CHAPTER X. Held for Ransom. Goulburn^s first instinct on awaking was to spring to his feet and confront tjie two men who had entered the room during his sleep. He had slept much more heavily than was lighal with'him, and he felt dazècl and confused, but he quickly recognised in one of the men the in- dividual who had led him into captivity.. And it was with considerable indignation that he faced this person and put a direct question to him- Why have 1 been detained against my will in this room ?" The man addressed regarded Goulburn with a cold stare of absolute indifference. He might have been a prison warder to "vhom aconvicted criminal was no more that a number. After staring at Goulburn for a few seconds, he spoke, and his voice was as cold as his eyes. Put on your vest and coat and follow us." he said in tones which implied the necessity of entire obedience. I should like to know by what right you order me to do anything!" exclaimed Goulburn angrily. 1 demand my instant release from this place." The man shrugged his shoulders and glanced significantly at his comnion. Goulburn's eves following that glance, rested upon another man of equal size. and presumably of equal strength to the first. Certainly, if the object of whoever it was that was directing all these strange things was to awe him by a display of force majeure, tbese two were well chosen for the purpose. Each was over six feet in height and of strong muscular build each had cruel, im- placable eyes each had the mouth and chin of the mere brute. Put on your vest and coat and follow us," commanded the first ma.n again. Goulburn realised that opposition to such superior forces was useless. He put on his clothes, fuming at the necessity. This is an outrage he said. And you shall pay for it." The second man smiled a little the first man's grim countenance neverv relaxed. He looked as if he bad never smiled in his life. Just as immovable as when Goulburn first saw Inn standing 2t the foot of the bed. he remained with folded arms, watching his prisoner as the latter re-assumed his garments. His lips, once closed in a straight, hard line, looked as if they would never open again. Now follow me," this man commanded, as soon as he saw that. Goulburn was ready. He moved out or the room, and Goulburn fol- lowed him, raging in mind and heart at his own powerlessness to resist; these indignities. The second man came after Goulburn at a pace's distance-he closed the doors behind them as 1he-v- left the cell and its ante-room. Traversing first one corridor and then an- other, all as silent as when he had first fol- lowed his guide from the waiting-room to his prison. Goulburn felt as if he were indeed in some modern Bastille, from whence there was no hope of escape. The dogged silence of his guard was not less horrible than the silence of the house; there was something sinister and threatening in it. Once more he thought of the awful effect this atmosphere of silence, and this mystery of surroundings would have on Moira and Maisie. The man who walked in front opened a door at the end of a narrow corridor, and revealed an elevator. He addressed Goulburn in the manner and tone of a drill sergeant. Step in Goulburn stepped in the two men followed. The lift sank. Twice it passed other doors— the house, then, must be of some height. Or— since on his first entrance he had only ascended one flight of stairs from the hall—were they sinking into the basement ? The lift stopped the men got out. gain they placed Goulburn between them and set off along a corridor, carpeted as softly as those which he had traversed in the upper storeys. Coming to a door which Goulburn (who had been endeavouring to keep an accurate remem- brance of the geography of the place in his head) noted as being on the left hand side of the corridor, they entered an apartment which, from its arrangement and furniture, seemed to be intended for use as a board-room. There was a table across the top end of this room, and along its further side were arranged three chairs, while chairs were set at either end. The aide nearest the door bad not chairs, but in the middle of the floor-space an arm-chair had been set as if in readiness for some one expected. As for the rest of the room. it was gloomy and sombre panelled in dark wood from floor to ceiling, it was lighted by a single electric lamp. a.nd there was neither picture nor ornament on the walls. But above the middle chair of the three which were ranged on the further side of the table there hung on the wall a black ban- » ner, whereon was embroidered the unmistak- able sign of the pirate from time immemorial —a skull and cross bones. It gave Goulburn no surprise to see Dr. Van Mildart sitting beneath this suggestive emblem; he had felt sure for many weary hours that his neighbour of Harfey-street was at the bottom of this unheard-of outrage upon the liberty of innocent people. When he entered with his escort the doctor was writing, and did not im- mediately look up Goulburn. directed by the men at his side to advance to the easy chair, looked narrowly at the other occupants of the chairs beyond the table, svonderingif he should recognise them. However, they were not known to him, nor could he gain much impression of them from their appearance. One, sitting on Van Mildart's left band, was an oldish man with a patriarchal beard, now almost white the other on his right was a clean-shaven indi- vidual, rather portly, and presumably of bland manners, who wore pince-nez, had his hair parted in the middle, and might have-been any- thing from a stock broker to a company solicitor. Goulburn's principal guard pointed him to the easy chair, and again spoke to him after the drill-sergeant fashion. Be seated The presence of other men seemed to com- municate fresh courage to Goulburn—he gave bis jailor a defiant glance, and plied sharply I shall do no such thing And folding his arms across his chest, he stood in front of the chair, staring at the three men at the table, and waiting until it pleased Van Mildart to look up from his writing. That gentleman, however, appeared to be quite en- grossed in what he was doing just then, and when at last he finished his task it was only to enter into consultation with his colleagues on either hand who bent forward to examine the document which had occupied his attention. Finally, all three appended their signatures to this document, Van Mildart last of all, and this done he placed it in a despatch box at'his side, and for the first time bent his gaze upon Goul- burn, who was regarding him with an expres- sion of angry indignation. Well, Mr Goulburn," he said, with the same easy, careless manner, which Goulburn knew eo well and now loathed. so there you are. I hope you have been well looked after, and have had vour pr. meals Let me advise you to be seated-<e may find it necessary to have a lengthy talk with you." I refuse to be seated Dr. Van Mildart," Goulburn replied.* "I refuse to be coerced. I wish to know why I and my sister have been entrapped into this house, and imprisoned here, and I demand our liberty. This is a vile out- rage, and you will suffer for it." My dear sir," replied Van Mildart, don't be too hasty to prophesy evil. You wish to know why you ars there. Because we will that you shall be there. Because we will that you shall do our pleasure. Because we are more powerful than you. Because you are in our power." Whenever he said we he turned right and left to his colleagues, who bowed their heads in assent. Each watched Goulburn c uriously, as the morbidly inquisitive watch a prisoner in the dock. You may have the power to do me an í jury, because you have trapped me," said Gonl- burn. "But you know exactly that you can only do that by using felonious means. You are a scoundrel, Dr. Van Mildart." I quite believe tha^you think so, Mr Goul- burn. Opinions differ on various matters. A rat no doubt thinks that the man who entraps it is a scoundrel. Yet a rat is not half such dangerous vermin as you and the like of you," said Van Mildart. with a perceptible sneer. That," said Goulburn, is a remark which I do not understand. Tell me plainly why I am here, and who are my captors ?" Certainly," answered Van Mildart. There is no necessity for concealment. You are in the presence, Mr Goulburn, of the supreme executive (that is to say, the president and the two vice-presidents) of a certain society, small in numbers, but