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A TRIP TO THE FLAT HOLM. [BY MR. GAD-ABOUT.] The Local Board saw in my amusing and enter- taining notes last week that there was a pub and other accessories of civilisation on the Flat Holm, and so they decided to visit the place on Tuesday last. I was asked to accompany them, and as I never miss a public function, if I can help it, I determined to go with them. I didn't know exactly what we were going' to do when we got there, but I concluded it must be all right. So at 12.30 we started in the tug Pelaw, which has been hired by the Local Board for the use of the Inspector of Nuisances until the cholera has ceased from troubling, and the microbe is at rest. I was surprised to find myself in such good company. There was Dr. O'Donnell. the Chairman of the Health Committee, Dr. Neale. the medical officer, and Dr. Treharne. •' Plenty of doctors to save the body," I said to myself. Then there was the Rev. J. H. Stowell in extreme cases and Mr. Arthur Hughes, the Clerk, and Mr. Pardoe, the surveyor. Then there were the two old publicans, Mr. Jewel Williams and Mr. William Thomas de Barri. In addition to all these there was Mr. Porter, of the Customs' House, who came with us beeause he had heard of my weakness for Pioneer Brand with- out paying any duty on it. but who, I found was, after all. a very jolly fellow. In the Roads we saw a large vessel which we found to be the Racine, skippered by my old and valued friend, Captain Robson. We called on our way to see how the Setubal, the infected ship, was ffettinor on. All well ?" asked Dr. Neale, who in a deer- stalker" cap and a tight-fitting coat looked a regular "sailor bold." All well was the answer. I thought I knew the voice, and lo and behold. who should be beaming on us but Inspector Leyshon. We <eter- mined to take him with us, and so we sent a boat to the Setubal, and took him aboard. In exchange for him we sent a copy of the STAR and the Echo, and a letter to Evans, the Penarth pilot, detained on board. I found the genial inspector much changed. A week's growth of grisly beard had shadowed that sunny face. Haven't had three hours sleep, Gad-About, my boy." he told me confidentially for the last seven days. The worst of it is I have to go on smoking all the time. I'm no great smoker, and my throat is parched but I must disinfect my- .self." And so he puffed away at a huge cigar, which Mr. Porter eyed now and then rather suspiciously, I thought. We all got very hungry presently. I had been used to corporations, and expected a big feed, but there was none forthcoming. I noticed that the pockets of Our Only William were rather bulging; I went up and pulled something out; but it wasn't anything to eat, so I put it back. Presently I noticed that every one but me pulled something out of his pocket to eat. The clerk of the Local Board munched some exquisite looking sandwiches the Surveyor-Astronomer was content with the more aristocratic biscuit; and the medical officer of health was happy with his bread and cheese, and an onion. But I looked on grimly. When we were passing Sully Island we talked- at least our William talked-of its advantages as the site of an infections diseases' hospital, but it was thought that we could never get it. as it was opposite building land. It was also pointed out that there was no refreshment room on the island, and that it was too near Barry for a trip. By Penarth Point we saw a vessel lying rather on one side, and various conjectures were made as to the reason. But Mr. Thomas De Bairi—who is an authority in nautical matters—said she was 4' water-logged." and there the matter ended. As we neared the Flat Holm, Mr. Arthur Hughes explained to us how the Submarine Miners would lay mines to guard our native shores in case of an invasion, in a line from Lavernock to Flat Holm, and across to Weston. Somebodv then said that the Flat Holm was bigger than the Steep Holm. Bigger said Dr. Xeale. Why, there are 15 acres more of flat land on the Steep Holm than there are on the Flat Holm." Where will we land?" I ventured to ask. "Well, that's one of our difficulties." said the doctot. We land just behind those two rocks. —— -1 We can see through those two rocks at Cadox- ton," interrupted Mr. W. Thomas. Oh, yes," said Dr. O'Donnell. a we can see through a good many things at Cadoxton." In any case," said Dr. Xeale, it is a very bad landing place, aijd will be fatal to many a poor cholera-stricken man. I was talking to Harris, the tenant, about it, and he thought a landing stage could easily be provided." I hardly believe that," said Mr. Arthur Hughes. I know some military engineers have examined the place, and they thought the currents were sa strong that they would smash up any landing stage when the wind would be in an easterly direction." It is a question, then," said Dr. Xeale, "whether the Flat Holm should be used. Besides, there will be a difficulty about getting a proper burial place on the island, for the soil in its deepest part is not 2ft. Gin." I suppose they would be buried in lime ?" sug- jjested the Clerk of the Board. There would be no option," said Dr. Neale. We had by this time got quite near the landing place, so we all got into Harris' boat, which was in attendance. Altogether we rather filled the Tioat. Your cargo is too valuable to run any risk," said our William to the boatman. And too lightheaded to be drowned," said 1. u Funny dog is Gad-About," murmured Dr. Tceharne to Mr..Jewel Williams. After landing I and my old friend, Mrs. Grundy, went to have a feed in the hotel, and after some lemonade (which I drank), and after something -else (which she drank), we went to inspect the tents. We found two tents put up outside, within an enclosure, for patients from Barry. Compared to the Cardiff tent, which is close by, the Barry tent is very small fry. The larger tent, for the patients. will accommodate four beds. It is 24 ft. in diameter, and 452 square feet in area. The bell tent close by is for the use of the nurses. The tents had been bought from Mr. Smart, of Cardiff. for .£21. and the beds and other necessaries which were stowed away at the hotel, were bought from Messrs. Howell and Co., Cardiff. The floors of the tent were not boarded, so Harris, the tenant, was commissioned to make proper wooden floors for the two tents for e5. We found that a doctor had already been sent there by the Cardiff Corpora- tion in the event of a case being sent there. Mr. StowelL and I then went to inspect the lighthouse which is on the island. After climbing up to the top we entered into conversation with the jolly old keeper. "You seem to be a happy little community here," I said. 1; So. so," he said. We are about 18 souls in all, but we can't live without quarrelling, few though we are." "Human natur' said 1. Why. look at Local Boards. At Barry there are only 12 members, but they have dozens of quarrels." -1 True," he said but what I say is that it is a shame the way the soldiers are treated. They say that if a case of cholera comes here the •soldiers will be off. Xow. if these men are paid for defending us, why should they run away before danger ? Will vou stay ? Of course we will. This (tapping the huge lamp)-this must go on though all should die." How many soldiers are here?" I asked, to change the conversation. Five." he said, "and we are two in the light- house." Are there any peopla living on the Steep -Holm! Yes, four soldiers and a woman. The con- tractor will not allow anybody else to set his foot there." Are you under the Government, or what ? Oh no under the Trinity House. Don't you see this motto ? And he pulled off his cap, and pointed to the words, Trinitas in Unitate." After an interesting chat, we hastened back to the hotel, where our friends were impatiently waiting us. I felt a bit out of breath, but Mr. Stowell was all right. He was in good training after his 11 Tramp Across Wales." In the hotel I had a talk with Harris, the man who rents the Flat Holm from the Cardiff Corporation. He has 178 sheep and 78 head of cattle on the island, besides pigs, donkeys, and rabbits. He was born, so he had been told, at Weston, but when four years of age he was taken to the Steep Holm, where he had lived till within about four years ago. Since that time he had lived on the Flat Holm, which is, by-the-bye, in the parish of St. Mary's. Harris is married, but I forgot to ask him whether his wife was a native of the isles. Probably, like Cytherea. she was born out of the white sea foam. Their children had never been to any school, but could rea.d and write. The mother and daughter, I found, were quite willing to winter in Cardiff, as they will, if a case of cholera is taken to the Flat Holm. Though the keeper of a pub.. Harris is personally a strict teeto aller. At about 4.15 we decided to return. Harris said he could not take us all together into the Pelaw, íH) we separated into two parties. The first party arrived safely on board, but the strong current took the second party clean away to the lee of ths island. Answering the frantic appeals of Mr. W. Thomas-whewas one of the party—the tug bore down and rescued the drifting boat, and all got safely aboard. On the way home Mr. W. Thomas entertained us in his own inimitable way. "I am an anti- quarian," he said. but (turning to me) don't you put it in the p'lper. Here's a stone from the grave of the two murderers of Thomas a Becket, who were buried on the Flat Holm and here's a stone from the Steep Helm. Here's a geranium that the landlord of the hotel gave me, and there are plants which I am going to place in my con- servatory." After a bit he continued, I wish Mr. Barstow was here. Little Josh remembers a thing or two about Flat Holm, because his brother-in-law used to carry material in the Daisy for constructing the fort. I should like to have had little Josh with us to-day." On our way home a Bristol Training Ship, the Polly, passed us.) What kind of ship do you call that ?" Mr. Thomas asked the company. 41 A schooner," said I. Pooh,, pooh," said Mr. Thomas. < A brig," said Dr. Treharne. 4i Nonsense," said Mr. Thomas. A barque," said Mr. Jewel Williams. "N othing of the kind," said Mr. Thomas. Well, what is it ?" we all asked. It's a brigatine." triumphantly said Mr. Thomas. If you notice, the fore mainsails are squared and the spinnaker boom is jibbed, and that's the difference." I understand," said everybody, quite aghast at our William's profundity of knowledge. By this time we had come back to tile Setubal," the infected ship. The eagle eye of Dr. Neale caught one word that was printed on a mysterious piece of tin that protruded out of two of the port holes. The word was Koch." Visions of of cholera bacillus and lymphs and microbes and commas and full stops floated through his perturbed mind, and he was anxious to know what new treatment the great Dr. Koch had prescribed. What's the meaning of that ?" he asked the captain. It means that that is the cook's (Koch's) cabin," was the answer. We smole. So Dr. Neale asked if they wanted anything. Yes, they said, they wanted water, and Inspector Leyshon promised to take water to them that night. How much water do they use ? I asked. They are 16 men on board," said Mr. Leyshon, and they require 30 gallons a day." How did you disinfect them I asked. Oh, I first of all fumigated all the clothes they were not wearing. After that I got them all together in one part of the ship, and made them strip, and fumigated all their clothes. So I don't think there's any danger now." Soon after, about six o'clock, we sailed into the dock entrance, and then each went his own way, after a very enjoyable trip,"




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