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Full text of "The English Illustrated Magazine 1894-08: Vol 11 Iss 131"

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“FRY OF WADHAM.” 


By MAX BEERBOHM. 


DECADENT friend was bewailing 

to me the other day what he 
described as a very sinister sign of the 
times: namely, the growing school of 
young men who wear their hair short, 
smoke briar pipes, and ride about to foot- 
ball matches on bicycles. Regret their 
existence as one might, he said, there 
they were. It was impossible to ignore 
them—barbarians, things ravenous of 
beef and beer, having no lot in the 
‘‘ heritage of beauty,” strainers of muscles 
and breakers of records. He had seen 
them at the Oval. He had sat upon a 
broken arch of Lillie Bridge and sketched 
the monstrous outlines of their calves. 
But, my friend admitted, there was solace 
in the reflection that, after all, these same 
athletes were but outward symbols of a 
deeply decadent age. Inthe healthy days 
with which this century began, our fine 
old grandfathers gave no heed to athletics. 
Cricket and football were for the yokels 
in the village. No gentleman took 
exercise. In tilbury or curricle our 
grandfathers bowled along the streets, 
and, as for training, drank themselves 
under the table every night. But we, 
poor, jaded creatures of the century’s end, 
can afford to disregard no means of keep- 
ing body and soul together—we should 
die if we didn’t take exercise. The athletic 
movement is merely the product of our 
valetudinarianism. 

I am sure my friend did not mean what 
he was saying, but there was something 
in it for all that, and it was with a certain 
morbid curiosity that I went one Sunday 
morning in June to Wadham College, that 
I might talk with that primeexemplar of an 
outworn civilisation, Mr. Fry, the triple- 
blue, the Oxford athlete. Remembering 
the volumes of bated breath with which 
every undergraduate receives Mr. Fry’s 
name, I half expected to find him disporting 
himself upon the grass of the front quad- 
rangle, that sacred area having been 

131. August 1894. 


given him by his college as a private 
jumping-ground, or declaiming his own 
Greek verses to a congregation of genu- 
flective dons. 

‘* Where,” I asked of the porter, ‘‘ are 
Mr. Fry’s rooms?” 

‘*Fry ?” he said slowly ; ‘‘ which Fry 
do you mean? What initials ?” 

Was there then more than one Fry? 
T, H, E, were the only initials I had ever 
supposed the great athlete to possess, but 
it appeared that he was officially known 
as Mr. C. B. Fry. There was also a Fry— 
but that is another interview. 

Steep and tortuous, and of a darkness 
peculiar to their kind, were the stairs 
leading up to Mr. Fry’s ‘‘ two-pair front, 
first quad.” ; nor, when I knocked at the 
oak, came any answer; nor, when I 
opened it, was any one in the room. But 
the clock on the mantel-piece showed that 
it was the hour appointed, 11 A.m., the 
table was laid for breakfast, and down by 
the fire something under a cover was 
keeping as warm as it could ; all of which 
portents prepared me for the apology that 
was shouted from the other side of the 
bedroom door, and the loud splashing 
and stamping as of one taking a cold tub. 
I stood upon the hearthrug and took a 
look round. A regular college-room it 
was, rather dark under its low ceiling and 
beautifully panelled with oak. Engrav- 
ings of the academic kind—little boys 
with apples and little girls with pears— 
mingled with drawings by younger artists 
and many photograph-groups of the foot- 
ball and cricket teams, and all the other 
bodies adorned by the gentleman in the 
next room. It was evident that he was a 
smoker, for there were pipes all over the 
room—pipes in racks and pipes in cases 
and pipes of every description. Indeed, 


there was little to distinguish this room 
from that of an average undergraduate, 
except the absence of any photographs of 
It was very nice and com- 
4E2 


Miss Yohé. 





Cc. B. FRY READY FOR A RACE, 
Reproduced by kind permission from “‘ Spy’s” Cartoon in ‘** Vanity Fair.” 











“FRY OF WADHAM.” 


fortable, however, and on the breakfast- 
table the scout had arranged a neat pile 
of letters. Were they applications for 
autographs perhaps, or begging letters 
from unsuccessful athletes ? 

Just as I was stooping to peep, like a 
good journalist, under the dish-cover by 
the fire, my host emerged from the next 
room, glowing and apologetic. 

‘*Won’t you really have any of my 
breakfast with me ?” he said. ‘‘ A college 
breakfast is not much good at this hour 
of the day, I admit. But on Sunday 
morning, when there are no lectures to 
attend and one can go to chapel in 
the evening, I’d rather miss a dozen hot 
breakfasts than that extra hour or two in 
bed.” 

‘* But how is that for training ?” 

**Ah, but I’m not training just now, 
you see, and even when I am, it is always 
an awful struggle with me to get up. 
It’s pretty rough having to knock off 
smoking” (here Mr. Fry looked round 
benignly upon his pipes), ‘‘ and I am as 
fond of puddings as I ever was and miss 
them awfully just at first—but wild scouts 
can hardly drag me out of bed. Last 
year I bought a little spirit-kettle and 
determined I would get up every morn- 
ing at 5.30 and boil myself a cup of 
cocoa, like the people who are inter- 
viewed in the newspapers. I actually 
did get up the first morning, but it was 
so beastly cold, and what with one thing 
and another I was in bed again long 
before the little contrivance began to boil. 
My scout found it singing merrily when 
he came to wake me. Oh, and last term 
there were some men in Wadham who 
came and dragged me out of bed at eight, 
the brutes, when I wasn’t training and 
had kept all my chapels. I went up to 
one of them in his rooms the next day, 
about ten in the morning, and found him 
reading. He was a smaller man than I 


am, and I put him to bed forcibly. Why 
shouldn’t one lie in bed if one likes? Are 
you sure you won’t have anything? Not 


even a piece of toast? Will you just 
excuse me for a moment? I must just 
see who this letter is from—such an odd 
handwriting !” 

Mr. Fry slit the letter open, quickly, as 
he seemed to do everything. He had 
only taken seven minutes to make his 
toilet, yet his curly hair was parted and 
his tie knotted with the precision of the 
most leisurely of dandies. Mr. Fry has 
a handsome face and the expression of 
a school-boy. He looks absurdly young 


1059 


to have done all that he has. But he 
gives the impression of being all muscle, 
whether you see him doing the long jump 
or sprinting between the tapes in the 
costume of an acrobat without spangles, 
or, as I saw him, at his breakfast in the 
sombre tweeds of civilisation. 

He looked up from his letter and asked 
me if I had heard of Mr. Van Ingen. I 
had not had that pleasure. ‘‘ He is an 
American fellow,” I was then told, ‘‘ and 
came here the other day to ask me if 
Oxford would be willing to accept a 
challenge to an athletic contest from their 
university, Yale. It seems that Yale 
challenges Harvard every year out there, 
and they have annual sports, just like 
Oxford and Cambridge. So the thing’s 
almost arranged now. It’s coming off at 
the Queen’s Club a few days after the 
Lords’ match, and it’s going to be just 
like our contest with Cambridge—same 
events and same men to_ represent 
Oxford. I hear the American chaps are 
devils to sprint, and from all I can hear 
we shall have an exciting day of it. Yes, 
Z shall have to do the hundred yards 
again and the long jump.” 

‘*Is it good fun, jumping ? 
enjoy it?” 

‘* Rather, it’s the best thing in the 
world. To feel one’s self whizzing through 
the air without knowing how— it’s just like 
flying, I should imagine. You seem just 
to give one spring up and then the air 
rushes past you in a hurricane, and there 
you are again on your feet, safe and 
sound.” 

‘*But sometimes with a broken re- 
cord?” 

‘* Thanks,” laughed Mr. Fry. ‘‘ But 
when I’m doing the long jump on any 
occasion, such as the Sports, I don’t 
enjoy myself half so much as when I 
practise alone. I’m not particularly 
nervous, but it’s rather a strain to feel 
you’re being watched by hundreds of 
strangers, and that perhaps the whole 
fortune of the ’Varsity depends on you. 
Last year I caught the photographer's 
eye just as | was going to jump and it 
quite put me off my balance. Now that 
you’re interviewing me, I must tell you 
about another interviewer and my last 
year’s jump. He was connected with 
some American paper and came to me for 
my impressions of things in general and 
‘leaping,’ as he called it, in particular. 
‘ Now that long leap of yours,’ he said, 
‘how far was it you leaped?’ ‘ Twenty- 
three, five and a half.’ ‘ Feet or yards?’ 


Do you 




















Photo by Hills and Saunders, Oxford, 





B. FRY, 


Cc. 























‘“FRY OF WADHAM.” 
he inquired, looking up briskly from his 


note-book. I am afraid that in the excite- 
ment of the moment I was wicked enough 
to say ‘ yards’—anyway, it was put down 
as ‘ yards’ when the interview appeared. 
I saw a copy the other day.” 

‘* We journalists often call feet yards. 
Tell me some more about your jumping.” 

‘* Well, I don’t know that there’s any- 
thing more to tell,” said Mr. Fry, taking 
a meditative puff from the pipe he had 
just lighted. ‘‘I suppose that, if these 
sports with Yale are coming off so soon, 
I oughtn’t really to have lighted this pipe. 
To-day was fixed for going into regular 
training. No, I'll be hanged if I put the 
pipe out. I'll start training after lunch. 
I always think training counts more in 
jumping than in anything else. If you’re 
going to do ‘the mile,’ or any heavy 
order like that, it doesn’t do to run your- 
self too fine, but in the long jump—or in 
the hundred yards, for that matter—where 
you don’t want any sustained effort, but 
just simply ‘a spurt,’ 1 find that every 
particle of one’s body that hasn’t been 
made into muscle tells against one. Per- 
sonally, detest the routine of training. 
I have to give up heaps of things that 
I’m fond of. I’m like the beggar in some 
play or other who says every day to the 
rising sun, ‘ To-day is a fast-day.’ But 
I’ve never yet known what it is to train 
more than is good for me. And sol go 
on suffering. I suppose that the next 
time I smoke will be at the dinner after 
these Yale and Oxford sports.” 

**Still, in spite of your privations, I 
suppose you manage to enjoy yourself 
pretty well up here?” 

‘*] should like to see the man who 
could not. When I was at Repton, I 
thought Repton was the one place in the 
world where -any reasonable being could 
make himself perfectly happy. But 
I think there is one other, and that is 
Oxford. As for the dons, I think they’re 
a cruelly maligned race. I like them 
immensely. To the general public the 
word ‘don’ conjures up a confused vision 
of prejudice and port wine and other 
terrible things. I haven’t ever come 
across a don of that description, and I’ve 
been up three years now. What made 
me come here and not to Cambridge ? 
Well, I think it was the mumps. I had 
a bad attack of them at Repton just when 
I was going up to Cambridge to try for a 
scholarship, and as soon as I got well 
some one advised me to come up for a 
scholarship to Wadham. I was lucky 





1061 


enough to be senior scholar of my year, 
and here I am, and I can’t imagine myself 
anywhere else. You see the splendid 
thing about Wadham is,” . . . and my 
host entered upon a description of his 
college and its manifold charms. Every 
undergraduate, so I find, swears by his 
own college, and so I will not raise dis- 
cussion by quoting the panegyric. 

Mr. Fry is a very busy man. He is 
president of the Athletic Club and captain 
of the Association Football Team and of 
the Cricket Eleven, all of which offices 
carry with them a large amount of 
responsibility. Mr. Fry bears the re- 
sponsibility quite lightly, and finds time to 
be also. an industrious classical student. 
I knew one man who went up to Oxford 
and led a very happy life, and only in his 
third year discovered from a_ chance 
remark dropped by a friend at the break- 
fast-table that Oxford was also a seat of 
education. But it is the etiquette for the 
scholars of every college to do some 
reading whilst they are up, and Mr. Fry 
took an excellent First in Mods., and is on 
the high way to a similar distinction in 
Finals. Yet he gives a good deal of 
spare time to desultory reading. Georges 
Sand and Alphonse Daudet seemed to be 
his favourite authors, to judge by the 
presence of all their works on his shelves. 
‘*T am very fond of pictures, too,” he 
said, ‘‘ but I don’t know anything about 
them. I seldom go through Trafalgar 
Square without going into the National 
Gallery, and I don’t like to miss any of 
the small shows in Bond Street. But, as 
I say, I don’t really know why a picture 
is good or bad, only just whether I enjoy 
looking at it or not. I take a great 
interest in heaps of things that I know 
nothing about.” 

‘* For instance?” 

‘* Well, politics for one, and golf for 
another—especially golf. I never played 
before this term, and did very well, like 
everybody else, the first time I went on 
the links. Of course, I have fallen off 
fearfully since then, but I do think it’s a 
fascinating game.” 

‘Have you any idea of taking it up 
seriously, as a change from cricket and 
football ? ” 

**Good heavens, no! I only look on 
golf as a kind of glorified croquet. One 


gets as good exercise from it as from any 
other game, and I’m not fond of walking 
without anything to keep me excited ; 
but as for comparing it with cricket or 
football, that’s impossible. 


One lives far 








1062 


more fully in the one moment that it 
takes to kick a goal or make a good 
catch than in whole afternoons of tramp- 
ing about after a golf-ball. But why 
make comparisons at all? _ It’s the most 
arrant nonsense when people say that 
golf is becoming more popular than 
cricket or football.” 

‘**Do you think cricket and football 
ought to be made compulsory in all 
Public Schools?” 

‘*] don’t know that I do altogether. 
I’m sure that compulsory games don’t 
make any difference to the athletic stan- 
dard of the school. Look at Charter- 
house, which supplies both 'Varsities with 
so many good Association players ; foot- 
ball is not compulsory there. The boys 
who don’t take to a game of their own 
accord never do much good in it, and 
very often they are the boys who have 
some special hobby, like botany, which 
they enjoy more and which keeps them 
out of mischief. I fancy there is very 
little real ‘loafing’ in Public Schools, 
and I hate the idea of such a thing as 
compulsion in such things as games. 
Personally, I can’t imagine any one not 
playing when he has the chance.” 

‘* And you don’t think that the rage for 


‘““FRY OF WADHAM.” 


athietics that has sprung up within the 
last twelve years or so is only another 
form of valetudinarianism ? ” 

Mr. Fry seemed bewildered at the very 
idea, so! plied him with only one more 
question. I asked him what he intended 
to do when the time came for him to quit 
the scene of his many triumphs, his 
beloved Wadham. 

‘* Well,” he answered, ‘‘ I am going to 
be a schoolmaster. I am fond of Latin’ 
and Greek for their own sakes, and I feel 
that I should be able to teach them de- 
cently,” and he confided to me the name 
of the school where he hoped one day to 
work. | fancy that his ambition is of the 
kind that is not likely to be disappointed. 

When I got out into the great quad- 
rangle I could not but envy the young 
athlete, with his off-hand ways and trans- 
parent happiness, living in this beautiful 
college. Its very remoteness gives Wad- 
ham a great distinction. It is so far 


from the tram and the electric lighting 
and the hoarse newsboys that have vul- 
garised the High Street, and on this quiet 
Sunday morning its walls and smooth 
lawns seemed to have an added charm. 
I felt altogether that I should like to be 
‘*Fry of Wadham ” myself. 











DQ om be O'S 


a 








lew THE OTHER HALF LIVES 






HEY were playing a match (M.C.C. 
versus some county which you 
could not find upon the map unless you 
took a month to do so) at Lord’s; and I 
left the ground disgusted with the cricket. 
The day was hot with the best show of 
sun we have had since the sham of spring 
set in; and I remembered as I turned 
into the St. John’s Wood Road that my 
doctor had prescribed, in return for my 
modest outlay of two guineas, a daily 
walk of five miles and a voyage to the 
Cape. As neither of these was to be had 
at the chemist’s, the worthy man’s labour 
had so far been lost, but here at any rate 
was a day which might tempt even a dis- 
ciple of the hansom to stroll a while. I 
saw visions of health as it is drawn in the 
pictorial advertisements of the medicine- 
vendors, health which leads a man to 
dangle five robust infants on his knee 
while a buxom wife (vide the picture) is 
apparently cooking a steak at the drawing- 
room fire ; and steeled to great endurance 
I set out swiftly in the direction of Baker 
Street. 

For a time all went well. The exercise 
seemed to be doing me good; I even 
resolved that I would get up next 
morning and walk farther than any man 
had ever walked before breakfast. It is 
quite possible that I should have accom- 
plished some heroic deed upon the spot 
had it not been for the cab-stand at the 
corner by the railway station. This is 
fully two hundred yards from Lord’s, and 
is generally a place where cabs do love to 


CABRY’ 


By 
WILFRED WEMLEY | 


congregate. On this particular afternoon 
there were at least three hansoms on the 
stand and one growler. This would not 
have mattered had they not chosen to 
make a demonstration when they saw me. 
No sooner had I come to the corner than 
Jehu No. 1 whipped up his horse and 
cried ‘‘keb?” while Jehu No. 2 shouted, 
‘*’urry up that Derby winner, Bill, here's 
a gent horf to a funerel.” The words 
were as music in my ears, yet behind 
them was the echo of the medicine man’s 
voice and his threat of ‘‘isms,” which 
followed upon the pernicious habit of 
riding in hansoms. Dallying in the sweet 
suspense of temptation, I suddenly be- 
thought me of ‘*‘ The Other Half.” Why 
should I not learn how ‘‘ cabby ” lives—if 
he would tell me? The experiment was 
at any rate worth making. 

‘*] say,” said I to the Jehu No. 1, who 
waited for me to get into his undoubtedly 
admirable cab, ‘‘come down and tell me 
something about your business, and I'll 
stand you a fare?” 

‘* What’s that?” said he. 

‘** Tell me about yourself,” I cried again, 
‘‘ and I’ll give you five shillings.” 

‘* Benk of Engravin’ ?” said he. 

‘*T mean it,” said I. ‘‘ 1 want to know 
how you live ; consider yourself engaged 
while you tell me.” 

By this time the other drivers had 
gathered round, and the idea seemed to 
tickle them, especially No. 2, who began 
to laugh uproariously. 

** Wotd’yer think ?”’ exclaimed he, turn- 








1064 








NO, 2 BEGAN TO LAUGH UPROARIOUSLY. 


ing to the policeman on his beat, ‘‘ here’s 
a gent wants to know ’ow Bill lives; 


HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES. 


[then to me] you ain’t from the Salvation 
Army, eh, guv’ner?” 

I told him I was not, whereon the driver 
of the growler, who was a melancholy 
man, muttered audibly, 

**If you’d arsk me, I'd tell ye mostly 
on taters. It ain’t no so-and-so circus 
drivin’ a cab an’ pair of hosses, that it 
ain’t. And I’ve been at it four-and-twenty 
year, and druv three divorces.” 

‘*I beg your pardon,” said I, ‘ but 
your last observation was lost upon me. 
I think you said you'd driven three 
divorces.” 

‘*T did so,” he moaned. ‘‘I wus three 
times had up to swear to gents, and twice 
complimented by the judge. That’s a 
thing any man might look to be proud 
on.” 

We had now all crowded into the 
shelter, and, it being agreed upon that 
one gentleman should be despatched for 
mugs containing liquid refreshment to 
the order of the four, I sat down ona 
bench and began to catechise the three 
who remained behind. 

‘* To begin with,” said I, ‘‘ tell me what 
were you doing before you took to this 
business ?” 


‘*T was conducting a 

*bus,” said Jehu No. 1, 

» , ‘fand being had on the 
aK Va carpet three days in one 
week for short money, I 


PA got the sack, and took to 
J Ue a keb.” 
‘ Jehu No. 2 was not quite so ready in 


/ giving his answer, but the melancholy 


growler gave it for him. 

‘‘He was coachman to Lord —,” 
said he, ‘‘and got the sack for driving a 
man to Earl’s Court while his master was 
at. the theaytre. Wot’s that to be 
ashamed on?—I arst you, how many 
coachmen is there in London wot don’t 
take up a fare in their broughams when 
the femily ain’t looking ?” 

‘* That’s a capital idea,” said I, ‘‘ but it 
is new to me; now, suppose I wanted to 
drive a cab to-morrow, what should I 
have to do?” 

At this question, the growler, who was 
the philosopher of the party, said with fine 
scorn: 

‘*You drive a cab !—oh, that’s the line 
is it?” 

I assured him at once that I desired the 
information from motives of the purest 
curiosity ; but at that he was sadder than 
ever. He thought there was a mystery, 
and regarded it as an affront that there 








HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES. 


was not. Jehu No. 1, however, took up 
the question and supplied the answer. 

‘*If you wanted a keb,” said he, 
‘*you’d hev to go to Scotland Yard to 
the department wot looks after public 
kerridges. You never wus in prison 
perhaps?” 

**No, I think not.” 

‘* Nor a soldier nor a sailor?” 

I shook my head. 

‘And you could get a party to declare 
as you knew something about hosses, and 
two other parties, being householders, to 
say as you wus respectable? ” 

‘*T might do so.” 

‘Well, if — you 
could, you might 
look to get a 
license, providin’, 
that is to say, that 
you know’d some- 
thing of the streets. 
You see _ there’s 
a ixamination, and 
they’re mighty per- 
ticler nowadays. 
How would you 
feel if a -man 
slapped a map be- 
fore your blinkers, 
and says, ‘ Drive 
me from the Hele- 
phant to ’Ornsey 
Rise’? Why you 
wouldn’t feel no- 
how. Not as_ it 
ain’t to be done, 
for I’ve done it, 
and so’s Jim here.” 

‘“‘How did you 
manage it?” I 
asked. 

‘““Why, I give 
half-a-crown to the Ma hei 
old chap ~~ wot A 
stands in the yard , r 
— leastwise he 
stood in the old yard, and put it into you. 
He allus carries a map with him, and he 
coaches you up. Gives you tips wot 
you’re to be arst. You see it ain't the 
main arteries so to speak as beats you, 
it’s the streets as you’ve got to pass to 
get into’em. Them you’ve got to know 
like a catechism.” 

‘*And a so-and-so sight better,” mut- 
tered the growler. 

‘* But,” said I, ‘‘ suppose I had my 
license, how should I get a cab?” 

‘““By going to a yard, and giving 
recommendations. Not that it’s easy ; 





1065 


there’s many a slap-up cove found it un- 
common hard to get on a box first time 
round. Masters is wary, and wants to 
know who you are, and where you come 
from. If you could satisfy them that it’s 
on the square, they'd take you up, and 
you'd find a keb and pair of ’osses ready 
for you all days.” 

‘*For which I should pay—?” 

Here they all consulted together. The 
cab strike was just over. The question 
of payment was a highly interesting one. 
When Jehu No. t spoke at last, it was 
solemnly as the delivery of an oracle. 






= 


if 


| 


(AS 


JEHU NO. I, 
UP THE QUESTION. 


HOWEVER, TOOK 


**You’d pay in the main what you 
could afford to. If you wasn’t a blind 
mug, you’d take the first five bob you 
earned, and put it in your trousers. 
After that you’d give the master any- 
thing up to fifteen bob.” 

“Would such a sum be easy to 
earn?” 

‘* Depends on your luck. I've known 
days when I’ve druv until me and the 
old hoss has hed the staggers, and not 
took enough to give to a barrel-organ. 
Other days I’ve took two and three 
pound. 


All the year round I make a 


A 


\ 





ST 








1066 


matter of twenty-five or thirty bob a 
week, and that keeps me and the missus 
and the two kids with the bit she earns 
charing.” 

‘*T take it,” said I next, ‘‘that some 
cabbies are cleverer than others, and pick 
up more money—is that so?” 

‘‘OF course it is,” said the growler, 
who seemed to grow more irritable under 
the influence of the mug; ‘‘did ye ever 


HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES. 


see two heads alike? Well, and you 
won’t see two cabmen alike. D’ye think 
I'd be sitting on the box of that second 
hand coffin of mine, if I could get up on 
a Forder ?—not me. But that’s our old age 
pension, that is—two bob a day to live on, 
and a hoss to drive, which you’ve got to 
hurry up to prevent him dying afore you 
gets to the knacker’s.” 

‘Is there any particular knack in 
getting fares ?” I asked. 

** Just as much knack,” said 











Ja in the afternoon 


Jehu No. 2, ‘as there is in 
spotting a vinner at Hepsom. 
If you was a son of mine a 
going into the keb line, I’d say 
to you, keep clear of the 
church, and don’t have nothing 
to do with soldiers. If there’s 
anything I can’t abide it’s a 





half-pay se 
‘““Nor me _ neither,” said 
No. 1; ‘‘it’s my opinion that 


the only fightin’ half of ’em 
know anything about is fightin’ 
kebmen. Lord! they measure 
up the road to a yard, and 
you never know but’ what 
they'll find something to 
summons you on. Give mea 
slap-up chap from Pall Mall, 
oran old gal from the country. 
They are rum uns, too, some of 
the gents we drive nowadays. 
Only last night one kum up to 
me and says, ‘ Kebby,’ says he, 
‘you’re not so drunkas I am!’ 
No, sir, I says, I wish I was.” 

‘*How long are you out 
every day?” I inquired. 

‘*That depends,” said No. 2. 
‘* Old Joe there [he referred to 
the growler], comes out at 
nine in the morning, and don’t 
get home until two or three 
next morning. For myself, | 
come out at ten, having a 
regular job to drive a gent 
down to the city, and after that 
I generally pick up a few fares 
near the Mansion House. In 
the afternoon, I come up here if 
there’s a cricket job, or let the 
old hoss show his paces in the 
West End. In the evening | 
look to get a fare from here to 
a theaytre, and another fare 
back; but I’m always home 
somewhere about two or three 
to change 
hosses, and to sleep a bit.” 














On AS 





HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES. | 1067 


‘* Is it true,” said I, ‘*‘ that some cabbies 
let other men drive their cabs while they 
are resting in the shelters ?” 

They all looked rather grave at this, 
and it was some moments before the 
growler answered the question. 

‘* We ain’t going to mention no names,” 
said he; ‘‘ but ?t is done. You drive to 
a shelter or a public, and another chap 
takes your cab, and gives you half-a- 
crown. Wot’s the harm o’ that? I'd like 
to see some chap come along and drive 
my prupperty hoss for an hour, and give 
me half-a-crown. I ain’t took one and a 
bender since eleven o’clock.” 


di 
























Pee wy 


‘* DON’T HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH SOLDIERS.” 


I pre :umed he meant eighteenpence, but **Do you ever drive queer fares?” | 
as we were on delicate ground I put asked. 
another question. ‘**Mostly drunks,” said Jehu No. 1; 





OFF DUTY. 





‘*but a mate of mine 
drove a dead ’un the 
other day. He allus 
Says as the cove was 
dead when they put 
him in the keb—but 
he was called to 
take him to. the 
orspital, and when 
he got there it was 
a case for the crow- 
ner. I once drove 
a mad chap who 
would put a fleg up 
through the _ top, 
and fired horf a 
pistol in Regent- 
street—he thought 
he was the Spanish 
Armader, or some- 
thing may be.” 

‘“‘It must be a 
hard life,” said 1; 
‘you ought to live 
well?” 

‘“*So they do,” 
said the growler, 
implying that he 
did not; ‘there 
ain’t many hansoms 
in’ London wot don’t 
have their steak 
pudding at one 
o'clock, and a couple 
of square meals on 
the top oo’ that. 
When I druv a 
tyred keb I thought 
myself pretty low 
down if I couldn’t 
get nine liquors a 
day, not counting 
tea. It’s different 
now; but I’ve got 
to match the hoss, 
guvner, and he don’t 
eat his blooming 
head horf, I can tell 
you.” 

I agreed with him ; 
but at that moment 
Jehu No. 1 was 
hailed. The  con- 
ference immediately 
broke up, and hav- 
ing relieved the 
melancholy of the 
growler, I hired 
No. 2, and risked 
the ‘‘ isms.” 








Copyright strictly Reservea 


A BALAIS DANCER.—Mrs. H. M. STANLEY. 








ee ee 





II. 


Her little childish world was set 
Within that tarnished frame, 
Beginning with the Alphabet 
She found so hard to name ; 
In early English, A to N, 
In Gothic O to Z ; 
Beneath the figures 1 to 10 
| Stand out in dingy red. 











By REGINALD HELDER. 


OPHIA LOVEDAY, etat 9. 
Her Sampler, 1702 ”— 
The legend ends a quaint design 
In red and green and blue. 
Long laid to rest the patient hands 
That played with primal tints, 
And faded are the silken strands 
As sad and sallow chintz. 


Ill, 





And then she set herself to build 
A house two stories high, | 

With many rows of windows filled, 
Beneath an azure sky. 

The tiles have lost their ruddy tone ; 
Unsteady leans the wall ; 

The winds of many years have blown, | 
Yet has it braved them all. 











Her garden grew, a garish green— 
Those yellow streaks were walks ; 
Long lines of lilies still are seen, ] 
Now drab on withered stalks. j 
| The roses in a clustered knot 
Have never ceased to blow, 
i Though planted in that tiny plot 
f So many years ago. 


Vv. 


With childish art she stitched a heart, 
i Although at such an age 

i She had not known of Cupid’s dart, 
4 Not e’en from Herrick’s page. 

| Content beside her mother’s knee 
She hummed some simple lilt ; 

f Ah me, she must have danced to see 
| Her triumph glow in gilt ! 

; 


| 
i 
| VI. 
| 


And did she one day wed, and teach 
The art she practised there ? 
You ask me if she lived to reach 
The age of silvered hair. 
I cannot tell ; this simple line 
Is all I ever knew — 
** Sophia Loveday, ztat 9. 
Her Sampler, 1702.” 











131. August, 1894. 4F 





PROFESSOR BLACKIE AT WORK. 











PROFESSOR BLACKIE. 


