiimeyings of the Judges. 



By " Kasomo." 



IRCUITING is popularly sup- 
posed to be akin to junketing ; 
but, as a matter of fact, it is 
ofi;en a very serious and sober 
business — especially for the 
prisoners. There is, however, 
much in circuit life that is curious and of 
interest, especially to those to wliom custom 





has not staled the infinite 
variety that presents itself at 
every turn. 

Ancient customs die hard, 
and this is especially true in 
the remoter corners of the 
kingdom. At Oakham, for instance, the lord 
of the manor still exercises the right to 
demand from every peer passing through the 
town the near fore-shoe of his nag ; a demand 
that is usually liqui- 
dated by a money 
payment to provide 
for a counterfeit 
presentment on a 
large scale of the 
coveted shoe, 
which is in due 
course nailed on 
the wall of the old 
Shire Hall, a struc- 
ture that dates 
back to the time 
of the Conquest. 
Even Royalty is 
not exempt from 
the toll, and the 
" horse-shoes " of 
George IV., his 
brother, the Duke 



of York, and our own Prince of Wales figure 
on the walls in all the bravery of royal red 
and gold-leaf. 

I do not propose to weary my readers with 
a learned disquisition on the origin and pro- 
gress of circuits. Suffice it to say, and to say 
it briefly, that the circuit system, as we now 
know it, is much the same as that which 
obtained with our 
ancestors from 
almost time imme- 
morial ; and this in 
spite of constant 
attempts at reform 
by the bolder spirits 
who would rule mat- 
ters judicial. Let 
it be whispered that 
the reforms have 
for the most part 
proved abortive ; 
and that in all 
probability we shall 
revert to the wis- 
dom of our fathers, 
and to the old order 
of things. 

Let us start with 
one of Her Majesty's 
judges on circuit. 

Needless to say, 
we shall travel eii 
prince, for the railway companies are solicitous 
for the comfort of his lordship and the mem- 
bers of his staff, and provide reserved compart- 
ments, with a separate luggage "cupboard," 




L U .L ^ 1 ')DI,1N(_ 



320 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



practically a necessity on account of the 
enormous quantity of baggage and impedi- 
menta required for the five or six weeks' tour. 

Arrived at the first town on the circuit, the 
judicial campaign really begins. The judge 
is met at the railway station by the high 
sheriff of the county, who usually looks very 
uncomfortable and self-conscious in the quasi- 
military uniform which is insisted upon for 
the occasion ; the sheriff's chaplain, also in 
like plight in the stiffest of Geneva gowns, 
usually the gift of the sheriff; the under- 
sheriff, in any costume that his fancy may 
lightly turn to, ranging from a Court 
suit down to the most unconventional of 
morning dress ; and a posse comiiat2(s, in the 
shape of a dozen or so of stalwart county 
policemen, whose 
faces and uniforms 
are mostly a har- 
mony of red and 
blue. The judge 
introduces his 
marshal (an able- 
bodied youth from 
one of the Universi- 
ties, or maybe a 
budding Templar) 
to the high sheriff, 
who bows gra- 
ciously, tries not to 
fall over his sword, 
and leads the way 
to the State car- 
riage, accompanied 
by the chaplain and 
under - sheriff, and 
escorted by the 
gccd men in blue. 
At one or two assize 
towns there is an 
escort of " javelin 

men," armed with halberds raked up from 
the county museum probably, and attired in 
a hybrid livery, half " beef-eater " and half 
footman ; but, generally speaking, the county 
police constitute the escort, with occasional 
relief in the form of a troop of Yeomanry, 
if the high sheriff happens to hold Her 
Majesty's commission of arms in addition 
to one of the peace. 

As soon ao the little procession emerges 
from the railway station, a couple of 
trumpeters, who have taken up a command- 
ing position in the yard for the dye display 
of their gorgeous liveries, set up an ear- 
torturing performance, supposed to be in 
imitation of an ancient fanfare. To this 
" rough music " the judge takes his seat in 



the State carriage, and the whole party set 
off at a snail's pace for the judge's lodgings, 
the trumpeters fanfaring with a vigour 
and persistence that must have inspired 
the bandsmen of " General " Booth's lads 
in red. On the occasion of the trial of an 
election petition at a cathedral city, the mayor 
met the judges in a coach drawn by a couple 
of black horses that usually figured at funerals, 
and the secret of their vocation ha'd some- 
how leaked out. As they were crawling along 
in the accustomed style, Mr. Justice Hawkins, 
who was one of the judges, said, with the 
quiet, incisive humour that has ever dis- 
tinguished him : " Mr. Mayor, does not this 
very much remind you of following the dear 
departed ? " Cin-tain. 




The judge's lodgings are usually a fine 
old house set apart for the purpose, with 
occasional intervening visitations from Militia 
officers during the training of their merry 
men, and everything therein is of the stately 
order; though the furnishing and general 
fitment would probably vex the soul of a 
Maple or a Shoolbred. Bare walls glower 
«on the judge, fresh from his own ornate house 
in Mayfair, Kensington, or Richmond ; but 
there is an air of solid comfort about these 
old places, more particularly in the dining- 
room, where massive silver and table equip- 
age of great antiquity make a brave show. 

Arrived at his temporary home, the judge 
of assize forthwith arrays himself in the 
splendid robes of his high office, and 



JOURNEYINGS OF THE JUDGES. 



321 




HERTFOKD — JUD(iE S LODGINGS. 

proceeds to the cathedral or parish church, as 
the case may be, to attend the customary 
assize service. This is an institution honoured 
by time, but usually dishonoured by the 
townspeople ; for there are seldom more than 
two or three 
gathered together 
to hear the words 
of wisdom and 
counsel that fall 
from the lips of 
the sheriff's chap- 
lain, who has pro- 
bably spent 
anxious weeks in 
the preparation of 
his sermon. 
Preachers vary as 
ordinary mortals 
vary, and so do 
assize sermons. 
Sometimes they 
are brilliant, force- 
ful, and in every 
way worthy of a 
better fate than to 
be forgotten by the 
handful of people, 
great and small, 
to whom they are 
addressed. 

Vol. ix. -42. 



The next morning the 
l)usiness of the assize 
begins in real earnest, and 
the grand jury, consisting 
usually of magistrates of 
experience, are summoned 
from all parts of the county 
to consider the bills of 
indictment that are sent 
up to them by the Crown. 
Twenty-three is the regu- 
'ation number of grand 
jurors for an assize, and to 
the credit of the squire- 
archy be it recorded that 
it seldom happens that 
fewer than the twenty-three 
put in an appearance. The 
roll having been called, the 
grand jury are sworn by 
the judge's marshal ; the 
foreman, usually a county 
magnate of the first rank, 
being sworn first. The 
prescribed oath is impres- 
sive, and I give it for 
the benefit of my lay 
readers : — 
" My Lord [or Sir],— 

" You as foreman ' of this grand 
inquest for our Sovereign Lady the Queen, 
and the body of this County of Westcum- 
land, shall diligently inquire and true pre- 




NORWICH — JUDGES DIMX 



322 



THE STKAA'D MAGA/JNE 




BIRMINGHAM ASSIZE COURT — BARON I'OLLOCK ON THE BENCH. 



sentment make of all such matters, offences, 
and things as shall be brought to your notice 
touching this present service. The Queen's 
counsel, your fellows and your own, you shall 
observe and keep secret. You shall present no 
person out of envy, hatred, or malice ; neither 
shall you leave any one unpresented through 
fear, favour, gain, reward, or the hope or 
promise thereof But you shall present all 
things indifferently as they shall come to 
your knowledge, according to the best of 
your skill and understanding. — So help you 
God." 

The rest of the grand jury are then sworn 
shortly in batches. 

Now commences the charge by the judge, 
who touches upon the salient points of the 
more important or complicated cases in the 
calendar, for the guidance of the grand iury 
when they come to consider whether or not a 
prima -facie case is made out against a 
prisoner. 

Before a man can be tried for any offence, 
his case is first of all investigated before a 
Bench of magistrates, who in their discretion 
can commit a prisoner for trial before a judge 
and jury. The witnesses are bound over to 
appear at the sessions or assizes, and in due 
course give their evidence on oath before the 
grand jury, who bring their considerable 
experience to bear in determining whether 



the case should go for trial or not. If 
they think it should, they indorse the indict- 
ment : " A true bill," and the parchment is 
handed down to the Court. The prisoner 
is then placed in the dock, and the indict- 
ment having been read over to him more or 
less intelligibly by the clerk of assize, he is 
called upon to plead " guilty " or " not 
guilty," as he may elect. If the latter, the 
petit jury, consisting of twelve good men 
and true, are then sworn, and the trial 
proceeds. This threefold inquiry is a great 
safeguard to the liberty of the subject, and as 
a matter of fact, a miscarriage of justice 
seldom takes place. The " great unpaid " 
are perhaps the best-abused class in this 
country, but they do their duty as between 
the Crown and their fellow-subjects, and do 
it well, Mr. L,abouchere's weekly pillory In 
Truth to the contrary notwithstanding. 

If a prisoner has a good defence to the 
charge made against him, assuredly it will be 
carefully supported at the trial. Her Majesty's 
judges holding fast to the old maxim of our 
law that " every man is presumed to be 
innocent until he is proved to be guilty," and 
if the case against him is not proved up to 
the hilt, the man will go free : all this in 
marked contrast to the system obtaining on 
the Continent, where the unhappy wretch is 
examined and cross-examined by State 



JOURNEYINGS OF THE JUDGES. 



323 




LINCOLN — WAITING FOR THE JUDGE. 



officials with the express object of securing a 
conviction. 

EngUshmen have reason to be proud of 
their judges for their absolute integrity and 
impartiality, to say nothing of their ability 
and learning, which probably speak for them- 
selves. 

The comfort of a judge on circuit much 
depends on the stuff of which his staff are 
made. First comes his personal officer, the 
marshal afore-mentioned, whose duty it is to 
swear in the grand jury, and to attend the 
judge wherever 
he goes, sharing 
his meals with 
him in public or 
private, and 
generally making 
himself agree- 
able and useful ; 
for the most 
part a pleasant 
office enough, but 
it is one that at 
times requires 
considerable tact 
and knowledge of 
the world in order 
to keep the path 
judicial from be- 
coming too 
thorny. 

The k n igh t- 
errant, otherwise 
Her Majesty's 
judge of assize, 
has furthermore 
the constant 



presence of a faithful esquire in the shape of 
his clerk, who, unlike the marshal, is perma- 
nently in the judge's service, both in London 
and on circuit. The duties of this officer are 
multifarious, and range from the most deli- 
cate diplomacy down to keeping the circuit 
accounts. Divers are the duties, and diverse 
are the men, probably more so than any 
other body in the pay of the Crown. Formerly, 
some few of them rose to eminence, the late 
Lord Justice Lush being a brilliant example ; 
but the Lins of Court have of late years, for 




MONMOU I 



324 



THE STRAXD MAGAZINE. 




A KITCHEN COLLOQUY — THE CIRCUIT BUTLER. 



some reason not difficult to discover, pro- 
hibited any person holding an appointment 
as clerk to a judge, or in the central 
office of the Supreme Court, from becoming 
a barrister-student. A hard case, probably, 
and one showing, moreover, that petty 
jealousy is not unknown even in high 
places. 

Next in importance, if not in usefulness, 
comes the cir- 
cuit butler, 
who robes and 
valets the 
judge, con- 
trols the house- 
hold, and when 
" on the road " 
acts as bag- 
gage-master. 

The mar- 
shal's man fol- 
lows in order, 
and does 
duty as a sort 
of footman. 

Last, but 
certainly not 
least, comes 
the cook. 
Formerly only 




LIN'COLN — JUDGE S liEDKOOM. 



men -cooks were 
engaged by the 
judges for cir- 
cuit, as the life 
was hard and the 
work arduous ; 
but since the 
introduction of 
the single -judge 
system, that has 
excited so much 
opposition from 
profession and 
public alike, 
many of the 
judges have 
employed wo- 
men - cooks, the 
work being in 
these days much 
lighter and the 
travelling ar- 
rangements more 
comfortable. A 
good circu it 
cook must be 
possessed of considerable forethought, and 
all-round ability as a caterer. The food 
supplies of many of the assize towns are 
often very primitive, but woe betide the 
unlucky c^ef if he sends up an insufficient 
or an unsatisfactory meal. Some of these 
Knights of the Black Cap rise to affluence 
in their profession, occasionally securing snug 
berths as cooks to the Inns of Court, be- 
sides carrying 
on businesses 
more or less 
lucrative, as 
confectioners 
and restaura- 
teurs. One, in 
addition to all 
this, has be- 
come a mem- 
ber of the Lon- 
don Count}' 
Council, and in 
course of time 
may represent 
the people in 
a larger sense, 
and help to 
make the laws 
for the judges 
to administer. 



Note. — INIy photographic readers may be interested to know that most of the illustrations to this article were taken with a 
" Samuels " hand camera, many of the instantaneous pictures and interior views being obtained on Messrs. Elliott and Son's 
"Rocket " and " Barnet " plates. 



stories from the Diary of a Doctor. 



second series. 
By L. T. Meade and Clifford Halifax, M.D. 

[These stories are written in collaboration with a medical man of large experience. Many are founded on fact, and all are 
within the region of practical medical science. Those stories which rrlay convey an idea of the impossible are only a forecast of an 
early realization.] 

III.— THE SH.ENT TONGUE. 




T was a day in late October 
when I found myself in a 
train which was to convey me 
from Waterloo to Salisbury. I 
was on my way to pay a week's 
visit to my old friend and 
patient, General Romney. After retiring 
from active service he had bought a place in 
Wiltshire, and had repeatedly begged of me 
to come to see him there. 

My multifarious duties, however, had 
hitherto made it impossible for me to visit 
High Court ; but the present occasion was 
of such special moment that I determined to 
make a great effort to gratify my old friend, 
and do myself a pleasure 
at the same time. 

I was to arrive at High 
Court on Thursday after- 
noon, and on the fol- 
lowing Tuesday, Iris 
Romney, the General's 
beautiful and only 
daughter, was to be 
married to a young man 
of the name of Vane, a 
captain in the — th 
Lancers. I had known 
Iris from her childhood, 
and was prepared to con- 
gratulate her now on a 
most suitable match. 
From the letters which I 
had received from 
General Romney, Cap- 
tain Vane was all that 
was desirable : an upright, 
good, honourable fellow. 
His position in society 
was well assured, and he 
had ample means. 

" It is not only that 
Vane is all that her 
mother and I could 
desire," continued the 
General, in his last letter 
to me, " but there is another reason which 
makes this marriage a relief to our . minds. 
Our poor Iris, whose beauty, as you know, 
is much above the average, has been 
persecuted for many months past by the 
unwelcome and, I may almost add, the 




AN UNGENTLEMAMA' 
OF RAN"; 



unscrupulous attentions of our next-door 
neighbour, the sc^uire of this place, an un- 
gentlemanly boor of the name of Ransome. 
The fellow won't take ' No ' for an answer, 
and things have come to such a pass 
that Iris is quite afraid to go out alone, 
as Ransome is sure to waylay her, and renew 
his unwelcome protestations and demands. 
Indeed, were it not for this happy marriage, 
we should have been obliged, for our child's 
sake, to leave High Court." 

I paid little heed to this part of my friend's 
letter when reading it, but it was destined 
to be brought very vividly before my 
mind later on. 

I arrived at High Court 
about three o'clock in the 
afternoon, and found Iris 
standing in the square 
entrance -hall. She was 
surrounded by dogs, and 
was pulling on a pair of 
gauntlet gloves; she wore 
a hat, and was, evidently, 
in the act of going out. 
On hearing my steps, she 
turned quickly and came 
eagerly to meet me. 

" Here you are," she 
exclaimed, holding out 
both her hands. " How 
nice ! how delightful ! 
Am I much altered. Dr. 
Halifax — would you re- 
cognise me ? " 

" Yes, I should recog- 
nise you," I answered, 
looking with admiration 
at the lovely girl. " You 
have changed, of course. 
How tall you are ! You 
were only a child when I 
saw you last." 

