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' A very satisfactory rendering, which has preserved the passion, the humour, and the 
terrlb'e insight of the original. Zola has never drawn a picture more pitilessly faithful 
to the lower side of our common humanity than this is. ... A drama which reads like a 
page torn out of the book of life itself.' SPEAKER. 

' The characters are drawn with a master hand, and the two rival beauties will 
bear comparison with any of the portraits in the author's literary gallery.' GLASGOW 

THE DRAM-SHOP ('L'AssoMMOiR'). With a Preface by 

' After reading " L'Assommoir " and Zola's other books, it seems as if in the work of 
all other novelists there were a veil between the reader and the things described ; and 
there is present to our minds the same difference as exists between a human face as 
represented on canvas and the same face as reflected in a mirror. It is like finding truth 
for the first time.' SIGNOR EDMONDO DE AMICIS. 

MONEY ('L'ARGENT'). Translated by E. A. VIZETELLY. 

' No one will be able to read " Money" without a deep sense of its absolute truth. 
. . . Everything in the novel is on a grand scale. ... A vast panorama of national 
viciousness. . . . An overpowering presentation of the disasters wrought by the unbridled 
race for wealth.' MORNING LEADER. 

' Suffice it to say of this boo_k, one of Zola's masterpieces, that never has his brilliant 

Een been used with such realistic, life-like force. . . . The figure of Sacard is a terrible, 
iscinatine creation. His love of money, his love of women (an altogether secondary 
impulse), his fixed hatred of the Jews, become more real than reality itself.' VANITY 

With a Preface by E. A. VIZETELLY. 

"The book is one of the most remarkable of the monumental series which its author 
built up to depict the social history of a family under the Second Empire. It follows 
the career of an adventurous statesman who rose to power under Napoleon III., and 
whose ambitious and unscrupulous nature, whose intrigues at Court, whose fortunes in 
affairs of the heart, and whose following of varied hangers-on, ambitious like himself, 
are all depicted as from the life. The book itself warrants its fidelity to fact by compelling 
belief instinctively.' SCOTSMAN. 

THE DREAM ('LE RKVE'). Translated by ELIZA E. 
CHASE. With 8 Full-page Illustrations by GEORGES JEANNIOT. 

1 M. Zola has sought in this charming story to prove to the world that he too can 
write for the virgin, and that he can paint the better side of human nature in colours as 
tender and true as those employed by any of his contemporaries. ... It is a beautiful 
story admirably told.' SPEAKER. 


' Full of a rather sombre humour, ricli satire, and unsparing social analysis. To the 
reader who takes an interest in the personality of Zola, "The Fortune of the Rougons" 
has a unique value, for in its pages the author has drawn upon the recollections of his 
youih. . . . Should you be consumed with a desire to pluck the heart out of Zola's 
'' koueon-Macquart " volume*, it will be necessary to read the lir-l and the last of lh<- 
series, " The Fortunes of the Rougons" and " Dr. Pascal."' MOKNINC; LEADER. 



THE DOWNFALL (' LA DEBACLE '). Translated by E. A. 
VIZETELLY. With 2 Plans of the Battle of Sedan. 

' It would probably be no exaggeration to say that ; taken as a whole, " La Deb&cle " 
is the most wonderfully faithful reproduction of an historical drama ever committed to 
writing. " La DgbScle" is an appalling record of long-drawn-out misery, profligacy, and 
military and official incapacity, unbroken by any ray of hope or sunshine." SPECTATOR. 

* It is only when you have come to the end of " The Downfall " that you appreciate 
the feverish hurry in which you have read page after page, and that you know the 
splendid art with which M. Zola has concealed the fervour, the pity, the agony, and the 
inspiration with which he has told the tale.' SUNDAY SUN. 

DOCTOR PASCAL. Translated by E. A. VIZETELLY. With 
an Etched Portrait of the Author. 

'This book, the crown and conclusion of the Rougon-Macquart volumes, strikes us 
as being in some respects the most powerful, the most dramatic, and the most pathetic.' 


' Dr. Pascal Rougon, the skilled physician, and the only member of his family that 
has escaped the fatal taint of vice, here sits in judgment upon his relatives and compatriots, 
and explains the causes of their moral decline and fall. The work further deals with many 
of the great problems of the time, and incidentally with the much-debated question, " Is 
Christianity Played Out?" Artistically blended, however, with this controversial matter, 
and the deeply interesting researches of the hero, is an absorbing love-story, the scene of 
which is laid under the burning sky of Provence, which fires the human heart with passion 
and maddens it to crime.' ECHO. 

LOURDES. Translated by E. A. VIZETELLY. 

1 A great and notable book. . . . The glory of the book is the inexhaustible, over- 
flowing human sympathy which transfuses it from end to end. . . . As you read, the heart is 
set beating. . . . Instead of a mere name, " Lourdes" will always be something of a 
reality to every reader of Zola's admirable pages. ... In almost every respect a signal 
triumph a book to be read and to be thankful for.' NATIONAL OBSERVER. 

'The most perfect specimen of literary art yet produced by M. Zola. . . . Beyond 
question his best-written book, a model of powerful and poetic narrative, brilliant in style, 
in form, and in colour.' GRAPHIC. 

ROME. Translated by E. A. VIZETELLY. 

1 A very great book. . . We judge it as a work of art, and as such we must accord it 
very high praise. Every part, great or small, fits perfectly into the whole . . . The Pope, 
the Cardinals, and all the lesser dignitaries of the Church against which the writer brings 
his great indictment are so painted that neither such greatness as is in themselves, nor 
the greatness of the cause which they represent, shall be forgotten in the littleness of some 
of the methods to which they stoop.' GUARDIAN. 

PARIS. Translated by E. A. VIZETELLY. 

' These pictures of Parisian life are worthy of M. Zola at his best. The author's 
passionate love of the poor, his intolerance of their sufferings, his intense hatred of all 
social wrongs, and longing for reform have never been declared with more sincerity, 
more eloquence, and more ability. "Paris" will bring him new admirers and new 
friends, for it shows him to be not only a great writer but a man of noble aspirations and 
splendid courage.' PALL MALL GAZETTE. 

London : CHATTO & WINDUS, in St. Martin's Lane, W.C. 

(Sept. 1898) 

















He begged for Light ! . . Lo, Darkness fell, 
And round him cast its stifling pall ! 

In vain he clamoured ! Ev'ry Hell 

Poured forth its fumes to drown his call. 

He cried for Truth ! . . Lo, Falsehood came, 

In robes of Impudence array'd, 
Polluting Patriotism's name, 

Degrading Honour to a trade. 

He asked for Justice ! . . Lo, between 
Him and the judgment-seat there rose 

The Sword of Menace, ever keen 

To smite the braggart War- Wolfs foes ! 

Light, Truth, and Justice all denied, 

He struggled on 'mid threat and blow 

A brave Voice battling by his side 
Till Error's minions struck him low. 

Yet is his faith not dead, nor mine : 
O'er deepest gloom, o'er worst distress, 

Ever the mighty Sun doth shine 

Aglow with Truth and Righteousness. 

The blackest clouds are rent at last ; 

And the divine resistless flame 
Through all, some morn, its blaze shall cast, 

The Wrong disclose, the Right proclaim ! 

E. A. V. 

February 23, 1898. 

{.Printed in ' The Star' on Hit morrow of M. Zola's condemnation in Paris} 


ALL that I claim for this little book, reprinted 
from the columns of ' The Evening News,' is the 
quality of frankness. I do not desire to check or 
disarm criticism, but I have a right to point out 
that I have performed my work rapidly and have 
largely subordinated certain literary considera- 
tions to a desire to write my story naturally and 
simply, in much the same way as I should have 
told it in conversation with a friend. Very rarely, 
I think, have I departed from this rule. 

The book supplies an accurate account of 
Emile Zola's exile in this country ; but some 
matters I have treated briefly because he himself 
proposes to give the world probably in diary 
form some impressions of his sojourn in England 
with a record of his feelings day by day whilst 



the great campaign in favour of the unfortunate 
Alfred Dreyfus was in progress. 

First, however, M. Zola intends to collect in 
a volume all his published declarations, articles 
and letters on the Affair. Secondly, he will 
recount in another volume his trials at Paris and 
Versailles ; and only in a third volume will he be 
able to deal with his English experiences. The 
last work can scarcely be ready before the end of 
1900, and possibly it may not appear until the 
following year. And this is one of the reasons 
which have induced me to offer to all who are 
interested in the great French writer this present 
narrative of mine. Should the master's promised 
record duly appear, my own will sink into 
oblivion ; but if, for one or a other reason, M. 
Zola is prevented from carrying out his plans, 
here, then, will at least be found some account o 
one of the most curious passages in his life. And 
then, perchance, my narrative may attain to the 
rank of memoire pour servir. 

I have said that I claim for my book the 


quality of frankness. In this connection I may 
point out that I have made in it a full confession 
of certain delinquencies which were forced on me 
by circumstances. I trust, however, that my 
brother-journalists will forgive me if I occasionally 
led them astray with regard to M. Zola's presence 
in England ; for I did so purely and simply in 
the interests of the illustrious friend who had 
placed himself in my hands. 

That M. Zola should have applied to me 
directly he arrived in London will surprise none 
of those who are aware of the confidence he has 
for several years reposed in me. A newspaper 
referring to our connection recently called the 
great novelist ' my employer.' But there has 
never been any question of employer or employed 
between M. Zola and me. I should certainly 
never think of accepting remuneration for any 
little service I might be able to render him ; nor 
would he dream of hurting my feelings by offering 
it. No. The simple truth is that for some years 
now I have translated M. Zola's novels into 


English, and that I have taken my share of the 
proceeds of the translations. For the rest our 
intercourse has been purely and simply that of 

It is because, I believe, I know and understand 
Emile Zola so well, that 1 never once lost confi- 
dence in him throughout the events which led 
to his exile in England. That exile, curiously 
enough, I foreshadowed in a letter addressed to 
the ' Star ' some months before it actually began. 
When, however, one has been intimate with the 
French for thirty years or so it is not, to my 
thinking, so very difficult to tell what is likely to 
happen in a given French crisis. The unexpected 
has to be reckoned with, of course ; and much 
depends on ability to estimate the form which 
the unexpected may take. Here experience, 
familiarity with details of contemporary French 
history, and personal knowledge of the men 
concerned in the issue, become indispensable. 

On January 16, 1898, three days after M. 
Zola's famous ' J'accuse ' letter appeared in 


' L'Aurore,' and two days before the French 
Government instructed the Public Prosecutor to 
proceed against its author, I wrote to the ' West- 
minster Gazette' a long letter dealing with M. 
Zola's position. In this letter, which appeared in 
the issue of the I9th, I began by establishing a 
comparison between Zola and Voltaire, whose action 
with regard to the memory of Jean Galas I briefly 
epitomised. Curiously enough at that moment 
M. Zola, as I afterwards learnt, was telling the 
Paris correspondent of the ' Daily Chronicle ' that 
the opposition offered to his advocacy of the cause 
of Alfred Dreyfus was identical with that en- 
countered by Voltaire in his championship of 
Galas. This was a curious little coincidence, for 
I wrote my letter without having any communica- 
tion with M. Zola respecting it. It contained 
some passages which I here venture to quote. In 
a book dealing with the great novelist these 
passages may not be out of place, as they serve 
to illustrate his general attitude towards the 
Dreyfus case. 



' Truth,' I wrote, ' has been the one passion of 
Emile Zola's life. 1 " May all be revealed so that 
all may be cured " has been his sole motto in 
dealing with social problems. " Light, more 
light ! " the last words gasped by Goethe on his 
death-bed has ever been his cry. Holding the 
views he holds, he could not do otherwise than 
come forward at this crisis in French history as 
the champion of truth and justice. Silence on his 
part would have been a denial of all his principles, 
all his past life. . . . Against him are marshalled 
all the Powers of Darkness, all the energy of those 
who prefer concealment to light, all the enmity of 
the military hierarchy which has never forgotten 
" LaDe"bacle," all the hatred of the Roman hierarchy 
which will never forgive " Lourdes " and " Rome." 
And the fetish of Patriotism is brandished hither 
and thither, rallying even free-thinkers to the 
cause of concealment, while each and every appeal 

1 He himself wrote these very words seventeen months later 
in his article 'Justice,' published in Paris on his return from 



for light and truth is met by the clamorous cry : 
" Down with the dirty Jews ! " 

' For even as Jean Galas was guilty of being a 
Protestant so is Alfred Dreyfus guilty of being a 
Jew, and at the present hour unhappily there are 
millions of French people who can no more believe 
in a Jew's innocence than their forerunners could 
believe a Protestant to be guiltless. Zola, for his 
part, is no Jew, nor can he even be called a friend 
of the Jews in several of his books he has 
attacked them somewhat violently for certain 
tendencies shown by some of their number 
but most assuredly he does regard them as fellow- 
men and not as loathsome animals. In the same 
way Voltaire wrote pungent pages against the 
narrow practices of Calvinism and yet espoused 
the causes of Calas and Sirven, even as Zola has 
espoused that of Dreyfus. The only remain- 
ing question is whether Zola will prove as 
successful as his famous forerunner. [Nearly 
the whole of the European press was at that 
stage expressing doubt on this point] In 



this connection I may say that I regard Zola 
as a man of very calm, methodical, judicial 
mind. He is no ranter, no lover of words for 
words' sake, no fiery enthusiast. Each of his 
books is a most laborious, painstaking piece of 
work. If he ever brings forward a theory he bases 
it on a mountain of evidence, and he invariably 
subordinates his feelings to his reason. I therefore 
venture to say that if he has come forward so 
prominently in this Dreyfus case it is not because 
he feels that wrong has been done, but because he 
is absolutely convinced of it. Doubtless many of 
the expressions in his recent letter to President 
Faure have come from his heart, but they were in 
the first place dictated by his reason. It is not 
for me here and at the present hour to speak of 
proofs, however great may be public curiosity ; 
but most certainly Zola has not taken up this case 
without what he considers to be abundant proof. 
I do not say that he will be able to prove each 
and every item of his great indictment, but when 
you wish to bring everything to light it is often 



necessary to cast your net so wide that none shall 
escape it, none linger in concealment with their 
actions unexplained. And I take it that whatever 
be the verdict of Zola's countrymen, whether or 
not Alfred Dreyfus be again and this time 
absolutely proved guilty . . . Zola himself will 
have done good work in striving to bring the 
whole truth to light so that it shall be as evident 
to one and all as the very sun itself. And this, 
when all is said, is really Zola's one great object 
in this terrible business. 

' I may add that he is risking far more than his 
great predecessor risked in favour of Galas. Vol- 
taire pleaded from his retirement on the Swiss 
frontier ; Zola pleads the cause he has adopted on 
the very spot, on the very scene of all the agitation. 
Anonymous assassins threaten him with death in 
letters and postcards. Fanatical Jew-baiters march 
through the streets anxious for an opportunity to 
wreck his house and murder not only himself but 
his wife also in the sacred name of Patriotism. 1 

1 There is not the slightest doubt that M. Zola incurred the 


Should their menaces be escaped there remains the 
Assize Court with a jury that will need to be brave 
indeed if it is to resist all the pressure of a 
deliberately organised " terror." At the end pos- 
sibly lie imprisonment, fine, disgrace, ruin. How 
jubilantly some are already rubbing their hands in 
the bishops' palaces, the parsonages, the sacristies 
of France ! Ah ! no stone will be kept unturned 
to secure a conviction ! But Emile Zola does not 
waver. It may be that the truth, the whole truth 
will only be known to the world in some distant 
century ; but he, anxious to hasten its advent and 
prevent the irreparable, courageously stakes all that 
he has, person, position, fame, affections, and friend- 
ships. . . . And this he does for no personal object 
whatsoever, but in the sole cause of truth and justice, 
ever repeating the cry common to both Goethe 
and himself: " Light, more light ! " 

' Ah ! to all the true hearts that have followed 

greatest personal danger between January and April 1 898. M. Ranc, 
the old and tried Republican, who knows what danger is, has 
lately pointed this out in forcible terms in the Paris journal Le 



and loved him through years of mingled blame and 
praise, hard-earned victory and unmerited reviling, '< 
he is at this hour dearer even than he was before ; 
for he has now put the seal upon his principles, and 
to the force of precept has added that of the most 
courageous personal example.' 

This then is what I wrote immediately after the 
publication of Zola's letter ' J'accuse,' basing myself 
simply on my knowledge of the master's character, 
of the passions let loose in France, and of a few 
matters connected with the Dreyfus case, then kept 
secret but now public property. And had I to write 
anything of the kind at the present time, I should, 
I think, have but few words to alter beyond sub- 
stituting the past for the present or future tense. 
In one respect I was mistaken. I did not imagine 
the truth to be quite so near at hand. Since 
January 1898, however, nine-tenths of it have been 
revealed and the rest must now soon follow. And 
I hold, as all hold who know the inner workings of 
I'Affaire Dreyfus, that M. Zola's exile, like his 
letter to President Faure and his repeated tria's for 

xv a 


libel, has in a large degree contributed to this 
victory of the truth. For by going into voluntary 
banishment, he kept not only his own but also 
Dreyfus's case ' open,' and thus helped to foil the 
last desperate attempts that were being made to 
prevent the truth from being discovered. 

I should add that in the following pages I deal 
very slightly with I'Affaire Dreyfus, on which so 
many books have already been written. Indeed, 
as a rule, I have only touched on those incidents 
which had any marked influence on M. Zola during 
his sojourn in this country. 

E. A. V. 

June 1899. 

Postscript. Of the four portraits which illustrate 
the book, three, those of M. Zola, myself, and my 
daughter, are from photographs by my son Victor- 
The portrait of M. Zola was taken shortly after the 
' death of Colonel Henry, at a time when the master 
was experiencing keen anxiety. This will, I think, 
be found reflected on his countenance, 












X. ' LE REVE' : THE DREAM 129 



XIII. WINTER DAYS ........ 1/4 



EMILE ZOLA Frontispiece 

E. A. viZETELLY To face page 16 






FROM the latter part of the month of July 1898, 
down to the end of the ensuing August, a frequent 
heading to newspaper telegrams and paragraphs 
was the query, ' Where is Zola ? ' The wildest 
suppositions concerning the eminent novelist's 
whereabouts were indulged in and the most con- 
tradictory reports were circulated. It was on July 1 8 
that M. Zola was tried by default at Versailles 
and sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment on 
the charge of having libelled, in his letter ' J'accuse,' 
the military tribunal which had acquitted Com- 
mandant Esterhazy. On the evening of the iQth 
his disappearance was signalled by various tele- 
grams from Paris. Most of these asserted that he 
had gone on a tour to Norway, a course which the 




' Daily News ' correspondent declared to be very 

sensible on M. Zola's part, given the tropical heat 
which then prevailed in the French metropolis. 

On the 2Oth, however, the telegrams gave out 
that Zola had left Paris on the previous evening by 
the 8.35 express for Lucerne, being accompanied 
by his wife and her maid. Later, the same day, 
appeared a graphic account of how he had dined at 
a Paris restaurant and thence despatched a waiter 
to the Eastern Railway Station to procure tickets 
for himself and a friend. The very numbers of 
these tickets were given ! 

Yet a further telegram asserted that he had 
been recognised by a fellow-passenger, had left the 
train before reaching the Swiss frontier, and had 
gaily continued his journey on a bicycle. But 
another newspaper correspondent treated this 
account as pure invention, and pledged his word 
that M. Zola had gone to Holland by way of 

On July 21 his destination was again alleged 
to be Norway ; but so desperate were the efforts 
made to reconcile all the conflicting rumours his 
route was said to lie through Switzerland, Luxem- 
burg, and the Netherlands. His wife (so the papers 



reported) was with him, and they were bicycling 
up hill and down dale through the aforenamed 
countries. Two days later it was declared that he 
had actually been recognised at a caf<6 in Brussels 
whence he had fled in consequence of the threats 
of the customers, who were enraged ' by the pre- 
sence of such a traitor.' Then he repaired to 
Antwerp, where he was also recognised, and where 
he promptly embarked on board a steamer bound 
for Christiania. 

However, on July 25, the 'Petit Journal' 
authoritatively asserted that all the reports hitherto 
published were erroneous. M. Zola, said the Paris 
print, was simply hiding in the suburbs of Paris, 
hoping to reach Le Havre by night and thence 
sail for Southampton. But fortunately the Pre- 
fecture of Police was acquainted with his plans, and 
at the first movement he might make he would be 

That same morning our own ' Daily Chronicle ' 
announced M. Zola's presence at a London hotel, 
and on the following day the ' Morning Leader ' 
was in a position to state that the hotel in question 
was the Grosvenor. Both ' Chronicle ' and ' Leader ' 
were right ; but as I had received pressing instruc- 

3 H2 


tions to contradict all rumours of M. Zola's arrival 
in London, I did so in this instance through the 
medium of the Press Association. I here frankly 
acknowledge that I thus deceived both the Press 
and the public. I acted in this way, however, for 
weighty reasons, which will hereafter appear. 

At this point I would simply say that M. Zola's 
interests were, in my estimation, of far more conse- 
quence than the claims of public curiosity, however 
well meant and even flattering its nature. 

One effect of the Press Association's contradic- 
tion was to revive the Norway and Switzerland 
stories. Several papers, while adhering to the state- 
ment that M. Zola had been in London, added that 
he had since left England with his wife, and that 
Hamburg was their immediate destination. And 
thus the game went merrily on. M. Zola's arrival 
at Hamburg was duly reported. Then he sailed 
on the ' Capella ' for Bergen, where his advent was 
chronicled by Reuter. Next he was setting out 
for Trondhjem, whence in a few days he would 
join his friend Bjornstjerne Bjornson, the novelist, 
at the latter's estate of Aulestad in the Gudbrands- 
dalen. Bjornson, as it happened, was then at 
Munich, in Germany, but this circumstance did 



not weigh for a moment with the newspapers. 
The Norway story was so generally accepted that 
a report was spread to the effect that M. Zola had 
solicited an audience of the Emperor William, 
who was in Norway about that time, and that 
the Kaiser had peremptorily refused to see him, 
so great was the Imperial desire to do nothing of 
a nature to give umbrage to France. 

As I have already mentioned, the only true 
reports (so far as London was concerned) were 
those of two English newspapers, but even they 
were inaccurate in several matters of detail. For 
instance, the lady currently spoken of as Mme. 
Zola was my own wife, who, it so happens, is a 
Frenchwoman. At a later stage the ' Daily Mail ' 
hit the nail on the head by signalling M. Zola's 
presence at the Oatlands Park Hotel ; but so 
many reports having already proved erroneous, 
the ' Mail ' was by no means certain of the accuracy 
of its information, and the dubitativc form in 
which its statement was couched prevented the 
matter from going further. 

At last a period of comparative quiet set in, 
and though gentlemen of the Press were still 
anxious to extract information from me, nothing 



further appeared in print as to M. Zola's where- 
abouts until the ' Times ' Paris correspondent, M. 
de Blowitz, contributed to his paper, early in the 
present year, a most detailed and amusing account 
of M. Zola's flight from France and his subsequent 
movements in exile. In this narrative one found 
Mme. Zola equipping her husband with a night- 
gown for his perilous journey abroad, and secreting 
bank notes in the lining of his garments. Then, 
carrying a slip of paper in his hand, the novelist 
had been passed on through London from police- 
man to policeman, until he took train to a village 
in Warwickshire, where the little daughter of an 
innkeeper had recognised him from seeing his 
portrait in one of the illustrated newspapers. 

There was something also about his acquaint- 
ance with the vicar of the locality and a variety of 
other particulars, all of which helped to make up 
as pretty a romance as the ' Times ' readers had 
been favoured with for many a day. But excellent 
as was M. de Blowitz's narrative from the romantic 
standpoint his information was sadly inaccurate. 
Of his bona fides there can be no doubt, but some 
of M. Zola's friends are rather partial to a little 
harmless joking, and it is evident that a trap 



was laid for the shrewd correspondent of the 
' Times,' and that he, in an unguarded moment, 
fell into it. 

On the incidents which immediately preceded 
M. Zola's departure from France I shall here be 
brief; these incidents are only known to me by 
statements I have had from M. and Mme. Zola 
themselves. But the rest is well within my 
personal knowledge, as one of the first things 
which M. Zola did on arriving in England was to 
communicate with me and in certain respects 
place himself in my hands. 

This, then, is a plain unvarnished narrative 
firstly, of the steps that I took in the matter, in 
conjunction with a friend, who is by profession a 
solicitor ; and, secondly, of the principal incidents 
which marked M. Zola's sojourn in England. 
With the chronicle of incidents I have blended an 
account of M. Zola's views on some matters of 
interest, as imparted by him to me at various 
times. But, ultimately, M. Zola will himself pen 
his own private impressions, and on these I shall 
not trespass. It is because, according to his own 
statements to me, his book on his English impres- 
sions (should he write it) could not possibly appear 


for another twelve months, that I have put these 
notes together. 

The real circumstances, then, of M. Zola's de- 
parture from France are these: On July 18, the 
day fixed for his second trial at Versailles, he left 
Paris in a livery-stable brougham hired for the 
occasion at a cost of fifty francs. His companion 
was hisfidus Achates, M. Fernand Desmoulin, the 
painter, who had already acted as his bodyguard at 
the time of the great trial in Paris. Versailles was 
reached in due course, and the judicial proceedings 
began under circumstances which have been 
chronicled too often to need mention here. When 
M. Zola had retired from the court, allowing judg- 
ment to go against him by default, he was joined 
by Maitre Labori, his counsel, and the pair of them 
returned to Paris in the vehicle which had brought 
M. Zola from the city in the morning. M. Des- 
moulin found a seat in another carriage. 

The brougham conveying Messrs. Zola and 
Labori was driven to the residence of M. Georges 
Charpentier, the eminent publisher, in the Avenue 
du Bois cle Boulogne, and there they were presently 
joined by M. Georges Clemenceau, Mme. Zola, and 
a few others. It was then that the necessity of 


leaving France was pressed upon M. Zola, who, 
though he found the proposal little to his liking, 
eventually signified his acquiescence. 

The points urged in favour of his departure 
abroad were as follows : He must do his utmost to 
avoid personal service of the judgment given 
against him by default, as the Government was 
anxious to cast him into prison and thus stifle his 
voice. If such service were effected the law would 
only allow him a few days in which to apply for a 
new trial, and as he could not make default a 
second time, and could not hope at that stage for 
fresh and decisive evidence in his favour, or for a 
change of tactics on the part of the judges, this 
would mean the absolute and irrevocable loss of 
his case. 

On the other hand, by avoiding personal service 
of the judgment he would retain the right to claim 
a new trial at any moment he might find con- 
venient ; and thus not only could he prevent his 
own case from being closed against him and 
becoming a chose jugte, but he would contribute 
powerfully towards keeping the whole Dreyfus 
affair open, pending revelations which even then 
were foreseen. And, naturally, England, which so 



freely gives asylum to all political offenders, was 
chosen as his proper place of exile. 

The amusing story of the nightgown tucked 
under his arm and the bank notes sewn up in his 
coat is, of course, pure invention. A few toilet 
articles were pressed upon him, and his wife 
emptied her purse into his own. That was all. 
Then he set out for the Northern Railway Station, 
where he caught the express leaving for Calais 
at 9 P.M. Fortunately enough he secured a 
first-class compartment which had no other 

M. Clemenceau had previously suggested to 
him that on his arrival in London he might well 
put up at the Grosvenor Hotel, and it is quite pos- 
sible that the same gentleman handed him as 
stated in the ' Times ' narrative a slip of paper 
bearing the name of that noted hostelry. But, at 
all events, this paper was never used by M. Zola. 
He has an excellent memory, and when he reached 
Victoria Station at forty minutes past five o'clock 
on the morning of July 19, the name of the hotel 
where he had arranged to fix his quarters for a few 
days came readily enough to his lips. 

There was, however, one thing that he did not 


know, and that was the close proximity of this 
hotel to the railway station. So, having secured a 
hansom, he briefly told the Jehu to drive him to 
the Grosvenor. At this, cabby looked down from 
his perch in sheer astonishment. Then, doubtless, 
in a considerate and honest spirit for there are 
still some considerate and honest cabbies in 
London he tried to explain matters. At all 
events he spoke at length. But M. Zola failed to 
understand him. 

' Grosvenor Hotel,' repeated the novelist ; and 
then, seeing that cabby seemed bent on further 
expostulation, he resolutely took his seat in the 
vehicle. This driver, doubtless after the fashion of 
certain of his Paris colleagues, must be trying to 
play some trick in order to avoid a long journey. 
It was as well, therefore, to teach him to refrain 
from trifling with his 'fares.' 

However, cabby said no more, or if he did his 
words failed to reach M. Zola. The reins were 
jerked, the scraggy night-horse broke into a spas- 
modic trot, turned out of the station, and pulled up 
in front of the caravansary which an eminent 
butcher has done so much to immortalise. 

Zola was astonished at reaching his destination 
1 1 


with such despatch, and suddenly became conscious 
of cabby's real motive in expostulating with him. 
However, he ascended the steps, entered the hotel, 
produced one of the few hundred-franc notes which 
his purse contained, and asked first for change and 
afterwards for a bedroom. English money was 
handed to him for his note, and the night porter 
carried cabby the regulation shilling for the journey 
of a few yards which had been made. 

Then, as M. Zola had no luggage with him, he 
was requested to deposit a sovereign with the hotel 
clerk and to inscribe his name in the register. 
This he did, and the tell-tale signature of 
' M. Pascal, Paris,' still remains as a token of the 
accuracy of this narrative. 

Such, then, was the way in which M. Zola 
travelled across London, obligingly passed on from 
policeman to policeman, and carrying a slip of 
paper a ' way-bill,' as it were in his hand ! As 
the above account was given to me by himself, it 
will probably be deemed more worthy of credit 
than the amusing romance which was so success- 
fully palmed off on M. cle Blowitx, of the 
' Times.' 




Of his journey from Paris that night, he re- 
clining alone in his compartment as the Calais 
express rushed across the plains of Picardy under 
a star-lit sky ; of his embarking on board the little 
Channel boat amidst the glimmer of lanterns, his 
transference to a fresh train at Dover, followed by 
another and even faster rush on to London ; of 
his gloomy thoughts at this sudden severance 
from one and all, at speeding in this lonely fashion 
into exile, and returning surreptitiously, as it were, 
to the city where but a few years previously he had 
been received as one of the kings of literature, he 
will ever retain a keen impression. 

It was at Victoria that his journey ended, even 
as it had ended in 1893 ! Dut how changed the 
scene ! He finds the station gaunt and well-nigh 
deserted ; the few passengers are gliding away like 
phantoms into the morning air ; the porters loiter 
around, and the Customs officers discharge their 
duties in a perfunctory, sleepy way. No crowd of 
Pressmen and sightseers is present ; there are no 
delegates and address, and flowers, and cheers as 
of yore. Only cabby, who expostulates, and who 
doubtless thinks this Frenchman a bit of a crank 

* * 


to insist upon being driven just round the 
corner ! 

