Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Actions and Reactions by Rudyard Kipling

Part 3 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.5 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

pressures. The deep-sea freighters are rising to lung up after
the long night, and the leisurely ocean is all patterned with
peacock's eyes of foam.

"We'll lung up, too," says Tim, and when we return to the c. p.
George shuts off, the colloids are opened, and the fresh air
sweeps her out. There is no hurry. The old contracts (they will
be revised at the end of the year) allow twelve hours for a run
which any packet can put behind her in ten. So we breakfast in
the arms of an easterly slant which pushes us along at a languid
twenty.

To enjoy life, and tobacco, begin both on a sunny morning half a
mile or so above the dappled Atlantic cloud-belts and after a
volt-flurry which has cleared and tempered your nerves. While we
discussed the thickening traffic with the superiority that comes
of having a high level reserved to ourselves, we heard (and I for
the first time) the morning hymn on a Hospital boat.

She was cloaked by a skein of ravelled fluff beneath us and we
caught the chant before she rose into the sunlight. "Oh, ye Winds
of God," sang the unseen voices: "bless ye the Lord! Praise Him
and magnify Him for ever!"

We slid off our caps and joined in. When our shadow fell across
her great open platforms they looked up and stretched out their
hands neighbourly while they sang. We could see the doctors and
the nurses and the white-button-like faces of the cot-patients.
She passed slowly beneath us, heading northward, her hull, wet
with the dews of the night, all ablaze in the sunshine. So took
she the shadow of a cloud and vanished, her song continuing. "Oh,
ye holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord! Praise Him
and magnify Him for ever."

"She's a public lunger or she wouldn't have been singing the
Benedicite; and she's a Greenlander or she wouldn't have
snow-blinds over her colloids," said George at last. "She'll be
bound for Frederikshavn or one of the Glacier sanatoriums for a
month.

If she was an accident ward she'd be hung up at the
eight-thousand-foot level. Yes--consumptives."

"Funny how the new things are the old thing I've read in books,"
Tim answered, "that savages used to haul their sick and wounded
up to the tops of hills because microbes were fewer there. We
hoist 'em in sterilized air for a while. Same idea. How much do
the doctors say we've added to the average life of man?"

"Thirty years," says George with a twinkle in his eye. "Are we
going to spend 'em all up here, Tim?"

"Flap ahead, then. Flap ahead. Who's hindering?" the senior
captain laughed, as we went in.

We held a good lift to clear the coastwise and Continental
shipping; and we had need of it. Though our route is in no sense
a populated one, there is a steady trickle of traffic this way
along. We met Hudson Bay furriers out of the Great Preserve,
hurrying to make their departure from Bonavista with sable and
black fox for the insatiable markets. We overcossed Keewatin
liners, small and cramped; but their captains, who see no land
between Trepassy and Lanco, know what gold they bring back from
West Erica. Trans-Asiatic Directs we met, soberly ringing the
world round the Fiftieth Meridian at an honest seventy knots; and
white-painted Ackroyd & Hunt fruiters out of the south fled
beneath us, their ventilated hulls whistling like Chinese kites.
Their market is in the North among the northern sanatoria where
you can smell their grape-fruit and bananas across the cold
snows. Argentine beef boats we sighted too, of enormous capacity
and unlovely outline. They, too, feed the northern health
stations in icebound ports where submersibles dare not rise.

Yellow-bellied ore-flats and Ungava petrol-tanks punted down
leisurely out of the north, like strings of unfrightened wild
duck. It does not pay to "fly" minerals and oil a mile farther
than is necessary; but the risks of transhipping to submersibles
in the ice pack off Nain or Hebron are so great that these heavy
freighters fly down to Halifax direct, and scent the air as they
go. They are the biggest tramps aloft except the Athabasca
grain-tubs. But these last, now that the wheat is moved, are
busy, over the world's shoulder, timber-lifting in Siberia.

We held to the St. Lawrence (it is astonishing how the old
water-ways still pull us children of the air), and followed his
broad line of black between its drifting iceblocks, all down the
Park that the wisdom of our fathers--but every one knows the
Quebec run.

We dropped to the Heights Receiving Towers twenty minutes ahead
of time, and there hung at ease till the Yokohama Intermediate
Packet could pull out and give us our proper slip. It was curious
to watch the action of the holding-down clips all along the
frosty river front as the boats cleared or came to rest. A big
Hamburger was leaving Pont Levis and her crew, unshipping the
platform railings, began to sing "Elsinore"--the oldest of our
chanteys. You know it of course:

Mother Rugen's tea-house on the Baltic
Forty couple waltzing on the floor!
And you can watch my Ray,
For I must go away
And dance with Ella Sweyn at Elsinore!

Then, while they sweated home the covering-plates:

Nor-Nor-Nor-Nor
West from Sourabaya to the Baltic--
Ninety knot an hour to the Skaw!
Mother Rugen's tea-house on the Baltic
And a dance with Ella Sweyn at Elsinore!

The clips parted with a gesture of indignant dismissal, as though
Quebec, glittering under her snows, were casting out these light
and unworthy lovers. Our signal came from the Heights. Tim turned
and floated up, but surely then it was with passionate appeal
that the great tower arms flung open--or did I think so because
on the upper staging a little hooded figure also opened her arms
wide toward her father?

* * * * * * * *

In ten seconds the coach with its clerks clashed down to the
receiving-caisson; the hostlers displaced the engineers at the
idle turbines, and Tim, prouder of this than all, introduced me
to the maiden of the photograph on the shelf. "And by the way,"
said he to her, stepping forth in sunshine under the hat of civil
life, "I saw young Williams in the Mark Boat. I've asked him to
tea on Friday."

AERIAL BOARD OF CONTROL

Lights

No changes in English Inland lights for week ending Dec. 18th.

CAPE VERDE--Week ending Dec. 18. Verde inclined guide-light
changes from 1st proximo to triple flash--green white green--in
place of occulting red as heretofore. The warning light for
Harmattan winds will be continuous vertical glare (white) on all
oases of trans-Saharan N. E. by E. Main Routes.

INVERCARGIL (N. Z.)--From 1st prox.: extreme southerly light
(double red) will exhibit white beam inclined 45 degrees on
approach of Southerly Buster. Traffic flies high off this coast
between April and October.

TABLE BAY--Devil's Peak Glare removed to Simonsberg. Traffic
making Table Mountain coastwise keep all lights from Three Anchor
Bay at least two thousand feet under, and do not round to till
East of E. shoulder Devil's Peak.

SANDHEADS LIGHT -Green triple vertical marks new private
landing-stage for Bay and Burma traffic only.

SNAEFELL JOKUL--White occulting light withdrawn for winter.

PATAGONIA--No summer light south Cape Pilar. This includes Staten
Island and Port Stanley.

C. NAVARIN--Quadruple fog flash (white), one minute intervals
(new).

EAST CAPE--Fog--flash -single white with single bomb, 30 sec.
intervals (new).

MALAYAN ARCHIPELAGO--Lights unreliable owing eruptions. Lay from
Cape Somerset to Singapore direct, keeping highest levels.

For the Board:

CATTERTHUN }
ST. JUST } Lights.
VAN HEDDER }

Casualties

Week ending Dec. 18th.

SABLE ISLAND--Green single barbette-tower freighter, number
indistinguishable, up-ended, and fore-tank pierced after
collision, passed 300-ft. level Q P. as. Dec. 15th. Watched
to water and pithed by Mark Boat.

N. F. BANKS--Postal Packet 162 reports Halma freighter
(Fowey--St. John's) abandoned, leaking after weather, 46 151 N.
50 15' W. Crew rescued by Planet liner Asteroid. Watched to
water and pithed by Postal Packet, Dec. 14th.

KERGUELEN, MARK BOAT reports last call from Cymena freighter
(Gayer
Tong Huk & Co.) taking water and sinking in snow-storm South
McDonald Islands. No wreckage recovered. Messages and wills of
crew at all A. B. C. offices.

FEZZAN--T. A. D. freighter Ulema taken ground during Harmattan on
Akakus Range. Under plates strained. Crew at Ghat where repairing
Dec. 13th.

BISCAY, MARK BOAT reports Caducci (Valandingham Line) slightly
spiked in western gorge Point de Benasdue. Passengers transferred
Andorra (Fulton Line). Barcelona Mark Boat salving cargo Dec.
12th.

ASCENSION, MARE BOAT--Wreck of unknown racing-plane, Parden
rudder, wire-stiffened xylonite vans, and Harliss engine-seating,
sighted and salved 7 20' S. 18 41' W. Dec. 15th. Photos at all A.
B. C. offices.

Missing

No answer to General Call having been received during the last
week from following overdues, they are posted as missing:

Atlantis, W.17630 . Canton--Valparaiso
Audhumla W. 889 . Stockholm--Odessa
Berenice, W. 2206 .. . Riga--Vladivostock
Draw, E. 446 . . Coventry--Pontes
Arenas Tontine, E. 5068 . C. Wrath--Ungava
Wu-Sung, E. 41776 . . Hankow--Lobito Bay

General Call (all Mark Boats) out for:

Jane Eyre, W. 6990 . Port Rupert--City of Mexico
Santander, W. 6514 . . Gobi Desert--Manila
Y. Edmundsun, E. 9690 . . Kandahar--Fiume

Broke for Obstruction, and Quitting Levels

VALKYRIE (racing plane), A. J. Hartley owner, New York
(twice warned).
GEISHA (racing plane), S. van Cott owner, Philadelphia
(twice warned).
MARVEL of PERU (racing plane), J. X. Peixoto owner, Rio de
Janeiro (twice warned).
For the Board:

LAZAREFF }
McKEOUGH } Traffic
GOLDBRATT }

NOTES

High-Level Sleet

The Northern weather so far shows no sign of improvement. From
all quarters come complaints of the unusual prevalence of sleet
at the higher levels. Racing planes and digs alike have suffered
severely--the former from 'unequal deposits of half-frozen slush
on their vans (and only those who have "held up" a badly balanced
plane in a cross-wind know what that means), and the latter from
loaded bows and snow-cased bodies. As a consequence, the Northern
and North-western upper levels have been practically abandoned,
and the high fliers have returned to the ignoble security of the
Three, Five, and Six hundred foot levels. But there remain a few
undaunted sun-hunters who, in spite of frozen stays and
ice-jammed connecting-rods, still haunt the blue empyrean.