" I was fifteen," an- 
swered Iris; "the most 
• • troublesome monkey in 
existence. Now I am eighteen — quite grown 
up. Well, it is a real pleasure to see you 
again. Let me take you to father : he has 
been talking of nothing but your arrival all 
day." 

I accompanied Miss Romney to her 



'I' THE NAA.E 



326 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



father's study. To her surprise it was 
erripty. 

" Where can father be ? " she exclaimed. 
" He knew you would arrive about now. 
Perhaps he has gone to lie down — he has 
not been (|uite well. We won't disturb him, 
unless you particularly wish it, Dr. Halifax ? " 

'' Certainly not," I replied. 

" Mother is out — she had to go to Salis- 
bury on business. May I have the pleasure 
of your society all to myself for a little ? I 
am just going out to meet Captain Vane — 
will you come with me ? I should much 
like to introduce him to you." 

" And I should like to know him," I 
replied. " Let us come for a walk, by all 
means — there is nothing I should enjoy 
more." 

We went out together. Miss Romney's 
step was full of the light spring of youth. 
She entertained me with many animated re- 
marks, and took me to several points of 
interest in the beautiful grounds. From a 
place called " The Mound " we could see the 
long, evening shadows falling across Salisbury 
Plain ; turning to our right we got a peep, in 
the dim distance, of the far-famed Cathedral. 

" Yes, yes, it is all lovely," she cried, " and 
I am in the mood to enjoy it to-day — I am 
very happy. I do not mind telling you how 
happy I am, for you are such an old 
friend." 

" You may be sure I rejoice to hear of 
your happiness," I replied. I looked at her as 
I spoke. She was standing at a little distance 
from me, very upright. The dogs had 
followed us, and a great mastiff stood near 
her. She rested her white hand on his head. 
Some rays from the evening sun sparkled in 
her hair, which was very bright in hue, and 
looked now like burnished gold. Her eyes, 
full of happiness, looked frankly into mine. 
They were lovely eyes, with a tender, 
womanly expression in them. I thought 
what a happy fellow Vane would be. 

As we were standing together the silence 
was suddenly broken by the sharp report of a 
gun. . _ 

"Who can possibly be shooting in our 
grounds ? " exclaimed Miss Romney. 

"The report came from that copse," I 
answered her — "down there to our left. 
Perhaps Captain Vane is amusing himself 
having a shot or two." 

" He did not take his gun with him," she 
answered ; " I saw it in the hall as we passed 
through just now. No, I am afraid I guess 
who did fire the shot " ; she paused suddenly, 
and a hot flush of annoyance swept over her 



face. It passed almost as quickly as it 
came. 

" There is David," she said, in a glad 
voice. " Do you see him ? He is just 
coming up that path through the trees. Let 
us go to meet him." 

We soon reached the bottom of the 
mound, and Captain Vane came quickly up to 
us. He was a tall, well-made man, of about 
twenty-eight years of age. His face was 
moulded in strong lines. He was somewhat 
dark in complexion, and had resolute eyes. 

" David, this is our old friend. Doctor 
Halifax," said Miss Romney. 

" I am glad to meet you," said Vane to 
me. He made one or two further remarks 
of an indifferent character. 

We turned presently to go back to the 
house. We had only gone about half the 
distance when Iris uttered a hoirified ex- 
clamation. 

" What is that on your handkerchief? " she 
cried to her lover. 

He had pulled his handkerchief out of his 
pocket. He looked at it when she spoke, 
started, and turned pale. 

" I must apologize to you both," he ex- 
claimed. " How stupid of me ; I forgot all 
about it." 

" Your handkerchief is all over blood. 
Have you hurt yourself? " asked Iris. 

" No, not a bit of it !" He thrust the hand- 
kerchief out of sight. "The fact is simply 
this. That brute of a Ransome has been 
shooting round the premises this morning, 
and, like the cur he is, has only half done his 
work. This handkerchief is stained because 
I have been putting a pheasant out of his 
misery. It was a horrid sight. Don't let 
us talk about it any more." 

" I had a premonition that Mr. Ransome 
was somewhere near," said Iris. " The mere 
thought of that man affects me disagree- 
ably." 

She shivered as she spoke. Vane looked 
at her, but did not reply. Their eyes met — 
he gave her a quick smile, but I could not 
help noticing that he looked pale and worried. 

We reached the house, where Mrs. Romney 
came out to meet us. She gave me a hearty 
welcome, and asked me to go with her at 
once to her husband. 

" The General is lying down in his study, 
Dr. HaUfax, or he would come to you," she 
explained. " The fact is, he has not been 
well for some days^, and just now I found 
him trembling violently, and scarcely able to 
stand. Oh, I do not think there is much the 
matter — he will be all right by-and-by, and 



STORIES FROM THE DIARY OF A DOCTOR. 



327 



nothing will do him more good than a quiet 
chat with you." 

I followed Mrs. Romney to the study. 
The General was l}'ing on a sofa, but when 
we approached, he rose quickly, and came 
to meet us. He was a tall, largely-made 
man, somewhat full in habit, and with 
a fresh - coloured face. That face now 
was flushed, and his eyes looked suspiciously 
bright. 

" Welcome," he exclaimed, holding out 
both his hands to me. " Here I am, and 
nothing whatever the matter with me. I had 
an attack of giddi- 
ness, but it has passed 
off Has my wife been 
making out that I am 
an invalid, eh? Well, 
I never felt better 
in my life. It would 
be a shabby trick to 
play on you, Halifax, 
to bring you down 
here, and then give 
you doctoring work to 
do." 

" I am always pre- 
pared for doctoring 
work," I answered, 
" but I am delighted 
to see you so fit. 
General." 

" You can leave us 
now, Mary," said the 
General, turning to his 
wife, and giving her 
an affectionate glance. 
"The giddiness has 
quite passed, my love, 
and a chat with Hali- 
fax will do me more 
good than anything 
else." 

Mrs. Romney went 
immediately away. 
The moment she did 
so, the General sank 

into an arm-chair, and covered his eyes with 
one of his hands. I noticed that his big 
hand shook. 

"The fact is," he said, in an altered tone, 
" I am 7iot quite the thing. I did not want 
the wife to know, nor Iris, bless her. You 
are aware, or perhaps you are not, that there 
is to be a dance here to-night, Halifax — it 
would never do for an old chap like me to 
spoil sport. You have just come in the nick 
of time. Give me something to steady my 
nerves." 



I prescribed a simple dose, the ingredients 
for which were fortunately close at hand. I 
mixed it, and General Romney took the glass 
from my hand and quickly drained off the 
contents. 

"It takes a good bit out of a man to part 
with his only child," he said. " I consider 
myself, however, the luckiest father in 
existence. There never was a better fellow 
than Vane. You have seen him. What do 
you make of him, eh ? " 

" I have scarcely spoken two dozen words 
to Captain Vane," I said. 




" What does that signify ? You are a keen 
observer of character. What do }0u make 
of the lad ? " 

" I like what I have seen of him," I 
replied. 

" I am delighted to hear you say that," ex- 
claimed the General. " When I tell you that 
I consider Vane worthy of Iris, you will 
understand that I cannot give him higher 
praise. They are devoted to one another, 
and as happy as children. We shall have a 
gay time until the wedding is over. To-night 



328 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



there is to be a dance ; to-morrow we go to 
the Sinclairs', for a farewell dinner ; the next 
day — but I need not recount all our gaieties 
to you, Halifax. Your dose has done me 
good — I feel as well as ever I did in my life 
at the present moment." 

The General certainly looked more like 
himself. The violent colour on his face had 
subsided ; his - eyes were still too excited, 
though, to please me, and I purposely led the 
conversation to every-day subjects. 

There was a large dinner party at High 
Court that evening. This was to be followed 
by a dance, to which a number of guests had 
been invited. 

Iris sat near me at dinner — she wore white, 
which suited her well. Her face was so 
vivacious, her hair so bright, the sparkle in 
her flashing eyes gave so much light and 
movement to her expression, that no vivid 
colour was needed to set off her remarkable 
beauty. Vane sat opposite to the bride- 
elect, and I found myself looking at him 
several times during dinner wath much 
interest. He was on the whole the most 
silent of the party, and I guessed him to be 
a man of few^ words, but I felt certain by 
the thoughtful gleam in his eyes and the firm 
cut of his lips that he was one to be relied 
on and rested upon in the battle of life. 

Immediately after 
dinner, the ladies 
went upstairs to re- 
arrange their dresses 
for the coming ball, 
and General Romney 
motioned me up to 
his end of the table. 
He resumed the con- 
versation we had had 
before dinner, and 
assured me several 
times in a low voice 
that the medicine I 
had given him had 
completely removed 
the nervous attack 
from which he had 
been suffering when 
I first saw him. 

"Not that I have 
been at all the thing 
for some time," he 
added ; " but we'll 
talk of my ailments 
when the ball is 
over. Nothing must 
interfere with Iris's 
bridal ball, bless her." 



\\"e did not stay long over wine, and I 
presently found myself standing in the great 
central hall. A footman came up to place 
some fresh logs on the glowing fire. i\.s 
he did so he glanced at me once or twice 
in a queer, nervous sort of manner. Sud- 
denly he looked behind him, found that 
we were alone, and said, in a hurried, eager 
voice : — 

"You are the doctor from London, ain't 
you, sir ? " 

" Yes," I answered, in some surprise. 

" Might I speak to you for a moment, 
sir? I have something to say — something 
that must be told. Might I see you by your- 
self, doctor — I won't keep you a minute ? " 

" Certainly," I replied ; " say what you have 
got to say at once." 

The man's manner alarmed me, he was 
shaking all over. 

" On this night, of all nights," he said. 
" 'Twill upset the General, for certain. Oh, 
sir, what is to be done ? " 

" If you will tell me what the news is, I 
can, perhaps, answer your question," I 
replied. " Now, pull yourself together, man, 
and tell me what is the matter." 

The man stood up. 

" It's a tragedy," he began, "and has hap- 
pened, so to speak, at our gates. It's this : 




iMIGllT 1 bl'EAK. TO VOi, hOK A .MO.MENT?' 



STORIES FROM THE DIARY OF A DOCTOR. 



329 



Squire Ransome was found dead in the copse 
at the back of the house, not an hour ago. 
He was lying on his face and hands with his 
skull smashed in, and his gun lying by his 
side. They have took him home, and they 
say there's to be a warrant took out immedi- 
ately for the arrest of the murderer. Who 
could have done it ? I wouldn't have tlie 
General know thi.s for ^.500.' 

Some people came into the hall ; T turned 
quickly to the man. 

" Hush," 1 said, in a peremptory voi(-e ; 
" keep your information to yourself for the 
present. If this thing is kept from the 
family until after the ball, so much the better. 
You were right to tell me, and we must trust 
that nothing will be known here until to- 
morrow."' 

The man nodded and walked away. A'anc 
approached me at that moment, and taking 
my arm led me to the ball-room. 

" The band has just struck up," he said. 
*' Iris and I are going to open the ball, as a 
matter of course, but no doubt she will want 
you to be her partner in one or two dances 
later on.'' 

" I hope she will," T rei)lied. 

"There she is; let us go to her," said 
Wane. 

We walked up a long and s|)lLndidly dcc(~)- 
ralcd ball-room. Iris was standing beside 
hrr father and mother, near the principal 
entrance. They were busily engaged re- 
xei\ing guest after guest, who arrived con- 
tinuousl). In a few moments the great room 
was full of aniniated couples whirling roimd 
to the music of a splendid string band, which 
IukI been brought from London for the occa- 
sion. \'ane and Iris opened the dance together. 
All eyes followed the graceful pair as they 
Hew round in the giddy mazes of the waltz. 
Iris's face looked so animated, and there was 
su(^h a flashing brilliancy about her eyes, that 
I began to compare her to her quaint name, 
and to think that she had some of the many 
lights of the rainbow, in its shifting, changing 
colours, about her. 

One dance was f]uickly followed bv 
another, (leneral Romney and his wife still 
stood near the entrance. I noticed to my 
dismay that the deep, crimson flush which 
had somewhat alarmed me in the (leneraFs 
appearance before dinner had again returned. 
He was a man of full habit, and I, did not 
like the glittering light in his e\es. 1 
sincerely hoped, for ewry reason, that the 
terrible tragedy which had taken place in the 
copse before diufU'r would not rearli his ears 

until the evening's amusement was over. 
Vol. ix -43. ' 



For a time I stood rather apart from the gay 
and brilliant throng. Iris had promised to 
give me one or two dances, but our turn had 
not come yet. 

As I stood and waited, I recalled the 
sound I had heard when I stood with Miss 
Romney on the mound. '' At that moment, 
in all probability, the murder was being 
committed," I said to myself. " But, no, that 
could not have been the case, for the un 
fortunate S(|uire was found with his skull 
broken in ; he could not have come by his 
death from a gunshot wound." 

At that moment Miss Romnev made her 
way to mv side. 

" Ours is the next dance," she said, looking 
into my face, " but " she hesitated. 

'•AN'hat is it ? "" I asked, smiling at her. 

'' I am tired, I do not want to dance, ' she 
said. ■• Shall we sit this waltz out ? A\'ill 
you come with me to the conservatory, it is 
so hot here ? "' 

" With pleasure,'' I replied. 

She put her slim hand on mv arm, and we 
left the ball-room. We had to cross the 
great hall to reach a large conservatory at 
the further (iwiX. 

" I am anxious to ha\e a talk with you," 
said the young girl, almost in a whisper, as we 
pushed our way through the throngs of guests. 
■• r ha\e known sou since I was a child, and 
1 am anxious — 

We had almost rt-aehed the conservatory 
now, but before we entered. Iris Romney 
turned and faced me. 

'' I )r. Halifax," she said, " is niy father well?"' 

I was about to answer her. when a c( 111- 
motion l)ehind caused us both to turn our 
heads. A man who was neither a guest wvx 
a servant had pushed his way into the hall. 
He was a dark man, plainly dressed. Two 
of the powdered footmen had come up and 
were speaking to liim. They seemed to be 
expostulating with him, anfl he appeared to 
be resisting them. One of the servants put 
his hand on the man's arm ; he pushed him 
impatiently aside, and came farther into the 
hall. 

The guests were everywhere — in the hall, 
on the stairs, trooping in and out of the ball- 
room. They all stood still now, as if moved 
by a common impulse. Every eye was fixed 
on the stranger. I suddenly felt that the 
moment had come for me to interfere. I 
cannot say what premonition seized me, 
but I knew beyond the possibility of 
doubt that that strange, queer-looking man 
had jjushed his wa_\' into this festive scene on 
some terrible errand. 



^o 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



'•Pardon mc," 1 said t(j Iris, "1 will just 
go and s[K-ak to that fellow, and l)e back 
with yoti in a minaitc." 

"What can the man want? " exclaimed Iris. 

"I will tell )()U in a nKjmcnt," I said; 
" [)ray stay where you are." 

To my annoyance, I found that she was 
following me. 

The servant, Henry by name, who had 
given me the news of Ransome's death, came 
eagerly up when he saw me approaching. 

"I am glad you are here, I)r. Halifax," he 
said. " Perhaps you can get Constable 
Morris to go away. I keep on telling him 
that he can come back later on." 

The footman s[)oke in a hoarse whisper ; 
agitation had paled his face ; he clutched 
hold of my coat in a sort of nervous frenzy. 

" Keep c^uiet," I said to him, sharply — 
then I turned to the policeman : •' If you 
have any business here, you had better come 
into this room," I said. 

The room in question was a small smoking- 
room, the door of which happened to stand 
open. 

" Yes, sir, it would be best," said the man, 
in a [)erfectly civil tone. He stepped across 
the hall immediately — I followed him — Miss 
Romney did the same. 

" Had you not better go ;iway ? " I said to 
her. 