eminently powerful in its work, which, is greatly concerned with the doings of persons who, like yourself, have much more money than they ought to have. Why you are here is, I suppose, made clear to you by that; You must pay ransom." In other words," said Goulburn, I am in the hands of a gang of unscrupulous scoundrels who mean to rob me 1" Use what terms you please, my dear sir— they made no difference to us," replied Van Mildart, with careless contempt. We are not much concerned with words—hard facts and hard cash are much more in our line. I will be explicit with you. We are, as I have said, a small but tremendously powerful society, banded together for the express purpose of extracting as much money as possible from the pockets of those who have what we con- sider a superfluity. We have been in existence three years, with branches in London, Paris, and New York, and we have done very well— so well, indeed, that when we have effected our little coup with you we intend to dissolve partnership. We You are, in fact, a gang of professional Sieves and swindlers interrupted Goulburn. I daresay people who think as you do would call us so." replied Van Mi1 dart, calmly. The same terms are applied by Socialists to aristocrats and plutocrats. After all, it is a mere question of what one means by the use of certain words." .C You will get nothing out of me." said Goulburn. There vou are wrong, because we shall: You are in our power—absolutely in our power. Yur are as securely immured in these walls as if you were in the deepest dungeons of a mediaeval castle, or in the cell in which Von Trenck spent the best part of his life, or within an iron cage on Devils Island, with natives on I land and sharks in the sea to act as jailers even if you got out of the cage. Understand me he concluded in a menacing tone. You are in our poweer! Power Goulburn felt his heart turn sick. He tried, remembering all there was at stake, to main- tain his composure and show a brave front. Do you mean to tell me," he said, that here in Enghmd-in the very lic-art of London- you can kidnap me in this way and hold me prisoner for an indefinite period ? The thing's impossible—absurd You'll have all Scotland Yard about your ears when we're missed." Dr. Van Mildart elevated his Vandyke beard his colleagues smiled openly. That is amusing—but silly," said Van Mil- dart. It is precisely what will not happen. I repeat—you are in our absolute power. We can imprison you here as long as we like- much longer than you would like—and no one in this world would ever know. We can starve you. We can flog you. We can inoculate you with the germs of frightful diseases. If we please we can kill you. Nobody will ever be the wiser. I say again—you are in our power. And "—here his voice took on a more significant meaning and a tone which made Goulburn shudder, though he strove to conceal it-" we have not only got you, but we have got your sister, your sweetheart, and Mr Christopher Aspinall." Goulburn started at the mention of Christo- pher. He had been indulging in wild hopes that Christopher might do something to help when he found them missing under such strange circumstances. Aspinall he exclaimed. He has no money." No," replied^ Van Mildart, but he has a tongue. And so we deemed it wise to attach his person. Now, Mr Goulburn," he con- tinued after a brief pause, just let me give you a piecc of sound advice if you don't want pain to fall on those you care for. If you won't hear common sense we must try physical suasion. We should begin with the women first, and-- You are a devil!" said Goulburn, with concentrated fury. Put on your coat and vest and follow us," said one of the men. We will not quarrel about words. But we should certainly begin first with the women. You see how helpless you are—it's all very well to gnash your teeth, clench your fists, and make lightning with your eyes, but you can't do anything. Every member of our society is a picked man or woman—we are all, I may tell you, ex-convicts of one country or another,and all adepts in our particular forms of art. One of us acted as coachman this morning; another as footman of our general calibre and dispo- sition you may judge by the two gentlemen who guard you. I ask you-what can you do ? Who knows where you are ? Not a soul in this world—outside these walls. Do what is asked of you and you shall have your freedom-if not, then you must prepare for unpleasant things- very unpleasant things," concluded Van Mil- dart, with fresh significance of tone. If I agreed to whatever it is you propose," said Goulburn, you know that I should de- nounce you to the police." Van Mildart shrugged his shoulders. Even when you have done what we wish," he said, you would not have the opportunity of denouncing us to the police until we were every one of us safely beyond their reach. We are not fools, and our plans arc always care- fully worked out." The man with the white beard leaned across to Van Mildart and spoke a few words which Goulburn could not catch. Van Mildart nodded, and turned to the prisoner. V My colleague on the left," he said, thinks that we arc* wasting time, and that you are displaying a lamentable want of mental intelli- gence in not appreciating the situation, and he suggests that we should stimulate your facul- ties by an experiment or two on, say, your sister." Your colleague is a worse devil than your- self," said Goulburn, boldly, and will no doubt meet with his just deserts before very- long. seeing that he is a hoary old scoundrel already." There you are wrong," said Van Mildart, pleasantly. He is almost a young man, and got his white hairs through confinement in an underground dungeon in a European prison. But come-your answer. You have not yet told me what you want," said Goulburn. Ah, I believe you are right-I beg your pardon. I told you we wanted money, but I did not say how much," said Van Mildart. Now let me see-I will just go into that little matter." As he spoke he drew a sheet ot paper and a pencil to him and began to jot down figures. Presently he raised his head, and looked at Goulburn with something of a smile. After all," he said, I think we can afford to let you off very easily, Mr Goulburn. In fact, considering that quite a short time ago you were a mere nobody with no prospects, content—or perhaps not content, but obliged to be satisfied-with a small weekly wage, and that your sister was a governess, not too well paid, I think we shall treat you handsomely. As for my niece- Behind them hung a black banner, with skull and crossbpnes. J -— J -— r • You would help to rob your own niece exclaimed Goulburn. With all the greater pleasure because he father once robbed twe," replied Van Mildart. As for my niece, I say, she is in another cate- gory, having lived in luxury aU her life. She, if things were levelled up, ought to scrub floors for the rest of her natural life. However, we shall lump all together." He took up the piece of paper on which he bad been scribbling, and began to tell off the figures vith the tip of his pencil. Now, you, Mr Goulburn," he said. "are worth considerablyover hal f a million of English money. I have a fairly accurate idea of what you have spent since you came into your for- tune, and I should say that what you really can command at this present moment is about £ 530.000. I have put you down for that. Now we come to your sister. I happen to know ex- actly what she has, because she is very sub- ject to hypnotic influence, and- I believe it was you who got that thousand pounds in gold I" burst out Goulburn, indig- nantly. Quite right—it was," answered Van Mildart imperturbable as ever. I happened to need gold just then. Well, she can command £ 260,000 in round figures-I put her down for that." He paused and tapped the paper with his pencil for a moment before going on. Well," he said at last, my niece possesses alo.000 in English money. Most of it was made by cheating, sweating, and stealing on the part of her father, my late brother-in-law. Some of it belongs to me most of it, if everybody had his own, to poor folk whom he hurried into their graves in his effort to get rich quick. I do not think we shall leave my niece any- thing." If you had your wav-which you won't have said Goulburn, I don't suppose you'd leave any of us a single penny On the contrary, my dear sir," replied Van Mildart, we propose to deal very hand- somely by you—that is, if you are amenable to our commands. You and your sister have in your time worked for your living, and we think, being workers ourselves, that you have a right to your reward. You shall have enough to live on in comfort, but not in foolish luxury. \Ve object to millionaires or semi- millionaires. As for my niece, she deserves nothing, because she has never earned her bread in her life. However, I supose you will marry her, so she will not starve." Will you be good enough to drop these re- marks and put a definite issue before me?" said Goulburn. With pleasure. It is merely a question of fixing your respective ransoms—or, rather, we will lump them all together. The total wealth you, your sister, and my neice can command (irrespective' of your house, Mr Goulburn, a nice thing in itself( amounts to £1,60:),0::>0. We fix your ransom at one million three hundred thousand pounds—that will leave you and your sister one hundred and fifty thousand each. That is really handsome on our pirt. A hun- dred and fifty thousand each !