Bat-Boat Racing

The scandals of the past few years have at last moved the
yachting world to concerted action in regard to "bat" boat
racing. We have been treated to the spectacle of what are
practically keeled racing-planes driven a clear five foot or more
above the water, and only eased down to touch their so-called "
native element" as they near the line. Judges and starters have
been conveniently blind to this absurdity, but the public
demonstration off St. Catherine's Light at the Autumn Regattas
has borne ample, if tardy, fruit. In the future the "bat" is to
be a boat, and the long-unheeded demand of the true sportsman for
"no daylight under mid-keel in smooth water" is in a fair way to
be conceded. The new rule severely restricts plane area and lift
alike. The gas compartments are permitted both fore and aft, as
in the old type, but the water-ballast central tank is rendered
obligatory. These things work, if not for perfection, at least
for the evolution of a sane and wholesome waterborne cruiser. The
type of rudder is unaffected by the new rules, so we may expect
to see the Long-Davidson make (the patent on which has just
expired) come largely into use henceforward, though the strain on
the sternpost in turning at speeds over forty miles an hour is
admittedly very severe. But bat-boat racing has a great future
before it.

Crete and the A. B. C.

The story of the recent Cretan crisis, as told in the A. B. C.
Monthly Report, is not without humour. Till the 25th October
Crete, as all our planet knows, was the sole surviving European
repository of "autonomous institutions," "local self-government,"
and the rest of the archaic lumber devised in the past for the
confusion of human affairs. She has lived practically on the
tourist traffic attracted by her annual pageants of Parliaments,
Boards, Municipal Councils, etc., etc. Last summer the islanders
grew wearied, as their premier explained, of "playing at being
savages for pennies," and proceeded to pull down all the
landing-towers on the island and shut off general communication
till such time as the A. B. C. should annex them. For
side-splitting comedy we would refer our readers to the
correspondence between the Board of Control and the Cretan
premier during the "war." However, all's well that ends well. The
A. B. C. have taken over the administration of Crete on normal
lines; and tourists must go elsewhere to witness the"debates,"
"resolutions," and "popular movements" of the old days. The only
people to suffer will be the Board of Control, which is
grievously overworked already. It is easy enough to condemn the
Cretans for their laziness; but when one recalls the large,
prosperous, and presumably public-spirited communities which
during the last few years have deliberately thrown themselves
into the hands of the A. B. C., one, cannot be too hard upon St.
Paul's old friends.

CORRESPONDENCE

Skylarking on the Equator

To THE EDITOR: Only last week, while crossing the Equator (W.
26-15), I became aware of a furious and irregular cannonading
some fifteen or twenty knots S. 4 E. Descending to the 500 ft.
level, I found a party of Transylvanian tourists engaged in
exploding scores of the largest pattern atmospheric bombs (A. B.
C. standard) and, in the intervals of their pleasing labours,
firing bow and stern smoke-ring swivels. This orgie--I can give
it no other name--went on for at least two hours, and naturally
produced violent electric derangements. My compasses, of course,
were thrown out, my bow was struck twice, and I received two
brisk shocks from the lower platform-rail. On remonstrating, I
was told that these "professors" were engaged in scientific
experiments. The extent of their "scientific" knowledge, may be
judged by the fact that they expected to produce (I give their
own words)" a little blue sky" if "they went on long enough."
This in the heart of the Doldrums at 450 feet! I have no
objection to any amount of blue sky in its proper place (it can
be found at the 4000 level for practically twelve months out of
the year), but I submit, with all deference to the educational
needs of Transylvania, that "skylarking" in the centre of a
main-travelled road where, at the best of times, electricity
literally drips off one's stanchions and screw blades, is
unnecessary. When my friends had finished, the road was seared,
and blown, and pitted with unequal pressure layers, spirals,
vortices, and readjustments for at least an hour. I pitched badly
twice in an upward rush--solely due to these diabolical
throw-downs--that came near to wrecking my propeller. Equatorial
work at low levels is trying enough in all conscience without the
added terrors of scientific hooliganism in the Doldrums.
Rhyl. J. VINCENT MATHEN.

[We entirely sympathize with Professor Mathen's views, but till
the Board sees fit to further regulate the Southern areas in
which scientific experiments may be conducted, we shall always be
exposed to the risk which our correspondent describes.
Unfortunately, a chimera bombinating in a vacuum is, nowadays,
only too capable of producing secondary causes.- Editor.]

Answers to Correspondents

VIGILANS--The Laws of Auroral Derangements are still imperfectly
understood. Any overheated motor may of course "seize" without
warning; but so many complaints have reached us of accidents
similar to yours while shooting the Aurora that we are inclined
to believe with Lavalle that the upper strata of the Aurora
Borealis are practically one big electric "leak," and that the
paralysis of your engines was due to complete magnetization of
all metallic parts. Low-flying planes often "glue up" when near
the Magnetic Pole, and there is no reason in science why the same
disability should not be experienced at higher levels when the
Auroras are "delivering" strongly.

INDIGNANT--On your own showing, you were not under control. That
you could not hoist the necessary N. U. C. lights on approaching
a traffic-lane because your electrics had short-circuited is a
misfortune which might befall any one. The A. B. C., being
responsible for the planet's traffic, cannot, however, make
allowance for this kind of misfortune. A reference to the Code
will show that you were fined on the lower scale.

PLANISTON--(1) The Five Thousand Kilometre (overland) was won
last year by L. V. Rautsch; R. M. Rautsch, his brother, in the
same week pulling off the Ten Thousand (oversee). R. M.'s average
worked out at a fraction over 500 kilometres per hour, thus
constituting a record. (2) Theoretically, there is no limit to
the lift of a dirigible. For commercial and practical purposes
15,000 tons is accepted as the most manageable.

PATERFAMILIAS--None whatever. He is liable for direct damage both
to your chimneys and any collateral damage caused by fall of
bricks into garden, etc., etc. Bodily inconvenience and mental
anguish may be included, but the average courts are not, as a
rule, swayed by sentiment. If you can prove that his grapnel
removed any portion of your roof, you had better rest your case
on decoverture of domicile (see Parkins v. Duboulay). We
sympathize with your position, but the night of the 14th was
stormy and confused, and--you may have to anchor on a stranger's
chimney yourself some night. Verbum sap!

ALDEBARAN--(1) war, as a paying concern, ceased in 1987. (2) The
Convention of London expressly reserves to every nation the right
of waging war so long as it does not interfere with the traffic
and all that implies. (3) The A. B. C. was constituted in 1949.

L. M. P.--(1) Keep her full head-on at half power, taking
advantage of the lulls to speed up and creep into it. She will
strain much less this way than in quartering across a gale. (2)
Nothing is to be gained by reversing into a following gale, and
there is always risk of a turnover. (3) The formulae for stun'sle
brakes are uniformly unreliable, and will continue to be so as
long as air is compressible.

PEGAMOID- (1) Personally we prefer glass or flux compounds to any
other material for winter work nose-caps as being absolutely
non-hygroscopic. (2) We cannot recommend any particular make.

PULMONAR--(1) For the symptoms you describe, try the Gobi Desert
Sanatoria. The low levels of most of the Saharan Sanatoria are
against them except at the outset of the disease. (2) We do not
recommend boarding-houses or hotels in this column.

BEGINNER--On still days the air above a large inhabited city
being slightly warmer--i.e., thinner--than the atmosphere of the
surrounding country, a plane drops a little on entering the
rarefied area, precisely as a ship sinks a little in fresh water.
Hence the phenomena of "jolt" and your "inexplicable collisions"
with factory chimneys. In air, as on earth, it is safest to fly
high.

EMERGENCY--There is only one rule of the road in air, earth, and
water. Do you want the firmament to yourself?

PICCIOLA--Both Poles have been overdone in Art and Literature.
Leave them to Science for the next twenty years. You did not send
a stamp with your verses.

NORTH NIGERIA--The Mark Boat was within her right in warning you
off the Reserve. The shadow of a low-flying dirigible scares the
game. You can buy all the photos you need at Sokoto.

NEW ERA--It is not etiquette to overcross an A. B. C. official's
boat without asking permission. He is one of the body responsible
for the planet's traffic, and for that reason must not be
interfered with. You, presumably, are out on your own business or
pleasure, and must leave him alone. For humanity's sake don't try
to be "democratic."

EXCORIATED--All inflators chafe sooner or later. You must go on
till your skin hardens by practice. Meantime vaseline.

REVIEW

The Life of Xavier Lavalle
(Reviewed by Rene Talland. Ecole Aeronautique, Paris)

Ten years ago Lavalle, "that imperturbable dreamer of the
heavens," as Lazareff hailed him, gathered together the fruits of
a lifetime's labour, and gave it, with well-justified contempt,
to a world bound hand and foot to Barald's Theory of Vertices and
"compensating electric nodes." "They shall see," he wrote--in
that immortal postscript to The Heart of the Cyclone--"the Laws
whose existence they derided written in fire beneath them."