'"No," she answered. " I prefer to stay and 
hear the matter out. Whv, this is (Nonstable 
Morris — I know him [)erfectly well. What 
do you want here to-nig'it, Morris ? You see 
we are all busy ; if 
vou have anything 
important to say, 
we can st.^e you at 
any hour you like to 
arrange in the 
morning." 

" I must do my 
work to-night, miss," 
he answered. " I'd 
rayther cut off my 
right hand than 
give you pain, miss," 
he continued — 
" but, there, busi- 
ness is business. A 
constable's life ain't 
none too pleasant 
at ti^iies — no, that 
it ain't." 

Here he (Sxvw 
himself \\\) and, 
taking a red pocket- 
In ndke-rchief out Oi" 



his pocket, wiped the moisture from his brow. 
His eyes travelled cjuickly from Iris, in her 
white dresS, to me and then back again to Iris. 

" Sir," he said, addressint; himself to me, 
'• can't you get Miss Ronmey to leave the 
room ? " 

"I'm afraid I can't," I replied. 

" \\'ell, I suppose I must go on with the 
whole black business afore the young lady. 
If the thing is done quickly, there's no call for 
anyone to know, except the family. I beg a 
thousand pardons for coming into the hall as 
I've done, but I could not get a servant to 
hear me in the back premises. My colleague 
is outside with the trap, and we can take the 
young gent away as quiet as possible, and no 
one need know. Lor' ! it's sure to turn out 
a big mistake, but duty is duty." 

"• What gentleman do you want to take 
away ? " asked Iris, going u[) and standing 
opposite to the man. " Is it one of our 
guests ?-- which ? " 

" (iod .\lmighty knows, miss, that I don't 
want to trouble you." 

'' Speak out, man,'' I said. " Tell us your 
business, good or bad, immediately. Can't 
you see that this susjjense is very bad for 
Miss Romney ? " 

The man glanced at Iris, but immediately 
looked down again. 

" Well, sir," he said, addressing himself 
to me, '' its an ugly job, but here is the 
long and short of it. There has been a 
murder committed in these grounds, Stpiire 
Ransome, of Ransome Pleights, was found 




■ SPKAK OL'T, MAX 



STORIES FROM THE DL4RY OF A DOCTOR. 



dead in the copse not three hundred yards 
from the house. The gamekeeper here and 
a labourer from the village found him and 
gave the alarm. He was took home, and I 
hold a warrant now for the arrest of C'ai)tain 
1 )a\id Wane on a charge of having murdered 
him." 

" On a charge of what ? " said Iris. She 
had been very pale — as white as death, until 
the man had finally delivered himself of his 
cruel errand — then a great wave of brilliant 
colour flooded her face, and restored the 
dancing light to her eyes. 

" This is such utter folly, that I am not 
even afraid about it," she said. " Oblige 
me. Dr. Halifax, by remaining with this man 
for a few minutes while I go to fetch David. 
It needs but a word or two to clear him of 
this monstrous charge." 

She drew herself up to her full stately 
lieight, and left the room with the air of a 
(jueen. 

Morris looked after her with a red face and 
troubled eyes. 

" Ef you'll believe me, sir," he said, " Td 
rayther than five hundred pounds that I was 
out of this job — it's a bad business altogether" 
— here he shook his head ominously. 

The constable had scarcely said the words 
before Iris returned, accompanied by \'ane. 

" What is all this about ? " said Vane. He 
looked full at the man, then at me. 

Iris must have prepared him. He came 
into the room holding her hand. As 
he stood and faced the police-constable, he 
still kept it in a tight grip. 

"Is it true," he said, "that I am charged 
with murder ; and that you have a warratu to 
arrest me ? " 

"Are you C^aptain \'ane, sir ? " 

"Yes." 

" Then that is what I've got to do, I am 
sorry to say, sir. I've a trap outside, and my 
colleague is there, and the best thing we can 
do is to go off quietly at once. If you'll 
give me your word as you'll not try to escape, 
Captain Vane, I won't use the handcuffs. 
It's only to look at you, sir, to know that 
you're a gent of your word." 

" Had you not better leave us. Iris ? " said 
Vane, looking down for the first time at the 
girl's white face. 

" No, I'll see it out to the end," she 
answered. " But can't you say something, 
David? Can't you clear yourself? Can't 
you put this dreadful thing straight ? " 

" I can and will, dearest," he re[)lied, in a 
low tone ; " but I'm afraid I must go with 
this man to-night." 



" There's no help for it, sir. The warrant 
must be carried out. The inquest is to be 
held at the poor gentleman's own place to- 
morrow, and, as sure as sure, you'll be cleared ; 
but now it's my duty to take you with me, 
Captain Vane." 

" Cheer up, Iris," said Vane. " It is sure 
to be all right." He gave her a smile with 
his eyes. It was a queer, strong sort of 
smile, and it never reached his lips. 

For the first time poor Iris broke down — 
she gave a low, heart-broken sob, and covered 
her face with her trembling hands. 

" Take care of her," said X'ane to me. 
" Keep it up if you can until the dance is 
over, and, above all things, try to conceal 
this horrid business from Ceneral Romney 
until after the guests have gone." 

Here he turned to the policeman. 

" I am ready to accompany you, ' he said. 
" Will you allow me to fetch my overcoat?" 

" I'm afraid, sir, it's my duty not to let you 
out of my sight — perhaps the other gentle- 
man would bring the coat." 

" No, I'll fetch it," said Iris, recovering 
herself like a flash. " Ves, I wish to fetch 
it — I know where it is." 

She ran out of the room, but had 
scarcely done so when the door was suddenly 
flung open and General Romney, holding one 
hand to his head and stretching the other 
out before him as though he were groping 
blindly in the dark, tottered into our midst. 

" ^^'hat in the name of Heaven is all this 
about ? " he exclaimed. " Vane, what are 
you doing here ? Is not that man Constable 
Morris ? Morris, what is your business in my 
house at this hour ? " 

Iris had now returned with the coat. She 
gave it to Vane, who began to put it on, and 
then went up to her father. 

" Come away, father, do," she said. 

" Folly, Iris," he replied ; " keep your 
hand off* me. I am not a baby to be 
coerced in this style. Ah, Halifax, so you are 
here, too ! Now, what's the mischief ? Vane, 
can't you speak? Are you all struck dumb"*?" 

" It's a bad business, sir," said the police- 
man. " I've a warrant here to arrest this 
young gentleman, Captain David Vane, on a 
charge of murder." 

" A charge of iniirdei- ? " shouted the 
( General. 

" Yes, sir. Squire Ransome has been 
found in the copse close to this house with 
his skull knocked in, and there's circum- 
stantial evidence of a grave nature which 
points to Captain \"ane as his murderer. It 
is mv business to arrest hini, and -" 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




i;\lKAI. HiiMXKY TOTTERFD. 



" And I will come with you," said Vane. 
He turned to the (General as he spoke. " I 
beg of you, General," he said, '• to take Iris 
away from here. This matter is very liorrible, 
but it can have only one termination. 1 
am innocent, and my innocence can be 
easily proved. In all probability I shall be 
back here to-morrow, noiie the worse for this 
experience. I'hink of Iris, (jcneral, and for 
Heaven's sake take hc-r out of this.'"' 

Iris tried again to lay her hand on her 
father's arm. 

He shook her off as if she had struck him. 
His red face was no longer red — it was 
purple. The veins stood out in great knots 
on his neck and temples. 

"You are charged with murder ? '' he said, 
turning to his future son-in-law. "■ And you 
have come here to arrest him," he continued, 
facing about and staring at the policeman — 

" then let me " he broke off abruptly. A 

groan came from his lips, he stretched out 
l)Oth hands wildly as though to clutch at 
something. 

"My ( iod, I am blind and deaf!" he 
panted. " There is a roaring of water in my 

ears, I " He stumbled forward, and fell 

in an unconscious heap on the floor. 

The confusion which foUowi'd can scarcely 
be described. It was my duty to attend to 
General Romnev. 1 knelt by him, raised his 



head, loosened his collar and necktie, and 
desired someone to fetch Mrs. Romney. 
Figures kept passing to and fro, I knelt 
on by the side of the unconscious man, 
Presently Mrs. Romney came hurrying in, 
Two or three footmen also appeared. We 
raised General Romney with great care, and 
carried him through the hall full of guests, 
up the broad staircase, and into his own 
spacious bedroom on the first floor. There 
he was undressed and laid in his bed. 
There was no doul)t with regard to the 
nature of his illness. General Romney 
had been smitten down with a severe 
attack of paralysis. I asked Mrs. Romney 
to send for the family physician. Dr. Haynes, 
He arrived on the scene in an incredibly 
short s|)ace of time. We had a hurried 
consultation over the case. Dr. Haynes 
arranged to sit up for the night with the 
unconscious man, and then for the first 
time I had a moment to think of others. 
What had become of Wane ? A\'here was 
Iris ? 

Absorbed in anxiety al)out them, I ran 
hastily downstairs. The lights were still burn- 
ing all over the house, but every guest had 
vanished : the place wore a neglected aspect. 
Some flowers were scattered about on the 
marble floor of the great hall. The fire on 
the hearth was reduced to ashes. All the 
doors leading into the hall stood open. 

A girl in a white dress stood motionless 
by the empty hearth. Two or three dogs 
crouched at her feet. On hearing my steps 
she raised her head with a start. Her face, 
which had been dull and ahnost vacant in 
expression, lit uj) into full light. She sprang 
to meet me and stretched out her hands. 

" I'm so glad you ha\ e come," she ex- 
claimed. •■ How is father?" 

" I am sorry to say he is very ill," I replied. 
" He is suffering from a severe stroke of 
paralysis." 

Iris put her hand to her forehead. 
"Is he in danger, Dr. Halifax?" she 
asked. * 

" I would rather not gi\'e any opinion 
about him to-night,"" I replied. 

'■ I ought to be with him," she said. " I 
will go to him in a moment — after — after I 
have spoken to you.' 

" You cannot possibly do him any good by 
going to him now," I replied. " He is quite 
unconscious, and would not know you. He 
knows no one. \'our mother is with him, 
and also Dr. Havnes. He wants for nothing 
at the present moment-nothing, I mean, that 
man can do. His life is in Higher Hands. 



•-./:m« 



STORIES FROM THE DIARY OF A DOCTOR. 



oil 



All we have to do is patiently to await results. 
Now, do you know that it is past two o'clock? 
You ought to be in bed." 

Iris shuddered. 

'•' I could not sleep if I went," she said. 
■'Dr. Halifax, I want to tell you something.'' 

" What is that ? "' I asked. 

She looked full up at me — her eyes were 
bright again. 

" Do you know why I fetched iJavid's over 
coat ? "' she said. 

" I cannot say — you probably knew where 
it was to be found." 

" I did — but I had another reason. 1 
wanted to take the handkerchief away." 

" \\'hat handkerchief?" I asked, in some 
astonishment. 

" Have you such a short memory ? " she 
asked, looking at me with a pu/zlecl expres- 
sion. " 1 )on"t you remember the handker- 
chief which David pulled out of his pocket 
•this afternoon as we were coming up the 
avenue ? It was blood-stained. 1 )on't )ou 
recall the circumstances ? " 

" Ves," I replied, gravely. " I do I had 
forgotten it when you first s[)oke of a hand- 
kerchief." 

'' Well, I remembered it," she replied : '' it 
flashed suddenly across my memory when 
David asked for his coat. I knew that the 
handkerchief would be found there, and that 
they would use the blood-stains against him. 
That was why I was in such a hurry to fetch 
it. I removed the handkercliief and "' 

" \'es," I said, when she paused, '"and 
'what did you do with it ? " 

" I burnt it — here, on this hearth. That 
horrible witness is, at least, reduced to aslies. 
Why, what is the matter, Dr. Halifax? How 
grave you look." 

I felt grave. I knew that Iris had done 
wrong in burning the handkerciiief. It might 
have been an important witness in favour cM' 
tlie accused. There was nu use, however, in 
adding to her misery now. 

"■ I wish you would go to bed," I said. 
" \'ou are looking very ill." 

She did not reply at once : she ke[)t staring 
at me — her quick intuition read disapproval 
on my face. 

" Have I done wrong? " she exclaimed, in 
a voice of terror. 

" I sincerely hope not."' I answered, as 
soothingly as I could speak. '' Perhaps 
nothing will be said about the liandkerchief." 

■' But why are you so grave ? Are you not 
glad that it is gone ? " 

I gave her a quick glance- she was the 
sort of girl who C()uld bear the truth. 



■•You acted with natural, but mistaken, 
impulse," I said. "It would have been po-- 
sible to prove that the stains on the hand- 
kerchief were caused by pheasant's blood, 
which differs in essential particulars from 
man's — but doubtless," I continued, raising 
my voice to a cheerful key, " the monstrous 
charge against Captain Yane will be shattered 
without the least difificulty at the examination 
before the magistrate to-morrow morning." 

''David is the noblest fellow in the world," 
said Iris, with shining eyes. " But," she 
added, suddenly, and as if the words were 
wrung from her, " he did hate Mr. Ransome, 
and he had good cause." 

The next day Vane was brought before a 
magistrate at Salisbur)-. General Romney 
was lying in a prostrate condition, and 
Haynes decided to remain with him until the 
nurse from London arrived. I was, therefore, 
free to accompany Mrs. Romney and Iris to 
the police-court at Salisbury. I have no 
space here to go into full particulars of 
the examination. The case against Wane was 
as follows :- - 

His dislike to Ransome was well known. 
On the day of the murder Vane had gone 
out early — during the time of his absence 
Ransome undoubtedly met his death. This 
fact alone could not have incriminated the 
young man, but, unfortunately, he had been 
seen bv two labourers, returning from their 
work, basing high words with Ransome. 
Ransome was seated on the gate in the fence 
which disided (General Romne\'s grounds 
from those of Ransome Heights. When the 
labourers pa.ssed, Ransome was using excited 
words, and \\ane was replying to them with 
a degree of heat and intemperance c[uilc 
fcjreign to his usual character. The men 
lingered near as long as they decently could, 
but seeing that Ransome noticed them they 
slunk off. They had reached the road and 
were walking rapidly towards their homes, 
when they heard a shot fned. They 
remarked on the circumstance to each other, 
and wondered, as they exj)ressed it, » if the 
young gents were up to mischief That 
evening, on repairing to the village lap-room, 
tbiC first news that reached them was that of 
the murder of Scpiire Ransome. On their 
e\idence a warrant was taken out for the 
arrest of \'ane. 

The magistrate listened gra\elv to all that 
was said, and then stated that there was 
no course open to him but to remand 
( "aptaiii \'ane until the result of the coroner's 
in(iue>t was known. 

As Mrs. Roinnev. i)Oor Iris, and 1 were 



'*^^^ 



334 



THE STRAND MAGAZLNE. 



It-aving the police-court, the lawyer who was 
employed in Vane's defence, one of the 
leading men in his profession at Salisbury, 
came up and asked to speak to me alone. I 
conducted the ladies to their carriage, antl 
then went into a small room with him. 

" What is the matter?" I asked. 

" This is a grave busines.s," he replied. 
" Of course, I hope to get my client off, but 
I must own that circumstantial evidence 
points strongly against him. His own story 
is as follows : He frankly admits that he 
quarrelled with Ransome yesterday. He was 
walking across a field in General Romney's 
grounds when he came across a wounded 
pheasant lying on the path. He took his 
handkerchief out and strangled the bird. 
^^'hile doing so he heard a loud, mocking 
laugh, and looking up he saw Ransome 
astride of the gate in the fence. Vane called 
out to him with, as he acknowledged, con- 
siderable temper in his tones. His words 
were as fellows : — ■ 

" ' I should think, if you are cad enough to 
shoot another man's game, you would at 
least have the decen(-y to kill il, and not 
lea\e it maimed.' 




\W NAN'SOME ASIRIDK. OF I'HE CiATE TV THF, FK.S'CE. 