HE days are long past when Edin- 
burgh had a distinctive literary 
character of its own. In a literary, as 
well as in a political and social sense, it 
has suffered from the prevalent ‘* London- 
isation,” and although its great University 
and its Courts of Session prevent it from 
sinking into the category of a mere pro- 
vincial town, yet the days are only historic 
when there was a distinct and important 
characteristic to be found in anything or 
anybody hailing from ‘‘the cold gray 
metropolis of the North.” The days of 
Hume and Adam Smith, of ‘‘ the Wizard 
of the North,” ‘‘the Gentle Shepherd,” 
‘*the Ettrick Shepherd,” ‘*the Man of 
Feeling,” of Lockhart, Dugald Stewart, 
and Sir William Hamilton, of John Wilson 
and the Woctes Ambrosiane of Jeffrey and 
the sledge-hammer critics of old ‘*‘ Maga” 
and The Edinburgh Review are bordering 
on ancient history, or at least are only in 
part as sweet memories to the oldest of 
us. It may safely, though paradoxically, 
be said that the Scottish literary world 
resides in London somewhere between 
Hampstead and St. John’s Wood on the 
one hand and Lincoln’s Inn Fields on the 
other. One does not forget that within 
the narrower circles of academic life there 
are still names to be conjured with in 
Science andin Arts. One does not forget 
Tait and Rutherford, and Turner, Geikie, 
Butcher, and Flint. Yet in the more 
catholic and human fields of general 
literature we may count the prominent 
Scottish literary men who reside in Edin- 
burgh on the fingers of one hand—David 
Masson, John Skelton, Walter C. Smith, 
Alexander Anderson, and John Stuart 
Blackie ; and this indeed is but a poor 
turn-out for Edinburgh, when we remember 
that the republic of letters includes such 





Scots as Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert 
Buchanan, William Black, Andrew Lang, 
George MacDonald, J. M. Barrie, William 
Sharp, and S. R. Crockett. 

When I arrived in Edinburgh to make 
my morning call on the ‘‘Grand Old 
Man” of Scotland it was a_ beautiful 
spring day, and although the wind was 
orthodox enough to come from the east 
—Edinburgh has been called ‘‘ too east- 
windy and too west-endy "—it was with 
the greatest enjoyment that I made my 
way west along Princes Street—that queen 
of European streets. To my left the 
castle stood out against the clear, cloud- 
less blue sky, like some mighty giant 
sleeping and stretching east from its 
slopes ; the grand old town—‘‘ mine own 
romantic town,” as Scott called it—looked 
down with a very historical visage on the 
more modern beauties of the gardens 
below, and away to the Forth and the 
hills of Fife in the north, a peep of which 
I caught as I passed the several streets 
running north from Princes Street. 
Ruskin especially loved these openings 
in Princes Street, Professor Blackie told 
me later, for he said, ‘‘ When I come to 
them I can look from the works of man 
to the works of God.” 

I was not long in reaching Douglas 
Crescent—a handsome crescent in the 
extreme west of the city, commanding an 
almost uninterrupted view of the valley 
of the Water of Leith, of Corstorphine 
Hill, of the Forth, and on clear days of 
the Lomonds of Fife. The Professor had 
written that I was not to come too early, 
as the regulation of his life was that the 
morning was to be kept sacred to the 
mysteries of his study, so that it was 
approaching noon when I entered the 


picturesque hall of his house at No. 9g, 





1074 


Douglas Crescent. In the dining-room 
I met Mrs. Blackie, little changed from 
what I knew her ten years ago, looking 
by her remarkably erect bearing more like 
a woman of sixty than one between 
seventy and eighty ; and soon we were 
joined by the Professor, who came in 
singing, and although I saw the feet 
marks of that cruel crow Time had not 
spared him, yet no one would imagine 
that this erect and youthful-looking figure, 





MORNING CALLS. 


bad. My dear sir, pessimism is a habit 
of thinking, or a frame of mind that leads 
a man to fix his eyes on the accidental 
faults or disagreeable points of any object 
or objects relatively to himself, and to 
infer from them, by a hasty conclusion, 
that accidental faults or differences are 
the essence of all things, and express the 
dominant character of the universe. How 
absurd this notion is we may learn from 
taking the example say of a rose, on which 


PROFESSOR BLACKIE’S DINING-ROOM. 


carrying a still more youthful heart, was 
the body of a man in his eighty-fifth year. 
1809—what memories that takes us back 
to! and this striking Scot, with his mar- 
vellous foie de vivre, his energy—dramatic 
often in its intensity, and his remarkable 
sympathy with the newer movements, was 
born, then, in the same year with Men- 
delssohn, Chopin, Darwin, Tennyson, 
Holmes, and Gladstone. I remark on 
his continued vigour, and he replies— 
‘‘T am not so young as | was, that is 
certain, and yet there is life in me yet ; 
that comes with living as far as possible 
on a system, and avoiding pessimism and 
all such devilry. Pessimism, indeed! Be- 
lieve an old philospher when he tells you 
there is far more good in the world than 


a pessimistic rhymer would express him- 
self thus : 


“*T hate the flower that wears a thorn, 
It frets my dainty nose ; 
Sooner of smell would I be shorn 
Than smell the thorny rose !’ 


That sounds silly enough,” the Professor 
said, jumping up and laughing ; ‘‘ but the 
generality of our common one-sided con- 
clusions, on things great and small, are 
really not a whit more reasonable; be- 
sides,” turning to me with a half-sus- 
picious look, ‘‘I think your pessimism is 
bred in your London writers, and is not an 
accurate reflection of the feeling of the 
age. Well, come away up to my study,” 








MORNING CALLS. 


he said, opening the dining-room door ; 
and as I followed him up stairs he 
remarked, ‘‘A whiff from our Scotch 
moors will blow the pessimism out of you 
if you have any in you, but you look too 
seasonable and healthy a lad for that.” 

We are seated in one of his studies ; 
rather I am seated, for he is a ‘‘ motive 
animal,” and walks up and down, and I 
ask him if he has any definite work on 
hand at present. 

‘*Oh, of course,” he answered. 
‘““Work is life for me; look there,” 
pointing to a row of books, ‘‘all those 
refer to a subject on which I am now 
writing—Modern Greece; so little is 
known, and that little so misunderstood, 
by the average John Bull or Sandy, that 
| have made a close study of the subject, 
and am writing an article on ‘ The Pres- 
ent State of Modern Greece, from the 
War of 1821.’ The Greeks have still the 
elements of a great people,” said the 
Professor ; ‘‘ they are clever and enterpris- 
ing, and what is better, they are like the 
old Scots—not the modern Scot, he is 
unregenerate—they are patriots. Their 
schools and colleges are increasing, and 
you may be surprised to hear they have 
a remarkable modern literature of their 
own. Look there,” said the Professor, 
pointing to rows and rows of books, 
‘* those are all by modern Greek authors ; 
important contributions to the literature 
of the continent many of them. Of 
course the Greeks have many disadvan- 
tages ; for instance, they have no resident 
proprietors, and their financial position is 
bad, but I hope that they will some day 
be a great people again.” 

**Do you still hold to the position you 
took up years ago, Professor, as to the 
modern Greek language ?” I ask. 

‘*Certainly, most emphatically, and I 
am writing about it every week. The 
absurd delusion that Greek is a dead lan- 
guage is dispelled by looking at any 
modern Greek newspaper. If you know 
any Greek at all, look at that,” he said, 
handing me a modern Greek paper, ‘‘ and 
you will find not a dozen words that you 
will fail to understand. I say, decidedly, 
there has been a living continuity from 
Byzantium down to the present day ; and, 
as I have said before, I have no sympathy 
with the niceness of sensibility which re- 
fuses the stamp of classicality to all forms 
and idioms unsanctioned by the usage of 
Attic writers, preferring to float my skiff 
freely on the great catholic Greek of all 
ages, from Plato to Polybius, from Poly- 





1075 


bius to Chrysostom, and from Chrysos- 
tom to Theireianos and Porpater. 

‘*And what do the critics say to all 
this?” 

‘* The critics, my dear sir, they trouble 
me little. I seldom read newspaper 
criticism, and then only when I know 
that the person thoroughly understands 
what he is writing about. Mind you, 
all extremes are wrong; and I make 
no sweeping condemnation of the 
class, but I refuse to recognise the 
right of untutored youth to speak on 
matters which he only partially under- 
stands. There are many very excellent 
critics ; but the majority, I hold, are gen- 
erally too severe. ‘Whom do I consider 
the severest critics?’ you ask. Young 
men and women, but for different reasons : 
young men from an excess of self-assertion 
and women from an excess of sensibility. 
Every force in full action has a tendency 
to be despote ; and the young man from a 
superfluity of force combined with a defi- 
ciency of experience is inclined to de- 
nounce and over-ride any other force that 
acts in a line not coincident with his own. 
With him a sharp criticism is merely a 
cheap way of declaring his own real or 
imaginary superiority ; if he saw all round 
and had as quick an eye for his own weak 
points as for those of his neighbours, he 
would know to be silent and to withhold 
a judgment which as being personal and 
partial can have no claim to catholic 
validity. On the other hand woman 
objects to a fault real or imaginary, not 
from the aggressive instinct of the young 
man, but in the passive way of shrinking 
from a blot that, like a jar in music, dis- 
turbs the pure impression of the beautiful. 
This delicate sensibility to a fault, though 
it may no doubt be regarded as a virtue, 
and perhaps—” he added significantly— 
‘*a sign of high genius in an artist or 
musical composer, may nevertheless act 
as a misfortune rather than as a blessing 
in the circumstances of our daily life. 
Practical wisdom, wherever possible, is to 
forget the discord and dwell on the har- 
mony. When the streets are dirty you 
are not wise if you walk out with silken 
shoes. Critics as a rule are apt to see 
these. They show a want of perspective, 
induced by a want of imagination. For 
my own part, I believe that things as a 
rule exist in the world to be enjoyed not 
for being criticised. Criticism is advan- 


tageous, but when encouraged it is apt to 
develop a negative attitude of mind ; but 
I dare say it is found to pay, for an un- 








1076 
generous judgment smartly spoken or 
written seems to tell nowadays and 


arouses a certain sense of superiority in 
ourselves. Ofthe kind of critics I loathe 
and detest I wrote a mock advertisement 
after reading a small-minded review of a 
learned friend of my own in a London 
Review, whose delight it is to sneer at any- 
thing which takes life seriously, and 
especially at things Scotch.” Here the 
Professor searched among some papers 
and handed me a paper on which was 
written the following: —‘‘ Wanted, a smart 
young man to perform the office of literary 





MORNING CALLS. 


always more grateful if sauced with im- 
pertinence. N.B.—No person need apply 
who is of a nice and scrupulous conscience, 
and who allows himself to be influenced 
in forming his judgment by St. Paul’s 
declaration that love is the fulfilling 
of the law, or by Goethe’s doctrine 
that reverence lies at the root of all 
excellence.” 

We talked away for some time. on 
various subjects which I knew were of 
interest to him. He spoke in enthusi- 
astic style of the power of the stage, 
saying that ‘‘he learned more from one 


A CORNER OF THE LIBRARY, 


critic to the. . . Review. He must be 
a young man of quick glance and of a 
ready and fluent style. Profound thought, 
sound judgment and large experience 
unnecessary, but clever conceits and a 
turn for epigrammatic points are prime 
requisites. Accuracy will be expected 
when dealing with minute points of history 
or topography, but any difficulty on this 
head may be avoided by dealing largely in 
generals. A quick sensibility to faults 
more necessary than a large sympathy 
with beauties, and in all cases a general 
tone of superiority is indispensable and 


good play than from ten 


preached from the pulpit. There are 


sermons 


many such plays which I can look back 
upon—‘ Claudian,’ Mr. Clement Scott’s 
‘Sister Mary,’ Jenny Lee’s play of ‘ Jo’ 
(a wonderfully powerful sermon), some 
of the plays of Mr. Wilson Barrett and 
Mr. Irving, and latterly Mr. Grundy’s 
‘Sowing the Wind.’” We spoke of the 
severity of the Scottish Sabbath and of 
the Scottish religious training as a 
whole, in the course of which he told 
me a striking story which was new to 
me. ‘‘A Highland boy, in the neigh- 








MORNING CALLS. 


bourhood of Dingwall (in the far north 
of Scotland), being shown by a young 
lady a series of small pictures represent- 
ing human figures, had his attention 
more particularly fixed by one in which 
a gigantic grim warrior appeared with a 
heavy club in his hand in the act of 
dealing a blow, and immediately he came 
out with the question, ‘ /s this God?’ A 
more pregnant satire,” added the Pro- 
fessor, ‘‘on the grim theology of the 
Caledonian Calvinists cannot be con- 
ceived. Out of the mouth of babes and 
sucklings thou hast perfected reproof.” 

I questioned him as to what he considered 
the most important work of his life. 

‘© Oh,” he said, ‘‘ that would be difficult 
to say. I think I was one of the first 
to stimulate the movement for University 
reform, and to get something practical 
done. Then, of course you know, I 
worked hard at the foundation of the 
Celtic Chair in the University, and col- 
lected a large sum of money; then I 
think I have done some good in regard 
to the question of Modern Greek ; but 
these are not things for me to speak 
about,” he said, jumping up, and walk- 
ing out of the room. ‘‘I’m going to 
see what the day is like,” he said, as i 
followed him into the drawing-room, 
where we obtained a magnificent pano- 
ramic view of the hills of Fife and of 
the Forth. ‘‘QOh, it’s beautiful,” he 
said ; ‘‘I always walk after lunch. Now 
there’s a man for you,” he said, pointing 
to a picture of Goethe as a young man. 
‘The British mind has not yet quite 
taken him in, but I have studied him 
thoroughly. He is a giant—such a com- 
bination. There’s another great soul. 
Poor Burns—too much sail, and not 
enough ballast.” 

‘* You have written a life of Burns ?” I 
remark. 

** Yes,” he answered. ‘‘I was asked to 
do it, and at first I refused, for I can 
never do work to order. I have never 
done it. But then I thought a little, and 
I said to myself there are two kinds of 
persons who may write that life. First, 


the blind hero-worshipper, who will write 
a useless blatant kind of work, and then 





1077 
another much worse person who will 
play the self-righteous moralist with 


Burns, and probably look at him through 
his own myopic lenses. I felt that I 
understood Burns, and consented, feeling 
that I could find the medium course. 
How I succeeded it is not for me to 
judge.” 

‘*There is an essentially noble man,” 
said the Professor, pointing to a picture 
of Gladstone. ‘‘ He and I are old friends, 
and although we have often disagreed on 
politics, and the Hebrew devil, and other 
subjects, yet I always admire the nobility 
and uprightness of the man. 

‘* There’s John Murray. I remember 
him telling me, when I went to see him 
about my Homer, never to publish Greek 
in Scotland. He was right there; pub- 
lishors occasionally say wise things, you 
know,” said the Professor laughing. 

We are back in the study, and I ask 
him what has been the most successful of 
his books. 

** Successful ? Well, it depends in what 
way you mean. If you mean with regard to 
sale, certainly Se/f/-Cudture, which I wrote 
as a holiday amusement twenty years ago, 
and which has gone through twenty-five 
large British editions, and has been trans- 
lated into ten foreign languages. Of my 
philological works The Hore Hellenice and 
Wise Men of Greece, and my Homer and the 
diiad contain some of my best work ; while 
in poetry Zhe Wise Men of Greece and The 
Lays of the Highlands and Islands seem to 
have pleased ; but these things don’t trouble 
me much. But I have talked enough,” 
said the Professor ; ‘‘ let us go down to 
lunch, and you can tell me something 
new of your great world in London. I 
have hosts of good friends there, but 
most of the friends of my earlier days 
are of course dead—Carlyle, Browning, 
Tennyson, Sir Henry Holland, Lewes, 
Stanley, Tom Taylor, and others.” 

**He’s better than most of them,” he 
said to Mrs. Blackie as we entered the 
dining-room. ‘‘He hasn’t asked me to 
tell him stories, nor has he asked me what 
I eat for lunch, nor do I think he has taken 
notes of the furniture.” A. H. 























Photo by I. A. De Ribas, Boston. 


IN FAVOUR OF LICENSE. 













is 


so 
& 


Om Ee é 
AG ™~, — 
eS 
DOTSIE AS. 


= 
. ae oe 


ee 


By EDWARD CARLTON. 


ATTHEW CAPPER, third mate, 
told me the story as I lay in a 
deck chair during the middle watch of an 
intolerable African night, unable to sleep 
or even to rest in the heavy atmosphere 
of a state-room. The land then loomed 
upon our starboard quarter, gloriously lit 
with the full light. of a great moon; but 
there was not a breath of breeze even to 
belly a skysail, not a spell of cool as the 
watches passed and the terrible dawn 
spread over the sea. The mate alone 
seemed proof against the visitation of the 
heat, nay almost shivered in the worst 
hours of it ; and when I gave him a cigar, 
he held it unlighted as a man who is 
carried by his mind from the present to 
a vivid memory of the past. 

‘«T’ve told the story,” said he, ‘‘ to few ; 
mostly silent ones. I don’t know why you 
shouldn’t have it if you'll hold back names 
where the men I speak of are part of the 
affair; though, 
them are dead and gone now. That’s 
Cape Verde showing to starboard there ; 
and it wasn’t a hundred miles from here 
that I last saw the 4/ Dorado ;—a good 
ship, sir, though bought cheap and manned 
by rats.” 

‘*You had your trouble with her, did 
you not?” I asked. 

‘*I did, more’s the pity. And what 
follows? Why, there’s not an owner that 
will trust me with a kettle now though 


likely enough, many of 


I’ve told half of them what I’m going to 
tell you. I’m tarred with the brush that 
blacked the rest, as honest a lot as you'll 
pick up between Portsmouth and the 
Scillies when they signed with me.” 

** And what turned them ?” 

‘* Ay, what turned them? That’s the 
story. What made us all creep about as 
though the devil’s shadow was on the 
ship? What made them rave like mad- 
men three days after we saw the last of 
Europe? I'll tell you in a word—it was a 
woman; the woman who commissioned 
me to the schooner ; the woman for whom 
I bought it.” 

** You interest me,” said I; ‘‘let’s get 
some more beer and have the yarn. My 
head’s like a mop in a bucket, and there'll 
be no sleep this watch, anyway.” 

We called the steward from below, for 
the whole ship was awake then and until 
dawn; and when we had the beer the 
mate began to talk to me. I was making 
a passage home from the Cape, the modern 
Mecca of the invalid, and had already come 
near to the Verde Islands in the full-rigged 
ship Celso, of which this curious man 
was third officer. I describe him as 
curious with some reason. While he 
could not have been past his thirty-fifth 
year, he had the face of a sexagenarian, and 
the saddest eyes man ever had. Scarred 
with furrows and wrinkles as a study by 
Rembrandt, there was yet so much 








1080 


nobility about his countenance, he had 
such a perfection of balance in his features, 
and wore his melancholy with such a 
pretty grace, that I could understand the 
words in which women spoke of him ; and 
the meaning of the ejaculation, ‘‘ Poor 
fellow,” which followed his footsteps. 
But his story is the better index to his 
personality, and I give it from pure 
memory ; yet accurately, I am sure, since 
no man who once heard it could forget 
either the pathos or the pity of it. 

** Well,” he said, ‘‘ it’s more years back 
than you could count upon your hand, 
seven maybe, maybe eight, though time 
does not concern me now. I was at 
Portsmouth then, land-locked after the 
dirtiest summer of the century, and wait- 
ing a ship since I could not get a yacht. 
It’s wonderful the hold a white deck has 
on a man once he’s trod it, sir. I know 
many who would take a pound a month 
less to skipper a cutter, even if you 
offered them a five-master. That was 
how I felt. I'd had a bit of a job with an 
old schooner—she belonged to Ransom, 
the brewer—but August came and found 
me with my hands in my pockets, and 
precious little besides. Most owners went 
out of commission before September 
because of the wet, days not fit for dogs 
they were; and I was just about to sign 
for a berth as ‘second’ on the Ocean 
Queen, when the letter came to me.” 

‘© You didn’t mention a letter,” said I, 
as I offered him a match. 

‘““Didn’t I?” he went on, without 
lighting his cigar, ‘‘ well, it began with 
the letter—the queerest letter a seaman 
ever had. It was a note which held no- 
thing less than a draft for two thousand 
pounds put into my hand by a stranger. 
She signed herself Emile Aldibert, and 
wrote from an address in Great Portland 
Street. Of course, there had been some one 
to speak for me, I don’t doubt that; but 
a man who has not often called a hundred 
pounds his own may be thrown off his 
helm when he finds two _ thousand 
plumped down upon him, and left to be 
spent at his discretion. That was my 
case, and I was just for all the world like 
a big yacht griping for the wind. Twice 
I read the note, then twice again, but | 
could not get the bearings of it any way. 
First, you see, I was asked to buy to the 
best of my judgment a sailing ship large 
enough to make a journey to the Cape. 
Cheapness, said the lady, was a consider- 
ation, but so was safety ; and then in her 
little writing, going up and down like the 





THE DERELICTION OF THE ‘EL DORADO.” 


scrawl of a mosoo, she said that she 
wished me to fit out this ship, and to man 
her with the smallest number of men 
which could bring her safely to port. 
But—and mark it as strange—everything 
was to be done in my name, and of in 
hers. She said that the recommendation 
she had of me led her to trust me like an 
old servant ; but she pressed upon me the 
necessity of very great economy in my 
actions and hoped that the two thousand 
pounds would be money enough for her 
purpose. With that direction she hoped 
that I would accept two hundred and 
fifty pounds to take the vessel to the 
Cape, and sell her to the best advantage 
on my return; that I would hurry on the 
work, and would communicate with her, 
so soon as the ship was ready, at the 
address she gave me. 

‘* This was the letter I read, ay, scores 
of times in the next three days, and car- 
ried about Portsmouth with me, wandering 
for hours like a man in adream. Who 
was Emile Aldibert, and why did she want 
to go by her own ship to the Cape, when 
she could have bought a passage for a 
tenth of the sum? Why had she chosen 
me? for what reason was all this cry about 
secrecy? It was possible, I said, that she 
was running from the police ; but a liner 
even then would have been the safer craft. 
It was equally possible that she was mixed 
up with some man ; but I could not bring 
my mind to learn how a yacht would help 
her in that case. A man who sees water 
for the best part of a year is not usually 
quick at thinking. Lay it all down ona 
chart for him, and he will take you there. 
Tie him up ashore, with his lungs full of 
smoke, and he will smile while you pick 
his pocket. I was never an exception to 
the rule, and the woman’s letter seemed to 
knock my wits all to pieces. For three 
days, as I tell you, the draft for two thou- 
sand burnt a hole in my mind; on the 
fourth, I found myself bidding, with all 
the excitement of a big buyer, for a fore- 
and-aft schooner which lay in the harbour. 
That was the year of deep-sea depression 
in every yard; you could pick up iron 
ships for a third of what they cost. The 
schooner ran out at one hundred and 
ninety-eight tons, with gear as good as 
gold all through, and I bought her, as I’m 
a living man, for nine hundred sovereigns. 
Three weeks later, I had her fitted with 
gewgaws, and silks, and good bedding, 
which many a rich shoreman might have 
thought himself lucky to see ; and with a 
crew of twelve besides myself and the 








THE DERELICTION OF THE ‘“ EL DORADO.” 1081 


mate, good men all, that knew me as | 
knew them, we waited for my lady on the 
first day of October. 

‘*Now I was very proud of that ship, 
sir, from the start. I had said to myself, 
‘ Provision is to be made for petticoats, 
and I am responsible for it.” There wasn’t 
- a thing in any of the cabins aft that I did 
not see to myself. I put up a booby 
hatch where a common wooden bed had 
been; I carpeted the companion, and 
trimmed the chief cabin with blue and 
gold, until it was as fine as a state-room. 
On the day that we looked for the lady to 
come, I had enough flowers about the place 
to stock a market; great bouquets of them 
fore and aft, and more in the saloons. As 
for the men, there never was a smarter 
lot ; and I dressed them in white ducks 
and blue jerseys, with the name of the 
ship, the £/ Dorado, written in gold all 
across their caps. Every rag in the sail- 
room was new, and we'd worked on the 
decks until they shone like a dancing floor. 
You may imagine, then, that I was not 
very pleased when, at six o’clock on the 
day I looked for the lady to come, a crone 
of sixty, who gabbled in a tongue that no 
decent man would pretend to understand, 
came off in the boat, and made signs that 
she wanted to inspect us. I took her 
round, civilly of course, but L felt sore 
about it ; and when she said that her mis- 
tress would come aboard at twelve o’clock 
on the following night, I thought again of 
the mystery which was about all the busi- 
ness, and it stuck in my mind like an 
uncanny thing. 

‘**On the following day, just before eight 
bells, the lady’s luggage came off in the 
boat—a pile of trunks, some light ham- 
pers, and a cage with a raven who croaked 
dismally in it. The bird had an uncanny 
look, and the hands grouped round its 
cage and discussed it. The older ones 
shook their heads (there were three croaks 
from the bird, they counted), and thought 
no luck would come of it; Martin Key, 
the boatswain, said plain out, ‘ that if he’d 
known what he was shipping with, he’d 
sooner have signed to h—Il’ ; the younger 
men asked themselves why the owner 
wanted to come aboard at midnight? It 
. was altogether such a bit of a thing as 
will set a crew talking ill, and make hands 
dissatisfied before sheets are home. I 
talked to them straight out, as you may 
think ; told them to go back if they were 
tired of the job before it began; but they 
only said that they felt themselves all right 
with me, and would thank me to pitch the 





raven into the Solent. Why the bird put 
them out I never knew; some men ac- 
count ravens lucky ; others have different 
stories of them. Our lot were put up to 
it by the Norwegian mate, Hesmer ; and, 
coupling it with the mystery about the 
lady, they read the bird as an evil omen. 

‘* They were this way when the owner 
came aboard at midnight, accompanied 
by the crone, but with no soul, man, 
woman, or child, to wish her a ‘ God- 
speed.” She was a bit of a thing, a 
slight girlish creature, who did not appear 
to be twenty-three years of age; and I 
was never more astonished in my life than 
when first I saw her; her face nigh 
covered in a blue mantle, but tears run- 
ning down her cheeks like rain, and big 
saucer-like eyes, which seemed to 
look through and through you. I met 
her ashore, and when she thanked me 
very sweetly for what I had done, and 
said she could never repay me, I was like 
a man struck in a squall with topsails 
unhoused, and I just stood there and stam- 
mered like a booby. There never was a 
prettier morsel on God’s earth, never 
one with such kindness in her baby face, 
and such a something which went straight 
to a man’s heart. I was in love with her 
long before she set foot on deck; and 
when I had a glimpse of her whole face 
as she sat under the lamp of the cabin I 
felt myself all of a tremble, like one who 
has heard good news. Then we weighed, 
and by the forenoon watch stood well 
down Channel with a smoking breeze 
almost abaft, and every stitch set the 
ship could carry. 

‘“We had been at sea a week, and 
were making a long reach out of the Bay 
before anything more passed which would 
be worth your hearing. The schooner 
well repaid my trust in her. She was the 
greatest ship to windward I ever 
handled ; and she stood stiff as a chimney 
even with three parts of a gale on her 
beam. The men began to forget their 
talk, and were what I took them to be, 
smart hands, who would have done credit 
to any service. But the trouble began 
again on the seventh day, as I could see, 
and it began because our owner and 
passenger never showed herself on deck, 
nor, for the matter of that, allowed any 
of us to enter her cabin. She was even 


waited on at meals by the hag she brought 
with her, and the old creature passed the 
dishes through the panel to the galley 
just for all the world as if it was death 
for any of the crew to see her mistress. 











1082 


This wouldn’t have mattered so much if 
there had not been talk of other things— 
of wild nights of weeping, of hysterical 
laughter, of a woman crying like one in 
agony, and of strange sights which the 
hands, now beginning to be wound up, 
declared that they had seen and heard. 
The boatswain, Martin Key, was at the 
bottom of it as I knew, and one night I 
sent for him to my room, and put it 
straight to him— 

‘** Key,’ said I, ‘what's all this non- 
sense, and who set it afloat ?’ 

*** Ay, sir,’ he said, ‘it may be non- 
sense, but you don’t look for to quell it 


that way.. Ask Mr. Hesmer, sir, he’s 
from Norway, and like enough he 
knows.’ 


‘“*Never mind Mr. Hesmer,’ said 1, 
‘ but speak for yourself. They tell me you 
have seen something to frighten you in 
the chief cabin. Now you're not a child 
or a woman, and this ship’s not the place 
for hysterics—I want to know as between 
man and man what the trouble is ?’ 

** He looked white enough at this, and 
began to finger his hat, as seamen will. 

** «No, sir,’ he said presently, ‘ I couldn’t 
tell you what I’ve seen, and what I think 
I durstn’t tell you. If I should be right, 
there’s not a man of us but what would 
walk into the sea the minute after he 
knew it—God forbid! I’m a plain able 
man, with no learning in my figure-head, 
and like enough I’m wrong. But you ask 
Mr. Hesmer, sir.’ 

‘* There was nothing to be done with a 
man like this, as you may think. I sent 
him to his work, and went on deck with 
my mind in a blind fog, and my nerves 
twitching indescribably. The plain truth 
was that, if it had not been for a pretty 
face, and the sweetest smile man ever 
looked upon, I had gone into the saloon 
there and then and told my owner all that 
was being said in the fo’castle. But 
when I wanted to do it, when my plain 
common sense told me to solve the thing 
at once, another impulse held me back. 
The girl had stipulated for privacy; I, in 
a sense, was her protector ; I felt, even in 
that early stage, that her life might be in 
my hands. She had some great sorrow 
no doubt, but what concern was that ot 
mine? It would be a personal degrada- 
tion, I imagined, to give any heed to the 
maunderings of a superstitious crew. 
More than that, and there is no gain in 
withholding it, I was just about as deep 
down in love with her as man ever was 
with woman, and dared not risk the 


THE DERELICTION OF THE ‘ EL DORADO.” 


possibility of her anger. What was it to 
me or to the men, ! asked, if she chose 
to bide in her cabin ? what concern of ours, 
if she was haunted by trouble? It was her 
own ship, bought with her own money, 
and it was hers to do with as she pleased. 
And I was determined that she should be 
talked about no more, and that I would 
so deal with the first man who broached 
the topic again that the talk of it should 
end there and then. 

‘* These things went round in my head 
as I walked the watch, and waited for 
Hesmer to come up at eight bells. It is 
true that I could not escape the questions 
which my mind put to me, or fail to ask, 
Who is my passenger? Where does she 
come from? Has she friends? What is 
her trouble ? But they, as such questions 
ever will, ceased to harass me when my 
affection for the girl grew, and my imagin- 
ation fed upon the one picture of her I 
had known. A man’s love is rarely 
tricked out with logic; mine was no 
exception. When I kept my watch on 
that night I saw the vision of her face, 
turn where I would ;and I knew that I 
would have given half my life if the other 
half could have been spent with her. 
Sentiment, you say, and possibly it was, 
but of such sentiment are the exquisite 
moments of life. 

‘**It was a little after eight bells when 
Hesmer came on deck and relieved me. 
Before I went below I hada few words 
with him, and told him that Key had referred 
me to him. I thought that he had no 
plain straightness of manner with me in 
the business, but did not unduly press him 
when he made the shape of a tale. 