And at the hotel no army of servants appears 
to marshal the master to the best suite of rooms 
on the principal floor. In lieu thereof comes a 
doubtful greeting and a demand for a deposit of 
money, for fear lest he should be some vulgar 
bilker. Then, once he is in the lift, he goes up 
and up without stopping, until the very topmost 
floor is reached. And afterwards he is marched 
along interminable passages, with walls painted a 
crude, hideous shade of blue, so offensive to all 
artistic instinct as verily to make one's gorge rise. 
Then at last he finds himself in a room which, high 
as it is situated, is of lowly, common aspect. Yet 
he is only too glad to reach it, and throw himself 
on the bed to rest awhile, and to think. 

New experiences are awaiting him. He is far 
away from the mob that pelted his windows with 
stones and yelled ' Conspuez ! conspuez ! ' when- 
ever he left his house. Here there is no hostility. 
Here quietude prevails, save for the shrill whistles 
of arriving or departing trains. Yet he is also far 
from the great majority of his affections and 
friendships. But at this remembrance a fresh 



thought comes to him ; he takes one of his visiting 
cards from his pocket-book, pencils a few lines on 
it, and encloses it in an envelope ready to be 
posted. Then he again lies down ; tired as he is, 
after his exciting day at Versailles and his weari- 
some night journey, he soon falls soundly asleep. 





ON Tuesday, July 19, I went to London on 
business, and did not return to my home in the 
south-western suburbs until nearly seven o'clock in 
the evening. My wife immediately placed in my 
hands an envelope addressed to me in the hajid- 
writing of M. Zola. At first, having noticed neither 
the stamp nor the postmark, I imagined that the 
communication had come from Paris. 

On opening the envelope, however, I found that 
it contained a card on which was written in French 
and in pencil : 

' My dear confrere, Tell nobody in the world, 
and particularly no newspaper, that I am in 
London. And oblige me by coming to see me 
to-morrow, Wednesday, at eleven o'clock, at Gros- 
venor Hotel. You will ask for M. Pascal. And 



above all, absolute silence, for the most serious 

interests are at stake. 

' Cordially, 


I was for a moment amazed and also somewhat 
affected by this message, the first addressed by M. 
Zola to anybody after his departure from France. 
Since the publication of his novel ' Paris,' which 
had followed his first trial, I had not seen him, and 
we had exchanged but few letters. I had written 
to express my sympathy over the outcome of the 
proceedings at Versailles, but owing to his sudden 
flitting my note had failed to reach him. And now 
here he was in London in exile, as, curiously 
enough, I myself had foretold as probable some 
time before in a letter to one of the newspapers. 

My first impulse was to hurry to the Grosvenor 
immediately, but I reflected that I might not find 
him there, and that even if I did I might incon- 
venience him, as he had appointed the following 
day for my call. So I contented myself with 
telegraphing as follows : ' Pascal, Grosvenor Hotel. 
Rely on me, to-morrow, eleven o'clock.' And 
as a precautionary measure, I signed my telegram 
merely with my Christian name. 

17 c 


As I afterwards learnt, M. Zola had spent that 
day companionless, walking about the Mall and 
St. James's Park, and purchasing a shirt, a collar, 
and a pair of socks at a shop in or near Buckingham 
Palace Road, where, knowing no English, he ex- 
plained his requirements by pantomime. He had 
further studied several street scenes, and had given 
some time to wondering what purpose might be 
served by a certain ugly elongated building, over- 
looking a drive and a park. There was a sentry 
at the gate, but the place had such a gaunt, clumsy, 
and mournful aspect, that M. Zola could not 
possibly picture it as the London palace of her 
most Gracious Majesty the Queen. 

However, evening found him once more in his 
room at the Grosvenor ; and feeling tired and 
feverish he lay down and dozed. When he awoke 
between nine and ten o'clock he perceived a buff 
envelope on the carpet near by him. It had been 
thrust under the door during his sleep, and its 
presence greatly astonished him, for he expected 
neither letter nor telegram. For a moment, as he 
has told me, he imagined this to be some trap ; 
wondered if he had been watched and followed to 
London, and almost made up his mind to leave the 



hotel that night. But when, after a little hesitation, 
he had opened the envelope and read my telegram, 
he realised how groundless had been his alarm. 

On the morrow, when I reached the Grosvenor 
and inquired at the office there for M. Pascal, I 
was asked my name, on giving which I received a 
note from M. Zola saying that he unexpectedly 
found himself obliged to go out, but would return 
at 2.30 P.M. As I stood reading this note, I espied 
a couple of individuals scrutinising me in what I 
deemed a most suspicious manner. Both were 
Frenchmen evidently ; they wore billycock hats 
and carried stout sticks ; and one of them, swarthy 
and almost brigandish of aspect, had the ribbon of 
the Legion of Honour in his buttonhole. It was 
easy to take these individuals for French detectives, 
and I hastily jumped to the conclusion that they 
were on ' M. Pascal's ' track. 

To make matters even more suspicious, when, 
after placing Zola's note in my pocket, I began to 
cross the vestibule, the others deliberately followed 
me, and in all likelihood I should have fled never 
to return if a well-known figure in a white billycock 
and grey suit had not suddenly advanced towards 
us from the direction of the staircase. In another 

19 c 2 


moment I had exchanged greetings with M. Zola, 
and my suspicious scrutinisers had been introduced 
to me as friends. One of them was none other 
than M. Fernand Desmoulin. They had arrived 
from Paris that morning, and were about to sally 
forth with M. Zola in search of Mr. Fletcher 
Moulton, Q.C., to whom they had brought a letter 
of introduction from Maitre Labori. 

Hence the note which M. Zola had already 
deposited for me at the hotel office. Had I been 
a moment later I should have found them gone. 

My arrival led to a change in the programme. 
It was resolved to begin matters with lunch at the 
hotel itself, and to postpone the quest for Mr. 
Fletcher Moulton until the afternoon. I made, at 
the time, a note of our menu. The ' bitter bread 
of exile ' consisted on this occasion of an omelet, 
fried soles, fillet of beef, and potatoes. To wash 
down this anchoretic fare M. Desmoulin and myselt 
ordered Sauterne and Apollinaris ; but the contents 
of the water bottle sufficed for M. Zola and the 
other gentleman. 

With waiters moving to and fro, nearly always 
within hearing, there was little conversation at 
table, but we afterwards chatted in all freedom in 



M. Zola's room just under the roof. Ah ! that 
room. I have already referred to the dingy aspect 
which it presented. Around the Grosvenor Hotel, 
encompassing its roof, runs a huge ornamental 
cornice, behind which are the windows of rooms 
assigned, I suppose, to luggageless visitors. From 
the rooms themselves there is nothing to be seen 
unless you throw back your head, when a tiny 
patch of sky above the top line of the cornice 
becomes visible. You are, as it were, in a gloomy 
well. The back of the cornice, with its plaster 
stained and cracked, confronts your eyes ; and 
with a little imagination you can easily fancy 
yourself in a dungeon looking into some castle 

' Le fosst de Vincennes,' so M. Zola suggested, 
and that summed up everything. Yet it seemed 
to him very appropriate to his circumstances, and 
he absolutely refused to exchange rooms with 
M. Desmoulin, who was somewhat more comfort- 
ably lodged. 

The appointments of M. Zola's chamber were, 
I remember, of a summary description. There 
were few chairs, and so one of us sat on the bed. 
We succeeded in procuring some black coffee, 



though the chambermaid regarded this as a most 
unusual ' bedroom order' at that hour of the day ; 
and when M. Desmoulin had lighted a cigar, his 
friend a pipe, and myself a cigarette, a regular 
Council of War was held. [N.B. M. Zola gave 
up tobacco in his young days, when it was a 
question of his spending twopence per diem on 
himself, or of allowing his mother the wherewithal 
to buy an extra pound of bread.] 

The council dealt mainly with two points 
first, what was M. Zola to do in England ? Should 
he go into the country, or to the seaside, or settle 
down in the London suburbs ? Since he wished 
to avoid recognition, it would be foolish for him 
to remain in London, particularly at an hotel like 
the Grosvenor. Then, for my benefit, the legal 
position was set forth, as well as the object of taking 
Maitre Labori's letter to Mr. Fletcher Moulton. 

The chief point was, Could the French 
Government in any way signify the judgment of 
the Versailles Court to M. Zola personally while 
he remained in Great Britain ? If the French 
officials could legally do nothing of that kind, 
there would be less necessity for M. Zola to court 



After the hurly-burly of Faffaire Dreyfus^ he 
certainly needed some rest and privacy, but the 
question was whether retirement would be a 

, - 



necessity or a mere matter of convenience. Now 
the choice of a place of sojourn depended on the 
answer to the second question, and it was resolved, 
nein. con., that M. Dcsmoulin, who spoke a little 



English and knew something of London, should 
forthwith drive to Mr. Fletcher Moulton's house in 
Onslow Square, S.W., in accordance with the 
address given on Maitre Labori's letter. M. Des- 
moulin's friend, on his side, was to return to Paris 
that afternoon by the Club train. So, the council 
over, both these gentlemen went off, leaving 
M. Zola and myself together. 

We had a long and desultory chat, now on the 
Dreyfus affair generally, now on M. Zola's personal 
position, the probable duration of his exile, and so 
forth. He himself did not think that he would 
remain abroad beyond October at the latest, and 
as there might be a delay if not a difficulty in 
getting any clothes sent to him from Paris, he 
proposed to make a few purchases. 

It was then that he told me how he had 
already bought a shirt, collar, and socks on the 
previous day. 

' I had nothing but what I was wearing,' said 
he. ' I had been to Versailles and had sat per- 
spiring in the crowded court ; then I had spent 
the night travelling. I looked dirty, and I felt 
abominably uncomfortable. So I go out, yester- 
day morning, and see a shop with shirts, neckties, 



collars, and socks in the window. I go in ; I take 
hold of my collar, I pull down my cuffs, I tap my 
shirt front. The shopman smiles ; he understands 
me. He measures my neck ; he gives me a shirt 
and some collars. But then we come to the socks, 
and I pull up my trousers and point to those I am 
wearing. He understands immediately. He is 
very intelligent. He climbs his steps and pulls 
parcels and boxes from his shelves. 

' Here are socks of all colours, dark and light, 
spotted, striped, in mixtures, in cotton, in wool, 
some ribbed and some with silk clockings. But 
they are huge ! I look at one pair ; it is too big ; 
he shows me another and another ; they are still of 
a larger size. Then, impatient, and perhaps rather 
abruptly, I hold out my fist for the man to measure 
it, and thus gauge the length of my foot as is done 
in Paris. But he docs not understand me. He 
draws back close to his shelves as if he imagines 
that I want to box him. And when I again lift 
my foot to call his attention to its size, he shows 
even greater concern. Fortunately an idea comes 
to me. I take one of the mammoth socks that are 
lying on the counter and fold parts of it neatly 
back, so as to make it appear very much smaller 



than it is. Then the shopman suddenly brightens, 
taps his forehead, climbs his steps again, and pulls 
yet more boxes and parcels from his shelves. 
And here at last are the small socks ! So I 
choose a pair, and pay the bill. And the man 
bows his thanks, well pleased, it seems, to find 
that in thrusting out my fist and raising my foot 
I had been actuated by no desire to injure him.' 

I was still chuckling over M. Zola's anecdote 
when M. Desmoulin returned from his journey to 
Onslow Square. He had there interviewed a 
smart boy in buttons, who had informed him that 
his learned master was out of town electioneering, 
and might not be home again for a week or two. 
Desmoulin had, therefore, retained possession of 
Maitre Labori's note of introduction. 

I now remembered what I ought to have re- 
called before namely, that Mr. Fletcher Moulton 
was at that moment a candidate for the parlia- 
mentary representation of the Launceston division 
of Cornwall. Under such circumstances it was 
unlikely that his advice would be available for some 
little time to come. And so all idea of applying 
to him was abandoned. It may be that this 
narrative, should it meet the learned gentleman's 


"*** ( 

eye, will for the first time acquaint him with what 
was intended by M. Zola, acting under Maitre 
Labori's advice. 

M. Zola, I should add, remained most anxious 
to secure an English legal opinion on his position, 
and I therefore suggested to him that I should that 
evening consult a discreet and reliable friend of 
mine, a solicitor. We, of course, well knew that 
there could be no extradition, but it was a point 
whether a copy of the Versailles judgment might 
not legally be placed in M. Zola's hands, under 
such conventions as might exist between France 
and Great Britain. 

This, I thought, could be ascertained within the 
next forty-eight hours, and meantime M. Zola 
might remain where he was, for I could not well 
offer him an asylum in my little home. My con- 
nection with him as his English translator being so 
widely known, newspaper reporters were certain to 
call upon me, and whatever precautions I might 
take, his presence in my house would speedily be 
discovered. On the other hand, M. Desmoulin 
wished to go to Brighton or Hastings, but, in my 
estimation, both those places, crowded with holiday- 
makers, were not desirable spots. 



Leaving the Grosvenor, the three of us dis- 
cussed these matters while strolling up Bucking- 
ham Palace Road. It was a warm sunshiny 
afternoon, and the street was full of people. All 
at once a couple of ladies passed us, and one of 
them, after turning her head in our direction, made 
a remark to her companion. 

' Did you hear that ? ' Desmoulin eagerly 
inquired. ' She spoke in French ! ' 

' Ah ! ' I replied. ' What did she say ? ' 

'"Why," she exclaimed, "there's M. Zola!" 
Our secret is as good as gone now ! It will be 
all over London by to-morrow ! ' 

We felt somewhat alarmed. Who could those 
ladies be ? For my part I had scarcely noticed 
them. Desmoulin opined, however, that they 
might perchance be French actresses, members 
possibly of Madame Sarah Bernhardt's company, 
which was then in London. And again he urged 
the necessity of immediate departure. They must 
go to Hastings, Brighton, Ramsgate some place 
at all events where the author of ' J 'accuse ' would 
incur less chance of recognition. 

To me it seemed that some quiet, retired 
country village would be most suitable. In any 



town M. Zola would incur great risk of being 
identified. Moreover his appearance was con- 
spicuous, his white billycock, his glasses, his light 
grey suit, his rosette of the Legion of Honour, 
his many characteristic gestures all attracted 
attention. If anything was to be done he must 
begin by Anglicising his appearance. But what- 
ever I might urge I found him stubborn on that 
point ; and, as for departure from London, he 
preferred to postpone this until I should have 
seen my friend the solicitor. 

' Everything is as good as lost ! ' cried M. Des- 
moulin. ' How foolish, too, of Clemenceau to have 
sent you to a swell hotel in a fashionable neigh- 
bourhood ! I am certain there are other French 
people staying at the Grosvenor I heard some- 
body talking French there this morning.' 

This again might lead to unpleasantness, and 
I could see that the master was gradually growing 
anxious. By this time, however, we had reached 
St. James's Park, and there, as we seated ourselves 
on some chairs beside the ornamental water, I led 
the conversation into another channel by producing 
an evening newspaper, and reading therefrom 
successive narratives of how M. Zola had sailed for 



Norway, how he had taken train at the Eastern 
Terminus in Paris, and how he had been bicycling 
through the Oberland on his way to some mysteri- 
ous Helvetian retreat. Then we laughed ah ! 
those journalists ! and fears were at an end. 

The ducks paddled past us, the drooping foliage 
of the island trees stirred in the warm breeze. 
On a bench near at hand a couple of vagrants 
sat dozing, with their toes protruding through their 
wretched footgear. Then a soldier, smart and 
pert, strolled up, a flower between his lips and a 
good-looking girl beside him. Away in front of 
us were the top windows and the roofs of St. 
Anne's Mansions. Farther, on the left, the clock 
tower of Westminster glinted in the sun-rays, 

' Fine ducks ! ' said M. Zola. 

' A pretty corner,' added Desmoulin, waving 
his hand towards some branches that drooped to 
the water's edge. And suddenly I remembered 
and told them of another French exile, the 
epicurean St. Evremond, whose needs were re- 
lieved by Charles II. appointing him governor of 
yonder Duck Island at a salary of 3OO/. a year. 

' Well, I have little money in my pocket,' quoth 
Zola, ' but I don't think I shall come to that. I 



hope that my pen alone will always yield me the 
little I require.' 

But Big Ben struck the hour. It was six 
o'clock. So we separated, Messrs. Zola and Des- 
moulin to retire to the dungeon at the Grosvenor, 
and I to go in search of my friend the solicitor at 
his private house at Wimbledon. 




THAT evening, then, I called upon my friend- 
Mr. F. W. Wareham, of Wimbledon, and Ethel- 
burga House, Bishopsgate Street and laid before 
him the legal points. I afterwards arranged to see 
him on the following morning in town, when I 
hoped to fix a meeting between him and M. Zola. 
My first call on Thursday, July 21, was made to 
the Grosvenor Hotel, where I found both the 
master and M. Desmoulin in a state of anxiety. 
M. Zola, for his part, felt altogether out of his 
element. After the excitement of his trial and his 
journey to England, and the novelty of finding 
himself stranded in a strange city, a kind of re- 
action had set in and he was extremely depressed. 
M. Desmoulin on his side, having procured 
several morning newspapers, had explored their 
columns to ascertain whether the ladies by whom 


the master had been recognised in the street on 
the previous day, had by any chance noised the 
circumstance abroad. However, the Press was still 
on the Norway and Holland scents, and as yet not 
a paper so much as suggested M. Zola's presence 
in England. 

' There has hardly been time,' said Desmoulin 
to me, ' but there will probably be something fresh 
this afternoon. Those actresses are certain to tell 
people, and we shall have to make ourselves 

I tried to cheer and tranquillise both him and 
M. Zola, and then arranged that Wareham should 
come to the hotel at 2 P.M. Meantime, said I, 
whatever M. Desmoulin might do, it would be as 
well for M. Zola to remain indoors. Several com- 
missions were entrusted to me, and I went off, 
promising to return about noon. 

I betook myself first to Messrs. Chatto and 
Windus's in St. Martin's Lane, where I arrived a 
few minutes before ten o'clock. Neither Mr. Chatto 
nor his partner, Mr. Percy Spalding, had as yet 
arrived, and I therefore had to wait a few minutes. 
When Mr. Spalding made his appearance he 
greeted me with a smile, and while leading the 

33 D 


way to his private room exclaimed, ' So our friend 
Zola is in London ! ' 

To describe my amazement is beyond my 
powers. I could only just gasp, ' How do you 
know that ? ' 

' Why, my wife saw him yesterday in Bucking- 
ham Palace Road.' 

I was confounded. For my part I had scarcely 
glanced at the ladies whom Desmoulin had con- 
jectured to be French actresses simply because 
they were young, prepossessing, and spoke French ! 
and certainly I should not readily have recog- 
nised Mrs. Spalding, whom I had only met once 
some years previously. It now seemed to me 
rather fortunate that she should be the person who 
had recognised M. Zola, since she would naturally 
be discreet as soon as the situation should be made 
clear to her. 

After I had explained the position, I ascer- 
tained that the only persons besides herself who 
knew anything so far were her husband and the 
lady friend who had accompanied her on the 
previous day. 

' I will telegraph to my wife at once,' said 
Mr. Spalding, ' and you may be sure that the 



matter will go no further. We certainly had a 
hearty laugh at breakfast this morning when we 
read in the " Telegraph " of Zola bicycling over the 
Swiss frontier ; but, of course, as from what you 
tell me, the matter is serious, neither my wife nor 
myself will speak of it.' 

' And her friend ? ' I exclaimed, ' she knows 
nothing of the necessity for secrecy, and may 
perhaps gossip about it.' 

' She is going to Hastings to-day.' 

' Hastings ! ' said I, ' why M. Desmoulin, Zola's 
companion, does nothing but talk of going to 
Hastings ! [ am glad I know this. Hastings is 
barred for good, so far as Zola is concerned.' 

' Well, I will arrange for my wife to see her 
friend this morning before she starts,' Mr. Spalding 
rejoined, 'and in this way we may be sure that her 
friend will say nothing.' 

This excellent suggestion was acted upon 
immediately. Mr. Spalding telegraphed full in- 
structions to his wife, and later in the day I learnt 
that everything had been satisfactorily arranged. 
But for this timely action, following upon my lucky 
call at Messrs. Chatto and Windus's establishment, 
it is virtually certain that the meeting in the 

35 2 


Buckingham Palace Road would have been talked 
about and the game of ' Where is Zola ? ' brought 
to an abrupt conclusion. As it happened, both 
ladies, being duly warned, preserved absolute 

After going to Bishopsgate Street to see Ware- 
ham, and executing several minor commissions, I 
returned to the Grosvenor, where Zola and Des- 
moulin were much amused when I told them of 
the outcome of the previous day's fright. 

' It was a remarkable coincidence certainly,' 
said M. Zola. ' At a low calculation I daresay a 
thousand women passed me in the streets yesterday ; 
just one of them recognised me, and she, you say, 
was Mrs. Spalding. Shortsighted as I am, not 
having seen her, too, since I was in England, a few 
years ago, I had no notion she was the person who 
turned as she passed along, and said, " There's 
Monsieur Zola." 

' But the curious part of it is that you should 
have had to go to Chatto's, and should have learnt 
the lady's name so promptly from her husband ! 
Mathematically there were untold chances that 
this lady who recognised me might be some 
stranger's wife, and that we might never more 



hear anything of her ! Yet you discover her 
identity at once. This is the kind of thing which 
occasionally occurs in novels, but which critics say 
never happens in real life. Well, now we know 
the contrary.' 

And he added gaily, ' You see it is another 
instance of my good luck, which still attends me in 
spite of all the striving of those who bear me 

So far as the ladies were concerned things were, 
indeed, very satisfactory. But the same could 
hardly be said of the position at the Grosvenor. 
Neither M. Zola nor M. Desmoulin could leave the 
hotel or return to it without being scrutinised. 
They had also noticed many a glance in their 
direction at meal-time in the dining-room ; and 
they had come to the conclusion that departure 
was imperative. I did not gainsay them, for I 
shared their views, and, in fact, I had already 
discussed the matter with Wareham. I explained, 
however, that one must have a few hours to devise 
suitable plans. 

Seaside places were dangerous at that time of 
the year, and the best course would probably be to 
take a furnished house in the country. Meantime, 



said I, Wareham had kindly offered to accommo- 
date M. Zola at his residence at Wimbledon, while 
M. Desmoulin might sleep close by at the house 
of Mr. Everson (Wareham's managing clerk), who 
also disposed of a spare bedroom. Further dis- 
cussion of these matters was postponed, however, 
until Warcham's arrival at the Grosvenor in the 

As Zola and Desmoulin both distrusted the 
inquisitive glances of the visitors and the atten- 
dants at the hotel, we lunched, I remember, at a 
restaurant in or near Victoria Street a deep, 
narrow place, crowded with little tables. And here 
again M. Zola, in his light garments, with the 
rosette of the Legion of Honour showing brightly 
in his buttonhole, became the observed of all 

He was, indeed, so conspicuous, so characteristic 
a figure that, looking backward and remembering 
how repeatedly the illustrated papers had portrayed 
him and how many photographs of him were to be 
seen in shop windows, I often wonder how it 
happened that he was not recognised a hundred 
times during those few days spent in London. It 
may be that many did recognise him, but held 



their tongues. As yet. certainly, there was not a 
word in the newspapers to set his adversaries upon 
his track. 

It was in a corner of the smoking-room at the 
Grosvenor, a hot gloomy apartment overlooking 
Victoria Station, that I introduced Wareham to 
the novelist. The former had already formed 
some opinion, but a few points remained for con- 
sideration. The chief of these, as Wareham 
explained, was how far the French Republic 
might claim jurisdiction over Frenchmen. 

In matters of process some countries asserted a 
measure of authority over their subjects wherever 
they might be ; and the question was, what might 
be the law of France in that respect ? Of course 
M. Zola could not be extradited. The offence for 
which he had been sentenced did not come within 
the purview of the Extradition Act. Again (in 
reply to a query from M. Zola), there was no 
diplomatic channel through which a French crimi- 
nal libel judgment could be signified in England. 
But suppose that French detectives should discover 
M. Zola's whereabouts, and suppose a French 
process-server should quietly come to England 
with a couple of witnesses, and by some craft or 



good luck should succeed in placing a copy of the 
Versailles judgment in M. Zola's hands ? 

Unless a breach of the Queen's peace were 
committed, it might be difficult for the English 
authorities to interfere. There appeared to be no 
case or precedent in England applying to such a 
matter. In Germany a foreign process-server 
would be liable to penal servitude. But, of course, 
that was not to the point. Again, although the 
service by a foreigner might not hold good in 
English law, that had nothing to do with it. The 
process-server and his witnesses would immediately 
return to France ; they would there prove to the 
satisfaction of their employers that they had served 
the judgment on M. Zola personally, and they 
would be able to snap their ringers at English 
lawyers should the latter complain that the 
thrusting of a document into a man's hand under 
such circumstances was a technical assault. They 
would have gained their point. Judgment would 
have been served, and in accordance with French 
law M. Zola would be called upon to enter an 
appearance against it at Versailles. 

' Things must largely depend,' concluded Ware- 
ham, ' on whether French law allows process to be 



served on a subject out of the jurisdiction. And 
that is a point rather for French legal advisers 
than for me. Still I shall look into the matter 
further ; and if at the same time Maitre Labori can 
be communicated with and can supply his opinion 
on the question, so much the better. I now raise 
the point because it seems the crux of the whole 
matter, and if it goes against us it is certain that 
M. Zola ought to remain in close retirement. For 
the present it is as well that he should run as little 
risk as possible.' 

M. Zola acquiesced in the suggestion of writing 
to his French counsel on the point which had been 
raised ; and the conversation then went on in the 
same low tone that had been preserved from the 

On entering the smoking-room we had found 
it deserted, but whilst Wareham was speaking a 
couple of gentlemen had come in. One, I 
remember, was an elderly, florid man, with 
mutton-chop whiskers and a buff waistcoat, who 
took his stand beside the fireplace at the further 
end of the room and puffed away at a big cigar. 
He looked inoffensive enough, and paid no 
attention to us. But the other, a middle-aged 



individual, tall and slim, with military moustaches, 
eyed us very keenly, changed his position two or 
three times, and finally installed himself in a chair, 
whence, while trifling with a cigarette, he com- 
manded a good view of M. Zola's face. Desmoulin, 
I think, was the first to notice this, and to call the 
novelist's attention to it. Zola then shifted his 
position, and the military looking gentleman soon 
did the same. At last, doubtless having satisfied 
his curiosity, he left the room, not, however, with- 
out a sharp, comprehensive survey of our party as 
he passed us on his way out. 

I do not now exactly remember how it 
happened that Wareham was not received in the 
' dungeon,' instead of the smoking-room. The 
choice of the latter apartment was unfortunate. I 
have no doubt that, if some of the newspapers 
were, a day or two afterwards, able to state that 
M. Zola was staying at the Grosvenor Hotel, it 
was through certain remarks made by the inquisi- 
tive military looking gentleman to whom I have 

On the other hand his curiosity exercised 
decisive influence over M. Zola's subsequent move- 
ments. He had hitherto been rather chary of 



accepting Wareham's hospitality, for fear lest he 
should inconvenience him. But the offer now 
being renewed was promptly accepted, and it was 
agreed that I should take both Messrs. Zola and 
Desmoulin to Wimbledon that evening. 

As it was expected that several letters from 
Paris would arrive at the hotel, addressed to M. 
Pascal, I arranged to call or send for them. The 
same course was adopted with regard to a few 
articles which M. Zola had given to be washed 
and which had not yet been returned to him. 
Some of these things were significantly marked 
with the letter ' Z,' and for this reason it was 
desirable that they should be recovered. Here I 
may mention that during the next few days my 
wife repeatedly called at the Grosvenor for M. 
Pascal's correspondence, a circumstance which 
doubtless gave rise to the rumour that Mine. Zola 
had joined her husband in London. 

The exodus from the hotel was not particularly 
imposing. M. Desmoulin had originally intended 
to stay but one day in London, and thus merely 
had a dressing-case with him. As for M. Zola, 
his few belongings (inclusive of a small bottle of 
ink, which he would not part with) were stuffed 



into his pockets, or went towards the making of a 
peculiarly shaped newspaper parcel, tied round 
with odd bits of string. Dressing-case and parcel 
were duly brought down into the grand vestibule, 
where the hotel servants smiled on them benignly. 
There was, indeed, some little humour in the 

The novelist, with his gold pince-nez and gold 
watch-chain, his red rosette, and a large and 
remarkably fine diamond sparkling on one of his 
little fingers, looked so eminently respectable that 
it was difficult to associate him with the wretched 
misshapen newspaper parcel his only luggage ! 
which he eyed so jealously. However, as the 
attendants were all liberally fee'd, they remained 
strictly polite even if they felt amused. I ordered 
a hansom to be called, and we just contrived to 
squeeze both ourselves and the precious newspaper 
parcel inside it. The dressing-case was hoisted 
aloft. Then the hotel porter asked me, ' Where 
to, sir ? ' 

' Charing Cross Station,' I replied, and the next 
moment we were bowling along Buckingham 
Palace Road. 

Perhaps a minute elapsed before I tapped the 


cab-roof with my walking stick. On cabby look- 
ing down at me, I said, ' Did I tell you Charing 
Cross just now, driver ? Ah ! well, I made a 
mistake. I meant Waterloo.' 

' Right, sir,' rejoined cabby ; and on we went. 

It was a paltry device, perhaps, this trick of 
giving one direction in the hearing of the hotel 
servants, and then another when the hotel was out 
of sight. But, as the reader must know, this kind 
of thing is always done in novels particularly in 
detective stories. 

And recollections had come to me of some of 
Gaboriau's tales which long ago I had helped to 
place before the English public. It might be that 
the renowned Monsieur Lecoq or his successor, or 
perchance some English confrere like Mr. Sherlock 
Holmes, would presently be after us, and so it was 
just as well to play the game according to the 
orthodox rules of romance. After all, was it not 
in something akin to a romance that I was 
living ? 





IT should be mentioned that the departure of 
Messrs. Zola and Desmoulin from the Grosvenor 
Hotel took place almost immediately after Ware- 
ham had returned to his office. We were not to 
meet our friend the solicitor again until the evening 
at Wimbledon, but the hotel being apparently a 
dangerous spot, it was thought best to quit it 

When we reached Waterloo the dressing-case 
and the newspaper parcel were deposited at one of 
the cloak-rooms ; and after making the round 
of the station, we descended into the Waterloo 
Road. At first we sauntered towards the New 
Cut, and of course M. Zola could not help noticing 
the contrast between the dingy surroundings amidst 
which he now found himself and the stylish shops 
and houses he had seen in the Buckingham Palace 
Road. The vista was not cheering, so I proposed 



that we should retrace our steps and go as far as 
Waterloo Bridge. 

There seemed to be little risk in doing so, for, 
as usual hereabouts in the middle of the afternoon, 
there were few people to be seen. The great 
successive rush of homeward-bound employers, 
clerks, and workpeople had not yet set in. And, 
moreover, there was plenty of time ; for Wareham, 
having important business in town that day, could 
not possibly be at Wimbledon till half-past six at 
the earliest. 

We reached the bridge 'that monument/ as a 
famous Frenchman once put in, ' worthy of Sesos- 
tris and the Caesars ' and went about half-way 
across. It was splendid weather, and the Thames 
was aglow with the countless reflections of the 
sunbeams that fell from the hot, whitening sky. 
London was before us, ' with her palaces down to 
the water ' ; and M. Zola stopped short, gazing 
intently at the scene. 

' Up-stream the view was spoilt,' said he, ' by 
the hideous Hungerford Bridge, unworthy alike of 
the city and the river ' an erection such as no 
Paris municipality would have tolerated for four 
and twenty hours. It was the more obtrusive and 



aggravating, since beyond it one discerned but 
little of the towers of Westminster. ' Admitting,' 
added the novelist, ' that a bridge is needed at that 
point for railway traffic, surely there is no reason 
why it should be so surprisingly ugly. However, 
from all I see, it seems more and more evident 
that you English people are very much in the habit 
of sacrificing beauty to utility, forgetting that with 
a little artistic sense it is easy to combine the 

Then, however, he turned slightly, and looked 
down-stream where the Victoria Embankment 
spreads past the Temple to Blackfriars. The 
colonnades of Somerset House showed boldly and 
with a certain majesty in the foreground, whilst in 
the distance, high over every roof, arose the leaden 
dome of St. Paul's. This vista was rather to 
M. Zola's liking. Close beside us, on the bridge, 
was one of the semi-circular embrasures garnished 
with stone seats. A pitiful-looking vagrant was 
lolling there ; but this made no difference to 
M. Zola. He installed himself on the seat with 
Desmoulin on one hand and myself on the other, 
and there we remained for some little time looking 
about us and chatting. 



' This was the only thing wanted,' said Des- 
moulin, who generally had some humorous remark 
in readiness for every situation. ' Yesterday at the 
Grosvenor we were in thefoss/de Vincennes, and 
now, as they say in the melodrama of " The Knights 
of the Fog " (" Les Chevaliers du Brouillard " 1 ), we 
are " homeless wanderers stranded on the bridges 
of London." ' 

The allusion to the fog roused M. Zola from 
his contemplation. 

' But where is the Savoy Hotel, where I stayed 
in '93 ? ' he inquired. ' It must be very near 

I pointed it out to him, and he was astonished. 
' Why, no that cannot be it ! It was so large a 
place, and now it looks so small. What is that 
huge building beside it ? ' 

' The Hotel Cecil,' I replied. 

Then again he shook his head in disapproval. 
From an artistic standpoint he strongly objected 
to the huge caravansary on which builder Hobbs 
and pious Jabez Balfour spent so much of other 
people's money. Soaring massively and preten- 

1 The French dramatic adaptation of Ainsworth's 'Jack 

49 ' 


tiously into the sky it dwarfed everything around ; 
and thus, in his opinion, utterly spoilt that part of 
the Embankment. 

' To think, too,' said he, ' that you had such a 
site, here, along the river, and allowed it to be used 
for hotels and clubs, and so forth. There was 
room for a Louvre here, and you want one badly ; 
for your National Gallery, which I well remember 
visiting in '93, is a most wretched affair architec- 

' But I want to see rather more of the south 
side of the river,' he added, after a pause. ' I 
should like to ascertain if my lion is still there, I 
recollect that there was some fog about on the 
morning after my arrival at the Savoy in '93 ; and 
when I went to the window of my room I noticed 
the mist parting one mass of vapour ascending 
skyward, while the other still hovered over the 
river. And, in the rent between, I espied a lion, 
poised in mid air. It amused me vastly ; and I 
called my wife, saying to her, "Come and see. 
Here's the British lion waiting to bid us good- 
day." ' 

We went to the end of the bridge and thence 
espied the lion which surmounts the brewery of 



that name. M. Zola recognised it immediately. 
Desmoulin would then have led us Strandvvard ; 
but the Strand, said I, was about the most 
dangerous thoroughfare in all London for those 
who wished to escape recognition ; so we went 
back over the bridge and again down the Waterloo 

' I should very much like to send a line to Paris 
to-day to stop letters from going to the Grosvenor,' 
said M. Zola. ' Is there any place hereabouts 
where I could write a note ? ' 

This question perplexed me, for the numerous 
facilities for letter-writing which are supplied by 
the caffs of Paris are conspicuously absent in 
London ; and this I explained to M. Zola. A 
postage stamp may often be procured at a public- 
house, but only now and again can one there 
obtain ink and paper. However, I thought we 
might as well try the saloon bar of the York Hotel, 
which abuts on that famous ' Poverty Corner/ so 
much frequented by ladies and gentlemen of the 
' halls,' when, sorely against their inclinations, they 
are ' resting.' 

It was Thursday afternoon ; still there were 
several disconsolate-looking individuals lounging 


about the corner ; and in the saloon bar we found 
some fourteen or fifteen loudly dressed men and 
women typical of the spot. I forget what I 
ordered for Desmoulin and myself, but M. Zola, I 
know imbibed, mainly for the good of the house, 
' a small lemon plain.' Then we ascertained that 
the young lady at the bar had neither stamps, nor 
paper, nor envelopes, and so we were again in a 
quandary. Fortunately I recollected a little 
stationer's shop in the York Road, and leaving 
the others in the saloon bar, I went in search of 
the requisite materials. 

When I returned I found the master an object 
of general attention. His extremely prosperous 
appearance, his white billycock, his jewellery, and 
so forth, coupled with the circumstance that he 
conversed in French with Desmoulin, had led 
some of those present to imagine that he was a 
Continental music-hall director on the look out for 
English ' artists.' 

Again and again I noticed, as it were, a 
' hungry ' glance in his direction ; and when, after 
procuring an inkstand from over the bar, I had 
ensconced him in a corner, where he was able 
after a fashion to pen his correspondence, a viva- 



cious and, it seemed to me, somewhat bibulous 
gentleman in a check suit sidled up to where I 
stood and introduced himself in that easy way 
which repeated ' drops ' of ' Mountain Dew ' are 
apt to engender. 

' Ah ! ' said he, after a few pointless remarks, 
' your friend is over here on business, eh ? Right 
thing, splendid thing. It's only by looking round 
that one can get real tip-top novelties. Oh ! I 
know Paree and the bouleywards well enough. I 
was on at the Follee Bergey only a few years ago 
myself. A good place that pays well, eh ? I 
shouldn't at all mind taking a trip across the 
water again. There's nothing like a change, you 
know. Sets a man up, eh ? ' 

Then mysteriously lifting his forefinger and 
lowering his voice, ' Now your friend wants " talent," 
eh ? Real, genuine " talent " ! I could put him 
in the way ' 

But I interposed : ' You've applied to the wrong 
shop,' I said by way of a joke ; ' my friend has all 
the talent he requires. He's quite full up.' 

A sorrowful look came over the angular features 
of the gentleman in the check suit. ' It's like my 
luck,' said he ; ' there was a fellow over from 



Amsterdam the other day, but he'd only take 
girls. I think the Continental line's pretty nigh 
played out.' 

He heaved a sigh and glanced in the direction 
of his empty glass. Then, seeing that the novelist 
and Desmoulin were rising to join me, he whispered 
hurriedly, ' / say,, guv* nor, you Jiaven't got a tanner 
you could spare, have you ? ' 

I had foreseen the request ; nevertheless I 
pressed a few coppers into his hand and then 
hurried out after my wards. 

Though it was still early we decided to start at 
once for Wimbledon. The master, I thought, 
might like to see a little of the place pending 
Wareham's arrival. 

The journey through Lambeth, Vauxhall, and 
Queen's Road is not calculated to give the in- 
telligent foreigner a particularly favourable impres- 
sion of London. Still M. Zola did not at first find 
the surroundings very much worse than those one 
observes on leaving Paris by the Northern or 
Eastern lines. But as the train went on and on 
and much the same scene appeared on either hand 
he began to wonder when it would all end. 

On approaching Clapham Junction a sea of 


roofs is to be seen on the right stretching away 
through Battersea to the Thames ; while on the 
left a huge wave of houses ascends the acclivity 
known, I believe, as Lavender Hill. And at the 
sight of all the mean, dusty streets, lined with little 
houses of uniform pattern, each close pressed to the 
other at the frequently recurring glimpses of 
squalor and shabby gentility M. Zola exploded. 

' It is awful ! ' he said. 

We were alone in our compartment, and he 
looked first from one window and then from the 
other. Next came a torrent of questions : Why 
were the houses so small ? Why were they all so 
ugly and so much alike ? W 7 hat classes of people 
lived in them ? Why were the roads so dusty ? 
Why was there such a litter of fragments of paper 
lying about everywhere ? Were those streets never 
watered ? Was there no scavengers' service ? And 
then a remark : ' You see that house, it looks fairly 
clean and neat in front. But there ! look at the 
back-yard all rubbish and poverty! One notices 
that again and again ! ' 

We passed Clapham Junction, pursuing our 
journey through the cutting which intersects 
Wandsworth Common. 'Well,' I said, 'you may 



take it that, except as regards the postal and police 
services, you are now out of London proper.' 

Presently, indeed, we emerged from the cutting, 
and fields were seen on either hand. One could 
breathe at last. But as we approached Earlsfield 
Station all M. Zola's attention was given to a long 
row of low-lying houses whose yards and gardens 
extend to the railway line . Now and again a trim 
patch of ground was seen ; here, too, there was a 
little glass-house, there an attempt at an arbour. 
But litter and rubbish were only too often 

' This, I suppose,' said the novelist, ' is what 
you call a London slum invading the country ? 
You tell me that only a part of the bourgeoisie cares 
for flats, and that among the lower middle class 
and the working class each family prefers to rent 
its own little house. Is this for the sake of privacy ? 
If so, I see no privacy here. Leaving out the 
question of being overlooked from passing trains, 
observe the open four-foot fences which separate 
one garden or yard from the other There is no 
privacy at all ! To me the manner in which your 
poorer classes are housed in the suburbs, packed 
closely together in flimsy buildings, where every 



sound can be heard, suggests a form of socialism 
communism, or perhaps rather the phalansterian 

But Earlsfield was already passed, and we were 
reaching Wimbledon. Here M. Zola's impressions 
changed. True, he did not have occasion to 
perambulate what he would doubtless have called 
the ' phalansterian ' streets of new South Wimble- 
don. I spared him the sight of the chess-board of 
bricks and mortar into which the speculative 
builder has turned acre after acre north of Merton 
High Street. But the Hill Road, the Broadway, 
the Worple Road, and the various turnings that 
climb towards the Ridgeway pleased him. And 
he commented very favourably on the shops in the 
Broadway and the Hill Road, which in the waning 
sunshine still looked gay and bright. At every 
moment he stopped to examine something. Such 
displays of fruit, and fish, poultry, meat, and pro- 
visions of all kinds ; the drapers' windows all aglow 
with summer fabrics, and those of the jewellers 
coruscating with gold and gems. Then the public- 
houses dignified by the name of hotels, though I 
explained that they had no hotel accommodation 
bespoke all the wealth of a powerful trade. 



There was an imposing bank, too, and a stylish 
carriage builder's, with furniture shops, stationers, 
pastrycooks, hairdressers, ironmongers, and so 
forth, whose displays testified to the prosperity of 
the town. Again and again did M. Zola express 
the opinion that these Wimbledon shops were by 
far superior to such as one would find in a French 
town of corresponding size and at a similar distance 
from the capital. 

We sauntered up and down the Hill Road, 
looking in at the Free Library on our way. Then, 
on passing the Alexandra Road, I explained to 
Desmoulin that he would sleep there, at No. 20, 
where Wareham has a local office and where his 
managing clerk, Everson by name, resides. 

The arrangement with Wareham had been con- 
cluded so precipitately that, to spare him unneces- 
sary trouble at home, we had arranged to dine 
that evening at a local restaurant in fact, the 
only restaurant possessed by Wimbledon. Ware- 
ham was to join us there. The proprietor, Mr. 
Genoni, is of foreign origin, but Wareham knowing 
him personally had assured me that even should 
he suspect our friend's identity his discretion 


might readily be relied upon. And so the sequel 
proved During our repast, however, I felt a little 
doubtful about one of the waiters who knew French, 
and I therefore cautioned M. Zola and M. Des- 
moulin to be as reticent as possible. 

After dinner we adjourned to Wareham's house 
in Prince's Road, where Mrs. Wareham gave the 
travellers the most cordial of welcomes. The con- 
versation was chiefly confined to the question of 
finding some suitable place where M. Zola might 
settle down for his term of exile. He, himself, 
was so taken with what he had seen of Wimbledon 
that he suggested renting a furnished house there. 
This seemed a trifle dangerous, both to Wareham 
and myself; but the novelist was not to be gain- 
said ; and as Wareham, in anticipation of his 
services being required, had made special arrange- 
ments to give M. Zola most of his time on the 
morrow, we arranged to see some house agents, 
engage a landau, and drive round to visit such 
places as might seem suitable. 

It was nearly half-past eleven when I left 
Wareham's to escort Dcsmoulin to the Alexandra 
Road. I there left him in charge of his host, Mr. 



Everson, and then turning (by way of a short cut) 
into the Lover's Walk, which the South Western 
Railway Company so considerately provides for 
amorous Wimbledonians, I hurried homeward, 
wondering what the morrow would bring forth. 





IT will be obvious to all readers of this narrative 
that from the moment M. Zola left Paris, and 
throughout his sojourn in London and its 
immediate neighbourhood, there was little if any 
skill shown in the matter of keeping his move- 
ments secret. In point of fact, blunder upon 
blunder was committed. A first mistake was 
made in going to an hotel like the Grosvenor ; 
a second in openly promenading some of the most 
frequented of the London streets ; and a third in 
declining to make the slightest alteration with 
regard to personal appearance. Again, although 
press of circumstances rendered departure for 
Wimbledon a necessity, as it was imperative to 
get M. Zola out of London at once, this change 
of quarters was in the end scarcely conducive to 

6 1 


secrecy. A good many Wimbledonians were 
aware of my connection with M. Zola, and even if 
he were not personally recognised by them, the 
circumstance of a French gentleman of striking 
appearance being seen in my company was fated 
to arouse suspicion. My home is but a mile or so 
from the centre of Wimbledon, and M. Zola's pro- 
posal to make that locality his place of sojourn 
seemed to me such a dangerous course that when 
I returned to Wareham's house on the morning of 
Friday, July 22, I was determined to oppose it, in 
the master's own interests, as vigorously as might 
be possible. 

However, I found Messrs. Zola and Desmoulin 
ready to start for an inspection of such furnished 
houses as might seem suitable for their accommo- 
dation ; and nothing urged either by Wareham or 
by myself could turn them from their purpose. So 
the four of us took our seats in the landau which 
had been ordered, and were soon driving in the 
direction of Wimbledon Park, where stood the 
first of the eligible residences entered in the books 
of a local house agent. The terms for these 
houses varied, if I recollect rightly, from four to 
seven guineas a week. Some we did not trouble 



to enter ; others, however, were carefully in- 

Nothing in the way of a terrace house would 
suit ; for M. Zola was not yet a phalansterian. 
And in like way he objected to the semi-detached 
villas. He wished to secure a somewhat retired 
place, girt with foliage and thus screened from the 
observation of neighbours and passers-by. The 
low garden railings and fences usually met with 
were by no means to his taste. The flimsy party 
walls of the semi-detached villas, through which 
every sound so swiftly passes, were equally objec- 
tionable to him. And I must say that I viewed 
with some little satisfaction his dislike for several 
of the houses which we visited ; for this made it 
the easier to dissuade him from his plan of fixing 
his abode in Wimbledon, where, unless he should 
rigidly confine himself within doors, it was certain 
that his presence would be known before a week 
was over. 

There were, however, some houses which the 
master found to his liking ; and here he lingered 
awhile, inspecting the rooms, taking stock of the 
furniture, examining the engravings and water- 
colours on the walls, and viewing the trim gardens 



with visible satisfaction. One place, a large house 
in one of the precipitous roads leading from the 
Ridgeway to the Worple Road, was, perhaps, 
rather too open for his requirements, but its 
appointments were perfect, and at his bidding I 
plied the lady of the house with innumerable 
questions about plate, linen, and garden produce, 
the servants she offered to leave behind her, and so 
forth. She was a tall and stately dame, with silver 
hair and a soft musical voice a perfect type of the 
old marquise, such as one sees portrayed at times 
on the boards of the Comedie Franchise, and after 
I had acted as interpreter for a quarter of an hour 
or so, she suddenly turned upon the master and, 
to the surprise of all of us, addressed him in perfect 
French. It was this which broke the spell. 
Though M. Zola was taken aback, he responded 
politely enough, and the conversation went on in 
French for some minutes, but I could already tell 
that he had renounced his intention of renting the 
house. When we drove away, after promising the 
lady a decisive answer within a day or two, he said 
to me : 

' That would never do. The lady's French was 
too good. She looked at me rather suspiciously 



too. She would soon discover my identity. She 
has probably heard of me already.' 

' Who hasn't ? ' I responded with a laugh. And 
once again I brought forward the objections that 
occurred to me with respect to the plan of remain- 
ing at Wimbledon. It was a centre of Roman 
Catholic activity. There was a Jesuit college 
there, numbering both French professors and 
French pupils. Moreover, several French families 
resided in Wimbledon, and with some of them I 
was myself acquainted. Then also the population 
included a good many literary men, journalists, 
and others who took an interest in the Dreyfus 
case. And, finally, the town was far too near to 
London to be in anywise a safe hiding-place. 

Nevertheless, M. Zola only abandoned his 
intentions with regret. In that bright sunshiny 
weather there was an attractive^ ne saisquoi about 
Wimbledon which charmed him. Not that it was 
in his estimation an ideal place. The descents 
from the hill and the Ridgeway (though he admired 
the beautiful views they afforded, stretching as far 
as Norwood) appalled him from certain practical 
standpoints, and he was never weary of expatiating 
on the pluck of the girls who cycled so boldly and 

65 F 


gracefully from the hill crest to the lower parts of 
the town. Here it may be mentioned that M. Zola 
has become reconciled to the skirt as a cycling 
garment. Once upon a time he was an uncom- 
promising partisan of ' rationals ' and ' bloomers,' a 
warm adherent of the views which Lady Harberton 
and her friends uphold. But sojourn in England 
has changed all that at least so far as the English 
type of girl is concerned. Those who have read 
his novel, ' Paris,' may remember that he therein 
ascribed the following remarks to his heroine- 
Marie : ' Ah ! there is nothing like rationals ! To 
think that some women are so foolish and obstinate 
as to wear skirts when they cycle ! . . . To think 
that women have a unique opportunity of putting 
themselves at their ease and releasing their limbs 
from prison, and yet won't do so ! If they fancy 
they look the prettier in short skirts, like school- 
girls, they are vastly mistaken. . . . Skirts are 
rank heresy.' 

Well, so far as Englishwomen are concerned, 
M. Zola himself has become a heretic. ' Rationals,' 
he has more than once said to me of recent times, 
' are not suited to the lithe and somewhat spare 
figure of the average English girl. Moreover, I 



doubt if there is a costumier in England who 
knows how to cut " rationals " properly. Such 
women as I have seen in rationals in England 
looked to me horrible. They had not the proper 
figure for the garment, and the garment itself was 
badly made. For rationals to suit a woman, her 
figure should be of the happy medium, neither too 
slim nor over-developed. Now the great bulk of 
your girls are extremely slim, and appear in skirts 
to advantage. In cycling, moreover, they carry 
themselves much better than the majority of 
Frenchwomen do. They sit their machines grace- 
fully, and the skirt, instead of being a mere bundle 
of stuff, falls evenly and fittingly like a necessary 
adjunct the drapery which is needed to complete 
and set off the ensemble! 

At the same time, the master does not cry 
' haro ' on the ' bloomer.' It is admirably suited, 
he maintains, to the average Frenchwoman, who 
is more inclined to a reasonable plumpness than 
her English sister. ' The skirt to England,' says he, 
' the bloomer to France.' The whole question is one 
of physique and latitude. The Esquimaux lady 
would look ungainly and feel uncomfortable if she 
exchanged her inoose furs for the wisp of calico 

07 ^ 


which is patronised by the lady of Senegal ; and in 
the like way the Englishwoman is manifestly 
ungainly and uncomfortable when she borrows the 
breeches of the Parisienne. 

This digression may seem to carry one away 
from Wimbledon, but I should mention that many 
of the points enunciated were touched upon by 
M. Zola for the first time, while we postponed 
further house-hunting to drive over Wimbledon 
Common. The historic mill, and Caesar's Camp, 
and the picturesque meres were all viewed before 
the horses' heads were turned to the town once 

By this time the master had come to the con- 
clusion that however pleasant Wimbledon might 
be, it was no fit place for him, and that his best 
course would be to pitch his tent ' far from gay 
cities and the ways of men.' Within a few hours 
I had some proof of the wisdom of his decision, 
and a week had not elapsed before I found that 
M. Zola's sojourn at Wimbledon had become 
known to a variety of people. Mr. Genoni, the 
restaurateur, had been one of the first to identify 
him ; but, as he explained to me, he was no spy or 
betrayer, and whatever he might think of the 



Dreyfus business he was a reader of that anti- 
Revisionist print the ' Petit Journal ' M. Zola's 
secret was, he assured me, quite safe in his hands. 
But, independently of Mr. Genoni, the secret soon 
became le secret de Polichinelle. A French resident 
in Wimbledon recognised M. Zola as he stood one 
day by the railway bridge admiring some fair 
cyclists. Then a gentleman connected with the 
local Petty Sessions court espied him in my 
company, and shrewdly guessed his identity. 
Subsequently a local hairdresser, an Englishman, 
but one well acquainted with Paris and Parisian 
matters, 'spotted' him in the Hill Road. Others 
followed suit, and at last one afternoon a member 
of the ' Globe ' staff called upon me and supplied 
me with such circumstantial particulars that I 
could not possibly deny the accuracy of his 
information. But M. Zola had then left 
Wimbledon, and thu. c I was able to fence with my 
visitor and inform him that, even if the novelist 
had ever been in the town, he was not there at 
that time. 

It had been arranged that some of the leading 
London house agents should be written to, with 
the view of securing some secluded country house, 



preferably in Surrey, and on the South Western 
line ; but the question was, where, in the mean- 
while, could M. Zola be conveniently installed ? 
Having left England in the year 1865, and apart 
from a few brief sojourns in London, having 
remained abroad till 1886, my knowledge of my 
native land is very slight indeed. Years spent in 
foreign countries have made me a stay-at-home 
one who nowadays buries himself in his little 
London suburb, going to town as seldom as 
possible, and without need of country or seaside 
trip, since at Merton, where I live, there are 
green fields all around one and every vivifying 
breeze that can be wished for. Thus I was the 
worst person in the world to take charge of M. 
Zola and pilot him safely to a haven of refuge. 

Fortunately, Mr. Wareham knows his way 
about, as the saying goes, and his cycling experi- 
ences proved very useful. He suggested that 
until a house could be secured, M. Zola should 
be installed at a country hotel ; and he mentioned 
two or three places which seemed to him of the 
right character. One of these was Oatlands Park ; 
and Wareham, who, although a solicitor, claims to 
have some little poetry in his nature, waxed so 



enthusiastic over the charms of Oatlands and 
neighbouring localities, that both M. Zola and 
M. Desmoulin, fervent admirers of scenery as they 
are, became curious to visit this leafy district 
of Surrey, where, as will be remembered, King 
Louis Philippe spent his last years of life and 

One afternoon, then, I started with Messrs. 
Zola and Desmoulin for Walton, from which 
station the Oatlands Park Hotel is most con- 
veniently reached. A Gladstone bag had now 
replaced the master's newspaper parcel, and as M. 
Desmoulin's dressing-case was as large as a valise> 
there was at least some semblance of luggage. I 
fully realised that it was hardly the correct thing 
to present oneself at Oatlands Park and ask for 
rooms there ex abrupto ; as with hostel ries of that 
class it is usual for one to write and secure 
accommodation beforehand. However, there was 
no time for this ; and we decided to run the risk 
of rinding the hotel ' full up,' particularly as Ware- 
ham had informed us that in such a case we might 
secure a temporary billet at one or another of the 
smaller hotels of Walton or Weybridge. Thus we 
went our way at all hazards, and during the journey 



I devised a little story for the benefit of the manager 
at Oatlands Park. 

That gentleman, as I had surmised, was a trifle 
astonished at our appearance. But I told him that 
my friends were a couple of French artists, who 
had been spending a few weeks in London ' doing 
the lions ' there, and who had heard of the charm- 
ing scenery around Oatlands, and wished to view 
it, and possibly make a few sketches. And, at the 
same time, a solicitor's recommendation being of 
some value, since it might mean a good many 
future customers, I handed the manager one of 
Wareham's cards. There was, I remember, 
some little difficulty at first in obtaining rooms, 
for the hotel was nearly full ; but everything 
ended satisfactorily. 

I may mention, perhaps, that in describing 
Messrs. Zola and Desmoulin as French artists, I 
had at least told half the truth. M. Fernand 
Desmoulin is, of course, well known in the French 
art world ; and, moreover, he had already spoken 
to me of purchasing a water-colour outfit for the 
very purpose of sketching, as I had stated. Then, 
too, M.Zola first distinguished himself in literature 
as an art critic, the defender of Manet, the champion 



of the school of the ' open air.' And if he made 
no sketches whilst he remained at Oatlands he at 
least took several photographs. Sapient critics 
will stop me here with the oft-repeated dictum 
that photography is not art. But however 
that may be, so many painters nowadays have 
recourse to the assistance of photography that 
M. Zola's ' snap-shotting ' largely helped to bear 
out the account which I had given of him at 
the hotel. 

Oatlands Park is a large pile standing on the 
site of a magnificent palace built by Henry VIII. 
Anne of Denmark, wife of James I., resided there, 
and Henrietta Maria there gave birth to the Duke 
of Gloucester, the brother of our second Charles 
and second James. The palace was almost 
entirely destroyed during the Civil Wars, and 
subsequently the property passed in turn to 
Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans ; Herbert, the admiral, 
first Earl of Torrington ; and Henry, seventh Earl 
of Lincoln. A descendant of the last-named sold 
the estate to Frederick, Duke of York, the son of 
George I II. and Commander-in-Chief of the British 
army. Soon afterwards the house at Oatlands 
was destroyed by fire, and the prince erected a 



new building, some portions of which are incor- 
porated in the present hostelry. A pathetic 
interest attaches to those remains of York House. 
Within those walls were spent many of the honey- 
moon hours of a fair and virtuous princess, one 
whose early death plunged England into the 
deepest grief it had known for centuries ; there 
she conceived the child who in the ordinary course 
of nature might have become King of Great 
Britain. But the babe, so anxiously awaited by 
the whole nation (there was no Princess Victoria 
at that time) proved stillborn ; and of the unhappy 
' mother of a moment/ Byron wrote in immortal 
lines : 

Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment made ; 

Thy bridal's fruit is ashes ; in the dust 
The fair-hair'd Daughter of the Isles is laid, 
The love of millions ! 

I am bound to add that the tragic story of 
the Princess Charlotte was not that which most 
appealed to M. Zola's feelings at Oatlands Park. 
Nor was he particularly impressed by the far- 
famed grotto which the hotel handbook states 
' has no parallel in the world.' The grotto, an 
artificial affair, the creation of which is due to a 



Duke of Newcastle, whom it cost 4O,ooo/., besides 
giving employment to three men for twenty years, 
consists of numerous chambers and passages, 
whose walls are inlaid with coloured spars, shells, 
coral, ammonites, and crystals. This work is 
ingenious enough, but when one enters a bath- 
room and finds a stuffed alligator there, keeping 
company with a statue of Venus and a terra-cotta 
of the infant Hercules, one is apt to remember 
how perilously near the ridiculous is to the 

Ridiculous also to some minds may seem the 
Duchess of York's dog and monkey cemetery, in 
which half a hundred of that lady's canine and 
simian pets lie buried with headstones to their 
tombs commemorating their virtues. This 
cemetery, however, greatly commended itself to 
M. Zola, who, as some may know, is a rare lover 
of animals. Among the various distinctions ac- 
corded to him in happier times by his compatriots 
there is none that he has ever prized more highly 
than the diploma of honour he received from the 
French ' Society for the Protection of Animals,' 
and I believe that one of the happiest moments 
he ever knew was when, as Government delegate 



at a meeting of that society, he fastened a gold 
medal on the bosom of a blushing little shepherdess, 
a certain Mile. Camelin, of Trionne, in Upper 
Burgundy, a girl of sixteen, who, at the peril of 
her life, had engaged a ravenous wolf in single 
combat, killed him, and thereby saved her flock. 

And M. Zola's books teem with his love of 
animals. During his long exile one of the few 
requests addressed to him from France, to which 
he inclined a favourable ear, was an appeal on 
behalf of a new journal devoted to the interests 
of the animal world. To this he could not refuse 
his patronage, and he gave it enthusiastically, 
well knowing how much remains to be accom- 
plished in inculcating among the masses such 
affection and patience as are rightful with regard 
to those dumb creatures who serve man so well. 

The Duchess of York's cemetery reminded 
him of his own. Below his house at Medan a 
green islet rises from the Seine. This he pur- 
chased some years ago, and there all his favourites 
have since been buried : an old horse, a goat, and 
several dogs. During his exile a fresh interment 
took place in this island cemetery, that of his 
last canine favourite, the poor ' Chevalier de Perlin- 



pinpin,' who, after vainly fretting for his absent 
master, died at last of sheer grief and loneliness. 
Those only can understand Emile Zola who have 
seen him as I saw him then, bowed down with 
sorrow, distraught, indifferent to all else, both the 
weightiest personal interests and the very triumph 
of the cause he had championed ; and this because 
his pet dog had pined away for him, and was 
beyond all possibility of succour. It was of course 
a passing weakness with him ; such weakness as 
may fall upon a man of kindly heart. In Zola's 
case it came, however, almost like a last blow 
amidst the sorrow and loneliness of the exile 
which he was enduring in silence for the sake of 
his much-loved country. 