•• He says that he finished this speech by 
flinging the pheasant at Ransome's feet. 

" The Squire got into a towering passion, 
and broke immediately into a volley of oaths. 
\'ane says that Ransome took good care to 
drag in Miss Romney's name in the most 
offensive manner. 

'■ He acknowledged that he had some diffi- 
culty in keeping himself in control, and 
presently thought the most prudent course 
was to turn on his heel and walk away. He 
had only gone a little distance when he heard 
the report of a gun. He sa)s he thought 
nothing of the circumstance beyond con- 
cluding that Ransome was continuing his 
sport. This is his tale," concluded the 
lawyer, " and a very lame one it will appear 
if there is no testimony to support it. \"ane 
speaks of having stained his handkerchief 
with the pheasant's blood. He says he left 
it in his overcoat. Now, I cannot find it 
there. Would it be possible. Dr. Halifax, for 
you to get it for me ? ' 

" I am afraid not," I re})lied, gravely. 
I then told Mr. Selwyn of poor Iris's rash 
act of the pre\ious night. 

The lav>'yer looked very grave. 

"What mad crea- 
tures women are," 
he said, after a 
jxause. " The mere 
fact of the handker- 
chief being destroy- 
ed will incriminate 
the unfortunate 
young n^an."' 

AVe spoke to- 
gether for a little 
longer, and then I 
was obliged to leave 
Selwyn to accom- 
pany Mrs. Romney 
and Iris to High 
( ,'ourt. 

I made a strong 
effort for their sakes 
to overcome the 
gloomy forebodings 
which seized me, 
and resolved that 
Iris should hear 
nothing more of 
her own rash act, 
unless circum- 
stances made it im- 
possible to keep it 
from her. 

In the course of 
the afternoon, a, 



STORIES FROM THE DIARY Of A DOCTOR. 



335 



messenger from Ransome Heights brought me 
a brief note to say that the coroner had 
returned a verdict of wilful murder against 
Captain David Vane. I can scarcely explain 
the emotion which overcame me when I read 
this brief note. I crushed it in my hand, 
pushed it into my pocket, and went out for 
a long walk. 

I'hat evening I was sitting alone in General 
Romney's study, when my thoughts were in- 
terrupted by a message from Mrs. Romney 
desiring my presence in the sick room. 

I went upstairs at once. The General was 
lying on his back, breathing stertorously ; the 
flush on his face was not so marked as it had 
been when first the seizure had taken him ; 
his lips were slightly open, and occasionally 
he moved his eyelids very faintly. 

'' He has looked at me once or twice," said 
Mrs. Romney, who was standing by the bed- 
side ; "and," she added, " his eyes have had 
a question in them." 

" He doubtless has much he wants to tell 
you," I said, in a soothing voice. " This is a 
good sign of his returning intelligence." 

" ]]ut I fear you do not think well of him, 
Dr. Halifax." 

" The case is a very grave one," I replied. 

Mrs. Romney was silent for a moment — 
then she laid her hand on my arm and drew 
me to a distant part of the room. 

" Do you think," she said, looking full up 
at me as she spoke — "do you think that my 
husband knows anything of the murder ? " 

Her words startled me. 

" How could he ? " I answered. " General 
Romney has not I.)een out for some days " 

"That is true," she replied, "he has not 
been well — not quite himself. Still, what 
does the strange, anguished look in his eyes 
mean ? Oh, I know he wants to tell me 
something very badly. See, doctor, his eyes 
are open now. Come to him : he would 
beckon us if he could." 

I approached the bed where the stricken 
man lay. He gazed at me fixedly — his eyes 
were bloodshot and dull ; nevertheless, 
beneath the dulness, beneath the ebbing 
powers of life, I thought I caught a glimpse of 
a tortured soul. The look in the General's 
eyes startled me. I laid my hand gently over 
them to close them. 

" Do not think - sleep," I said to him. 

Perhaps he did not understand me — 
perhaps he did. 

Soon afterwards I left the room. I 
returned once more to the study. My mind 
was now filled by a very anxious thought. 
Su])post; Mrs. Romney was right ? Suppose 



the dying man did know some fact which 
might clear David \'ane? The feeling that 
this might possibly be so, and the knowledge 
also that the dull brain would in all pro- 
bability never have the power of express- 
ing its thoughts again — that the man who was 
so soon to leave the world would most 
likely carry his secret in darkness and 
silence to his long home — gave me a feeling 
•of intense pain. I felt absolutely powerless 
to do anything in the matter, and in order to 
while away the wretched moments, I looked 
around me to see if I could find something 
to read. 

The General was not a reading man, and, 
with the exception of a few sporting journals, 
there were no books to be found in his 
study. I was about to leave the room 
to seek for some literature further a-field, 
when a cabinet of old-fashioned make, which 
occupied a niche in one corner, attracted my 
attention. The cabinet was of oak, old, and 
beautifully carved ; it had doors which could 
be shut or opened by the turning of brass 
handles. It was possible that I might find 
something to read in this cabinet. I went to 
it and opened the doors. I saw at a glance 
that it did not contain what I had come to 
seek. Some guns, one or two rusty jMStols, 
a few old files and bottles, were scattered about 
on the different shelves ; but what particularly 
attracted my attention was a battered-looking 
hat, which seemed from the way it had been 
pushed in on the top of bottles and various 
other debris, to have found a hasty hiding- 
place in the cabinet. I took it into my hands 
and looked at it — at first without any special 
interest. Then the faint smell of singeing 
attracted my attention. I held the hat 
between me and the light, and noticed that 
it had been considerably injured. On close 
examination I saw that it had been shot 
through. There were holes apparent in the 
crown ; one round hole about the size of a 
shilling, and three or four smaller ones. 
These holes must have been caused by a 
charge of shot. For what possible reas£)n 
had anyone made a shooting target of the old 
hat ? 

I put it back again in its place, shut the 
cabinet doors, and returned to my place by 
the fireside. I felt excited, and no longer 
cared to divert my thoughts by reading. 
Why was the hat in the cabinet, and why 
had it been riddled with shot ? 

"Suppose," I said to myself, "General 
Romney really knows all about this affair — 
and suppose Vane is hanged for it." 

I began to think hard. I had scarcely 



336 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



time, however, to arrange my thoughts 
before the study door was opened, and Iris 
came in. There were red rims round her 
eyes as if she had been crying— otherwise 
she was quite calm. I looked at her 
attentively, and it occurred to me that she 
might help me to throw light on the mystery 
which was now occupying all my thoughts. 

" Sit down," I 
said to her ; "' I 
want to talk to )'ou 
about your father." 

" How is he?"' she y// 

a.sked. 

" Very ill indeed," 
I replied. 

Her face grew a 
shade paler. 

" Is he dying ? " 
she asked of me. 

" I have grave fears 
for him," I answered ; 
" but you know the 
old s a }■ i n g , that 
' while there is life 
there is hope.' It is ''/ 
important that I 
should know the 
s y m p t o m s w h i c h 
preceded this sud- 
den attack, and it 
has occurred to me 
that you can possibly 
help me. What did 
your father do, for 
instance, vester- 
day ? ■' 

Iris's brow con- 
tracted with a certain 
impatience. 

" My father lias 
not been well for 
some days," she said. 

" He spent yesterdav as he has spent most 
days lately, in his study." 

" He did not go out, then ? " 

"(io out! — no, he has not been out for 
a fortnight." 

"Are you certain on that point?" I asked. 

" Yes — what do }0u mean ? E\en if he 
did go out, it does not greatly matter, does 
it? But I know that he did not." 

'' In the state he was in,"' I said, "exercise 
would have been extremely injurious to him, 
and if he took it, it might have hastened the 
attack."' 

" He was not out, Dr. Halifax," said Iris, 
"and," she continued, eagerly, " it so happens 
that I can prove it. Father would never stir 



THKRK WF.KK HOLES AITAREXT IN" THE CROWN. 



a yard without a certain old hat which he 
had a f^mcy for. That hat has been hanging 
in the hall for the last fortnight. I v.'ill fetch 
it for you." 

" Do,' I said ; '" I am sorry to trouble 
you, but it is important that I should know 
if the attack was in any way caused by 
unwonted exercise." 

Iris quickly left 
the room ; she came 
back in a moment 
with empty hands. 

"The hat is not 
there," she ex- 
claimed. " It was on 
the stand yesterday 
morning. I saw it : 
perhaps one of the 
servants has removed 
it."' 

"Is this it?"' I 
asked, going sud- 
denly to the cabinet, 
flinging it open, and 
producing the hat. I 
held it high, for I 
did not wish Iris to 
notice the holes 
made by the shot. 

She came eagerly 
to my side. 

" That is certainly 
the hat,"' she replied. 
"I wonder why 
father hid it in the 
cabinet? '' 

" Finding the hat 
here points to the 
conclusion that he 
went out yesterday,' 
I said. " He per- 
haps put it in this 
cabinet to a\oid the 
trouble of returning it to its place in the hall." 
" Perhaps so," replied Iris. " And you 
think he injured himself by going out ? " 
"He certainly did,"' I said, in a grave voice. 
I did not add any more. My suspicions 
were confirmed. 

" Vou are looking tired," I said to Iris. 
" You had better go to bed. Rest assured 
that I mean to take this matter up, but you 
mustn't question me. If I fail, I fail, but 1 
may succeed. CiO to bed and slee}). Rest in 
the knowledge that I will do my best.'" 
Iris suddenly seized my hand. 
'■ Y(m are good, you comfort me," she said ; 
'•you strengthen me." 
She ran out of the room 




STORIES FROM THE DIARY OF A DOCTOR. 



i7 



I sat down again b\- the fire. I was now 
concentrating my thoughts on one object, 
and one only. Ha\ing clearly made up my 
mind that (General Romney possessed a secret, 
it was my mission to restore to him the power 
of di\ulging it. How could I do that ? 

The Cicneral was suffering from embolism 
— there was little doubt, also, that there was 
progressive paralysis of the brain. Tl : case 
was a bad one, and under ordinary circum- 
stances the tfoomed man would go down into 
his grave in unbroken silence. In this case 
the silence must be broken. How ? 

Suddenly, an idea came to me — the shadow 
of a hope possessed me. Thin and poor as 
this hope was, I determined to act upon 
it. I went u}) to General Romney's bed- 
room. Haynes was there, seated by the 
bedside ; a trained nurse, who had arrived 
from town, was also present, and Mrs. 
Romney was lying on a sofa in a distant part 
of the room. The Cieneral lay as motionless 
as of old. I went over and sat by the bedside 
— the pallor was deepening over the sick man's 
face, the shadow of death was on it ; his eyes, 
however, were wide open : they looked at me 
now, full of speech, but of speech which I 
had no power to interpret. I took his hand 
in mine, and felt his pulse, it was weak and 
fluttering ; I bent down and listened to his 
breathing, then I asked Haynes to come into 
the next room for a moment. 

"What do you think of the case? " I said 
to him. 

" Quite hopeless," he answered. " I do 
not think our patient will be alive in the 
morning." 

" He is certainly very ill," I replied. " His 
respiratory centres are affected, out of pro- 
portion to the severity of the attack of 
paralysis ; in short, even if the hemorrhage 
on the brain does not proceed, he is likely to 
die of asphyxia." 

" I have noticed the affection of the lungs,"' 
said Haynes. "Can nothing be done to 
relieve the breathing ? " 

" I am inclined to try the inhalation of 
oxygen gas," I answered. " I propose that 
we send immediately to Salisbury for some 
bags of the gas, and give it to the patient to 
inhale." 

Haynes looked at me in doubtful surprise. 

"\\'here so much is wrong," he said, "what 
is the use of trying what may only prolong 
life to cause further suffering ? The patient 
is almost unconscious." 

" He is not unconscious,'' I replied. " He 
knows us. Have you not noticed the ex- 
pression in his eyes ? " 

Vol. ix -44, 



" I have," said Haynes. " To tell the 
truth, I do not like their look. They give 
me a sense of being haunted." 

" The inhalation of the gas can do no 
harm," I said, almost cheerfully. " I am 
quite aware that it is not usually tried in such 
cases, but I have a special reason for wishing 
not to leave a stone unturned to give the 
(General a chance of even partial revivement. 
Now, can we get a messeiiger to go to Salis- 
bury at once ? " 

Haynes looked dubious and disturbed. 

" I will go, if anybody must," he answered; 
" but in addition to. not leeling sanguine as 
to the success of your remedy, I am quite 
certain that we cannot get the oxygen gas in 
Salisl)ury." 

" We'll make it, then," I replied. " Such 
a trivial obstacle must not l)affle us at a 
crucial moment like the present. Will you 
go for me immediately to Salisbury, Haynes, 
and get two nitrous oxide bags from any 
dentist you happen to know ? 'I'hen get from 
the chemist a retort and a S[)irit-lamp, some 
chlorate of potash, some peroxide of man- 
ganese, some caustic i)otash, some rubber 
tubing, and two big glass jars. Bring these 
back with you as fast as ever you can. I 
believe in the remedy, but there is not a 
moment to lose in preparing the oxygen gas." 

Haynes left me, and I returned to the sick 
room. I shall not soon forget those weary 
hours of watching. I knew that with all 
possible speed Haynes would not be back 
with the necessary materials for preparing the 
gas under a couple of hours. Meanwhile, the 
patient's strength was ebbing fost. Any 
moment that fluttering pulse might cease. I 
administered restoratives at intervals, and 
held the limp hand in mine. Shortly before 
Haynes returned, Mrs. Romney stirred on 
her sofa, rose, and motioned to me to follow 
her into the next room. AA'hen I did so, she 
spoke, eagerly. 

" How is my husband ? " she asked. 

I looked at her. ^ 

" Vou must know the truth," I said. " You 
are brave — you will bear up — (General 
Romney is dying — nothing can be done to 
save his life, but I have sent to Salisbury for 
a special remedy which will, in all probability, 
relieve the breathing, and it is quite possible 
give him the opportunity of communicating 
to us that thought which haunts his dying 
bed." 

" Ves, yes, he wants to tell us something," 
said Mrs. Romney. She turned white, and 
trembled so excessively that I made her sit 
down on the nearest chair. 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




THK I'AiiKxi's srRy:\(ri'ii was f'.rp.ixc, fast." 



At this moment I heard steps on the stairs, 
and Haynes arrived with all the necessary 
materials for making the gas. 

There was not a moment to waste. I got 
the apparatus quickly into order, mixed the 
chemicals, and soon had the satisfaction of 
seeing the bag slowly fill with pure oxygen 
gas. Haynes and I then hurried into the 
sick room. I directed the nurse to place a 
lamp in such a position that the light should 
fall on the patient. My object now was to 
revive him — in short, to untie, if possible, 
that silent tongue. Mrs. Romney followed 
me into the room. The gas was quickly 
applied, and the effect of even the first few 
whiffs was marvellous. The death-like pallor 
on the sick man's fiice left it. The returning 
colour first stole into the tii)s of the ears, then 
to the lips, then the eyes grew bright. The 
General heaved a deep sigh, as though an 
awful weight had been lifted from him. 
I removed the rubber tubing which I had 
introduced into one of his nostrils, and 
noticed the quick, strong respirations which 
now proceeded from the relieved lungs. This 
relief did not last long ; but when I ad- 
ministered the gas again, the effect was in 
every way satisfactory. At the third applica- 
tion Cieneral Romney sat up in bed. His 
mouth twitched, he tried to speak, but no 
intelligent words would come to him. He 
was now, however, fully conscious, and I 
knew that the moment had arrived for me to 
speak to him. 

" I want to tell you something, ("leneral,"" I 
said. "Captain David Vane "' 

" Oh, don't, I beg of you," interrupted Mrs. 
Romney. 

I pushed her aside. 

" l)o noL interrupt me,"' I said : "look at 
his face." 



'i'hat face was, indeed, eloquent with sup- 
l)ressed speech. The General moved his 
arms impatiently. I turned to him and 
began to speak again in a low, distinct voice. 