"But even here," he continues, "there is no finality. Better a
thousand times my conclusions should be discredited than that my
dead name should lie across the threshold of the temple of
Science--a bar to further inquiry."

So died Lavalle--a prince of the Powers of the Air, and even at
his funeral Cellier jested at "him who had gone to discover the
secrets of the Aurora Borealis."

If I choose thus to be banal, it is only to remind you that
Collier's theories are today as exploded as the ludicrous
deductions of the Spanish school. In the place of their fugitive
and warring dreams we have, definitely, Lavalle's Law of the
Cyclone which he surprised in darkness and cold at the foot of
the overarching throne of the Aurora Borealis. It is there that
I, intent on my own investigations, have passed and re-passed a
hundred times the worn leonine face, white as the snow beneath
him, furrowed with wrinkles like the seams and gashes upon the
North Cape; the nervous hand, integrally a part of the mechanism
of his flighter; and above all, the wonderful lambent eyes turned
to the zenith.

"Master," I would cry as I moved respectfully beneath him, "what
is it you seek today?" and always the answer, clear and without
doubt, from above: "The old secret, my son!"

The immense egotism of youth forced me on my own path, but (cry
of the human always!) had I known--if I had known--I would many
times have bartered my poor laurels for the privilege, such as
Tinsley and Herrera possess, of having aided him in his
monumental researches.

It is to the filial piety of Victor Lavalle that we owe the two
volumes consecrated to the ground-life of his father, so full of
the holy intimacies of the domestic hearth. Once returned from
the abysms of the utter North to that little house upon the
outskirts of Meudon, it was not the philosopher, the daring
observer, the man of iron energy that imposed himself on his
family, but a fat and even plaintive jester, a farceur incarnate
and kindly, the co-equal of his children, and, it must be
written, not seldom the comic despair of Madame Lavalle, who, as
she writes five years after the marriage, to her venerable
mother, found "in this unequalled intellect whose name I bear the
abandon of a large and very untidy boy." Here is her letter:

"Xavier returned from I do not know where at midnight, absorbed
in calculations on the eternal question of his Aurora--la belle
Aurore, whom I begin to hate. Instead of anchoring,--I had set
out the guide-light above our roof, so he had but to descend and
fasten the plane--he wandered, profoundly distracted, above the
town with his anchor down! Figure to yourself, dear mother, it is
the roof of the mayor's house that the grapnel first engages!
That I do not regret, for the mayor's wife and I are not
sympathetic; but when Xavier uproots my pet araucaria and bears
it across the garden into the conservatory I protest at the top
of my voice. Little Victor in his night-clothes runs to the
window, enormously amused at the parabolic flight without reason,
for it is too dark to see the grapnel, of my prized tree. The
Mayor of Meudon, thunders at our door in the name of the Law,
demanding, I suppose, my husband's head. Here is the conversation
through the megaphone--Xavier is two hundred feet above us:

"'Mons. Lavalle, descend and make reparation for outrage of
domicile. Descend, Mons. Lavalle!'

"No one answers.

"'Xavier Lavalle, in the name of the Law, descend arid submit to
process for outrage of domicile.'

"Xavier, roused from his calculations, comprehending only the
last words: 'Outrage of domicile? My dear mayor, who is the man
that has corrupted thy Julie?'

"The mayor, furious, 'Xavier Lavalle--'

"Xavier, interrupting: 'I have not that felicity. I am only a
dealer in cyclones!'

"My faith, he raised one then! All Meudon attended in the
streets, and my Xavier, after a long time comprehending what he
had done, excused himself in a thousand apologies. At last the
reconciliation was effected in our house over a supper at two in
the morning--Julie in a wonderful costume of compromises, and I
have her and the mayor pacified in bed in the blue room."

And on the next day, while the mayor rebuilds his roof, her
Xavier departs anew for the Aurora Borealis, there to commence
his life's work. M. Victor Lavalle tells us of that historic
collision (en plane) on the flank of Hecla between Herrera, then
a pillar of the Spanish school, and the man destined to confute
his theories and lead him intellectually captive. Even through
the years, the immense laugh of Lavalle as he sustains the
Spaniard's wrecked plane, and cries: "Courage! I shall not fall
till I have found Truth, and I hold you fast!" rings like the
call of trumpets. This is that Lavalle whom the world, immersed
in speculations of immediate gain, did not know nor suspect--the
Lavalle whom they adjudged to the last a pedant and a theorist.

The human, as apart from the scientific, side (developed in his
own volumes) of his epoch-making discoveries is marked with a
simplicity, clarity, and good sense beyond praise. I would
specially refer such as doubt the sustaining influence of
ancestral faith upon character and will to the eleventh and
nineteenth chapters, in which are contained the opening and
consummation of the Tellurionical Records extending over nine
years. Of their tremendous significance be sure that the modest
house at Meudon knew as little as that the Records would one day
be the planet's standard in all official meteorology. It was
enough for them that their Xavier--this son, this father, this
husband--ascended periodically to commune with powers, it might
be angelic, beyond their comprehension, and that they united
daily in prayers for his safety.

"Pray for me," he says upon the eve of each of his excursions,
and returning, with an equal simplicity, he renders thanks "after
supper in the little room where he kept his barometers."

To the last Lavalle was a Catholic of the old school,
accepting--he who had looked into the very heart of the
lightnings--the dogmas of papal infallibility, of absolution, of
confession--of relics great and small. Marvellous--enviable
contradiction!

The completion of the Tellurionical Records closed what Lavalle
himself was pleased to call the theoretical side of his
labours--labours from which the youngest and least impressionable
planeur might well have shrunk. He had traced through cold and
heat, across the deeps of the oceans, with instruments of his own
invention, over the inhospitable heart of the polar ice and the
sterile visage of the deserts, league by league, patiently,
unweariedly, remorselessly, from their ever-shifting cradle under
the magnetic pole to their exalted death-bed in the utmost ether
of the upper atmosphere each one of the Isoconical Tellurions
Lavalle's Curves, as we call them today. He had disentangled the
nodes of their intersections, assigning to each its regulated
period of flux and reflux. Thus equipped, he summons Herrera and
Tinsley, his pupils, to the final demonstration as calmly as
though he were ordering his flighter for some mid-day journey to
Marseilles.

"I have proved my thesis," he writes. "It remains now only that
you should witness the proof. We go to Manila to-morrow. A
cyclone will form off the Pescadores S. 17 E. in four days, and
will reach its maximum intensity twenty-seven hours after
inception. It is there I will show you the Truth."

A letter heretofore unpublished from Herrera to Madame Lavalle
tells us how the Master's prophecy was verified.

I will not destroy its simplicity or its significance by any
attempt to quote. Note well, though, that Herrera's preoccupation
throughout that day and night of superhuman strain is always for
the Master's bodily health and comfort.

"At such a time," he writes, "I forced the Master to take the
broth"; or "I made him put on the fur coat as you told me." Nor
is Tinsley (see pp. 184, 85) less concerned. He prepares the
nourishment. He cooks eternally, imperturbably, suspended in the
chaos of which the Master interprets the meaning. Tinsley, bowed
down with the laurels of both hemispheres, raises himself to yet
nobler heights in his capacity of a devoted chef. It is almost
unbelievable! And yet men write of the Master as cold, aloof,
self-contained. Such characters do not elicit the joyous and
unswerving devotion which Lavalle commanded throughout life.
Truly, we have changed very little in the course of the ages! The
secrets of earth and sky and the links that bind them, we
felicitate ourselves we are on the road to discover; but our
neighbours' heart and mind we misread, we misjudge, we condemn
now as ever. Let all, then, who love a man read these most human,
tender, and wise volumes.

*************

transcriber's note: These "advertisements" appeared in the format
that would have been used in a newspaper or magazine ad
section--that is in two columns for the smaller ads, and in
quarter, half, full and double page layouts for the others. also
L is used as the symbol for pounds.
*************

------------------------------------------------

MISCELLANEOUS
[ WANTS ]

REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY, FOR East Africa, a thoroughly competent
Plane and Dirigible Driver, acquainted with Petrol Radium and
Helium motors and generators. Low-level work only, but must
understand heavy-weight digs.
MOSSAMEDES TRANSPORT ASSOC.
84 Palestine Buildings, E. C.

------------------------------------------------

MAN WANTED-DIG DRIVER for Southern Alps with Saharan summer
trips. High levels, high speed. high wages:
Apply M. SIDNEY
Hotel San Stefano. Monte Carlo.

------------------------------------------------

FAMILY DIRIGIBLE. A COMPETENT, steady man wanted for slow speed,
low level Tangye dirigible. No night work, no sea trips. Must be
member of the Church of England, and make himself useful in the
garden.
M. R.
The Rectory, Gray's Barton, Wilts.

------------------------------------------------

COMMERCIAL DIG, CENTRAL and Southern Europe. A smart, active man
for a L. M. T. Dig. Night work only. Headquarters London and
Cairo. A linguist preferred.
BAGMAN
Charing Cross Hotel, W. C. (urgent.)

------------------------------------------------

FOR SALE--A BARGAIN--Single Plane, narrow-gauge vans, Pinke
motor. Restayed this autumn. Hansen air-kit, 58 in. chest, 153
collar. Can be seen by appointment.
N. 2650 This office.