‘* «The fact is,’ said he, ‘ your men are 
scared, and that’s just the whole of it. I 
told Key, it was yesterday, something 
that might possibly explain away the 
whole of it, but there’s a thousand chances 
to one I’m wrong, and I’m not going to 
talk of it. You don’t forget I’m Nor- 
wegian born, and have in my head things 
that wouldn’t occur to an Englishman, 
If you take my word, you'll leave ’em be, 
and in a week you'll hear no more of it. 
This sort of affair is fed on words, and the 
more you listen to ’em, the more trouble 
they’ll give you.’ . es 

*** Well, I think you're right,’ said I, 
‘and the next man who comes to me with 
a crank in his head is going to have it 
knocked out with a handspike. Just put 
that abroad, and see if it helps them.’ 

‘« ¢] will,’ said he, ‘ but listen a minute ; 
there’s crying down in the cabin again.’ 











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THE DERELICTION OF THE “EL DORADO.” 1083 


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‘* | SAW IN THAT MOMENT AN APPARITION BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH TO BLIND A MAN.” 


‘* Sure enough, as we stood at the open 
skylight there came up from the saloon 
below a pitiful moaning and wailing, the 
like to which I have never heard. Long- 
drawn sobs which cut your heart to hear 
were followed by screams as of rage; 
then came grating exclamations in a 
tongue I did not understand ; and a sound 
of weeping, deep and bitter as of ultimate 
distress. So painful altogether was the 
outbreak, and so much was I moved at 
the suffering of a mere child—as my 


- 


owner always was in my mind—that | did 
what I had never done before, and went 
down the companion to the cabin door. 
Before that, I had sent Hesmer forward, 
telling him that one of us only should 
intrude upon the lady’s privacy, and that 
I meant to do the work myself. 

** At my first knock upon the panel the 
sounds within the saloon died away. I 
heard muttered whispering, and then the 
door was drawn back a little way, and the 
face of the beldame appeared thrust round 








1084 


it. Stealthily as she did the business, I 
could yet see for one moment into the 
cabin, and the sight struck my nerves as 
no shock before or since has ever done. 
I saw in that moment an apparition 
beautiful enough to blind a man—the 
apparition of a woman with golden- 
vellow hair streaming all over her 
shoulders, of a woman who was yet a 
girl, but whose face, with all its extra- 
vagant loveliness, was yet running with 
tears and distorted with such visual tokens 
of misery that my heart seemed ready to 
burst at the sight of it. More than this, 
the hag gave me no opportunity to re- 
member, for she began to rant like a 
fury ; and above the sound of her rasping 
voice I heard the words of the girl herself 
crying, ‘ How dare you come to my cabin! 
how dare you after all your promises !’ 

‘*When I got up the companion I was 
like a man whipped. Sie had reproached 
me for a breach of good faith; and all 
said and done, I was only her servant. I 
was that mad with shame I could have 
cut my right hand off; and I went 
straight to my own room and fell upon 
my bed to pass four hours, which I would 
not number again for the command of a 
liner. The second glimpse of the girl’s 
face had only added to my first impres- 
sion. I can remember every line of it 
now as though she stood before me, the 
play of the mouth, the pathos of the eyes, 
the flush of red upon the cheeks. And I 
can remember how curious I thought it then 
that her shoulders and her arms were all 
bound up in a great white cloth, and that 
the crone seemed to fear my looking into 
the cabin just as much as if the dead lay 
there. But the mystery, great as I knew 
it to be, went out of my mind before 
the other feeling—the feeling that I would 
surrender every pleasure of my life if by 
my service I could earn the gratitude of 
the seemingly friendless creature who 
thus had come to my charge. 

‘**On the next morning after I had 
spent weary hours in my bunk, I found a 
strange spirit abroad amongst my men. 
They were silent and moody, and for the 
first time they avoided me. I talked to 
one or two of them, but they would give 
me nothing definite in reply; Hesmer 
himself had become taciturn and did his 
duty with a heavy spirit, which was in 
concord with my own feelings, though 
for a very different reason. As for the 
chief cabin, that had become suddenly as 
silent as the grave; we did not hear even 
the sound of talking there; the whole 


THE DERELICTION OF THE ‘‘ EL DORADO.” 


ship was stricken with an unspeakable 
gloom, in which the croaking of the raven 
was like a knell. And we went on in this 
miserable truce for many days, no man 
coming near me when he could stay 
away, none seeking my confidence or re- 
turning it. 

‘“‘It must have been at a point not 
twenty miles from here that the climax 
came. The stiff breeze which had brought 
us to Africa fell away altogether after 
we'd sighted the islands; and we stood 
in toward the land with canvas slack and 
decks on fire almost with the heat. I had 
turned in through the second ‘dog,’ but 
came up at eight bells, and was on deck 
until midnight. Most of my time I spent 
hovering near the skylight of the woman’s 
cabin, as if to get a sound of her voice to 
my consolation ; the rest I passed leaning 
over the taffrail and thinking how strange 
it was that I should be near the African 
coast at all. When the watch changed I 
slept an hour in my bunk, but the heat was 
intolerable, and I went up to the deck again 
determined to make another effort to speak 
to Hesmer, and to drag from him the 
whole of his suspicions. To my surprise I 
could not find him either on deck or below ; 
and the hand, Thompson, at the wheel 
stammered and stuttered with unmistak- 
able desire to lie when | questioned him. 
Before I could take any steps to solve the 
mystery of the mate’s absence, he ap- 
peared quickly coming over the bulwarks, 
and stood before me unabashed. He had 
climbed into the main chains to spy upon 
the woman through the port of her cabin ; 
and when I remembered what he had 
done I could have struck him down as he 
stood. 

‘“*Mr. Hesmer,’ said I, my fingers 
tingling with rage, ‘you seem to have 
been well occupied. I congratulate you 
on your employment, watching a lady in 
her cabin.’ 

‘** You speak the truth,’ said he, an- 
swering with impudent confidence, ‘ and 
maybe she’s a lady, but it was no lady’s 
act to book us for this trip.’ 

‘* He took all my command from me at 
the boldness of his answer, and I askec 
him stutteringly, 

‘¢* What do vou mean ? for the love of 
God speak plain !’ 

‘**] mean, Mr. Capper,’ said he, ‘ that 
me and the men are going ashore in the 
long-boat within the next hour, and you’re 
coming with us.’ 

‘**Mr. Hesmer,’ said I, quite calmly, 
‘‘your intentions towards me are very 





"fax 


“—s 


—— = Se TH AS 


: , 





THE DERELICTION OF 


kind, but the first man that puts a finger 
on the boat may look to have his funeral 
in the same hour. Let’s have an end of this 
nonsense. What is it to you and the hands 
if the lady chooses to ke@p her own cabin 
and her own counsel; are we not all her 
servants? What is this thing you hint at 
perpetually ? Areyouallmad? Itseems 
to me very like it. MustI take means to 
make you sane? As there’s a God above 
me I'll shoot the first man that speaks to 





THE ‘EL DORADO.” "1085, 


the echo of acry. He seemed like a man 
speaking afar off; I could not get. the 
whole of his words into my head. But 
he repeated them, and slowly my mind 
shaped the truth, and a great gulf seemed 
to leap up between the vision of the 
girl and myself ; and there was an intoler- 
able pain at my heart, so that I stood 
rocking for a spell, and then, as they told 
me, fell flat upon the deck. When I 
came to my senses I was in the long- 





**1 WAS IN THE LONG-BOAT, BOUND UP LIKE A LOG,” 


me of it again like I'd shoot a dog. You 
hear me? then attend to it, and turn the 
. hands up, I’ve something to say to them.’ 
*  ** He heard the order quite calmly, then 
stepped up to me, and whispered a word 
in my ear. 

‘** Before you do that, I’d like you to 
answer a question,’ saidhe. ‘Have ye ever 
thought why yon lady won’t show 
amongst’us? Likely ye haven’t ; but I’m 
going to tell ye. Man, she’s a leper!’ 

‘*] listened to him as one listens to 


boat, bound up like a log ; and the whole 
of the crew sat round, speaking kind 
words, but firm ones. The £/ Dorado 
herself was drifting two miles away as- 
tern, just as it might be into yon bank 
of cloud. 

‘* What I did in the next hour God 
alone knows. My struggles to free my- 
self from the ropes at my wrists and 
ankles cut me almost to the bone. I! tried 
to throw myself into the sea, but the men 
held me back. I told them a hundred 











1086 


times that they ran no risk on board 
the ship; but they laughed at me. It 
was their fear that every man would be 
stricken down even then with the over- 
whelming horror ; and they were as mad- 
men, rowing swiftly for the land, while I 
implored them until my voice stuck 
in my throat, and tears ran down my face. 
In my delirium I thought to hear the girl 
calling me to her help ; I saw her again, 
as I had first seen her with her beauti- 
ful face tender in sorrow, and death very 
near to her. Then I must have lost my 
wits entirely, for I came to reason many 
weeks after in St. Louis at the house of 
the English consul. 

**You may ask if I made no effort to 
follow the derelict ship and come up with 
her; but how could 1? The crew were 
before me with their tale. They said that 
the ship had foundered at sea, and that 
the catastrophe had robbed me of my 
mind. And one by one they disappeared 
covertly, lest the truth should come to 
light; but those who heard my story 
shook their heads, and said that my 
memory would be restored presently. 
When I returned to England people 
were still more incredulous. The £/ 
Dorado drifted ashore fifty miles from 
Cape Verde ; but the passengers were not 
on boardher. The discovery of the wreck 
seemed to confirm the hands ; I was looked 
upon as a man with a weak head; and for 
many months owners would not speak to 
me. The ban lies upon me to this day ; 
it has crushed my future, and taken away 
my hope of life.” 

* * * * . 








THE DERELICTION OF THE ‘“ EL DORADO.” 





‘*But the girl!” said I, when he had 
ceased to speak for some time, ‘‘ did you 
never fathom the mystery of her case?” 

‘In some part, yes. The mate Hes- 
mer sent a paper from Nantes, in France, 
a year after the Z/ Dorado stranded ; and 
there I read of the disappearance of the 
young wife of a merchant named Oliver. 
He was a man of travel, and had married 
in Norway into a family at Trondhjem ; 
but during his absence at Algiers his wife 
had left him and was never subsequently 
heard of. The paper spoke of the girl’s 
philanthropy, and of her noble work in 
the leper hospital at Bergen; and then 
pointed out how curious it was that she 
had sold her jewels in Paris before quitting 
the country. This woman, said Hesmer, 
was your Madame Aldibert; and I be- 
lieve he spoke truth. It’s always been 
my opinion that she must have taken the 
disease before she was married, and then, 
when the fearful thing came upon her, 
she fled from her husband that he might 
never know.” 

‘* And why did she want to go to the 
Cape?” 

‘* Ah, that helps the case. She told me 
to take her to the Cape, but I don’t doubt 
that her real destination was Robben 
Island, where the great leper hospital is. 
She thought, perhaps, the voyage would 
do something forher. Poorthing! Death 
was welcome to her, I’m sure; but what 
a life, my God, and what a curse!” 

And with an infinite tenderness in his 
voice as he finished his story, Matthew 
Capper lurched off to his work forward. 
































PF ame 7 Sco ahi tig 


ae wee oe ee see at 
1eGARH_ SAVILE SLHRKE |G) 


i ae - | 





T is no use,” said Mrs. Tremaine, 

‘*no use, my dear; I am certain 

she can’t be nice. Oh, my boy! my 

boy! And she went and left him when 
he was ill—left him to die alone!” 

‘Aunt Laura, you can’t be sure.” 
The girl knelt by the elder lady’s side. 
‘*We must remember she is very young, 
barely twenty. Why, she was only seven- 
teen when he married her, and she is 
French, and Frenchwomen are not 
brought up as we are.” 

‘*It is cruel,” continued the other 
without heeding, ‘‘cruel to have her 
coming here now, an absolute stranger 
sharing my grief, having kept my son from me all those years; I was foolish to 
invite her—I was——” 

‘*Aunt, dear, we agreed that it was right to ask her. We know it isn’t 
pleasant.” 

‘* You haven’t got to live with her, Nell. But oh! you will come over often, won't 
you, child? She will add to my pain—will add to my pain——” Her voice died away 
into a moan, and she covered her face with her hands. She was a handsome woman 
with white hair and clear gray eyes. Her black crape suited her delicate complexion, 
some old-fashioned mourning rings decked her long slim fingers—there was 
one in memory of her own mother, another for her first child who died young, 
a third for a favourite brother killed out in Egypt, and a fourth for her husband, 
who had left her a widow ten long years ago. The house had all the old-fashioned 
refinement of its mistress, nothing was out of place and nothing bore the stamp 
of more modern times, just as its owner let her very thoughts run in the old 
grooves. 

Her niece was a fair-haired girl, with a bright face and a somewhat harsh voice. 
She had worshipped her dead cousin ever since she could remember, and for a few 
brief months the two had been betrothed. Then it was said that Harry Tremaine had 
tired of her, as he tired of everything, and he went away and omitted to write, 
and the engagement was broken off. The news of his death had been very sudden. 
He had been ill a few days, in a small town in the north of France, while his 
wife was visiting a friend. The doctor pronounced his malady the effect of a 
chi'l and severe rheumatism, on the third day he was dead from a sudden failure of 
the heart’s action, and his wife had returned too late to see him alive. 


131. August, 1894. 46 








1088 


** Nell, you’re not going ?” 

‘*T must, and she will be here soon, and 
would rather meet you alone.” 

** You will come to-morrow?” 

‘““Yes, I will come to-morrow. 
dear——” 

“© Well?” 

‘* Be very gentle with her.” 

‘* She deserted my boy.” 

‘* She is very young.” 

‘‘She took him from me, and let him 
die.” 

**And 
shock.” 

‘“‘She has no right to grieve as I 
grieve. She went away and left him. 
Nell, I almost ——” 

‘Hush, don’t say it, dear! You will 
learn to love her because /e loved her. 
Good-bye, good-bye.” 

She kissed the pale face, and crept 
down stairs. There was nothing altered 
in the great hall since she and Hal had 
played there two careless, happy children. 
The very garden and park looked the 
same ; in the beds where the gardener had 
planted geraniums there were geraniums 
still ; the scent of the mignonette came on 
the senses suddenly at a certain corner as it 
always used to do, and far down the drive 
near the park gates was the sweet-briar 
hedge—she stopped to pull a piece as she 
had stopped twenty times before. 

As she did so, there was the sound of 
wheels, and the lodge-keeper with a child 
clinging to her skirts ran forward to open 
the gates. The girl stood on one side 
and her heart beat fast. The carriage 
slackened speed in turning round into the 
drive, and she caught a glimpse of a 
slight figure covered from head to foot with 
crape. A long veil fell apparently to the 
very bottom of her dress; her head was 
bent and her eyelids drooping over her 
eyes. Beyond that, Nellie could see no 
more—she had passed and was gone. 

A queer maddening sense of jealousy 
oppressed her for the first time. She 
hated his widow for being so elegant and 
so dainty. To the girl’s English mind 
such elegance and real grief could hardly 
go hand in hand. She nodded to the 
lodge-keeper, and shunning any observa- 
tions on the newcomer took her way 
homewards. The dust clung to the crape 
on her dress, and she thought as she 
glanced in the glass when once in her own 
room. ‘* How shabby it makes this look 


Aunt, 


she has suffered a terrible 


already—but even she couldn’t look so 
smart if she had wa/ked in her crape.” 
And a curious satisfaction came over 








HER SON’S WIFE. 


her when she reflected that what she was 
feeling Aunt Laura would be feeling too. 

When the carriage drove up to the hall 
door Mrs. Tremaine rose hurriedly and 
went down the wide stairs. She saw 
what seemed a mere child smothered in 
crape descend, and a lovable mellow voice 
asked, 

‘Mrs. Tremaine. Is she at home?” 

‘*T am here, my poor child ! I am here !” 
she cried, and fairly ran towards the girl. 

The stranger submitted to be kissed, 
first flinging back her long veil. Her 
small face was very pale, her large eyes 
unnaturally bright, her delicate lips very 
red. And her hair, that Mrs. Tremaine 
had expected to be black, was a glorious 
golden, a colour rare enough in France, 
but wonderful when it does exist in com- 
pany with gray-blue eyes. 

The elder woman was nervous and ill at 
ease. She was startled at the calm, 
patient glance that seemed to look beyond 
her, and the beauty of her visitor aston- 
ished her most of all. 

‘“*Are you very much tired?” 
asked. 

** A little, madame.” 

** Shall I show you your room, or—— 

‘*If you please.” 

They went up stairs together, on the 
way the mother stole furtive glances at 
the wife, but the girl appeared to look at 
nothing. She showed no curiosity, no 
interest—she was merely gentle and polite. 

‘*So this is my room. It is a very 
pretty room, madame.” 

The windows were open, and the white 
muslin curtains flanped to and fro with a 
breeze that was creeping up with the 
evening. There was a view of the park 
and the distant cornfields, and away to 
one side the first cottages with the great 
sunflowers in their gardens, the beginning 
of the village, and the spire of the church. 
Everything in the room was old and yet 
fresh, and marvellously lavender scented 
and clean. There were roses in some 
delicate china vases on the mantelpiece, 
and above it, in company with some old 
prints, a boyish picture of Harry Tre- 
maine. 

His widow glanced up at it. Her lips 
parted as if she were in pain. She hesi- 
tated, and a bright spot of colour 
appeared in either cheek. 

‘‘T am grieved to vex you, madame. 
But I should like ¢Aat taken down,” she 
said. 

The other flushed, and said hurriedly, | 
‘*You don’t mean it! You can’t mean it! 


she 


” 























** WHAT WINE WILL YOU TAKE?” SAID MRS. TREMAINE, 








1090 


I have a picture of—of my boy in every 
room.” 

She broke down and sobbed, in the 
terrible choking abrupt manner that is so 
painful to hear. 

‘*T am sorry to have hurt you,” said the 
girl. ‘‘ Indeed, madame, it pains me to 
give you pain.” 

‘*And you loved him?” sobbed the 
other. 

‘‘Yes,” she answered ‘fiercely. ‘‘I 
loved him. What then?” 

In the pause that followed she walked 
to the dressing-table, and peeped at the 
glass. 

‘IT am very tired,” she said softly. 
‘* Doesn't my face show you that? My 
maid waited at the station, she will have 
come in the dog-cart you sent for my box. 
Can she have arrived yet, do you 
think ?” 

** What is your name ?”’ asked the older 
lady. 

‘*Eugénie, madame.” 

** What did fe call you?” 


The girl shook her head. ‘I should 


like you to call me Eugénie,” she 
said. 
** And will you try and call me—— ?” 


“Yes, I'll try.” There was another 
pause, Mrs. Tremaine’s patience was at an 
end, when the maid appeared. 

** Dinner will be ready in half an hour,” 
she said. ‘* You must be hungry.” 

**No I don’t think so. I'll be down in 
half an hour, thank you.” 

The elder woman left her. On her way 
down stairs she knocked at the girl’s door 
and pushed it open. The room was 
empty and the picture gone. She found 
Eugénie in the drawing-room dressed 
in a long black silk costume, high to the 
throat and trimmed with crape. Mrs. 
Tremaine sat down in despair, there was 
something about the girl which puzzled 
her. She almost hated the slim figure 
and wistful face. 

‘““There is the dinner 
said. 

The girl rose and followed her down 
stairs. As she took her seat the heavy 
oak furniture, the methodical neatness of 
everything, struck her as something 
peculiar. She looked from the room to 
the mistress it reflected, and for the first 
time the cold, correct expression and aris- 
tocratic face chilled her. 

** What wine will you take?” said Mrs. 
Tremaine. ‘‘ Do have some soup at once, 
you must need something. Wilkins, will 
you remove those red roses? I told John 


gong,” she 


-HER SON’S WIFE. 


only white flowers were to come into the 
house now.” 

The girl glanced at the roses with a 
queer expression, and then she said, 
‘*You have had a great deal of trouble 
madame. Your health must have 
suffered.” 

‘*T am better by now—I was ill at first. 
And then this good country air is such a 
help. You have heard,” Mrs. Tremaine 
said, ‘‘of Nellie, I expect ?” 

‘*Nellie!” she accentuated the last 
syllable as if the word were strange to 
her. 

‘*My niece, I mean. Surely—— 

‘*] dare say, madame. If so I have for- 
gotten. You were going to tell me 
something about her perhaps.” 

‘* She has been a great comfort to me. 
She will be here to-morrow.” 

The French girl turned her eyes towards 
the window, and saw the mist creep up 
the valley and surround the house. 

‘*How quiet it all seems,” she said. 

Her face changed, a wild look crossed 
its features as if she would have given 
much to escape out of the neatly ordered 
house, away from the hush of the country 
to the busy life of a town. She noted 
the butler’s secret glances at her face, she 
knew the very servants were taking stock 
of everything she wore, and every word 
she said, and would probably show their 
sympathy with her bereavement in some 
awkward, honest way because they 
had known her husband from a_ boy. 
She set her teeth, that resembled baby 
pearls, tightly together, she hung her 
head, and pushed her plate from her. 

‘*Can’t you eat?” asked Mrs. Tre- 
maine. There was a sort of irritation 
noticeable in her quiet voice, as if no one 
else had a right to a loss of appetite but 
herself. 

The girl stretched out her hand and 
took up her wine, the glass rattled against 
her teeth as she did so. 

‘«T fear—_—” began the other, but the 
girl broke in suddenly quite calm again. 

‘* Indeed, I am all right. I thank you 
very much.” 

When the servants had left the room, 
after a .ong pause in which the bronze 
clock on the mantelpiece had ticked 
aggressively, Mrs. Tremaine spoke softly. 
‘*] should have liked him to have been 
buried here,” she said. 

The girl raised her head quickly, and 
seemed surprised. 

**Should you?” 
should you?” 


” 


she said. ‘‘ Oh! 











HER SON’S WIFE: 109gI 


‘‘It is a great grief to me to think that 
my boy—my baby who was born here, 
should sleep so far away from me in a 
foreign land.” 

‘*T am very sorry,” said the girl. ‘I 
wish we had known.” 

‘* But you will love to have the grave 
near you——” 

“Ohno!” 

‘* What ?” - 

‘So that he sleeps in peace, some- 
where, I do not care that it shall be in 
France.” 

‘Oh! you can have no heart!” cried 
his mother ; and in her voice rang so much 
pain, that her listener was roused 
again. 

‘*]l am so grieved todistress you. But, 
madame, I have suffered very much, and 
everything is numb here.” She laid her 
hand against her heart. ‘‘I have never 
been able to cry at all.” 

The older woman stared aghast at the 
small pathetic face, and the graceful 
dignity with which she rose from the 
table. 

‘*T am so tired, dear madame, that I 
can hardly speak. May I have your kind 
permission to retire, and try to sleep?” 

Mrs. Tremaine rose too, and went and 
kissed her. 

‘*T wish I understood you,” she said. 

‘*It is not given to English people to 
do so,” murmured the girl, as she left the 
room. 

And that set Mrs. Tremaine thinking 
about her son, as if he were some one 
else, a thing she had never done before. 

* * * . * 

‘Well, Aunt Laura ?” 

‘*Oh, Nellie dear, come and sit down, 
I have so much to say to you.” 

‘* Where is she ?” 

‘* She asked for a cup of coffee—merely 
a cup of coffee—in bed, and she has not 
come down yet this morning.” 

‘* Why, it’s eleven o’clock !” 

‘* We keep early hours in the country,” 
answered Mrs. Tremaine with dignity. 
‘*Eugénie is probably accustomed to do 
differently.” 

Nellie opened her eyes wide. 

‘* Eugénie!” she repeated. 

‘Yes. That is the name of my son’s 
wife.” 

The girl grew very red, and walked to 
the window. Mrs. Tremaine was quite 
unconscious that her whole attitude had 
changed, but she recognised the fact that 
Nellie had said something that was tire- 
some and annoyed her, and she resented 


it with all the energy of returning health 
and spirits. ; 

The door was touched by a timid hand, 
and then pushedopen. Nellie obstinately 
did not move. Mrs. Tremaine rose and 
went half across the room. 

‘*Am I intruding?” asked the soft 
southern voice. ‘I did not know 
any one was here. Shall I go away, 
madame?” 

Mrs. Tremaine embraced her, and led 
her forward. 

‘*Certainly not. This is Nellie, my 
niece, whom I wish you to know. She 
and my poor boy were old play-fellows.” 

The French girl held out a hand so 
small and delicate, it looked like that of a 
child. 

Nellie had been forced to turn, was 
obliged to touch the little hand, and she 
looked straight into the pathetic eyes. 
Something savage, a cruel inspiration, a 
sudden wave of hatred and jealousy came 
over her, she lost the power of speech. 
If she had said anything she must have 
declared, ‘* You are very beautiful. I 
am beginning to believe that he must 
have worshipped you, and I hate you for 
it.” 

‘* How do you do ?” said the stranger 
demurely, and walked away. 

She recognised, and was amused, by 
the expression in the fair English face, 
beyond that-she was absolutely indifferent. 

Mrs. Tremaine was red with surprise. 
‘“Why, Nellie, are you dump?” she 
exclaimed. { 

‘Does she know,” asked the girl, 
quite beyond herself, ‘‘ what Hal and I 
once were to each other ?” 

** Nellie! Nellie!” 

**No,” said the French girl, smiling a 
little. ‘* But perhaps you will tell me. 
Were you married?” 

‘*Married! When you 
wife !” 

**Oh, you might have been divorced.” 

“*T! divorced !” 

‘*No. I meant you might have divorced 
him.” 

Both her listeners were horrified. Mrs. 
Tremaine went to the girl, and laid her 
hand on her shoulder. 

‘*My dear,” she said, 
know what you say. 
honourable man.” 

The girl looked up into her face. 
yes ! madame,” she admitted. 

‘** He and his cousin, it was a piece of 
youthful folly, were once engaged, and 
then—then it was broken off.” 


were his 


“you don’t 
My son was an 


«« Ah, 





ASLEEP ; ASLEEP AS A CHILD SLEEPS THAT IS IN PAIN. 








HER SON’S WIFE. 


‘* Is that what you wanted to tell me?” 
said the young widow to the girl. 

‘“ Yes. That was all.” 

‘* What am I to say? That I am sorry 
or glad that you once stood in such a 
relation to each other? I don’t under- 
stand how it matters to me.” 

She did not speak at all ill-naturedly, 
she seemed tired and weary of the subject, 
above all she looked so white and ill. 

‘Did you love him?” asked Nellie 
ashamed, and wondering at herself. 

‘© Yes, I loved him.” 

Then Mrs. Tremaine touched the soft 
hair with her thin, blue-veined fingers. 

** Will you lie down on the sofa, my 
child?” she said. ‘‘ You seem so tired.” 

She submitted in the same patient way 
with which she spoke or moved. Her 
pretty golden locks were in sharp con- 
trast to the dark cushions, her tiny feet 
peeped daintily beneath her black dress, 
her ringless fingers, which boasted 
neither an engagement nor wedding-ring, 
were locked palm to palm. 

Nellie Tremaine followed her aunt out 
of the room. She returned later alone, 
and stood looking down at her cousin’s 
wife. 

She was asleep; asleep as a child 
sleeps that is in pain. Her parted lips 
were white, the delicate face was drawn. 

Nellie bent nearer, and then drew back. 

Did she love him? she thought. Any- 
how, he must have loved her. That is 


certain. How pink and white arid deli- 

cate she is. Then she crept out of the 

room. - 
+ . * * * 


A week passed, Nellie came and went. 
Mrs. Tremaine talked incessantly of her 
son, and his wife listened and answered 
at random. Nellie had no word for her, 
but Eugénie quietly ignored the girl. 
Her duty was to Mrs. Tremaine, and to 
no one else. What she must have suffered 
in the prim English household no one 
knew. From morning till night she 
listened, sympathised, and obeyed. She 
talked of the dead man in answer to his 
mother’s questions, or she sat with her 
hands clasped on her knees, gazing out on 
to the park. At Nellie she rarely glanced, 
and to Nellie she never spoke, except in a 
polite answer to a question. Mrs. Tre- 
maine had attempted to apologise for her 
niece’s burst of temper at their first 
meeting, but Eugénie smiled, and added 
merely, ‘‘ Yes, madame, it was in bad 
taste.” After that she let the subject 
drop. 


1093 

A week of this strain, a week of gentle 
obedience to her mother-in-law’s wishes, 
and then the fragile girl collapsed. They 
carried her up to bed _ unconscious, 
and the hastily summoned doctor talked 
of brain fever, and looked grave. 

Mrs. Tremaine was puzzled and much 
distressed. Her niece came furtively and 
inquired and crept away ashamed. It 
was awful to think of Eugénie lying on a 
sick bed, her golden head buried in the 
pillows, her thin, pathetic face growing 
more pathetic still. 

On the third day Mrs. Tremaine sent 
for Nellie. 

** Read that,” she said, and put an open 
letter into her hand. 

It was written in French, and addressed 
on the envelope to Mrs. Tremaine. It 
had been intended for the wife, and the 
mother, very naturally, had opened it, 
and once realising its import read on. 
As she afterwards remarked, ‘‘ I owed it 
to my living daughter—my son is 
dead.” 

“*Ma pauvre petite cousine cherie,” it 
began, and translated ran thus: ‘I fear 
you will make yourself ill in this English 
chateau. You are very brave, but you 
have suffered much. Does his mother 
suspect nothing? Surely such a libertine 
as your husband did not bury his vices 
till he reached France. The woman in 
whose arms he died is dancing in Paris 
now. When he deserted you she had 
fancied she loved him, but you, alas! 
know what these people are. I have had 
a simple cross put over the grave, with 
his name, and the verse you wished. You 
have been an angel of constancy and 
devotion to a broken idol, need you suffer 
still more? May I come and fetch you? 
You can stay with my mother; and my 
mother says, ‘ Tell her l have no daughter, 
and my heart has an empty chamber till 
she comes to fill it.’ 

‘* Your cousin, very devoted, 

** PAUL DE SIMON.” 

The two women looked at each other. 

‘* He didn't love her!” cried Nellie. 

‘*My son deserted her, treated her 
shamefully, and she held her peace to 
spare me!” 

‘*He cared for a 
dancer!” cried Nellie. 

‘*My son,” continued Mrs. Tremaine, 
‘* forgot his honour just as he forgot his 
mother.” 

** And tired of me,” said Nellie. 

‘* Just as he neglected his wife. 
my dear, that poor, poor child!” 


coarse, common 


Oh, 




















““GOD HAVE MERCY ON HIS SOUL!” 