"Captain David Vane," I said, "has been 
arrested for the murder of Mr. Ransome, of 
Kanspme Heights. It is very probable that 
a verdict of wilful murder may be returned 
against him, unless you. General Romney, 
you who are a dying man, can throw light on 
the mystery." 

His face worked ; a hopeless jumble of un- 
intelligible sounds proceeded from his lips. 

I held the gas again to his nostrils and he 
revived. Making an effort, he suddenly 
threw out his right arm and hand and pointed 
with one finger to some writing materials 
which lay on a table not far distant. I went 
to the table, secured blotting-pad and paper 
and a sharply pointed pencil. I brought 
them back with me, placed the pencil in the 
dying hand, and supported the old man in 
such a way that he was able to write without 
much ditificulty. 

"Quick," I whispered to him, "a life 
depends on what you want to say." 

His fingers immediately began to move 
across the paper. I looked over his shoulders, 
as he wrote. 

These were the words which I read : — 

" David \'ane is innocent. I am the 
person who killed Thomas Ransome. This 
is how the deed was done. On the day you 
arrived I went out, contrary to my doctor's 
advice, for a short walk. I went into the 
copse. I saw Ransome sitting on the fence 
which divides his property from ours. He 
was in the act of aiming at a pheasant in my 
copse when I saw him. I called to him in a 
loud voice to abstain. I called him what he 
was a scoundrel. He raised his eves 



STORIES FROM THE DEARY OF A DOCTOR. 



339 



I saw 
I came 



looked at inc and burst out laughin 
that he was the worse for drink, 
close up to him. 

" ' It isn't pheasants alone I have come to 
knock down,' he said, with a jeer. ' I'm 
looking for bigger game.' 

" The next instant I heard a noise and felt 
some heat. The fellow had presented his 
gun at me at near quarters. I closed with 
him, and we had a terrible tussle. I seized 
the gun, and gave him one l)low on the head 
— only one. I thought I had stunned him 
he rolled into the ditch and lay quiet 
came back to the house and saw that the full 
charge of the gun had entered my hat. I 
regarded my life as a miracle, 
and put the hat away — not 
to alarm my family. I felt 
ill and shaken — I had been 
unwell for some time. I had 
no idea that I had killed 
Ransome. You came in and 
gave me a restorative, and I 
felt better. I was in the 
ball-room receiving my 
visitors when someone rushed 
up and told me that Ran- 
some was dead, and that a 
police-officer had arrived for 
the purpose of arresting 
\'ane. I ran, as if the Evil 

One were behind me, to find 

Vane, and tell the truth. 

Before I could do so, I was 

stricken down."' 

Having written so far, the 

( leneral paused. The pencil 

fluttered out of his feeble 

fingers. I applied the gas 

once again — his respiration 

grew easier, but I saw that the last flicker of 

strength was leaving him, and that soon even 

the revivifying gas would fail in its effects. 
" For God's sake, rouse yourself, (jcneral," 

I cried to him. '' Sign the statement you 

have just made. Sign it quickly." 

Haynes, Mrs. Ronmey, and the nurse were 

all standing round-the General took the 

pencil in his hand. 
"Sign, sign," I said. 
I held him up, and he managed with the 

last flicker of strength to put his name in full 

at the bottom of the paper. I handed the 

paper to Mrs. Romney, with an expressive 

look. She took it and laid it on the table. 

I put General Romney once more back on 

his ))illows. 




" I tiii)U(;ht I HAD sruN"xr:i) him." 

" ^'ou ha\e done bravely," I said to him. 
"This paper will completely clear Vane. Your 
girl will be happy yet — you may die in peace."' 

He looked up at me, and I saw that the 
(|uestion and the agony had left his dyjng 
eyes for ever. Iris was hurriedly sent for, 
but before she arrived the old man was 
unconscious. She sat by his side, and took 
his hand in hers. As she sat so, I read over 
to her the words which her father had just 
put on paper. She burst into tears, and fell 
forward on his breast. 

Perhaps he knew she was there, for the 
eyelids seemed to flutter, but gradually and 
surely the laboured breath quieted down, and 
before the morning dawned General Romney 
died. 





\NY people labour under the 
false impression that an idea is 
an invciifio/i, and with assur- 
ance in this connection submit 
ideas to editors, and other 
great men, seeking information 
regarding the remuneration they may expect 
from the said great men in the event of the 
latter piloting their ideas through perfection, 
and the Patent Ofifice. Every practical 
inventor knows that ideas are common to 
nearly everybody who will exercise their minds 
a little ; and that an inventive man has 
suggested mentally scores of ideas, of which 
he perceives the impracticability, and which he 
discards at once. Some apparently impossible 
suggestions a}-e realized, by men such as 
Edison. Ikit there are many ideas which 
even the wizard lidison could not lick into 
proper shai)e — ideas that I have culled from 
the many sources open to all — ideas of cranks 
and addle-pated men who have imaginative 
minds, but are quite devoid of practical 
sense. I have illustrated them in order the 
better to convey their absurdity. 

Take the ridiculous notion for preventing 
collisions on the railway (f"ig. i). It is 




^t^a- 



| ^ ' Li^L\\\^\VVv^.5^^N:^ 



suggested that the fronts of the engines shall 
be wedge-shaped, somewhat after the manner 
of a ship, the first of tlic claims for such 
a contrivance being mon.- feasible and credit- 



able than the second. The first is based on 
the supposition that less resistance would 
thereupon be offered to the wind than is now 
manifested; and that, therefore, the train 
would proceed at an easier and quicker pace, 
with a less expenditure of energy. Here I 
am of the same opinion as the inventor ; but 
when it is asserted that if the front edges of 
these engines were slightly curved outwards, 
the effect of a collision would be the 
pushing off the line of one train by the 
stronger of the two, I am inclined to believe 
that the remedy would jirove as disastrous as, 
if not more destructive than, the evil it aimed 
to avoid. As soon as one engine was pushed 
off the line, its opposing companion would 
crash through the carriages which were being 
dragged off the metals. All inventions need 
to be tested before final pronouncement of 
their value can be candidly given ; but in 
such a case as that now before us, the diffi- 
culty of forming a pronouncement is for- 
midably obstructed by the danger attending 
actual experiment. If the inventor's claims 
are sincerely believed in i)y him, he should 
have every inducement to test the matter, 
and should feel convinced that a purposely 
contrived collision would not 
{produce dire results. But, not- 
withstanding his assertions, I 
imagine that he would feel 
(jualms of conscience were a 
test about to be applied to the 
peculiar engines. * 

Still keeping our attention 
attached to locomotives, I will 
acquaint the reader with a more 
sensible, albeit impracticable, 
suggestion for minimizing the 
risk accruing from another form 
of collision. In this case, the 
object in view is to provide 
against the danger incident 
u[)on the meeting of one train with the 
back of a forerunner. It is intended that 
all locomotives should have the last van 
shaped in a sloping manner, so that a 



i^r. 



ECCENTRIC IDEAS. 



341 



train following too closely behind it would 
be enabled to run up the slanting sur- 
face, and eventually mount to the top of 
it (Fig. 2). Lines are to be laid along the 




slopes and the tops of the carriages, and it 
is supposed that the driver of the topmost 
train would have sufficient time allowed him 
thereby to shut off steam and bring his 
locomotive to a standstill. I am wondering 
how the upper one would fare in the event of 
the meeting happening near a tunnel, as I 
have depicted in my illustration ; supposing 
that the under one had not been crushed to 
pieces by the weight and com- 
motion above it. 

Practical inventors will at 
once detect many obvious and 
almost insurmountable points 
calculated to deprive this in- 
vention of a claim to meritorious 
(jualification. In the first place, 
unless the sloping portion of the 
train dragged along directly in 
contact with the ground, and 
the rails upon it were tapered 
to a nicety at the bottom, the 
back engine would not act as 
desired, for the alternate course 
would entail the use of wheels, 
whereupon the extreme end 
edge of the train would l)e 
raised to an elevation of several 
inches above the ground, and 
would form a kind of ste[) up 
which the following train could 
not spring. The second futile point is that, 
even supposing that the front locomotive 
did slope accurately, and ])ermit surmounting, 
the great gaps between the carriages whicli 
would necessarily exist would form gulfs into 
which the wheels of the upper train would 
slip, and c:ause dreadful destruction. 



After all, it would appear that the safest 
plan to adopt in these matters is to prevent 
the collisions. 

Are we getting lazy, or are our business 
demands so urgent that great 
haste in our personal locomo- 
tion is absolutely necessary ? 
I am prompted to ask this 
f]uestion because one enthu- 
siast has suggested the peculiar 
sloping roadways illustrated in 
Fig. 3. The idea is that by 
constructing the roads in this 
rather tantalizing manner, 
pedestrians could, when they 
desired, leave the pavement, 
and after having applied roller- 
skates to their feet, just stand 
erect at the top of the slope, 
and allow themselves to travel 
down without further effort — 
unless it be to maintain their equilibrium or 
to avoid violent conta(^t with fellow-skaters. 
Arrived at the bottom of a slope, steps would 
have to be climbed — a difficult matter, by the 
way, whilst one's feet are encased in skates 
— before other slopes could be reached. 
Certainly, if a very long street were so formed, 
speed would be assured. But how about 
vehicles ? Where would they be accom- 




modated ? I suppose that they would take 
to the i)avements, crossing from one to 
another by means of the square levels at the 
street ends. As a pastime, perhaps, this 
means of progress might be amusing; but it 
is too ludicrous to commend itself as a 
serirtus invention, calciilaled to be popular 



j4- 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



\\\ our busy centres of cnmmt-rct', or, for 
the matter of that, anywhere within our 
reahiis. 

Burglars ! What sneaking, running, clever 
rogues burglars are, for the most part ! The\- 
defy householders who adopt various sug- 
gestions that apparently offer effective oppo- 
sition to their enterprising tactics. Locks 
and l)ars, Ijells and dogs, shutters and steel- 
]>!ates- all are sooner or later rendered preg- 




nable by the undoubted, yet unadmired, skill 
of the genuine professional burglar. Whether 
he would approve or disapprove of the prac- 
tical application of the scheme depicted in 
Fig. 4 is a matter likely to arouse dispute. 
He might not consider it very formidable : 
he might even regard it with a friendly eye, 
and ask for its extensive adoption. This is 
the idea : The pavement in front of each shop 
and warehouse should be so constructed as 
to be capable of being lifted bodily like a 
trap-door, and secured by mechanical means 
to the house-front, at night. Beneath the wide 
pavements would be a very deep trench, either 
permanently filled with water, or so arranged 
that sufficient water would enter it every 
evening at a particular hour. The object of 
this device is to form a barrier which, it is 
supposed, would baffle the burglar. He could 
not ste[) across the ditch on to any convenient 
ledge ; nor could he stand in the water, 
as its depth would prevent recourse to such 
a tactic. But, if he did manage to stand 
by some artful means in the water, his 
consequent damp condition would assuredly 
attract the notice of stray policemen, whose 
inquiry and activity might result disastrously 
to the busy B. (lentlemen with planks to 
be used as bridges at midnight would also 
draw "cute attention towards their movements. 



TIh' invention seems feasil)le and useful; 
but it is surrounded with disadvantages. 
Highway robberies would undoubtedly 
increase largely, owing to the convenient 
means ready at hand wherewith to dispose 
of the unfortunate victims' lives. The con- 
stant presence of the water would be respon- 
sible for the appearance of diseases, and 
would tend to destroy the foundations of the 
houses. And in addition to all this, we have 
the unfortunate fact that to the 
very class of buildings that mostly 
need protection, vi/., uninhabited 
warehouses, the idea would not 
be ap]:licable, for the very sub- 
.stantial reason that if it were im- 
possible for a burglar to open thr 
door when the trap-pavement was 
elevated, it would be an ecjually 
impossible job for the last man 
leaving a City house to raise the 
pavement and secure it. .And, of 
course, if fitted outside houses in 
which dwelt inmates, its value and 
efficiency would be diminished by 
the fact of their presence. How 
(juickly the utility of bold and 
huge ideas is destroyed I 

i\Iany readers may have heard of 
crawling books — to wit : live snakes with 
records and sayings tattooed on their skins ; 
but I daresay few have heard of the suggested 
travelling roadway. Tliink of it I A cart to 




ECCEXTRJC IDEAS. 



543 



carry its own road with it I The illustration 
(Fig. 5) explains to the ordinary eye as much 
as is requisite to understand it. Five narrow 
troughs are to he hinged together and placed 
outside each cart-wheel, in such a way as to 
he incapable of accidental release. As the 
cart proceeded, first one then another trough 
would gradually lie along the thoroughfare 
and afford a footing for the wheel. 

'Hie idea is that, by this means, a level 
l)ath would be available for travelling over 
sandy, muddy, stony, or slippery ground. 
Of course the result in i)ractice would be 
exactly the same as if the wheel itself had 
been made in the shape of the five-sided 
frame to start with, instead of round. 

In the highly entertaining article on the 
"revolution of the 
Cycle,"api)earing 
in 1'hi: .Strand 
Mac;azine for 
July, 1892, many 
eccentric ideas 
were m a n i - 
fested ; but few 
are more curious 
than the sugges- 
ted foot -cycle 
portrayed in Fig. 
^ 6. The belief of 
its inventor is 
. that many would 
adopt its use 
FIG. 6. " because thereby 

it w o u 1 d b e 
possible to travel on the pavement, and 
he free from the dangers to which cyclists 
are now exposed in the roadway. More- 
oxer, the machine would be portable when 
not in actual use, but in this direction I 
cannot enlighten my readers. It is advised 
that two wheels should be connected to a 
belt, and that motion should be gained by 
turning a handle. It would have steering 
apparatus, but could only travel over com- 
paratively smooth pavements or roads. 

I have heard sailors declare that they 
would much prefer to be at sea during stormy 
or windy weather than be wandering through 
the streets of a town. They say, truthfully, 
that no dislodged chimney-pots or bricks can 
surprise and injure them by falling on their 
tender heads. In their innocent way, they 
forget the existence of equally severe dangers 
beneath their feet. I daresay, however, that 
e\en if they (;ould be persuaded to don the 
wonderful tall hat depicted in the adjoining 
illustration (Fig. 7), sufficient faith in its 
efficienfy would jiot be forthcoming to induce 






them to wander about so dressed, and they 
would still hanker for the ocean. Moreover, 
the spectacle of a sailor with a tall hat would 
provoke so much mirth on the part of land- 
lubbers generally, as to make Jack feel too 
uncomfortable for his own happiness. 

Gentlemen are not advised to wear this 
hat, although it is sujiposed that immediately 
a brick or other obtrusive article fell upon il. 
a spring would be thereby released, ami 
cause an interior cylinder to pop up and 
eject the objectionable material. I will not 
ask any questions concerning the details of 
this contrivance, although I feel annoyed 
that certain mysterious points are still un- 
fathomable. 

How many ladies will be fascinated with 
the fan-umbrella hat shown in Fig. 8 ? I shall 




keep a sharp eye on the tender sex when 
I am out -doors during the wet weather, 
although I must confess that I anticipate but 
little prospect of encountering any of them 
parading with this contrivance above their 
devoted heads. Perhaps the inventor thought 
that as the only purposes for which a fan at 
present serves is either to cool a heated cheek 
or hide a blush, it ought in justice to itself to 
be known that it can be made to act as a 
serviceable umbrella. The closed fan is to 
occupy a position within the hat, when not 
recjuired for the (]ueer use referred to ; and. 
l)e capat)le of being opened entirely in 



344 



THE STRAXD MAGAZINE. 



the form ot a circle as shown, and have the 
additional attraction of an accompanying 
curtain to shield the back hair. How the 
surplus rain, which would assuredly accumu- 
late thereon, is to be disposed of I know not, 
so pray do not press me for further particulars. 
Ladies will perhaps be satisfied by uttering : 
" Fancy that ! See that fan ? " and pass on 
to the gentleman's umbrella-hat, which, 
however, is hardly so charming an appendage 
as its companion. 