FOR a time, at all events, Messrs. Zola and 
Desmoulin found themselves in fairly pleasant 
quarters ; they could stroll about the gardens at 
Oatlands or along the umbrageous roads of 
Walton, or beside the pretty reaches of the 
Thames, amidst all desirable quietude. After all 
his worries the master needed complete mental 
rest, and he laughed at his friend's repeated 
appeals for newspapers. 

At that period I procured a few French 
journals every time I went to town and posted 
them to Oatlands, where they were eagerly conned 
by M. Desmoulin, on whom the Dreyfus fever was 
as strong as ever. But M. Zola during the first 
fortnight of his exile did not once cast eyes 
upon a newspaper, and the only information he 
obtained respecting passing events was such as 



Desmoulin or myself imparted to him. And in 
this he evinced little interest. Half of it, he said, 
was absolutely untrue, and the other half was of 
no importance. There is certainly much force 
and truth in this curtly-worded opinion as applied 
to the contents of certain Paris journals. 

However, communications were now being 
opened up between the master and his Paris 
friends, and every few days Wareham or myself 
had occasion to go to Oatlands. There were 
sundry false alarms, too, through strangers calling 
at Wareham's office, and now and again my 
sudden appearance at the hotel threw Messrs. 
Zola and Desmoulin into anxiety. In other re- 
spects their life was quiet enough. The people 
staying at Oatlands were, on the whole, a much 
less inquisitive class than those whom one had 
found at the Grosvenor. There were various 
honeymoon-making couples, who were far too busy 
feasting their eyes on one another to pay much 
attention to the two French artists. Then, also, 
the family people gave time to the superintendence 
of their sons and daughters ; whilst the old folks 
only seemed to care for a leisurely stroll about 
the grounds, followed by long spells of book or 



newspaper reading, under the shelter of tree or 

Moreover the exiles saw little of the other 
inmates of the hotel, excepting at the table d'hote 
dinner. M. Zola then brought his faculties of 
observation into play, and after the lapse of a few 
days he informed me that he was astonished at the 
ease and frequency with which some English girls 
raised their wine-glasses to their lips. It upset all 
his ideas of propriety to see young ladies of 
eighteen tossing off their Moselle and their cham- 
pagne as to the manner born. In France the 
daughter who is properly trained contents herself 
with water just coloured by the addition of a little 
Bordeaux or Burgundy. And the contrast between 
this custom and incidents which M. Zola noticed 
at Oatlands and to which he once or twice called 
my attention made a deep impression on him. 

The people staying at the hotel were certainly 
all of a good class. There were several well-known 
names in the register ; and knowing how much has 
been written on the happy decrease of drinking 
habits ' in the upper middle-class of England,' I 
was myself slightly surprised at what was pointed 
out to me. When M. Zola discovered, too, that 



sundry gentlemen leaving wine to their wives and 
daughters were addicted to drinking whisky with 
their meals, he was yet more astonished, for he 
claims that in France nowadays, greatly as the 
consumption of alcohol has increased among the 
masses, it has declined almost to vanishing point 
among people with any claim to culture. On this 
matter, however, I reminded him that wine was 
often expensive in England, that beer disagreed 
with many people, and that some who felt the need 
of a stimulant were thus driven to whisky and 

When the master and Desmoulin wandered 
down to the Thames towing-path, they found fresh 
food for observation and comment among the 
boating fraternity. With some gay parties were 
damsels whose disregard for decorum was strongly 
reminiscent of Asnieres and Joinville-le-Pont ; and 
it was slightly embarrassing to stroll near the river 
in the evening, when at every few yards one found 
young couples exchanging kisses in the shadows 
of the trees. After all it was surprise rather than 
embarrassment which the exiles experienced, for 
they had scarcely imagined that English training 
was conducive to such public endearments. 

81 G 


At a later stage a bicycle was procured for the 
master, and he was then able to extend his sphere 
of observation ; but in the earlier days at Oatlands 
his rambles were confined to the vicinity of Walton 
and Weybridge. At the latter village he laid in a 
fresh stock of linen, and was soon complaining of 
the exiguous proportions of English shirts. The 
Frenchman, it should be remembered, is a man of 
many gestures, and desires all possible freedom of 
action for his arms. His shirt is cut accordingly, 
and a superabundance rather than a deficiency of 
material in length as well as breadth is the result. 
But the English shirt-maker proceeds upon dif- 
ferent lines ; he always seems afraid of wasting a 
few inches of longcloth, and thus if the ordinary 
ready-made shirt on sale at shops of the average 
class is dressy-looking enough, it is also often 
supremely uncomfortable to those who like their 
ease. Such, at least, was the master's experience ; 
and in certain respects, said he, the English shirt 
was not only uncomfortable, but indecorous as 
well. This astonished him with a nation which 
claimed to show so much regard for the pro- 

The desire to clothe himself according to his 


wont became so keen that M. Desmoulin decided 
to make an expedition to Paris. All this time 
Mme. Zola had remained alone at the house in the 
Rue de Bruxelles, outside which, as at Medan 
(where the Zolas have their country residence), 
detectives were permanently stationed. Mme. 
Zola was shadowed wherever she went, the idea, 
of course, being that she would promptly follow 
her husband abroad. She had, however, ample 
duties to discharge in Paris. At the same time she 
much wished to send her husband a trunkful of 
clothes as well as the materials for a new book he 
had planned, in order that he might have some 
occupation in his sorrow and loneliness. 

Most people are by this time aware that 
M. Zola's gospel is work. In diligent study and 
composition he finds some measure of solace for 
every trouble. At times it is hard for him to take 
up the pen, but he forces himself to do so, and an 
hour later he has largely banished sorrow and 
anxiety, and at times has even dulled physical 
pain. He himself, heavy hearted as he was when 
the first novelty of his strolls round Oatlands had 
worn off, felt that he must have something to 
do, and was therefore well pleased at the prospect 

83 02 


of receiving the materials for his new book, 
' Fe"conditeV 

At that date he certainly did not imagine that 
the whole of this work would be written in England, 
that his exile would dragon month after month till 
winter would come and spring return, followed once 
more by summer. In those days we used to say : 
' It will all be over in a fortnight, or three weeks, 
or a month at the latest ; and again and again did 
our hopes alternately collapse and revive. Thus 
the few chapters of ' Fe'coridite',' which he thought 
he might be able to pen in England, multiplied 
and multiplied till they at last became thirty 
the entire work. 

It was M. Desmoulin who brought the necessary 
materials memoranda, cuttings, and a score of 
scientific works from Paris. And at the same 
time he had a trunk with him full of clothes which 
had been smuggled in small parcels out of M. Zola's 
house, carried to the residence of a friend, and 
there properly packed. Desmoulin also brought a 
hand camera, which likewise proved very acceptable 
to the master, and enabled him to take many little 
photographs almost a complete pictorial record 
of his English experiences. 



During Desmoulin's absence the master re- 
mained virtually alone at Oatlands, and as he still 
cared nothing for newspapers I sent him a few 
books from my shelves, and, among others, 
Stendhal's ' La Chartreuse de Parme.' He wrote 
me afterwards : ' I am very grateful to you for the 
books you sent. Now that I am utterly alone they 
enabled me to spend a pleasant day yesterday. I 
am reading " La Chartreuse." I am without news 
from France. If you hear of anything really 
serious pray let me know it.' 

By this time proper arrangements had been 
made with regard to M. Zola's correspondence. 
His exact whereabouts were kept absolutely secret 
even from his most intimate friends. Everybody, 
his wife and Maitre Labori also, addressed their 
letters to Wareham's office in Bishopsgate Street. 
Here the correspondence was enclosed in a large 
envelope and redirected to Oatlands. With regard 
to visitors Wareham and I had decided to give 
the master's address to none. Wareham in- 
tended to take their cards, ascertain their Lon- 
don address, and then refer the matter through 
me to M. Zola. Later on, a regular supply of 
French newspapers was arranged, and those journals 



were re-transmitted to the master by Wareham 
or myself. 

On the other hand, I usually addressed M. 
Zola's letters for him to the house of a trusty friend 
in Paris. This precaution was a necessary one, as 
M. Zola's handwriting is so extremely characteristic 
and so well known in France. And thus we were 
convinced that any letter arriving in Paris ad- 
dressed by him would immediately be sent to the 
' Cabinet Noir,' where all suspicious correspondence 
is opened by certain officials, who immediately 
report the contents to the Government. 

It has been pretended that of recent years this 
secret service has been abolished ; but such is by 
no means the case. It flourishes to-day in the 
same way as it flourished under the Second Empire, 
when Napoleon III. made a point of acquainting 
himself with the private correspondence of his own 
relatives, his ministers, and his generals. After the 
revolution of September 1870, hundreds of copies 
of more or less compromising letters, covert attacks 
on or criticisms of the Imperial Government, billets- 
doux also between Imperial princes and their 
mistresses, and so forth, were found at the Palace 
of the Tuileries ; and some of them were even 



published by a commission nominated by the 
Republican Government. 

Much of the same kind of thing goes on to-day, 
and M. Zola, when in Paris during the earlier 
stages of the Dreyfus case, had made it a point to 
trust no letter of the slightest importance to the 
Postal Service. On one occasion, a short time 
after his arrival in England, we had reason to fear 
that a letter addressed by me to Paris had gone 
astray, and all correspondence on M. Zola's side 
was thereupon suspended for several days. How- 
ever, the missing letter turned up at last, and from 
that time till the conclusion of the master's exile 
the arrangements devised between him, Wareham, 
and myself worked without a hitch. 




ALREADY at the time of M. Zola's arrival in 
London I had received a summons to serve upon 
the jury at the July Sessions of the Central 
Criminal Court. I had been excused from service 
on a previous occasion, but this time I had no valid 
excuse to offer, and it followed that I must either 
serve or else pay such a fine as the Common 
Serjeant might direct. There is always a certain 
element of doubt in these matters ; and while I 
might perhaps luckily escape service after a day or 
two, on the other hand, I might be kept at the Old 
Bailey for more than a week. At any other time 
I should have accepted my fate without a murmur ; 
but I was greatly worried as to what might befall 
M. Zola during my absence in London, and I more 
than once thought of defaulting and 'paying up.' 
But the master would not hear of it. He was now 


located at Oatlands, and felt sure that he would 
have no trouble there. Moreover, said he, it would 
always be possible for me to run down now and 
again of an evening, dine with him, and attend to 
such little matters as might require my help. 

So, on the Monday morning when the sessions 
opened, I duly repaired to town ; and on the 
journey up, I saw in the ' Daily Chronicle ' the 
announcement of M. Zola's recent presence at the 
Grosvenor Hotel. This gave me quite a shock. 
So the Press was on the right track at last ! Start- 
ing from the Grosvenor Hotel, might not the 
reporters trace the master to Wimbledon, and 
thence to his present retreat ? I had no time for 
hesitation. My instructions, moreover, were im- 
perative. For the benefit of M. Zola personally, 
and for the benefit of the whole Dreyfus cause, I 
had orders to deny everything. So I drove to the 
Press Association offices, sent up a contradiction of 
the ' Daily Chronicle's ' statement, and then hurried 
up Ludgate Hill to the Court, where my name was 
soon afterwards called. 

I found myself on the second or third jury got 
together, and that day I was not empanelled. But 
on the morrow I was required to do duty ; and 



between then and the latter part of the week I sat 
upon four or five cases all crimes of violence, and 
one described in the indictment as murder. This 
position was the more unpleasant for me, as I 
am, by strong conviction, an adversary of capital 
punishment. I absolutely deny the right of society 
to put any man or any woman to death, whatever 
be his or her crime. My proper course then 
seemed to lie in the direction of a public statement, 
which would have created, I suppose, some little 
sensation or scandal ; but happily the prosecuting 
counsel in his very first words abandoned the 
count of murder for that of manslaughter, and I 
was thereby relieved from my predicament. 

The cases on which I sat, and those to which 
I listened while I remained in attendance, need 
not be particularised. I will merely mention that 
they were nearly all due to drink. Mr. Justice 
Lawrance, who sat upon the bench, was visibly 
impressed by the circumstance, to which he more 
than once alluded in his summings up. In one 
case he was so good as to refer to a question, put 
by me from the jury box, as a proper and pertinent 
one, at which I naturally felt vastly complimented. 
On the second or third day, either before the 



proceedings began or when the Court rose for 
luncheon I do not exactly remember which a 
gentleman approached me, and introduced himself 
as a member of the Press. Said he, ' I have 
been asking Mr. Avory for you. You are Mr. 
Vizetelly, I believe ? ' 

' That is my name,' I answered. 

' Well, I have come to speak to you about M. 
Zola's presence in England.' 

I should here mention that, in spite of my 
contradiction of the ' Chronicle ' story, there re- 
mained some people who had reason to believe 
it. Moreover, it had been more or less confirmed 
by the ' Morning Leader,' and some editors, 
rightly surmising that if M. Zola were in London 
he would very likely be in communication with 
his usual translator, had despatched reporters 
to my house, where my wife had seen them. On 
learning that I was quietly doing jury service at 
the Old Bailey, some had apparently concluded 
that 1 was not concerned in M. Zola's movements, 
which, so it happened, was the very conclusion I 
had desired them to arrive at. One gentleman, 
however, not content with his repulse at my house, 
had followed me to the Court. 



I answered his inquiries with a variety of 
suggestions. Zola in England, and in London 
too ! Well, we had heard that before, said I. 
But was it a probable course for the novelist to 
take ? He knew no English, and had but few 
personal friends in England. His portraits, how- 
ever, were in several shops and in many newspapers. 
And only a few years previously he had been seen 
by a thousand English pressmen and others. So 
would he not be liable to recognition almost 
immediately ? Now, the only modern language 
besides French of which M. Zola had any know- 
ledge was Italian. And if I were in his place, I 
said, I should go to Italy for instance, to one of 
the little towns in the north, whence, if needful, 
one could cross over into Switzerland ; though, of 
course, there was little likelihood that the Italian 
Government would ever surrender the distinguished 
writer to his persecutors. 

Continuing in this strain I gave my inter- 
viewer material for a very plausible article, which 
I remember was duly published, and which thus 
helped to divert attention from the right scent. 

At the week-end, having given considerable 
time to jury duties, I was compelled to spend 



Saturday morning in London on business, and in 
the afternoon I allowed myself a few hours' relaxa- 
tion. Reaching Wimbledon about eight in the 
evening I called on Wareham, who received me 
with a great show of satisfaction ; for, said he, my 
services had been required for some hours past 
and nobody had known where I might be. That 
day, it seemed, just before Wareham had left his 
Bishopsgate Street office, he had received a visit 
from a most singular-looking little Frenchman, 
who had presented one of Maitre Labori's visiting 
cards and requested an interview with M. Zola. 
Questioned as to his business, the only explanation 
he would give was that he had with him a docu- 
ment in a sealed envelope which he must place 
in M. Zola's own hands. Wareham had wired to 
me on the matter, but owing to my absence from 
home had of course received no reply. Then, on 
reaching Wimbledon, he had called on me and 
found me out. And, finally, he had gone down to 
Oatlands and had there seen M. Zola, who had 
handed him a note authorising Maitre Labori's 
messenger to call at the hotel on the morrow. 
However, the messenger and his manners had 
seemed very suspicious to Wareham as, indeed, 



they afterwards seemed to me- and the question 
arose, was he a genuine envoy, was the writing on 
Maitre Labori's card perchance a forgery, and what 
was the document in a sealed envelope which was 
to be handed to nobody but M. Zola himself? 
Well, said I at a guess, perhaps it is a copy of the 
Versailles judgment, and this is simply an impudent 
attempt to serve it. 

Wareham still had Zola's note in his possession, 
and we resolved to go to town that evening to 
interview the messenger and extract from him 
some decisive proof of his bona fides before allow- 
ing matters to go any further. 

The envoy's address was the Salisbury Hotel, 
Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, which I thought 
a curious one, being in the very centre of the 
London newspaper district ; and all the way up 
to town my suspicions of having to do with a 
' plant ' steadily increased. It was quite ten 
o'clock when we reached the hotel, and on inquir- 
ing for our party we found that he had gone to 

'Well,' said Wareham, sharply, 'he must be 
roused. We must see him at once.' 

1 spoke to the same effect, and the hotel 


servants looked rather surprised. I have an idea 
that they fancied we had come to arrest the man. 

In about ten minutes he was brought down- 
stairs. His appearance was most unprepossessing. 
He was very short, with a huge head and a 
remarkable shock of coal-black hair. Having 
hastily risen from bed, he had retained his 
pyjamas, but a long frock coat hung nearly to his 
slippers, and in one hand he carried a pair of 
gloves, and in the other a huge eccentric silk hat 
of the true chimney-pot type. These were details, 
and one might have passed them over. But the 
man's face was sadly against him. He had the 
slyest eyes I have ever seen ; that peculiar shifty 
glance which invariably sets one against an 
individual. And thus I became more and more 
convinced that we had to deal with some piece of 

We entered the smoking-room where the gas 
was burning low. A gentleman stopping at the 
hotel was snoring in solitary state in one of the 
arm chairs. Reaching a table near a window we 
sat down and at once engaged in battle. 

' I have not brought you a definite answer,' 
said Wareham to the envoy, ' but this gentleman 



is in M. Zola's confidence, and wishes further proof 
of your bona fides before allowing you to see 
M. Zola.' 

Then I took up the tale, now in French, now 
in English, for the envoy spoke both languages. 
Who was he ? I asked. Did he claim to have 
received Labori's card from Labori himself? What 
was the document in the envelope which he would 
only deliver to M. Zola in person ? And he 
replied that he was a diamond-broker. Did I 
know So-and-So and So-and-So of Hatton 
Garden ? They knew him well, they did business 
with him ; they could vouch for his honorability. 
But no, I was not acquainted with So-and-So and 
So-and-So. I never bought diamonds. Besides, 
it was ten o'clock on Saturday night, and the 
parties mentioned were certainly not at their 
offices for me to refer to them. 

Afterwards the little envoy began to speak of 
his family connections and his Paris friends, 
mentioning various well-known names. But the 
proofs I desired were not forthcoming ; and when 
he finally admitted that he had not received 
Maitre Labori's card from that gentleman himself, 
all my suspicions revived. True he added that it 



had been given him by a well-known Revisionist 
leader to whom Maitre Labori, in a moment of 
emergency, having nobody of his own whom he 
could send abroad, had handed it. 

But what was in the envelope ? That was 
the great question. The envoy could or would 
not answer it. He knew nothing certain on 
that point. Then we Wareham and I brought 
forward our heavy artillery. We could not allow 
a document to be handed to M. Zola under such 
mysterious conditions. We must see it. But no, 
the envoy had strict instructions to the contrary ; 
he could not show it to us. In that case, we 
rejoined, he might take it back to Paris. He had 
produced no proof of any of his assertions ; for all 
we knew he might have told us a fairy tale, and 
the mysterious document might simply be a copy 
of the much dreaded judgment of Versailles. This 
suggestion produced a visible impression on the 
little man, and for half an hour we sat arguing 
the point. Finally he began to compliment us : 
' Oh ! you guard him well ! ' he said. ' I shall tell 
them all about it when I get back to Paris. But 
you do wrong to distrust me ; I am honourable. I 
am well known in Hatton Garden. I have done 

97 H 


business there, ten, twelve years with So-and-So 
and So-and-So. I speak the truth : you may 
believe me.' 

We shrugged our shoulders. For my part, I 
could not shake off the bad impression which the 
envoy had made on me. The gleams of craft and 
triumph which now and again I had detected in 
his eyes were not to my liking. Assuredly few 
men are responsible for any physical repulsive- 
ness ; we cannot all be ' Belvedere ' Apollos ; but 
then the envoy was not only of the ugly, but also 
the cunning-looking class. Yet a more honourable 
man never breathed. He at last thrust one hand 
into the depths of a capacious inner pocket, pro- 
duced the mysterious envelope, and opened it in 
our presence. It contained simply a long letter 
from Maitre Labori, accompanied by a document 
concerning the prosecution which had been insti- 
tuted with reference to the infamous articles that 
Ernest Judet, of the ' Petit Journal/ had recently 
written, accusing Zola's father of theft and em- 
bezzlement whilst he was a wardrobe officer in the 
French Foreign Legion in Algeria. It was needful 
that Zola should see this document, and return it 
by messenger to Paris immediately. 



The affair in question is still sub judice> and I 
must therefore speak of it with some reticence. 
But all who are interested in M. Zola's origin and 
career will do well to read the admirable volume 
written by M. Jacques Dhur, and entitled ' Le Pere 
d'Emile Zola,' which the Societ6 Libre d'Edition 
des Gens de Lettres (30, Rue Laffitte, Paris) 
published a short time ago. This will show them 
how strong are the presumptions that the docu- 
ments cited by Judet in proof of his abominable 
charges are rank forgeries similar to those of 
Henry and Lemercier-Picard ! In this connection 
it afforded me much pleasure to be able to supply 
certain extracts from Francesco Zola's works at 
the British Museum, showing how subsequent to 
the date at which the novelist's father is alleged to 
have purloined State money he was received with 
honour by King Louis-Philippe, the Prince de 
Joinville, the Minister of War, and other high 
personages of the time incidents which all tend 
to establish the falsity of the accusations by which 
Judet, in his venomous spite and malignity, hoped 
to cast opprobrium on the parentage of my dear 
master and friend. 

But I must return to Maitre Labori's envoy. 
99 H2 



When I had seen the contents of his envelope I 
heartily apologised to him for the suspicions which 
I had cast upon his good faith. At this he smiled 
more maliciously and triumphantly than ever, and 
then candidly remarked : ' Well, if you have tested 
me, I have tested you, and I shall be able to tell 
all our friends in Paris that M. Zola is in safe 

According to previous agreement we re-sealed 
the envelope, writing across it that it had been 
opened in presence of Wareham and myself. And 
afterwards our reconciliation also was ' sealed ' over 
a friendly glass. Nevertheless the envoy never 
saw M. Zola. M. Desmoulin luckily turned up on 
the morrow, and, armed with a fresh note from the 
master, persuaded our little French friend to hand 
him the documents. 

We left the Salisbury Hotel, Wareham and I, 
well pleased to find that our suspicions had been 
unfounded. Nevertheless the whole conversation 
of the last hour had left its mark on us ; and, for 
my part, I was in much the same state of mind as 
in the old days of the siege of Paris, when the spy 
mania led to so many amusing incidents. Thus 
the circumstance of finding two persons at the 



corner of Salisbury Square as we left it two 
persons who were speaking in French and who 
eyed us very suspiciously revived my alarm. 
They even followed us along Fleet Street towards 
Ludgate Circus, and though we dodged them 
through the cavernous Ludgate Hill Railway 
Station, across sundry courts and past the stores of 
Messrs. Spiers and Pond, we again found them 
waiting for us on our return towards the embank- 
ment, determined, so it seemed, to convoy us home. 
We hastened our steps and they hastened theirs. 
We loitered, they loitered also. At last Wareham 
made me dive into a side street and thence into a 
maze of courts, and though the others seemed bent 
on following us, we at last managed to give them 
the slip. 

I never saw these men again, but I have 
retained a strong suspicion that no mere question 
of coincidence could explain that seeming pursuit. 
I take it that these individuals had come over to 
England on the track of the little French envoy ; 
for it was after he had bidden us good-night out- 
side the Salisbury Hotel that they had turned to 
follow us. He had told us, too, that earlier in the 
evening he had spent an hour smoking and strolling 


about Salisbury Court whilst anxiously awaiting 
Wareham's arrival with his promised answer. 
Whether these men were French police spies, 
whether they were simply members of some swell 
mob who knew that the little gentleman with the 
huge head and the coal-black hair sometimes 
journeyed to London with a fortune in diamonds 
in his possession, must remain a mystery. As for 
Wareham and myself, when we had again reached 
Fleet Street we hailed a passing hansom and drove 
away to Waterloo. 

1 02 




I HAD another alarm a few days later. Returning 
one evening by train from Waterloo, I was followed 
into the compartment I selected by a party of five 
men, two of whom I recognised. One was the 
landlord of the Raynes Park Hotel, now deceased, 
and the other his son. Their companions proved 
to be Frenchmen, which somehow struck me as a 
curious circumstance. This was the time when a 
letter addressed by me to Paris for M. Zola 
appeared to have gone astray, and when we were 
therefore rather apprehensive of some action on 
the part of the French authorities. Could it be 
that the two Frenchmen who had followed me into 
the railway carriage in the company of a local 
licensed victualler were actually staying at Raynes 
Park, within half a mile of my home ? And, if so, 
what could be their purpose ? * 


I remained silent in my corner of the carriage, 
pretending to read a newspaper ; but on glancing 
up every now and then I fancied that I detected 
one or another of the Frenchmen eyeing me sus- 
piciously. They conversed in French, either 
together or with the landlord's son who spoke 
their language, I found on a variety of common- 
place topics until we had passed Earlsfield and 
were fast approaching Wimbledon. Then, all at 
once, one of them inquired of the other : ' Shall we 
get out at Wimbledon or Raynes Park ? ' 

' We'll see,' replied the other ; and at the same 
time it seemed to me that he darted a very 
expressive glance in my direction. 

I now began to feel rather nervous. It was my 
own intention to alight at Wimbledon, as I had an 
important message from M. Zola to communicate 
to Wareham that evening. But it now occurred to 
me that the best policy might be to go straight 
home. If these men were French detectives, or 
French newspaper men of the anti-Dreyfusite party, 
who by shadowing me hoped to discover M. Zola's 
retreat, it would be most unwise for me to go to 
Wareham's. If once the latter's name and address 
should be ascertained b/ detectives, commumca- 



tions between M. Zola and his friends would be 
jeopardised. On the other hand, of course, I might 
be mistaken with regard to the men ; and before 
all else I ought to make sure whether they really 
had any hostile intentions. So I resolved to leave 
the train at Wimbledon, as I had originally proposed 
doing, and then shape my course by theirs. 

As soon as the train pulled up I rose to 
alight, and at that same moment the Frenchman 
who had said ' We'll see/ exclaimed to his com- 
panion : ' Well, I think we will get out here.' 

I waited to hear no more. I rushed off, threw 
my ticket to an inspector, climbed the steps from 
the platform, descended another flight into the 
station-yard, hurried into the Hill Road, and did 
not pause until I reached the first turning on the 
right. This happened to be the Alexandra Road, 
in which Wareham's local office is situated. 

Then I turned round and, sure enough, I saw 
the two Frenchmen, the licensed victualler and 
his son, deliberately coming towards me. Forth- 
with, under cover of a passing vehicle, I crossed 
the street to the corner of St. George's Road, 
which offered a convenient, shady retreat. Then 
I awaited developments. To my great relief 


the party of four went straight on up the Hill 

Nevertheless, this might only be a feint, and I 
hesitated about going to Wareham's immediately. 
Before anything, I had better let those suspicious 
Frenchmen get right away. So I retraced my 
steps towards the station, and entered the saloon 
bar of the South- Western Hotel. There I found a 
foreign gentleman, whether French or Italian I do 
not know, whom I had previously met about 
Wimbledon on various occasions. A short, rather 
stout, and elderly man, formerly, I believe, in 
business in London, and now living on his income, 
he had more than once spoken to me of the 
Dreyfus case, Zola, Esterhazy, and all the others. 
And on this particular evening he approached me 
with a smile, and inquired if there were any truth 
in the reports he had heard to the effect that 
M. Zola had lately been seen in Wimbledon. 

Nervous as I was at that moment, I was about 
to give him a sharp reply, when the door of the 
saloon bar opened, and to my intense alarm in 
marched the two Frenchmen who had already 
inspired me with so much distrust. Their friends 
were behind them ; and I could only conclude that 
1 06 


my movements had somehow been observed by 
them, and that now I was virtually caught, like a 
rat in a trap. 

I was the more startled, too, when my foreign 
acquaintance (about whom I really knew very little) 
abruptly quitted me to accost the new comers. 
But this gave me breathing time. The door was 
free, and so, leaving the refreshment I had ordered 
untouched, I bolted out of the house in much the 
same way as a thief might have done, and ran, as 
if for my life, right down the Alexandra Road 
until I reached Wareham's office. And there I 
seized the knocker in a frenzy, and made such a 
racket as might have awakened the dead. The 
door suddenly opened, and I fell into the arms of 
Everson, Wareham's managing clerk. 

1 Great Scott ! ' said he. ' What is the matter? 
You've nearly brought the house down ! ' 

' Shut the door ! ' I replied. ' Shut the door ! ' 

' But what has happened to you ? ' 

' Shut the door ! ' 

I had seated myself on the stairs, and a full 

minute went by before I could begin my story. 

Then I told Everson all that had befallen me. 

Some Frenchmen were on Zola's track ; they must 



be the very same men who had shadowed Wareham 
and myself from the Salisbury Hotel some nights 
previously ; and now they were in Wimbledon, 
having heard, no doubt, that M. Zola had been 
seen there. Wareham must be warned of it. 
Every precaution must be taken ; we must remove 
our charge from Oatlands, and so forth. 

Everson puffed away at his pipe and listened 
meditatively. At last he remarked, ' Well, it is a 
curious business if what you say is true. What 
were these Frenchmen like ? ' 

Forthwith I began to describe them as accu- 
rately as I could. The first likeness I sketched 
must have been a faithful one, for Everson started, 
and exclaimed, ' And the other. Was he not 
so-and-so and so-and-so ? ' 

' Yes, he was. But how do you know that ? ' I 
rejoined, with considerable surprise. 

' Why, because I know who the men are ! 
Although you saw them with Mr. Savage of the 
Raynes Park Hotel, it doesn't follow that they are 
staying at Raynes Park. As a matter of fact they 
live here in this very road. They have been here 
I daresay, eight or nine months now. And as for 
being detectives, my dear sir, they are musicians ! ' 


' You don't mean it ! ' 

I collapsed again. To think that out of a mere 
chain of chance coincidences I should have forged 
a perfect melodramatic intrigue ! To think that I 
should have let my fancy run away with me in such 
a fashion, and have worked myself into a state of 
nervousness and alarm ! I could not help feeling a 
trifle ashamed. ' Well,' I pleaded, ' for my part, I 
had never seen the men before, either in Wimbledon 
or elsewhere. Of course, I am short-sighted, and 
my eyes sometimes play me tricks ; however, as 
you are sure ' 

' Sure ! ' repeated Everson ; and again he 
described the men in such a way as to convince me 
that there was no mistake in the matter. ' More- 
over,' he added, ' I saw them go past the house this 
very morning when they went up to town.' 

1 Well,' I rejoined, ' I suppose I am losing my 
head. Ten minutes ago I could have sworn that 
those men were after me.' 

' Your statement that you never saw them 
before,' said Everson, ' does not surprise me. As a 
rule they go to town every morning, and as you 
are seldom in Wimbledon in the evening you can't 
very well meet one another.' 