------------------------------------------------

The BEE-LINE BOOKSHOP

BELT'S WAY-BOOKS, giving town lights for all towns over 4,000
pop. as laid down by A. B. O.
THE WORLD. Complete 2 vols. Thin Oxford, limp back. 12L 6d.
BELT'S COASTAL ITINERARY. Short Lights of the World. 7s. 6d.
THE TRANSATLANTIC AND MEDITERRANEAN TRAFFIC LINES.
(By authority of the A.B.C.) Paper,
1s. 6d.; cloth. 2s. 6d. Ready, Jan. 16.
ARCTIC AEROPLANING. Siemens and Gait. Cloth, bds. Ss. 6d.
LAVALLE'S HEART OF THE CYCLONE, with supplementary charts. 4s.
6d.
RIMINGTON'S PITFALLS IN THE AIR, and Table of Comparative
Densities 3s. 6d.
ANGELO'S DESERT IN A DIRIGIBLE. New edition, revised. 5s. 9d.
VAUGHAN'S PLANE RACING IN CALM AND STORM. 2s. 6d.
VAUGHAN'S HINTS TO THE AIRMATEUR 1s.
HOFMAN'S LAWS OF LIFT AND VELOCITY. With diagrams, 3s. 6d.
DE VITRE'S THEORY OF SHIFTING BALLAST IN DIRIGIBLES. 2s. 6d.
SANGERS WEATHERS OF THE WORLD. 4s.
SANGER'S TEMPERATURES AT HIGH ALTITUDES. 4s.
HAWKIN'S FOG AND HOW To AVOID IT. 3s.
VAN ZUYLAN'S SECONDARY EFFECTS OF THUNDERSTORMS. 4s. 6d.
DAHLGREN'S AIR CURRENTS AND EPIDEMIC DISEASES. 5s. 6d.
REDMAYNE'S DISEASE AND THE BAROMETER. 7s. 6d.
WALTON'S HEALTH RESORTS OF THE GOBI AND SHAMO. 3s. 6d.
WALTON'S THE POLE AND PULMONARY COMPLAINTS. 7s. ad.
MUTLOWS HIGH LEVEL BACTERIOLOGY. 7s. 6d.
HALLIWELL'S ILLUMINATED STAR MAP, with clockwork attachment,
giving apparent motion of heavens, boxed, complete with
clamps for binnacle, 36 inch size, only L2. 2. 0.
Invaluable for night work.) With A.B.C. certificate. L3. 10s.
0d. Zalinski's Standard Works:
PASSES OF THE HIMALAYAS, 5s.
PASSES OF THE SIERRAS, 5s.
PASSES OF THE ROOKIES. 5s.
PASSES OF THE URALS, 5s.
The four boxed, limp cloth, with charts, 15s.
GRAY'S AIR CURRENTS at MOUNTAIN GORGES, 7s. 6d.

A. C. BELT & SON, READING
------------------------------------------------
SAFETY WEAR FOR AERONAUTS
------------------------------------------------
Fickers! Flickers! Flickers!

HIGH LEVEL FLICKERS

"He that is down need fear no fall,"
Fear not! You will fall lightly as down!

Hansen's air-kits are down in all respects. Tremendous reductions
in prices previous to winter stocking. Pure para kit with
cellulose seat and shoulder-pads, weighted to balance. Unequalled
for all drop-work.

Our trebly resilient heavy kit is the ne plus ultra of
comfort and safety.

Gas-buoyed, waterproof, hail-proof, nonconducting Flickers with
pipe and nozzle fitting all types of generator. Graduated tap on
left hip.

Hansen's Flickers Lead the Aerial Flight
197 Oxford Street

The new weighted Flicker with tweed or cheviot surface
cannot be distinguished from the ordinary suit till inflated.

Fickers! Flickers! Flickers!
------------------------------------------------

APPLIANCES FOR AIR PLANES

------------------------------------------------
What
"SKID"
was to our forefathers on the ground,
"PITCH"
is to their sons in the air.

The popularity of the large, unwieldy, slow, expensive Dirigible
over the light swift, Plane is mainly due to the former's
immunity from pitch.

Collison's forward-socketed Air Van renders it impossible for any
plane to pitch. The C.F.S. is automatic, simple as a shutter,
certain\ as a power hammer, safe as oxygen. Fitted to any make of
plane.

COLLISON
186 Brompton Road
Workshops, Chiswick

LUNDIE do MATTERS
Sole Agts for East'n Hemisphere

------------------------------------------------

STARTERS AND GUIDES

Hotel, club, and private house plane-starters, slips and guides
affixed by skilled workmen in accordance with local building
laws.

Rackstraww's forty-foot collapsible steel starters with automatic
release at end of travel--prices per foot run, clamps and
crampons included. The safest on the market.

Weaver & Denison
Middleboro

------------------------------------------------

AIR PLANES AND DIRIGIBLE GOODS

------------------------------------------------

REMEMBER

Planes are swift--so is Death
Planes are cheap--so is Life

Why does the plane builder insist on the safety of his machines?
Methinks the gentleman protests too much.

The Standard Dig Construction Company do not build kites.

They build, equip and guarantee dirigibles.

Standard Dig construction Co.
Millwall and Buenos Ayres

------------------------------------------------
HOVERS

POWELL'S
Wind Hovers

for 'planes lying-to in heavy weather, save the motor and strain
on the forebody. Will not send to leeward. "Albatross"
wind-hovers, rigid-ribbed; according to h.p. and weight.

We fit and test free to
40 east of Greenwich Village

L. & W. POWELL
196 Victoria Street, W.

------------------------------------------------

REMEMBER

We shall always be pleased to see you.

We build and test and guarantee our dirigibles or all purposes.
They go up when you please and they do not come down till you
please.

You can please yourself, but--you might as well choose a
dirigible.

STANDARD DIRIGIBLE CONSTRUCTION CO.
Millwall and Buenos Ayres

------------------------------------------------

GAYER AND HUNT
Birmingham and Birmingham
Eng. Ala.

Towers. Landing Stages,
Slips and Lifts
public and private

Contractors to the A. B. C., South-Western European Postal
Construction Dept. Sole patentees and owners of the
Collison anti-quake diagonal tower-tie. Only gold medal Kyoto
Exhibition of Aerial Appliances, 1997.

------------------------------------------------

AIR PLANES AND DIRIGIBLES

------------------------------------------------

C. M. C.
Our Synthetical Mineral
BEARINGS

are chemically and crystal logically identical with the minerals
whose names they bear. Any size, any surface. Diamond,
Rock-Crystal, Agate and Ruby Bearings-cups, caps and collars for
the higher speeds. For tractor bearings and spindles-Imperative.
For rear propellers-Indispensable. For all working
parts-Advisable.

Commercial Minerals Co.
107 Minories

------------------------------------------------

RESURGAM!

If you have not Clothed YOURSELF in a

NORMANDIE RESURGAM

YOU WILL PROBABLY NOT BE INTERESTED IN OUR NEXT WEEK'S LIST OF
AIR-KIT.

RESURGAM AIR-KIT EMPORIUM

HYMANS & GRAHAM
1198 Lower Broadway, New York

------------------------------------------------

REMEMBER!

------------------------------------------------

* It is now nearly, a generation since the Plane was to
supersede the Dirigible for all purposes. * TO-DAY none of the
Planet's freight is carried en plane. * Less than two per rent of
the Planet's passengers are carried en plane.

We design, equip guarantee Dirigibles for all purposes.

Standard Dig Construction Company MILLWALL and BUENOS AYRES
------------------------------------------------

BAT-BOATS
------------------------------------------------

FLINT & MANTEL
SOUTHAMPTON
FOR SALE

at the end of Season the following Bat-Boats:

GRISELDA, 65 knt., 42 ft., 430(nom.) Maginnis Motor,
under-rake rudder.
MABELLE, 50 knt., 40 ft., 310 Hargreaves Motor,
Douglas' lock-steering gear.
IVEMONA, 50 knt., 35 ft., 300 Hargreaves (Radium accelerator),
Miller keel and rudder.

The above are well known on the South Coast as sound, wholesome
knockabout boats, with ample cruising accommodation. Griselda
carries spare set of Hofman racing vans and can be lied three
foot clear in smooth water with ballast-tank swung aft. The
others do not lift, clear of water, and are recommended for
beginners.

Also, by private treaty, racing B.B. Tarpon (76 winning flags)
120 knt., 60 ft.; Long-Davidson double under-rake rudder, new
this season and unstrained. 850 nom. Maginnis motor, Radium
relays and Pond generator. Bronze breakwater forward, and treble
reinforced forefoot and entry. Talfourd rockered keel: Triple set
of Hofman vans, giving maximum lifting surface of 5327 sq. ft.

Tarpon-has been lifted and held seven feet for two miles between
touch and touch.

Our Autumn List of racing and family Bats ready on the 9th
January.

------------------------------------------------

AIR PLANES AND STARTERS

------------------------------------------------

HINKS MODERATOR

Monorail overhead starter
for family and private planes
up to twenty-five foot over all

Absolutely Safe

Hinks & Co.. Birmingham
------------------------------------------------
J. D. ARDAGH

I AM NOT CONCERNED WITH YOUR PLANE I AFTER IT LEAVES MY GUIDES,
BUT TILL THEN I HOLD MYSELF PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR LIFE,
SAFETY, AND COMFORT. MY HYDRAULIC BUFFER-STOP CANNOT RELEASE
TILL THE MOTORS ARE WORKING UP TO BEARING SPEED, THUS SECURING
A SAFE AND GRACEFUL FLIGHT WITHOUT PITCHING.