This particular covering (Fig. 9) assumes 
the shape of the ordinary college cap when 
in its closed condition, but may be opened as 
shown during times of elemental disturbance. 
It is to be unfolded and folded in a similar 
way possible with ungummed envelopes. 
By what manner of means it is to sustain its 
four unfolded corners, no man (even the 
inventor himself) knoweth. ^\'hat a delight- 
fully picturesque pair a lady and gentleman 
carrying these last forms of headgear would 




present ! It must be acknowledged, though, 
that the position of the caps is too elevated 
to be of effective utility, and it would be 
desirable, therefore — in the interests of 
utility, if not of the individuals — to com- 
press the heads of the wearers to such an 
extent that the combination umbrellas would 
be better adapted for sheltering the 
shoulders. 

Fig. 10 represents a more for- 
midable notion, and one of quite 
another category. It has been 
suggested that to the ordinary 
wheels of tram-cars should be 
attached cog-wheels of a larger 
diameter ; and that these cog- 
wheels should engage with notched 
rails situated beneath the ordinary 
tram-lines. The under-sides of the 
notched rails are to communicate 
with a shallow tunnel, and to them 
may be suspended parcels and 
bo.xes, bags and sacks, and any 
other class of article the carriage of 
which iienple arc- in the habit of 




deputing to carmen and railway trucks. It 
is supposed -and the idea is a charmingly 
deceptive one — that the cog-wheels of a 
travelling tram would by such means propel 
the notched rails (in an opposite direction to 
that followed by the tram), which in turn 
would convey the goods. Such a proceeding 
mii:^ht ensue, were the tram-wheels fixtures in 
the proper sense of the word — />., deprived 
of a forward motion, and only permitted to 
revolve ; but as affairs are proposed, there 
would happen but one thing — the goods 
would not move. The cog-wheels would only 
fit in and out of the notches in the rails beneath 
them, and fiil to act as anticipated, for the 
simple reason that in travelling forward they 
could exert no leverage, and, consequentlv. 
create no motion. 

The gentleman who is comfortably dream- 
ing beneath a huge trumpet (Fig. 11) would 
undoubtedly regret having followed an 
eccentric inventor's suggestion, in the event 
of a mishap taking place with the suspending 
rope. The idea is that by adopting this form 




ECCENTRIC IDEAS. 



MS 



of contrivance (which is to communicate with 
the outer air) an abundance of refreshing, 
stimulating air could be secured during sleep, 
without providing facilities for burglarious 
entrance into the chamber, as is now pro- 
vided when the window is left open for the 
admission of the atmosphere. Properly 
speaking, this slumberer's window should be 
well shuttered ; but as he would then be in 
total darkness, I cannot see how I could 
have portrayed him and his precious air- 
trumpet. 

I can safely predict that, in the event of 
anyone addicted to snoring foolishly availing 
himself of the practical application of this 
idea, such strenuous complaints by the 
neighbours would be made relative to the 
magnified sounds audible, as to render the 
availer's life unbearable. How the poor man 
is to make his bed, or enter it after it has 
been made, whilst so formidable a pre- 
ventive remains 
in evidence, are 
a couple of minor 
questions that 
should not, per- 
haps, have been 
mooted. 

I have pur- 
posely left until 
last the most 
sensible of the 
curious proposed 
schemes' col- 
lected by me. Yet 




it, too, has its many impossibilities, or, 
at least, colossal disadvantages. The 
project concerns the lighting of our towns 
and cities, and the inventor claims that, 
by stationing men on platforms above 
the reflectors, and by furnishing tele- 
graphic communication between all captive 
balloons and ground stations, people in 
the street would be so conspicuously under 
observation that any suspicious persons 
could be tracked completely through the 
maze of thoroughfares. If my fear that, in 
the course of time, the balloons would carry to 
the heavens the houses to which they are 
secured by ropes is unfounded, there still 
remains the difficulty of relieving the watchers 
daily, weekly, or monthly, unless the matter 
be overcome by the costly method of lower- 
ing and raising the balloons on every occa- 
sion. However, there's the idea. Use it if 
you can (Fig. 12). 

Having now 
explained as fully 
as is desirable a 
few of the eccen- 
tric ideas of man, 
I will sum up 
by stating that 
eccentric ideas 
are like mush- 
rooms — all top 
and no bottom ; 
and — like soda- 
water bottles — 
cannot stand. 



Vol. 



45. 




JX, ^-voi^ "^^^Ch 



Bv E. P. Larken. 




RITZ, Franz, and Hans were 
charcoal-burners. They lived 
with their mother in the depths 
of a forest, where they very 
seldom saw the face of another 
human being. Hans, the 
youngest, did not remember ever having 
lived anywhere else, but Fritz and Franz 
could just call to mind sunny meadows, in 
which they played as little children, plucking 
the flowers and chasing the butterflies. 
Indeed, Fritz was able to compare the present 
state of miserable poverty in which they lived 
with the ease and comfort they enjoyed in 
years gone by. 

Once upon a time they were well off. 
They had enough to eat every day, they 
lived in a comfortable house, surrounded by 
a nice garden, and with plenty of kind 
neighbours round them. Then came a 
change. Their father lost his money, and 
was forced to leave this pleasant home, and 
to earn bread for his family by becoming a 
charcoal-burner. Everything now became 
different. Their house was a poor hut, com- 
posed of a few logs of wood knocked roughly 
together. Dry black bread with, occasionally, 
a few potatoes and lentils, and now and then, 
as a great treat, a little porridge, formed 
their food. And to secure even this they 
had to work hard from morning till night at 
their grimy trade. But their father was 
brave and patient, and, while he was alive, 



the wolf was kept some distance from the 
door. Besides, he could always put some 
heart into the boys, when they began to 
flag, by a joke or a pleasant story. But he 
had died a year ago, owing to an accident 
he met with while chopping wood for the 
furnace, and since his death matters had been 
going from bad to worse with the family. 

Fritz and Franz were, unfortunately, selfish, 
ill-conditioned lads, who made the worst in- 
stead of the best of their troubles, and who even 
grudged their mother and brother their share 
of the food. Hans, on the other hand, was a 
capital fellow. He always had a cheerful 
smile or word, and did all in his power to 
help his mother to keep in good spirits. One 
day at dinner time they were startled by a 
knock at the door. A knock at the door 
does not sound to us, perhaps, to be a very 
startling thing, but they, as I said, so seldom 
saw a strange face near their home that this 
knock at the door quite took away tKeir 
breath. AVhen it came, Fritz and Franz were 
sitting over the fire munching their last piece 
of black bread, and grumbling to one another 
as was their custom, while Hans, seated on 
the bed beside his mother, was telling her 
about what he saw and what he fancied when 
he was in the forest. Fritz was the first to 
recover himself, and he growled out, in his 
usual surly tone, " Come in," The door 
opened, and a gentleman entered. From his 
green dress, the gun that he carried in his 



THE UNICORN. 



347 



hand, and the game-bag slung by his side, 
they saw that he was a huntsman who had 
been amusing himself with shooting the game 
with which the forest abounded. 

" Good morning, good friends," he said, in 
a cheerful tone. " Could you provide me with 
a cup of water and a mouthful of something 
to eat ? I have forgotten to bring anything 
with me, and am ravenously hungry and far 
from home." 

Fritz and Franz first threw a scowling 
glance from under their eyebrows at the 
stranger, by way of reply, gave a grunt, and 
continued munching at their hunks of bread. 
Hans, however, was more polite. The only 
seats in the hut were occupied by Fritz and 
Franz, and, as they showed no disposition to 
move, Hans dragged a log of wood from a 
corner and placed it before the visitor and 
invited him to sit down. Then he produced 
a cup, scrupulously clean, indeed, but sadly 
cracked and chipped, and, running outside, 
he filled it from a spring of delicious cool 
water, which rose near the hut. As he had 
been busy talking to his mother, he had had 
no time to eat his share of the black bread, 
and so he handed his coarse crust to the 
stranger, saying he was sorry that there was 
nothing better to offer him. 

" Thank you," said the stranger, cour- 
teously. " Hunger is the best sauce. There 
is no lunch I hke so well as this." And he 
set to work with such a good will that, in 
a very short time, poor Hans' crust had 
vanished, and there was nothing left before 
the stranger but a few crumbs of bread on 
the table, and a few drops of water in the 
cup. These he kneaded carelessly together 
into a little pellet, about the size of a pea, 
while Hans told him, in answer to his ques- 
tions, all about their lonely life in the forest, 
and the hardships which they had to endure. 

When the stranger rose to go he said, 
"Well, I thank you heartily for your hospitality 
— now I will give you a word of advice. One of 
you lads should go and seek the sparkling 
golden water which turns everything it touches 
into gold." 

Fritz and Franz pricked up their ears at 
this, and, both at once, demanded where 
this sparkling golden water was to be found. 
The stranger turned towards them cour- 
teously, although these were the first words 
they had spoken since his entrance, and 
replied : — 

" The sparkling golden water is to be 
found in the forest of dead trees, on the 
further side of those blue mountains wl: 'ch 
you may see on any clear day in the fir 



distance. It is a tnree weeks' journey on 
foot from here." 

Then, bowing to his hosts, he stepped 
towards the door. Hans, however, was there 
first, and opened it for him. Obeying 
a sign from the stranger, Hans followed 
him a little way from the hut. Then the 
stranger, taking from his pocket the little 
black bread pellet, said, " I know, because 
you gave me your dinner, that you will have 
to go hungry. I have no money to offer you, 
but here is something that will be of far 
greater value to you than money. Keep this 
pellet carefully, and when you seek this 
sparkling golden water, as I know you will, 
don't forget to bring it with you. Now go 
back : you must follow me no further." So 
saying, the stranger waved his hand to Hans, 
and, plunging into the thicket, disappeared. 
Hans slipped the pellet into his pocket and re- 
entered the hut, where he found his brothers in 
loud dispute about the sparkling golden water. 
They were much too interested in the matter 
to pay any attention to Hans or to ask him, 
as he was afraid they would, whether the 
stranger had given him any money before he 
left. As he came in he heard Fritz saying, 
in a loud voice : — 

" Fm the eldest, and I will go first to get 
the sparkling golden water. When I've got 
it I will buy all the land hereabouts and 
become Count. I will hunt every day, and 
have lots of good wine, and sometimes, if 
I'm passing near here, I'll just look in to see 
how you all are, and to show you my fine 
clothes, and horses, and dogs, and servants." 
Fritz was, for him, almost gracious at the 
bright prospect before him. 

" I don't care whether you're the eldest or 
not," growled Franz, stubbornly, " I shall go, 
too, to find the sparkling golden water. 
When I've found it I will buy the Burgo- 
master's office, and live in his house in the 
town yonder, and wear his fur robes and gold 
chain, and, best of all, walk at the head of 
all the grand processions. None of your 
wild hunting for me — give me ease and 
comfort." 

At last it was decided, after a great deal 
of squabbling, that Fritz as the eldest should 
go first in search of the sparkling golden 
water, and accordingly next day he set out. 
Hans ventured to hint that the first thing to 
be done with this sparkling golden water when 
it was found should be to provide a comfort- 
able home for their mother, but Fritz's only 
answer to this was a blow, and an angry order 
to Hans to mind his own business. 

We cannot follow Fritz all the way on his 



348 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



journey. As he had no money, he was 
forced to beg at the doors of the cottages and 
farm-houses which he passed, for food and 
shelter for the night. Now, this proved to 
be rather hard work, because nobody very 
much liked his looks or his manner, and 
people only gave him spare scraps now and 
then in order to get him to go away as soon 
as possible. However, he found himself, 
at last, approaching the forest of dead 
trees. He knew that it was 
the forest, although there was 
nobody there to tell him so. 
He had not, in fact, seen any 
human being for the last three 
days. But he felt that he 
could not be mistaken. A vast 
forest of enormous trees lifted 
leafless, sapless branches to 
the sky, which every breath 
of wind rattled together like 
the bones of a skeleton. When 
he was about twenty yards 
from the forest a terrible sound 
came from it. It was as 
though a thousand horses 
were neighing and scream- 
ing all at once. Fritz's 
heart stood still. He 
wanted to run away, 
but his legs refused 
to move. As he stood 
there, shaking and quak- 
ing, there rushed out of 
the forest a huge unicorn 
with a spiral golden horn on his forehead. 

" What seek you here ? " asked the unicorn, 
in a voice of thunder. Fritz stammered out 
that he sought the sparkling golden water. 

"What want you with the sparkling golden 
water, which is in my charge ? " thundered 
the unicorn. 

Fritz was almost too frightened to speak. 
He fell on his knees, put up his hands, 
and cried : " Oh, good Mr. Unicorn, oh, 
kind Mr. Unicorn, pray don't hurt me." 

The unicorn stamped furiously on the 
ground with his right fore-foot. " Say this 
instant," he cried, '" what it is fhat you want 
with the sparkling golden water ! " 

" I want to get money to buy land and 
become a Count," Fritz was just able* to gasp 
out. The unicorn said nothing : he simply 
lowered his head, and with his golden horn 
tossed Fritz three hundred and forty-five feet 
in the air. Up went Fritz like a sky-rocket, 
and down he came like its stick, turning 
somersaults all the way. Fortunately for him, 
his fall was broken by the branches of one 



of the dead trees. If it had not been for 
this he would probably have been seriously 
hurt. Through these branches he crashed 
until he reached the point where they joined 
the trunk. The tree was hollow here, and 
Fritz tumbled down to the bottom of the 
trunk and found himself a prisoner. While 
he was feeling his arms and legs to find out 

if any bones 
were broken or 
not, he had the 
satisfaction of 
hearing the uni- 
corn, as he trotted 
back into the 
forest, muttering, 
loud enough for 
his words to 
pierce the bark 
and wood of 
Fritz's prison : — 
" So much for 
you and your 
Countship." 

Fritz tried to 
get out, but in 
vain. The tree 
was too smooth 
and slippery and 
high for him to 




UP WENT FRITZ. 



be able to clamber up, and he only 
hurt himself every time he attempted to 
escape. There was nothing for it, then, 
but for him to lie down and howl. He had 
to satisfy his hunger, as best he might, by 
eating the stray worms and woodlice and 
fungi, which he found creeping, crawling, and 
growing round about the roots of the tree, 
We will leave him there for the present and 
return to the others. 

Franz, Hans, and their mother waited and 
waited for Fritz to come back. Hans and 



THE UNICORN. 



149 



his mother could not believe it possible that, 
when he had secured the sparkling golden 
water, he would leave them in their poverty. 
Franz, on the other hand, judging Fritz by 
himself, thought that nothing was more likely. 
And Franz was most probably right. Six 
weeks was the shortest time in which Fritz 
could be home again. " Unless," said Hans, 
" he buys a horse and rides back, as he will 
be very well able to do when he has got the 
sparkling golden water." But six weeks 
passed, and two months, and three months, 
and no Fritz, either on horseback or afoot. 
Then Franz's patience came to an end. He 
must needs go, too. 

" I won't wait here starving any longer," 
said he ; " Fritz has forgotten all about us. 
Fll get the sparkling golden water and 
become Burgomaster." So off he set, follow- 
ing the same rOcld as Fritz, and meeting with 
much the same difficulties. They were, how- 
ever, rather greater in his case than in his 
brother's. Folk remembered the ill-condi- 
tioned Fritz only too well, and Franz was so 
like him in looks and manner, that they shut 
the door in his face the moment he appeared, 
and ran upstairs and called out from the top 
windows of their houses, "Go away. There's 
npthing for you here. The big dog's loose in 
the yard, (io away, charcoal-burner." 

However, by dint of perseverance, in which 
to say the truth he was not lacking, Franz, 
very hungry and sulky, reached the verge of 
the forest of dead trees. Out came the 
unicorn and asked his business. On Franz 
replying that he wanted the sparkling golden 
water in order to buy the house and post of 
Burgomaster, the unicorn tossed him into the 
air, and he tumbled into the same tree as 
Fritz. Then the unicorn trotted back into 
the forest muttering, for Franz's benefit : "So 
much for you and your Burgomastership." 