—why, you'll easil) get your six or seven thousand a year out of that." And what, pray, is Mr Aspinall's ransom ?" inquired Goulburn, sarcastically. You ap- pear to have forgotten him." Not at all—not at all. We fix Mr As- pinall's ransom at nothing. He is free to go— when you go," answered Van Miklart. And supposing we decline to submit!" said GouJburn, In that case," replied Van Mildart in the politest manner, but with a deadly positive- ness that made his prisoner's heart throb, we shall be under the painful necessity of obliging you to submit. And as I have previouly re- marked we shall begin with the women first. You would not, T am sure, subject them to such pressure as we can bring to bear upon them—it would not be pleasant for them, Mr Goulburn." Goulburn kept silence, striving to resist the temptation to leap upon Van Mildart and throttle him. I think," he said," that I ought to have the opportunity of consulting with my fellow- prisoners before I give a definite answer to this proposal." The man with the white beard made an im- patient movement; Van Mildart shook his head ominously. Mr Goulburn." he said, it is not for the cohquered to make terms with the conqueror. Whatever you ask of us must be asked as a favour." "You regard us as conquered already, then ?" said Goulburn. Precisely, because you are at our mercy. What we have delivered to you is our ultima- tum. We want one million three hundred thousand pounds from you, your sister, and my niece." said Van Mildart, smacking the blotting pad which lay before him, and what is more, we shall have it." I cannot make my sister or your neice pay the money you demand of them," said Goul- burn. o," said Van Mildart, possibly you can- not. But we can." The last three words were said with such dreadful meaning, were so .pregnant with evil intention that Goulburn now realised that no temporising, no putting off, would do aught to soften these men or change their design. He began tn wonder if he and his companions in this perilous adventure were not the victims of madmen, whose various dire misfortunes had changed from men to fiends. Surely no men in possession of their faculties could be so barbarously cruel as the three sitting before him threatened to be. Let me speak to the others." he said again. That. at any rate is a reasonable thing to ask." Van Mildart and his two associates put their heads together and spoke in whispers. Tt seemed to Goulburn, who tehed them eagerly, that Van Mildart was favourably dis- posed to letting the prisoners see 'each other, but that the other two were not. Each shook his head and frowned malevolently the white- bearded man seemed to. insist on some point with great vigour. At last Van Mildart turned to Goulburn. We are of opinion that your re- quest cannot be granted," he said. I may as well tell you that we have had both your sister and my neice before us, and have delivered to them the ultimatum which we have delivered to you. They are therefore acquainted with our terms." And what was their answer ?" asked Goul- burn. Van Mildart shrugged his shoulders a elevated his eyebrows. • Women can be very obstinate," he said. I regret, for their sakes, that they are at present inclined to resist our demands." Then so am I," exclaimed Goulburn. I refuse entirely to be robbed by you. Do your worst. You can only kill us." Van Miidait sighed. Very weir," he said. However we will try a little persuasion first." He looked at the two men who stood on either side of Goulburn. Put each of the four prisoners on the twenty- four hours' torture System." he commanded. We will see at the end of that time if they are not more amenable to reason." (To be continued.)
Britain's Peril. SPEECH BY LORD ESHER. Viscount Esher, speaking on national defence at Callenden, Perthshire, on Saturday, said he was no alarmist, and belonged to no political party, but no one could look at the recent trend of events in Europe and the Near and Far East without being aware that Britain stood in a more perilous position to-day than during the last 100 years. His earnest convic- tion was that unless the British Government and the Governments of Britain's domains j over the seas took strong and immediate steps, the boys he was addressing would have to fight for the freedom of Britain and the freedom of Europe. We were bound to maintain our naval supremacy by building two ships to every one of the next strongest European Power, and in regard to the military forces we must have a Regular Army with a well-defined strength of reserves and also a Territorial force of reserves, whilst the Dominions over die seas must take their fair share of the defence of the Empire. Compulsion to his mind would be an odious necessity, but he hoped to see the day when every young man who did not voluntarily submit himself for the defence of his country would be pointed to with contumely in the street. Yeomanry and Foreign Service. After the Church parade on Sunday the King's Colonial Yeomanry, now under canvas at Colchester, were informed by their com- manding officer (Colonel Fortescue) that it was now open to them to re-engage under condi- tions under which they would be liable to go on foreign service to any part of the world. It was necessary that 90 per cent. of the regiment should accept these conditions. Every man in camp signed the required document, and, amidst loud cheering Colonel Fortescue said he thanked his gallant regiment for having given not 90 per cent. only, but 100 per cent.
TEXT OF A PEER'S MEASURE. The text is published of a Bill introduced in the House of Lords by Lord Hamilton of Dalzell having for its objects the consolida- tion and amendment of the Life Assurance Companies Acts, 1870 and 1872, and of the Employers' Liability Insurance Companies Act, 1907, and the extension to companies carrying on fire insurance business and dent insurance business of the law relating to life assurance companies, subject, however, to such relaxations and modifications as seem to be required. The Bill aso seeks to bring under the same laws the business of bond investment com- panies, which in.return for small periodical subscriptions contract to pay the bond or certificate holder a lump sum at some future date, and which frequently hold out the pros- pect of a loan in the meantime to be applied to the purchase of a house. The amendments proposed in the Life Assurance Companies Acts are for the most part founded on the report of the Select Com- mittee of the House of Lords, dated 31st July, 1906. The principal change is the proposal to place foreign companies which do business in this country in the same position as the British companies with which they compete, and in this respect the Bill provides that all life assurance companies, whether registered within or outside the United Kingdom, shall deposit and keep deposited a sum of £20,000, and make returns in the prescribed forms to the Board of Trade. The proposals with regard to the inclusion of bond investment companies under the same laws are founded on the report of the Depart- mental Committee appointed in 1905 by Lord Salisbury when President of the Board of Trade. Incidentally the Bill simplifies the procedure by which large collecting societies may con- vert themselves into industrial assurance com- panies, and removes certain difficulties which have been experienced by industrial assurance companies and collecting societies.