HER SON’S WIFE. 


Then the 
began to cry. 

‘*Oh, Aunt Laura, I have been very 
hard and very wicked, but I am sorry 
now. Will you let me stay and nurse 
her ?” 

She suddenly noticed how aged Mrs. 
Tremaine had become. The _ shock 
seemed to have completely shaken the 
foundations of her faith in the honour of 
her house, in the son she had idolised. 

‘*Yes, Nellie,” she said. ‘‘You may 
stay if you will try to love her, and help 
me to save her, for she is all I have.” 


English girl melted, and 


* * * * * * 


In a little village in the north of France 
three people wend their way to a quiet, 


1095 
rose-crowned cemetery, later they stand 
by a grave, and the Frenchman speaks. 

** Poor fellow, he made a terrible mess 
of his life, but he knows better now.” 

His wife has the first tears she had 
shed on that subject in her large pathetic 
eyes. 

‘* Poor boy!” she says. 
he had married any one else 

And Mrs. Tremaine breaks in with a 
flood of tears. 

‘*God have mercy on his soul! My 
poor son, dishonoured and unknown. 
The good God, who closed his eyes in the 
arms of that dreadful woman, have pity 
on his soul; remembering how the earth 
was fair to me, and how I prayed when 
he, a baby, opened his in mine.” 


‘*Perhaps if 


” 


























Agcbt Shey 





Photo by Russell and Sons, Baker-street, 


A LITTLE SUBSCRIBER. 

















H.M.S. 


LIFE ON BOARD A 


THE RECORD OF A CRUISE 


Written and Illustrated 


LTHOUGH this article is not in- 
tended to deal with technical mys- 
teries, it may not be out of place to 
preface it with a few explanations as to 
what torpedo-catchers actually are. They 
are not, as a quondam Lord of the Ad- 
miralty is said to have thought, ‘‘ things 
hung out from ships to catch torpedoes” 
—glorified cow-catchers, so to speak— 
but small gunboats designed to catch the 
lively torpedo-boat. This, at least, is 
their supposed raison @étre ; there are not 
wanting those who assert it is just the 
thing they cannot do. 

I joined the Grasshopper at Milford 
Haven in the latter part of July last, with 
intent to live in her during the manceuvres. 
A wicked little craft she looked, a long 
black hull in the silver shimmering sun- 
path on the upper reaches of the Haven ; 
motionless as a sleeping serpent and with 
all its evil beauty. When I got to know 
her better her own name seemed to sup- 
ply the best simile, for in the matter of 
unnecessary springs over sea valleys, and 
unexpected plunges into billowy hills she 
has no equal; but more of this anon. 





** GRASSHOPPER.” 


TORPEDO-CATCHER. 
IN H.M.S. GRASSHOPPER. 
by FRED. T. JANE. 


As I saw her then, she was still enough 
to delude anybody ; and the coxswain of 
the whaler’s description that life in her 
was like ‘‘ riding on a real grasshopper, 
wot’s allus trying to jump a couple of 
inches further than he can manage,” I 
passed by as merely a picturesque ro- 
mance. 


“ She jumps upon a whopping wave 
And ships a great green sea, 
Then sticks her foke’sail in the brine 
And rolls most orfullee.” 


‘‘ That,” continued the coxswain, ‘‘is 
wot our lower deck poet wrote about 
her, which, though it mayn’t be like 
Tennerson or an orsifer might write, is 
good sounding, and goes well to a hymn 
tune.” But further description was cut 
short by our arrival alongside the Grass- 
hopper, 1; twin-screw gunboat, 1st class, 
525 tons, I.H.P. 1600 N.D. (2700 F.D.),! 
as she is described in the Navy List 
phraseology. 

She was commanded by Lieut. Arthur 


1 These mysterious initials refer to her horse 
power with ‘‘natural” or *‘ forced” draught. 








1098 


Barry of the Vernon, and carried as other 
officers, two sub-lieutenants, a doctor, and 
an engineer. With petty officers, blue- 
jackets, marines, and stokers, our ship’s 
company totalled sixty-nine, a smaller 
complement than the vessel really needed ; 
but as she has only room for about 
forty men, all told, it was more than 
enough for comfort. Acting on the 
advice of the skipper, I took my bear- 
ings in the ship before we put to sea— 
not a very long task in a space of 200 
by 23 feet. 

Some ten feet right aft is occupied by 
a narrow water-tight compartment, a 
combined lumber-room and cabin for the 
captain’s servant, who slept there on top 
of a torpedo tube, the boxes and trunks 
coming in handy to keep him from falling 
off. Ahead of this in another water- 
tight compartment is the commander’s 
cabin, roughly 10 feet square by 7 feet 
high, containing, in addition to the usual 
ship’s furniture, the fighting end of the 
torpedo tube above mentioned. To use 
this tube the wardroom door has to be 
unshipped and pieces taken out of all the 
walls en route ; the torpedo is then brought 
from amidships suspended from a small 
railway that runs across the ceiling. 

Going forward from the commander’s 
cabin one enters the wardroom, a slightly 
larger compartment, its.deck covered 
with hatchways that lead to unseen depths 
below the water line. The walls were 
ornamented with a locked-up ship’s lib- 
rary, the key of which no one had ever 
seen, a big iron safe that regularly broke 
loose and rolled about whenever the 
weather was at all bad, and a couple of 
small settees, one of which formed my 
extempore cabin. The irrepressible safe 
was not the only thing we objected to in 
the wardroom, however, for somewhere 
underneath was a steering wheel for use 
in action. This wheel was connected with 
the one in general use on the fore-bridge, 
and no amount of oil or grease prevented 
its making a noise like continuous thun- 
der whenever the helm was altered, so 
that all conversation had to be carried on 
in the intervals. From the ship’s library, 
too, came noises enough to warrant a 
volume from the Psychological Research 
Society on the subject of books that 
jingled like glass. 

Outside the wardroom, grouped around 
the base of the main-mast, were the 
steward’s pantry and four officers’ cabins, 
each rather smaller than an ordinary 
double-bed. Hereabouts, also, were 


LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


situated the cabins of our two marine 
servants—‘‘ me and the old soldier,” as 
they termed themselves. Their cabins 
were not extensive, but they took it turn 
and turn about to sleep in the better of 
the two, which last was a small hole into 
which a man could just crawl ; while the 
other slumbered behind a big sea-chest 
which used to roll on top of him in bad 
weather. ‘‘ Sort of thing that might give 
a man the night-mare,” as one of them 
remarked. There were two other marines 
employedinthe pantry, but no one ever saw 
them save in harbour ; at sea they went to 
form a miserable group who lay on top of 
the galley round the funnels, and longed for 
death. Amidships, below the deck, which 
is here only some three feet above the 
water level, are the engine-room and 
stoke-holes—veritable infernos of coal- 
dust and burning white light. There are 
four furnaces in each hold, and seven feet 
is the utmost distance one can get away 
from their fiery mouths. It may be all 
right when you’re used to it, but to my 
uninitiated mind it was too suggestive of 
the latter end of Faust to be agreeable ! 

The Grasshopper’s bow terminates in a 
foke’s’le raised to the level of the bul- 
warks amidships. On deck is_ the 
conning tower, bridge, and so forth, 
with a Long Tom gun in front; below, 
a stuffy apartment less than twenty feet 
long. This is the ‘“‘ lower deck ;” and 
here, often knee-deep in water, lived some 
sixty of the crew, their hammocks slung 
three deep, one above the other. An 
awful life they must have had of it in this 
‘* sardine-box,” but the British sailor is 
made of tough and philosophic material, 
and in all the fleets there was not a more 
contented ship’s company than the Grass- 
hopper’s. 

The Grasshopper was attached to the B 
Red Fleet, which consisted of thirteen 
battleships and cruisers under Admiral 
Seymour. About three o’clock on a Mon- 
day afternoon the ships began to get 
under way, and after waiting a couple 
of hours for our opposite number, the She/- 
drake, which distinguished herself by 
trying to get her port anchor cable into 
the starboard hawse-holes, and vice versa, 
the fleet put to sea. 

Slowly the long line ahead of us, 
gathering way as it went, steamed down- 
wards past the quaint little town~ of 
Milford and Dale Roads. Smaller and 
smaller grew the figures waving on the 
shore, and an occasional heave of our 
little ship gave a foretaste of what was 








LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


coming. By the time dinner was ready 
it had come. 


“Up and down the Grassbug went, sir, 
Like a racing omnibus ; 
Up and down and round about, sir, 
Till it made them bill-i-ous,” 


sang the lower-deck poet relating the 
event, and it cannot be better described ; 
added to which my recollections of the 
next day or two are exceedingly hazy. 
Once, indeed, as I lay on my extempore 
bunk in the wardroom, I heard a crash of 
exceeding magnitude, and looking for the 
cause saw that the wardroom table, which 
had just been laid for lunch, had broken 





1099 


the sea. This made the ship roll less, but 
she pitched even more viciously, seas 
breaking continually over the forebridge 
and covering the deck amidships. Just 
about this time we met our sister ship the 
Rattlesnake steaming comfortably along 
with the wind astern. 

‘*How does this weather suit you?” 
her skipper semaphored to ours ; but the 
latter, who had just been deluged by a 
green sea that met him as he clambered 
into the forebridge, made no reply fit for 
publication. 

The rest of the fleet were not to be 
seen; it transpired that they had made 
for Falmouth, while we being the junior 


**LUNCH IS READY, GENTLEMEN.” 


loose from the screws that should have 
held it to the floor, and was lying end up 
in a corner of the wardroom amid a con- 
fused heap of chairs and broken crockery. 
Presently the dééris was increased by the 
addition of a marine servant and the 
doctor, who had been trying to save our 
only water-jug from destruction. It was 
eventually rescued, minus both its mouth 
and handle, and cracked in several places ; 
but we managed to get it to hold a good 
three inches of water for the rest of the 
cruise. 

By and by the weather moderated 
somewhat, and I paid my first visit of any 
length to the deck; we had changed 
course, and were now steaming against 


ship had to go into Penzance for mails. 
We came into the open roadstead by St. 
Michael’s Mount in grand  style—full 
speed ahead ; and all that the watchers 
ashore could behold were a couple of slim 
masts and a quantity of white foam, under 
and behind which was the lively Grass- 
hopper. 

A few hours later saw us rejoining the 
fleet at Falmouth. There was a regular 
forest of military tops ahead of us, for the 
whole of the Red fleet, numbering some 
thirty vessels, were here assembled, and 
beautiful they looked in the evening light, 
albeit they were all of modern date, 
and not one ‘‘masted ship” among 
them. 








1106 


After our painful experience of being 


“ Rocked in the cradle of the deep 
So hard that not a soul could sleep.” 


—as the lower deck poet put it—we ap- 
preciated the comparative stillness of 
Falmouth Roads to the full, and settled 


LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


little pearly-white houses shining in thé 
sunlight ; above the fields wide stretches 
of red heather and golden gorse, and 
away and behind them all three great blue 
mountains, whose heads were lost in the 
clouds that crowned them. This is Lam- 
lash on a summer's day. 





THE ‘‘GRASSHOPPER” GOING AT FULL SPEED AHEAD. 


down to enjoy our rest in harbour over a 
game of cards, rendered doubly exciting 
by the way in which tricks taken by those 
sitting fore and aft invariably slid along 
the table till they joined those of the 
players at the sides. 

In the early morning, just as it got light 
enough to distinguish objects more than 
a few yards off, we went into the inner 
harbour to water, but our stay was of 
short duration, though we managed to 
lay in some ‘Devonshire cream ”—as 
our mess caterer persisted in calling 
Cornwall’s most famous production— 
and other provisions that we expected 
to need now that the weather had 
improved. 

From Falmouth the B fleet made for 
Lamlash in the Isle of Arran, doing 
steam tactics on the way in a sea that 


had now lost its terrors, till one day the- 


island of Ailsa Craig showed like a great 
sugar-loaf on the horizon ; and soon after 
Lamlash was before us—the heavy mass 
of Holy Island to the right, ahead and 
on the left hand bright green fields with 


Here we had to coal, and wait till 
‘“‘war” should be declared; and _ that 
meant pleasant days in that deep, still 
harbour listening to the wind that, howl 
as it might outside, could not reach us 
there. Not that we attained to absolute 
stillness ; for the captains of the numer- 
ous big pleasure steamers soon found out 
that the wash of their paddles would make 
the little Gvasshopper roll her scuppers 
under, and apparently had bets amongst 
themselves as to who could move her 
most. It was all right when we got used 
to it, but at first we found it annoying to 
be hurled unexpectedly against each 
other. Afterwards, when we saw a 
steamer coming, we used to sit down in 
the wardroom and have wagers as to who 
could keep on his chair the longest. 

After the narrow limits of the Grass- 
hopper the prospect of being able to walk 
more than six feet in a straight line was 
charming, and shore-going trips were 
organised. We longed to climb the 
distant ‘‘ Goat’s Fell,” and also to capture 
alive grasshopper for artistic purposes. 








LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


In a weak moment I had volunteered to 
adorn our dinghy with a picture of the 
lively insect whose name we bore, but 
my effort was characterised as a green 
elephant. To tell the truth none of us 
were certain as to what a grasshopper was 
like ; all we were unanimous about was 
that it was green and had things to hop 
with. Our sub. who undertook Gunnery 
Jack’s duties was in favour of painting a 
picture of a Nordenfelt gun’s hopper with 
some legs to it, but the skipper being a 
torpedo man, and consequently the natural 
foe of guns and gunnery, stoutly opposed 
this pictorial pun. After hunting a field 
for acouple of days we caught a gray- 
green insect that hopped and chirped, but 
its colour was so faint that we concluded 
it was only a cricket, and abandoned the 
search. Instead thereof we inspected a 
grasshopper that did duty as figure-head 
on the ship’s bow, and which certainly 
differed from the thing we caught. A 


REST IN HARBOUR. 


copy of this was painted on the dinghy, 
with alterations to suit everybody’s re- 
quirements ; and when completed the 
insect had eleven legs, five wings, a couple 
of trunks, and eyes all over him. He 
didn’t look quite right even then, but by 
putting a big ‘‘G ” round him and writing 
‘* Grasshopper” underneath, we made it 
pretty clear what he was meant for, and 
retaliated on critics from the Barracouta 


Ito! 


and other ships by expressing sympathy 
for those whose vessels possessed names 
that did not lend themselves to pictorial 
representation. 

By the time we had settled the grass- 
hopper question leave was stopped, so of 
the beauties of Arran we saw but little. 

Such other things as we accomplished 
are thus noted in the journal of one of 
our mess :— 


a feed and \rowed the 
ship. Rowed to 


“Came back after 
other fellows back to the 
Immortalité by mistake. Fellows said it was 
the only way I'd get there, and laughed— 
but don’t see the joke—both ships got two 
masts and two funnels. Jmmortalité fellows 
made rude remarks on my error, and seem to 
think it a joke too.” 

* * * ” * . * 

“ Three natives came on board to call on us 
to-night. I suppose they’re all right as their 
names begin with ‘ Mac’—but it look suspicious 
that none of them wore kilts.” 





INTERIOR OF WARDROOM, SHOWING OPEN WATERTIGHT DOOR. 


“ Been fishing allday. Caught nothing but an 
empty pickle bottle and a red-herring, which I 
hauled up when I went on deck after lunch.” 


We did a good bit of ship to ship visit- 
ing in the early evenings, and romantic 
indeed were the yarns spun on these 
occasions. 

‘** Talking about that,” said our skipper 
—on one such occasion on board the 








1102 


Barracouta, when the conversation had 
turned on flotsam and jetsam—“‘ talking 
about that, we had a queer experience 
coming round from Penzance. About 
two bells in the middle watch the look- 
out man sang out that there was a 
man in the water swimming after the 
ship——” 

‘*Caught up with you pretty quick, I 
suppose,” interjected one of the Barra- 
coutas. 

Disregarding this insinuation against 
the Grasshopper’s speed, the skipper con- 
tinued: ‘* Well, we slowed down, and 
then found it was an ox, and not a man 
at all. We hauled the beast on board, 
and would you believe it, we picked up 
no less than seventy-two head of cattle 
that night. I fancy some cattle-boat must 


LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


** I’ve been calculating the cubical con- 
tents of your ship, and find that on a 
liberal computation each ox had a trifle 
over two cubic feet of space. Now, an 
ox——” 

‘*] forgot,” put in our skipper ; 
forgot to mention that ‘the oxen 
tinned !” 

The next night we put to sea at sunset, 
and scouted about off Ailsa Craig with 
the Barracouta as consort, seeing if we 
could spot any torpedo-boats skulking 
in-shore, the sort of job that a great deal 
of powder and shot will be wasted over 
in war time. To detect a torpedo-boat is 
an exceedingly difficult thing ; a low-lying 
bit of rock, a long dark wave, a cloud low 
on the horizon—any of these look just like 
a torpedo-boat. Waves, in particular, often 


were 





A FISHING ADVENTURE. 


have gone down thereabouts. Well, 
having got them all on board we steamed 
into Falmouth, where we sold them for 
the benefit of the mess.” 

There was silence for a while till some 
one remarked :— 


get a battleship’s guns and search-lights 
directed on them, while the real thing 
slips past unobserved. 

However, we found no torpedo-boats 
round the island, and signalled as much 
back to the fleet, which was now coming up 








LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


fast, with position lights out, and looking 
for all the world like a vast city spread 
over miles of the land behind it. Pre- 
sently they passed, steaming at nearly 
14-knot speed, so close to us that we 
could almost have thrown the proverbial 
biscuit on board them. The moon shining 


FORE BRIDGE H.M.S. ‘‘ GRASSHOPPER.” 


full and bright against them, the iron- 
clads looked like huge ghosts shooting 
along, a great wave hissing and tumbling 
some fifteen feet ahead of the bows .of 
each. There was something exceedingly 
romantic in this wild rush down Channel, 
with torpedo-boats all along the Irish 
coast waiting to fall upon us, and a 
superior flest coming to attack us behind 
them. When ships blaze away at each 
other in mimic warfare it is obviously 
make-believe, but torpedo attacks have 
ever an element of realism in them, and 
no matter how frequently they be repeated 
never grow monotonous ; yet, curiously 
enough, it is the big ship battle that most 
appeals to the public imagination, and no 
correspondent has yet laid himself out to 
graphically describe a torpedo fight as 
seen from the deck of an ironclad. 


131. August, 1894. 











1103 


Our vision of the fleet was short-lived, 
for they were soon swallowed up in the 
night mists ahead. When they had gone 
by we put on full speed and came up on 
their port quarter some two miles to 
leeward, but as they had extinguished 
their lights we could see nothing of them 


THE OFFICER OF THE WATCH AND THE QUARTERMASTER, 


save the bright masthead light of the 
flag-ship, or a momentary glimpse of a 
black hull streaked with phosphorescent 
fire, as a ship crossed the path of moon- 
light in the sea. And thus the night 
wore on. No one thought of turning 
in, but it was weary work waiting for 
the boats to attack. 

According to the regulations, ‘‘ one or 
more competent persons, of whom one at 
least must be an officer,” had to take the 
time that an enemy might be under fire ; 
and the doctor volunteered for the post. 
While he was endeavouring to discover 
the scope of his duties from our navigator 
a search-light suddenly shot out from the 
Thunderer, and the next moment the 
whole horizon was one mass of bright 
and twinkling stars. Sound there was 
none, but the stars grew brighter and 


4H 





1104 


more frequent as in the middle of them, 
moving rapidly in an opposite direction, 
appeared a bright red spark, changing to 
a speck of silver as the search-light fell 
upon it, and then stars and sparks and 


LADY VISITORS SYMPATHISING WITH THE CAPTIVE TORPEDO-MAN—A SKETCH 
CABIN. 


lights disappeared altogether. Not until 
the next day did we find out what had 
happened—how the Blue boats had got 
among our ships and ‘‘ sunk” some two 
or three of them. However, the sunken 
vessels held on their way the same as the 
untouched ones, and at the rate we were 
steaming the torpedo-boat haunt was 
soon passed. 

Our timekeepers had not had previous 
experience of torpedo attacks, and their 
report was scarcely in accordance with 
the official one. It ran :— 

“At 2.17 in the morning observed light 
rapidly approaching Barracouta or some other 
ship. Barracouta opened a heavy fire on the 
torpedo and sank it, after it had been one 
minute forty-two seconds under fire. All the 
ships then fired for several minutes, but I could 
not see what at. If there were any torpedo-boats 
near they sunk them, but as I cannot be positive 
about this I prefer to make no definite state- 
ment. In my opinion, however, the attack was 
a complete failure.” 


LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


1 pass over the rest of the night and the 
following day, as ncthing happened save 
the junction between ours and the A Red 
fleet. 

‘* We shall probably come up with the 





IN THE COMMANDER'S 


’ 


enemy at daybreak to-morrow,” advised 
Lieut. Barry the next evening, ‘‘ so you'd 
better turn in till then.” But I found 
it one thing to receive advice and another 
to follow it. The rolls of the ship were 
now so heavy and rapid that my attempts 
at slumber invariably culminated in my 
being thrown, bed and all, on to the floor 
every time I began to drop off to sleep. 
After the twenty-somethingth attempt I 
decided to lie where I fell, having first 
constructed a breakwater of chairs to 
catch the safe and such like wardroom 
properties that might chance to journey 
in my direction. Alas! there was no rest 
even here, for I simply accompanied my 
breakwater in a career across the ship 
and back again, and finally giving it up 
as a bad job went on deck, and seizing a 
lull succeeded in mounting the fore-bridge. 
It was a cold night, but I had taken the 
precaution to don an extra waistcoat and 
a couple of overcoats, and with a travel- 











e] 


R’S 








LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 1105 


ling rug over all and a towel round my 
neck, managed to keep warm. Before 
me was a sight well worth the seeing. To 
windward rose a great black billowy wall 
towards which we rolled until the crest of 
the wave lapped the bridge, and then we 
mounted high into the air towards the 
moon that made a turbid path of light in 
the troubled brown waters below. It was 
little more than half a gale; in a big ship 
it would scarcely have been noticeable, 
but to us it seemed of great magnitude. 
There is nothing like a small ship to 
behold the sea from, though rolling from 
thirty to forty degrees as the Grasshopper 
did, and that nineteen times a minute, 
one had to hold on pretty tight to see 
much. The sea at night is a solemn 
thing and a sadone. In the sunshine of 
the daytime it is bright and smiling, but 
in the dark hours there is nothing but 
terror and a sense of pitiless power in the 
black heaving waves and curling ghosts 


effect—that is, until my investigations into 
its cause put in.a touch of bathos, for | 
found it was only the skipper in his 
pyjamas popping on deck to see if all was 
well. 

At daybreak we heard the sound of 
guns and in the chill morning light made 
out miles and miles of ships steaming in 
parallel lines and blazing away at each 
other. The battle of Holyhead, in which 
over fifty vessels took part, was in pro- 
gress. It was in this fight that the 
Grasshopper, \eft alone ahead of the Red 
fleet, perpetrated the single-handed en- 
gagement with a couple of hostile iron- 
clads, which caused so much comment in 
the newspapers at the time. Without 
presuming to enter into the question from 
a manceuvre point of view, I think I may 
say that a ‘‘catcher” in such a position 
in an actual battle would have a pretty 
good chance of getting a torpedo or two 
home before she was sunk. 





STEAMING AGAINST A HEAD SEA—PASSING THE ‘‘ THUNDERER.” 


of foam, that have swallowed up so many 
brave men’s lives and will swallow so 
many more in the days that are yet to 
come. 

A dim white figure that appeared ever 
and anon upon the poop added to this 


After the battle (which was indecisive), 
our ship went into Holyhead to coal and 
water. Our principal recollection ot 
Holyhead has to do with the invariable 
blue-jackets’ custom of carrying letters 
and small articles in their caps. The 

4H 2 








1106 


ship’s postman when he went ashore 
with mails, was directed to get some 
parcels post ‘‘ FRAGILE” labels. When 
he returned the labels were not forth- 
coming, nor could he explain what had 
become of them till we noticed the back 
of his head, which was covered with red 
labels inscribed ‘‘ FRAGILE.” The post- 
man probably heard a good deal of this 
when he got back to the lower-deck. We 
rejoined the rest of the Red fleet at Dale 
Harbour. That afternoon we had a 
diversion in the shape of a short visit 
from the wife and sister of one of our 
mess. After some ten minutes’ struggling 


‘ > Maye 
pete i 


vr 


—for the ship was rolling a good deal— 
they managed to get on board, and as 
each roll sent their chairs sliding along 
the deck, alluded to it asa pleasant dreamy 
motion, a phrase that caught on with us 
a day or two later, when all the wardroom 
furniture and our ‘‘ duff-night” dinner 
were upset by the violence of the waves. 
In Dale Roads we also encountered 
torpedo boat No. 86 of the Blue fleet, 
whose commander had incautiously put 
into this Red harbour. He was enticed 
on board the Grasshopper and thence to 
the Anson, where he was made a prisoner 
in practice as well as in theory; while 


LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 


No. 86, under command of a Red officer, 
went forth to destroy the unsuspecting 
Blues. 

This actual capture was the only effec- 
tive method of putting down the irre- 
pressible torpedo boats, which had a 
“life” for every day of the war; for 
though they might be ‘‘destroyed” 
one day, a lapse of twenty-four hours saw 
their ‘‘out of action time” completed, 
No. 72, under Lieutenant de Chair, whose 
capture by Arabi Pasha was one of the 
features of the Egyptian war, was a 
particular thorn in our Admiral’s flesh. 
No sooner had we put to sea again than 





he came amongst the fleet in a fog and 
torpedoed a couple of cruisers before they 
knew anything about it; and the very 
next day he was again on the warpath. 
This time the whole of the cruisers near 
him gave chase, and after an exciting run 
he was cornered by the Grasshopper, but 
the actual capture did not come off; to 
the great disgust of the fleet punster who 
had prepared an elaborate impromptu 
about de Chair having been captured by 
Arabi in ’82, and by a Barry in ’93. 

After this event things went on tamely 
enough, till we were joined by the Aar- 
cissus, which had had to put into Milford 











LIFE ON BOARD A TORPEDO-CATCHER. 1107 


early in the manceuvres, and was tor- 
pedoed with exasperating regularity as 
soon as ever her ‘‘ out of action” time 
elapsed. When the unlucky cruiser at 
last turned up, the whole fleet made for the 
enemy, and encountered them at daybreak 
on August 4th in another great and in- 
decisive battle in Cardigan Bay, and with 
this battle the manceuvres terminated. 
The run from thence to Milford was 
accomplished in the teeth of a heavy gale 
that made things pretty lively for us in 
the ‘‘ catchers,” though we took care to 
stand in interesting attitudes when pass- 
ing a big ship. Seas swept the Grass- 
hopper from stem to stern, tons of water 
fell upon the foke’s’le, 4nd spurting high 
over the fore-bridge, fell in a solid sheet 
upon the funnels. Everything broke loose 
and banged about as it listed ; we were all 
drenched to the skin. Meals we had none ; 
nor was there prospect of any till we 
should get into Milford ; discomfort had 
reached its utmost limit. Clinging to the 
mainmast shrouds I heard an angry ex- 
clamation from our engineer, and looking 
up saw a sight enough to aggravate a 
saint. Abreast of us, firm as a rock, 


though the seas were breaking clean over 
her fore-turret, was the old Zhunderer, the 
steadiest ship in the Navy; and standing 
in a sheltered position on top of her after- 
turret, a pitying smile on his face, stood 
a man in evening dress waiting to descend 
to the creature comforts in the wardroom 
below. 

However, all things have an end, and 
at last we got into Dale Harbour, whither 
the Royal Sovereign had already gone. As 
we passed the great flagship with her 
brightly-lit ports, we first fancied that we 
had got off Milford Town, there seemed 
no end to those rows of lights. 

Next morning I left the Grasshopper, 
and did not see her again till she got back 
to Chatham basin; and then, what a 
change! In place of the worn and 
battered hull was a trim and dapper Kittle 
vessel in all the smartness of a new coat 
of paint. Presently the setting sun 
caught upon her and lit up the grass- 
hopper on her bow, which had recently 
been elaborately gilded over for ‘‘ inspec- 
tion ””—lit it up until neither ship nor 
wharf could be seen, but only that glorious 
golden insect. 














THE APRON OF FLOWERS. 
‘* To gather flowers, Sappha went, 
And homeward she did bring 
Within her lawny continent, 
The treasure of the Spring. 


‘* Her apron gave, as she did pass, 
An odour more divine, 
More pleasing too, than ever was 
The lap of Proserpine.’—Robek?r IIERRICK. 




















- 


ee ae as er 








A SUDDEN SQUALL.—BY RALPH W. ROBINSON, OF REDHILL. 


RECENT ADVANCES IN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY. 
By R. DERECHEF. 


RTISTIC photography has not won 
recognition without a struggle. Its 
very existence has been strenuously denied. 
As soon as the importance of Niepce’s 
discovery could be no longer contested, it 
became the fashion to decry the invention 
as of infinite practical use, but of little or 
no zsthetic value. From the first the 
photographers rebelled against this deci- 
sion. They claimed to be artists and not 
mere machinists, to produce pictures, as 
well as pictorial memoranda or explanatory 
plates. 

Of course the burden of proof lay with 
the postulants. The photographers had 
to be judged by their works. By a cruel 
irony of fate, it is by their worst work 
that they have too generally been judged. 
Photography, like painting, is a livelihood 
as well as an art ; but whereas the “‘ pot- 
boilers,” even of Royal Academicians, are 
forgotten in estimating a painter’s talent, 
it has been too commonly taken for 
granted that photography begins and 


ends with the prints exposed in the show- 
case. In popular parlance, a photograph 
is more especially a portrait, a good or 
indifferent ‘‘ likeness,” by the aid of which, 
at the cost of a few shillings, the sitter 
and his best clothes are enabled to lead a 
pictorial existence in an album or a bijou 
frame : a photograph may also be a view 
of a church, of the local fire-engine, or 
the counterfeit presentment of a favourite 
dog, but little else. Of photography, 
which is not that of the shop window, 
but an art with higher ambitions and 
different aims, the existence is scarcely 
suspected. Such an art there nevertheless 
is. ‘* There is no reason,” writes the 
well-known landscape painter, Mr. T. F. 
Goodall, ‘‘why photography, in capable 
hands, may not be made a means of 
interpreting nature, second only in value 
to painting itself.” If this flattering fore- 
cast still awaits complete fulfilment, much 
has already been done towards its real- 
isation. 