^^'hen Fritz and Franz found themselves 
thus closely confined in the same prison, 
they, instead of making the best of one 
another's company, as sensible brothers would 
have done, fell to quarrelling and fighting, 
until at last neither would speak to the 
other, and that state of sulky silence they 
maintained all the time of their captivity. 

The months passed by, but no news came 
to Hans and his mother of Fritz and Franz. 
Meanwhile Hans found that it became daily 
more difficult for him to earn enough money 
to support two people. Moreover, he saw that 
his mother was growing weaker, and he feared 
that she would die unless she had proper food 
and nourishment. At last he said : — 

" Mother, if there was only someone to 



take care of you, I would go in search of 
Fritz and Franz. You may be sure that they 
have got the sparkling golden water by this 
time. They would never refuse me a few 
guldens if I were to ask them and tell them 
how ill you are." 

But Hans' mother did not at all like the 
idea of his leaving her, and she begged and 
prayed him not to go. He felt obliged, there- 
fore, to submit, and stayed on for a little 
longer, until at last even his mother saw that 
they must either starve or do as Hans 
suggested. Most fortunately at this time 
there dropped in to see them another char- 
coal-burner, whom Hans used to call " Uncle 
Stoltz," although he was no uncle at all, but 
only a good-natured neighbour and an old 
friend of Hans' father. Uncle Stoltz strongly 
urged the mother to let her boy go in search 
of his brothers, adding, although he was 
nearly as poor as they were themselves : - 

" You come and live with me and my 
wife. While we have a crust to divide you 
sha'n't want." 

So Hans' mother gave a reluctant consent, 
and went to live with Uncle Stoltz, while 
Hans went out in search of his brothers. 
By making inquiries he easily found the road 
which they had taken, but nobody ever 
thought of shutting the door in his face. 
On the contrary, his polite manners and 
cheerful looks made him a welcome guest at 
every cottage and farmstead at which he 
stopped. At last he, too, found himself on 
the verge of the forest of dead trees and 
face to face with the golden-horned unicorn. 
But Hans was not to be frightened as his 
brothers had been by the terrible voice and 
awe-striking appearance of the guardian of 
the fountain. In reply to the usual question 
— given in the usual tone of thunder : 
" What seek you here ? " — Hans replied, 
coolly, " I seek my brothers, Fritz and Franz." 
" They are where you will never find them," 
said the unicorn, "so go home again." 

" If I cannot find my brothers," said Hans, 
firmly, " I will not go home without ^the 
sparkling golden water." 

" What want you with the sparkling golden 
water, which is in my charge ? " asked the 
unicorn, in his terrible voice. 

" I want to buy food and wine and 
comforts for my mother, who is very ill," 
answered Hans, undaunted. But his eyes 
filled with tears as he thought of his mother. 
The unicorn spoke more gently. 
" Have you," he asked, " the crystal ball ? 
Because without it I cannot allow you to pass 
to the sparkling golden water." 



35° 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



" The crystal ball I " echoed Hans. " I 
never heard of such a thing." 

" That's a pity," said the unicorn, gravely ; 
" I'm afraid you will have to go home without 
the water ; but, stay, feel in your pockets. 
You may have had the 
ball, and put it some- 
where, and have for- 
gotten all about it." 

Hans smiled at the 
idea of the crystal ball 
lying, unknown to him, 
in his pockets, but he 
followed the sugges- 
tion of the unicorn, 
and found, as he knew 
he should find, nothing 
at all, except, indeed, 
the pellet of black 
bread which the 
stranger - hunts- 
man had given 
him, and which 
he had not 
thought of from 
that day to this. 
" No," he said 
to the unicorn, 

" I have no- [- 

thing in my 

pocket, except 

this pellet," and he was about 

to throw it away when the 

unicorn called out to him 

to stop. 

" Let me see it," he said. " Why," he 
went on, " this is the crystal ball — look!" 

Hans did look, and sure enough he 
found in his hand a tiny globe of crystal. 
He examined it with amazement. " Well," 
he said, " all I know is that a second ago it 
was a black bread pellet." 

" That may be," said the unicorn, care- 
lessly ; "anyhow, it is a crystal ball now, and 
the possession of it makes me your servant. 
It is my duty to carry you to the fountain of 
sparkling golden water, if you wish to go. 
Have you brought a flask with you ? " 

" No," said Hans. " Fritz took the only 
flask we had, and Franz an old bottle.'' 

" Fritz, eh ? Well, follow me a little way." 
So saying, the unicorn led Flans to the tree 
in which his brothers were imprisoned and, 
motioning him to be silent, cried out : — 

"Ho! Master Count, throw out the flask 
you have with you, if you please : it is 
wanted." 

"Sha'n't," growled Fritz's voice in reply, 
"unless you promise to let me out." 



" Oh, you won't, won't you ? " said the 
unicorn ; " well, we'll see." 

With that he drew back a few steps, and 
then, running forwards, thrust his sharp horn 
into the side of the hollow trunk from which 




THIS IS THE CRYSTAL BALL ! 



Fritz's voice had issued. A loud yell came 
from the spot, showing that the horn had 
run into some tender part of Fritz's body, 
and at the same instant, the flask appeared 
flying out of the hole of the tree by which 
Fritz and Franz had entered. 

'' That's right," said the unicorn, " now we 
shall do comfortably. Get on my back, 
grasp my mane tightly, hold your breath, and 
shut your eyes." 

" If you please," said Hans, " will you set 
Fritz and Franz free first ? " 

The unicorn looked annoyed. " They 
are doing very well there," he said; "why 
should you disturb them ? But you're my 
master, and I must do as you please. Only 
take my word you'll be sorry for this after- 
wards." 

With that he went to the tree and, with 



THE UNICORN. 



351 



time 



one or two powerful blows with his horn, 
made a hole large enough fur the unhappy 
prisoners to creep out. Two more sheepish, 
miserable wretches than those half-starved 
brothers of his, Hans had never seen. They 
fell at his feet and thanked him again and 
again for delivering them. They promised 
never to do anything unkind or selfish again, 
and each assured Hans that he had always 
liked him far more than he had liked the 
other brother. 

Their protestations of aftection rather dis- 
gusted Hans, only, as he was a good-hearted 
boy himself, he could not help being moved 
by them. He then told his brothers in what 
state he had left his mother, and how he was 
to be taken by the unicorn to get 
the sparkling golden water. 

" Oh ! " cried the brothers, " can't 
/ou take us, too ? " 

The unicorn thought it 
interfere. " No one can be 
taken there, but the owner 
of the crystal ball," he said. 
" Come, master, it is time 
for you to mount." 

Hans clambered 
nimbly into his seat 
on the unicorn's back. 
"A\'ait for me here," 
he called out to his 
brothers. " I shall not 
be long." Then Hans 
shut his eyes, held his 
breath, and grasped 
the unicorn tightly by 
the mane. It was as 
well that he did so, 
for the unicorn gave 
a bound that carried 
him over the tops of 
the highest trees, and 
would certainly have 
thrown hirn off unless 
he had been very 
firmly seated. 
Three such bounds 
did he take, and 
then he paused and 
said to Hans, 
" Now you may 

open your eyes." Hans found himself in 
a desolate, rocky valley, without a trace of 
vegetation — unless the forest of dead trees, 
which clothed the valley on every side, might 
be taken as vegetation. In the midst of the 
valley there sprang up a fountain of water, 
which sparkled with such intense brilliancy 
that Hans was unable at first to look upon it. 



^(¥-- 



"There, master," said the unicorn, turning 
his head, '" this is the fountain of sparkling 
golden water. Dismount and fill your flask. 
But take care that you do not allow your 
hand to touch the water. If it does, it will 
be turned into gold and will never become 
flesh and blood again." 

Hans slipped from his seat and, flask in 
hand, approached the fountain. The ground 
on which he walked was sand, but as he 
drew nearer the fountain, he noticed that the 
sand kept growing brighter until he felt that 
he was walking upon what he guessed rightly 
to be veritable gold dust. Hans thrust a 
handful of this dust into his pocket, and 
also one or two moderate-sized stones that 

he found, 
which, like the 
sand, had been 
changed, by 
the spray com- 
ing from the 
fountain, into 
pure gold. He 
tried to be r.s 
careful as pos- 
sible in filling 
the flask ; but, 
notwithstand- 
^ ■ ing all his care, 

the top joint of 
his little finger touched 
the water, and in an 
instant became gold. 
However, he had his 
flask full of sparkling 
golden water, the flask 
itself now of course 
golden, and he felt that 
the top joint of his little finger 
was a small price to pay for 
all this. 

" Now, master," said the uni- 
corn, when Hans got back, " do 
you still intend to return to 
brothers of yours ? Or 
shall I put you out of the f(?rest 
at some other point ? " 

" Certainly," replied Hans ; 
" I intend to return to thtm. 
You heard them say how 
sorry tliey were for all the unkindness they 
had shown to my mother and me. I know 
they mean to do better for the future. 
Besides, I promised them to come back." 

The unicorn said nothing but grunted, in 
an unencouraging manner, and motioned to 
Hans to get on his back. When he was 
seated the unicorn said : — - 




CAKKKlll. AS I'OSSlliI.E 



352 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



" Since this is your wish, you must have it. 
I have, however, three pieces of advice to 
give you : On your way home your brothers 
will offer to carry the flask — do not let them 
do so ; also, do not let them get behind you 
for a moment ; and, thirdly, guard the crystal 
ball with the utmost care. I can't go with 
you beyond the verge of the forest of dead 
trees. One visit, and only one, is permitted 
to the fountain. You therefore can never 
come here again. But if ever you need me 
sorely, crush the crystal ball, and I will be 
with you. Now shut your eyes, we must be off. " . 

Three bounds brought them to the side of 
Fritz and Franz, and Hans having thanked 
the unicorn warmly for his kindness, the three 
brothers began to retrace their steps home- 
wards. Now, during Hans' absence at the 
fountain, Fritz and Franz had been devising 
how they might rob him of the flask of 
sparkling golden water. 

" It is disgusting," they said to one 
another, "that this wretched little Hans 
should beat us both. He will only waste the 
water in buying things for his mother, while 
it would make us Count and Burgomaster." 

As soon, therefore, as they were out of sight 
of the unicorn, Fritz and Franz begged and 
prayed Hans to allow one of them to carry 
the flask. 

" You've had all the trouble of getting the 
water," they said, " we ought at least to be 
allowed the honour of helping you to carry 
it. Besides, are we not your servants now 
that you are so rich ? It is not suitable for 
you to do all the work." But Hans remem- 
bered the unicorn's words, and held firmly to 
his flask. 

" No," he said, " thank you ; but I'll carry 
it myself." Then Fritz and Franz pretended 
to get sulky and tried to drop behind, but 
Hans would not allow this either. The con- 
sequence was, that the three made very slow 
progress homeward. Towards the evening 
they came to a deep stream, which they had to 
recross. It was only fordable at one point, as 
they all knew, because they had, of course, 
already crossed it before. Hans stood aside to 
allow Fritz and Franz to go on first, but each 
of them went in a little way, and ran back, 
saying that they were afraid of being drowned. 

" W^hat nonsense," said Hans, who was 
getting a little impatient at the delay. " It's 
quite shallow," and, forgetting the unicorn's 
warning, he entered the stream first. Fritz 
and Franz did not miss the opportunity. 
Each took a large stone and struck Hans 
violently on the head. Then as he fell back 
senseless into the water, Fritz snatched the 



flask from off his belt to which it was attached, 
and Franz thrust with his foot Hans' body 
further into the river, so that the current 
should carry it away, and, laughing at their 
own cleverness, the two proceeded to cross 
the ford. Now, naturally enough, people 
like Fritz and Franz do not care to trust one 
another very far. 

As soon, therefore, as they reached the 
other side of the stream, Franz produced his 
bottle, and demanded of Fritz his share of 
the sparkling golden water. Fritz, who in- 
tended to keep it all himself, proposed that 
they should put off sharing it till later. Franz 
would not hear of this. He knew, only too 
well, what Fritz was up to. This led to a 
wrangle, which ended in a fight between the 
two, in which the sparkling golden water 
was spilled, partly over Fritz's right hand, 
and the remainder over Franz's left 
foot. The brothers first realized what had 
happened to them by Fritz finding that he 
could not close his fist to strike, and Franz 
finding that he could not raise his foot to 
kick, ^rhe discovery sobered them in an 
instant. There they stood, one with a hand 
and the other with a foot of solid gold, and 
the golden flask with them ; but the water, 
the precious sparkling golden water, lost for 
ever. Fritz was the first to recover himself 

" Well," he said, " thank goodness I have 
a couple of feet left me. I shall be off, I 
can't wait for you. You must hobble on as 
best you can, or stay. here and starve," and 
he was on the point of leaving Franz to his 
fate, when the latter caught him by the 
collar. 

" If I've only one foot I have two hands," 
cried he, "and I don't intend to let you leave 
me behind. No, no, we must go together or 
not at all." 

Fritz was obliged to submit, as it was a 
case of two hands against one, and he and 
Franz, arm in arm, as though they were the 
most affectionate brothers, made their way 
slowly to the nearest town. 'Inhere they had 
to submit to have hand and foot cut oft 
The operation hurt them very much indeed, 
but they sold the gold for a good sum of 
money to the goldsmith. \\'ith that, and 
with what they got for the flask, Fritz was 
able to buy his Countship, although he could 
never hunt owing to the loss of his right 
hand, and Franz was able to buy his Burgo- 
mastershij), although the loss of his foot 
prevented his walking properly in processions. 
Neither of them gave a thought to their 
mother. 

Now we must return to poor Hans, whom 



THE UNICORN. 



353 



we left floating down the stream — senseless, 
and to all appearance dead. He was not 
dead, however, although the blows which his 
brothers had inflicted were very severe ones. 
He was only stunned, and fortunately he did 
not float far enough to be drowned. His 
body came into a back eddy of the stream 
and drifted gently on to a shelving bank of 
white sand. l"he cold water soon had the effect 
of bringing him to his senses so far as to en- 
able him to crawl on to the land. It was, 
however, some hours before he was able to 
recall these past events. ^Vhen he remembered 
them he gave way to despair. All the pains 
he had taken to win the sparkling golden 
water were thrown away. He might not 
return to get more — the unicorn had told 
him that. His mother would be as badly 
off as ever. Above all, he had the bitter 
disappointment of feeling that his brothers 
had deceived him. Then he bethought him 
of the crystal ball. Taking it from his 
pocket, he placed it on a large stone, and 
taking another stone struck it with all his 
force. A report like that of a cannon 
followed, and at the same instant the unicorn 
stood before him. 

" I warned you of what would happen," 
he said to Hans. '' You would have done 
much better if you had left your brothers in 
the tree. Now let me see what can be done 
for you. First of all, rub that dockleaf, 
which is touching your right hand, on the 
wound in your head." Hans did as he 
was told, and his head became as sound as 
ever. " Now," said the unicorn, " you must 
go straight home to your mother and bring 
her to the city of White Towers, and stay 
there till you hear from me again." 

" But," said Hans, with tears in his eyes, 
" how can I do this ? My mother is much 
too ill to move, and I have lost the sparkling 
golden water which was to have made her 
well and strong." 

" Did not I see you," asked the unicorn, 
" put some sand and stones of pure gold into 
your pocket as you went to the fountain ? 
There will be more than enough to meet all 
yom expenses. Do as I tell you," and the 
unicorn, saying this, disappeared. 

Hans, greatly cheered, set off once more 
and finished his journey home without any 
further adventures. The gold that he had 
with him not only enabled him to pro\ide 
the comforts and necessaries which his mother 
required, but he was also able to reward 
Uncle Stoltz for his kindness. When his 
mother was strong enough to travel, Hans 
hired a waggon, and they set off by easy 

Vol. ix -46. 



stages for the city of White Towers, there to 
await further news from the unicorn. 

Now, the city of White Towers was at 
that time attracting from far and wide every- 
one who wanted to make his fortune. The 
Princess of the city was the loveliest Princess 
in the world, and the richest and the most 
powerful. She had given out that she would 
marry anyone, whoever it might be, king or 




. SS- ,:^- -4 •■■•■■ hi 1 !■: 




"the city ok white towers." 



beggar, who would tell her truly in the 
morning the dreams that she had dreamed 
in the night. But whoever should coni^^ete 
and fail was to forfeit all his fortune, be 
whipped through the streets and out of the 
city gate, and banished from the town on 
pain of death. If, however, he had no 
fortune to forfeit, he was to be whipped 
back again and sold into slavery. The 
terms were hard, but many tried and 
failed, and many more, undeterred by this 
punishment which they constantly saw 
being inflicted- on the others, were wait- 
ing their turn to compete. Among these 
latter were Count Fritz and Burgomaster 



354 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Franz. These two met very often in the 
streets of the city, but they could never 
forget their quarrel over the sparkling golden 
water, and when they met they always looked 
in opposite directions. Now, Fritz and 
I'Vanz had made themselves hated by all with 
whom they had to deal : Fritz by his tyranny 
over the poor in the district in which his 
property lay, and Franz by his injustice as 
Burgomaster. The former used to grind 
down his people so as to extract the last 
penny from them. The latter used to make 
his judgments depend on the amount of bribe 
he received from the suitors. Everybody, 
therefore, hoped that both Fritz and Franz 
would fail to tell the Princess her dreams, 
and would have to pay the penalty. 

Hans and his mother arrived at the city of 
AVhite Towers on the evening before the day 
on which Fritz was to try his fortune. They 
heard on all sides that the " one-armed 
Count," as he was called, so generally 
detested, was to be the next competitor, but, 
of course, they had no idea that this " one- 
armed Count " was Fritz. The consequence was 
that when they found themselves next day in 
the great square, where the whole population 
of the city assembled to see the trial, they were 
amazed beyond measure to see Fritz march- 
ing jauntily along, quite confident of success, 
dressed in his very smartest clothes, to the 
platform on which the Princess and her 
ladies and her courtiers were assembled. 
Fritz felt sure that he would win for this 
reason : There was an old woman living in a 
cottage near his castle, who was said to be a 
witch. Fritz had ordered her to be seized 
and put to the most cruel tortures, in order to 
force her to say what the Princess was going 
to dream on the night before the day fixed 
for his trial. This was very silly of him, 
as the old woman might lie a witch ten 
times over, and yet not be able to tell him 
that. But cruel, wicked people often are 
silly. This poor old woman screamed out 
some nonsense in her agony, which Fritz took 
to be the answer he required. He smiled, 
therefore, in a self-confident fashion as he 
bowed low before the Princess and awaited 
her question. She asked it in a clear, bell- 
like voice, which somehow caused Hans' 
heart, when he heard it, to beat a good deal 
quicker than before. 

" Sir Count — what did I dream last night ? " 

"Your Highness dreamt,'' was the reply, 
"that the moon came down to earth and 
kissed you." 

The Princess gently shook her head, and 
in a moment Fritz found himself in the hands 



of her guards, with his coat stripped off his 
back, and his hands bound behind him. 
The first lash made him cry for mercy, but 
the Princess had already gone, and the 
soldiers, whose duty it was to inflict the 
whipping, were not much disposed to show 
mercy to the " one-armed Count." They laid 
on their blows well, driving the unlucky Fritz 
through the streets till the gate was reached, 
through which, with a final shower of blows, 
he was thrust, with the warning not to return 
thither, but to beg his way henceforth through 
the world. Of all who watched the pro- 
ceedings, none seemed so delighted with the 
result as Franz. He followed, hobbling after 
his unhappy brother as close as the soldiers 
would allow, and kept jeering and laughing 
at him all the way. This was easy for him 
to do, notwithstanding the fact that he 
had to go on crutches, because good care 
was taken to make Fritz's progress through 
the streets as slow as possible. In addition, 
therefore, to the blows, Fritz had to endure 
the sight of Franz's grinning face, and to 
listen to such remarks as : "^Vho thought he 
was going to win the Princess?"- — "Will your 
Highness remember your poor brother the 
Burgomaster ? " — " Who lost the sparkling 
golden water ? "- — and so on. 

With very different feelings had Hans 
watched the proceedings. A\'hen he saw his 
brother stripped for beating, he forgot all 
about the wrongs he had sustained, and only 
thought what he could do to help the 
sufferer. He tried to bribe the soldiers to 
deal gently with Fritz, but when he found 
that that was of no avail, he hastened to the 
city gate so as to meet his brother outside 
and comfort him when the punishment was 
over. Hans found Fritz, as indeed was 
natural under the circumstances, more surly 
and ill-tempered than ever. He appeared 
startled for a moment at seeing Hans, whom 
he thought dead, alive and well, but he set 
to work blubbering again immediately, and 
rubbing his back with his one hand. Hans 
gave him what money he could afford, which 
Fritz took without saying " Thank you," and 
went his way. 

Next day it was Franz's turn to try and 
win the Princess. Franz felt just as certain 
of succeeding as Fritz had been. A certain 
necromancer in Franz's town had been a party 
in a suit which came before the Burgo- 
master's court. All the evidence which was 
brought forward told against him, but the 
necromancer promised Franz, as a bribe, if 
he would decide in his favour, to tell him by 
means of his art the true secret of the 



THE UNICORN. 



Princess's dream. Franz swallowed the bait 
greedily, and gave his unjust decision. Now, 
in order that the necromancer might not 



same result. When Hans had got back to 
the inn where he and his mother were staying, 
he was met with the news that a stranger was 
waiting to see him. He 
went in and found the 
huntsman who had given 
hmi the pellet which 
turned into the crvstal 
ball. 

" Hans,'' said the 

huntsman, as soon 

""^'^ f-'^n as Hans entered the 

V 




fail him, Franz had deter- 
mined not to let him out of 
his sight till the day of trial. 
Very early in the morn- 
ing of that day the necro- 
mancer came to Franz and said : " Last night 
the Princess dreamed so-and-so — will your 
worship allow me to go away now ? '' Franz 
on hearing the dream skipped with delight, 
forgetting about his one foot, and tumbled 
down on the floor. However, he did not 
mind that, and gave the necromancer leave 
to depart, which the necromancer did in 
great haste. Franz was so impatient that he 
was in his place, in front of the platform, long 
before the Princess arrived. He could hardly 
wait for her to put the formal question before 
he blurted out : — 

"Your Highness dreamt that you were 
walking in your garden, and that all the 
trees and shrubs bore gold and silver leaves." 

The Princess shook her head. " A very 
pretty dream," she said, " but it v,as not 
mine." So Franz had to suffer the same 
punishment as Fritz, and nobody was at all 
sorry. He was likewise thrust out at the city 
gate, bawling between his howls for someone 
to bring him the necromancer. Hans found 
him there, and tried to comfort him, as he 
had tried to comfort Fritz, and with about the 



' : iir:v laid on thkir iu.ows wf.i.i.. 



room, " the unicorn has sent me to you. It's 
your turn now to try to win the Princess." 

Hans turned pale at the thought. 

" I would give my life to win her," he said, 
earnestly ; " but I am certain to fail, and 
then what will my poor mother do ? I have 
no property to be confiscated, and, of course, 
I shall be sold into slavery." 

" Don't talk of failure," said the huntsman, 
cheerily ; " the way to success is to forget that 
there is such a word as failure. Now Fll tell 
you my plan. The Princess, as you know, or 
as you very likely don't know", is devotee^ to 
curious animals of all kinds. I will change 
you into a white mouse with a gold claw, and 
will offer you to the Princess for sale. She 
has never seen or heard of such a creature 
as a white mouse with a gold claw before, 
and will be sure to buy you. I'hen it will 
be your fault if matters don't go smoothly 
with you. You have only to keep your ears 
open and use your wits. Now", first of all, we 
must enter you for to-morrow's competition." 

Hans longed to tryhis luckwith the Princess, 
and as this plan seemed a promising one- 



356 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



indeed, it was the only one he could think of 
— he agreed to try it. However, he deter- 
mined not to tell his mother anything about 
the matter, as he knew how terrified she 
would be at the thought of his failure. The 
first thing, as the huntsman had said, was for 
him to present himself to the Princess as 
candidate for her hand. He accordingly did 
so, and found her seated on her throne, 
surrounded by the lords and ladies of her 
Court, glittering in jewels and dressed 
in magnificent apparel. Hans felt rather 
sKy as he marched up the splendid room, 
amongst all these grandly-dressed people, in 
his shabby old clothes; but he put as good a 
face on it as he could, and when he stopped 
before the throne and looked into the 
Princess's eyes, all his shyness vanished. He 
was conscious of nothing but a strong deter- 
mination to win her for himself or to perish in 
the attempt. The Court usher announced 
his name and purpose in a loud tone. 

" This is Hans, the charcoal-burner, who 
has undertaken to tell the Princess her dream 
to-morrow morning, or to pay the penalty." 

When the Princess looked at Hans and 
saw what a nice, open-faced boy he was, 
she did all she could to persuade him to give 
up the attempt. She pointed out to him how 
many had tried and failed — how little chance 
there was of his succeeding. She could not 
bear, she said, to think of his being whipped 
publicly and sold into slavery. She offered 
him, if he would withdraw, the important 
l)ost of general manager of the Court 
menagerie. But neither this offer nor the 
pra^'ers of the Princess could move Hans. 

" Now that I have seen you face to face, 
Princess," said he, " I would rather die 
twenty times over than give up the under- 
taking." 

The Princess was obliged to allow Hans 
to enter his name for to-morrow's trial, 
although it made her very unhappy. Her 
heart told her that he was the one of all her 
suitors whom she would most wish to succeed, 
but she felt that he would be certain to fare 
as the others had done ; and so when the 
formality was over, and Hans had left, she 
dismissed the Court, shut herself up in her 
room, and said she would be at home to 
nobody for the rest of the day. 

As soon as Hans got back, the huntsman 
took a cup of water, muttered some strange 
words over it, and sprinkled Hans with the 
contents. He was conscious of a curious 
change taking place in him, and before he 
could quite make out what it was, he found 
that he was a white mouse with a gold claw. 



The huntsman put him in a box and carried 
him to the palace to sell him to the Princess. 
AV hen he arrived there the porter refused to 
admit him. 

" Nol " he said, "the Princess had given out 
that she would see no one that day. It was 
more than his place was worth to admit the 
stranger." However, by: dint of flattering 
words and a handsome present slipped into 
his hand, the porter was persuaded to send 
for one of the Princess's ladies. AMien she 
cime and saw the white mouse with the 
gold claw, she said she was sure that her 
mistress would be so delighted with this 
beautiful little curiosity, that she would 
pardon having her orders disobeyed for 
once. Only, the huntsman must remain 
where he was ; she would take the white 
mouse to the Princess herself. To this the 
huntsman consented, and the long and short of 
it was that the Princess sent him a handsome 
sum for the mouse, and Hans found himself 
established as her newest favourite. The 
Princess was so pleased with her pet that, 
when she went to bed, she placed him in a 
cabinet in her room, the door of which she 
left open — because he was so tame that she 
had no fear of his attempting to run away. 
Hans was wondering how he was to find out 
the Princess's dream in this situation, when 
his mistress woke up, laughing heartily, and 
called for her lady in waiting to come to her. 

" Pve had such a curious dream," she said. 
" I dreamt that I was married to a man with 
a golden top-joint to his little finger. I sup- 
pose that it was the white mouse with the 
gold claw which put the idea into my head. 
But," and here the Princess's voice grew very 
sad, " how will that poor boy ever guess this 
dream to-morrow?" 

Hans waited impatiently for all to be quiet, 
then he slipped out of his cabinet, and, 
finding the door shut, ran up the curtain of 
the window, which was fortunately open, and 
getting on a rose which clambered up out- 
side the wall, ran down it and made the 
best of his way to the inn. There he fownd 
the huntsman waiting for him, to whom he 
told all that had taken place, and who in a 
few seconds changed him back to his own 
shape. 

An enormous concourse of people were 
assembled next day to see the trial. \'er)' 
pale and sad the Princess looked as she 
sat prepared to put the question to Hans. 
He waited respectfully till she had spoken, 
and then, without saying a word, held out 
his hand to her. Her eye fell on the golden 
top-joint of his little finger. She cried out 



THE UNICORN. 



357 



with delight, and, seizing his hand in hers, 
turned to the people and said : " Hans has 
guessed right, and he shall be my husband." 






W^"'"^^''h 



^''y /, 






l\\V\\\^' 









" A mighty magician, the enemy of our 
family, condemned me, because I would not 
give him my sister in marriage, to take the form 
of a unicorn, and to guard the spark- 
ling golden water. Twice every year, 
for a fortnight at a time, I was allowed 
Y to resume my human shape. It was 

f.'^ then that I came to your hut in the 

" "c:- f<)rc>3t and ga\e }0U the token by 
^ which to wm \our way to the foun- 
tnu I he spell laid upon me was 
onh to be raided when someone 
guessed aright m} sister's dream, 
^— and so won her to wife. Thanks to 




■[\^^^^, 



" SHE CKIEI) OUT \V1 IH UKI.UiHT. 



And all the people raised a glad shout, 
" Long live Prince Hans ! " 

" Oh ! " said the Princess to Hans, " how 
I wish my brother were here to share our 
happiness." 

" He is here," said the huntsman, who had 
thrust his way to the front ; and, throwing 
off his huntsman's disguise, he appeared 
dressed as a Prince. Then, turning to Hans, 
he said : — 



you, brother Hans, 
the magician's power 
is at an end." 

Hans and the 
Princess were mar- 
ried, and after the 
ceremony the Prince 
went off to his own 
kingdom. Hans' 
mother had a beauti- 
ful suite of apartments in the palace assigjied 
to her, and Uncle Stoltz was not forgotten, 
but was provided for comfortably for life, 
and they all lived happily ever afterwards. 

As for P>itz and Franz, they were so selfish 
and cruel, that there was nothing to be done 
with them but to send them back into the 
forest again to burn charcoal, and for all 
I know they are burning charcoal there 
Still. 



IHE LION AND THE 
CUB. 







I.— A I.IOX-CUB, OF SORDID MIND, 
A\OIDED ALL THE LION KIND ; 




vJ.e)'t> 



2. — FOND OF APPLAUSE, HE SOUGHT THE FEASTS 
OF VIH.GAR AND IGNOBLE PKASTS ; 



FABLES. 



359 




3. — WITH ASSES ALL HIS TIME HE SPENT, 
THEIR club's PERPETUAL PRESIDENT. 



1^m^Vlr\ ^:x 






'^^:^%^& 




4. — HE CAUGHT THEIR MANNERS, LOOKS, AND AIRS ; 
AN ASS IN EVERYTHING, BUT EARS I 
IF e'er his highness MEANT A JOKE, 
THEY GRINn'd APPLAUSE BEFORE HE SPOKE ; 
BUT AT EACH WORD, WHAT SHOUTS OF PRAISE .' 
GOOD GODS ! HOW NATURAL HE BRAYS 1 



360 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




fUPFV, THAT CURS D VOCIFERATION 
liF.TRAYS THY LIFE AND CONVERSA TKJN : 
COXCOMBS, AN" EVER-XOISV RACE, 
AR"; TRUMPETS OF .THEIR OWN 01S(;KAC1': 



WHY SO SEVERE.' THE CUP, REPLIES: 
"our senate always held ME WISE." 
"how weak is pride I" RETURNS PHE SIRF, ; 
" ALL FOOLS .-^RE VAIN, WHEN FOOLS AUMIKE ! 

I'.ur KNOW WH.\ r spuiid asses prize, 

LIONS AND NOi'.LE P,E.\STS DESPISE." 




J.*S-b