DEATH UNDER ANAESTHETIC. Thomas Williams (47), a timberman, of Monk-street, Aberdare, who worked at the Shepherd Pit, Cwmaman, complained of severe pains in the stomach after lifting a tram at the colliery. It was subsequently found that he had ruptured himself. He was taken to the Cardiff Infirmary, and whilst an anaesthetic was being administered for an operation he suddenly expired. At the inquest on Saturday, conducted by Mr W. L. Yorath, the medical evidence showed that death was due to heart failure following obstruction caused by the rupture. The jury returned a verdict in ac- cordance with the evidence. Mr William Ken- shole appeared on behalf of the colliery com- pany,and Mr William Thomas for the relatives.
THOROUGHLY FRIGHTENED.. A remarkable instance of mental aberra- tion occurred at Stonehouae near, Stroud, on Saturday, when a man, who had charge of a hor and trap which bolted and killed a child ws so unnerved by the sight of the terrible injuries sustained by the poor little victim that he left his horse and raced like a madman for a distance of several miles in the direction of Gloucester. He was finally overtaken and brought back in an exhausted state by the police to his home at Stonehouse, where he was medically attended. The child was the two year old son of a n named Hyde. I
There's Many a Slip. BY HAROLD JOSLING. Author of The Autobiography of a Military Great Coat," &c., &c. Come, I'll lay you a .hundred pounds po fifty." ''What's the good of talking like that, Jimmy. You know I don't bet. If I did you'd lose vour money." Oh should I ? Well, you daren't back your opinion anyway. You'd bet if you thought you'd win—any woman would." One of the men giggled. Evelyn Franklin sprang to her feet. Look here, Jimmy," she cried, show you if I dare back my opinion. If you win, I'll I'll marry vou That a bet ?" cried Jimmy Wilson eagerly, his little black eyes flashing—he was officially known as The Rat in yachting circles.— Honest now!" The others in the saloon held their breath and looked at Mrs Franklipri Yes, honest Injun You're taking deuced long odds," whis- pered a man near her. Shows how confident I am, doesn't it ? Come. Phyllis, let us And the two sisters went on deck and over the g^igway to the shore and their boat. At that moment a pair of oars splashed, and a dinghy bearing a man with a brown beard vanished into the darkness. Draw that curtain, Murray," said Wilson when they were alone. We don't want people staring in here and he mixed another whis- kev. The time was July. the place Akley. in the Broadland district, the occasion the annual regatta. To-day had seen the finish of the local racing, and to-morrow the most interesting and arduous race of the season was to be sailed—the run through Forning, a distance of nearly nine miles. Various races were arranged for boats in their classes, and there was an all- comers race. It was the latter that had been the cause of the conversation in the saloon of the "Mascotte;" fornotcnly wasEvelynFrank- lin very proud of her boat the Water-witch," but there existed a certain armed truce between her and Wilson that was always calling forth these trials of sttill between them. His object was to prove his superiority, and she endea- voured to show her independence and how well she was able to manage her own affairs. The rivalry not only showed itself in sport, but in entertaining: in freak parties and in practi- cal jokes. It looked as if this race was to decide once for all a question of great importance to Wilson, for although the wording of the bet said nothing about it, it was clear from her manner that E velyn was not the only one who risked all on the race. Mrs Franklin was differently named by different people. To her men friends she was a good sport," or" the men-y widow." The women she called her friends (she was not a woman's woman) spoke of her as fast" or dangerous," according to how they stood affected and those who did not call, the wicked widow." From which, it may be gathered, she enjoyed life and was a success. Wednesday morning opened favourably with a cloudless skv and a stiff breeze from the S.S.W. From Fisher's mill to AkJey Bridge a mile of boats faced each other across the river. All rigs, designs and sizes were represented wherries did and new. wherry-yachts, yachts large and small, racing cruisers of classes A. and B. one-design dinghcys, petrol and steam launches all with happy holiday parties aboard. Here away fiom letters, news- papers, houses, dust, and noise, there was nothing to door think about but to eat and drink, sleep and enjoy one's self. The air was clean and sweet, bringing with it the breath of the sea and the perfume of hay, wild-flowers and rushes which it had gathered from the luxuriant marshlands. Not a hill broke the windmill-dotted landscape which alone with the grey flint towers of numerous churches; cut the skyline. The scene was quaint, almost bizarre, but withal beautiful beloved of yachtsmen and capable of providing that en- tire rest which only space can give. Breakfast was hardly over when "Bang!" and the first race had started. All was now bustle and excitement. Crews with bare feet were swabbing down decks, getting their gear shipshape, and throwing empties ashore. Those that were not busy wished they were, for it was so good to hear the swish of the fnops, the rattle of the blocks, and the shout of another inch as the mainsail creaked into position. The five-minutes had sounded, and the "Water-witch" and the" Mascotte," each one with reef up, were manoeuvring for the start. Evelyn worked the jib and issued in- structions, and her sister sat, watch in hand. Two minutes, Evelyn." Right! Put her about, Pallant." Waterwitch went about and down stream. "One minute!" About, Pallant, and slack away we shall creep along all right." Yes, m'm." As they turned, Evelyn noticed anether yacht making ready, and a large black-and- gold craft with heavy, sea-going sails. Who's that ?" she asked the skipper. Pallant cast his eye over the boat and up to the burgee. B'longs to a furrmer, m'm. Just come from Norway, I've heard. Called Sea- gull." Don't know the owner's name-Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club." She's not racing, Pallant ?"^ Maybe all-comers,' m'm." It did seem as if the Seagull intended rac- ing, for she had now left her moorings, and was coming up at a good pace. Draws too much water," remarked Phyllis. she'll get on the putty.' The skipper smiled. Let's hope so," he said. with a look over his shoulder. "She's a mover." The starting line was now quite close, and the seconds slipping by. The Waterwitch," well in mid-stream, was slowly creeping up with the wind running off her sails. The skip- per stood waiting for the crack of the gun, ready to haul in and catch the fulljorce of the good beam breeze. Then a strange thing hap- pened the Mascotte which was behind, rushed ahead, stood over to the leeward shore, turned-round and started to cross the river almost head to wind and immediately in front of the "Waterwitch." In a moment it was plain what must happen. Haul in cried Evelyn, as she took in the slack of the jib. "Put that tiller up. We must get past or there'll be a smash And the WatcAviteh" forged aheadas the Mascotte still held her course and passed behind. Pallant addressed some remarks, more pointed than polite, to the crew of the Mas- .cotte," which were not intended for Evelyn's cars. Bang! The race had started, and before the Wr-witch" could turn she was well over the line. The Mascotte," successful in her questionable manoeuvre, crossed five seconds after gun-fire, and the yacht of the furriner slipped over on the lee shore six seconds later Evelyn just catching sight of the owner with a brown beard and wearing a broad Canadian felt hat. Then the Water-witch went back over the line, turned, and started the race one minute thirty seconds alter gun-fire, losing not only time, but a most favourable puff." Up to the long reach the three yachts raced, and the crews of the other boats, with just a casual glance at the competitors, set to work to follow them to Forning. They little knew, as they watched the manoeuvring at the start- ing line, what bung-on the race, nor did they guess the prize The "Mascotte held a fine lead, and was going strong, but the Seagull" was on her track, and, despite her sea sails and increased draught, was moving slowly along without making much bother about Jt. Fred Clarke, for such was the owner's name, issued com- mands a t intervals, but otherwise seemed not to take much interest in the contest; in fact, he appeared more concerned with the Water- witch behind, than with his opponent in front. Fred Clarke was no foreigner, as the skipper of the Water-witch had dubbed him. He knew, or had known ten years ago, every inch of the Yare, Bure, and W avency, for at that time Frederick Roger Fisher-Clark-ro give him his full name—wrs a power to be reckoned with when one went racing. The years in the Argentine and in Rhodesia had not only shortened his name—which at the moment he saw no reason for lengthening—but had broadened him out and somewhat altered his expression, giving his eyes the look that tells of great spaces washed with sun." As to his boat, he had picked her up in Norway and only arrived at Lowestoft the day before. He had been on his way home when the news of his father's death reached him indirectly, for no one knew quite where he was. The reasons for his going abroad were related variously. Some said he wanted to marry a certain person, and a certain person wanted to marry him, but- well, he did not compare favourably with the other chosen by the family. There was little prospect of his ever coming in to the baronetcy in those days. The yachts were now getting more together. The Water-witch" was gaining on the "Sea- gull," and she, almost imperceptibly, had crept up to the Mascotte "—so near that Clarke could hear the laughter from the group in the well. Thurne Mouth, was passed and four miles odd to go. The Sea-gull was now quickly over- hauling the Mascotte," and her crew took their eyes off the last boat, and paid more atention to the boat bearing the Norfolk and Suffolk flag. Clarke glanced at his burgee, took a look ahead, and gave a sharp order. There was a creaking of blocks, and the large boat shot forward and drew alongside the Mas- cotte'' as they turned together into the last long reach, head to wind. Hi! Out of the way shouted Wilson, waving his hand. We're racing." "So am I," returned Clarke, and held his I course. Wilson looked doubtful. Then after a sharp look at the boat and the flag, and the man, see- 80 ing no reason why it should not be so, swore softly and put his boat hard over. But Clarke was not to be caught napping, and with his feet on the gunwhale, he put all his weight on to his tiller. The big boat turned splendidly, but drifted a little to l'ward. The loss was, how- ever. soon made up, and he crossed alongside the Mascotte on the starboard tack, com- ( pletely blanketting her. So the ding-dong race went on, the boats hanging side by side, the crockery crashing and smashing in the lockers, and the water washing alongside the plankways and over the counter. Sometimes the Sea-gull drew ahead only to miss stays and again stand to windward of the Mascotte." And the Water-witch was creeping along, unhampered and magnifi- cently handled. Many a time did Wilson cast a look astern, and, seeing the state of things, make desperate efforts to cast off his opponent. Once, as Clarke glanced over his shoulder, he met Wilson's eyes. She'll beat both of us," he shouted with a gesture towards the Water-witch." I Looks something like it," shouted Clarke in reply. Still the blanketting match went on and more than half the reach was covered. Ahead, round the bend, the rainbow dressed committee-boat could be seen. Why don't you get ahead shouted Wil- son again. She'll lick the pair of us time we play this fool's game." Best boat'U win, anyway, I suppose," re- turned Clark, calmly. Wilson's remarks were drowned in the rattle of blocks as they hung in stays. Again the owner of the Mascotte looked astern to find the Water-witch not more than half a dozen tacks behind, and as a last resource he leaned over and said, using his hands as a megaphone. Draw ahead and Win. I want to beat Water-witch it's a bet. Go ahead yourself," said the owner of the "Sea-gull." I suppose I may sail my own boat how I like ?" Don't call it names," said one of the men in the well, under his breath. And really it was shocking bad sailing. The Sea-gull" had things all her own way, and many a time might have gone ahead, but her owner was so intent on checking the progress of the" Mascotte that he failed to make the best of his opportunities much to the appar- ent amusement of the crew of the Mascotte." Clarke's own men worked silently, and paid no attention to anything but their master's in- structions. Fred Clarke was looking a little worried. Two more tacks would carry them round the bend into the short, straight reach, where the race ended, and a good beam breeze blew. He cast one anxious glance at the Water-witch and anotheratthe" Mascotte," evidently measuring their chances with his in the fair run to the Committee boat. Once more he issued a sharp order, and added something in an undertone that made his skipper raise his eyebrows. The last tack was over, and the Sea-gull sneaked round the bend, the sheet running merrily through the blocks, and she lay over and raced for the finishing point, with the Mascotte following her closely, and the I" Water-witch not far behind aid towards the lee shore. When the" Water-witch slipped over the line for the second time. the other boats had rounded the bend of the first reach. The river to Forning runs roughly, in a triangle, north- west to Thurne Mouth, and zig-zag from there to the entrance to Ranton Broad in a south- westerly direction. From there to the finish of the race the river rans,* with one slight bend, north-west again. With a good wind S.S.W. the first four miles was excellent sailing. The Water-witch lay well down to her work, and Evelyn and her sister sat on the port gunwale- the starboard plankings were awash. We're going well. Pallant," said Evelyn, as they neared the river Thurne. Middlin' replied Pallant with a smile. but they two for'rard have a good start on us." I particularly want to win, Pallant," said Evelyn slowly. Likely enough they'll blanket 'emselves beatin' up. I knowed races lost by two boats messing each other up head t' wind. Pallant was an optimist, and never lost faith he would win until the official figures were out. Shoiildn't be su'prised, he added as he hauled in the sheet, and the Water-witch rounded the bend and stood over on her first tack, "if they both run home flying protest flags. Would you, George ?" (this to the boy). Nothin' more likely, I say." It was all hands to work, now, for on turning quickly, and by using every ounce of wind lay the only hope of the Water-witch." Ahead the Mascotte and the Sea-gull were battling their way along. Why, we're catching them, I'm sure," cried Phyllis, excitedly. Not much, miss, I'm afeard," replied George. Time we beat up to where they are they'll be round .the bend, and saiiin' fair. But surely persisted Phyllis but the jib demanded her whole attention at the moment., and for some time they sailed in silence. A little reach that could be sailed now gave a brief respite. Now Phyllis," said Evelyn, we'll see just how we stand. Give me your watch mine hasn't a minute hand," and she sprang on to the locker. The Mascotte is now on a line with St. Benet's," and with her eyes still on th* watch she jumped down. Now, we crossed one minute thirty seconds after gunfire, and the Mascotte Six seconds." —Therefore we started one minute twenty- four behind her—one minute up!" Pallant took up another inch of sheet and measured with a glance the distance to the ruined Gothic archway of the old Abbey. "Five seconds—six—seven—eight Level cried Phyllis, clapping her hands. Good Evelyn handed back the watch. One minute eight seconds behind. We've gained sixteen seconds Pallant." That'll du But It's not much." No we don't look to beat 'em by much in fair sailin' m'm, but there's the best part o' two mile head t' wind in the next reach, an'I shouldn't wonder if they get in each other's way— Shouldn't wonder at all," put in George. Why, they're huggin' each other pretty close now," he went on, it's anybody's race." And the two boats ahead turned together into the long reach. Sailing now became merry—and moist. Crash The boom swurlg over, and the jib blocks rattled as they danced on the flapping sail. The water plopped against the side as the "Water-witch" lay over, and rushed hissing away from her bows as she gathered speed. Over she heeled till she showed the white paint almost to the keel. The leeward plankways were always awash, and the water lapped over the 'bulwarks and swirled around the counter when she turned. It was hard, slow work. this tack- inc a narrow reach, And in the teeth of half a gale of wind. "Better geljb a little water out of her, George," sung out the skipper. We don't want no movin' water ballast." "No," said George, knowingly," we don't that! Once, when the Waterwitch" lay over more than usual, and th? spars creaked, and the crockery danced, Phyllis drew in a sharp breath, and shot a look that contained some- thing of anxiety at her sister. It's all right," laughed Evelyn. Safe as houses!" Phyllis joined in the laugh, and held on to the hatchway. Have a look at your watch; I'm going to time them now." The second had sped round, and the "Water- witch held on her way. "Twenty,' Phyllis was thrown against the cabin, watch in hand—" Twenty-five "—over again!—" six—seven "—another bump—"eight nine— thirty Right How's that, Pallant." That'll du, m'm." It's about half the reach, isn't it ?" Mile from Baxter's Eel Hut to Ranton Deck," interrupted George, which being inter- preted meant that about half the reach had been sailed, for Baxter's Hut was just passed, and the dyke that leads to Ranton Broad lay at the bend of the streams. Now came the tussle. Once let the Mas- cotte and the Sea-gull get round the corner, and the race was finished so far as the Water-witch" was concerned. It was now or never. The three boats were very close together. the Water-witch not more' than six tacks behind, and gaining every- time she crossed for the boats ahead were continually standing to windward of each other and losing way in consequence. Rum sailor, that furriner," said the skipper sotto voce to his mate. Aye," replied George. muddlin' Would you let a little more jib out, m'm," cried Pallant: she'll take another couple o' inches." Evelyn slacked away the required sheet, and before she could get to the weather side, the Water-witch had turned, and a mass of water completely covering the plankways and water completely covering the plankways and nearly reaching the cabin top, poured itself into her lapu This looks like business," she laughed. I think we are all wet, now." On the next tack PaUant eased the boat a little. I No! Keep her to it till something breaks," cried Evelyn. I don't care tuppence how wet I get if we win. The skipper was nothing loth to carry out these instructions, for something of the spirit of the race—which he saw was of more than ordinary impormnce to his mistress, was enter- ing even his rhlegmatic soul. It was by no means a lady's breeze to-day, and he admired the pluck of the fair owneiAnd her sister. I The bend was very close now, and but two tacks separoted the Water-witch from hor opponent, for the Sea-gull didn't count. By a bit of good sailing and a lucky puff, Pallant made a long tack, and when they turned again, I all three boats crossed together — only the Water-witch was a tack behind. Then they turned the corner. Like a flash Evelyn let out the jib, and the straining sheet swung free, and the thrfife boats raced with the breeze almost aft up the straight to the winning buoy The Sea- gull led. hugging the windward shore, the Mascotte" followed a length or so behind, and the Water-witch more in mid stream, for she drew over three and a half feet of water— and four seconds behind the" Mascotte." It seemed as if nothing but a miracle could alter the order. The Mascotte must beat the Water-witch," and Evelyn thought of her bet. She bit her lip, looked ahead and up to her flag—No • there seemed no hope How she hated the man—the Rat! Can't do it, I'm afraid," said Evelyn to her skipper. Might!" returned Pallant, intent on taking up every ounce of wind on his sheet. George raised his eyebrows, and the corner of his mouth, bearing out silently his skipper's assertion. "Look!" shouted Phyllis, suddenly. "Look!" they're on the putty I told you so The miracle such as it was, had happened The Sea-gull," with her bows in the mud, swung round till her stern was almost in mid- stream. Then—Crash The MascotteV" bow-sprit had crossed her counter, and with a crack like a rifle shot, the bobatay snapped and coiled itself round the Sea-gull's cleats. All this happened in a second, and the Water- witch was almost on them. George jammed down the tiller, and just shot through the gap between the stern of the Mascotte and the lee-ward shore. The master of the Sea-gull was lending a hand to clear the fouled bobstay. I'm sorry," he said, as Wilson ran forward. Sorry be hanged!" snapped Wilson. You've lost me the race." Then I'm not sorry—have it your own way," returned the man with the brown beard as he got up smiling, and went to examine the bows of his own boat. The wind wafted these few words to the happy crew of the Water-witch" as she raced for the Committee Boat. The Rat's showin' his teeth," said Jimmy, emboldened to make a remark out of his own head by the excitement of the moment, and his dislike, in common with other watermen of Wilson. They du, when you put 'em in a corner," sagely returne skipper in an audible aside. Mr Wilson's mad he's lost, m'm, he added, addressing Evelyn. Yes, as mad as I'm glad," and her voice was not quite steady. It wafe eight o'clock when a clean-shaven man stepped aboard the Water-witch." The skip- per and George were busy washing up the dinner things. Is your mistress aboard ?" asked the man of Pallant. Yes, 'ir. She's in her cabin If you go into the saloon, I'll tell her. What name, sir ?" Oh— er—Clarke." 1 The man went into the saloon, threw his Canadian. felt hat on to one of the settees, and examined the snap-shots that adorned the walls. Evelyn entered the saloon, Mr—er Clarke turned on his heel. Roger Yes." Where, by all that's holy, did you spring from ?" The putty." Evelyn looked at him closely, almost doubt- ing her eyes and perhaps his sanity. The putty ?" she repeated. "Yes: I went rather badly aground in the all-comers race. I have come to congratulate you on your win." But you weren't on the Sea-gull ?" She paused between each word. Why not ?" Well, she's owncd by a—a foreigner—he had-" '7 A beard. Exactly He passed his hand over his chin. He hasn't now." Evelyn took a step forward and held out her hand Of course, you are Roger," she cried, and I am delighted to see you-and I'm glad you ran on the putty—so glad." Then she blushed and looked at her shoes. Well, you've beaten him, anyway." How did you know I wanted to beat him?" I guessed—byt let's go on deck I've got such a lot to tell you." Yes, let's," said Evelyn happily. The skipper and George were discussing the race in the bar of the Old Ferry Inn. It were a splendid race," said Pallant, and the missus was just mad to lick that there Wilson, You mark my words, there was more in that race than we knowed of." And George, as was his custom, echoed his skipper's remarks in his pint-pot. (The End.) Next Week- I THE DEAD BRIDE, By Katherine Tynan.