Remember our motto, "Upward and Outward,"
and do not trust yourself to so-called "rigid" guide-bars

J. D. ARDAGH, BELFAST AND TURIN

------------------------------------------------

ACCESSORIES AND SPARES

------------------------------------------------

CHRISTIAN WRIGHT & OLDIS
ESTABLISHED 1924

ACCESSORIES and SPARES

Hooded Binnacles with dip-dials automatically recording
change of level (illuminated face).

All heights from 50 to 15,000 feet L2 10 0
With Aerial Board of Control certificate L3 11 0
Foot and Hand Foghoms; Sirens toned to any club note; with
air-chest belt-driven horn motor L6 8 0
Wireless installations syntonised to A.B.C. requirements, in neat
mahogany case, hundred mile range L3 3 0

Grapnels, mushroom--anchors, pithing-irons, winches, hawsers,
snaps, shackles and mooring ropes, for lawn, city, and public
installations.

Detachable under-cars, aluminum or stamped steel.

Keeled under-cars for planes: single-action detaching-gear,
turning car into boat with one motion of the wrist. Invaluable
for sea trips.

Head, side, and riding lights (by size) Nos.00 to 20 A.B.C.
Standard. Rockets and fog-bombs in colours and tones of the
principal clubs (boxed).
A selection of twenty L2 17 6
International night-signals (boxed) L1 11 6

Spare generators guaranteed to lifting power marked on cover
(prices according to power).

Wind-noses for dirigibles--Pegamoid, cane-stiffened, lacquered
cane or aluminum and flux for winter work.

Smoke-ring cannon for hail storms, swivel mounted, bow or stern.

Propeller blades: metal, tungsten backed; paper-mache wire
stiffened; ribbed Xylonite (Nickson's patent); all razor-edged
(price by pitch and diameter).

Compressed steel bow-screws for winter work.

Fused Ruby or Commercial Mineral Co. bearings and collars.
Agate-mounted thrust-blocks up to 4 inch.

Magniac's bow-rudders--(Lavales patent grooving).

Wove steel beltings for outboard motors (nonmagnetic).

Radium batteries, all powers to 150 h.p. (in pairs).

Helium batteries, all powers to 300 h.p. (tandem).

Stun'sle brakes worked from upper or lower platform.

Direct plunge-brakes worked from lower platform only, loaded silk
or fibre, wind-tight.

CATALOGUES FREE THROUGHOUT THE PLANET

------------------------------------------------

THE FOUR ANGELS

As ADAM lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree,
The Angel of the Earth came down, and offered Earth in fee.
But Adam did not need it,
Nor the plough he would not speed it,
Singing:--"Earth and Water, Air and Fire,
What more can mortal man desire?"
(The Apple Tree's in bud.)

As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree,
The Angel of the Waters offered all the Seas in fee.
But Adam would not take 'em,
Nor the ships he wouldn't make 'em,
Singing:--"Water, Earth and Air and Fire,
What more can mortal man desire?"
(The Apple Tree's in leaf.)

As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree,
The Angel of the Air he offered all the Air in fee.
But Adam did not crave it,
Nor the flight he wouldn't brave it,
Singing:--"Air and Water, Earth and Fire,
What more can mortal man desire?"
(The Apple Tree's in bloom.)

As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree,
The Angel of the Fire rose up and not a word said he.
But he wished a fire and made it,
And in Adam's heart he laid it,
Singing.--"Fire, fire, burning Fire,
Stand up and reach your heart's desire!"
(The Apple Blossom's set.)

As Adam was a-working outside of Eden-Wall,
He used the Earth, he used the Seas, he used the Air and all;
And out of black disaster
He arose to be the master
Of Earth and Water, Air and Fire,
But never reached his heart's desire!
(The Apple Tree's cut down!)

A DEAL IN COTTON

Long and long ago, when Devadatta was King of Benares, I wrote
some tales concerning Strickland of the Punjab Police (who
married Miss Youghal), and Adam, his son. Strickland has finished
his Indian Service, and lives now at a place in England called
Weston-super-Mare, where his wife plays the organ in one of the
churches. Semi-occasionally he comes up to London, and
occasionally his wife makes him visit his friends. Otherwise he
plays golf and follows the harriers for his figure's sake.

If you remember that Infant who told a tale to Eustace Cleever
the novelist, you will remember that he became a baronet with a
vast estate. He has, owing to cookery, a little lost his figure,
but he never loses his friends. I have found a wing of his house
turned into a hospital for sick men, and there I once spent a
week in the company of two dismal nurses and a specialist in
"Sprue." Another time the place was full of schoolboys--sons of
Anglo-Indians whom the Infant had collected for the holidays, and
they nearly broke his keeper's heart.

But my last visit was better. The Infant called me up by wire,
and I fell into the arms of a friend of mine, Colonel A.L.
Corkran, so that the years departed from us, and we praised
Allah, who had not yet terminated the Delights, nor separated the
Companions.

Said Corkran, when he had explained how it felt to command a
native Infantry regiment on the border: "The Stricks are coming
for to-night-with their boy."

"I remember him. The little fellow I wrote a story about," I
said. "Is he in the Service?"

"No. Strick got him into the Centro-Euro-Africa Protectorate.
He's Assistant-Commissioner at Dupe--wherever that is.
Somaliland, ain't it, Stalky?" asked the Infant.

Stalky puffed out his nostrils scornfully. "You're only three
thousand miles out. Look at the atlas."

"Anyhow, he's as rotten full of fever as the rest of you," said
the Infant, at length on the big divan. "And he's bringing a
native servant with him. Stalky be an athlete, and tell Ipps to
put him in the stable room."

"Why? Is he a Yao--like the fellow Wade brought here--when your
housekeeper had fits?" Stalky often visits the Infant, and has
seen some odd things.

"No. He's one of old Strickland's Punjabi policemen--and quite
European--I believe."

"Hooray! Haven't talked Punjabi for three months--and a Punjabi
from Central Africa ought to be amusin'."

We heard the chuff of the motor in the porch, and the first to
enter was Agnes Strickland, whom the Infant makes no secret of
adoring.

He is devoted, in a fat man's placid way, to at least eight
designing women; but she nursed him once through a bad bout of
Peshawur fever, and when she is in the house, it is more than all
hers.

"You didn't send rugs enough," she began. "Adam might have taken
a chill."

"It's quite warm in the tonneau. Why did you let him ride in
front? "

"Because he wanted to," she replied, with the mother's smile, and
we were introduced to the shadow of a young man leaning heavily
on the shoulder of a bearded Punjabi Mohammedan.

"That is all that came home of him," said his father to me. There
was nothing in it of the child with whom I had journeyed to
Dalhousie centuries since."

"And what is this uniform?" Stalky asked of Imam Din, the
servant, who came to attention on the marble floor.

"The uniform of the Protectorate troops, Sahib. Though I am the
Little Sahib's body-servant, it is not seemly for us white men to
be attended by folk dressed altogether as servants."

"And--and you white men wait at table on horseback?" Stalky
pointed to the man's spurs.

"These I added for the sake of honour when I came to England,"
said Imam Din Adam smiled the ghost of a little smile that I
began to remember, and we put him on the big couch for
refreshments. Stalky asked him how much leave he had, and he said
"Six months."

"But he'll take another six on medical certificate," said Agnes
anxiously. Adam knit his brows.

"You don't want to--eh? I know. Wonder what my second in command
is doing." Stalky tugged his moustache, and fell to thinking of
his Sikhs.

"Ah!" said the Infant. "I've only a few thousand pheasants to
look after. Come along and dress for dinner. We're just
ourselves. What flower is your honour's ladyship commanding for
the table?"

"Just ourselves?" she said, looking at the crotons in the great
hall. "Then let's have marigolds the little cemetery ones."

So it was ordered.

Now, marigolds to us mean hot weather, discomfort, parting, and
death. That smell in our nostrils, and Adam's servant in waiting,
we naturally fell back more and more on the old slang, recalling
at each glass those who had gone before. We did not sit at the
big table, but in the bay window overlooking the park, where they
were carting the last of the hay. When twilight fell we would not
have candles, but waited for the moon, and continued our talk in
the dusk that makes one remember.

Young Adam was not interested in our past except where it had
touched his future. I think his mother held his hand beneath the
table. Imam Din--shoeless, out of respect to the floors--brought
him his medicine, poured it drop by drop, and asked for orders.

"Wait to take him to his cot when he grows weary," said his
mother, and Imam Din retired into the shadow by the ancestral
portraits.

"Now what d'you expect to get out of your country?" the Infant
asked, when--our India laid aside we talked Adam's Africa. It
roused him at once.

"Rubber -nuts -gums -and so on," he said. "But our real future is
cotton. I grew fifty acres of it last year in my District."

"My District!" said his father. "Hear him, Mummy!"

"I did though! I wish I could show you the sample. Some
Manchester chaps said it was as good as any Sea Island cotton on
the market."

"But what made you a cotton-planter, my son?" she asked.

"My Chief said every man ought to have a shouk (a hobby) of
sorts, and he took the trouble to ride a day out of his way to
show me a belt of black soil that was just the thing for cotton."

"Ah! What was your Chief like?" Stalky asked, in his silkiest
tones.

"The best man alive--absolutely. He lets you blow your own nose
yourself. The people call him"--Adam jerked out some heathen
phrase--"that means the Man with the Stone Eyes, you know."

"I'm glad of that. Because I've heard from other quarters"
Stalky's sentence burned like a slow match, but the explosion was
not long delayed. "Other quarters!" Adam threw out a thin hand.
"Every dog has his fleas. If you listen to them, of course!" The
shake of his head was as I remembered it among his father's
policemen twenty years before, and his mother's eyes shining
through the dusk called on me to adore it. I kicked Stalky on the
shin. One must not mock a young man's first love or loyalty.