' I suppose you regard me as a bit of a fool ? ' 
I inquired. 

' Oh, no. The circumstances were curious 
enough, and in your place I might have drawn 
the same conclusions. Only I don't think I should 
have hurried off to a friend's house and have nearly 
" knocked " it down.' 

We both laughed, and then I apologised. 

' As a matter of fact,' said I, 'all this is the 
natural outcome of events. The beginning was 
long ago. I have a secret which I find haunting 
me when I get up in the morning ; all day long it 
occupies my mind ; at night it clings to me and 
follows me through my sleep. And I grow more 
and more suspicious ; it seems as if everybody I 
meet has designs upon my secret. Every French- 
man I don't know is a detective or a process server 
with a copy of the Versailles judgment in his 
pockets. And thus I shall soon become a mono- 
maniac if I do not discover some remedy. I think 
I shall try the shower-bath system.' 

Then I recalled experiences dating from long 
prior to M. Zola's arrival in England. First 
mysterious offers of important documents bearing 
on the Dreyfus case documents forged a la 



Lemercier-Picard, hawked about by adventurers 
who tried to dispose of them, now in Paris, now in 
Brussels, and now in London. Needless to say 
that I, like others, had rejected them with con- 
tempt. Then had come an incident that Everson 
already knew of: a stranger with divers aliases 
beseeching me for private interviews in M. Zola's 
interest, a request which I ultimately granted, and 
which led to a rather curious experience. I had 
declined to see my correspondent alone, and had 
given him the address of Wareham, who had been 
present at the interview. And at first the stranger, 
a tall and energetic looking man, with sunburnt face 
and heavy moustaches, had refused to disclose his 
business in Wareham's presence. If at last he did 
so, it was solely because I told him that before 
coming to any decision in the matters which he 
might have to submit to me I should certainly lay 
them before my solicitor. So the result would be 
the same, whether he spoke out before Wareham 
or not And Wareham very properly added that 
a solicitor was, in a measure, a confessor bound to 
observe professional secrecy. 

At last the man told us his business, and it 
proved to be a scheme for rescuing Dreyfus from 


Devil's Island and carrying him to an American 
port. Neither Wareham nor myself was able to 
take the matter seriously, but our visitor spoke 
with great earnestness, as though he already saw 
the suggested feat accomplished. He had a ship 
at his disposal, and a crew also. He gave parti- 
culars about both. If I remember rightly, the 
ship lay at Bristol. He knew Cayenne and Devil's 
Island, and Royal Island, and so forth. He was 
convinced of the practicability of the venture, he 
had weighed all the pros and cons, and it rested 
with Dreyfus's friends and relatives to decide 
whether or no he (the prisoner) should be a free 
man within another six weeks. 

Wareham laughed. He was thinking of 
' Captain Kettle,' and said so. But the would-be 
rescuer protested that all this was no romancing. 
Oh ! he was not a philanthropist, he should expect 
to be well paid for his services ; but the Dreyfus 
family was rich, and M. Zola, too, was a man of 
means. So surely they would not begrudge the 
necessary funds to release the unhappy prisoner 
from bondage ! 

But I replied that though the Dreyfus family 
and M. Zola also were anxious to see Dreyfus 


free, they were yet more anxious to prove his 
innocence. Personally I knew nothing of the 
Dreyfus family, and could give no letter of intro- 
duction to any member of it, such as I was asked 
for. And, as regards M. Zola, I was sufficiently 
acquainted with his character to say that he would 
never join in any such enterprise. He intended to 
pursue his campaign by legal means alone, and it 
was useless to refer the matter to him. 

Then the interview ended rather abruptly. A 
French client of Wareham's happened to call at 
that very moment, and was heard speaking in 
French in the hall. This seemed to alarm the 
stranger, who ceased pressing his request that I 
should give him letters of introduction to prominent 
Dreyfusites. He rose abruptly, saying that the 
time would come when we should probably regret 
having refused to entertain his proposals, and 
hurrying past the waiting French client he ran off 
down the Alexandra Road in much the same way 
as I myself subsequently ran off from the French 
' detectives ' who were simply harmless disciples of 
St. Cecilia. 

To this day I do not know whether the man 
was a lunatic, an impostor seeking money, or an 
113 I 


agent provocateur^ that is, one who imagined that 
he might through me inveigle M. Zola into an 
illegal act which would lead to prosecution and 
imprisonment The last-mentioned status that I 
have ascribed to my interviewer is by no means 
an impossible one, considering the many dastardly 
attempts made to discredit and ruin M. Zola. 
And yet, suspicious and abrupt as was the man's 
leave-taking when he heard French being spoken 
outside Wareham's private room (where the inter- 
view took place), I nowadays think it more 
charitable to assume that he was a trifle crazy. 
One thing is certain, he had come to the wrong 
person in applying to me to aid and abet him in 
the foolhardy enterprise he spoke of. 

This is the first time I have told this anecdote 
in any detail ; but at the period when the incident 
occurred I spoke of it casually to a few friends, to 
which circumstance I am inclined to attribute 
the earlier paragraphs which appeared in the 
newspapers about American schemes for delivering 
Dreyfus. The person whom I saw was, I believe, 
a German-American. 

Well, this incident, preposterous as it may 
appear (but truth, remember, is quite as fantastic 


as fiction), had proved another link in the chain of 
suspicious occurrences in which I had been mixed 
up prior to M. Zola's exile. Other curious little 
incidents had followed, and thus for many months 
I had been living even as we lived long ago in 
besieged Paris in distrust of all strangers, and 
the climax had come with my foolish fears respect- 
ing a couple of French musicians. The story I 
have told goes against me, but the man who 
cannot tell a story against himself when he 
thinks it a good one can have, I think, little grit 
in his composition. 

From the time of my adventure with the 
French musicians I steeled myself against excessive 
fears whilst remaining duly vigilant. On one point 
I was still anxious, which was that M. Zola should 
be able to settle down in a convenient retreat 
where he himself would enjoy all necessary 
quietude ; whilst we, Wareham and I, knowing 
him to be well screened from his enemies, would 
be less liable to those ' excursions and alarums ' 
which had hitherto troubled us. As the next 
chapter will show, this consummation was near at 




IT was M. Zola himself who, after some stay at 
Oatlands, discovered, in the course of his excursions 
with M. Desmoulin, a retreat to his liking. It was 
a house in that part of Surrey belonging to a city 
merchant, who was willing to let it furnished for a 
limited period. The owner met M. Zola on various 
occasions and showed himself both courteous and 

The details of the ' letting ' were arranged 
between him and Mr. Wareham ; and my wife 
hastily procured servants for the new establishment. 
These servants, however, did not speak French, and 
I settled with M. Zola that my eldest daughter, 
Violette, should stay with him to act in some 
measure as his housekeeper and interpreter. This 
was thrusting a young girl, not quite sixteen, into 
a position of considerable responsibility, but I 
thought that Violette would be equal to the task, 


provided she followed the instructions and advice 
of her mother ; and as she was then at home for 
the summer holidays she was sent down to M. 
Zola's without more ado. 

I shall have occasion to speak of her hereafter 
in some detail, in connection with a very curious 
incident which marked M. Zola's exile. Here I 
will merely mention that a Parisienne by birth 
and speaking French from her infancy, it was easy 
for her to understand and explain the master's 

Like M. Zola, she was provided with a bicycle, 
and the pair of them occasionally spent an after- 
noon speeding along leafy Surrey lanes and visiting 
quaint old villages. The mornings, however, were 
devoted to work, for it was now that M. Zola 
started on his novel, ' Fe"conditeY the first of a 
series of four volumes, which will be, he considers, 
his literary testament. 

These books, indeed, are to embody what he 
regards as the four cardinal principles of human 
life. First Fruitfulness, as opposed to neo-Malthu- 
sianism, which he holds to be the most pernicious 
of all doctrines ; next Work, as opposed to the 
idleness of the drones, whom he would sweep away 


from the human community ; then Truth, as 
opposed to falsehood, hypocrisy, and convention ; 
and, finally, Justice to one and all, in lieu of charity 
to some, oppression to others, and favours for the 
privileged few. 

All four books ' Fruitfulness,' ' Work,' ' Truth,' 
and ' Justice ' are to be stories ; for years ago 
M. Zola arrived at the conclusion that mere essays 
on sociology, though they may work good in time 
among people of culture, fail to reach and impress 
the masses in the same way as a story may do. It 
is, I take it, largely on this account that Emile Zola 
has become a novelist. He has certainly written 
essays, but he knows how inconsiderable have been 
their sales in comparison with those of his works 
embodying precisely the same principles, but 
placed before the world in the form of novels. 
To criticise him as a mere story-teller is arrant 

He himself put the whole case in a nutshell 
when he remarked, ' My novels have always been 
written with a higher aim than merely to amuse. 
I have so high an opinion of the novel as a means 
of expression that I have chosen it as the form in 
which to present to the world what I wish to say 


on the social, scientific, and psychological problems 
that occupy the minds of thinking men. I might 
have said what I wanted to say to the world in 
another form. But the novel has to-day risen 
from the place which it held in the last century at 
the banquet of letters. It was then the idle 
pastime of the hour, and sat low down between the 
fable and the idyll. To-day it contains, or may be 
made to contain, everything ; and it is because 
that is my creed that I am a novelist. I have, to 
my thinking, certain contributions to make to the 
thought of the world on certain subjects, and I 
have chosen the novel as the best means of com- 
municating these contributions to the world.' 

If critics in reviewing one or another of M. 
Zola's books would only bear these declarations of 
the author in mind, the reading public would often 
be spared many irrelevant and foolish remarks. 

M. Zola's device is Nulla dies sine linea, and 
even before the materials for ' Fecondite" ' were 
brought to him from France he had given an hour 
or two each day to the penning of notes and im- 
pressions for subsequent use. With the arrival of 
his books and memoranda, work began in a more 
systematic way. At half-past eight every morning 


he partook of a cup of coffee and a roll and butter, 
no more, and shortly after nine he was at his table 
in a small room overlooking the garden of the 
house he had rented. And there he remained 
regularly, hard at work, until the luncheon hour, 
covering sheet after sheet of quarto paper with 
serried lines of his firm, characteristic handwriting. 

M. Zola has retained possession of the MSS. of 
almost every work written by him, and I know 
that these MSS. often differ largely from the books 
actually given to the world. The ' copy ' is not 
only extremely clear, but remarkably free from 
erasures and interpolations. But when his first 
proofs reach him M. Zola revises them with the 
greatest care. He will strike out whole passages 
in the most drastic manner, and alter others until 
they are almost unrecognisable. 

He will even at the last moment change some 
character's name, and I know all the inconvenience 
that arises on certain occasions from having had to 
prepare portions of my translations from first 
proofs, through lack of time to wait for the cor- 
rected matter. 

This was notably the case with my version of 
' Paris.' While that work was passing through the 

1 20 


Press M. Zola was already in all the throes of the 
Dreyfus affair, and somehow, as he has acknow- 
ledged to me with regret, he forgot to tell me that 
at the last moment he had changed the names of 
several personages in the story. Thus Duthil (as 
originally written and given in my translation) 
became Dutheil in the French book ; Sagnier was 
changed to Sanier; the Princess de Horn was 
renamed Harn and finally Harth, and young Lord 
George Eliott became Elson. 

Of course some of the reviewers of my trans- 
lation attacked me virulently for my unwarrantable 
presumption in changing the very names of M. 
Zola's characters; they were unaware that the 
names given by me were those first selected by the 
author, who had afterwards altered them and 
forgotten to tell me of it. 

Coming back to ' FeconditeY I should say that 
M. Zola wrote an average of three pages per day 
of that book during his exile in England. Work 
ceased at the luncheon hour, as I have said, and 
consequently he could dispose of his afternoons. 

But it will be remembered that the summer of 
1898 was exceptionally hot, so hot indeed that 
M. Zola, though many years of his childhood were 


spent under the scorching sun of Provence, found 
a siesta absolutely necessary after the midday 
meal. It was only later that he ventured out on 
foot or on his bicycle, often taking his hand camera 
with him. 

At some distance from the house where he was 
residing, in the midst of large deserted grounds, 
overrun with grass and weeds, there stood a mourn- 
ful-looking, unoccupied private residence of some 
architectural pretensions, on the building of which 
a considerable sum had evidently been expended. 
The place took M. Zola's fancy the first time 
he passed it on his bicycle. The iron entrance 
gate was broken, and he was able to enter the 
garden and peep through the ground-floor win- 

All spoke of decay and abandonment ; and 
when, through my daughter, M. Zola began to 
make inquiries about the place, he was told a 
fantastic tragic story. A murder, it was said, had 
been committed there many years previously ; a 
poor little girl had been killed by her stepmother, 
and her remains had been buried beneath a scullery 

There was also talk of the child's father, who at 


night drove up to the house in a phantom carnage 
drawn by ghostly horses, and hammered at the 
door of the mansion and shouted aloud for his 
dead child ! 

The story was alleged to be well known, and it 
was said that not a girl from Chertsey to Esher, 
from Walton to Byfleet, would have dared to pass 
that house after nightfall, when harrowing voices 
rang out through the trees, and the shadowy horses 
of the ghostly carriage trotted swiftly and silently 
over the gravel. 

The story not only impressed my daughter 
Violette, but it greatly interested M. Zola, on whose 
behalf I made various inquiries. For instance, I 
closely questioned an old gardener who had known 
the district for long years. All he could tell me, 
however, was that there were certainly some strange 
rumours abroad among the womenfolk, but that 
for his own part he had never heard of any crime 
and had never seen any ghost. 

And at last others told me quite a different 
story of the house's abandonment, and this I here 
venture to give, though I certainly cannot vouch for 
its accuracy. The place had been built, it seemed, 
some forty years previously by a retired and 


wealthy London pawnbroker, a gaunt, shrivelled 
old man, who, mounted on a white mare, had in 
his declining years been a familiar figure on the 
roads of the district. 

Extremely eccentric, he had largely furnished 
and decorated the house with unredeemed articles 
that had been pledged with him. There was 
nothing en suite. Old chairs of divers patterns 
were mingled with odd tables and sideboards and 
sofas ; there were also innumerable daubs ' ascribed ' 
to old masters, and a wonderful display of War- 
dour-street bric-cl-brac. But, indeed, one has 
only to look at an average pawnbroker's shop to 
picture what kind of articles the house must 
have contained. 

It seems that the old fellow in question had 
three daughters, whom he kept more or less 
imprisoned on his recently-acquired property, 
though they were charming girls well worthy of 
being sought in marriage ; and the story I heard was 
that three officers sojourning in the district had 
one day espied the three forlorn damsels over the 
garden hedge, and had forthwith begun to court 
them, much to the ire of the misanthropic, retired 
pawnbroker. That stern old gentleman ordered 



his daughters into the house, and there kept them 
in stricter confinement than ever. 

But love laughs at locksmiths, and the amorous 
officers eventually carried the place by storm, and 
beat down all parental resistance. Three weddings 
followed on the same day, and all ended for a time 
as in a fairy tale. But the old pawnbroker subse- 
quently married again to relieve his solitude, and 
after his death his will was attacked, and an 
interminable lawsuit ensued, with the result that 
the property was left unoccupied. Now, it 
appeared, it was for sale, and before long would 
probably be cut up into building plots. 

Whatever romantic element there might be in 
the story of the pawnbroker and his daughters, 
M. Zola much preferred the popular and gruesome 
legend of the little girl murdered in the scullery ; 
and, some time later, when he consented to write 
a short story for 'The Star,' it was this legend 
which he took as his basis, building thereon 
the pathetic sketch of ' Angeline,' the scene of 
which he transferred to France. 

He has stated in his article ' Justice,' published 
in Paris on his return from exile, that during most 
of the time he spent in England he was virtually 


in a desert. There were people about him of 
course ; but he retired into himself as it were, 
communing with his own thoughts, and seeking 
no intercourse with strangers. This is true of the 
period to which I am now referring. Still he did 
not complain of solitude. In fact he knew that 
quiet was essential for his work. Only once or 
twice did anything happen of a nature to cause 
any anxiety. Neither Wareham nor myself was 
much troubled at this period ; there was a lull 
even in the periodical visits with which gentlemen 
of the Press kindly favoured me. 

Still we had taken our precautions by ad- 
mitting a mutual friend, Mr. A. W. Pamplin, into 
our confidence. If M. Zola's communications with 
Paris, through Wareham and myself, should be 
threatened, Mr. Pamplin was to take upon himself 
the duty of re-establishing them. 

At M. Zola's house there was, so far as I am 
aware, but one brief alerte. This occurred one 
afternoon, when a servant came to my daughter 
with the tidings that there was a French hunch- 
back at the door. Violette impulsively rushed 
off to tell M. Zola of it ; but when in her turn she 
went to the door to see who the person might be, 


she found that he was an Englishman, a traveller 
for some county directory, who had merely 
performed his legitimate work in requesting to 
know the name of the occupier of the house. Of 
course the only name given was that of the 
owner, then absent at the seaside. 

Thus the hot days sped by peacefully enough. 
M. Zola had at least found occupation and quietude, 
though it was naturally impossible that he should 
feel content with his lot. Each day brought more 
and more home to him the consciousness that he 
was in exile, and that contumely had been his 
reward for seeking to save France from the shame 
of a great crime. 

I have previously mentioned that during the 
first week or so of his sojourn in England he had 
refused to look at newspapers and at least so it 
seemed to me had sought to banish the Dreyfus 
affair and his own troubles from his mind, much as 
one might seek to drive away a hateful nightmare. 
But before long he again fell under the spell and 
followed the course of events with the keenest in- 
terest. And again and again, reading of the great 
battle being waged in France, he longed to return 
home, and grew restless and impatient. 


Moreover a complaint from which he has 
suffered on and off for some years troubled him 
on more than one occasion. He always rallied, 
however, and returned to his work with renewed 
energy. ' Fe"condite" ' was already taking shape 
in the leafy solitude in which he dwelt. And 
undoubtedly the steady task of creation, resumed 
morning by morning, greatly helped him to 
quiet the anguish of heart which the course of 
events in France would otherwise have rendered 

NOTE. While this work was appearing serially in the ' Evening 
News ' I received numerous letters from readers interested in 
various matters mentioned by me. With respect to the foregoing 
chapter, a lady living at Staines wrote saying that she was looking 
out for ' a cheap haunted house,' and asking for the address of the 
one I had mentioned. I was unable to comply with her request, as 
personally I do not believe the house was haunted at all. Moreover, 
to prevent the sale or letting of any particular house by asserting it 
to be haunted would be an offence under the libel laws. As I could 
not tell what course my lady-correspondent might take in the 
matter, I preferred not to answer her. May she forgive me my 
impoliteness ! 





WHEN the owner of the house which M. Zola 
had rented desired to resume possession, it became 
necessary to find new quarters of a similar cha- 
racter for the master. And so he was transferred 
to another Surrey country house where the arrange- 
ments remained much the same as previously : 
work every morning, and resting or bicycling in 
the afternoon, followed by newspaper reading and 
letter-writing in the evening. 

The grounds of M. Zola's new retreat were 
very extensive, and in part very shady, which last 
circumstance proved extremely welcome to the 
novelist, who on corning to ' cold, damp, foggy 
England,' as the French put it, had never imagined 
that he would have to endure a temperature 
approaching that of the tropics. 

The heat deprived him of appetite, and, morc- 
129 K 


over, he did not particularly relish some of the 
dishes provided for him by a new cook who had 
lately been engaged. We all know how great is 
the servant difficulty even under the best of circum- 
stances ; and when cooks and maids have to be 
secured in hot haste an entirely satisfactory result 
is hardly to be expected. Moreover, many servants 
refuse to live in country retirement, far away from 
their ' followers/ and thus one has at times to take 
such as one can find. 

As for the cookery to which M. Zola was at 
certain periods treated, he beheld it with wonder 
and repulsion. His tastes are simple, but to him 
the plain, boiled, watery potato and the equally 
watery greens were abominations. Plum tart, 
though served hot (why not cold, like the French 
tarte ? ) might be more or less eatable ; but, surely, 
apple pudding the inveterate breeder of indiges- 
tionwas the invention of a savage race. And 
why, when a prime steak was grilled, should the 
cook water it in order to produce ' gravy,' instead 
of applying to it a little butter and chopped 
parsley ? This, Dundreary-wise, was one of those 
things which nobody, not even M. Zola, could 



However, a visit to a fishmonger's shop had 
made him acquainted with the haddock, the kipper, 
and likewise the humble bloater ; and occasionally, 
I believe, when his appetite needed a stimulant he 
turned to the smoked fish, which seemed so novel 
to his palate. The cook, of course, was mightily 
incensed thereat. For her part, she most certainly 
would not eat haddock or kippers for dinner ; she 
had too much self-respect to do such a thing, so 
she boiled or roasted a leg of mutton for her own 
repast and the maids'. I do not say that she was 
wrong ; and, indeed, M. Zola never forced people 
to eat what they did not care for. 

But in the same way he wished for something 
that he himself could eat, and he was weary of the 
perpetual joint and the vegetables a I'eau. One 
day, when in a jocular spirit he was talking to me 
on this subject, I told him that we English had 
a saying to the effect that ' God sent us food, but 
the devil invented cooks." 

'You are quite right,' he replied, 'only as a 
Frenchman I should put it this way : " God sent us 
food, but the devil invented English cooks." ' 

Towards the end of August he again became 
very dispirited. The 'cause ' did not at that time 


appear to be prospering in France, where so many 
people remained under the spell of the deceptive 
declarations and documents which had been made 
public in the Chamber of Deputies by War 
Minister Cavaignac early in July. 

Of course the Revisionists were still hard at 
work, but in the face of M. Cavaignac's speech, 
placarded throughout the 36,000 townships of 
France, they seemed to have a very uphill task 
before them. The anti-Dreyfusites on their side 
were more arrogant than ever, and although M. 
Zola never once lost faith in the justice of his 
cause and its ultimate triumph, he did, on more 
than one occasion, question whether that triumph 
would come in a peaceful way. 

Felix Faure was then still President of the 
Republic, and I am abusing, I think, no confidence 
in saying that M. Zola regarded that vain, showy 
man as one of the great obstacles to the victory of 
truth and justice. Faure, he said to me, had 
undoubtedly at one time enjoyed well-deserved 
popularity ; he, Zola, had been received by him 
and in the most cordial manner. But the Presi- 
dent's intercourse with crowned heads, and his 
intimacy with arrogant general officers, coupled 


with all the flummery of the Protocole, all the 
pomp and display observed whenever he stirred 
from the Palace of the Elysee, had virtually turned 
his head. He was in the hands of those military 
men who opposed revision, and he shielded them 
because their downfall would mean his own. He 
was bent on the hushing-up course lest his Presi- 
dency should become synonymous with a great 
judicial crime ; he feared that he might be forced 
to resign even before his term of office was over, 
or, at all events, that he might have to abandon 
all hope of re-election. 

And thus with the President and the more 
prominent generals opposed to revision, M. Zola, 
though confident in the final issue, more than once 
said to me that there might be serious trouble 
before all was over. 

He was now kept very well informed of all that 
took place in France ; intelligence often reached 
him before it appeared in the newspapers ; and 
now and again he told me what was brewing. 
Going backward, too, he confided to me some 
curious particulars of the genesis of the Revisionist 
campaign. But he will himself some day tell all 
this in a book of his own, and I must not anticipate 


him. I will only say that various important things 
he mentioned to me in the autumn of 1898 have 
since become well-known, acknowledged facts, 
and I have every reason to believe that time will 
duly show the accuracy of those which have not 
as yet been publicly revealed. 

There is one point to which I must refer at 
more length. In his declaration ' Justice,' 
published on the expiration of his exile, M. Zola 
stated that he had long suspected Colonel Henry, 
though he had possessed no actual proof of that 
officer's guilt. This is so true, that I well recollect 
listening to a conversation between him and 
M. Desmoulin during the first days of their 
sojourn in England, when they compared notes 
with respect to their impressions of Henry, whom 
they had particularly noticed at Versailles on the 
occasion of M. Zola's sentence by default. 

They had then observed how nervous and 
crestfallen the colonel looked the very picture, 
indeed, of a man who dreads the discovery of his 
guilt. This was the more remarkable, as Henry's 
confident arrogance at the earlier trial in Paris had 
been so conspicuous. The man had a skeleton in 



his cupboard to Zola and Desmoulin that was 

M. Zola is a good physiognomist, and his 
friend (as a portraitist) is scarcely less gifted in 
that respect, and they felt equally certain of 
Henry's culpability. As yet they could not say 
that it was he who had actually forged that famous 
' absolute proof of Dreyfus's guilt, which they 
knew to have been forged by some one, but that 
time would prove him guilty of some abominable 
machination was to them a foregone conclusion. 

One day, it must have been I suppose the 3 1st 
of August, a rather strange telegram in French 
reached me for transmission to M. Zola. It came 
from Paris, and was, so far as I remember, to this 
effect : ' Be prepared for a great success.' 

A name I was acquainted with followed ; but 
what the telegram might mean I knew not. 
There was absolutely nothing in the newspapers 
with reference to any great success achieved at 
that moment by the Revisionist party ; but possibly 
the message might refer to one or another of 
M. Zola's lawsuits, such as that with the ' Petit 
Journal ' or that with the handwriting experts. I 


re-telegraphed it to M. Zola, and that day, at all 
events, I thought no more of the matter. 

But I afterwards learnt that the telegram had 
perplexed him quite as much as it perplexed me. 
A great success ? What could it be ? He racked 
his mind in vain. He reviewed all the phases 
and aspects of the Dreyfus case, wondering 
whether this or that had happened, but not 
suspecting the public revelations which were 
then impending, the tragedy which was being 

For a while he walked up and down, feverish 
and anxious (he was at the time in poor 
health), and then he would fling himself on a 
sofa, still and ever indulging in his surmises. 
With that kind of prescience which he had so 
frequently displayed in the Dreyfus affair, he felt 
certain that something very important had occurred, 
for otherwise such a mysterious telegram would 
never have been sent him. This lasted the whole 

My daughter Violette was with him at the 

time, and his feverishness doubtless gained on her. 

At last she retired to rest, while M. Zola, according 

to his wont, carried a lamp into his own room to 



sit there awhile and read some French newspapers 
which had reached him, vid Wareham, by the 
evening delivery. There was nothing in them of 
a nature to explain the mysterious telegram ; still 
he read on and on in the hope, as it were, of 
quieting himself. 

It was, I believe, between eleven o'clock and 
midnight when he rose to go to bed, and as he 
did so he heard some loud exclamations, followed 
by a cry. At first he fancied that the calls came 
from one of the servants' rooms, and he paused on 
the landing. Then, however, as they were repeated, 
he found that they came from my daughter's 
apartment. With fatherly solicitude he waited 
and listened. Violette was calling in her sleep. 

Practical enough in matters of everyday life, 
this girl of mine has literary partialities of a 
somewhat gruesome kind, and her avowed ambi- 
tion (I quote her own words) is to write, some day, 
stories full of witches and wizards, that shall make 
people's flesh creep. For this reason I keep such 
of Anne RadclifTe's uncanny novels as I possess 
carefully locked up. 

I can well remember my daughter telling me at 
times of strange things dreamt by her in her sleep ; 


but not being of a romantic or a mystical turn 
myself, I have usually pooh-poohed all this as 
nonsense. And such I believe is the course which 
fathers usually adopt if their daughters' imagina- 
tions begin to run riot. 

As for M. Zola, when he heard Violette calling 
in her sleep, his first impulse was to rouse her, 
but all suddenly became still again. The girl had 
probably sunk into more peaceful slumber. And 
so, after waiting a few minutes longer, he thought 
it best to leave her as she was. 

Nothing further disturbed M. Zola that night ; 
but on the following morning, when he met Violette 
downstairs, he asked her how she felt, and told her 
that he had heard her calling in her sleep. He 
had probably formed the same opinion as I should 
have formed under the circumstances, namely, 
that it was a case of indigestion or a little excite- 

But she turned to him and replied, ' Oh ! I 
had such a frightful dream. ... I was in a big 
black place, and there was a man on the ground 
covered with blood, and people were crowding 
round him, talking with great excitement. And I 
saw you, Monsieur Zola, and you came up looking 



like a giant and waved your arms again and again, 
and seemed well pleased.' 

M. Zola was dumbfounded. He could make 
nothing of it. A man in a pool of blood and 
others round him ; and he, Zola, waving his arms 
and looking well pleased ! It was nonsense ; and 
he was disposed to laugh at the girl and chide her. 
But a little later, with the arrival of some morning 
newspapers, the position suddenly changed. 

Here I should mention that as the Paris 
journals only reached M. Zola with a delay of 
twelve or four-and-twenty hours, it had just been 
arranged that he should be supplied with two or 
three London papers every morning, and that he 
and Violette between them should put the tele- 
grams concerning the Dreyfus business into 

He opened one of these English newspapers 
which it was I do not recollect and there he saw 
a whole column dealing with the arrest and con- 
fession of Colonel Henry. The heading to the 
telegrams, the very words ' arrest ' and ' confession,' 
made everything intelligible to M. Zola ; and 
beneath all this came a brief wire headed, I think, 
1 Paris, midnight,' and worded much to this effect : 



' Colonel Henry has been found dead in his cell 
at Mont Val6rien.' 

So that was the man whom Violette, in her 
dream, had seen weltering in a pool of blood, 
surrounded by his custodians, who had rushed in 
full of excitement ! M. Zola's presence in that 
vision was, so to say, symbolical. ' He had waved 
his arms and had seemed well pleased ' so the 
girl had put it in her frank, artless way. ' Well 
pleased ' may perhaps appear to be scarcely the 
correct expression. At all events, it needs to be 
interpreted. Most certainly Zola never desired 
the death of a sinner ; but, on the other hand, 
he could only feel some satisfaction at knowing 
that Henry's crime was at last divulged to the 

This, then, is how my daughter dreamt Henry's 
death. I do not wish to insist unduly on the 
incident, and I have no intention of appealing to 
the Psychical Research Society to test, corro- 
borate, or disprove the case. 

There was one rather curious feature that I 

have not yet mentioned. My daughter has assured 

me that during that same night she dreamt the 

same thing over and over again. She tried to 



banish the vision, but ever and ever it returned, 
as if to impress itself indelibly upon her mind. 
And ever did she see M. Zola waving his arms as 
he hovered round the scene. 

At that time the girl knew nothing of Colonel 
Henry ; she understood very little about the 
Dreyfus case ; and all she had to go upon was the 
enigmatical telegram and M. Zola's talk during 
the evening, when he was expressing his thoughts 
aloud. But at that moment he had foreseen no 
death, murder, or suicide, and if the possibility of 
any arrest had occurred to him it was that of M. 
du Paty de Clam, which the Revisionist papers 
were then demanding. 

It is true that in infancy my daughter had 
often seen Mont Valerien, as I lived for some 
years at Boulogne-sur-Scine, and the hill and 
fortress towering across the river were then familiar 
objects to us all. But the girl was little more than 
a baby at the time, and so this circumstance can 
have exercised no influence upon her. Moreover, 
she has told me that she had no notion as to what 
might be the actual scene of her dream ; it merely 
appeared to her that she was in France, because 
the people she saw raised ejaculations in French. 


Passing from this incident, I may point out 
that the telegram sent to M. Zola through me was 
explained by the news in the English newspapers. 
It was evident that the ' great success ' referred to 
in the message was the discovery of Henry's 
forgery and possibly his arrest. 

Directly I saw the news in a London news- 
paper I hurried off to M. Zola's, and when I 
reached his abode about noon I found him expect- 
ing me. We then went over matters together, the 
press telegrams, my daughter's dream, and the 
probable outcome of the whole affair. 

As was natural, M. Zola was quite excited. 
First, the document which Henry had confessed 
to having forged was the very one that General de 
Pellieux had imported into the Zola trial in Paris 
as convincing proof of Drcyfus's guilt. At that 
time already its effect had been very great ; it 
had destroyed all chance of M. Zola's acquittal. 
Then, too, it had been solemnly brought forward 
in the Chamber of Deputies by War Minister 
Cavaignac, who had vouched for its authenticity. 
And now, as previously alleged by Colonel 
Picquart, it was shown to be a forgery of the 
clumsiest kind. 



Here at least was ' a new fact ' warranting the 
revision of the whole Dreyfus case. Surely the 
blindest bigot could not resist such evidence of the 
machinations of those who had sent Dreyfus to 
Devil's Island ; truth and justice would speedily 
triumph, and in a week or two he, Zola, would be 
able to return to France again. 

But he did not take sufficient account of human 
obstinacy and vileness. His friends, to whom he 
appealed on the subject of his return, urged him 
to remain where he was, for the battle, they said, 
was by no means over, and his name was still like 
the red scarf of the matador that goads the bull 
to fury. The advice proved good, for again were 
passions stirred. Henry, the ignoble forger, was 
raised to the position of a martyr, and Cavaignac 
and Zurlinden and Chanoine in turn strove to 
impede the course of justice. ' Hope deferred 
maketh the heart sick,' and thus M. Zola, finding 
so many difficulties in the way of his return, 
abandoned for a time all work and fell into 
brooding melancholy. 





IMPORTANT events were now taking place in 
Paris. Cavaignac resigned the position of War 
Minister and was succeeded by Zurlinden ; Du 
Paty de Clam was turned out of the army ; 
Esterhazy, who had likewise been ' retired,' fled 
from France ; Mme. Dreyfus addressed to the 
Minister of Justice a formal application for the 
revision of her unfortunate husband's case ; and 
that application was in the first instance referred 
to a Commission of judges and functionaries. 
Then General Zurlinden resigned his Ministerial 
office, and again becoming Governor of Paris, 
apprehended the gallant Picquart on a ridiculous 
charge of forgery, and cast him into close confine- 
ment in a military prison. There was talk, too, 
of a military plot in Paris, and again and again 
were attempts made to prevent the granting of 



Throughout those days of alternate hope and 
fear M. Zola suffered keenly. It was, too, about 
this time that he heard of the death of his favourite 
dog an incident to which I have previously 
referred as coming like a blow of fate in the midst 
of all his anxiety. 

When he rallied he spoke to me of his desire 
to familiarise himself in some degree with the 
English language, with the object principally of 
arriving at a more accurate understanding of the 
telegrams from Paris which he found in the London 
newspapers. A dictionary, a conversation manual, 
and an English grammar for French students 
were then obtained ; and whenever he felt that he 
needed a little relaxation, he took up one or another 
of these books and read them, as he put it to me, 
' from a philosophical point of view.' 

Later I procured him a set of Messrs. Nelson's 
' Royal Readers ' for children, which he greatly 
praised, declaring them to be much superior to the 
similar class of work current in France. After- 
wards he himself purchased a prettily illustrated 
edition of the classic ' Vicar of Wake-field ' 
(the work to which all French young ladies are 
put when learning our language), but he found 
145 L 


portions difficult to understand, and a French 
friend then procured him an edition in which the 
text is printed in French and English on alternate 

One day when he had been dipping into 
English papers and books he tackled me on rather 
a curious point ' Why is it,' said he, ' that the 
Englishman when he writes of himself should 
invariably use a capital letter ? That tall " I " 
which recurs so often in a personal narrative 
strikes me as being very arrogant. A Frenchman, 
referring to himself, writes je with a small/; a 
German, though he may gratify all his substantives 
with capital letters, employs a small i in writing 
ich ; a Spaniard, when he uses the personal pronoun 
at all, bestows a small y on his yo, while he honours 
the person he addresses with a capital V. I believe, 
indeed though I am not sufficiently acquainted 
with foreign languages to speak with certainty on 
the point that the Englishman is the only person 
in the world who applies a capital letter to himself. 
That " I " strikes me as the triumph of egotism. It 
is tall, commanding, and so brief! " I " and that 
suffices. How did it originate ? ' 

It was difficult for me to answer M. Zola on the 


point ; I am a very poor scholar in such a matter, 
and I could find nothing on the subject in any 
work of reference I had by me. I surmised, how- 
ever, that the capital I, as a personal pronoun, was 
a survival of the time when English, whether 
written or printed, was studded with capitals, even 
as German is to-day. If I am wrong, perhaps 
some one who knows better will correct me. One 
thing I have often noticed is that a child's first 
impulse is to write ' i,' and that it is only after 
admonition that the aggressive and egotistical ' I ' 
supplants the humbler form of the letter. This 
did not surprise M. Zola, since vanity, like most 
other vices, is acquired, not inherent in our natures. 
But in a chaffing way he suggested that one might 
write a very humorous essay on the English 
character by taking as one's text that tall, stiff, 
and self-assertive letter ' I.' 

How far M. Zola actually carried his study of 
English I could hardly say, but during the last 
months of his exile he more than once astonished 
me by his knowledge of an irregular verb or of 
the correct comparative and superlative of an 
adjective. And if he seldom attempted to speak 
English, he at least made considerable progress in 


reading it. By the time he returned to France he 
could always understand any Dreyfus news in the 
English papers. Of course the language in which 
the news was couched was of great help to him, as 
in three instances out of four it was simply direct 
translation from the French. 

In this connection, while praising many features 
of the English Press, M. Zola more than once 
expressed to me his surprise that so much of the 
Paris news printed in London should be simply 
taken from Paris journals. Some correspondents, 
said he, never seemed to go anywhere or to see 
anybody themselves. They purely and simply 
extracted everything from newspapers. This he 
was able to check by means of the many Paris 
prints which he received regularly. 

' Here,' he would say, ' this paragraph is taken 
verbatim from " Le Figaro " ; this other appeared 
in " Le Temps," this other in " Le Siecle," ' and so 
forth. And he was not alluding to extracts from 
editorials, but to descriptive matter accounts of 
demonstrations and ceremonies, fashionable wed- 
dings and other social functions, interviews, and 
so forth. The practice upset all his ideas of a 
foreign correspondent's duties, which should be 


to obtain first-hand and not second-hand informa- 

In principle this is of course correct, but a 
correspondent cannot be everywhere at the same 
time ; and nowadays, moreover, English journalists 
in Paris do not enjoy quite the same facilities as 
formerly. As regards more particularly the 
Dreyfus business, the French, with a sensitiveness 
that can be understood, have all along deprecated 
anything in the way of foreign interference, and 
the English Pressman of inquiring mind on the 
subject has more than once met with a rebuff from 
those in a position to give information. Again, 
the political difficulties between the two countries 
of recent years have often placed the Paris corre- 
spondents in a very invidious position. 

This brings me to the Fashoda trouble, which 
arose last autumn while M. Zola was still in his 
country retreat. The great novelist's enemies have 
often alleged that he is no true Frenchman ; but 
for my part, after thirty years' intimacy with the 
French, I would claim for him that his country 
counts no better patriot. He is on principle 
opposed to warfare, but there is a higher patriot- 
ism than that which consists in perpetually beating 


the big drum, and that higher patriotism is 

The Fashoda difficulties troubled him sorely, 
and directly it seemed likely that the situation 
might become serious he told me that it would be 
impossible for him to remain in England. The 
progress of the negotiations between France and 
Great Britain was watched with keen vigilance, 
and M. Zola was ready to start at the first sign of 
those negotiations collapsing. As all his friends 
were opposed to his return to France (they had 
again virtually forbidden it late in September when 
the Brisson Ministry finally submitted the case for 
revision to the Criminal Chamber of the Cour de 
Cassation), he would probably have gone to 
Belgium, but I doubt whether he would have 
remained long in that country. 

I have said that M. Zola is opposed to warfare 
on principle. His views in this respect have long 
been shared by me. Life's keenest impressions 
are those acquired in childhood and youth. And 
in my youth I was but seventeen, though already 
acting as a war correspondent, the youngest, 1 
suppose, on record I witnessed war attended by 
every horror : A city, Paris, starved by the 


foreigner and subsequently in part fired by some of 
its own children. And between those disasters, 
having passed through the hostile lines, I saw an 
army of 1 25,000 men with 350 guns, that of Chanzy, 
irretrievably routed after battling in a snowstorm 
of three days' duration, cast into highways and 
byways, with thousands of barefooted stragglers 
begging their bread, with hundreds of farmers 
bewailing their crops, their cattle, and their ruined 
homesteads, with mothers innumerable weeping 
for their sons, and fair girls in the heyday of their 
youth lamenting the lads to whom their troth was 
plighted. And in that ' Retraite Infernale,' as one 
of its historians has called it, I saw want, hunger, 
cupidity, cruelty, disease, stalking beside the war 
fiend ; so no wonder that, like Zola, I regard war- 
fare as the greatest of the abominations that fall 
upon the world. I often regret that, short of actual 
war itself and its disaster and misery, there should 
be no means of bringing the whole horror of the thing 
home to those silly, arm-chair, jingo journalists 
of many countries, our own included, who, viewing 
war simply as a means of imposing the will of the 
stronger upon the weaker, and losing sight of all 
that attends it, save martial pomp and individual 


heroism, ever clamour for the exercise of force as 
soon as any difficulty arises between two govern- 

Ties of affection, bonds of marriage, as well as 
long years of intimacy, link me moreover to the 
French people ; and more keenly, perhaps, than 
even the master himself, did I realise what war 
between France and England might mean ; thus 
we both had an anxious time during the Fashoda 
trouble. Fortunately for the general peace hos- 
tilities were averted, and M. Zola was thus able 
to remain in his secluded English home, and to 
continue the writing of his novel. 

The weather was still very fine, and now and 
again he ventured upon a little excursion. The 
principal one was to Virginia Water, where he 
strolled round the lake, then drove through part 
of the Great Park, and thence on to Windsor 
Castle, where he saw all the sights, the State 
apartments, St. George's Hall and Chapel, the 
Albert Memorial Chapel, and so forth. And, as 
he had brought his hand camera with him, he was 
able to take a few snapshots of what he saw. I 
was not present on that occasion ; his companions 
were a French gentleman, a very intimate friend, 


and my daughter, but I was pleased to hear that 
he had, at all events, seen Windsor. As a rule, it 
was extremely difficult to induce him to emerge 
from his solitude. When he took a walk or a 
bicycle ride his destination was simply some sleepy 
Surrey village or deserted common. 

He appreciated English scenery. Around 
Oatlands he had been much struck by the beauty 
of the trees, and was greatly astonished to find 
such lofty and perfect hedges of holly running at 
times for a mile almost without a break on either 
side of the roads. I suppose that some of the 
finest holly hedges in England are to be found in 
that district. Then, too, the rookeries surprised 
and interested him. There was one he could see 
from his window at the last of his country 
residences, and many an idle half-hour was spent 
by him in watching the flight of the birds or their 
occasional parliaments. 

Nobody recognised him on his rambles. I 
even doubt if people, generally, thought him a 
foreigner. He had long since ceased to wear his 
rosette of the Legion of Honour, and he had 
replaced his white billycock by an English straw 
hat. Towards the close of the fine weather he 



purchased a ' bowler,' which greatly altered his 
appearance. Indeed, there is nothing like a 
' bowler ' to make a foreigner look English. 

Wareham and I had now quite ceased to fear 
that any attempt would be made to serve the 
Versailles judgment on M. Zola. We were only 
troubled by gentlemen of the Press, both French 
and English, for since Esterhazy had fled from 
France and the case for revision had been formally 
referred to the Cour de Cassation, several news- 
papers had become desirous of ascertaining M. 
Zola's views on the course of events. My instruc- 
tions remained, however, the same as formerly : I 
was to tell every applicant that M. Zola declined 
to make any public statement, and that he would 
receive nobody. I was occasionally inclined to 
fancy that some of those who called on me 
imagined that these instructions were of my own 
invention, and that I was simply keeping M. Zola 
au secret for purposes of my own. But nothing 
was further from the truth. 

Personally, at certain moments, when the 

revision proceedings began, when M. Brisson fell 

from office, when M. Dupuy, listening to the 

clamour of a pack of jackals, transferred the 



revision inquiry from the Criminal Chamber to the 
entire Court of Cassation, I thought that it might 
really be advisable for him to speak out. But, 
anxious though he was, disgusted, indignant, too, 
at times, he would do nothing to add fuel to the 
flame. Passions were roused to a high enough 
pitch already, and he had no desire to inflame 
them more. 

Besides, the cause was in very good hands ; 
Clemenceau and Vaughan, Yves Guyot and 
Reinach, Jaures and Gerault-Richard, Pressens, 
Comply, and scores of others were fighting 
admirably in the Press, and his intervention was 
not required. Many a man circumstanced as M. 
Zola was would have rushed into print for the 
mere sake of notoriety, but he condemned himself 
to silence, stifling the words which rose from his 
throbbing heart. And, after all, was not that 
course more worthy, more dignified ? 

Thus I could only return one answer to the 
newspaper men who wrote to me or called at my 
house. Late in the autumn there was an average 
of three applications a week. One or two gentle- 
men, I believe, imagined that M. Zola was staying 
very near me, and, failing to learn anything at my 


place, they tried to question one or two tradesmen 
in the neighbourhood. One of these, a grocer, 
became so irate at the frequent inquiries as to 
whether a Frenchman, who wrote books and had 
a grey beard, and wore glasses, was not staying in 
the vicinity, that he ended by receiving the 
reporters with far more energy than politeness, 
not only ordering them out of his shop at the 
double quick, but pursuing them with his vitupe- 
rative eloquence. ' Taking one consideration with 
another, a reporter's lot, at times, is not a happy 

A climax was reached when one gentleman, 
after communicating with M. Zola by letter 
through various channels and receiving no answer 
from him, ascertained my address and called there. 
As servants are not always to be depended upon, 
we had made it virtually a rule at home that 
whenever a stranger was seen at the front door my 
wife herself should, if possible, answer it. And 
she did so in the instance I am referring to. 

Well, the gentleman first asked for me, and, 

on learning that I was absent, he explained that 

he was a friend, a private friend of M. Zola, whom 

he wished to see on an important private matter. 



Could she, my wife, oblige him with M. Zola's 
address ? No, she could not ; he had better write, 
and his letter would be duly forwarded by me. 
Then the applicant started on another story. It 
was of no use his writing, he must see me. Should 
I be at home on the morrow ? The matter was of 
great importance, it would mean a large sum of 
money for myself and so on. My wife had not 
much confidence in what was told her, but she 
requested the visitor to leave his name and address 
in order that I might make an appointment 
with him, should I think such a course advisable. 

He thereupon wrote me a few lines in my 
dining-room, and then all at once had the cool 
impudence to tell my wife that he would then and 
there give her a matter of 2O/. or 2$l. if she would 
only tell him where he could find M. Zola, as the 
private interests at stake were so enormous ! 

She was, at the moment, far more amazed and 
amused than indignant. She bade the gentleman 
keep his money, and then showed him to the door. 
To me that evening she did not mention the 
incident, and, indeed, I only heard of it after I had 
taken the trouble to communicate with M. Zola 
respecting the gentleman's urgent private business, 



which (so it turned out) was purely and simply 
connected with journalism, my visitor having acted 
on behalf of the owner of a well-known London 

I do not know whether his principal had any 
knowledge of his impudent attempt at bribery. 
For my own part I much regret that my wife (I 
suppose in the interests of peace) should have kept 
it from me at the time as she did, for the gentle- 
man might otherwise have experienced, as he 
deserved, a rather unpleasant ten minutes. 





AT last the time arrived when it became necessary 
to remove M. Zola from his country quarters, and 
by his desire Wareham and I then looked around 
us for a suitable suburban hotel. The autumn was 
now far spent and M. Zola felt confident that he 
would be back in Paris by the end of the year. 
Had he foreseen that his exile would prove so long, 
he would certainly have sent for a couple of his 
French servants, and have set up a quiet establish- 
ment in some other furnished house. But for 
another month or two he considered that hotel 
accommodation would well suffice. 

The place selected for him by Wareham and 
myself was the Queen's Hotel, Upper Norwood, 
and there he remained from late in the autumn of 
1898 until his departure from England. 

A glance at the Queen's Hotel shows one that 


it is composed of what were once separate houses, 
now connected together by buildings of one storey 
only. Each of these houses, or, as one may per- 
haps call them, pavilions, has a separate entrance 
and staircase ; and the advantage of this, to one 
circumstanced as M. Zola was, must be obvious. 
A person lodging in one of the pavilions can come 
and go freely. There is no vast hall to cross, with 
a dozen servants standing around, ready to 
scrutinise you as you pass in and out. You have 
your suite of rooms in one or another pavilion, 
you take your meals there in your own dining- 
room, and you can shut yourself off, as it were, 
from the greater part of the establishment and 
enjoy privacy and quiet. This, no doubt, is the 
reason why many well-to-do people, who dislike 
the stir and bustle of the ordinary hotel, patronise 
the hostelry at Upper Norwood. 

There at one time when consulting Sir Morell 
Mackenzie, 1 believe stayed the unfortunate 
Emperor Frederick ; and now it may add to its 
list of patrons the most famous Frenchman of 
his day. 

It seemed to Wareham and me that the Queen's 
Hotel would, under the circumstances, prove an 
1 60 


ideal retreat for M. Zola. Moreover, Upper 
Norwood stands on very high ground, and it was 
probable therefore that he would largely escape 
the winter fogs. Of course the Crystal Palace was 
comparatively near, but it was not very largely 
patronised in the winter, and, besides, if M. Zola 
wished to escape a crowd, he had only to take his 
walks in another direction. 

The Queen's Hotel stands back from the road ; 
but, in the first instance, as a precautionary measure 
it was thought best to select for M. Zola a suite of 
rooms overlooking the extensive gardens. As 
time went on, however, the trees lost their last 
leaves, the vista from these rooms, charming enough 
in summer, became very cheerless. So the master's 
quarters were shifted to a larger suite on the ground 
floor, with the windows of the two communicating 
sitting-rooms overlooking both the road and the 

The two sitting rooms were an advantage, 
particularly during the time that Mmc. Zola stayed 
at the Queen's Hotel (for she joined her husband 
on and off), as he could devote one of them entirely 
to his work. But when Mme. Zola finally left 
England (in a very ailing state, after a terrible cold 
161 M 


had kept her within doors for some weeks) her 
husband moved once again, and installed himself 
on the second floor, where the rooms were smaller 
and therefore easier to warm. It was then mid- 

The various rooms M. Zola occupied and in 
which he spent from seven to eight months that 
is by far the greater portion of his exile were all 
part of the same house or pavilion, this being the 
last of the pavilions constituting the hotel proper. 
Adjoining is a lower building, belonging to the 
same proprietary as the hotel, but, in a measure, 
distinct from it. Most of M. Zola's tenancy was 
spent in the topmost rooms. After bringing the 
master up from the country, I took him one morn- 
ing down to Norwood, and he cordially approved 
of the arrangements which had been made for him. 
There was only one thing amiss. Wareham and I 
had been promised that he should have a waiter 
speaking French to attend on him ; and the one 
provided knew perhaps just a few words of that 
language. However, he was very intelligent, very 
discreet, very willing to oblige a pattern waiter of 
the good old English school. And when I had 
explained to him exactly what would be required, 


he took due note of everything, and for many 
months the arrangements that were made worked 
virtually without a hitch. 

If M. Zola's surroundings had altered, the 
routine of his life remained the same as formerly. 
With regard to his novel ' Fecondit6 ' he had, as 
the saying goes, ' warmed to his work,' which he 
pursued at the Queen's Hotel with unflagging 

Knowing his habits I never (unless under 
exceptional circumstances) visited him till he had 
finished his daily quantum of ' copy,' that was about 
the luncheon hour. Then we would talk business, 
communicate to one another such news as might 
be necessary, and at times exchange impressions 
with regard to the incidents of the day. 

Among other matters often discussed were the 
English birth-rate and the rearing of English 
children, points which deeply interested M. Zola, 
as they were germane to the subject of ' FeconditeV 
I could at first only give him general information, 
but the Rev. R. Ussher, vicar of Westbury, Bucks, 
the able author of ' Neo-Malthusianism,' very 
kindly sent me a copy of his exhaustive work, 
which contained many particulars on the points 
163 M 2 


that principally interested M. Zola. Moreover, 
Mr. George P. Brett, the President of the Macmillan 
Company of New York (M. Zola's American 
publishers), supplied him with some interesting 
information respecting the United States. 

With regard to England, M. Zola had been 
much struck by certain proceedings instituted 
during his exile against medical men, midwives, 
and others, proceedings which seemed to point to 
the existence in this country of a state of affairs 
much akin to that prevailing in France. The 
affair of the brothers Chrimes, who first sold bogus 
medicines and then proceeded to blackmail the 
women who had purchased them, was, in Zola's 
estimation, particularly significant, for here were 
hundreds and hundreds of Englishwomen applying 
to those men for the means of accomplishing the 
greatest crime against Nature there could be. 

On that point M. Zola spoke in no uncertain 
language. He understood well enough that the 
authorities could not justly single out a few of 
those hundreds of women for prosecution and 
punishment : but he censured the women quite as 
much as he censured the convicted men, who were, 
after all, but common scoundrels. 


And he was amazed to find that so few English 
newspapers ventured to speak out on the matter. 
There were plenty of leaderettes on the cunning 
shown by the men, but the alacrity of the women 
to purchase the bogus medicines was, as a rule, 
lightly passed over ; and great as is M. Zola's 
admiration for the British Press in many respects, 
he could but regard its attitude towards the Chrimes 
case as lamentably inadequate and lacking in 
moral courage. 

' A great responsibility,' said he, ' rests with 
those who, possessing commanding influence, 
refrain from requisite action, and who, instead of 
seeking to cure proved and acknowledged evils, 
connive at driving them beneath the surface, 
where, in secret, they steadily grow and expand.' 
And all this for the sake of the ' young person,' to 
whose mythical innocence the welfare of a whole 
nation is often sacrificed. M. Zola's views are 
summed up in the words : ' Let all be exposed 
and discussed, in order that all may be cured ! ' 

He regards Neo-Malthusianism and its practices 
as abominable, and when he had learnt more of 
the actual situation in England he was empha- 
tically of opinion that his book ' Fecondite,' though 


applied to France alone, might well, with little 
alteration, be applied to this country also. 

The fluctuations in the English birth-rate from 
1872 to 1897 were to him full of meaning. At a 
certain period, for instance, they showed all the 
harm wrought by the abominable Bradlaugh- 
Besant campaign. But what he dwelt on still 
more was the absolute physical incapacity of so 
many English mothers to suckle their own off- 
spring. Circumstances are much the same both in 
France and the United States, at least among the 
older Colonial families. In three or four genera- 
tions the women of a family in which the practice 
of suckling has ceased, are altogether unable to 
give the breast ; and the ' bottle ' ensues, with its 
thousand evils and a gradual deterioration of 
the race. 

On the last occasion when James Russell 
Lowell came to England he was asked what 
change, if any, he remarked since his last visit, 
among the people he met, and he replied that he 
was most struck by the falling off in height, and 
breadth of shoulders, of the average man in the 
London streets. 

Though matters have not yet reached such a 
1 66 


point as in France and elsewhere, it is I think 
incontestable that the English race, like many 
another, is physically deteriorating. Athletics 
tend to improve the standard, but there must be 
proper material to work upon, and M. Zola, I 
found, held the view that for a race to be healthy 
its womenfolk should be willing and able to dis- 
charge the primary duties of Nature. When he 
discovered that so many Englishwomen would 
not or could not suckle their babes, he remarked 
that England had started on the same downward 
course as France. 

He often watched the troops of nursemaids and 
children whom he met during his afternoon strolls. 
He noticed and told me how many of the former 
neglected their charges, standing about, flirting or 
gossiping, or looking into shop windows, while the 
baby in the bassinette or the mail-cart sucked 
away at that vile invention the bone and gutta- 
percha ' soother,' and he was astonished that ladies 
should apparently consider it beneath them to 
accompany baby on the promenade. Indeed the 
invariable absence of the mothers gave him a rather 
bad opinion of them : for surely they must know 
that many of the nurse-girls neglected the infants 


and yet they exercised no supervision. ' Of 
course,' said he, ' they are visiting or receiving, or 
reading novels, or bicycling or playing lawn tennis. 
Ah ! well, that is hardly my conception of a 
mother's duty towards her infant, whatever be her 
station in life.' 

Now and again at intervals I accompanied him 
on his afternoon walks. These generally took a 
semi-circular form. We descended from the 
plateau of Upper Norwood on one side to climb 
to it again on another. Sometimes we passed by 
way of Beulah Spa, then round by some fields and 
a recreation ground, with the name of which I am 
not acquainted. There were several shapely oak 
trees thereabouts, which he greatly admired and 
even photographed. 

' Do you know,' he remarked to me one after- 
noon,' when I come out all alone for my usual con- 
stitutional, and want to shake off some worrying 
thoughts, I often amuse myself by counting the 
number of hairpins which I see lying on the foot- 
pavement. Oh ! you need not laugh, it is very 
curious, I assure you. I already had ideas for two 
essays one on the capital " I " in its relation to the 
English character, and another on the physiology 
1 68 


of the English "guillotine" window and the forms 
it affects, not forgetting the circumstance that 
whenever an architect introduces a French window 
into an English house, it invaribly opens outwardly 
so as to be well buffeted by the wind, instead of 
into the room as it should do. Well, now I am 
beginning to think that I might write something 
on the carelessness of Englishwomen in fastening 
up their hair, and the phenomenal consumption of 
hairpins in England. For the consumption must 
be enormous since the loss is so great, as I will 
show you.' 

Then he proceeded to ocular demonstration. 
As we walked on for half an hour or so, prin- 
cipally along roads bordered by the umbrageous 
gardens of villa residences, we counted all the 
hairpins we could see. There were about four 
dozen. And he was careful to point out that we 
had chiefly followed a route where there was but 
a moderate amount of traffic. 

Not one man in a thousand probably would 
have thought of counting the lost hairpins in the 
streets ; but then M. Zola is an observer, and if I 
tell this anecdote, which some may think puerile, 
it is by way of illustrating his powers of observation 


and the length to which he occasionally carries 

On one point, I told him, he was rather in the 
wrong. The great loss of hairpins did not proceed 
so much from the carelessness of women in 
fastening their hair, as from their ' pennywise and 
pound-foolish ' system of buying cheap hairpins 
with few and inefficient 'twists.' These cheap 
hairpins never ' caught ' properly in their coiled-up 
tresses. The women went out, walked rapidly, 
tossed their heads perchance, and one at least of 
their hairpins fell to the ground. Supposing one 
hundred women passed along a certain road or 
street in the course of the day, it would not be 
surprising to find that at least thirty hairpins 
were lost there. And I concluded by saying that, 
to the best of my belief, the aforesaid hairpins 
were ' made in Germany.' 

Another thing which amused and interested 
M. Zola when he took his walks around Norwood 
was to note the often curious and often high- 
sounding names bestowed on villa residences. As 
a rule the smaller the place the more grandiose 
the appellation bestowed on it. Some of the 
names M. Zola, having now made progress with 


his English, could readily understand ; others, too, 
were virtually French, such as Bellevue, Beaumont, 
and so forth ; but there were several that I had 
to interpret, such as Oakdene, Thornbrake, 
Beechcroft, Hillbrow, Woodcote, Fernside, Fair- 
holme, Inglenook, etc. And there was one name 
that I could not explain to him at all an awful 
name, which I fancied might be Gaelic or Celtic, 
though I appealed in vain to Scottish, Irish, and 
Welsh friends for an interpretation of its meaning. 
It was written thus : ' Ly-ee-Moon.' 

Nobody of my acquaintance was able to 
explain it to me. M. Zola wrote it down in his 
memorandum-book as an abstruse puzzle. However, 
while this narrative was appearing in the ' Evening 
News,' several correspondents kindly informed me 
that Ly-ee-Moon (at times written ' Lai-Mun ') was 
Chinese, being the name of a narrow passage or 
strait between the island of Hong-Kong and the 
mainland of China (now transferred to Great 
Britain), at the eastern entrance to the harbour 
of the city of Victoria on the island. 

It seems also that Ly-cc-Moon is a name often 
given to ships sailing in the China seas. And in 
the case of the Norwood house, built by a retired 


shipowner and sea captain, the name was taken 
from a vessel plying on the Australian coast for 
many years, and ultimately wrecked with great 
loss of life. The owner of the Norwood house had 
an engraving of the ship executed on a plate-glass 
window of his hall. Until these explanations 
reached me both M. Zola and myself were quite 
as much at sea (with regard to ' Ly-ee-Moon ' ) 
as ever its owner and captain was. 

When I spent an afternoon at Norwood with 
M. Zola we generally returned to the hotel about 
half-past four for a cup of tea. And on the way 
back (particularly during the last months) I 
frequently purchased postage stamps for him at 
the chief post-office. He might, of course, have 
bought them himself, and as a matter of fact he 
did at times do so. But he was aware, I think, 
that he was regarded with some suspicion by the 
the young lady clerks under the control of the 
Duke of Norfolk. 

At certain periods, Christmas time and the 
New Year, for instance, M. Zola's correspondence 
became extensive, and on the first occasion when 
he entered the Upper Norwood post-office and 
asked for fifty 2.\d. stamps he was looked at with 


surprise. When, a couple of days later, he applied 
for another fifty, the young ladies eyed him as if 
he were a genuine curiosity. A hundred 2\d. 
stamps in four days ! What could he do with 
them ? Nobody could tell. When, shortly after- 
wards, he returned for another supply of the same 
kind, the Norwood post-office was convulsed. 
And I doubt if even now some of the young ladies 
have quite got over that brief but extraordinary 
run on the so-called ' foreign stamp.' 

I hope they do not imagine that M. Zola was 
hungry, and bought those stamps to eat. 





THE winter was hardly a cold one, but it proved 
very tempestuous, and Upper Norwood, standing 
high as it does, felt the full force of the gales. 
Christmas found M. Zola alone ; still, this did not 
particularly affect him, as Christmas, save as a 
religious observance, is but little kept up in France, 
where festivity and holiday-making are reserved 
for the New Year. In M. Zola's rooms the only 
token of the season was a huge branch of mistletoe 
hanging over the chimney-piece. This he had 
bought himself, after I had told him of the privi- 
leges that attached to mistletoe in England. 
There were, however, no young ladies to kiss, and, 
if I remember rightly, Mme. Zola, who had been 
absent in Paris, did not return to Norwood until 
a day or two before the New Year. 

While her husband formed a fairly favourable 


opinion of England, its customs and its climate, 
Mme. Zola, I fear, was scarcely pleased with this 
country. At all events, she finally left it vowing 
that she would never return. But then for three or 
four weeks bronchitis and kindred ailments had 
kept her absolutely imprisoned in her room her 
illness lasting the longer, perhaps, because she was 
unwilling to place herself in the hands of any 
medical man. 

The New Year was but a day or two old, when 
one of the London morning newspapers announced 
with a great show of authority that an application 
for the extradition of M. Zola was imminent. 
Somebody, moreover, informed the same journal 
that he had recognised and interviewed M. Zola an 
evening or two previously, to which statement 
was appended a brief account of some of M. Zola's 
views. All this amazed me the more as on the 
very day mentioned in the newspaper I had been 
with the master till nine r.M. and I could hardly 
believe that anybody had interviewed him after 
that hour. Moreover, my wife had since seen him, 
and he had said nothing to her of any visit or 
interview. Nevertheless, as other papers proceeded 
to copy the statements to which I have referred, I 


thought it as well to communicate with our exile 
on the subject. 

Through the carelessness of one of M. Zola's 
friends, Wareham's name and address had lately 
been given to an English journalist usually resident 
in Paris, and this journalist had then come to Lon- 
don to try to discover the master's whereabouts. 
It was therefore possible that there might be some 
truth in the story. But M. Zola promptly wired 
to me that such was not the case, and followed up 
his telegram with a note in which he said : 

' My dear confrere and friend, I have just 
telegraphed to you that the whole story of a 
journalist having interviewed me is purely and 
simply a falsehood. I have seen nobody. Again, 
there can be no question of extradition in my 
case ; all that could be done would be to serve me 
with the judgment of the Assize Court. Those 
people don't even know what they write about. 

' As for 's indiscretion, this is to be 

regretted. I am writing to him. For the sake of 
our communications, I have always desired that 
Wareham's name and address should be known 
only to those on whom one can depend. Tell him 
that he must remain on his guard and never 


acknowledge that he knows my address. Persevere 
in that course yourself. I will wait a few days to 
see if anything occurs before deciding whether the 
correspondence arrangements should be altered. 
It would be a big affair ; and I should afterwards 
regret a change if it were to prove uncalled for. 
Let us wait.' 

Going through the many memoranda and notes 
I received from M. Zola during his exile, I also 
find this, dated February : ' You did right to 

refuse Mr. my address. I absolutely decline 

to see anybody. No matter who may call on you, 
under whatever pretext it be, preserve the silence 
of the tomb. Less than ever am I disposed to let 
people disturb me.' 

Again, a little later : ' No ; I will see neither 
the gentleman nor the lady. Tell them so 
distinctly, in order that they may worry you no 

With the New Year, it will be remembered, had 
come a succession of startling events which kept 
M. Zola in a state of acute anxiety. The violent 
attacks of the anti-Revisionists on the Criminal 
Chamber of the Cour de Cassation culminated in 
the resignation of Q. de Bcaurepairc, in an inquiry 
177 N 


into the Criminal Chamber's methods of investiga- 
tion, and finally in the passing of a law which 
transferred the task of the Criminal Chamber to 
the whole of the Supreme Court. On the many 
intrigues of that period I often conversed with 
M. Zola, who was particularly angered by the 
blind opposition of President Faure and the 
impudent duplicity of Prime Minister Dupuy. 
These two were undoubtedly doing their utmost to 
impede the course of justice. 

Then suddenly, on February 17, came a 
thunderbolt Faure had died on the previous 
evening, and by his death one of the greatest 
obstacles to the triumph of truth was for ever 
removed. We talked of the defunct president at 
some length, M. Zola adhering to the opinions 
that he had expressed during the summer, 

But the great question was who would succeed 
M. Faure. When M. Brisson had fallen from 
office after initiating the Revision proceedings, 
M. Zola had said to me : ' Brisson's present fall 
does not signify ; it was bound to come. But 
hereafter he will reap his reward for his courage in 
favouring revision. Brisson will be Faure's 
successor as President of the Republic.' 


In expressing this opinion M. Zola had imagined 
that Faure would live to complete his full term of 
office. His death in the very midst of the battle 
entirely changed the position. M. Brisson's time 
had not come, and considering his age it indeed 
now seemed as if he might never attain to the 
supreme magistracy. The future looked blank ; 
but M. Loubet was elected President, and a feeling 
of great relief followed. 

I have reason to believe that M. Zola regards 
the death of President Faure as the crucial turn- 
ing-point in the whole Dreyfus business. Had 
Faure lived every means would still have been 
employed to shield the guilty ; all the influence of 
the Elysee would, as before, have been brought to 
bear against the unhappy prisoner of Devil's 

During those January and February days 
M. Zola was an eager reader of the newspapers. 
Rumours of all kinds were in circulation, and once 
again in M. Zola's mind did despondency alternate 
with hopefulness. I must say, however, that he 
was not particularly impressed by Paul Derouledc's 
attempt to induce General Rogct to march on the 
Elyscc. He regards Deroulccle as a scarcely sane 


individual, and holds views on Parisian demonstra- 
tions which may surprise some of those who 
believe everything they read in the newspapers. 

These views may be epitomised as follows : 
The Government can always put down trouble in 
the streets when it desires to do so. If trouble 
occurs it is because the Government allows it. 
Three-fourths of the ' demonstrations ' that have 
taken place in Paris during the last year or two 
have been simply ' got up ' by professional agitators. 
The men who start the shouting and the marching 
are paid for their services, the tariff being as a rule 
two francs per demonstration. With 500 francs, 
that is 2O/., one can get 250 men together. 
These are joined by as many fools and a small 
contingent of enthusiasts, and then you have a 
rumpus on the boulevards, and half the news- 
papers in Europe announcing on the morrow : 
' Serious Disturbances in Paris. Impending 
Revolution.' Some people may ask, Where does 
the money for many of these demonstrations come 
from ? The answer is that it comes largely from 
much the same sources as those whence General 
Boulanger's funds were derived that is, from the 
Orlcanist party. 

1 80 


As for military insubordination, plotting, or 
anything of that kind, M. Zola often pointed out 
to me that no general could effect a revolution, 
for the simple reason that he could not rely on his 
men to follow him in an illegal attempt. It was 
quite possible that now and again other generals 
besides Boulanger had dreamt of overturning the 
Republic, but they had not the means to do so. 
It was as likely as not that the officer foolhardy 
enough to make the attempt would be shot in the 
back by some of the Socialists among the rank 
and file. Boulanger no doubt could have counted 
on a good many men and ' non-coms.,' as he 
was popular with them, but few if any officers 
above the rank of captain would have followed 

To-day, moreover, intense jealousy still reigns 
among the French general officers. There is not 
one among them of sufficient pre-eminence and 
popularity to gather round him a large contingent 
of military men of high rank for any political 
purpose. And this, of course quite apart from 
the opinions of the masses-- largely makes for a 
continuance of the Republican regime. 

With a weak Government in office, one with 


a policy of drift, everything may become possible ; 
but, so long as foresight and vigilance are shown, 
the Republic remains impregnable. If military 
malcontents become obstreperous it is only 
necessary to treat them as General Boulanger was 

I recollect hearing M. Yves Guyot, who was a 
member of the Cabinet which put down ' the brave 
general on the black horse,' and who was also one 
of the few French friends who visited M. Zola 
during his exile, give a brief account of some of 
the decisive steps which were taken to stop the 
Boulangist agitation. The Prefect of Police of 
that time was summoned to the Ministry of the 
Interior, where two or three members of the 
Government awaited his arrival. Amongst other 
orders given him was one (if I remember rightly) 
for the dissolution of M. Deroulede's c League of 
Patriots,' which then, as more recently, was at the 
bottom of much of the agitation. 

The Prefect hesitated ; he was afraid to execute 
his orders. ' Very well, then,' said M. Constans, 
M. Guyot, and others, ' you may regard your 
resignation as accepted ; you are not the man 
for the situation ; if you are afraid, there are 


plenty who are not ; and we shall immediately 
replace you.' 

That threat of the loss of office wrought an 
immediate change in the Prefect. He became as 
brave as he had been timorous, and with all due 
energy he proceeded to carry out his instructions. 
Boulangism was crushed and held up to public 
opprobrium and ridicule ; and but for the culpable 
weakness and connivance of M. Felix Faure and 
his favourite Prime Minister, M. Meline, it would 
never have revived in its varied forms of anti- 
Semitism, anti-Dreyfusism, etc. 

French functionaries, those of the Civil Service, 
are, as a rule, a docile set ; but every now and 
again a Government rinding some laxity among 
prefects and sub-prefects makes a few examples. 
Three or four prefects of departments are transferred 
in disgrace to less important towns ; two or three 
are cashiered, and the same method is followed 
with some of the sub-prefects. Thereupon, all the 
others, prefects and ' subs,' throughout the eighty 
and odd departments of France, hasten to show 
themselves vigilant and, if need be, energetic. 
Taking one consideration with another, this system 
of frightening the prefects into obedience and 


vigilance has, so far as the maintenance of public 
order is concerned, answered admirably well 
whenever it has been applied during the last fifty 
years. It has undoubtedly been adopted at times 
for the furtherance of purely despotic or arbitrary- 
aims ; but if ever it was justified such was the case 
during the Dreyfus agitation. If the Government 
had not connived, for purposes of its own, at 
the proceedings of what the French call the 
' militarist' party, there would have been no turmoil 
at all. 

But those in power desired to shield culprits of 
high rank and to defend the effete organisation 
of the French War-office. And those who thus 
misused the power they held, who sacrificed the 
national interests, who trampled truth and justice 
under foot, and rendered their country an object of 
amazement, distrust, and ridicule throughout the 
length and breadth of Europe (Russia not excepted) 
will be censured and condemned in no uncertain 
voice by the France of to-morrow. 

But I am forgetting the prefects and sub- 
prefects. I mentioned them partly because M. 
Zola himself might have been one of them. It is 
not generally known, I believe, that at the time of 


the Franco-German war he in some degree assisted 
one of the sub-prefects in the discharge of his 
duties, and (had he only so chosen) might even 
have become a sub-prefect himself. He had been 
an opposition, a Republican journalist, before the 
fall of the Empire, and M. Gambetta, during his 
virtual dictatorship throughout the latter part of 
the Franco-German war, was very fond of appoint- 
ing journalists of that description to office, both 
in the army and the Civil Service. M. Zola, then, 
might have become a sub-prefect to begin with ; 
and, later, a full-blown prefect. Picture him in a 
cocked hat and a uniform bedizened with gold lace, 
and with a slender sword dangling by his side. 
That, at all events, was how sub-prefects and 
prefects used to array themselves when ' in the 
exercise of their functions.' 

I doubt if M. Zola would ever have made a 
good functionary. His character is too inde- 
pendent, and in all likelihood he would have 
resigned the very first time that he happened to 
have ' a few words ' with his Minister. But politics 
having caught him in their grasp he would 
doubtless (like the few functionaries of independent 
views who throw up their posts in France) have 


next come forward as a candidate for the Chamber 
or the Senate. And then why not ? He might 
have been an Under-Secretary of State, later a 
Minister, and finally President of the Republic. 
True, as he himself knows, and readily admits, he 
is no orator ; but then orators are not always the 
men who get on in France. Thiers was a ready 
and fluent speaker, but MacMahon could scarcely 
say (or learn by heart) twenty consecutive words. 
Grevy, it is true, could be long-winded, prosy, and 
didactic ; but the powers of elocution which Carnot 
and Felix Faure possessed were infinitesimal. And 
so the idea of Emile Zola, President of the 
Republic, may not be so far-fetched after all, 
particularly when one remembers Zola's great 
powers of observation, analysis, and foresight. 

Had he taken to politics in his younger days 
he would at least have made his mark in the career 
thus chosen. And it may be that, in some respects, 
French public life might then have been healthier 
than it has proved during the last quarter of a 
century. Perchance, too, on the other hand, many 
old maids and young persons, not to mention 
ecclesiastics and vigilance societies, would have 
been spared manifold pious ejaculations and gasps 
1 86 


of horror. Again, my poor father imprisoned, 
ruined, and hounded to his death might still have 
been alive. 

Unless some other courageous man had arisen 
to tear the veil away from before human life, such 
as it is in so-called civilised communities, and show 
society its own self in all its rottenness, foulness, 
and hypocrisy so that on more than one occasion, 
shrinking guiltily from its own image, it has 
denounced the plain unvarnished truth as libel- 
there would have been no ' Nana ' and no ' Pot 
Bouille,' no 'Assommoir,' and no 'Germinal.' And 
no ' La Terre.' ' La Debacle/ and ' Lourdes,' and 
1 Rome,' ' Paris,' and ' Fe"conditeY and all the other 
books that have flowed from Emile Zola's busy pen 
would have remained unwritten. But for my own 
part I would rather that the world should possess 
those books than that Zola when tempted, as he 
was, should have cast literature aside to plunge into 
the abominable and degrading vortex of politics. 

Like all men of intellect he certainly has his 
views on important political questions, and again 
and again he has enunciated them in the face of 
fierce opposition. In the Dreyfus case, however, 
he has been no politician, but simply the indignant 



champion of an innocent man. And his task over 
truth and justice vindicated, he asks no reward, no 
office ; he simply desires to take up his pen once 
more and revert to his life work : The delineation 
and exposure of the crimes, follies, and short- 
comings of society as now constituted, in order 
that those who are in politics, who control human 
affairs, may, in full knowledge of existing evils, do 
their utmost to remedy them and prepare the way 
for a better and a happier world. 





I CAN still see before me the sitting-room on the 
second floor of the Queen's Hotel, in which M. 
Zola spent so much of his time and wrote so many 
pages of ' F6condite ' during the last six months or 
so of his exile. A spacious room it was, if a rather 
low one, with three windows overlooking the 
road which passes the hotel. 

A very large looking-glass in a gilt frame 
surmounted the mantelpiece, on which stood two 
or three little blue vases. Paper of a light colour 
and a large flowing arabesque pattern with a broad 
frieze covered the walls. There was not a single 
picture of any kind in the room, neither steel 
engraving, nor lithograph, nor chromo ; and 
remembering what pictures usually are, even in 
the best of hotels, it was perhaps just as well that 
there should have been none in that room at 


the Queen's. Yet during the many hours I 
spent there the bareness of the walls often 
worried me. 

Against the one that faced the fireplace stood 
a small sideboard. Then on another side was a 
sofa, and here and there were half a dozen chairs. 
The room was rich in tables, it counted no fewer 
than five. On a folding card-table in one corner 
M. Zola's stock of letter and ' copy ' paper, his 
weighing scales for letters, his envelopes, pens, and 
pencils, were duly set out. Then in front of the 
central window was the table at which he worked 
every morning. It was of mahogany, little more 
than three feet long and barely two feet wide. 
Whenever he raised his eyes from his writing, he 
could see the road below him, and the houses 
across the way. On a similar table at another of 
the windows he usually kept such books and 
reviews as reached him from France. 

In the centre of the room, under the electric 
lights which, however, were only fitted towards 
the end of M. Zola's sojourn at the hotel, so 
that throughout the winter a paraffin lamp 
supplied the necessary illumination stood the 
table at which one lunched and dined. It was 



round and would just accommodate four persons. 
Finally, beside M. Zola's favourite arm-chair, 
near the fireplace, was a little gipsy table, on 
which he usually kept the day's newspapers, 
and perchance the volume he was reading at the 

A doorway on the same side as the fireplace 
gave ingress to the bedchamber, which was smaller 
than the sitting-room, and adequately, but by no 
means luxuriously furnished. 

On the little writing-table near the middle 
window were first a small inkstand belonging to 
the hotel, then a few paper-weights covering 
memoranda jotted down on little square pieces of 
paper, about three inches long either way, together 
with an old yellowish newspaper which did duty 
as a blotting pad ; and a pen with a ' j ' nib and 
a very heavy ivory handle, so heavy, indeed, that 
though the master often offered it to me I could 
never write with it. With this pen, however, he 
himself did all his work. That work he generally 
cleared away before lunch, and locked up in his 
bedroom wardrobe, so that by the time a visitor 
arrived there was never any litter in the sitting- 



The road, viewed from the writing-table window, 
was at times fairly lively. Nursemaids and 
children, bicyclists and others passed constantly 
to and fro. Stylish carriages also rolled by during 
the afternoon, and at intervals a little green 
omnibus went its way at a slow jog-trot. The 
detached villa residences on the other side of the 
road were, however, singularly lifeless. One day 
M. Zola remarked to me : ' I have never seen a 
soul in those houses during all the months I have 
been here. They are occupied certainly, for the 
window blinds are pulled up every morning and 
lowered every evening, but I can never detect who 
does this ; and I have never seen anybody leave 
the houses or enter them.' 

At last one afternoon he told me that one of 
these villas had woke up, for on the previous day 
he had espied a lady in the garden watering some 

Rather lower down the road there was a livelier 
house, one which had a balconied window, which 
was almost invaribly open, and here servants and 
children were often to be seen. 'That,' said M. 
Zola, ' is the one little corner of life and gaiety, 
amidst all the other silence and lack of life. 


Whenever I feel dull or worried I look over 

As a rule the Queen's Hotel itself is, as I have 
already mentioned, a very quiet place ; but now 
and again a wedding breakfast was given there. 
Broughams and landaus would then roll over the 
gravel sweep, and M. Zola and I would at times 
lean out of the windows and exchange opinions 
with respect to the bridal pair and the guests. 
What surprised and amused him, on one occasion 
when a wedding party came to the hotel, was to 
notice that all the coachmen of the carriages wore 
yellow flowers and favours ; for in France yellow 
is not only associated with jealousy, but also with 
conjugal faithlessness. 

' If those flowers are to be taken as an omen,' 
said M. Zola to me, ' that happy pair will soon be 
in the Divorce Court.' 

During the latter part of his stay at Norwood, 
when the door between his bed and sitting room 
remained open, one could see on a chest of drawers 
in the former apartment a pair of life-size porcelain 
cats, coloured a purplish maroon, with sparkling 
yellow glass eyes, and an abundance of fantastic 
yellow spots. These cats had been bought by him 
193 O 


as a souvenir of England and English art, for he 
was much struck by their oddity. He had been 
offered others for instance, white ones with little 
coloured landscapes printed all over their backs 
and sides surely as idiotic an embellishment as 
any insane potter could devise but although these 
had sorely tempted him he had finally decided in 
favour of the maroon and yellow abominations. 

A little girl of mine, who found herself face to 
face with those cats one day in his room, was 
quite startled by them, and has since expressed 
the opinion that Sir John Tenniel ought to have 
seen them before he drew the Cheshire cat for 
' Alice in Wonderland.' For my own part I can 
imagine the laughter and the jeers of M. Zola's 
artistic friends when those choice specimens of 
British art are shown to them in Paris. 

At intervals during his long sojourn at the 
Queen's Hotel M. Zola received a few brief visits 
from French friends, chiefly literary men and 
politicians, whose names need not be mentioned, 
but who have identified themselves with the cause 
of Revision. At times these gentlemen found 
themselves in London on other matters, and 
profited by the opportunity to run down to 


Norwood. On other occasions they made the 
journey from France for the especial purpose of 
quieting M. Zola's impatience, and telling him 
that he must not yet think of returning home. 
Again, M. Fasquelle, the French publisher, came 
over four or five times, now on business and now 
in a friendly way. 

I think that during the seven or eight months 
that M. Zola stayed at the Queen's Hotel, he 
received altogether some ten visits from com 
patriots, which visits were often of only an hour or 
two's duration. Thus, Mme. Zola having returned 
to France, he was frequently very much alone. 

During the last months of his exile my wife 
fell seriously ill, and I could not then go so often 
to Norwood. Afterwards ague caught me in its 
grip, and my visits ceased for two or three 
successive weeks. All I could do in an emergency 
was to place my eldest daughter or my son at 
M. Zola's disposal. 

The foreign visitors he received by foreign I 
mean non- French were (apart from the Ware- 
hams, myself and family) very few in number. I 
think that an eminent Russian publicistc who 
happened to be a personal friend (M. Zola has 
195 02 


long been popular in Russia, where even the 
Emperor has read many of his books) saw him on 
one occasion. Then, when M. Yves Guyot called, 
he brought with him an English friend who was 
pledged to secrecy. 

A well-known English novelist and art critic, 
M. Zola's oldest English friend, and his earliest 
champion in this country, likewise saw him. 
Further, in a friendly capacity he received an 
English journalist for whom he has much regard, 
and who came to see him quite apart from any 
journalistic matters. To this list I will add the 
names of Mr. Andrew Chatto and Mr. Percy 
Spalding, of Messrs Chatto and Windus, and Mr. 
George P. Brett, of the Macmillan Company of 
New York. 

Such, then, were M. Zola's visitors and guests 
say, apart from the Warehams, myself and 
family, less than a score of persons, the total 
duration of whose visits added together amounted 
perhaps to a hundred and twenty hours spread 
over many long and trying months. 

At times when we chatted together, M. Zola 
and myself, and mention was made of his friends 
of persons occasionally whom we both knew 


he referred feelingly to the many estrangements 
caused by the divergence of views on the Dreyfus 
affair. Friends of twenty and thirty years' standing, 
men who had laboured side by side often in pursuit 
of the same ideal, had not only quarrelled and 
parted but had assailed each other with the 
greatest virulence in the Press and at public 

Many whom he himself had regarded as close 
and sincere friends had trodden upon all the 
past and attacked him abominably, as though he 
were the veriest scum of the earth, Some in the 
earlier stages of the affair had hypocritically feigned 
sympathy, in order to provoke his confidence, and 
had then turned round to hold him up to execra- 
tion and ridicule. One or two had behaved so 
badly that he had refused ever to receive them at 
his house again. 

He spoke to me of an eminent French litttra- 
teur who at the outset of the agitation on behalf 
of Dreyfus had immediately promised his help, 
and had even prepared articles and appeals on 
behalf of the prisoner of Devil's Island. But this 
litterateur had of recent years been lapsing into 
mysticism, and at the behests of the reverend 


father his confessor, he had abruptly destroyed 
what he had written, and gone over to the other 
side to wage desperate warfare upon the cause he 
had promised to help. 

The writer in question (one who will probably 
leave a name in French literature) was tortured by 
the everlasting fear that he might go to hell when 
he died, and he was the more timorous, the more 
easily influenced by certain persons, as he suffered 
from a horrible, incurable complaint, and feared 
that his medical man a bigoted Romanist might 
abandon him to all the pangs of sudden death if 
he did not comply with the injunctions of the 

Then there was a friend of many years' stand- 
ing, a Minister in successive Cabinets, who feigned 
that by remaining in office he would be able to 
favour the cause, and who, instead of that, did his 
utmost against it. A playwright wrote : ' I am 
heartily with you, but for God's sake don't say it, 
for my plays might be hissed.' l Another pro- 
minent man started on a long journey to avoid 

1 Apropos of the stage, it is a curious circumstance that nine- 
tenths of ' the profession ' in France are ardent Dreyfusards. 
Nearly every actor and actress and vocalist of note has been on the 
same side as M. Zola from the outset. 



having to express any opinion. Nearly all the 
baser passions of humanity were made manifest 
in some degree treachery, rancour, jealousy, and 
moral and physical cowardice. 

But, of course, there was another and a brighter 
side to the picture. There were men of high 
intellect and courage who had not hesitated to 
state their views and plead for truth and justice, 
men who, when in office, had been arbitrarily 
suspended and removed. There were many who 
had risked their futures, many too who, after years 
of labour, were well entitled to rest and retirement, 
yet had come forward with all the ardour of youth 
to do battle for great principles and save their 
country from the shame of a cruel crime. 

Adversity makes one acquainted with strange 
bedfellows, and M. Zola was more than once 
struck by the heterogeneous nature of the Re- 
visionist army. He found men of such varied 
political and social views banded together for the 
cause. It all helped to remove sundry old-time 
prejudices of his. 

For instance, he said to me one day : ' I never 
cared much for the French Protestants ; I regarded 
them as people of narrow minds, fanatics of a 


kind, far less tolerant and human than the great 
mass of the Catholics. But they have behaved 
splendidly in this battle of ours, and shown them- 
selves to be real men.' 

All through the spring M. Zola eagerly followed 
the inquiry which the Cour de Cassation was 
conducting, and when M. Ballot-Beaupre" was 
appointed reporter to the Court, there came a 
fresh spell of anxiety. M. Ballot-Beaupr6 is a 
man of natural piety, and the anti-Revisionist news- 
papers, basing themselves on his religious views, 
at first made certain that he would show no mercy 
to the Jew Dreyfus, but would report strongly in 
favour of the prisoner's guilt. Certain Dreyfusite 
journals, on the other hand, bitterly attacked the 
learned judge for his supposed clerical leanings ; 
and indeed so much was insinuated that M. Zola 
for a short time half believed it possible that 
M. Ballot-Beaupre" might show himself hostile to 

When I saw M. Zola he repeatedly expressed 
to me his feelings of disquietude. Then every- 
thing suddenly changed. Certain newspapers 
discovered that M. Ballot-Beaupre", if pious, was 
by no means a fanatic, and, further, that he was 



a very sound lawyer, much respected by his 
colleagues. This cleared the atmosphere, for it 
seemed impossible that any man of rectitude and 
judgment could pass over the damning revelations 
which the Cour de Cassation's inquiry, as pub- 
lished in ' Le Figaro,' had produced. 

Time went on, and at last the issue, so fre- 
quently postponed, so longingly awaited, came in 
sight. The week before the public proceedings of 
the Cour de Cassation opened M. Zola said to me : 
' I shall have finished the last chapter of " Fecon- 
dite"" by Saturday or Sunday, so I shall have my 
hands quite free and be able to give all my atten- 
tion to what takes place at the Courts. I am 
hopeful, yes, very hopeful, and yet at moments 
some horrid doubt will spring up to torture me. 
But no ! you'll see, our cause will gain the day, 
revision will be granted, and justice will be 

And at last came the fateful week which was to 
prove the accuracy of his surmises. 





I SPENT the afternoon of Saturday, May 27, with 
M. Zola, and we then spoke of the proceedings 
impending before the Cour de Cassation. All our 
information pointed to the conclusion that the 
Court would give judgment on the Saturday 
following, and it was decided that M. Zola should 
return to France a few days afterwards. The date 
ultimately agreed upon was Tuesday, June 6, and 
the train selected was that leaving Charing Cross 
for Folkestone at 2.45 in the afternoon. 

Though according to every probability the 
Court's judgment would be in favour of revision, 
M. Zola was resolved to return home whatever 
might be the issue, and such were his feelings on 
the matter that nothing any friend might have 
urged would have prevented him from doing so. 
As a matter of fact one friend did regard the return 


as somewhat unwise, and intimated it both by 
telegram and letter. This compelled me to see 
M. Zola again on the following Tuesday (May 30), 
but the objections were overruled by him, and the 
arrangements which had been planned were 
adhered to. 

M. Zola had now drafted the declaration which 
he proposed issuing on the morrow of his return 
home, and this he gave me to read. It was the 
article 'Justice,' published in 'L'Aurore,' to which I 
have occasionally referred in the course of the 
present narrative. 

I left M. Zola rather late that Tuesday night 
in the expectation that everything which had been 
arranged would follow in due course. As the 
writing of ' Fcondit6 ' was now finished he had 
time on his hands, and a part of this he proposed 
to devote to taking a few final snapshots of 
Norwood, the Crystal Palace, and surrounding 
scenery. He needed something to do, for he could 
not sit hour by hour in his room at the Queen's 
Hotel anxiously waiting for news of the proceedings 
at the Paris Palais dc Justice. 

For my part I had begun to prepare the present 
narrative, and as he would not listen to my 


repeated offers to take him to the Derby, it was 
arranged that I should not see him again until the 
end of the week. On Friday, however, reports 
were already in circulation to the effect that 
M. Fasquelle (M. Zola's French publisher) had 
come to London for the purpose of escorting him 

This was true, and I foresaw that the rumours 
might lead to some modification of our programme ; 
for M. Zola did not wish his return to have any 
public character. He had forbidden all the 
demonstrations which his friends in Paris were 
anxious to arrange in his honour, declaring that he 
desired to go back quietly and privately, and then 
at once place himself at the disposal of the 
public prosecutor. 

On Friday I sent my daughter Violette to 
Norwood with a parcel of M. Zola's photographs, 
received by Messrs. Chatto and Windus from Miss 
Loie Fuller, who being greatly interested in the 
Clarence Ward of St. Mary's Hospital, particularly 
wished M. Zola to sign these portraits in order 
that they might be sold at a bazaar which was to 
be held for the benefit of the hospital referred to. 
I told my daughter that I should myself go down 


to the Queen's Hotel on the morrow, and she 
brought me back a message to the effect that I 
really must go, as complications had arisen, and 
M. Zola particularly desired to see me. 

On the following day, Saturday, I therefore 
betook myself to Norwood with a parcel of 
M. Zola's books, which I had received from Messrs. 
Macmillan & Co. on behalf of the Countess of 
Bective, who (prompted by the same spirit as Miss 
Loie Fuller) wished to sell these volumes at the 
' Bookland ' stall on the occasion of the Charing 
Cross Hospital Bazaar. And when I arrived I 
found indeed that it was most desirable that the 
programme of M. Zola's departure should be 

He had already seen M. and Mme. Fasquelle, 
the former of whom was much annoyed at the 
reports of his presence in London, and thought it 
most advisable to precipitate the departure. Delay 
might, indeed, be harmful if it was desired to avoid 
demonstrations. Besides, why should he wait 
until the ensuing Tuesday ? Why not return the 
very next night that of Sunday, June 4 by the 
Dover and Calais route ? Mme. Fasquelle had 
declared that she in no way objected to travelling 


at night time ; and so far as the departure from 
London was concerned, there would be few people 
about on a Sunday evening, which was another 
point to be considered. I cordially assented, for 
now that the imminence of M. Zola's return to 
Paris had been reported in the newspapers it was 
certain that delay meant a possibility of demon- 
strations both for and against him. In spite of his 
prohibition, many of his friends still wished to greet 
him like a conquering hero on his arrival at the 
Northern Railway Station in Paris. And the 
other side would unfailingly send out its recruiting 
agents to assemble a contingent of loafers at two 
francs per demonstration, who would be duly 
instructed to yell ' Conspuez,' and ' A bas les juifs.' 
Then a brawl would inevitably follow. 

Now M. Zola (as I have already mentioned) 
did not wish for a homecoming of that kind. 
There was no question of refusing to 'face the 
music,' of shunning a hostile crowd, and so forth. 
It was purely and simply a matter of dignity and 
of doing nothing that might lead to a disturbance 
of the public peace. The triumph of justice was 
undoubtedly imminent, and it must not be followed 
by disorder. 



When I had expressed my concurrence in the 
views held by M. Zola and M. Fasquelle, M. Zola 
and I attended to business. First came the ques- 
tion of Lady Bective's books, in each of which a 
suitable inscription was inserted. Afterwards, in a 
friend's birthday book M. Zola inscribed his famous, 
epoch-making phrase, ' Truth is on the march, and 
nothing will be able to stop it.' Finally, a few 
brief notes were written and posted, and work was 

For a little while we chatted together. Some 
notable incidents connected with the interminable 
Affair had occurred during the last few days. 
Colonel du Paty de Clam, for whose arrest the 
Revisionist journals had clamoured so long and so 
pertinaciously, had at last been cast into prison. 
In M. Zola's estimation, the Colonel's arrest had 
been merely a question of time ever since the day 
when one had learnt that he had disguised himself 
with a false beard and blue glasses when he went 
to meet the notorious Esterhazy. 

' A man may be guilty of any misdeed and may 

yet find forgiveness and even favour,' M. Zola had 

then said to me, 'but he must not make himself, 

his profession, and his cause ridiculous. In France, 



as you know, " ridicule kills." The false beard 
and the blue spectacles, following the veiled lady, 
are decisive. One need scarcely trouble any 
further about M. du Paty de Clam. His fate is as 
good as sealed.' 

And now that the Colonel had at last been 
arrested, the master remarked, ' The military party 
is throwing him over to us as a kind of sop ; it 
would be delighted to make him the general scape- 
goat, and thereby save all the other culprits. But 
it won't do. There are men higher placed than 
Du Paty who must bear their share of censure and, 
if need be, punishment.' 

Then we spoke of Esterhazy, ' that fine type for 
a melodrama or a novel of the romantic school,' as 
M. Zola often remarked. The Commandant had 
just acknowledged to the ' Times ' and the ' Daily 
Chronicle' that the famous bordereau had been 
penned by him, and we laughed at the remem- 
brance of his squabbles on this subject with the 
proprietress of another newspaper. How indig- 
nantly he had then denied having ever acknow- 
ledged the authorship of the bordereau, and how 
complacently he now admitted it ! As for the 
circumstances under which he asserted the docu- 



ment to have been written, M. Zola could make 
nothing of them. ' So far, the explanations explain 
nothing,' said he ; ' take them whichever way you 
will, there is no sense, no plausibility even, in them. 
Hitherto I always thought Esterhazy a very shrewd 
and clever man, but after reading his statements 
in the " Times " and the " Chronicle " I no longer 
know what to think. Still, one point is gained ; 
he admits having written the bordereau, and others 
hereafter will tell us the exact circumstances under 
which he did so. Colonel Sandherr, at whose 
bidding he says he wrote it, is dead ; but others 
who know a great deal about him are still alive.' 

While M. Zola thus expressed himself, we sat 
face to face, he in his favourite arm chair on one side 
of the fireplace, and I on the other, in the familiar 
room, with its three windows overlooking the lively 
road, while all around curvetted the scrolls and 
arabesques of the light fawn-tinted wall paper. 
And after chatting about Du Paty and Esterhazy 
we gradually lapsed into silence. It was a fateful 
hour. There were ninety-nine probabilities out of 
a hundred that the decision of the Cour de Cassa- 
tion would be given that same afternoon ; and 
whatever that decision might be we felt certain that 
209 p 


before it was made public by any newspaper in 
London we should be apprised of it. We knew that 
five minutes after judgment should have been 
pronounced a telegram would be speeding through 
the wires to the Queen's Hotel, Norwood. 

M. Zola did not tell me his thoughts, yet I 
could guess them. We can generally guess the 
thoughts of those we love. But the hours went by 
and nothing came. How long they were, those 
judges ! Whatever could be the cause of their 
delay ? Surely trained, practised men that they 
were, men who had spent their lives in seeking and 
proclaiming the truth surely no element of doubt 
could have penetrated their minds at the final, the 
supreme moment. 

Ah ! the waiter entered, and there on his salver 
lay a buff envelope, within which must surely be 
the ardently awaited message that would tell us of 
victory or defeat. M. Zola could scarcely tear 
that envelope open ; his hands trembled violently. 
And then came an anti-climax. The wire was 
from M. Fasquelle, who announced that he and 
his wife were inviting themselves to dinner at 
Norwood that evening. 

It was welcome news, but not the news so 


impatiently expected. And, at last, suspense 
becoming intolerable, I resolved to go out and try 
to purchase some afternoon newspapers. 

There had been rumours to the effect that as 
each individual judge might preface his decision 
by a declaration of the reasons which prompted it, 
the final judgment might after all be postponed 
until Monday. Both M. Zola and I had thought 
this improbable ; still, there was a possibility of 
such delay, and perhaps it was on account of a 
postponement of the kind that the telegram we 
awaited had not arrived. 

I scoured Upper Norwood for afternoon papers. 
There was, however, nothing to the point at that 
hour (about five P.M.) in ' The Evening News,' the 
' Globe,' the ' Echo,' the ' Star,' the ' Sun,' the three 
' Gazettes.' They, like we, were ' waiting for the 
verdict.' I went as far as the lower level station 
in the hope of finding some newspaper that might 
give an inkling of the position, and I found nothing 
at all. It was extremely warm, and I was some- 
what excited. Thus I was perspiring terribly by 
the time I returned to the hotel, to learn that no 
telegram had come as yet, that things were still in 
statu quo. 

211 '2 


Then all at once the waiter came up again with 
another buff envelope lying on his plated salver. 
And this time our anticipations were realised ; 
here at last was the expected news. M. Zola read 
the telegram, then showed it to me. 

It was brief, but sufficient. ' Cheque postponed,' 
it said ; and Zola knew what those words meant. 
' Cheque paid ' would have signified that not only 
had revision been granted, but that all the proceed- 
ings against Dreyfus were quashed, and that he 
would not even have to be re-tried by another 
court-martial. And in a like way ' cheque unpaid ' 
would have meant that revision had been refused 
by the Court. ' Cheque postponed ' implied the 
granting of revision and a new court-martial. 

The phraseology of this telegram, as of previous 
ones, had long since been arranged. For months 
many seemingly innocent ' wires ' had been full of 
meaning. There had been no more enigmatical 
telegrams, as at the time of Henry's arrest and 
death, but telegrams drafted in accordance with 
M. Zola's instructions and each word of which was 
perfectly intelligible to him. 

It often happened that the newspaper corre- 
spondents ' were not in it.' Things were known 



to M. Zola and at times to myself hours and even 
days before there was any mention of them in 
print. The blundering anti-Dreyfusites have often 
if not invariably overlooked the fact that their 
adversaries number men of acumen, skill, and 
energy. Far from it being true that money has 
played any role in the affair, everything has virtually 
been achieved by brains and courage. In fact, 
from first to last, the Revisionist agitation, whilst 
proving that the Truth must always ultimately 
conquer, has likewise shown the supremacy of true 
intellect over every other force in the world, 
whether wealth, or influence, or fanaticism. 

But I must return to M. Zola. He now knew 
all he wished to know. As there had been no 
postponement of the Court's decision there need 
be none of his return. A telegram to Paris 
announcing his departure from London was hastily 
drafted and I hurried with it to the post-office, 
meeting on my way M. and Mme. Fasquelle, 
who were walking towards the Queen's Hotel. 

We had a right merry little dinner that 

evening. We were all in the best of humours. 

M. Zola's face was radiant. A great victory 

had been won ; and then, too, he was going home ! 



He recalled the more amusing incidents of 
his exile ; it seemed to him, said he, as if for 
months and months he had been living in a dream. 

And M. Fasquelle broke in with a reminder 
that M. Zola must be very careful when he 
reached his house, and must in no wise damage 
the historic table for which he, Fasquelle, had 
given such a pile of money at the memorable 
auction in the Rue de Bruxelles. 

Ah, that table ! We were in a mood to laugh 
about anything, and we laughed at the thought of 
the table ; at the thought, too, of all the simple- 
minded folk who had imagined that they would be 
able to purchase 'souvenirs' at the auction so 
abruptly brought to an end. 

Then the Fasquelles, having been to the Oaks 
on the previous day, began to talk of Epsom, and 
the scene, unique in the whole world, which the 
famous racecourse presents during Derby week. 
M. Zola half regretted that he had missed going. 
' But I will go everywhere and see everything,' he 
repeated, ' the next time I come to England. I 
shall then be able to do so openly, without any 
playing at hide and seek. Oh, it won't be till 
after the Paris Exhibition, that is certain ; but I 


have written an oratorio for which Bruneau has 
composed the music, and if it is sung in London, 
as I hope, I shall come over and spend a month 
going about everywhere. But, of course,' he 
added, with a twinkle in his eyes, ' I have about 
two years' imprisonment to do as things stand, so I 
must make no positive promises.' 

The rest is soon told. Final arrangements 
were made, and we came away, M. and Mme. 
Fasquelle and myself, about ten o'clock. ' It is 
your last night of exile,' I said to M. Zola as I 
pressed his hand, ' and it will soon be over. You 
must try to sleep well. 1 

' Sleep ! ' he replied. ' Oh, there is no sleep 
for me to-night. From this moment I shall be 
counting the hours, the very minutes.' 

1 It will make a change for you, Vizetelly,' 
said M. Fasquelle, as he, Mme. Fasquelle, and 
myself walked towards the railway station. ' You 
will be missing him now.' 

This was true. All the routine, all the alertes, 
the meetings, the missions of those eleven months 
were about to cease abruptly. What had at 
first seemed to me novel had with time become 
confirmed habit, and for the first few days 


after M. Zola's departure I felt my occupation 

That departure took place, as arranged, on 
Sunday evening, June 4. It was the day when 
President Loubet was cowardly assailed at a race- 
meeting by the friends and partisans of the foolish 
Duke of Orleans ; but of all that we remained 
(pro tern.} in blissful ignorance. The Fasquelles 
went down to Norwood and brought M. Zola to 
Victoria. I was busy during the day preparing 
for the ' Westminster Gazette ' an English epitome 
of the declaration which ' L'Aurore ' was to publish 
on the morrow. That work accomplished, I met 
the others on their arrival in town. Wareham had 
been warned of the change in the programme on 
the previous night, and came up from Wimbledon 
with my wife. There was a hasty scramble of a 
dinner at a restaurant near Victoria. We were 
served, I remember, by a very amusing and 
familiar waiter, who, addressing M. Zola by pre- 
ference (I wonder if he recognised him ? ), kept on 
repeating that he was ' a citizen of the most noble 
Helvetian Confederation,' and assured us that 
potatoes for two would be ample, and that chicken 
for three would be as much as we should care to 


eat. 'Take this,' said he, 'it's to-day's. Don't 
have that, it was cooked yesterday.' And all this 
made us extremely merry. ' It seems to me more 
than ever that I am living in a dream,' said M. 
Zola after a final laugh. ' That waiter has given 
the finishing touch to my illusion.' 

The train started at nine P.M., and we had a 
full quarter of an hour at our disposal for our 
leave-takings in the dimly-lighted station. There 
were few passengers travelling that night, and few 
loiterers about. We made M. Zola take his seat 
in a compartment, and stood on guard before it 
talking to him. Only one gentleman, a short, 
dapper individual with mutton-chop whiskers 
(Wareham suggested that he looked like a barrister), 
paid any attention to the master, and, it may be, 
recognised him. For the rest, all went well. 
There were au revoirs and handshakes all round, 
and messages, too, for one and another. And M. 
Zola would have his little joke. ' If you should 
come across Esterhazy,' he said to me, ' tell him that 
I've gone back, and ask him when he's coming.' 

' Well,' I replied, ' he will probably want 
another safe-conduct before answering that 



' Do you think that a safe-conduct to take 
Dreyfus's place would suit him ? ' was M. Zola's 

But the clock was now on the stroke of the 
hour, the carriage doors were hastily closed, and 
the signal for departure was given. 

' Au revoir> au revoirT A last handshake, 
and the train started. For another half-minute 
we could see our dear and illustrious friend at his 
carriage window waving his arm to us. And then 
he was gone. The responsibility which had so 
long rested on Wareham and myself was ended ; 
Emile Zola's exile was virtually over : shortly 
after five o'clock on the following morning he 
would once more be in Paris, ready to take his 
part in the final, crowning act of one of the greatest 
dramas that the world has ever witnessed. Truth 
was still marching on, and assuredly nothing 
would be able to stop it. 


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Armadalt. f AfterDark 
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My Miscellanies. 
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From Midnight to Mid- 
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Mlm or Mrs. T 
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Man from Manchester. | Terrace. 
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BUck Blood. 
Double Cunning. 
A Bag of Diamond*. Ac 
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King of theCst!c 
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Eve at the Wheel. Ac. 
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Story of Antony Grace. 
This Man's Wife. 
In Jeopardy. 


One by One. I Rope* of Band. 

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Beth's Brother's Wife. I The Lawton Girl 
By PAUL GAULOT.-Th. RM shut*. 

Robin Gray. I The (lolrfen Shaft. 

n"? w?^*^ 1 "'*' Tl ' Br 

Of High Drgree. 

aS CMATTO & WlNDUS, Publishers, ill St. MaftHi's Lane, London, W.C 

THB PICCADILLY (3/6) NOVELS continued. 

The Loit Heiress. I The Golden Rock. 

A F air Colonist. Tales from the Veld. 

Tbe Fossicker. 

The Fate of Herbert Wayne 

Red Spider. | Eve. 


Corintuia Harazlon. 


The Days of bl> Vanity. 

The Track of a Storm. | Jetsam 


The Glamour of the Impossible. 


Under the Greenwood T 

By BRE1 

A Waif of the Plains. 
A Ward of the Golden 
Gate. [Springs. 
A Sappho of Green 
Col. Starbottle's Client. 
SUIT. | Sally Oowi. 


A Proty.-e of Jack 
Humlin s. 
Barker's Luck. 
Devil's Ford, [celslor. 1 
The Crusade of the ' Ex- 

A Life's Atonement. 
Joseph's Coat. 
Coals of Fire. 
Old Blazer's Hero. 
Val Strange. | Hearts. 
A Model Father. 
By the Gate of the Sea. 
A Bit of Human Nature. 

The Way ol the World. 
BobMartin s Little Girl. 
Time's Revenges. 
A Wasted Crime. 
In Direst Peril. 
Mount Despair. 
A Capful o Nails. 
Tales in Prose & Verio. 
A Race for Millions. 
This Little World. 
and HERMAN. 
IPaul Jones's Alia*. 

Tales of Tra 


Garth. 1 Doit. 
Elllce Qaentia. 
Sebastian Strom*. 
Fortune's Fool. 

11 and Town. 

Beatrix Randolph. 
David Poindexter's Die- 
Spectre of Camera. 

Cynic Fortune. 


The Bishops' Bible. 
One Traveller Returns. 

' Ball Tin 1 ' 

By Sir A. HELPS. IvandeBiron. 

By I. HENDERSON.-AgathaPage. 

By G. A. HENTY. 

Rnjub the Juggler. I The Queen's Cap. 

Dorothy's Double. | 

By JOHN HILL. The Common Ancestor. 

'Twlxt Love and Duty. | Nngents of Carriconna. 
For Freedom. | The Incomplete Adveniurer. 

Incomplete Adventurer. 

Lady Venter's Flight. 
The Red House Mystery 
The Three Graces. 
Professor's Experiment 

Nora Creina. 

An Anxious Moment. 

April's Lady. 

Peter's Wifo. 


A Point of Conscience. 
The Coming of Ohloe. 


The Leaden Casket. I Self Condemned. 
That Other Person. | Mrs. Juliet. 


Honour of Thieves. 


A Drawn Game. 


The President of Boravia. 


Madam* Bans Gene. 


A Tragedy in Marbl*. 


Khoda Roberts. 

By HENRY W. LUCY. -Gideon Fleyc* 

Patricia Xemball. 
Under which Lord ? 
My Love I | lone. 
Fasten Carew. 
Bowing the Wind. 

The Atonement of Leant 


The World Well Lost. 
The One Too Many. 

With a Silken Thread. 


Donna Quixote. 

Maid of Athens. 

The Comet of a Season 

The Dictator. 

Red Diamonds. 

The Riddle Ring. 

The Three Disgraces. 

A Fair Saxon. 

LI aliy Rochford. 

Dear Lady Disdain. 


Waterdale Neighbours 

My Eremy s Daughter. 

Mil* Mls.iutliropo. 


A London Legend. | The Royal Christopher. 

Heather and Snow. I Phantaste*. 
The Disaster 

By L. T. MEADE. 

The Voice 

of the 

A Soldier of Fortune. 

In an Iron Grip. 

Dr. l;u nuey'B Patient. 

This Stage of Fools. | Cynthia. 

The Gun Runner. I The King's AsBegal. 

LuckofGerardRldgeley. | Rensh. Fanning'iQuest. 

Maid Marian and Kobin Hood. 
Basile the Jester. I Toung Lochlnvar. 



Saint Ann's. | Billy Bellow. 

A Weird Gift. 

The Sorceress. 


Held in Bondage. 

Strathmore. | Chandos. 
Under Two Flags. 
Idalia. iGage. 

Cecil Castlemalnes 
Tricotrin. | Puck. 
Folle Farine. 
A Dog of Flanders. 
Pancarel. | Signa. 
Princess Napraxine. 
Two Wooden Shoes. 

In a Winter City. 
Moths. | Rnfflno. 

Pipistrcllo | Ariadne. 
A Village Commune. 
Bimbl. | Wanda. 
Frescoes. | 
In Maremma. 
Syrlln. | ttmlderoy. 
Santa Barbara. 
Two Offenders. 


Gentle and Simple. 


Under One Roof. 
Glow worm Ta es 
The Talk of the Town. 
Holiday Tasks. 
For Cash Only. 
The Burnt Million. 
The Word and the Will. 
Sunny Stories. 
A Trying Patfnnt. 
A Modern DUk Whit- 

Lost Sir Massmgberd. 
Less Black than We're 


A Confidential Agent. 
A Grape from a Thorn. 
In Peril and Privatio 
The Mystery of M 
By Proxy. [bridge. 
The Canon's Ward. 
Walter's Word. 
High Spirits. 

Jerry the Dreamer. 

Outlaw and Lawmaker. I Mrs. Tregaskias. 
Christina Chard. | Nnlma. 

By E. C. PRICE. 

Valentina. | Foreigners. I Mrs. Lancaster's Rival. 

Miss Maxwell's Affections. 


Weird Stories. 


Barbara Dering. | Merlel. 


The Hands of Justice. I Woman In the Dark. 


True Blue, ^ 

CHATT6 A WlNDQg, Publisher*. Ill St. Martin's Lane. London. W.C. 39 

He Long. 

The Double Marriage. 
Foul Play. 

Put Yourself in HI* 

THB PICCADILLY (v6) NOVELS continued. 

Peg Wofflngton ; and Love He Little, Lor* 

Christie Johnitone. 
Hard Cash. 
Cloister * the Hearth. 
Never Too Late to Mend 
Ike Coarse of True 

LOT* Never Did Ran | A Terrible Temptatloi 

Smooth ; and Single- ! A Simpleton. 

heart andDoublefuce. ; A Woman Hater. 
Ant-biography of a The Jilt. \- c.tuerStories: 

Thief, Jack of all & Good Stories of Man 

Tradu ; A Hero and and other Animal*. 

a Martyr ; and The A Perilous Secret. 

Wandering Heir. j ReaoUana: and Bible 
Oriflth Gaunt. I Character!. 

Round the Oalley Fire. > Hy Shipmate Lonlie. 
IB the Hiddle Watch. 
On the Fokile Head. 
A Voyate to the Cape. 
Book for the Hammock. 

Myiteryof ' Ocean Star 
The K' ounce of Jenny 

An Ocean Tragedy. 

Tiie Phantom Death. 
Ii He the Han 1 
Good Shio Mohock.' 
The Convict ship. 
H-art of Oak. 
The Tale of the Ten. 
The Last Entry. 


A Country bwectheart. | Tbe Drift of Fate. 

A Levantine Family. 

Dr. Endicott * Experiment. 


Once Upon a ChrUtaa* Tim*. 


Without Love or Licence 
The Muter of Rathkelly. 
Loag Odd* 

The Outsider. 
Beatrice & Benedick. 
A Racing Rubber. 


A Minion of the Hoon. 
The Secret of Wyvern 


A Secret of the Sea. 
The Orey Monk. 
The Ha*t<r of Trenance 
The Doom of Siva. 

A Fellow of Trinity. i In Face of the World. 
The Junior Dean. I Orchard Damerel. 

Uaster erst. Benedict'*. | The Tremlelt DLtmonda. 
To hi* Own Master Fortune'* Gate. 


Tbe Cruciform Hark. 

The Afghan Knife. 


Tbe Buloide Club. 


Proad Maiste. | The Violin Player. 

The Wy we Live Now. I Scarborough * Family. 
Fran Frohmann. | The Land Utacner* 


Like ship* upon the I Anne f urneu. 
Sea. | Mabel s Progveu. 

Storie* from Foreign Novelist*. 


Mark Twain i Choice 

Hark Twain 'i Library 

of Humour. 

The Innocent* Abroad. 
Roughing It ; and The 

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'1 he American Claimant. 

Tom Sawyer, Detective, 
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Tom Sawyer Abroad' I 1.000.003 Bank-note. 

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Burled Diamond*. Mrs Cirmlchael's God' 

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The Scorpion : A Romance ,,t Spain. 


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Son* of Beual. 

Her Two Millions. 
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Roy of Roy'* Court. 
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A Nineteenth C-n'm-v 

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A Life Interest. 
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Fettered for Life. 
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A Phyllis of the biirraa. 
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Shadow of the Sword, 
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Love Me for Ever. 
Foxglove Manor. 
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For the Love of a Loss. 


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Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wife. 

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From Midnight to Mid 

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You Play me False. 
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Armadalc. | AfterDark. 

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Hide and Seek. 

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Proper Pride 

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Hearts of Gold. 


The Evangelist : or, 1'ort Salvation. 

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Our Lady of Tears. | Circe's Lov.trs. 

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Never Forgotten. 
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Seth's Brother's Wife. I The Lawton Girl. . 

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For Lack of Gold. \ The Braes of Yarrow. 

What will World Say ? | The Golden Shaft. 
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Under tbe Greenwood Tree. 


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Love or a Name. 
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appearan e. 
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Miss Cttdogna. 

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Ivan da Biron. 

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A Leading Lady. 


Zambra the Detective. 


Treason Felony. 

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The House of Rabjr. 


A Maiden all Forlorn. 

la Duranco Vile. 


A Mental Struggle. 

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April s Lady. 

Peter i Wife. 

I.ady Verner's Flight. 
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The One Too Many. 
Dukle Bvtrtou. 

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The World Well Lost. 

Under which Loid / 

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WlUt a Silken Thread. 


Oldeon Fleyce. 


Defer Ladv Dtdtln. , Donna gu:xou 
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Mr. Stranger s Sealed Packet. 


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Hair a dozen Daughters. 

A Secret o," the Sea. 

By L. T. MEADE. 
A Soldier of Fortune. 

The Man who was Good. 

Touch and Go. | Mr. DorilUon. 

Hathercourt Rectory. 


StoriesWeird and Won- 

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A Model Father. 

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A Wasted Crime. 
In Direst Peril. 
Mount Despair. 
A Capful o Nails 

Joseph's Coat. 

Coals of Fire. 

Val Strange. 1 Hearts. 

Old Blazer's Hero. 

Tas Way of the World. 

Cynic Fortune. 

A Life s Atonement. 

By th Gate of the Pea. 

One Traveller Returns. I The Bishops' Bible. 
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A Game of Bluff. I A Song of Sixpence. 

' Bail Up I ' I nr.Bernard St. Vincent 

Sa^it Ann's. I Billy Belliw 

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r".iobe s Fortune*. 


Held in Bondage. 




Under Two Flags. 

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Folia Farfne. 

A DOR of Fianders. 



Princess Napraxln*. 

In a Winter City. 




Gentle and Eiinpl" 


HM If ntory o( Mario K.vot. 


Tlie Romaiuo ol Station. 

The Boul of Oount Artnan. 

Out' aw and Lawmaker I Mrj Tt*gisk2M. 

Christina Chard. | 

Two Lit. Wooden Shoes 
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In Maromma. 

Santa Barbara. 
Two OUrn^er*. 
Onidvs Wlulo<n. Wit, 
and Pat:. oa. 

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Tue Foreigner*. | Gerald. 


Mi.w Maxwell s Affections. 


Bentinck'g Tutor. 

Murphy's Master. 

A County Family. 

At Her Mercy. 

Cecils Tryst. 

The Clyffards of Clyffe. 

The Foster Brothers. 

Found Dead. 

The Best of Husbands. 

Walter s Word. 


Fallen Fortunes. 

Humorous Stories. 

200 Reward. 

A Marine Residence. 

Mirk Abbey 

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Under One Roof. 

Hlfh Spirits. 

Carlyon's Tear. 

From Exile. 

For Cash Only. 


The Canon's Ward 

The Talk of the Town. 
Holiday TasU. 
A Perfect Treasure. 
What He Cost Her. 
A Confidential Agent. 
Glow-worm Tales. 
The Burnt Million. 
Sunny Stories. 
Lost Sir Massmgberd. 
A Woman's Vengeance. 
The Family Scapegrace. 
Gwendoline s Harvest. 
Like Father. Like Son. 
Married Him. 
Not Wooed, but Won. 
Leas Black than We re 


Borne Private Views. 
A Grape from a Thorn. 
The Mystery of Mir- 


The Word and the Will. 
A Prince of t ic Blood. 
A Trying Patient. 


It la Never Too Late to 


Christie Johnstone. 
The Double Marriage. 
Put Yourself in His 

Love Me Little, Love 

Me Long. 
The Cloister and the 

The Course of True 

The Jilt. 
The Autobiography of 

A Terrible Temptation. 

Foul Play. 

The Wandering Heir. 

Hard Cash. 

Singleheartand Double- 

Good Stories of Man and 
other Animals. 

Pec Woffington. 

Griffith Gaunt. 

A Perilous Secret. 

A Simpleton. 


A Woman-Hater. 

a Thief. 

By Mrs. J. H. RIDDELL. 

The Uninhabited Honse. 
The Mystery in Palace 


The Nun s Corse. 
Idle Tales. 

Weird Stories. 
Fairy Water. 
Her Mother's Darling. 
The Prince of Wales s 
Garden Party. 


Barbara Dering. 


Women are Strange. I The Woman in the Dark 
Ihe Hands of Justice. 

Skippers and Shellbacks. | Schools and Scholars. 
Grace Balmaign's Sweetheart. 

Round the GaUey Fire. | An Ocean Tragedy. 

On the Fo'k sle Head. 

In the Middle Watch. 

A Voyage to the Cape. 

A Book for the Ham- 

The Mystery of the 
Ocean Star.' 

The Romance of Jenny 

My Shipmate Louise. 
Alone on Wide Wide Sea. 
Good Ship ' Mohock.' 
Tne Phantom Death. 
Is He the Man ? 
Heart of Oak. 
The Convict Ship. 
The Tale of the Ten. 
The Las r . Entry. 



A Country Sweetheart. 

Gaslight and Daylipht. 


The Ring o Bells 
Mary Jane's Memoirs. 
Mary Jane Married. 
Tales of To day. 
Dramas of Life. 
Tinkletop s Crime. 
My Two Wives. 

A Match in the Dark. 


Memoirs of a Landlady. 
Scenes from the Show. 
The 10 Commandinei-.j. 
Dagonet Abroad. 
Rogues and Vagabonds. 


Without Love or Licence. The Plunger. 
Beatrice and Benedick. Long Odd*. 
The Master of Rathkelly. 


The Mysteries of Heron 


The Golden Hoop. 
By Devious Ways. 

Back to Life. 

The LoudwaterTragedy . 

Burgo s Romance. 

Quittance in Full. 

A Husband from the Sea 


Orchard Damerel. 

In the Face of the World. 

The Xremlett Diamonds. 

A Fellow of Trinity. 
The Junior Dean. 
Mutter of St. Benedict's 
To His Own Master. 


The Afghan Knife. 


Mew Arabian Nights. 


Cressida. | The Violin- Player. 

Proud Maisie. | 


Tales for the Marines. | Old Stories Retul I. 

Diamond Cut Diamond. 


Like Ships upon the I Anne Furness. 
tiea. I Mabel's Progress. 


Frau Frohmanu. The Land-Leaguers 

Marlon Fay. 

Kept in the Dark. 

John Caldigate. 

The Way we Live Now 

Farnell's Folly. 

Stories from Foreign Novelists. 


The American Senator. 
Mr. Scarborough's 

GoldenLlon of Oranperi 

Life on the Mississippi. 

The Prince and th 

A Yankee at the Court 
of King Arthur. 

The 1,000,000 Bank- 

The Huguenot Family. 
The Blackball Ghosts. 
What SheCameThrough 
Beauty and the B*st. 
Citoyenne Jaquellno, 

A Pleasure Trip on the 

The Gilded Age. 
Huckleberry Finn. 
MarkTwain s Sketches. 
Tom Sawyer. 
! A Tramp Abroad. 
Stolen White Elephant. 

Mistress Judith. 

The Bride s Pass. 
Buried Diamonds. 
St. Munco's City. 
Lady Bell. 
Noblesse Oblige. 

The Queen against Owen. | Prince of Balklstan. 

God Save the Queen I ' 

The Marquis of C irabis. 


Trust- Money. 


A Child Widow. 


Cavalry Life. | Uegimental Legends. 

By H. F. WOOD. 

The Passenger from Scotland Yard. 
The Englishman of the Rue Cam. 


Rachel Armstrong ; or. Love and Theology. 

The Forlorn Hope. I Castaway. 
Land at Last. 

Ghetto Tragedies. 


" "SITY 



This book is due on the last date stamped below. 


SPRING, 1976 
llMW'79 W 



Book Slip Series 4280 



A 001 147 706 4