A Narrow Escape. UNDER PIT CAGE AT M<ESTEG. Richard Richards, repairer, Maesteg, ap- peared at Bridgend Police Court on Saturday as defendant in singular case. He was gum- moned by his employers, Messrs Elders Navi- gation Colliery Company. Ltd., owners of the Garth-Merthyr Colliery, Maesteg. for commit- ting a breach of general rule 36 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, which provides that every person in the colliery shall observe such directions with respect to working as may be given to him with a view to complying with this Act or any of the rules." Richards was in a crippled condition, limping into the court on a stick, his injuries being the result, it was understood, of his alleged breach of the above rule. Mr H. J. Randall, solicitor, Bridgend, who prosecuted on behalf of the company, said the circumstances of the case were somewhat remarkable. Richards was examining some masonry work at the bottom of the shaft of the Garth-Merthyr Colliery. He attempted to cross the bottom of the shaft. The hitcher warned him not to do so, and there were notices posted up about the colliery warning workmen that they were not to cross the bottom of the shaft except through the cage. Richards, how- ever, went across, and as he was doing so the cage came down upon him. Fortunately for him the engineman at the top of the shaft felt at once that something was wrong, and re- versing his engine drew the cage up for some distance..To the promptitude of the engine- man Richards owes his life. Had it not been for the engineman's action, or had the cage been laden with trams instead of with men, when it would have descended more rapidly, Richards would have been crushed to death. Mr Be van, manager of the colliery, gave evidence as to the warning notices being posted about the colliery. Richards was a man of good character, much interested in his work, and witness believed it was his anxiety to examine another portion of the masonry without delay that induced him to disregard the rules and cross the pit. Richards had suffered in consequence of his rashness, and the company did not wish to press the charge, but they thought it their duty to bring the case forward as a warningUo the workmen generally. Richards said that when the hitcher shouted he had gone too far to turn back, the cage being then almost upon him. and he had to rush forward or he would have been killed | outright. It was his anxiety to complete the examination of the work that had induced him to cross the pit. The Chairman (Mr R. W. Llewellyn) said that as defendant had suffered as the result of his recklessness, and the company did not desire to press the case. it would be dismissed on payment of costs.
BLAZE AT CARDIFF. Shortly after five o'clock yesterday morning the Cardiff Fire Brigade received intimation from Bilte-street Police Station that a fire had broken out at 219, Bute-street, a jeweller's shop, occupied by Mr Benjamin Silver. The premises are of the lock-up kind,aml they were secured between half-past 10 and 11 p.m. on Saturday by Mr Silver, who lives in George-street. When the brigade arrived in charge of Superintendent Geen the shop was filled with smoke, and the men had to break open the front door. The fire had originated behind the counter in one corner of the shop. The flames had been got under by the hose from Bute-street,and the brigade quickly com- pleted the work of extinguishing the fire. Several shelves containing jewellery and cutlery were destroyed and their contents greatly damaged. An examination of the premises showed that the doors at the back appeared to have been forced open, but when the brigade arrived the front door was well secured. On inquiry it was ascertained that Mr Silver had left by an early morning train to London.where he is spending the week- end, the train having departed before the fire was discovered. Until Mr Silver's return the damage cannot be stated, nor are any other facts available to throw light upon the cause of the outbreak.
BURIED TOGETHER. The pathetic circumstances attending the death of Mr John Williams, the foreman in charge of the sSeds when the disastrous explo- sion occurred there some time ago, were given added pathos on Friday evening when Mrs Williams, wife of the deceased foreman, died at 159, Habershon-street, where her husband's body lay awaiting burial. Mrs Williams was lying ill when her husband's death took place earlier in the week, and when the fact of his death could no longer be kept from her, she expressed the wish that she might die too and be buried with him. On Friday night she died, and on Saturday both bodies were buried together in Cardiff Cemetery. They were conveyed from the house in two funeral cars, which were preceded by a procession of 80 Rhymney Raiiway employees. All along the route to the ceme- tery large crowds watched the procession. At the cemetery chapel a service was conducted by the Rev. T. J. Jones, pastor of Ainon Welsh Baptist Church. The two coffins were carried from the chapel to the graveside by side, and that of Mr Williams being lowered into the grave, Mrs Williams's body was laid on top, and her pathetic wish was thus gratified. The chief mourners were the two married daugh- ters of the deceased. Some beautiful wreaths Were laid upon the coffin. The funeral arrange- ments were carried out by MeasraSMiMaers and Son.