A lump of raw cotton appeared on the table.

"I thought there might be a need. Therefore I packed it between
our shirts," said the voice of Imam Din.

"Does he know as much English as that?" cried the Infant, who had
forgotten his East.

We all admired the cotton for Adam's sake, and, indeed, it was
very long and glossy.

"It's--it's only an experiment," he said. "We're such awful
paupers we can't even pay for a mailcart in my District. We use a
biscuit-box on two bicycle wheels. I only got the money for
that"--he patted the stuff--"by a pure fluke."

"How much did it cost?" asked Strickland.

"With seed and machinery--about two hundred pounds. I had the
labour done by cannibals."

"That sounds promising." Stalky reached for a fresh cigarette.

"No, thank you," said Agnes. "I've been at Weston-super-Mare a
little too long for cannibals. I'll go to the music-room and try
over next Sunday's hymns."

She lifted the boy's hand lightly to her lips, and tripped across
the acres of glimmering floor to the music-room that had been the
Infant's ancestors' banqueting hall. Her grey and silver dress
disappeared under the musicians' gallery; two electrics broke
out, and she stood backed against the lines of gilded pipes.

"There's an abominable self-playing attachment here!" she called.

"Me!" the Infant answered, his napkin on his shoulder. "That's
how I play Parsifal."

"I prefer the direct expression. Take it away, Ipps."

We heard old Ipps skating obediently all over the floor.

"Now for the direct expression," said Stalky, and moved on the
Burgundy recommended by the faculty to enrich fever-thinned
blood.

"It's nothing much. Only the belt of cotton-soil my chief showed
me ran right into the Sheshaheli country. We haven't been able to
prove cannibalism against that tribe in the courts; but when a
Sheshaheli offers you four pounds of woman's breast, tattoo marks
and all, skewered up in a plantain leaf before breakfast, you--"

"Naturally burn the villages before lunch," said Stalky.

Adam shook his head. "No troops," he sighed. "I told my Chief
about it, and he said we must wait till they chopped a white man.
He advised me if ever I felt like it not to commit a--a barren
felo de se, but to let the Sheshaheli do it. Then he could
report, and then we could mop 'em up!"

"Most immoral! That's how we got--" Stalky quoted the name of a
province won by just such a sacrifice.

"Yes, but the beasts dominated one end of my cotton-belt like
anything. They chivied me out of it when I went to take soil for
analysis--me and Imam Din."

"Sahib! Is there a need?" The voice came out of the darkness, and
the eyes shone over Adam's shoulder ere it ceased.

"None. The name was taken in talk." Adam abolished him with a
turn of the finger. "I couldn't make a casus belli of it just
then, because my Chief had taken all the troops to hammer a gang
of slave kings up north. Did you ever hear of our war against Ibn
Makarrah? He precious nearly lost us the Protectorate at one
time, though he's an ally of ours now."

"Wasn't he rather a pernicious brute, even as they go?" said
Stalky. "Wade told me about him last year."

"Well, his nickname all through the country was 'The Merciful,'
and he didn't get that for nothing. None of our people ever
breathed his proper name. They said 'He' or 'That One,' and they
didn't say it aloud, either. He fought us for eight months."

"I remember. There was a paragraph about it in one of the
papers," I said.

"We broke him, though. No--the slavers don't come our way,
because our men have the reputation of dying too much, the first
month after they're captured. That knocks down profits, you see."

"What about your charming friends, the Sheshahelis?" said the
Infant.

"There's no market for Sheshaheli. People would as soon buy
crocodiles. I believe, before we annexed the country, Ibn
Makarrah dropped down on 'em once--to train his young men--and
simply hewed 'em in pieces. The bulk of my people are
agriculturists just the right stamp for cotton-growers. What's
Mother playing?--'Once in royal'?"

The organ that had been crooning as happily as a woman over her
babe restored, steadied to a tune.

"Magnificent! Oh, magnificent! " said the Infant loyally. I had
never heard him sing but once, and then, though it was early in
the tolerant morning, his mess had rolled him into a lotus pond.

"How did you get your cannibals to work for you?" asked
Strickland.

"They got converted to civilization after my Chief smashed Ibn
Makarrah--just at the time I wanted 'em. You see my Chief had
promised me in writing that if I could scrape up a surplus he
would not bag it for his roads this time, but I might have it for
my cotton game. I only needed two hundred pounds. Our revenues
didn't run to it."

"What is your revenue?" Stalky asked in the vernacular.

"With hut-tax, traders' game and mining licenses, not more than
fourteen thousand rupees; every penny of it ear-marked months
ahead." Adam sighed.

"Also there is a fine for dogs straying in the Sahib's camp. Last
year it exceeded three rupees," Imam Din said quietly.

"Well, I thought that was fair. They howled so. We were rather
strict on fines. I worked up my native clerk--Bulaki Ram--to a
ferocious pitch of enthusiasm. He used to calculate the profits
of our cotton-scheme to three points of decimals, after office. I
tell you I envied your magistrates here hauling money out of
motorists every week I had managed to make our ordinary revenue
and expenditure just about meet, and I was crazy to get the odd
two hundred pounds for my cotton. That sort of thing grows on a
chap when he's alone--and talks aloud!"

"Hul-lo! Have you been there already?" the father said, and Adam
nodded.

"Yes. Used to spout what I could remember of 'Marmion' to a tree,
sir. Well then my luck turned. One evening an English-speaking
nigger came in towing a corpse by the feet. (You get used to
little things like that.) He said he'd found it, and please would
I identify, because if it was one of Ibn Makarrah's men there
might be a reward. It was an old Mohammedan, with a strong dash
of Arab--a smallboned, bald-headed chap, and I was just wondering
how it had kept so well in our climate when it sneezed. You ought
to have seen the nigger! He fetched a howl and bolted like--like
the dog in 'Tom Sawyer,' when he sat on the what's-its-name
beetle. He yelped as he ran, and the corpse went on sneezing. I
could see it had been sarkied. (That's a sort of gum-poison,
pater, which attacks the nerve centres. Our chief medical officer
is writing a monograph about it.) So Imam Din and I emptied out
the corpse one time, with my shaving soap and trade gunpowder,
and hot water.

"I'd seen a case of sarkie before; so when the skin peeled off
his feet, and he stopped sneezing, I knew he'd live. He was bad,
though; lay like a log for a week while Imam Din and I massaged
the paralysis out of him. Then he told us he was a Hajji--had
been three times to Mecca--come in from French Africa, and that
he'd met the nigger by the wayside--just like a case of thuggee,
in India--and the nigger had poisoned him. That seemed reasonable
enough by what I knew of Coast niggers."

"You believed him?" said his father keenly.

"There was no reason I shouldn't. The nigger never came back, and
the old man stayed with me for two months," Adam returned. "You
know what the best type of a Mohammedan gentleman can be, pater?
He was that."

"None finer, none finer," was the answer.

"Except a Sikh," Stalky grunted.

"He'd been to Bombay; he knew French Africa inside out; he could
quote poetry and the Koran all day long. He played chess--you
don't know what that meant to me -like a master. We used to talk
about the regeneration of Turkey and the Sheik-ul-Islam between
moves. Oh, everything under the sun we talked about! He was
awfully open-minded. He believed in slavery, of course, but he
quite saw that it would have to die out. That's why he agreed
with me about developing the resources of the district by
cotton-growing, you know."

"You talked of that too?" said Strickland.

"Rather. We discussed it for hours. You don't know what it meant
to me. A wonderful man. Imam Din, was not our Hajji marvellous?"

"Most marvellous! It was all through the Hajji that we found the
money for our cotton-play." Imam Din had moved, I fancy, behind
Strickland's chair.

"Yes. It must have been dead against his convictions too. He
brought me news when I was down with fever at Dupe that one of
Ibn Makarrah's men was parading through my District with a bunch
of slaves--in the Fork!"

"What's the matter with the Fork, that you can't abide it?" said
Stalky. Adam's voice had risen at the last word.

"Local etiquette, sir," he replied, too earnest to notice
Stalky's atrocious pun. "If a slaver runs slaves through British
territory he ought to pretend that they're his servants. Hawkin'
'em about in the Fork--the forked stick that you put round their
necks, you know--is insolence--same as not backing your topsails
in the old days. Besides, it unsettles the District."

"I thought you said slavers didn't come your way," I put in.

"They don't. But my Chief was smoking 'em out of the North all
that season, and they were bolting into French territory any road
they could find. My orders were to take no notice so long as they
circulated, but open slave-dealing in the Fork, was too much. I
couldn't go myself, so I told a couple of our Makalali police and
Imam Din to make talk with the gentleman one time. It was rather
risky, and it might have been expensive, but it turned up trumps.
They were back in a few days with the slaver (he didn't show
fight) and a whole crowd of witnesses, and we tried him in my
bedroom, and fined him properly. Just to show you how demoralized
the brute must have been (Arabs often go dotty after a defeat),
he'd snapped up four or five utterly useless Sheshaheli, and was
offering 'em to all and sundry along the road. Why, he offered
'em to you, didn't he, Imam Din?"

"I was witness that he offered man-eaters' for sale," said Imam
Din.

"Luckily for my cotton-scheme, that landed, him both ways. You
see, he had slaved and exposed slaves for sale in British
territory. That meant the double fine if I could get it out of
him."

"What was his defence?" said Strickland, late of the Punjab
Police.

"As far as I remember--but I had a temperature of 104 degrees at
the time--he'd mistaken the meridians of longitude. Thought he
was in French territory. Said he'd never do it again, if we'd let
him off with a fine. I could have shaken hands with the brute for
that. He paid up cash like a motorist and went off one time."