1110 


The truth of this statement would prob- 
ably be more widely acknowledged than 
it is but for the implacable hostility of 
the art critic. It is the misfortune of 
photography to have been, from the out- 
set, the déte notre of this constable of 
the public taste. He pounced on it at its 
first appearance, stamped on it, scoffed at 
it, mocked at its tentative present, pre- 
dicted its puny future, and finally dismissed 


RECENT ADVANCES IN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY. 


been bridged. The critics in consequence 
are still dubious as to the merits of artistic 
photography. A century ago, they were 
debating the necessity for a ‘* brown 
tree” in every landscape painting. Their 
decision on the one matter may be as 
valuable as their conclusions on the other. 
In the meantime, we propose, in this 
article, to show the results which have 
been obtained by the art or process of 








BRINGING HOME THE MAY.—BY H. P. ROBINSON, 


it as a thing of vulgarity and an eyesore 
for ever. During the earlier stages of the 
art, many photographic enormities were 
no doubt perpetrated by inefficient hands, 
directed by untrained heads. For a brief 
space there was some reason for the irre- 
concilable attitude of the art critic. But 
it is time that he should reconsider his 
position. Immense improvements have 
been made in the technical appliances at 
the disposal of the photographer. The 
scientific basis of his operations is better 
understood. More important still, the 
photographer himself has taken his stand 
on different ground, has discovered un- 
dreamed of possibilities in his ‘‘ method,” 
and is striving to develop them to the 
utmost. Under these new conditions 
work is produced with the camera, which, 
if it be not art, is accepted as such by 
heretics, who trust solely to the evidence 
of their eyes, are without prejudice against 
the despised medium, and believe but 
little in quibbling definitions. Still, the 
art critic is not entirely disarmed. If he 
admit photography among the Arts, it is 
only on the footing of a poor relation. 
The fact is, he is nothing if not exclusive. 
If he be sure of anything, it is that there 
is a great gulf fixed between himself, the 
elect on whom he smiles, and the vulgar 
herd of Philistines. Perhaps it is his 
instinct of self-preservation that makes 
him chary of admitting that the gulf has 


photography, whichever it be, in por- 
traying landscapes, the difficulties it has 
overcome, and those by which it is still 
confronted. 

The ideal of the earlier photographers 
was to obtain extreme sharpness of outline, 
and to introduce into their pictures the 
greatest possible amount of detail. Their 
aim was a faithful reproduction of nature, 
but their efforts were unsatisfactory, be- 
cause they were based on a misconception 
of what is meant by fidelity to nature in art. 
They endeavoured to picture things as they 
are, whereas it is rather the province of the 
artist to present things as he sees them. 
A tree standing out against the sky, has 
no doubt in reality a hard, definite outline, 
which is the exact expression of its bulk ; 
but to our sight, this line of demarcation 
loses more or less, according to circum- 
stances, but always something of its 
absolute precision. This is inevitable, as 
the human eye, owing to its construction, 
does not produce a perfectly sharp image 
on the retina. On the other hand, a lens 
gives an image of extreme sharpness. 
The modern school of photography re- 
medies this disparity by taking care not 
to focus any point in the scene to be repro- 
duced more sharply than the eye sees it. 
The old-fashioned striving after clear 
contour and infinite detail has been 
renounced, and ‘‘ breadth,” as painters 
say, is what is now sought. ‘* Bringing 








oS = te Cd 


PA Se wf 








RECENT ADVANCES IN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY rant 


Home the May,” by that veteran artist and 
writer on photography, Mr. H. P. Robin- 
son, is a typical example of the best work 
of the older school. 

A battle royal has raged, and is still 
raging, round the important matters of 
exposure and development. Those who 
wish to disparage photography as an art, 
declare that the photographer has no 
control over his picture when it is once 
taken ; that the sun has produced it for 
him, and he must accept what the sun has 
given him. <A few experiments with a 
camera will convince the most sceptical, 
that if a photograph be the joint perform- 
ance of a man and a machine, the brunt 
of the responsibility is borne by the man. 
Without long experience and great judg- 
ment, it is quite impossible to avoid under 


chemical effect on photographic plates 
under different natural conditions. ‘‘ Right 
exposure is an inspiration,” Dr. P. H. 
Emerson has said. It is certainly one of 
the finer photographic instincts, and not 
a mechanical knack. 

_The process of developing a negative 
brings us face to face with the all-important 
question of tone. In nature, every point 
ina landscape receives a certain amount 
of light, that amount varying from the 
point of highest light to the point of 
deepest shadow. To express correctly 
the gradations of tone which lie between 
these two extremes, is the first, the 
most imperative and, at the same time, 
the most delicate care of the photographer. 
If the tonality of a picture be untrue, the 
impression left by the finished work will 











Py 3 





REED HARVESTING.—BY A. HORSLEY HINTON. 


or over exposure, except by the veriest 
fluke. No rules or scientific data form 
even a tolerable guide. The exposure, 
long or short, which will bring about the 
best results, varies with the time of day, 
the time of year, the state of the atmo- 
sphere, with the direction of the wind, 
and with a number of considerations that 
arise from the fact that light has a different 


be false. It is only by correctness of tone 
that photography can render that sense of 
atmosphere which is so indispensable in a 
landscape. It must be pointed out that 
the tonality of a photograph can only be 
relatively correct, never absolutely by the 
nature of things. Even painters cannot 
reach absolute correctness, though, aided 
by colour, they can attain nearer toit than 








I1I2 


photographers. The reason is simple. 
The highest light in nature is the sun. 
The white of the paper on which he draws 
or prints, the highest light of which the 
artist in black and white can avail himself, 
is of course infinitely less bright than the 
sun. All that the artist, then, can dois to 
secure the relative correctness of his 
shadows and half-tones ; and the degree 








RECENT ADVANCES IN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY. 


with a photograph as they might be with 
an etching, that is, as a work of art, it is 
sufficient that an effect can be obtained ; 
how it is brought about is immaterial. 
Landscape photographs correct in tone 
are to be seen by those who care to see 
them. Their existence cannot be explained 
away. Our illustrations are a proof of 
this statement, though it must be remem- 











AGAINST THE SKY.—BY BERNARD ALFIERI, OF WILLESDEN GREEN. 


in which he does this, is the measure of 
his success. 

It was long an accepted opinion that the 
true tonality of a photograph depended 
to a great extent on the skill with which 
the plate was developed. It was con- 
tended that throughout the process of 
development the photographer had his 
picture under his control. Quite recently, 
two scientists, Messrs. Hurter and Drif- 
field, have declared this belief a delusion. 
They claim to have proved that the 
alteration during development of the 
density ratios or of tonality, which is the 
same thing, is theoretically impossible. 
The rub is, that the practical photographer 
knows better, and laughs at an impos- 
sibility which he accomplishes every day. 
The difficulty is too technical to be argued 
here. For those who are only concerned 


bered that the original print not infre- 
quently suffers somewhat in the process of 
reproduction, a remark which applies 
especially to the more delicate atmospheric 
effects. 

Before finally leaving the_ subject of 
tone, it must be stated that its true render- 
ing has been enormously assisted by the 
introduction of ortho-chromatic plates. 
They give to light from a coloured object 
a value approaching very nearly to abso- 
lute correctness. An ordinary plate is far 
more sensible to violets and blues than to 
reds, yellows, and greens. In conse- 
quence, under the old conditions, the 
exposure necessary for the foreground of 
a landscape, left the sky a bare patch of 
white, without the least suggestion of 
cloud or tone. To obviate this disadvan- 
tage, distinct negatives were often taken 




















RECENT ADVANCES IN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY. 1113 


of the foreground and the sky, a practice 
which is still resorted to occasionally, 
though now, as a rule, unnecessary, as 
ortho-chromatic plates modify the action 
of the blue rays, and thus enable a true 
effect to be obtained by a single exposure. 

Having hinted—we have no space to do 
more—at the possibilities and limitations 
of the technique of photography, it remains 
to consider the spirit in which this method 
of interpreting nature in black and 
white may be employed. Here again a 
popular delusion must be swept away. 
Landscape photography is not confined to 
the production of those ‘‘ Views of the 
Neighbourhood” which figure in the 
window of the local stationer, and tempt 
the ingenuous tourist a little more or a 
little less, than the cup and saucer in- 
scribed with the established rubric, ‘‘A 
Present from Puddleborough.” It is not 
even necessary that a landscape photo- 








no art is without its limitations—the fact, 
the truth, and the poetry of nature. They 
profess to produce pictures which will 
stand the ordeal of esthetic criticism, 
which are not merely of transient, local 
or personal interest, but are works of art. 

In dealing with the recent development 
of artistic photography, the influence of 
the amateur must not be overlooked: 
The term ‘‘ amateur” is an unfortunate 
one, as it implies a sort of reflection on 
the capacity of the worker who is not a 
‘* professional,” which in this particular 
instance is quite unmerited. The best 
amateur photographers are scarcely, if at 
all, behind their professional rivals. Even 
if the amateur had been less successful 
than he has, photography would have 
benefited by his efforts. Working solely 
for his own satisfaction, and following his 
artistic instinct, untrammelled by com- 
mercial considerations, he has revelled in 





DYING DAY.—BY RALPH W. ROBINSON, OF REDHILL. 


graph should contain a ruin, a church, or 
a coastguard station. In a word, the 
‘*view” stage of landscape photography 
has been left behind by a number of 
enthusiastic workers whose ambition is 
the same as that of all other landscape 
artists, whatever the medium they use. 
Photographers are now endeavouring to 
express within the limits of their art—and 


experiments, attempted the impossible, 
and stepped in where the professional 
might have feared to tread. ‘* Against 
the Sky;” a photograph by Mr. Bernard 
Alfieri, which we reproduce, and of which 
the execution is as perfect as the subject 
is admirably chosen, shows the splendid 
work of which the amateur photographer 
is capable. 











1114 


The crowning difficulty of the photo- 
grapher, and at the same time his greatest 
opportunity, lies in the choice of his 
subject. To produce even passable land- 
scape work, it is not sufficient to journey 
with a camera into a far and beautiful 
country. The legion of photographers, 
who are still in their ’prentice stage, 
know this to their cost. The finest 
scenery may yield faulty, meaningless 
photographs, just as it will only inspire 
bad sketches to a poor artist. To decide 
which of the countless aspects of nature 
it is possible to record with good result, 


RECENT ADVANCES IN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY. 


paper or canvas. No skill in draughts- 
manship could have thrown more meaning 
into ‘* Against the Sky ” than is there by 
the talent of Mr. Alfieri. The Corot-like 
delicacy of ‘‘ An Orchard,” by Mr. Calland, 
and the fine composition of Mr. Horsley 
Hinton’s ‘‘ Reed Harvesting,” may be 
fearlessly appealed to by those who assert 
that the best photographic work of to-day 
is of great intrinsic artistic value, and 
worthy of being hung, on its merits, side 
by side with etchings or line engravings. 

At least, if it be too early as yet to 
speak of photographic masterpieces, the 








AN ORCHARD.—BY EUSTACE CALLAND. 


is as real a problem for the photographer 
as for the painter, and in both cases can 
only be rightly solved by the same means, 
by long artistic training, and true artistic 
insight. Something more than a process 
worked by rule of thumb must surely 
have been necessary for the production of 
the landscapes which accompany the text. 
There would seem to be art in the way in 
which the rush of air is rendered in Mr. 
Ralph W. Robinson’s ‘‘A Sudden Squall.” 
Forget fora moment that ‘‘ Dying Day” 
was drawn by the slanting rays of the 
setting sun on a chemically prepared 
plate, and the impression wrought by the 
sweep of low-lying meadow, seen in the 
fading light, will be the same as if the 
brush had caught it and transferred it to 


work already accomplished is full of 
promise for the future. ‘‘ Photographers,” 
writes Mr. George Davison, a well-known 
authority on the subject, ‘‘are hedged in 
by limitations enough: colour, or the 
want of it, their formidable machine-like 
weapons, judgment handicapped by com- 
pulsory blindness in developing their 
images, and then a thousand and one 
lesser limits, which are hardly limits, but 
rather conditions under which they learn 
to move more freely. But the possibilities 
are great and unexplored. Their greatest 
limitation is their ignorance. The whole 
universe of beauty lies before them.” It 
would be impossible to express better the 
present position of artistic photography. 














GRINLING GIBBONS. 


By LIONEL 


CUST. 


With Illustrations from Carvings at Belton House, near Grantham. 


ANY forms of artistic craftsman- 

ship have had their day in England, 
and have been in their turn commemo- 
rated by the historians and biographers 
of art. The history of wood-carving 
in England has met with strangely little 
recognition, and any one inquiring for 
information on this subject will probably 
find such knowledge as can be derived 
from books or individuals summed up 
for the most part in one name, that of 
Grinling Gibbons. 

Concerning the artists, humble or 
otherwise as they may have been in their 
day, to whom we owe the carved stalls 
of our medieval cathedrals, the panelling 
of our Tudor mansions, the fittings of 
our university chapels and libraries, little 
or nothing is known. Antiquarian in- 
dustry has been successful in some cases 
in recovering a few names among the 
craftsmen whose remaining works testify 
to the true excellence of their art, but 
all biographical details, all scraps of 
ancient memories, crystallised into tradi- 
tion, are wanting to enhance the interest 
of their works for posterity. 

The wood-carver, artist or otherwise, 
works for the most part as an accessory 
to others. The workshop, the true home 
of the creative artist, is as ephemeral as 
the artist himself. Often does a well- 
appointed studio, rich in the studied 
disorder of real or fictitious prosperity, 
serve to keep the memory of an artist 
alive when those of nobler but less 
fortunate brethren have perished beyond 
recall. 

So, but for the unfailing inquisitiveness 
of so true an antiquary as John Evelyn, 
even the genius of Grinling Gibbons 
might have remained unappreciated, and 
his name, if known, have been forgotten, 
while his works contributed to enhance 
the reputation of those by whom he was 
employed. Even his own assistants and 


contemporaries have not been fortunate 
enough to escape this fate. 

Among the many events recorded by 
John Evelyn in his famous diary few 
present greater interest to the reader than 
his description of how one day, during a 
casual walk, he chanced to discover and 
reveal to the world the brilliant genius of 
Grinling Gibbons. No words can im- 
prove Evelyn’s own account. Writing 
on January 18, 1671, he mentions having 
lately met with ‘‘that incomparable 
young -man, Gibbon,” in the following 
way: ‘‘I was walking neere a poore 
solitary thatched house in a field in our 
parish neere Sayes Court. I found him 
shut in, but looking in at the window I 
perceiv’d him carving that large cartoon 
or crucifix of Tintoret, a copy of which I 
had myselfe brought from Venice, where 
the original painting remaines. | asked if 
I might enter ; he opened the door civilly 
to me, and I saw him about such a work 
as for the curiosity of handling drawing 
and studious exactnesse I never had 
before seene in all my travels. I 
questioned him why he worked in such 
an obscure and lonesome place ; he told 
me it was that he might apply himselfe 
to his profession without interruption, 
and wondred not a little how I had found 
him out. I asked if he was unwilling to be 
made knowne to some greate man, for that 
I believed it might turn to his profit ; he 
answer’d he was yet but a beginner, but 
would not be sorry to sell off that piece ; 
on demanding the price he said £100. In 
good earnest the very frame was worth 
the money, there being nothing in nature 
so tender and delicate as the flowers and 
festoons about it, and yet the worke was 
very strong ; in the piece were more than 
100 figures of men, etc. I found he was 
likewise musical, and very civil, sober, 
and discreete in his discourse. There 
was oOnely an old woman in the house. So 








1116 


desiring leave to visite him sometimes I 
went away.” 

In this way and by this happy chance 
was Grinling Gibbons introduced to the 
world, destined to leave a name imperish- 
able in the annals of English Art, and to 
bequeath to posterity works which 
remain hitherto unrivalled not only for 
their own beauty, but for the exceptional 


GRINLING GIBBONS. 


words: ‘*M!* Grinlin Gibbons Carver 
born in Holland of English Parents came 
into England about 19 years of age 


went into Yorkshire where he was first 
employed and afterwards came to London 
and settled with his Family at Deptford 
and followed ship-carving ; about that 
time the playhousein Dorsett garden called 
being 


the Dukeshouse abuilding M* 





FESTOON AND PANEL OF CARVING BY GRINLING GIBBONS (ENTRANCE HALL, BELTON HOUSE). 


peculiarity of the genius necessary for 
their production. 

The nationality of Grinling Gibbons 
has long been a moot point among his 
biographers. Vertue, the indefatigable 
collector of materials for the biographies 
of his contemporaries in art, has handed 
down two accounts of the birth and origin 
of Grinling Gibbons. 

Murray, the portrait painter, gave 
Vertue the following account of Gibbons, 
which is best given in Vertue’s own 


Betterton finding him an ingenious man 
imployd him to Carve for him the 
ornaments and decorations of that house 
particularly the capitals corniches and 
eagles with which S‘ Peter Lilly was well- 
pleased and inquiring after the artist 
that performd them M* Gibbons by 
his means was recommended to the King 
Charles 2°. who then had ordered the 
beautifying the Palace of Windsor in 
which work he was imployed and first a 
great chimney-peice of carving in wood 








GRINLING GIBBONS. 


which is remaining there represent- 
ing a feston of many fishes shells 
and other ornaments with which the 
King being well sacisfyd appointed 
him to be his master-carver; be- 
sides this, he did all the fine carvings 
in the chapple and hall and without 
in the great square he made the 
equestrian statue of the King on 
Horseback in brass with the pedestal 
of marble : Many other statues and 
works in many places were done 
by him—his vast reputation in his 
time procured him a good fortune 
and a_ fine collection of picture 
models and other curiosities.” 

One Stoakes, however, a relative 
of the Stone family of artists, told 
Vertue that Gibbons himself was 
born in Spur Alley in the Strand, 
and that his father was a Dutch- 
man. Fortunately there exist 
among the Ashmolean manuscripts 
in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, 
letters which leave no doubt, at all 
events, as to the place where 
Grinling Gibbons was born. 

Astrology and magic flourished 
and prospered in the seventeenth 
century. Starting from the famous 
Dr. Dee came a succession of so- 
called mathematicians and men of 
science, mostly men of undoubted 
ability, who managed, however, to 
turn the superstitions and credulities 
of the age into a source of profit 
for themselves. William Lilly, John 
Gadbury, Nicholas Culpeper and 
others, kept society in a continued 
state of flutter with their magic 
mirrors, almanacks, horoscopes, 
prognostications, and other instru- 
ments of their craft. All men of 
unusual learning obtained at that 
time a reputation for some secret 
acquaintance with the black art, 
and the popular mind once excited 
by a traffic in futurity hastened to 
place itself at their disposal. Among 
these astrologers no one held a 
higher place in popular estimation 
than the famous antiquary, Elias 
Ashmole. A number of horoscopes 
drawn by him for the births, mar- 
riages, or other important events 
connected with the lives of his 
clients are preserved in the Bodleian 
Library, and form an extensive part 
of the general collection of manu- 
scripts which bear his name. They 
are full of curious details con- 





CARVING BY GRINLING GIBBONS 
(BELTON HOUSE). 


1117 








1118 GRINLING 


cerning the private affairs of his clients, 
and form a mine of biographical inform- 
ation which has as yet been but little 
worked. Among these papers, which 
were carefully docketed and endorsed by 
Ashmole’s own hand, we find the follow- 
ing interesting letters relating to Grinling 
Gibbons. 

At 8 p.m. on October 12 1682 (as is 
noted in Ashmole’s own handwriting), he 














CHIMNEY-PIECE AND PORTRAIT, WITH CARVINGS, 
GRINLING GIBBONS (SALOON, BELTON HOUSE). 


received the following letter from ‘‘ M' 
Grinling Gibbons, the excellent carver :—” 


““ HONRED 

“Sir waer as I haeii onder taken A con- 
sarne of great consiquens and in order thair 
onto sent A fackto Last Mondii beiand the 
secas I wold fain knoiiw waser I and mij partners 
thaer in consarnd shall haeii good siicksess or 
no praiij good s* pardon this 

“Tn st 
“ You're ombell sar [vent] 
“GRINLING GIBBONS. 
“ The 12 October 82. 


“ This inklois is s' the Acoiint of my berth.” 
The enclosed letter is from Gibbons’s 


sister, whose name remains unknown. 
It is addressed, ‘‘For M' Grinling 





GIBBONS. 


Gibbons, the Kings Caurver at the Kings 
Arames in bow street, in Covent 
garden.” 


“LOVING BROTHER, 

“T cannot tell wheaer my father did rit 
ould stille or nu it is set down thus 4'* Aprill 
1648 about 3 or 4 A clocke in the morning 
being tuesday I have hard my mother say it was 
ester Tuesday you ware born so if you could git 
an almanack you mit know by that the still I 
called where my sister bid me but 
they have no thing com as yet so 
prayed them to send her word so 
with my love to you I Rest, 

“Yor loving sister, 
“mM. 3.” 


On the letter is noted in 
Ashmole’s writing, ‘‘ Borne at 
Rotterdam.” 

It may therefore be safely as- 
sumed that Grinling Gibbons 
was born at Rotterdam on April 
4, 1648. What his parents’ 
position was still remains uncer- 
tain, but the language of his 
own letter points most decidedly 
to a Dutch rather than an 
English parentage. It should 
be noted that in both his own 
signature, and the addréss of his 
sister’s letter, the spelling 
‘* Grinling ” is used. 

Gibbons is not an uncommon 
name in England, and it still 
remains possible that his parents 
may have been originally from 
England. One Simon Gibbons 
is mentioned as a skilful car- 
penter, employed by Inigo Jones 
during the reign of Charles I. It 
has been suggested that he 
was the father of Grinling 
Gibbons, but there appears to 
be nothing, except the identity of surname, 
to support the suggestion. 

Murray’s statement that he came to 
England at the age of nineteen is probably 
true. This would place his arrival in 
England in 1667, some three or four 
years before his discovery by Evelyn. 
Murray’s further statement that he went 
into Yorkshire, where he was first em- 
ployed, is corroborated by Ralph Thoresby, 
the antiquary, in his diary. 

On May 31, 1695, Thoresby writes that 
he ‘‘admired the very admirable wood- 
work of our countryman, Mr. Grinling 
Gibbons, the famous statuary, who mace 
also that exquisite statue of King Charles 
II. in the Royal Exchange at London, 


BY 





GRINLING GIBBONS 


’ 


which is of white marble :” and again on 
June 5, 1702, ‘‘ Evening—sat up too late 
with a parcel of artists I had got on my 
hands, M*‘ Gyles, the famousest painter 
of glass perhaps in the world, and his 
nephew M’* Smith, the bell-founder, M‘ 
Carpenter, the statuary, and M* Etty, 
the painter, with whose father M* Etty, 














rrrg 


may be thus accounted for. That he 
should have subsequently removed to 
Deptford as a ship-carver is not at all 
remarkable, as Deptford was at that time 
perhaps the only place where a wood- 
carver could be sure of finding employ- 
ment. The decoration of the immense 
high decks of the old men-of-war afforded 


PANELS OF CARVING BY GRINLING GIBBONS (BELTON HOUSE). 


sen: 


the architect, the most celebrated 


ample employment for many 


wood- 





Grinlin Gibbons wrought at York, but 
whether apprenticed with him or not, I 
remember not well.” Thoresby elsewhere 
styles Gibbons as “late of York,” and 
apparently claims him as a native of that 
county. 

The years, then, that elapsed be- 
tween the arrival of Gibbons in 
England and his discovery at Deptford 

131. August, 1894. 


carvers, and there was probably a regular 
colony of these craftsmen resident in 
Deptford or the neighbourhood. It may, 
perhaps, also be assumed that he had 
already gone through an apprenticeship 
in his craft in the shipbuilding yards 
at Rotterdam, and that he had come to 
England thence, arriving at Hull, and 
making his first resting-place at York. 
41 








1120 


It is easy to believe, then, that it was in 
this way that Grinling Gibbons was able to 
exercise his craft, and to train the original 
genius which began to give signs of 
attaining maturity within him. 

According, however, to  Stoakes, 
Gibbons lived some time in Belle Sauvage 
Court, Ludgate Hill, where he carved a 
pot of flowers, which shook surprisingly 
with the motion of the coaches that 
passed by. 

Returning to Evelyn and his diary, we 
find him going on to narrate that ‘‘ of this 
young artist, together with my manner of 
finding him out, I acquainted the King, 
and begg’d that he would give me leave 
to bring him and his worke to Whitehall, 
for that I would adventure my reputation 
with his Majesty that he had never seene 
anything approch it, and that he would 
be exceedingly pleased, and employ him. 
The King said he would himselfe go see 
him. This was the first notice his 
Majestie ever had of M‘ Gibbon.” 

On February 19, Evelyn writes that 
‘*this day dined with me M"* Surveyor 
D* Christopher Wren, and Mr. Pepys, 
Cleark of the Acts, two extraordinary in- 
genious and knowing persons, and other 
friends. I carried them to see the piece 
of carving which I had recommended to 
the King.” It is a matter of regret that 
the portion of Pepys’s immortal diary 
which posterity is fortunate enough to 
possess ends a year or two before this 
occasion, one which Pepys would hardly 
have failed to chronicle in his usual inim- 
itable way. There is a particular interest 
in this first meeting between Sir 
Christopher Wren and Grinling Gibbons, 
since the new style of architecture intro- 
duced by Wren offered so many oppor- 
tunities for the employment of the wood- 
carver’s genius. 

It is a well-known story how Evelyn 
brought Gibbons to Whitehall ; it would 
lose greatly if told in other words than 
the simple, zaive account which Evelyn 


gives in his diary. On March 1st he 
writes that ‘‘I caused M‘ Gibbon to 


bring to Whitehall his excellent piece of 
carving, where being come I advertis’d 
his Majestie, who ask’d me where it was ; 
I told him in Sir Richard Browne’s (my 
father-in-law) chamber, and that if it 
pieas’d his Majesty to appoint whither it 
should be brought, being large and tho’ 
of wood heavy, I would take care for it ; 
‘No,’ says the King, ‘shew me the way, 
I'll go to Sir Richard’s chamber,’ which 
he immediately did, walking along the 


GRINLING GIBBONS. 


entries after me; as far as the ewrie, till 
he came up into the roome, where I also 
lay. No sooner was he enter’d and cast 
his eye on the work but was astonished 
at the curiositie of it, and having con- 
sider’d it a long time and discours’d with 
M‘ Gibbon, whom I brought to kisse his 
hand, he commanded it should be immedi- 
ately carried to the Queenes side to shew 
her. It was carried up into her bed- 
chamber, where she and the King looked 
on and admired it againe ; the King being 
call’d away left us with the Queene, be- 
lieving she would have bought it, it being 
a crucifix; but when his Majesty was 
gon, a French pedling woman, one Mad. 
de Boord, who us’d to bring peticoates 
and fanns, and baubles out of France to 
the Ladys, began to find fault with 
severall things in the worke, which she 
understood no more than an asse or a 
monkey, so as in a kind of indignation, I 
caused the person who brought it to 
carry it back to the chamber, finding the 
Queene so much govern’d by an ignorant 
Frenchwoman, and this incomparable 
artist had his labour onely for his paines, 
which not a little displeas’d me, and he 
was faine to send it downe to his cottage 
againe; he not long after sold it for 
#80, tho’ well worth £100, without the 
frame, to Sir George Viner.” 

In this charming little glimpse of the 
manners in the Royal household Evelyn 
draws his characters to the life, so that it 
is possible to picture the good-natured, 
easy-going King, regardless of etiquette, 
and oblivious of the one duty which he 
was expected to perform, namely, to 
purchase the work ; the stupid, indolent 
Queen, over-ridden by priests and ladies- 
in-waiting, more likely to buy the carving 
for its subject as a crucifix than as an in- 
comparable work of art; the eager and 
anxious courtier, proud of his new dis- 
covery, and intensely nettled at the treat- 
ment of his new /froéégé ; and in the back- 
ground the artist himself, dragged for the 
first time into public, and plunged at 
once into the full blaze of the royal 
presence, only to return crestfallen to 
the cottage from which he had emerged. 

Evelyn however was true to Gibbons 
and to his love of true art, and we next 
hear that ‘‘ His Majesty’s Surveyor, Mr. 
Wren, faithfully promis’d me to employ 
him. I haveing also bespoke his Majesty 
for his worke at Windsor, which my 
friend M* May the architect there was 
going to alter and repair universally ; for 
on the next day I had a fair opportunity 














GRINLING GIBBONS. 


of talking to his Majesty about it, in the 
lobby next the Queene’s side, where I pre- 
sented him with some sheetes of my 
Historie.” 

It is satisfactory to learn that the artist 
was not ungrateful to his patron, and 
presented to him his own head carved in 
wood by himself; Evelyn put this over 
the street-door of his house in Dover 
Street, as a sign, where it remained for 
twenty years. 

Evelyn’s description of the frame carved 
by Gibbons round the ‘‘ Crucifixion” at 
once suggests that aspect of Gibbons’s 
work which is most familiar, ‘‘ there 
being nothing in nature so tender and 
delicate as the flowers and festoons about 
it, and yet the worke was very strong.” 
These festoons, or panels, frames, or 





1121 


Stoning of St. Stephen.” This contained 
seventy figures, and was carved out of 
three blocks of wood. It does not appear 
that the King actually purchased it, as 
Vertue says that Gibbons had this piece 
at his house in Bow Street, where it was 
bought by the Duke of Chandos, who 
placed it at his famous house, Cannons in 
Middlesex. When that palace was de- 
molished, and its contents dispersed, it 
was purchased by Mr. John Gore, M.P. ; 
of Bush Hill, near Enfield, from whom it 
passed to his daughter, Mrs. Joseph 


Mellish, and eventually, by direct descent, 
to Mr. Hector Gurdon-Rebow, of Wyven- 
hoe Park, Essex, where it now remains. 
Few things have been more generally 
admired, both by the ignorant and by 
connoisseur, 


the than the exquisite 





PANEL OF CARVING BY GRINLING GIBBONS (BELTON HOUSE). 


pendants of flowers, fruit, dead game, 
musical instruments and the like, have 
made the name of Grinling Gibbons a 
household word in England. 

At first it would appear that Gibbons 
aspired to create large pictorial subjects 
in wood, to translate painting into wood- 
carving in high relief. He probably 
executed but few of these owing to the 
time which they must have required, and 
the constant personal application to his 
work, hardly compatible with the number- 
less demands for his services in later years. 
The ‘* Crucifixion,” so much admired, and 
so much neglected by royalty, passed into 
the hands, as we learn from Evelyn, of 
Sir George Viner ; its subsequent fate is 
uncertain. The King is stated to have 
made amends by giving a commission for 
a carving on a similar scale of ‘‘ The 


frames, pendants, festoons or streamers 
of flowers, fruit, game, shells, musical 
instruments, and other objects copied by 
Gibbons from nature and translated into 
wood. The very fidelity with which they 
are copied betrays a certain want of 
artistic selection or appreciation. They 
have their prototype in the grotesques and 
arabesques of the Renaissance, and a com- 
parison for instance of some of the decora- 
tions in the Loggie of the Vatican with 
some of the panels containing Gibbons’s 
carvings can show to what origin his 
ideas of decoration may be traced. Like 
the decorators of the Renaissance the task 
allotted to Gibbons was that of covering 
certain spaces with decorations, created 
by his own fancy andingenuity. Criticism 
has not failed to tax Gibbons with an in- 
different taste, and a want of genuine 


413 








1122 


artistic spirit in the selection of objects 
for this kind of decoration. Those car- 
vings which remain in the place which 
they were designed by Gibbons to occupy 
testify to his real genius for decoration, 
and to his acquaintance with his architect’s 
wishes and requirements. Removed from 
their places, and judged by fragments in 


GRINLING GIBBONS. 


each other with such dexterous interlacing 
of the carvings, that the junctions are 
indiscernible to the spectator when 
looked at from below. 

Such famous houses as Chatsworth, 
Petworth, Burghley, Houghton, Cassio- 
bury, Blenheim, rank such carvings 
among their chief treasures, and in some 








ALTARPIECE WITH CARVINGS BY GRINLING GIBBONS (CHAPEL, BELTON HOUSE). 


detail, little of their spirit remains, save 
the technical dexterity to which they owe 
their existence. 

Marvellously light and fragile in ap- 
pearance, they are in reality, when 
preserved from the ravages of worms, 
perfectly rigid and strong in substance. 
While they appear to be all carved out 
of one block, modelled as it were in wood, 
they are really built up of layers of 
wood, the layers being inserted above 


of the rooms in these palaces his genius 
reigns supreme. 

It would be almost impossible to 
enumerate all the public buildings, or 
private mansions, which contain carvings 
by Gibbons. Any one, where the carv- 
ings remain in their original place, would 
suffice for an example of his decorative 
skill. 

One instance may be selected here. 
Belton House, near Grantham, the seat 








GRINLING GIBBONS. 


of Earl Brownlow, possesses a fine set of 
carvings by Gibbons, mostly in their 
original situation. The design of the 
house, which was built in 1689 for Sir 
William Brownlow, Baronet, has always 
been ascribed to Sir Christopher Wren, 
though there is no documentary evidence 
to actually attest it. Some elevations of 
the house will be found in Campbell's 
Vitruvius Britannicus. It consists, like 
most of the houses of the time of a solid 
block, with slightly projecting wings on 





1123 


scroll work, and below are oblong slabs 
of carving to complete the design. The 
scroll work in Gibbons’s carving shows 
great artistic ingenuity and a power of 
design in detail, which is lacking in some 
other parts of his work. There are 
beautiful examples of it in his carv- 
ings in Wren’s Library at Trinity College, 
Cambridge. At the end of one suite of 
rooms at Belton, there is a small private 
chapel also ornamented with carvings by 
Gibbons ; the altar is similarly adorned and 





PLASTER CEILING IN THE CHAPEL, BELTON HOUSE, ASCRIBED TO GRINLING GIBBONS, 


both sides. Internally the centre is 
occupied by a large hall opening into a 
large saloon, which opens in its turn on to 
the garden front, the entrance on each 
side being approached from outside by a 
wide flight of steps. Right and left open 
other saloons in succession, forming a 
suite round the house. It is in the 
entrance hall and the central saloon that 
Gibbons’s principal carvings are to be 
seen. Right and left of the door leading 
from the hall into the saloon are small 
family portraits encased in frames of 
flowers, fruit, &c., carved by Gibbons. 
These frames culminate in clusters of 





surmounted by boy angels, like those in 
the carvings at Chatsworth. The ceiling 
of this chapel is most beautifully modelled 
in plaster, and has also been ascribed to 
Gibbons. If it is his work, it shows him 
not only to have been a master of model- 
ling and design, but also to have 
possessed a taste really more refined than 
that which the majority of his other works 
reveals. There are other fine specimens 


‘of his carving in some of the rooms on 


the second floor. 

It may not be uninteresting to note 
the different kinds of wood used by- 
Gibbons in his carving. In the pend- 





1124 


ant garlands of flowers, and for fes- 
toons of fruit, and other objects, he 
usually used limewood ; for church panels 
or mouldings, he used principally oak ; 
and occasionally cedar for the architraves 
in large mansions. For medallion 
portraits, of which he carved a great 
number, he used pearwood or boxwood. 
The limewood, which he employed for 


most of his better known, and most 
exquisite carvings, is unfortunately 


peculiarly susceptible to the ravages of 
worms. The carvings before described at 
Belton, were discovered in 1855 to be on 
the verge of complete destruction. The 
interior was completely honeycombed by 
worms, leaving a mere fragile shell, ready 
to fall into pieces at the slightest touch. 





GRINLING GIBBONS. 


ascribed to him is not attested by con- 
temporary and trustworthy documents. 

The carvings at Chatsworth are among 
the best known and most highly valued 
of Gibbons’ works. Yet there is no 
evidence to show that he had any hand in 
them, the accounts of payments for the 
works rather pointing to the contrary. 

The present house at Chatsworth was 
commenced in 1687 from the designs of 
William Talman, though apparently under 
the superintendence of Sir Christopher 
Wren, who surveyed the buildings in 
1691. 

Payments for the wood-carvings com- 
mence in January, 1689, to one Thomas 
Young, then in 1691 to one Lobb, of which 
name there appears to have been two 











PLASTER CEILING IN THE CHAPEL, BELTON HOUSE, WITH THE ARMS OF BROWNLOW AND SHERARD, 
ASCRIBED TO GRINLING GIBBONS, 


The carvings were, however, placed in the 
hands of Mr. William Gibbs Rogers, the 
well-known wood-carver, who succeeded 
in entirely destroying the worms, and in 
filling up the cavities made by their 
ravages with a solid material, which has 
rendered them proof against the future 
attack of time. The same process has 
been employed at Chatsworth and else- 
where, with the result of successfully 
preserving works of art, whose very 
existence was in imminent peril. 

It is obvious that a man with such an 
extensive practice in this peculiar branch 
of art must have kept a large number of 
assistants to execute the orders which 
poured in upon his workshop. A few 
names have survived among those who 
worked as his assistants, but it is note- 
worthy that in one special instance, the 
share of Grinling Gibbons in the work 


carvers, Joel and Henry Lobb., In 
September, 1692, the name of Samuel 
Watson appears with others and continues 


until the completion of the work. Wat- 
son was buried in the neighbouring 


churchyard at Heanor in 1715, and his 
monument records the fact of his having 
executed the carvings at Chatsworth. 
Further, he appears to have been the 
pupil, not of Grinling Gibbons, but of one 
Charles Oakey, a carver in the parish of 
St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields. Throughout, 
there is no mention of Grinling Gibbons. 
There was no tradition ascribing them to 
the hand of Gibbons, until the appearance 
of Horace Walpole’s Anecdotes of Painting. 
Even Vertue, from whose notes Walpole’s 
history was compiled, mentions at Chats- 
worth ‘‘the ornaments carvd in wood 
and foliage by Watson sculptor in wood 
and stone, the boys in the chappel and 








ee | 


ee ie ee 





GRINLING 


other parts of his works, very fine: he 
learnt in London but workt and livd 
at Chatsworth for 20 years a most 
engenious artist.” There is at Chatsworth 
a most marvellous bit of carving repre- 
senting a point lace cravat, a woodcock, 
and a medallion with a portrait of Gibbons, 
and other accessories. This is stated to 
have been presented to the Duke of 
Devonshire by Gibbons on the completion 
of the work. If this tradition be true, 
Gibbons would appear as the superinten- 
dent of the works in carving, in much the 
same manner as Wren appears to have 
superintended the architectural design. 
Tradition however is not infallible. Other 
carved point lace cravats exist, one fine 
specimen being in the possession of 
Baroness Burdett Coutts, and Vertue 
notes at Sir Robert Goyer’ s sale in 1725, 
‘*a piece of carving in wood bassrelievo 
by Mr. Gibbons being of ornaments 
fruits and flowers musical instruments in 
the middle a point cravat most curiously 
wrought said to be the peice that 
recommended him to K. Charles.” 

Again at Petworth there is the famous 
carved room by Gibbons, where the com- 
bination of the rich carving with the 
magnificent full-length portraits by Van 
Dyck and others contributeto produce 
such an effect of dignity and splendour. 
There is evidence to show that Gibbons 
was actually present in designing and exe- 
cuting portions of this work, and we 
learn that Selden, one of Gibbons’s best 
pupils and assistants, lost his life in 
saving these carvings from a destructive 
fire. The work however was left incom- 
plete by Gibbons and finished by Jonathan 
Ritson, to whom part of the credit for 
the ultimate result is due. A portrait of 
Ritson hangs with one of Gibbons in this 
room; they are both painted by Clint. 
In this case, there can be little hesitation 
in giving to Gibbons the credit of having 
inspired the carvings of Ritson. As the 
master of this school of carving, he may 
fairly claim a share of the honours earned 
by his pupils, even to the extent of over- 
shadowing or entirely absorbing their 
individual reputation. 

Grinling Gibbons occupied the position 
of master carver in wood to the Crown 
from the time of. Charles II. to that of 
George I.,and no doubt learnt to adapt him- 
self to the vicissitudes of royal patronage 
which he encountered. Like many other 


great artists he aspired to shine in other 
branches of art, than that which was 
specially his own. 


He no doubt dabbled 


GIBBONS. 1125 


in architecture, and certainly claims some 
attention as a sculptor or statuary. It is 
difficult to point to any works executed 
in stone or bronze, which can safely be 
said to be the work of his own hands, 
In every case however in which such 
works are ascribed to him, there is no 
difficulty in crediting him with the original 
design, and probably the actual model, 
the actual execution being left to other 
hands. It is known, for instance, that 
the well-known pedestal, on which Le 
Sueur’s beautiful statue of Charles I. 
stands at Charing Cross, is the work of 
the sculptor, Joshua Marshall; and that 
the bronze statue of James II. behind the 
Banqueting House at Whitehall, was 
actually executed by two Flemish sculp- 
tors, named Dyvoet and Laurens; the 
statue of Charles II. in the Royal 
Exchange was executed by Arnold 
Quellin, of Antwerp, which same artist 
executed the great marble altarpiece at 
Whitehall, subsequently removed to 
Hampton Court. If Vertue may be 
believed, Gibbons was himself but an in- 
different worker with the chisel, witness 
the following anecdote: ‘*‘ Upon a certain 
Time King Charles y* 2° came to see a 
statue of marble that was done of himself 
which Gibbons had got done; when the 
King was present Gibbons to shew his 
skill found some small fault that wanted 
to be toucht, and to amuse the King took 
up a hammer and chisell and striking 
somewhat too hard, broke off a peice that 
shoud not have been at which the King 
laught at his pride and imprudent vanity, 
and said, coud he not leave it when it was 
well—this was noted by Nolder—a work- 
man of his. But this, by-the-by, is an in- 
stance, tho’ he was a most excellent carver 
in wood, he was neither well-skilled or 
practisd in marble or in Brass for which 
works he employed the best artists he 
coud procure. Yet this accident might 
happen from heat or hurrying, want of 
attention properly.” 

Two small drawings by Gibbons for the 
statue of James II. are in the print-room at 
the British Museum. The statue, which 
cost £300 according to the original agree- 
ment, quoted by Vertue in his diaries, was 
due to the munificence of Tobias Rustat, 
who also presented the bronze statue of 
Charles II. to Chelsea Hospital, and the 
equestrian statue of the same to Windsor 
Castle. The Chelsea statue cost £500. 
The statue at Windsor was executed, as 
the inscription shows, by Josias Ibach 
Strada, of Bremen, no doubt from a model 








1126 GRINLING GIBBONS. 





CARVING BY GRINLING GIBBONS (SALOON, 
BELTON HOUSE). 


by Gibbons, who also designed the 
pedestal. For the statue of Charles II., 
in the Royal Exchange, Gibbons also 
received £500. 

At Trinity College, Cambridge, besides 
the wood-carvings in the library before 
alluded to, Gibbons was the moulder of 
the plaster busts, which were put up in 
1691, over the classes in the place of the 
statues, which formed part of Wren’s 
original design, and he also designed the 
statue of the Duke of Somerset, which 
stands in a niche at the south end. 

Gibbons was employed to design the 
stately monument planned by Charles II. 
for erection to the memory of his father, 
Charles I. The monument was never 
executed but Gibbons’s design remains 
at Oxford. One of his most important 
works as a statuary was the fine tomb of 
Baptist Noel, Viscount Campden, and his 
wife, set up about 1683 or 1684 in Exton 
Church, Rutlandshire. It is twenty-two 
feet high and 14 feet broad, and cost 
£1000. In Fulham Church there is a 
fine monument by him to the memory of 
Dorothy Lady Clarke, who died in 1695. 

Gibbons also executed the bust of James 
I., which was formerly at Whitehall, and 
is now at Windsor ; the bust of Sir Peter 
Lely, which stood over the painter's 
monument in St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, 
and perished in the conflagration of that 
church in 1795. Vertue notes having 
seen ‘*Mr. Grinlin Gibbons his own 
bust cut in marble finely done especially 
the face the wigg and lace cravat 
monstrously large.” 

However remarkable the works in 
marble or bronze may be, which are 
ascribed to Gibbons, it is by his wood- 
carvings that he will always be remem- 
bered, and it is through them only that 
he has attained to so high a rank among 
great creative artists. He may be 
called the greatest ‘‘ virtuoso” in the 
art of wood-carving that has ever existed. 

During the progress of his life it is 
easy to note the change from the shy 
student of Deptford to the successful 
courtier of later days ; from the solitary 
craftsman to the great purveyor and 
distributor of artistic work. There is a 
chalk drawing by Sir John Baptist 
Medina preserved in the print room at 
the British Museum, which shows Gibbons 
at an early period in his career. The 
face is that of an artist or student, and a 
contrast to the robust countenance shown 
in the later portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 
or in the double portrait of Gibbons and 








GRINLING 


his wife by John Closterman. Both the 
later portraits are well known from the 
mezzotint-engravings by John Smith ; the 
former was formerly in the collection at 
Houghton, and was transferred with the 
bulk of that collection to the Hermitage 
Gallery at St. Petersburg, where it now 
remains. Another small mezzotint por- 
trait was executed by Petrus Camper : an 
impression of it is also in the print room 
of the British Museum. 

Gibbons was considered one of the 
leading artists of the day, and we find 
his name among the earliest members of 
a society of ‘‘ virtuosi,” or gentlemen, 
painters, sculptors, architects, and lovers 
or professors of art, who held a feast 
annually on St. Luke’s day. Each mem- 
ber acted as steward in rotation, and 
Gibbons filled the office twice, in 1691 and 
in 1709. 

In 1678 Gibbons went to reside in a 
house on the east side of Bow Street, 
Covent Garden, and continued there until 
his death. It was known by the sign of 
the King’s Arms. In January 1701-2, 
according to Zhe Postman of the 24th, his 
house fell down, ‘‘ but by a special provi- 
dence none of the family was killed, but it 
is said a young girl which was playing in 
the court being missing is supposed to 
be buried in the rubbish.” He had nine or 
ten children by his wife, all baptized at 
St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, of whom five 
daughters only seem to have survived, 
Elizabeth, Mary, Jane, Katherine, and 
Ann. The poll tax books of St. Paul’s, 
Covent Garden, record that in 1692 he 
had an apprentice named Robert Bing (or 
King), two servants, Mary Gupp, and 
another Mary, and that there was a 


lodger in the house, one Madame Titus 





GIBBONS. 1127 


His wife’s burial is re- 
corded in the register of St. Paul’s, 
Covent Garden, on November 30, 17109. 
Gibbons himself died at his house on 
August 3, 1721, though by an error 
apparently his burial is entered in the 
register as on August 10, 1720. 

Administration to his effects was 
granted on September 7, 1721, to his 
daughter Elizabeth Gibbons, spinster. His 
collection of carvings, models, and paint- 
ings, was sold on November 15, 1722. 

On April 9, 1705, his daughter Katherine 
was married at All Hallows the Great to 
Joseph Biscoe. They resided in Chelsea, 
where they were buried, she January 23, 
1731—2, he December 10, 1741. They 
left two sons, Gibbons Biscoe, who died 
a bachelor in the East Indies in 1729, 
and Grinling Joseph Biscoe, who was 
buried at Chelsea in 1719, being only a 
few months old. With them the family 
of Grinling Gibbons probably became 
extinct. 

Grinling Gibbons was an artist whom 
England, in spite of his birth and certain 
Netherlandish proclivities in his art, may 
fairly claim as her own. He is one of the 
most interesting figures in a somewhat 
underrated period of English art. He 
was well-suited to an age famous for its 
achievements in science and literature. 
He gave grace to the somewhat ponder- 
ous solidity which characterised the close 
of the seventeenth century. In the age 
of foppery and languor, of stucco and 
sham Gothic, which ensued, his art would 
have found no place. It was better 
suited to the age of Evelyn and Wren, 
than to that of Kent and Horace 
Walpole. 


with a servant. 








SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 
(FROM A DEALER’S NOTE-BOOK.) 


By MAX PEMBERTON. 


No. 


" HE plain fact is,” said Lady Faber, 

‘* we are entertaining thieves. It 
positively makes me shudder to look at 
my own guests, and to think that some 
of them are criminals.” 

We stood together in the conservatory 
of her house in Portman Square, looking 
down upon a brilliant ball-room, upon a 
glow of colour, and the radiance of un- 
numbered gems. She had taken me aside 
after the fourth waltz to tell me that her 
famous belt of rubies had been shorn of 
one of its finest pendants ; and she showed 
me beyond possibility of dispute that the 
loss was no accident, but another of those 
amazing thefts which startled London so 
frequently during the season of 1893. Nor 
was hers the only case. Though I had 
been in her house but an hour complaints 
from other sources had reached me. The 
Countess of Dunholm had lost a crescent 
brooch of brilliants; Mrs. Kenningham- 
Hardy had missed a spray of pearls and 
turquoise ; Lady Hallingham made mention 
of an emerald locket which was gone, as 
she thought, from her necklace ; though, 
as she confessed with a truly feminine 
doubt, she was not positive that her maid 
had given it to her. And these mis- 
fortunes, being capped by the abstraction 
of Lady Faber’s pendant, compelled me 
to believe that of all the startling stories 
of thefts which the season had known 
the story of this dance would be the most 
remarkable. 

These things and many more came to 
my mind as I held the mutilated belt in 
my hand and examined the fracture, while 
my hostess stood with an angry flush 
upon her face waiting for my verdict. A 
moment’s inspection of the bauble revealed 
to me at once its exceeding value, and 


IX.—THE RIPENING RUBIES. 


the means whereby a pendant of it had 
been snatched. 

** If you will look closely,” said I, ‘* you 
will see that the gold chain here has been 
cut with a pair of scissors. As we don’t 
know the name of the person who used 
them, we may describe them as pick- 
pocket’s scissors.” 

‘* Which means that I am entertaining 
a pickpocket,” said she, flushing again at 
the thought. 

‘* Or a person in possession of a pick- 
pocket’s implements,” I suggested. 

‘* How dreadful,” she cried, ‘‘ not for 
myself, though the rubies are very valu- 
able, but for the others. This is the third 
dance during the week at which people’s 
jewels have been stolen. When will it 
end?” 

‘‘The end of it will come,” said I, 
‘* directly that you, and others with your 
power to lead, call in the police. It is 
very evident by this time that some person 
is socially engaged in a campaign of 
wholesale robbery. While a silly delicacy 
forbids us to permit our guests to be sus- 
pected or in any way watched, the person 
we mention may consider himself in a 
terrestrial paradise, which is very near 
the seventh heaven of delight. He will 
continue to rob with impunity, and to 
offer up his thanks for that generosity of 
conduct which refuses us a glimpse of his 
hat, or even an inspection of the boots in 
which he may place his plunder.” 

** You speak very lightly of it,” she in- 
terrupted, as I still held her belt in my 
hands, ‘‘do you know that my husband 
values the rubies in each of those pend- 
ants at eight hundred pounds ?” 

‘I can quite believe it,” said I; 
‘© some of them are white as these are, I 








SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 


presume ; but I want you to describe it 
for me, and as accurately as your memory 
will let you.” 

‘* How will that help to its recovery ?” 
she asked, looking at me questioningly. 

‘* Possibly not at all,” I replied ; “‘ but it 
might be offered for sale at my place, and 
I should be glad if I had the means of 
restoring ittoyou. Stranger things have 
happened.” 

‘*T believe,” said she sharply, ‘‘ you 
would like to find out the thief yourself.” 

‘*] should not have the smallest ob- 
jection,” I exclaimed frankly ; ‘‘if these 
robberies continue no woman in London 
will wear real stones; and I shail be the 
loser.” 

‘“‘T have thought of that,” said she, 
‘*but, you know, you are not to make 
the slightest attempt to expose any guest 
in my house; what you do outside is no 
concern of mine.” 

‘** Exactly,” said I ; ‘‘ and for the matter 
of that, 1 am likely to do very little in 
either case; we are working against 
clever heads; and if my judgment be 
correct, there is a whole gang to cope 
with. But tell me about the rubies.” 

‘* Well,” said she, ‘‘ the stolen pendant 
is in the shape of a rose. The belt, as 
you know, was brought by Lord Faber 
from Burmah. Besides the ring of rubies, 
which each drop has, the missing star 
includes four yellow stones, which the 
natives declare are ripening rubies. It is 
only a superstition, of course, but the 
gems are full of fire, and as brilliant as 
diamonds.” 

‘<1 know the stones well,” said I ; ‘‘ the 
Burmese will sell you rubies of all colours 
if you will buy them, though the blue 
variety is nothing more than the sapphire. 
And how long is it since you missed the 
pendant ?” 

‘Not ten minutes ago,” she answered. 

‘*Which means that your next partner 
might be the thief?” I suggested, ‘“‘ really, 
a dance is becoming a capital entertain- 
ment.” 

‘*My next partner is my husband,” 
said she laughing for the first time, ‘‘ and 
whatever you do, don’t say a word to 
him. He would never forgive me for 
losing the rubies.” 

When she was gone, I, who had come 
to her dance solely in the hope that a 
word or a face there would cast light 
upon the amazing mystery of the season’s 
thefts, went down again where the press 
was, and stood while the dancers were 
pursuing the dreary paths of a ‘* square.” 


1129 


There before me were the hundred types 
one sees in a London ball-room—types of 
character and of want of character, of 
age aping youth, and of youth aping age, 
of well-dressed women and _ ill-dressed 
women, of dandies and of the bored, of 
fresh girlhood and worn maturity. Mixed 
in the dazzling mélé, or swaying to the 
rhythm of a music-hall melody, you saw 
the lean forms of boys; the robust forms 
of men; the pretty figures of the girls 
just out; the figures, not so pretty, 
of the matrons who, for the sake of 
the picturesque, should long ago have 
been in. As the picture changed 
quickly, and fair faces -succeeded to 
dark faces, and the coquetting eyes of 
pretty women passed by with a glance to 
give place to the uninteresting eyes of the 
dancing man, I asked myself what hope 
would the astutest spy have of getting a 
clue to the mysteries in such a room ; how 
could he look for a moment to name one 
man or one woman who had part or lot 
in the astounding robberies which were the 
wonder of the town? Yet I knew that if 
nothing were done, the sale of jewels in 
London would come to the lowest ebb 
the trade had known, and that I, per- 
sonally, should suffer loss to an extent 
which I did not care to think about. 

I have said often, in jotting down from 
my book a few of the most interesting 
cases which have come to my notice, that 
I am no detective, nor do I pretend to the 
smallest gift of foresight above my fellow 
man. Whenever I have busied myself 
about some trouble it is because I have 
had a strong personal motive driving me 
on, or have hoped to serve some one who 
henceforth should serve me. And never 
have I brought to my aid other weapons 
than a certain measure of common sense. 
In many instances the purest good 
chance has given to me my only clue ; the 
merest accident has set me straight when 
a hundred roads lay before me. I had 
come to Lady Faber’s house hoping that 
the sight of some stranger, a chance word, 
or even an impulse might cast light upon 
the darkness in which we had walked for 
many weeks. Yet the longer I stayed in 
the ball-room the more futile did the 
whole thing seem. Though I| knew that 
a nimble-fingered gentleman might be at 
my very elbow, that half-a-dozen others 
might be dancing cheerfully about me in 
that way of life to which their rascality 
had called them, I had not so much as a 
handsbreadth of suspicion ; saw no face 
that was not the face of the dancing ass, 








1130 


or the smart man about town; did not 
observe a single creature who led me to 
hazard a question. And so profound at 
last was my disgust that I elbowed my 
way from the ball-room in despair, and 
went again to the conservatory where the 
palms waved seductively, and the flying 
corks of the champagne bottles made 
music harmonious to hear. 







y” y oat Pe 
My 4 Gg t 
LY, f 4 
Z) “Ulf, KH if 

/ 


¥ J 
a , 
<9) j | 


SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 


hack. She was a woman of many partia- 
lities, whom every one saw at every dance, 
and then asked how she got there—a 
woman with sufficient personal attraction 
left to remind you that she was /assé, and 
sufficient wit to make an interval tolerable. 
I, as a rule, had danced once with her, 
and then avoided both her programme 
and her chatter; but now that I came 






AN 
Y 


~ 


** AS FOR NERVES, I HAVEN’T GOT ANY ; I MUST HAVE SHED THEM WITH MY FIRST TEETH.” 


There were few people in this room at 
the moment—old General Sharard, who 
was never yet known to leave a refresh- 
ment table until the supper table was set ; 
the Rev. Arthur Mellbank, the curate of 
St. Peter’s, sipping tea ; a Jean youth who 
ate an ice with the relish of a schoolboy ; 
and the ubiquitous Sibyl Kavanagh, who 
has been vulgarly described as a garrison 


suddenly upon her, she cried out with a 
delicious pretence of artlessness, and 
ostentatiously made room for me at her 
side. 

‘* Do get me another cup of tea,” she 
said ; ‘‘ I’ve been talking for ten minutes 
to Colonel Harner who has just come from 
the great thirst land, and I’ve caught it.” 

‘* You'll ruin your nerves,” said I, as I 











SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 1131 


fetched her the cup, ‘‘ and you’ll miss the 
next dance.” 

‘¢T’ll sit it out with you,” she cried gush- 
ingly ; ‘‘and as for nerves, I haven't 
got any; I must have shed them with 


my first teeth. But I want to talk to 
you—you’ve heard the news, of course! 
isn’t it dreadful ?” 

She said this with a beautiful look of 
sadness, and for a moment I did not 
know to what she referred. Then it 
dawned upon my mind that she had heard 
of Lady Faber’s loss. 

“Yes,” said I, ‘‘it’s the profoundest 
mystery I have ever known.” 

‘* And can’t you think of any explana- 
tion at all?” she asked as she drank her 
tea at a draught. ‘‘Isn’t it possible to 
suspect some one just to pass the time ?” 

‘*If you can suggest any one,” said I, 
‘*we will begin with pleasure.” 

‘‘ Well, there’s no one in this room to 
think of, is there?” she asked with her 
limped laugh ; ‘‘of course, you couldn’t 
search the curate’s pockets, unless ser- 
mons were missing instead of rubies ?” 

‘‘ This is a case of ‘ sermons in stones,’ ” 
I replied, ‘‘and a very serious case. I 
wender you have escaped with all those 
pretty brilliants on your sleeves.” 

‘*But I haven’t escaped,” she cried ; 
‘‘ why you’re not up-to-date. Don’t you 
know that I lost a marquise brooch at 
the Hayes’s dance the other evening? I 
have never heard the last of it from my 
husband, who will not believe for a minute 
that I did not lose it in the crowd.” 

** And you yourself believe——” 

‘* That it was stolen, of course. I pin 
my brooches too well to lose them— 
some one took it in the same cruel way 
that Lady Faber’s rubies have been 
taken. Isn’t it really awful to think that 
at every party we go to thieves go with us ? 
It’s enough to make one emigrate to the 
shires.” 

She fell to the flippant mood again, for 
nothing could keep her from that; and 
as there was obviously nothing to be learnt 
from her, I listened to her chatter suffer- 
ingly. 

‘* But we were going to suspect people,” 
she continued suddenly, ‘‘and we have 
not done it. As we can’t begin with 
the curate, let’s take the slim young man 
opposite. Hasn’t he what Sheridan 
calls—but there, I mustn’t say it; you 
know, a something disinheriting counten- 
ance?” 

‘*He eats too many jam tarts and 
drinks too much lemonade to be a 


criminal,” I replied; ‘‘ besides, he is not 
occupied, you’ll have to look in the ball- 
room.” 

**T can just see the top of the men’s 
heads,” said she, craning her neck 
forward in the effort. ‘‘Have you no- 
ticed that when a man is dancing, either 
he stargazes in ecstasy as though he 
were in heaven, or looks down to his 
boots—well, as if it were the other 
thing ?” 

‘** Possibly,” said I; ‘*but you’re not 
going to constitute yourself a vehmgericht 
from seeing the top of people’s heads.” 

‘* Indeed,” she cried, ‘‘ that shows how 
little you know; there is more character 
in the crown of an old man’s head than is 
dreamt of in your philosophy, as what’s- 
his-name says. Look at that shining roof 
bobbing up there, for instance; that is 
the halo of port and honesty—and a diffi- 
culty in dancing the polka. Oh! that 
mine enemy would dance the polka— 
especially if he were stout.” 

‘*Do you really possess an enemy?” 
I asked as she fell into a vulgar burst of 
laughter at her own humour; but she 
said, 

**Do I possess one? Go and discuss 
me with the other women—that’s what I 
tell all my partners to do ; and they come 
back and report to me. It’s as good as 
a play!” 

‘It must be,” said I, ‘‘a complete 
extravaganza. But your enemy has 
finished his exercise, and they are going 
to play a waltz. Shall I take you 
down?” 

** Yes,” she cried, ‘‘and don’t forget to 
discuss me. Oh, these crushes!” 

She said this as we came to the press 
upon the corner of the stairs leading to 
the ball-room, a corner where she was 
pushed desperately against the banisters. 
The vigour of the polka had sent an 
army of dancers to the conservatory, and 
for some minutes we could neither descend 
nor go back; but when the press was 
somewhat relieved, and she made an effort 
to progress, her dress caught in a spike 
of the iron work, and the top of a panel 
of silk which went down one side of it 
was ripped open and left hanging. For 
a minute she did not notice the occur- 
rence ; but as the torn panel of silk fell 
away slightly from the more substantial 
portion of her dress, I observed, pinned to 
the inner side of it a large crescent brooch 
of diamonds. In the sameinstant sheturned 
with indescribable quickness, and made 
good the damage. But her face was 








1132 


scarlet in the flush of its colour ; and she 
looked at me with questioning eyes. 

‘* What a miserable accident,” she said. 
‘*T have spoilt my gown.” 

‘*Have you?” said I sympathetically, 
‘*] hope it was not my clumsiness—but 
really there doesn’t seem much damage 
done. Did you tear it in front?” 

There was need of very great restraint 
in saying this. Though I stood simply 
palpitating with amazement, and had to 
make some show of examining her gown, 
I knew that even an ill judged word might 
undo the whole good of the amazing dis- 
covery, and deprive me of that which 
appeared to be one of the most astounding 
stories of the year. To put an end to 
the interview, I asked her laughingly if she 
would not care to see one of the maids 
up stairs ; and she jumped at the excuse, 
leaving me upon the landing to watch 
her hurriedly mounting to the bedroom 
story above. 

When she was gone I went back to 
the conservatory and drank a cup of tea, 
always the best promoter of clear thought ; 
and for some ten minutes I turned the 
thing over in my mind. Who was Mrs. 
Sibyl Kavanagh, and why had she sewn a 
brooch of brilliants to the inside of a panel 
of her gown—sewn it in a place where it 
was as safely hid from sight as though 
buried in the Thames? A child could 
have given the answer—but a child would 
have overlooked many things which were 
vital to the development of the unavoid- 
able conclusion of the discovery. The 
brooch that I had seen corresponded 
perfectly with the crescent of which Lady 
Dunholme was robbed—yet it was a 
brooch which a hundred women might 
have possessed; and if I had simply 
stepped down and told Lady Faber—the 
thief you are entertaining is Mrs. Sibyl 
Kavanagh, a slander action with damages 
had trodden upon the heels of the 
folly. Yet I would have given a hundred 
pounds to have been allowed full inspec- 
tion of the whole panel of the woman’s 
dress—and I would have staked an equal 
sum that there had been found in it the 
pendant of the ripening rubies ; a pend- 
ant which seemed to me the one certain 
clue that would end the series of jewel 
robberies, and the colossal mystery of the 
year. Now, however, the.woman had 
gone up stairs to hide in another place 
whatever she had to hide; and for the 
time it was unlikely that a sudden search- 
ing of her dress would add to my know- 
ledge. 


SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 


A second cup of tea helped me still 
further on my path. It made quite clear 
to me the fact that the woman was the 
recipient of the stolen jewels, rather than 
the actual taker of them. She, clearly, 
could not use the scissors which had 
severed Lady Faber’s pendant from the 
ruby belt. <A skilful man had in all 
probability done that—but which man, 
or perhaps men? I had long felt that 
the season’s robberies were the work of 
many hands. Chance had now marked 
for me one pair, but it was vastly 
more important to know the others. The 
punishment of the woman would scarce 
stop the widespread conspiracy; the 
arrest of her for the possession of a 
crescent brooch, hid suspiciously it is 
true, but a brooch of a pattern which 
abounded in every jeweller’s shop from 
Kensington to Temple Bar, would have 
been consummate lunacy. Of course, 
I could have taken cab to Scotland Yard, 
and have told my tale; but with no other 
support, how far would that have availed 
me? If the history of the surpassingly 
strange case were to bewritten, I knew 
that | must write it, and lose no moment 
in the work. 

I had now got a sufficient grip upon 
the whole situation to act decisively, and 
my first step was to re-enter the ball- 
room, and to take a partner for the next 
waltz. We had made some turns before 
I discovered that Mrs. Kavanagh was 
again in the room, dancing with her 
usual dash, and seemingly in no way 
moved by the mishap. As we passed in 
the press, she even smiled at me, saying, 
‘**]’ve set full sail again ;” and her whole 
bearing convinced me of her belief that I 
had seen nothing. 

At the end of the dance my own 
partner, a pretty little girl in pink, left me 
with the remark, ‘‘ You’re awfully stupid 
to-night ! I ask you if you’ve seen Manon 
Lescaut,’ and the only thing you say is, 
‘The panel buttons up, I thought so.’” 
This convinced me that it was dangerous 
to dance again, and I waited in the room 
only until the supper was ready, and Mrs. 
Kavanagh passed me, making for the 
dining-room, on the arm of General 
Sharard. I had loitered to see what 
jewels she wore upon her dress, and 
when I had made a note of them, I slipped 
from the front door of the house unob- 
served, and took a hansom to my place in 
Bond-street. 

At the second ring of the bell my 
watchman opened the door to me, and 








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SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 1133 


while he stood staring with profound 
surprise, I walked straight to one of the 
jewel cases in which our cheaper jewels 
are kept, and took therefrom a spray of 
diamonds, and hooked it to the inside 
of mycoat. Then I sent the man up stairs 
to awaken Abel, and in five minutes my 
servant was with me, though he wore 
only his trousers and his shirt. 

‘* Abel,” said I, ‘* there’s good news for 
you. I’m on the path of the gang we’re 
wanting.” 

** Good God, sir!” cried he, ‘* you don’t 
mean that!” 

“Yes,” said I, ‘‘there’s a woman 
named Sibyl Kavanagh in it to begin 
with, and she’s helped herself to a couple 
of diamond sprays, and a pendant of rubies 
at Lady Faber’s to-night. One of the 
sprays I know she’s got; if I could trace 
the pendant to her, the case would begin 
to look complete.” 

‘*Whew!” he ejaculated, brightening 
up at the prospect of business. ‘‘ I knew 
there was a woman in it all “along—but 
this one, why, she’s a regular flier, ain’t 
she, sir ?” 

‘* We'll find out her history presently. 
I’m going straight back to Portman 
Square now. Follow me in a hansom, 
and when you get to the house, wait inside 
my brougham until I come. But before 
you do that, run round to Marlborough 
Street police-station and ask them if we 
can have ten or a dozen men ready to 
mark a house in Bayswater some time 
between this and six o’clock to-morrow 
morning.” 

‘*You’re going to follow her home 
then ?” 

‘* Exactly, and if my wits can find a 
way I’m going to be her guest for ten 
minutes after she quits Lady Faber’s. 
They’re sure to let you have the men 
either at Marlborough Street or at the 
Harrow Road station. This business 
has been a disgrace to them quite long 
enough.” 

‘*That’s so, sir; King told me yester- 
day that he’d bury his head in the sand 
if something didn’t turn up soon. You 
haven’t given me the exact address, 
though.” 

‘* Because I haven't gotit. I only know 
that the woman lives somewhere near St. 
Stephen’s Church—she sits under, or on, 
one of the curates there. If you can get 


her address from her coachman, do so. 
But go and dress and be in Portman 
Square at the earliest possible moment.” 

‘*It was now very near one o'clock, 


indeed the hour struck as I passed the 
chapel in Orchard Street; and when I 
came into the square I found my own 
coachman waiting with the brougham at 
the corner by Baker Street. I told him, 
before I entered the house, to expect Abel, 
and not by any chance to draw up at 
Lady Faber’s. Then I made my way 
quietly to the ball-room, and observed 
Mrs. Kavanagh—I will not say dancing, 
but hurling herself through the last figure 
of the lancers. It was evident that she 
did not intend to quit yet awhile, and I 
left her to get some supper, choosing a 
seat near to the door of the dining- 
room, so that any one passing must 
be seen by me. To my surprise, I had 
not been in the room ten minutes when 
she suddenly appeared in the hall, un- 
attended and her cloak wrapped round 
her, but she passed without perceiving 
me; and I, waiting until I heard the hall 
door close, went out instantly and got 
my wraps. Many of the guests had 
left already, but a few carriages and 
cabs were in the square, and a linkman 
seemed busy in the distribution of un- 
limited potations. It occurred to me 
that if Abel had not got the woman’s 
address, this man might give it to me, 
and I put the plain question to him. 

‘* That lady who just left,” said I, ‘‘ did 
she have a carriage or a cab?” 

‘*Oh, you mean Mrs. Kevenner,” he 
answered thickly, ‘‘ she’s a keb, she is, 
allus takes a hansom, sir; 192, West- 
bourne Park ; I don’t want to ask when I 
see her, sir!” 

** Thank you,” said I, ‘* she has dropped 


. a piece of jewellery in the hall, and I 


thought I would drive round and return 
it to her.” 

He looked surprised, at the notion, per- 
haps, of any one returning anything found 
in a London ball-room, but I left him with 
his astonishment, and entered my carriage. 
There I found Abel crouching down under 
the front seat, and he met me with a 
piteous plea that the woman had no 
coachman, and that he had failed to 
obtain her address. 

** Never mind that,” said 1, as we drove 
off sharply, ‘‘ what did they say at the 
station ?” 

‘*They wanted to bring a force of 
police round, and arrest every one in 
the house, sir. I had trouble enough 
to hold them in, I’m sure. But I said 
that we'd sit down and watch if they 
made any fuss, and then they gave in. It’s 
agreed now that a dozen men will be at 








1134 




















SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 























**]—] WON'T SPEAK, SIR,” HE GASPBD. 


the Harrow Road station at your call till 
morning. They’ve a wonderful confi- 
dence in you, sir.” 

‘It’s a pity they haven’t more confi- 
dence in themselves—but, anyway, we 
are in luck. The woman’s address is 192 


Westbourne Park, and I seem to remem- 
ber that it is a square.” 

‘* T’m sure of it,” said he ; ‘‘ it’s a round 
square in the shape of an oblong, and 
one hundred and ninety-two is at the 
side near Durham something or other ; 








SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 


we can watch it 
palings.” 

After this, ten minutes’ drive brought 
us to the place, and I found it as he had 
said, the ‘‘square” being really a tri- 
angle. Number one hundred and ninety- 
two was a big house, its outer points 
gone to much decay, but lighted on its 
second and third floors ; though so far as 
I could see, for the blinds of the drawing- 
room were up, no one was moving. 
This did not deter me, however, and, 
taking my stand with Abel at the corner 
where two great trees gave us perfect 
shelter, we waited silently for many 
minutes to the astonishment of the con- 
stable upon the beat, with whom I soon 
settled ; and to his satisfaction. 

** Ah,” said he, ‘I knew they was rum 
‘uns all along ; they owe fourteen pound 
for milk, and their butcher ain’t paid ; 
young men going in all night, too—why, 
there’s one of them there now.” 

I looked through the trees at his 
words, and saw that he was right. A 
youth in an opera hat, and a black coat 
was upon the doorstep of the house ; 
and as the light of a street lamp fell upon 
his face, I recognised him. He was the 
boy who had eaten of the jam-tarts so 
plentifully at Lady Faber’s—the youth 
with whom Sibyl Kavanagh had pretended 
to have no acquaintance when she talked 
to me in the conservatory. And at the 
sight of him, I knew that the moment 
had come. 

‘* Abel,” I said, ‘‘it’s time you went. 
Tell the‘men to bring a short ladder with 
them. They'll have to come in by the 
balcony—but only when I make a sign. 
The signal will be the cracking of the 
glass of that lamp you can see upon 
the table there. Did you bring my 
pistol ?” 

‘*Would I forget that?” he asked; 
‘*T brought you two, and look out! for 
you may want them.” 

“1 know that,” said I, ‘* but I depend 
upon you. Get back at the earliest 
possible moment, and don’t act until I 
give the signal. It will mean that the 
clue is complete.” 

He nodded his head, and disappeared 
quickly in the direction where the carriage 
was ; but I went straight up to the house, 
and knocked loudly upon the door. To 
my surprise, it was opened at once by a 
thick-set man in livery, who did not 
appear at all astonished to see me. 

‘*They’re up stairs, sir, will you go 
up?” said he. 

131. August, 1894. 


easily from the 





1135 


‘* Certainly,” said I, taking him at his 
word. ‘‘ Lead the way.” 

This request made him hesitate. 

‘*I] beg your pardon,” said he, ‘I 
think I’ve made a mistake—I’ll speak to 
Mrs. Kavanagh.” 

Before I could answer he had run up 
the stairs nimbly ; but I was quick after 
him ; and when I came upon the landing 
1 could see into the front drawing-room, 
where there sat the woman herself, a 
small and oldish man with long black 
whiskers, and the youth who had just 
come into the room. But the back room, 
which gave off from the other with 
folding-doors, was empty ; and there was 
no light in it. All this I perceived in a 
momentary glance, for no sooner had the 
serving-man spoken to the woman, than 
she pushed the youth out upon the bal- 
cony, and came hurriedly to the landing, 
closing the door behind her. 

‘*Why, Mr. Sutton,” she cried when 
she saw me, ‘‘ this is a surprise; I was 
just going to bed.” 

‘1 was afraid. you would have been 
already gone,” said I, with the simplest 
smile possible, ‘‘ but I found a diamond 
spray in Lady Faber’s hall just after you 
had left. The footman said it must be 
yours, and as I am going out of town 
to-morrow, I thought I would risk leaving 
it to-night.” 

I handed to her as I spoke the spray of 
diamonds I had taken from my own show- 
case in Bond Street, but while she ex- 
amined it she shot up at me a quick 
searching glance from her bright eyes, 
and her thick sensual lips were closed 
hard upon each other. Yet, in the next 
instant, she laughed again, and handed 
me back the jewel. 

**]’m indeed very grateful to you,” she 
exclaimed, ‘‘ but I’ve just put my spray 
in its case; you want to give me some 
one else’s property.” 

‘** Then it isn’t yours ?” said I, affecting 
disappointment. ‘I’m really very sorry 
for having troubled you.” 

** It is I that should be sorry for having 
brought you here,” she cried. ‘* Won't 
you have a brandy and seltzer or some- 
thing before you go?” 

‘* Nothing whatever, thanks,” said I. 
‘*Let me apologise again for having 
disturbed you—and wish you ‘Good 
night.’ ” 

She held out her hand to me, seemingly 
much reassured ; and as I began to descend 
the stairs, she re-entered the drawing-room 
for the purpose, | did not doubt, of getting 


4K 








1136 


the man off the balcony. THe substantial 
lackey was then waiting in the hall to 
open the door for me, but I went down 
very slowly, for in truth the whole of 
my plan appeared to have failed ; and at 
that moment I was without the veriest rag 
of an idea. My object in coming to the 
house had been to trace, and if possible 
to lay hands upon, the woman’s associates, 
taking her, as I hoped, somewhat by 
surprise; yet though I had made my 
chain more complete, vital links were 
missing ; and I stood no nearer to the 
forging of them. That which I had to 
ask myself and to answer in the space 
of ten seconds was the question, 
** Now or to-morrow ? ”—whether I should 
leave the house without effort, and wait 
until the gang betrayed itself again; or 
make some bold stroke which would end 
the matter there and then. The latter 
course was the oneI chose. The morrow, 
said I, may find these people in Paris or 
in Belgium; there never may be such a 
clue again as that of the ruby pendant— 
there never may be a similar opportunity 
of taking at least three of those for whom 
we had so long hunted. And with this 
thought, a whole plan of action suddenly 
leaped up in my mind; and I acted upon 
it, silently and swiftly, and with a readi- 
ness which to this day I wonder at. 

1 now stood at the hall-door, which 
the lackey held open. One searching 
look at the man convinced me that my 
design was a sound one. He was obtuse, 
patronising—but probably honest. As 
we faced each other I suddenly took the 
door-handle from him, and banged the 
door loudly, remaining in the hall. Then 
I clapped my pistol to his head (though 
for this offence I surmise that a judge 
might have given me a month), and I 
whispered fiercely to him, 

‘* This house is surrounded by police ; 

if you say a word I'll give you seven years 
as an accomplice of the woman up stairs, 
whom we are going to arrest. When she 
calls out, answer that I’m. gone, and 
then come back to me for instructions. 
If you do as I tell you, you shall 
not be charged—otherwise, you go to 
jail.” 
At this speech the poor wretch paled 
before me and shook so that I could feel 
the tremor all down the arm of his which 
I held. 

‘*I—I won’t speak, sir,” he gasped. 
‘**T won’t, I do assure you—to think as I 
should have served such folk.” 

‘* Then hide me, and be quick about it 


SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 


—in this room here, it seems dark. Now 
run up Stairs and say I’m gone.” 

I had stepped into a little breakfast- 
room at the back of the dining-room, and 
there had gone unhesitatingly under a 
round table. The place was absolutely 
dark, and was a vantage ground since | 
could see therefrom the whole of the stair- 
case ; but before the footman could mount 
the stairs, the woman came _ half-way 
down them, and looking over the hall she 
asked him, 

‘* Ts that gentleman gone ?” 

‘* Just left, mum,” he replied. 

‘Then go to bed, and never let me see 
you admit a stranger like that again.” 

She went up again at this, and he 
turned to me, asking, 

‘*What shall I do now, sir? I'll do 
anything if you'll speak for me, sir; I’ve 
got twenty years’ kerecter from the late 
Lord Walley ; to think as she’s a bad ’un 
— it’s hardly creditable.” 

‘*T shall speak for you,” said I, ‘if 
you do exactly what I tell you. Are any 
more men expected now ?” 

‘Yes, there’s two more; the capting 
and the clergymin, pretty clergymin he 
must be, too.” 

‘* Never mind that; wait and let them 
in. Then go up stairs and turn the light 
out on the staircase as if by accident. 
After that you can go to bed.” 

‘*Did you say the police. was ’ere?” 


he asked in his hoarse whisper; and I .' 


said, é 

‘* Yes, they’re everywhere, on the roof, 
and in the street, and on the balcony. If 
there’s the least resistance, the house will 
swarm with them.” 

What he would have said to this I can- 
not tell, for at that moment there was 
another knock upon the front door, and 
he opened it instantly. Two men, one in 
clerical dress, and one, a very powerful 
man, in a Newmarket coat, went quickly 
up stairs, and the butler followed them. 
A moment later the gas went out on the 
stairs, and there was no sound but the 
echo of the talk in the front drawing- 
room. 

The critical moment in my night’s work 
hadnowcome. Taking off my bootsand put- 
ting my revolver at the half-cock, I crawled 
up the stairs with the step of a cat, and 
entered the back drawing-room. One of 
the folding doors of this was ajar, so that 
a false step would probably have cost me 
my life—and I could not possibly tell if 
the police were really in the street or only 
upon their way. But it was my good luck 





IN ANOTHER MOMENT MRS. KAVANAGH HERSELF STOOD IN THE DOORWAY WATCHING ME. 








1138 


that the men talked loudly, and seemed 
actually to be disputing. The first thing 
I observed on looking through the open 
door was that the woman had left the 
four to themselves. Three of them 
stood about the table whereon the lamp 
was; thé dumpy man with the black 
whiskers sat in his arm-chair. But the 
most pleasing sight of all was that of 
a large piece of cotton-wool spread upon 
the table and almost covered with 
brooches, lockets, and sprays of dia- 
monds; and to my infinite satisfaction 
I saw Lady Faber’s pendant of rubies 
lying conspicuous even amongst the 
wealth of jewels which the light showed. 

There then was the clue; but how was 
it to be used? It came to me suddenly 
that four consummate rogues such as 
these were would not be unarmed. Did 
I step into the room, they might shoot 
me at the first sound ; and if the police 
had not come, that would be the end of 
it. Had opportunity .been permitted to 
me, I would, undoubtedly, have waited 
five or ten minutes to assure myself 
that Abel was in the street without. 
But this was not to be. Even as I 
debated the point, a candle’s light shone 
upon the staircase ; and in another mo- 
ment Mrs. Kavanagh herself stood in 
the doorway watching me. For one 
instant she stood, but it served my pur- 
pose ; and as a scream rose upon her lips, 
and I felt my heart thudding against my 
ribs, I threw open the folding doors, and 
deliberately shot down the glass of the 
lamp which had cast the aureola of light 
upon the stolen jewels. 

As the glass flew, for my reputation as 
a pistol shot was not belied in this critical 
moment, Mrs. Kavanagh ran in a wild 
fit of hysterical screaming to her bedroom 
above—but the four men turned with 
loud cries to the door where they had 
seen me; and as I saw them coming, I 
prayed that Abel might be there. This 
thought need not have occurred to me. 
Scarce had the men taken two steps when 


SOME JEWEL MYSTERIES I HAVE KNOWN. 


the glass of the balcony windows was 
burst in with a crash, and the whole room 
seemed to fill with police. 

* * * * * * * 

I cannot now remember precisely the 
sentences which were passed upon the 
great gang (known to police history as 
the Westbourne Park gang) of jewel 
thieves ; but the history of that case is 
curious enough to be worthy of mention. 
The husband of the woman Kavanagh— 
he of the black whiskers—was a man of 
the name of Whyte, formerly a manager 
in the house of James Thorndike, the 
Universal Provider near the Tottenham 
Court Road. Whyte’s business had been 
to provide all things needful for dances ; 
and, though it astonishes me to write it, 
he had even found dancing men for many 
ladies whose range of acquaintance was 
narrow. In the course of business, he 
set up for himself eventually ; and as he 
worked, the bright idea came to him, why 
not find as guests men who may snap up, 
in the heat and the security of the dance, 
such unconsidered trifles as sprays, pend- 
ants, and lockets. To this end he 
married, and his wife being a clever 
woman who fell in with his idea, she— 
under the name of Kavanagh—made the 
acquaintance of a number of youths 
whose business it was to dance; and 
eventually wormed herself into many good 
houses. The trial brought to light the 
extraordinary fact that no less than 
twenty-three men and eight women were 
bound in this amazing conspiracy, and 
that Kavanagh acted as the buyer of the 
property they stole, giving them a third 
of the profits and swindling them out- 
rageously. He, I believe, is now taking 
the air at Portland ; and the other young 
men are finding in the exemplary exercise 
of picking oakum, work for idle hands 
to do. 

As for Mrs. Kavanagh, she was 
dramatic to the end of it ; and, as I learnt 
from King, she insisted on being arrested 
in bed. 














TALES OF REVENGE. 
No. VIIIl.—THE HOUR AND THE MAN. 


By ROBERT BARR. 


RINCE LOTARNO rose slowly to his 
feet, casting one malignant glance at 
the prisoner before him. 

‘You have heard,” he said, ** what is 
alleged against you. Have you anything 
to say in your defence?” 

The captured brigand laughed. 

‘The time for talk is past,” he cried. 
‘* This has been a fine farce of a fair trial. 
You need not have wasted so much time 
over what you call evidence. I knew my 
doom when I fell into your hands. I killed 
your brother, you will kill me. You have 
proven that I am a murderer and a robber ; 
I could prove the same of you if you were 
bound hand and foot in my camp as I am 
bound in your castle. Itis useless for me 
to tell you that I did not know he was 
your brother, else it would not have 
happened, for the small robber always 
respects the larger and more powerful 
thief. When a wolf is down the other 
wolves devour him. Iam down, and you 
will have my head cut off, or my body 
drawn asunder in your courtyard, which- 
ever pleases your Excellency best. It is 
the fortune of war, and I do not complain. 
When I say that I am sorry I killed your 
brother, I merely mean I am _ sorry 
you were not the man who stood in his 
shoes when the shot was fired. You, 
having more men than I had, have scat- 
tered my followers and captured me. You 


‘may do with me what you please. My 


consolation is that the killing me will not 
bring to life the man who is shot, therefore 
conclude the farce that has dragged 
through so many weary hours. Pronounce 
my sentence. I am ready.” 

There was a moment’s silence after the 
brigand had ceased speaking. Then the 
Prince said, in low tones, but in a voice 


that made itself heard in every part of the 
judgment-hall, 

‘* Your sentence is that on the fifteenth 
of January you shall be taken from your 
cell at four o'clock, conducted to the room 
of execution, and there beheaded.” 

The Prince hesitated for a moment as 
he concluded the sentence, and seemed 
about to add something more, but ap- 
parently he remembered that a report of 
the trial was to go before the King, whose 
representative was present, and he was 
particularly desirous that nothing should 
go on the records which savoured of old- 
time malignity; for it was well known 
that his Majesty had a particular aversion 
to the old forms of torture that had ob- 
tained heretofore in his kingdom. Re- 
collecting this, the Prince sat down, 

The brigand laughed again. His sen- 
tence was evidently not so gruesome as 
he had expected. He wasa man who had 
lived all his life in the mountains, and he 
had had no means of knowing that more 
merciful measures had been introduced 
into the policy of the Government. 

‘*] will keep the appointment,” he said 
jauntily, ‘‘ unless I have a more pressing 
engagement.” 

The brigand was led away to his cell. 
‘*] hope,” said the Prince, ‘‘that you 
noted the defiant attitude of the prisoner.” 

‘*T have not failed to do so, your Ex- 
cellency,” replied the ambassador. 

‘*] think,” said the Prince, ‘‘ that under 
the circumstances, his treatment has been 
most merciful.” 

**I am certain, your Excellency,” said 
the ambassador, ‘‘ that his Majesty. will 
be of the same opinion. For such a mis- 
creant, beheading is too easy a death.” 

The Prince was pleased to know that 


TALES OF 


the opinion of the ambassador coincided 
so entirely with his own. 

The brigand Toza was taken to a cell 
in the northern tower, where, by climbing 


1140 


REVENGE. 


also that if he succeeded in escaping from 
the castle he was hemmed in by mountains 
practically unscalable, while the mouth 
of the gorge was so well guarded by 














THE BRIGAND GIVES THE PLAN TO THE GAOLER. 


on a bench, he could get a view of the 
profound valley at the mouth of which 
the castle was situated. He well knew its 
impregnable position, commanding, as it 
did, the entrance to the valley. He knew 


the castle that it was impossible to 
get to the outer world through that 
gateway. Although he knew the moun- 
tains well, he realised that, with his 
band scattered, many killed, and the 








=~ aT! 





TALES OF REVENGE. 1141 


others fugitives, he would have a better 
chance of starving to death in the valley 
than of escaping out of it. He sat on the 
bench and thought over the situation. 
Why had the Prince been so merciful ? 
He had expected torture, whereas he was 
to meet the easiest death that a man could 
die. He felt satisfied there was something 
in this that he could not understand. Per- 
haps they intended to starve him to death, 
now that the appearance of a fair trial 
was over. Things could be done in the 
dungeon of acastle that the outside world 
knew nothing of. His fears of starvation 
were speedily put to an end by the 
appearance of his gaoler with a better 
meal than he had had for some time; for 
during the last week he had wandered a 
fugitive in the mountains until captured 
by the Prince’s men, who evidently had 
orders to bring him in alive. Why then 
were they so anxious not to kill him in a 
fair fight if he were now to be merely 
beheaded ? 

‘* What is your name ?” asked Toza of 
his gaoler. 

‘““T am called Paulo,” was the answer. 

‘Do you know that I am to be be- 
headed on the fifteenth of the month ?” 

‘*T have heard so,” answered the man. 

‘*And do you attend me until that 
time ?” 

‘*T attend you while I am ordered to 
do so. If you talk much I may be 
replaced.” 

‘‘ That, then, is a tip for silence, good 
Paulo,” said the brigand. ‘‘ I always treat 
well those who serve me well; I regret, 
therefore, that I have no money with me, 
and so cannot recompense you for good 
service.” 

‘‘That is not necessary,” answered 
Paulo. ‘‘I receive my recompense from 
the steward.” 

‘* Ah, but the recompense of the stew- 
ard and the recompense of a brigand 
chief are two very different things. Are 
there so many pickings in your position 
that you are rich, Paulo?” 

‘*No, I am a poor man.” 

** Well, under certain circumstances, I 
could make you rich.” 

Paulo’s eyes glistened, but he made no 
direct reply. Finally he said, in a fright- 
ened whisper, ‘‘1 have tarried too long, 
Il am watched. By and by the vigilance 
will be relaxed, and then we may perhaps 
talk of riches.” 

With that the gaoler took his departure. 
The brigand laughed softly to himself. 
** Evidently,” he said, ‘* Paulo is not above 


the reach of a bribe. We will have fur- 
ther talk on the subject when the watch- 
fulness is relaxed.” 

And so it grew to be a question of 
which should trust the other. The brigand 
asserted that hidden. in the mountains he 
had gold and jewels, and these he would 
give to Paulo if he could contrive his 
escape from the castle. 

*“*Once free of the castle, I can soon 
make my way out of the valley,” said the 
brigand. 

‘*T am not so sure of that,” answered 
Paulo. ‘‘ The castle is well guarded, and 
when it is discovered that you have 
escaped the alarm-bell will be rung, and 
after that not a mouse can leave the 
valley without the soldiers knowing it.” 

The brigand pondered on the situation 
for some time, and at last said, ‘*I know 
the mountains well.” 

“*Yes,” said Paulo, ‘‘ but you are one 
man, and the soldiers of the Prince are 
many. Perhaps,” he added, ‘if it were 
made worth my while I could show you 
that I know the mountains even better 
than you do.” 

‘“What do you mean?” asked the 
brigand, in an excited whisper. 

** Do you know the tunnel ?” inquired 
Paulo, with an anxious glance towards 
the door. 

‘* What tunnel? 
any.” 

‘* But it exists, nevertheless ; a tunnel 
through the mountains to the world 
outside.” 

‘*A tunnel through the mountains ? 
Nonsense!” cried the brigand. ‘I 
should have known of it if one existed. 
The work would be too great to accom- 
plish.” 

‘* It was made long before your day, or 
mine either. If the castle had fallen, then 
those who were inside could escape 
through the tunnel. Few know of the 
entrance ; it is near the waterfall up the 
valley, and is covered with brushwood. 
What will you give me to place you at 
the entrance of that tunnel ?” 

The brigand looked at Paulo sternly for 
a few moments, then he answered slowly, 
‘* Everything I possess.” 

‘And how much is that?” asked 
Paulo. 

‘* It is more than you will ever earn by 
serving the Prince.” 

** Will you tell me where it is before I 
help you to escape from the castle and 
lead you to the tunnel?” 

** Yes,” said Toza. 


I never heard of 








TALES OF REVENGE. 





HE THREW ASIDE BUSHES, BRAMBLES, AND LOGS, SPEEDILY DISCLOSING A HOLE LARGE 
ENOUGH TO ADMIT A MAN, 


‘* Will you tell me now?” 

‘‘ No; bring me a paper to-morrow, and 
I will draw a plan showing you how to 
get it.” 

When his gaoler appeared, the day after 
Toza had given the plan, the brigand 
asked eagerly, ‘‘ Did you get the trea- 
sure ?” 


‘*] did,” said Paulo, quietly. 

** And will you keep your word ?—will 
you get me out of the castle ?” 

‘**] will get you out of the castle and 
lead you to the entrance of the tunnel, 
but after that you must look to yourself.” 


’ 


‘** Certainly,” said Toza, ‘‘ that was the 
bargain. Once out of this accursed valley, 











TALES OF 


I can defy all the princes in Christendom. 
Have you a rope ?”’ 

‘* We shall need none,” said the gaoler. 
‘*T will come for you at midnight, and 
take you out of the castle by the secret 
passage; then your escape will not be 
noticed until morning.” 

At midnight his gaolercame andled Toza 
through many a tortuous passage, the two 
men pausing now and then, holding their 
breaths anxiously as they came to an open 
court through which a guard paced. At 
last they were outside of the castle at one 
hour past midnight. 

The brigand drew a long breath of 
relief when he was once again out in the 
free air. 

‘* Where is your tunnel ?” he asked, in 
a somewhat distrustful whisper of his 
guide. 

‘* Hush!” was the low answer. ‘‘ It is 
only a short distance from the castle, but 
every inch is guarded, and we cannot go 
direct; we must make for the other side 
of the valley and come to it from the 
north.” 

**What!” cried Toza in amazement, 
‘* traverse the whole valley for a tunnel a 
few yards away ?” 

‘*It is the only safe plan,” said Paulo. 
‘* If you wish to go by the direct way, I 
must leave you to your own devices.” 

‘* 1 am in your hands,” said the brigand 
with a sigh. ‘* Take me where you will, 
so long as you lead me to the entrance of 
the tunnel.” 

They passed down and down around the 
heights on which the castle stood, and 
crossed the purling little river by means of 
stepping-stones. Once Toza fell into the 
water, but was rescued byhis guide. There 
was still no alarm from the castle as day- 
light began to break. Asit grew.more light 
they both crawled into a cave which had 
a low opening difficult to find, and there 
Paulo gave the brigand his breakfast, 
which he took from a little bag slung by 
a strap across his shoulder. 

‘* What are we going to do for food if 
we are to be days between here and the 
tunnel?” asked Toza. 

‘Oh, I have arranged for that, and a 
quantity of food has been placed where 
we are most likely to want it. I will get 
it while you sleep.” 

‘* But if you are captured, what am I to 
do?” asked Toza. ‘‘ Can you not tell me 
now how to find the tunnel, as I told you 
how to find the treasure ?” 

Paulo pondered over this for a moment, 
and then said, ‘‘ Yes, I think it would be 








REVENGE. 1143 


the safer way. You must follow the 
stream until you reach the place where 
the torrent from the east joinsit. Among 
the hills there is a waterfall, and halfway 
up the precipice on a shelf of rock there 
are sticks and bushes. Clear them away, 
and you will find the entrance to the tun- 
nel. Go through the tunnel until you come 
to a door, which is bolted on this side. 
When you have passed through, you will 
see the end of your journey.” 

Shortly after daybreak the big bell of 
the castle began to ring, and before noon 
the soldiers were beating the bushes all 
around them. They were so close that 
the two men could hear their voices from 
their hiding-place, where they lay in their 
wet clothes, breathlessly expecting every 
moment to be discovered. 

The conversation of two soldiers, who 
were nearest them, nearly caused the 
hearts of the hiding listeners to stop 
beating. 

‘** Is there not a cave near here?” asked 
one. ‘* Let us search for it!” 

‘* Nonsense,” said the other. ‘‘1 tell 
you that they could not have come this 
far already.” 

‘*Why could they not have escaped 
when the guard changed at midnight ?” 
insisted the first speaker. 

** Because Paulo was seen crossing the 
courtyard at midnight, and they could 
have had no other chance of getting away 
until just before daybreak.” 

This answer seemed to satisfy his com- 
rade, and the search was given up just as 
they were about to come upon the fugi- 
tives. It was a narrow escape, and, brave 
as the robber was, he looked pale, while 
Paulo was in a state of collapse. 

Many times during the nights and days 
that followed the brigand and his guide 
almost fell into the hands of the minions 
of the Prince. Exposure, privation, semi- 
starvation, and, worse than all, the alter- 
nate wrenchings of hope and fear, began 
to tell upon the stalwart frame of the 
brigand. Some days and nights of cold 
winter rain added to their misery. They 
dare not seek shelter, for every habitable 
place was watched. 

When daylight overtook them on their 
last night’s crawl through the valley, they 
were within a short distance of the water- 
fall, whose low roar now came soothingly 
down to them. 

‘* Never mind the daylight,” said Toza : 
‘let us push on and reach the tunnel.” 

‘*] can go no farther,” moaned Paulo: 
‘*T am exhausted.”’ 


TALES OF REVENGE. 




















THE BRIGAND WAS PUSHED RUDELY INTO A ROOM, 


‘* Nonsense,” cried Toza; ‘‘it is but a 
short distance.” 

‘*The distance is greater than you 
think ; besides, we are in full view of the 
castle. Would you risk everything now 
that the game is nearly won? You must 
not forget that the stake is your head; 
and remember what day this is.” 

** What day is it ?” asked the brigand, 
turning on his guide. 


“It is the fifteenth of January, the 


day on which 
cuted.” 

Toza caught his breath sharply. Danger 
and want had made a coward of him, and 
he shuddered now, which he had not done 
when he was on his trial and condemned 
to death. 

** How do you know it is the fifteenth ?” 
he asked at last. 


you were to be exe- 








TALES OF 


Paulo held up his .stick notched after 
the method of Robinson Crusoe. 

‘*] am not so strong as you are, and if 
you will let me rest here until the after- 
noon, I am willing to make a last effort, 
and try to reach the entrance of the 
tunnel.” 

‘* Very well,” said Toza shortly. 

As they lay there that forenoon neither 
could sleep. The noise of the waterfall 
was music to the ears of both ; their long 
toilsome journey was almost over. 

‘*What did you do with the gold that 
you found in the mountains?” asked 
Toza, suddenly. 

Paulo was taken unawares, and 
answered, without thinking, ‘‘I1 left it 
where it was. I will get it later.” 

The brigand said nothing, but that 
remark condemned Paulo to death. Toza 
resolved to murder him as soon as they 
were well out of the tunnel, and get the 
gold himself. 

They left their hiding-place shortly 
after twelve o'clock, but their progress 
was so slow, crawling, as they had to do, 
up the steep side of the mountain, under 
cover of bushes and trees, that it was well 
after three o’clock when they came to the 
waterfall, which they crossed, as best they 
could, on stones and logs. 

‘* There,” said Toza, shaking himself, 
‘that is our last wetting. Now for the 
tunnel!” 

The rocky sides of the waterfall hid 
them from view of the castle, but Paulo 
called the brigand’s attention to the fact 
that they could be easily seen from the 
other side of the valley. 

‘*Tt doesn’t matter now,” said Toza; 
‘*lead the way as quickly as you can to 
the mouth of the cavern.” 

Paulo scrambled on until he reached a 
shelf about halfway up the cataract; he 
threw aside bushes, brambles, and logs, 
speedily disclosing a hole large enough to 
admit a man. 

‘“You go first,” said Paulo, standing 
aside. 

‘*No,” answered Toza; ‘‘you know 
the way, and must go first. You cannot 


’ 





REVENGE. 1145 


think that I wish to harm you—I am 
completely unarmed.” 

** Nevertheless,” said Paulo, ‘‘I shall 
not go first. 1 did not like the way you 
looked at me when I told you the gold 
was still in the hills. I admit that I dis- 
trust you.” 

**Oh, very well,” laughed Toza, ‘‘ it 
doesn’t really matter.” And he crawled 
into the hole in the rock, Paulo following 
him. 

Before long the tunnel enlarged so that 
a man could stand upright. 

‘*Stop!” said Paulo, ‘there is the 
door near here.” 

** Yes,” said the robber, ‘‘ 1 remember 
that you spoke of a door,” adding, how- 
ever, ‘‘What is it for, and why is it 
locked ? ” 

**It is bolted on this side,” answered 
Paulo, ‘‘ and we shall have no difficulty 
in Opening it.” 

‘*What is it for?” repeated the bri- 
gand. 

‘*It is to prevent the current of air 
running through the tunnel and blowing 
away the obstruction at this end,” said 
the guide. 

** Here it is,” said Toza, as he felt down 
its edge for the bolt. 

The bolt drew back easily, and the door 
opened. The next instant the brigand 
was pushed rudely into a room, and he 
heard the bolt thrust back into its place 
almost simultaneously with the noise of 
the closing door. For amoment his eyes 
were dazzled by the light. He was in a 
room blazing with torches held by a dozen 
men standing about. 

In the centre of the room was a block 
covered with a black cloth, and beside it 
stood a masked executioner resting the 
corner of a gleaming axe on the black 
draped block, with his hands crossed over 
the end of the axe’s handle. 

The Prince stood there surrounded by 
his ministers. Above his head was a 


clock, with the minute hand pointed to 
the hour of four. 

** You are just in time!” said the Prince 
grimly ; ‘* we are waiting for you!” 





SSE UNS —— 








THE TOWER OF LONDON ; SHOWING THE TOWER BRIDGE DURING CONSTRUCTION.—Paintep By G. MonTBARD 





MONTBARD 


VUMANOLINUCLIION,—PAINTED BY G. 


oes eet ese O24 \ £RS AIS 














> ° 
° > a a 2 ff CD fs F 
SZevisives. 
~) 
dever Boy aptHe Zoo 
= 
By Ful Rosin ON | 





F course this is ‘* Jack,” the ourang- 
outan. And he ought to be, for his 
name being translated from the vernacular 
means, ‘** the wise man of the wood.” But 
Jack is only a child of four years as yet, and, 
intelligent though he is, it is only the in- 
telligence of a human baby, and will never, 
even if he live to the full span of ourang- 
outan life of five-and-twenty, be anything 
more. But he is well worth going to see, 
and, as a ‘‘show,” Jack having his hands 
washed is far superior to the lions being fed. 
For Jack gets his hands very dirty in the 
course of a day or two, and then they are washed. A chair is taken into the cage, 
and the attendant, having got out a pail of warm water, soap, towels, and flannel, 
calls the ourang out. Itis etiquette to wait till he is called, but he obeys cheerfully, 
and seats himself in the chair, and, with the most comical expression on his face con- 
ceivable, gives his left hand to the attendant. And while it is being soaped, and 
washed, and dried, and re-dried, polished, and vaselined, Jack sits there holding 
on with his other three hands to the chair as if he were afraid that some practical 
joke was going to be played off on him, and his head turned to one side, looking 
out through the bars, pretending that he is a suffering martyr, and all the time 
most absurdly betraying his pleasure in the performance. One hand done with, the 
other is given, and Jack holds the clean one up before his face, sniffs the soap 
and tastes the vaseline, and, as if satisfied-that the job has been well and thoroughly 
done, drops the hand down by his side with a fine-lady affectation of being accus- 
tomed to luxuries that is irresistibly funny. One by one all his grimy, grubby 
hands are washed to a nice healthy pink, and then Jack is told he can go; and he 
does go, but with a deliberateness that suggests he would like to be called back. 
Arrived at his box, he seats himself, and submits each of the cleansed members to 
examination, and, quite content and comfortable, gives his hands a parting sniff, and 
lies down. 

But it is not sleeping time yet, for Jack has a cold, and he has got to take some 
physic. This is given him in milk, and as a rule he takes it without giving any 
trouble, the apples or plantains that are laid out before him being quite sufficient 
incentive to be ‘fa good boy and take the medicine.” But sometimes he is whimsical, 
and all the patience and good humour of the attendant and the sight of the fruit, 
which are to be his when he empties his pannikin, are not enough. He will put it 
to his lips, sip it, give a little cry of reluctance, and try to spill it. Again, and 
again, and again, it is offered. No, Jack will have none of it. He will take the 
pannikin, smell its contents, touch them with his pouted-out under-lip, but every 
time it is the same—he whimpers and tries to upset it. Then the attendant 








THE ZOO 


pretends he will waste no more time 
with him, and, picking up the fruit, makes 
believe to go. At this the ourang throws 
itself down on its back on the straw, and 
rolls from side to side holding its ‘‘ toes ” 
with its hands and screaming like a 
naughty baby in a passion. ‘‘ Well, then, 


1148 


JACK GIVES HIS HAND TO THE ATTENDANT. 


come and take your medicine, and here’s 
an apple and here’s a plantain for you;” 
and back comes Jack—but only to go 
through exactly the same performance. 
The keeper repeats this threat, and the 
ourang is again rolling about on the 
straw in uncontrollable grief. And so the 
fight goes on. Then the keeper really 





REVISITED. 


does leave the cage, taking the fruit with 
him, and then Jack’s grief is no sham but 
very real indeed. He cries aloud and 
gets out of temper. Sothe keeper cor-es 
back, and a compromise is arrived at. 
Jack is to drink ‘‘a little,” and then he 
shall have his fruit. To this the ourang’ 
assents, and, hav- 
ing fulfilled his 
part of the bar- 
gain with a ludi- 
crous imitation of 
being disgusted 
at the taste of 
what he has to 
drink, he receives 
the fruit, and 
peace is restored 
on the best pos- 
sible basis of 
mutual _ satisfac- 
tion. Jack’s blan- ~ 
ket is then 
brought in and 
handed to him, 
and the ourang re- 
turns to his box, 
and it is really 
most interesting 
to see the clever- 
ness with which 
he so manipulates 
it that he has it 
completely under 
him and over him 
with enough left 
to tuck in. And 
so, with his head 
pillowed on his 
hand and his face 
just peering out 
from under the 
blanket, Jack 
gives a comfort- 
able little sigh, 
and closes his 
eyes. 

He has_ been 
taught a_ few 
simple _ tricks— 
~ taking sweet- 

meats out of 

a pocket, put- 
ting a straw through the keyhole, and 
so forth; and there is no reason why, as 
he is under the same expert professors 
who educated the reasoning powers of 
Sally the chimpanzee, he should not, if he 
lives to her age, learn as much as she did. 
But Sally lived in the Zoo nearly eight 
years—probably the longest time any 





ONS 





SS SE ee ety 





_——— 
[wa oan ee ee ee on 12h paoa 








HE WILL TAKE THE PANNIKIN, SMELL ITS CONTENTS, AND TOUCH THEM WITH HIS POUTED-OUT 
UNDER-LIP. 























1150 


‘* man-ape ” has survived in captivity in a 
northern climate. Nor can this be won- 
dered at, in the ourang-outan perhaps 
least of all, for ‘‘the wise man of the 
wood ” inhabits only Sumatra and Borneo, 
and is found nowhere else; and the 
character of these two islands, their 
climate and vegetation, may safely be 
called the very worst training possible for 
subsequent life in a cold country. Even 
the Gaboon, where the gorilla haunts, isa 
trifle better, for the ourangs delight by 
nature in the steamy _at- 
mosphere of the lower-lying 
swampy lands, where vegeta- 
tion is most intense and the 
wild orchards most productive. 
When travelling, they seldom 
descend to the ground, but 
pass from tree to tree, often 
at great altitudes, walking 
along the larger limb of one 
till they reach the small 
boughs of the next, and swing- 
ing themselves by them 
into it, and so proceed- 
ing mile after mile. 
When we remember the 
weight of these great apes, it 
seems almost incredible that 
vegetation of such loftiness 
is to be found anywhere 
growing in such interwoven 
density as to make a contin- 
uous highway for these bulky 
and heavy-treading creatures. 
Their food is of great variety, 
but all lush and juicy, and 
being very fastidious they 
pick and choose as they 
go, wasting far more 
than they eat. 

It is not extraordin- 
ary, therefore, the 
ourangs brought away 
from such a climate, 
from an arboreal life 
and ‘‘fine confused 
feeding,” should be 
liable to disease 
in a cramped space 
and under the 
stereotyped con- 
ditions of life in a 
cage. A tendency 
to chest and throat 
complaints is  al- 
ways present, and ad 
if visitors only 
knew it, it is they 
themselves, with their wet clothes, 
waterproofs, and dripping umbrellas, who 


THE ZOO REVISITED. 


as often as not give the man-apes that 
are brought to the Zoo ‘‘ their death of 
cold.” For himself, Jack is very careful 
in trying not to catch 

cold, and it is delight- 
ful to see the skill 
with which he 
completely cov- 

ers himself 

with straw 
whenever 

he lies 









THEY PASS FROM TREE 
TO TREE, 


down. In their wild state 
they construct shelters for 
themselves against the rain, and sleep 
at night on platforms which are often 
roughly roofed over, never getting up, 
unless alarmed, until the sun is high and 
the dew is gone off the leaves. During 
the warmest part of the day they are 
abroad feeding, returning before sunset 
to their sleeping places, which are 
generally built in low and well-sheltered 
trees. 

Jack is very good-tempered and easily 








THE ZOO REVISITED. 


amused; a broomstick, for instance, 
sufficing to keep him at play, or, failing 
even that, the straw he lies on and his 
own toes. Just like an ordinary human 
baby, he lies on his back sprawling about, 
catching hold of his own feet and rolling 
from side to side. Occasionally, however, 
he gets out of temper, and is then nothing 
more or less than a spoilt child in 
a temper, his passion subsiding as 
suddenly and unreasonably as it began. 
In its wild state the ourang is curiously 
inoffensive ; intrusion upon its privacy 
excites only its curiosity, and attack per- 
plexes and alarms it. But it does not 
fight, and though repeatedly wounded 
appears to think only of escape. Of 
course the natives tell tales of its awful 
ferocity, just as Du Chaillu was filled up 
with narratives of the bloodthirstiness of 
the gorilla by his attendants. But trust- 
worthy English travellers all assure us 
that the man-apes are singularly mild in 
manner, the ourang especially. Of course, 
if driven into a corner and at bay for its 
life, the ourang might be expected to 
defend itself as fiercely as any other 
animal, even a sheep, and its great 
strength and powerful jaws would make 









1151 


it a dangerous antagonist in a hand- 
to-hand encounter. But there are no 
authenticated cases on record of fights 
with ourang-outans, only rather sickening 
narratives of repeated woundings on the 
one side and silent, patient endurance on 
the other. It is Wallace who tells us of 
one hunt in which the ourang, having had 
both legs broken, its thigh and the base of 
the spine shattered, its neck shot through 
and its jaw smashed by six successive 
bullets, still struggled only to conceal 
itself in foliage, and its strength failing 
it fell to the ground from its lofty perch 
with a terrible thud, and had to be 
despatched on the ground. And all this 
time it uttered no sound, its thoughts 
not being of defiance or even defence, but 
simply concealment or escape from this, 
to it, inexplicable pursuit. Every year 
these interesting creatures are becoming 
rarer. In Sumatra they are even now 


very scarce where quite recently they 
were common, and, now that Borneo has 
become in so many directions a field for 
enterprise and exploitation, ‘‘ the wise men 
of the woods” may be expected to dis- 
appear altogether before long from their 
present haunts. 





TN 


© Gil weil o4 . 














August, 1894. 


131. 















THE NORTH DEVONSHIRE GHOST STORY. 


By A. LOUIS PAUL. 


F all the regiments which had been 
quartered in Calcutta for a 
generation, the North Devonshire was 
the most popular. And the inhabitants 
of the viceregal city were careful that no 
officer of the North Devonshire, from the 
oldest to the youngest, should be without 
an invitation to dinner on Christmas Day. 
The acceptance of these invitations was 
a matter of some debate. For some years 
previously the North Devonshire had 
been at an up-country station with few 
civilian inhabitants, and the regiment’s 
Christmas Day guest nights had been a 
feature of the mess, and an occasion for 
gathering many of its old friends 
together. 

The ladies of Calcutta were, however, 
not to be denied, and some other night 
had to be selected. Engagements were 
many, and it was difficult to fix on a 
suitable evening, but finally Christmas 
Eve was chosen, not without some 
searchings of heart. It was, as I have 
indicated, chiefly a regimental gathering, 
but as a cousin of the Major I was 
honoured with an invitation, and I was 
the only outsider so privileged. 

The dinner went off brilliantly. We 
moved on to the billiard-room, and began 
a game of pool, which was cheery enough, 
but I was looking forward to midnight, 
when, according to custom, the card- 
room would be thrown open, and we 
should set forth upon whist until any 
hour of the morning. The North Devon- 
shire was famous in love, more famous 
in battle, but perhaps most famous of all 
for its whist. The night was cold, and, 
like the immortal Mrs. Battle, I was look- 
ing forward to ‘‘a clean hearth, a clear 
fire, and the rigour of the game.” 


To my intense astonishment, shortly 
before twelve o’clock struck the numerous 
guests prepared to depart. A peep round 
the corner was sufficient for me to see 
that the card-room was in pitch darkness, 
and I| was offered drinks with the effusive- 
ness which men adopt towards a guest of 
whom they are only anxious to be rid. 
Now I had ordered my dogcart for 2.30 
A.M., and although my syce was, for a 
native, a fairly punctual man, I knew 
well that it would be fully 4 a.m. before 
that worthy would turn up. My cousin- 
host saw my little difficulty, and suggested 
an adjournment to his quarters, where, 
over the pegs and cheroots, I heard the 
strange story which explained why the 
North Devonshire never played whist on 
Christmas Eve. Thus spoke the Major : 


Towards the end of the year 1858 
the North Devonshire, then known as 
the 150th Foot, was ordered to a small 
station called Bhilpore, some thirty or 
more miles north-west of Lucknow. The 
country was still in a disturbed state, 
and the Bheels, a tribe of disaffected 
aborigines, were supposed to be in force 
in the neighbourhood. The Anglo- 
Indian of to-day knows the Bheels as 
useful shikaries. They have been taken 
in hand by a paternal government, and 
are tamed. In those times the popular 
definition was : 

A Bheel is a hairy man : 
He will scrag you, and leave you in a ditch. 
By this you may know a Bheel. 


Like other aboriginal tribes, the Bheels 
had got somewhat out of hand during 
the Mutiny. They had laid waste some 
Mohammedan villages, were more than 








THE NORTH DEVONSHIRE GHOST STORY. 1153 
name was not ill-chosen) ; and when they 
heard that Falcon Sahib had become a 
commanding officer by the rapid promo- 
tion of those days, and was again in the 


suspected of some recent dacoities, and, 
generally speaking, wanted watching. 
Colonel Faulkner, the C.O. of the 1r5oth, 
had orders to that effect. The Bheels 








THUS SPOKE THE MAJOR. 





knew him of old, for at the outset of the 
Mutiny, when only a captain, he had been 
at Bhilpore with a detachment of the 
15soth, and he had severely chastised 
them for an incipient insurrection. They 
knew him as ‘Falcon Sahib” (and the 





district with what was to them an army, 
it was with feelings of terror and thoughts 
of revenge. 

Rumours reached the Colonel that the 
Bheels meant mischief to him personally, 
but beyond warning the police at the 





1154 
thana on the road to Lucknow, a mile 
from the cantonment, to challenge all 
nocturnal passers-by, no special precau- 
tions were taken. The Colonel was a 
man of tried and conspicuous courage, 
but the most remarkable trait in his 
character was his punctilious observance 
of all that he undertook, however trifling, 
even in cases when the non-observance 
would have caused no annoyance nor 
inconvenience. This had not always been 
the case. Until he was about twenty- 
five years of age, Faulkner had been the 
most unreliable of men. He broke en- 
gagements with the utmost callousness. 
If he undertook a matter of no great 
importance, it was nearly certain that the 
undertaking would not be fulfilled. If he 
accepted an invitation, he was sure to be 
late. 

Some years before the period of my 
story his habits were rudely changed bya 
tragic occurrence which cannot here be 
related at length. It is enough to say 
that, owing to some carelessness on his 
part, a shock was given to the mind of a 
favourite sister, which eventually resulted 
in her early death. The effect upon 
Faulkner was immediate. When his 
grief had subsided, his friends observed 
that his mode of life had completely 
changed. No longer careless, he had 
become scrupulous, and, to use a some- 
what vulgar expression, Faulkner’s word 
was as good as any other man’s oath. 

On Christmas Eve Colonel Faulkner 
was seated at whist with Fraser, Collier, 
and Morley, all officers of the r50th. They 
were playing chick points and a gold 
mohur on the rubber, as men did more 
often in days when the rupee was a rupee. 
The Colonel and Morley were partners, 
and had won a fairly large sum. A rubber 
was just over, when the Colonel, at about 
half past twelve, remembered that he 
must write a note to the General com- 
manding at Lucknow, and send it off by 
the mail-cart, which started from the 
post-office, nearly a mile from the can- 
tonments, at one o’clock. It was a small 
matter, a Christmas greeting to an old 
chum, which Faulkner had not omitted to 
send for the last five years, and Fraser 
tried to persuade the Colonel not to break 
up the party. 

‘* No,” said Faulkner, ‘‘I cannot stay, 
I must write the note. I will slip across 
to the bungalow to do it, and my orderly 
can take it to the mail-cart. But I will 
come back, if you like, to finish the 
night.” 


THE NORTH DEVONSHIRE GHOST STORY. 


““Yes, do,” said- Fraser. ‘‘ Collier 
wants his revenge, and so do I.” 

‘* All right,” said the Colonel; ‘‘I will 
be back by a quarter past one. I feel as 
if my luck had deserted me, and that we 
shall be quits on Christmas Day. I am 
sorry for Morley, who is just having a 
run.” 

** Don’t mind me,” said Morley ; ‘‘ ruin 
rather than bed at this time of night.” 

Off went Faulkner to his bungalow, 
and the note was soon written. On 
calling his orderly, however, there was 
no answer; since no messenger was 
forthcoming, the Colonel decided to take 
the note himself, and he put on his cloak 
and started instantly. The night was 
very dark ; the road was lonely. 

The trio in the mess-room sat over 
brandy pawnee by the fire, and the hands 
of the clock crept slowly round. They 
grew drowsy towards one o'clock, for 
Morley, despite his boast, was in reality 
a fat, sleepy soul, and Fraser and Collier 
had been out all day together after snipe. 
When the clock struck they woke up, and, 
half unconsciously, all three gave a slight 
shiver. 

‘*Did you feel anything, Fraser?” 
said Collier, looking at his companion. 
‘*T fancy that it turned very cold all of 
a sudden.” 

‘*A passing draught, I suppose,” said 
Fraser, turning towards Morley. ‘‘ You 
look quite pale too. Try some more 
brandy and water.” 

‘*The Colonel takes a long time to 
write that note,” said Morley in a sleepy 
voice. ‘1 don’t see why he should have 
broken up our party for a thing he might 
have done just as well to-morrow. Still, 
what he promises he will perform to the 
minute. But I say,” he added, looking 
at the clock, ‘‘ it will be a joke if he has 
fallen asleep at his bungalow, and forgets 
to come back to give you fellows your 
revenge.” 

The hand was close upon the quarter, 
and Morley turned round towards thedoor. 
The other men did the same, and as they 
turned they observed the Colonel seated 
at the table, quietly shuffling the cards. 
He was very pale, very stern, and his 
military cloak was fastened close to the 
throat. 

‘* Hulloa, Colonel,” said Collier, ‘‘ we 
were afraid you were going to fail us for 
once, and were just going off to bed.” 

‘“Never,” said Faulkner, and he 
pushed the cards towards Fraser, who 
cut for deal. 


, 








THE NORTH DEVONSHIRE GHOST STORY 


The same shiver which the three men 
had felt at one o’clock passed through 
them again. There was a look in the 
Colonel’s face and a tone in his voice 
which they had never observed before, 





‘\ 
i 


“Gal 


but he was a reserved man, they were all 
a little in awe of him, and no one asked 
for an explanation. While he was deal- 
ing, Faulkner named his bets with Fraser 
and Collier, to which they agreed. If he 


and Morley lost the rubber, they would 
be square upon the evening’s play. 





yb ah 
j Ep sl Mi 














1155 

They were not long about it. Faulkner 
and Morley held execrable cards, and in 
ten minutes a bumper had been lost and 
won. Not a word had been spoken 
round the table, but as the last card was 


i 


} ‘ 





AND AS THEY 

TURNED THEY OBSERVED THE 
COLONEL SEATED AT THE TABLE 
QUIETLY SHUFFLING THE CARDS. 


played Faulkner exclaimed, in a 
voice which seemed to come from the 
shades themselves: ‘‘Now we are 
quits.” 

Again a cold shiver seemed to freeze 
the very marrow in the bones of the other 
three men. Morley lit a cheroot, the 
others turned to their tumblers, and when 
they looked up again Colonel Faulkner 
had vanished. 

‘*Upon my word,” said Fraser, ‘‘ the 


1156 


Colonel looked as if he had seen a 
ghost.” 

‘*And you look much the same,’ 
Morley. 

The words were scarcely out of his 
mouth when a native policeman rushed 
breathlessly into the room, followed by 
the sentry, and fell at Morley’s feet, crying 
out, ‘*The Colonel Sahib! The Colonel 
Sahib!” 

** Son of an owl,” said Morley, ‘‘ what 
do you want? The Colonel has just gone 
to bed. Are the Bheels rising ? or what 
are you afraid of ?” 

‘* Sahib,” said the man, recovering him- 
self with dignity, ‘‘I fear nothing if I 
have your honour’s favour, but the 


’ 


said 


Colonel is lying dead at the shana, his 
throat cut by the Bheels. 


As the clock 


THE NORTH DEVONSHIRE GHOST STORY. 


was striking one, we heard a cry down 
the road, near the place where the mail- 
cart isloaded. We hurried out, and found 
the Colonel with this letter in his hand. 
He had been shot from behind with an 
arrow, and his throat was then cut. He 
was quite dead, and it is my misfortune 
to bring you the news. His body is in 
the ¢hana, Sahib. Will you come. and 
see it?” 

Colonel Faulkner had kept his word, 
even in death. 

‘And now,” concluded my cousin, 
‘* you understand why the North Devon- 
shire never play whist upon Christmas 
Eve. It has been a long story. There 
is your dogcart, so I will say good-bye, 
and a merry Christmas to you and 
yours.” 














WATCHING THE TOURNAMENT.—Mavup Goopman, 
By kind permission of Mr. Mendoza, St. James's Gallery, King-street, W.