FIRST HALF-SESSION. Welsh Members' Record. THE NATIONAL STANDPOINT. Necessity for United Action. MINISTERIAL ACHIEVEMENTS. (From Our London Welsh Correspondent.) The present Parliamentary Session may be lengthened into September, but even so the best working half of it is already gone. Welsh members cannot look back on the last three months with any degree of satisfaction in regard either to collective effort or individual accomplishment. One of course excepts from this statement those Welsh representatives who have the opportunity of serving not only Wales but the Empire, as members of bis Majesty's Government. The Chancellor of the Exchequer for instance has introduced, and up to the present has de- fended in a masterly manner, the most demo* cratic Budget ever placed before Parliament- Bearing in mind the opposition offered to some of his proposals and the pressure exercised In favour of other proposals (more Dreadnoughts for example) even within the Cabinet,Mr Lloyd George's success up to now has been oi a won- derful kind, and if he puts the Budget through his success will be something more than pheno- menal Me McKenna has a difficult position at the Admiralty and strong and persistent antagon- ists in the House, but on the whole he has met the situation with commendable courage, if not always with brilliant success. Mr Herbert Lewis' exact knowledge of Parliamentary procedure and his methodical business habits make of him an ideal Whip. One can but regret that official duties prevent the more active exercise of those qualities which many a time and oft rendered service to Wales in Parliamentary debate. The Solicitor-General's opportunities are mostly outside the House of Commons. In- side, Sir Samuel Evans's position remains very much what it was. So far therefore as the Welsh representatives in the Government are v concerned there is no reason for dissatisfaction. It is when we come to deal with the Welsh party as such that a feeling of dissatisfaction arises. A certain number of party meetings have been held in the course of the Session mainly with regard to the position of the Welsh Disestablishment Bill," but the result has been unutterably futile so far as the exercise of any collective influence is concerned. Personally I have always held that the Govern- ment meant, and mean, to act fairly and hon- estly towards Wales in respect of this BiM, sub- ject of course to exigencies arising which oo Government can foresee or forestall. But even if this view is correct it does not follow that no pressure should be brought to bear on the Government in the proper Parliamentary manner and through the proper Parliamentary channel. Sir Alfred Thomas's interviews froIJ1 time to time with the Prime Alinister have. bee Q helpful, but they would have been much. more effectual if the Welsh party, of whom Sir Alfred is chairman, had at any time arrived at a mutual understanding as to what Wales requires and how best to obtain it. The chair- man could then have met Mr Asquith with the weight of a united party at his back. It will serve no useful purpose to go over the ground now, but it should be plainly stated for the information of the constituencies (who, be it said, are primarily responsible) that at no meeting of the Welsh Parliamentary party when more than three or four were gathered together was anything like unanimity arrived at with regard to any real proposal affecting the progress of the Welsh Disestablishment Bill- Sir Alfred Thomas has done his best, and it is undoubtedly due to his personal influence and position that the party up to now has main- tained some semblance of unity. He has been loyally supported by the secretaries (Sir J- Herbert Roberts and Sir D. Brynmor Jones), but personal and professional interests have combined more often than not to render their united efforts ineffective and unsuccessful. Individual Performances. When we come to deal with individual per- formances it is surprising to find how little Welsh members have been able to do since Parliament reassembled last February. That, however, to a very great measure is not theIr fault. Frequent intervention in debate from the Ministerial side is not favoured by the authorities. With the exception of Mr J. D. Rees and Mr W. Brace, hardly a Welsh member ventures to address the House on general questions. When they do rise they rarely catch Mr Emmott's eye, but the Speaker is usually more amenable. In this connection it would be well if better arrangements were made for the better repre- sentation of Wales both in debate and on Committees. That this is a matter of arrangement we all know, and one fails to see why the Welsh members should not have their fair share of the talk as well as of the work that is going. Still the seeker for oppor" tunities generally finds them. One of the most conscientious and hardworking members of the House of Commons is Sir Herbert Roberts. He has succeeded on several occa- sions in helping on the causes with wfairh he is most closely identified, the reform OJ. administration in India, and the amendment of the Sunday Closing Act and the progress of temperance measures in this country. To the unremitting assiduity of Sir Herbert Roberts* more than to any other person, Wales is In" debted for the improvement in the social con- dition of the fpeople brought about by tem- perance legislation. I have already referred to the loyalty with which he and Sir D. Brynmof Jones serve the party; the want of cohesion and stability in the party itself cannot be laid at their doors. Sir David has served Wa.le9 admirably on the Welsh Church Commis- sion, and Welsh Nonconformity owes him a debt which one day perhaps it may recognise* The Liberal party in power, too, owe him i* debt, and the Government should see its way to pay it. Gratitude, however, is rarely a virtue amongst Governments, and it may be a long time yet before Sir Brynmor Jons9 receives that official promotion to which he is justly entitled. Two Rising Members. The two most interesting of the younger members of the House at the present time are Mr Ellis W. Davies, who represents the farmers and quarrymen of Eifion, and Mr Walter Rqçh. who represents the farmers and labourers Pembrokeshire. Both of them are regular and eager attendants at the debates of the House* and both of them are eager and willing to part in Parliamentary work. It is not very much to the credit of the powers that have the ordering of affairs that very little advantage has been taken of their eagerness and willing" ness to assist. lEarly in the Session they secured a debate on a motion on incidence of taxation, and delivered speeches which showed a close acquaintance with the problems of the social condition of the people. On other occasions they have raised expecta- tions which will be justified in the future, proP" ably when they are in Opposition; for the present they work in shackles. Mr Jones continues to act as the orator in chief the official Liberal party, and with the greates* success, so much success that no election caP be fought without the aid of the mellifluous member for the Arfon Division. He has alsO spoken once or twice in the House during tblS Session. The deair(as well as the strength some Say) of political parties is the professionat element. As everyone knows, there are in tbe Welsh party a very large number of practising barristers. Court work and close attention to Parliamentary business are incompatible- Working barristers have to choose between 0?8 and the other if they attempt a they generally fail in both. Regular attend- ance is not everything, but it is a valuable as^. that should never be overlooked. For reason, to say nothing of others which mig'.1 be applied to individuals, Wales is fortunate l having such representatives as Sir Franci Edwards, Mr Sidney Robinson, Mr Philipps, Mr T. H. Idris, Mr Osmond, Wn" liams and perhaps one or two others 'Wh devote almost the whole of their time to their Parliamentary duties. During this Session one missed the of Mr D. A. Thomas, who for many years kept a record at the head of division list. He looked in at the House f°'3 day or two before the adjournment, but n health is even yet far from being fully restor)t One wishes him speedy improvement, for D. A. Thomas stands alone and unique his colleagues. More Cohesion Required. From the foregoing observations it will bè seen why in my opinion the Session, so far it goes, has been an unsatisfactory one from the Welsh point of view. More co-operatio and cohesion is required in the Welsh PaILi itself, and until that is obtained Welsh will depend entirely on the good will of t Government. As to the talk of an indepe^ dent Welsh party, with the present 0 the thing ip utterly impossible. Whether t suggestion may materialise at the ndxt lion depends entirely on the willingness of t g constituencies to support their representati financially as well as morally. ed Several paragraphs have recently app63" in the papers with reference to possible P d motions and honours that may be dlstrlbUt8"tJ amongst Welsh members this Session, °f,nSt least before the close of this Parliament. of these paragraphs have been inaccurate a ill-informed. Mr Osmond Williams, I see, indignantly and quite rightly disclaimed honour of a peerage,iwhich was thrust upon £ by one of the Liverpool papers. It is prent obvious that Mr Williams would not be s t to the Upper House now. AJJ1on other reasons, the promotion g, involve his Liberal successor 111 double fight The Welsh tive Association have decided to figbt^1 onethshire (as well as other counties in I"10 Wales), and would no doubt fight the bye' Qf well as the General Election. As a matte fact, I believe that the services of Mr 3a Williams and of his father to the Liberal c. » will be further recognised very shortly, butnced manner that will not hasten his anno decision to resign his membership at the election.
Mr H. R. Davies, of Treborth, is the 3^ High Sheriff for Anglesey, and speaking dinner at Beaumaris the other day he sain the first High Sheriff was one Rhys ap elyn Hwlkyn, who arranged that the cO M gaol should be in his own cellar.