"Did you see him?"

"Ye-es. Didn't I, Imam Din?"

"Assuredly the Sahib both saw and spoke to the slaver. And the
Sahib also made a speech to the man-eaters when he freed them,
and they swore to supply him with labour for all his cotton-play.
The Sahib leaned on his own servant's shoulder the while."

"I remember something of that. I remember Bulaki Ram giving me
the papers to sign, and I distinctly remember him locking up the
money in the safe--two hundred and ten beautiful English
sovereigns. You don't know what that meant to me! I believe it
cured my fever; and as soon as I could, I staggered off with the
Hajji to interview the Sheshaheli about labour. Then I found out
why they had been so keen to work! It wasn't gratitude. Their big
village had been hit by lightning and burned out a week or two
before, and they lay flat in rows around me asking me for a job.
I gave it 'em."

"And so you were very happy?" His mother had stolen up behind us.
"You liked your cotton, dear?" She tidied the lump away.

"By Jove, I was happy!" Adam yawned. "Now if any one," he looked
at the Infant, "cares to put a little money into the scheme,
it'll be the making of my District. I can't give you figures,
sir, but I assure--"

"You'll take your arsenic, and Imam Din'll take you up to bed,
and I'll come and tuck you in."

Agnes leaned forward, her rounded elbows on his shoulders, hands
joined across his dark hair, and "Isn't he a darling?" she said
to us, with just the same heart-rending lift to the left eyebrow
and the same break of her voice as sent Strickland mad among the
horses in the year '84. We were quiet when they were gone. We
waited till Imam Din returned to us from above and coughed at the
door, as only dark-hearted Asia can.

"Now," said Strickland, "tell us what truly befell, son of my
servant."

"All befell as our Sahib has said. Only--only there was an
arrangement--a little arrangement on account of his cotton-play."

"Tell! Sit! I beg your pardon, Infant," said Strickland.

But the Infant had already made the sign, and we heard Imam Din
hunker down on the floor: One gets little out of the East at
attention.

"When the fever came on our Sahib in our roofed house at Dupe,"
he began, "the Hajji listened intently to his talk. He expected
the names of women; though I had already told him that Our virtue
was beyond belief or compare, and that Our sole desire was this
cotton-play. Being at last convinced, the Hajji breathed on our
Sahib's forehead, to sink into his brain news concerning a
slave-dealer in his district who had made a mock of the law.
Sahib," Imam Din turned to Strickland, "our Sahib answered to
those false words as a horse of blood answers to the spur. He sat
up. He issued orders for the apprehension of the slavedealer.
Then he fell back. Then we left him."

"Alone--servant of my son, and son of my servant?" said his
father.

"There was an old woman which belonged to the Hajji. She had come
in with the Hajji's money-belt. The Hajji told her that if our
Sahib died, she would die with him. And truly our Sahib had given
me orders to depart."

"Being mad with fever--eh?"

"What could we do, Sahib? This cotton-play was his heart's
desire. He talked of it in his fever. Therefore it was his
heart's desire that the Hajji went to fetch. Doubtless the Hajji
could have given him money enough out of hand for ten
cottonplays; but in this respect also our Sahib's virtue was
beyond belief or compare. Great Ones do not exchange moneys.
Therefore the Hajji said--and I helped with my counsel--that we
must make arrangements to get the money in all respects
conformable with the English Law. It was great trouble to us,
but--the Law is the Law. And the Hajji showed the old woman the
knife by which she would die if our Sahib died. So I accompanied
the Hajji."

"Knowing who he was?" said Strickland.

"No! Fearing the man. A virtue went out from him overbearing the
virtue of lesser persons. The Hajji told Bulaki Ram the clerk to
occupy the seat of government at Dupe till our return. Bulaki Ram
feared the Hajji, because the Hajji had often gloatingly
appraised his skill in figures at five thousand rupees upon any
slave-block. The Hajji then said to me: 'Come, and we will make
the man-eaters play the cotton-game for my delight's delight' The
Hajji loved our Sahib with the love of a father for his son, of a
saved for his saviour, of a Great One for a Great One. But I
said: 'We cannot go to that Sheshaheli place without a hundred
rifles. We have here five.' The Hajji said: 'I have untied as
knot in my head-handkerchief which will be more to us than a
thousand.' I saw that he had so loosed it that it lay flagwise on
his shoulder. Then I knew that he was a Great One with virtue in
him.

"We came to the highlands of the Sheshaheli on the dawn of the
second day--about the time of the stirring of the cold wind. The
Hajji walked delicately across the open place where their filth
is, and scratched upon the gate which was shut. When it opened I
saw the man-eaters lying on their cots under the eaves of the
huts. They rolled off: they rose up, one behind the other the
length of the street, and the fear on their faces was as leaves
whitening to a breeze. The Hajji stood in the gate guarding his
skirts from defilement. The Hajji said: 'I am here once again.
Give me six and yoke up.' They zealously then pushed to us with
poles six, and yoked them with a heavy tree. The Hajji then said:
"Fetch fire from the morning hearth, and come to windward.' The
wind is strong on those headlands at sunrise, so when each had
emptied his crock of fire in front of that which was before him,
the broadside of the town roared into flame, and all went. The
Hajji then said: 'At the end of a time there will come here the
white man ye once chased for sport. He will demand labour to
plant such and such stuff. Ye are that labour, and your spawn
after you.' They said, lifting their heads a very little from the
edge of the ashes: ' We are that labour, and our spawn after us.'
The Hajji said: 'What is also my name?' They said: 'Thy name is
also The Merciful' The Hajji said: 'Praise then my mercy'; and
while they did this, the Hajji walked away, I following."

The Infant made some noise in his throat, and reached for more
Burgundy.

"About noon one of our six fell dead. Fright only frights Sahib!
None had--none could--touch him. Since they were in pairs, and
the other of the Fork was mad and sang foolishly, we waited for
some heathen to do what was needful. There came at last Angari
men with goats. The Hajji said: 'What do ye see? They said: 'Oh,
our Lord, we neither see nor hear.' The Hajji said: 'But I
command ye to see and to hear and to say.' They said: 'Oh, our
Lord, it is to our commanded eyes as though slaves stood in a
Fork.' The Hajji said: 'So testify before the officer who waits
you in the town of Dupe.' They said: 'What shall come to us
after?' The Hajji said: 'The just reward for the informer. But if
ye do not testify, then a punishment which shall cause birds, to
fall from the trees in terror and monkeys to scream for pity.'
Hearing this, the Angari men hastened to Dupe. The Hajji then
said to me: 'Are those things sufficient to establish our case,
or must I drive in a village full?' I said that three witnesses
amply established any case, but as yet, I said, the Hajji had not
offered his slaves for sale. It is true, as our Sahib said just
now, there is one fine for catching slaves, and yet another for
making to sell them. And it was the double fine that we needed,
Sahib, for our Sahib's cotton-play. We had fore-arranged all this
with Bulaki Ram, who knows the English Law, and, I thought the
Hajji remembered, but he grew angry, and cried out: 'O God,
Refuge of the Afflicted, must I, who am what I am, peddle this'
dog's meat by the roadside to gain his delight for my heart's
delight?" None the less, he admitted it was the English Law, and
so he offered me the six--five--in a small voice, with an averted
head. The Sheshaheli do not smell of sour milk as heathen should.
They smell like leopards, Sahib. This is because they eat men."

"Maybe," said Strickland. "But where were thy wits? One witness
is not sufficient to establish the fact of a sale."

"What could we do, Sahib? There was the Hajji's reputation to
consider. We could not have called in a heathen witness for such
a thing. And, moreover, the Sahib forgets that the defendant
himself was making this case. He would not contest his own
evidence. Otherwise, I know the law of evidence well enough.

"So then we went to Dupe, and while Bulaki Ram waited among the
Angari men, 'I ran to see our Sahib in bed. His eyes were very
bright, and his mouth was full of upside-down orders, but the old
woman had not loosened her hair for death. The Hajji said: 'Be
quick with my trial. I am not Job!' The Hajji was a learned man.
We made the trial swiftly to a sound of soothing voices round the
bed. Yet--yet, because no man can be sure whether a Sahib of that
blood sees, or does not see, we made it strictly in the manner of
the forms of the English Law. Only the witnesses and the slaves
and the prisoner we kept without for his nose's sake."

"Then he did not see the prisoner?" said Strickland.

"I stood by to shackle up an Angari in case he should demand it,
but by God's favour he was too far fevered to ask for one. It is
quite true he signed the papers. It is quite true he saw the
money put away in the safe--two hundred and ten English pounds
and it is quite true that the gold wrought on him as a strong
cure. But as to his seeing the prisoner, and having speech with
the man-eaters--the Hajji breathed all that on his forehead to
sink into his sick brain. A little, as ye have heard, has
remained . . . . Ah, but when the fever broke, and our Sahib
called for the fine-book, and the thin little picture-books from
Europe with the pictures of ploughs and hoes, and
cotton=3Dmills--ah, then he laughed as he used to laugh, Sahib.
It was his heart's desire, this cotton-play. The Hajji loved him,
as who does not? It was a little, little arrangement, Sahib, of
which--is it necessary to tell all the world?"

"And when didst thou know who the Hajji was?" said Strickland.

"Not for a certainty till he and our Sahib had returned from
their visit to the Sheshaheli country. It is quite true as our
Sahib says, the man-eaters lay, flat around his feet, and asked
for spades to cultivate cotton. That very night, when I was
cooking the dinner, the Hajji said to me: 'I go to my own place,
though God knows whether the Man with the Stone Eyes have left me
an ox, a slave, or a woman.' I said: 'Thou art then That One?'
The Hajji said: 'I am ten thousand rupees reward into thy hand.
Shall we make another law-case and get more cotton machines for
the boy?' I said: 'What dog am I to do this? May God prolong thy
life a thousand years!' The Hajji said: 'Who has seen to-morrow?
God has given me as it were a son in my old age, and I praise
Him. See that the breed is not lost!'

"He walked then from the cooking-place to our Sahib's
office-table under the tree, where our Sahib held in his hand a
blue envelope of Service newly come in by runner from the North.
At this, fearing evil news for the Hajji, I would have restrained
him, but he said: 'We be both Great Ones. Neither of us will
fail.' Our Sahib looked up to invite the Hajji to approach before
he opened the letter, but the Hajji stood off till our Sahib had
well opened and well read the letter. Then the Hajji said: 'Is it
permitted to say farewell?' Our Sahib stabbed the letter on the
file with a deep and joyful breath and cried a welcome. The Hajji
said: 'I go to my own place,' and he loosed from his neck a
chained heart of ambergris set in soft gold and held it forth.
Our Sahib snatched it swiftly in the closed fist, down turned,
and said 'If thy name be written hereon, it is needless, for a
name is already engraved on my heart.' The Hajji said: 'And on
mine also is a name engraved; but there is no name on the
amulet.' The Hajji stooped to our Sahib's feet, but our Sahib
raised and embraced him, and the Hajji covered his mouth with his
shoulder-cloth, because it worked, and so he went away."

"And what order was in the Service letter?" Stalky murmured.

"Only an order for our Sahib to write a report on some new cattle
sickness. But all orders come in the same make of envelope. We
could not tell what order it might have been."

"When he opened the letter--my son--made he no sign? A cough? An
oath?" Strickland asked.

"None, Sahib. I watched his hands. They did not shake. Afterward
he wiped his face, but he was sweating before from the heat."

"Did he know? Did he know who the Hajji was?" said the Infant in
English.

"I am a poor man. Who can say what a Sahib of that get knows or
does not know? But the Hajji is right. The breed should not be
lost. It is not very hot for little children in Dupe, and as
regards nurses, my sister's cousin at Jull--"

"H'm! That is the boy's own concern. I wonder if his Chief ever
knew?" said Strickland.

"Assuredly," said Imam Din. "On the night before our Sahib went
down to the sea, the Great Sahib--the Man with the Stone
Eyes--dined with him in his camp, I being in charge of the table.
They talked a long while and the Great Sahib said: 'What didst
thou think of That One?' (We do not say Ibn Makarrah yonder.) Our
Sahib said: 'Which one?' The Great Sahib said: 'That One which
taught thy man-eaters to grow cotton for thee. He was in thy
District three months to my certain knowledge, and I looked by
every runner that thou wouldst send me in his head.' Our Sahib
said: 'If his head had been needed, another man should have been
appointed to govern my District, for he was my friend.' The Great
Sahib laughed and said: 'If I had needed a lesser man in thy
place be sure I would have sent him, as, if I had needed the head
of That One, be sure I would have sent men to bring it to me. But
tell me now, by what means didst thou twist him to thy use and
our profit in this cotton-play?' Our Sahib said: 'By God, I did
not use that man in any fashion whatever. He was my friend.' The
Great Sahib said: ' 'Toh Vac! (Bosh!) Tell!' Our Sahib shook his
head as he does--as he did when a child--and they looked at each
other like sword-play men in the ring at a fair. The Great Sahib
dropped his eyes first and he said: 'So be it. I should perhaps
have answered thus in my youth. No matter. I have made treaty
with That One as an ally of the State. Some day he shall tell me
the tale.' Then I brought in fresh coffee, and they ceased. But I
do not think That One will tell the Great Sahib more than our
Sahib told him."

"Wherefore?" I asked.

"Because they are both Great Ones, and I have observed in my life
that Great Ones employ words very little between each other in
their dealings; still less when they speak to a third concerning
those dealings. Also they profit by silence . . . . Now I think
that the mother has come down from the room, and I will go rub
his feet till he sleeps."

His ears had caught Agnes's step at the stair-head and presently
she passed us on her way to the music room humming the
Magnificat.

THE NEW KNIGHTHOOD

Who gives him the Bath?
"I," said the wet,
Rank Jungle-sweat,
"I'll give him the Bath!"

Who'll sing the psalms?
"We," said the Palms.
"Ere the hot wind becalms,
We'll sing the psalms."

Who lays on the sword?
"I," said the Sun,
"Before he has done,
I'll lay on the sword."

Who fastens his belt?
"I," said Short-Rations,
"I know all the fashions
Of tightening a belt!"

Who buckles his spur?
"I," said his Chief,
Exacting and brief,
"I'll give him the spur."

Who'll shake his hand?
"I," said the Fever,
"And I'm no deceiver,
I'll shake his hand."

Who brings him the wine?
"I," said Quinine,
"It's a habit of mine,
I'll come with his wine."

Who'll put him to proof?
"I," said All Earth,
"Whatever he's worth,
I'll put to the proof."

Who'll choose him for Knight?
"I," said his Mother,
"Before any other,
My very own knight!"

And after this fashion, adventure to seek,
Was Sir Galahad made--as it might be last week!

THE PUZZLER

I had not seen Penfentenyou since the Middle Nineties, when he
was Minister of Ways and Woodsides in De Thouar's first
Administration. Last summer, though he nominally held the same
portfolio, he was his Colony's Premier in all but name, and the
idol of his own province, which is two and a half times the size
of England. Politically, his creed was his growing country; and
he came over to England to develop a Great Idea in her behalf.

Believing that he had put it in train, I made haste to welcome
him to my house for a week.

That he was chased to my door by his own Agent-General in a
motor; that they turned my study into a Cabinet Meeting which I
was not invited to attend; that the local telegraph all but broke
down beneath the strain of hundred word coded cables; and that I
practically broke into the house of a stranger to get him
telephonic facilities on a Sunday, are things I overlook. What I
objected to was his ingratitude, while I thus tore up England to
help him. So I said: "Why on earth didn't you see your Opposite
Number in Town instead of bringing your office work here?"

"Eh? Who?" said he, looking up from his fourth cable since lunch.

"See the English Minister for Ways and Woodsides."

"I saw him," said Penfentenyou, without enthusiasm.

It seemed that he had called twice on the gentleman, but without
an appointment--("I thought if I wasn't big enough, my business
was")--and each time had found him engaged. A third party
intervening, suggested that a meeting might be arranged if due
notice were given.

"Then," said Penfentenyou, "I called at the office at ten
o'clock."

"But they'd be in bed," I cried.

"One of the babies was awake. He told me that--that 'my sort of
questions "'--he slapped the pile of cables--"were only taken
between 11 and 2 P.M. So I waited."

"And when you got to business?" I asked.

He made a gesture of despair. "It was like talking to children.
They'd never heard of it."

"And your Opposite Number?"

Penfentenyou described him.

"Hush! You mustn't talk like that!" I shuddered. "He's one of the
best of good fellows. You should meet him socially."

"I've done that too," he said. "Have you?"

"Heaven forbid!" I cried; "but that's the proper thing to say."

"Oh, he said all the proper things. Only I thought as this was
England that they'd more or less have the hang of all
the--general hang-together of my Idea. But I had to explain it
from the beginning."

"Ah! They'd probably mislaid the papers," I said, and I told him
the story of a three-million pound insurrection caused by a
deputy Under-Secretary sitting upon a mass of green-labelled
correspondence instead of reading it.

"I wonder it doesn't happen every week," the answered. "D'you
mind my having the Agent-General to dinner again tonight? I'll
wire, and he can motor down."

The Agent-General arrived two hours later, a patient and
expostulating person, visibly torn between the pulling Devil of a
rampant Colony, and the placid Baker of a largely uninterested
England. But with Penfentenyou behind him he had worked; for he
told us that Lord Lundie--the Law Lord was the final authority on
the legal and constitutional aspects of the Great Idea, and to
him it must be referred.

"Good Heavens alive!" thundered Penfentenyou. "I told you to get
that settled last Christmas."

"It was the middle of the house-party season," said the
Agent-General mildly. "Lord Lundie's at Credence Green now--he
spends his holidays there. It's only forty miles off."

"Shan't I disturb his Holiness?" said Penfentenyou heavily.
"Perhaps 'my sort of questions,"' he snorted, "mayn't be
discussed except at midnight."

"Oh, don't be a child," I said.

"What this country needs," said Penfentenyou, "is--" and for ten
minutes he trumpeted rebellion.

"What you need is to pay for your own protection," I cut in when
he drew breath, and I showed him a yellowish paper, supplied
gratis by Government, which is called Schedule D. To my merciless
delight he had never seen the thing before, and I completed my
victory over him and all the Colonies with a Brassey's "Naval
Annual" and a "Statesman's Year Book."

The Agent-General interposed with agent-generalities (but they
were merely provocateurs) about Ties of Sentiment.

"They be blowed!" said Penfentenyou. "What's the good of
sentiment towards a Kindergarten?"

"Quite so. Ties of common funk are the things that bind us
together; and the sooner you new nations realize it the better.
What you need is an annual invasion. Then you'd grow up."

"Thank you! Thank you!" said the Agent-General. "That's what I am
always trying to tell my people."

"But, my dear fool," Penfentenyou almost wept, "do you pretend
that these banana-fingered amateurs at home are grown up?"

Book of the day: