[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.} JALEBERD'S BUMPS. A PHRENOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT. BY JAMES GREENWOOD. AUTHOR OP II Dick Temple," "Reuben Davidger," Wild Sports of the World," "Curiosities of Savage Life," U Fair Phyllis of Lavender Wharf" 41 Under a Cloud, < A Little Ragamuffin" "Kerrison's Crime" Three Rogues," "Humphrey Dyot," "Silas the Conjuror," etc. CHAPTERVIIr. DOCTOR FUGHT INCREASES STRENGTH OP MY MEDICINE. TuJPIiESULT. I NEBD not here discuss whether it was due en- tirely to the doctor's treatment, that up to a certain point was much as usual, or whether that long con- versation Margaret and I had together had anything to do with it, but it so happened that in little more than a fortnight afterwards a very curious change came over me. I mean as regards my views of things in general, and in particular to matters pertaining to a nice dis- crimination between vice and virtue. In a startlingly sudden way my inclination to- wards wicked in all its many phases, and of which my bumps were the index, quite deserted me, and on awaking one morning I found myself a really good young man. As I have already observed, I am in doubt whether the astonishing change in question was due entirely to the success of the'doctor's experiments; but I should do him the justice to state that the night before the great change manifested itself, and while I was supposed to be lying in bed insensible, his treatment of me was far more elaborate than on any previous occasion. He seemed to have arrived at the conclusion that the operation of merely rubbing my head all over with the magical embrocation might be improved on; and to that end, having in the customary manner effected an entry into my bed-chamber, he proceeded to deal with me as follows: As was always the case, he brought in with him a small black leather bag, but instead of the phial and the brush, he took from it a sort skull-cap made of some slightly elastic material and already heavily saturated with the strangely-smelling yellow solution. This cap he carefully fitted to my bald head, and immediately afterwards clapped over it the copper basin previously heated over the gas jet. Before he applied this latter, however, he adminis- tered to me another dose of the chloroform, or what- ever it was the sponge was soaked with, as though to guard against my recovering my senses before the more protracted process was completed. When he had finished with me and packed up his implements and made me comfortable for waking, I heard him whisper to himself: "1 should not be surprised, Master Bird, after such a dressing as you have now had, if in the morn- ing you have something further to tell me respecting the queer sensations you have already spoken of." His anticipations were realised to his satisfaction, and maybe a little beyond. The feelings with which I awoke next morning were simply incredible. I can liken them to nothing else than that by a miracle my nature was entirely changed in a single night, and that I had become almost as the angels are, and without one gross and worldly desire, or a single selfish sentiment. I so thrilled with a sense of goodness, that the moment I got out of bed I commenced singing a hymn that used to be sung at morning service in the chapel at Cold bath Fields. When I had got my clothes on and washed myself, 1 was still brimming over with benevolence and kindness of heart. Looking from my window down into the street, I saw an old crossing-sweeper with his broom on his shoulder going to his daily work. He was ragged and dirty, and opening the casement, and attracting his attention, I threw down to him the cake of brown Windsor soap I had been using, with a towel, and a tooth-brush. The doctor must have heard my hymn-singing, for he came up-stairs, and was just in time to see me bestowing the articles mentioned on the crossing- eweeper, together with my blessing. John Bird good heavens what can this mean? Have you taken leave of your senses ?" I turned about, smiling sweetly, and he was standing in the doorway without a bit of colour in his cheeks and with his eyes staring with alarm and amazement. Do you hear me, John," he repeated, are you mad ?" The smile faded from my visage, and regarding him sorrowfully, I made answer in tones of mild re- proach: Is it a proof, doctor, that I am not in my right senses because I am moved with compassion for the necessities of my destitute fellow-creatures ? Am I to blame for giving to that poor man that which, as is plain to be seen, he is most in need of ? Is it for one as poor as myself, to teach you who are rich. —rolling in affluence.fi may eay—your duty to the suffering and needy? Learn then a lesson from And looking again from the window, and observing the crossing-sweeper in the act of pocketing the soap and towel, I threw a hair-brush down to him. The doctor was trembling with excitement. He crossed the room, and closed and latched tin. window, and then placing both his hands on my Bhoulders, he looked fixedly into my eyes. I was made aware, in an instant, that I could not stand his penetrating gaze, and to avoid it I promptly resorted to a dodge I had become adept in during my many different periods of imprisonment, and which I had found of great service in deluding the chaplain. I burst into tears, and casting my arms round the doctor's neck, sobbingly addressed him. Dh, Doctor Flight 1" I cried—and all the time he 'I was backing towards the room door, and endeavour- ing to disengage himself from my tight embrace— Oh, doctor it makes my heart bleed to know that while you and I will presently be sitting down to a com- fortable breakfast—to ham and eggs, probably, and to coffee poured out from a silver-plated coffee-pot —there are thousands of poor creatures thahkfui for a slice of bread and a draught from the parish pump. Such a state of things has existed too long, doctor, and you and I will do our best to make it different. We will set about it at once—this very morn- ing. I have already made a beginning, as you wit- nessed, and we will follow it up. Say, ch, say, that it shall be so 1" "We will first have some breakfast, at all events," he made answer soothingly. "Come along down- stairs with me. We shall be less liable to interrup- tion there." A IIH made way for me to go first, as though he pre- ferred that order of descent, and on the second land- in" we encountered Deborah coming up. I was partly through with the second verse of 4. Direct and Guide my Erring Steps,' but I stopped, short on seeing her. As the reader will remember, the sour old housekeeper and myself had not got on at all well together. Indeed, the coolness between us had so much increased that, I believe, we had not exchanged more than a dozen words, and those not all civil ones, during the past three days. I now seized her hand and shook it heartily, enough almost to have dislocated her elbow joint. Good-morning, good-morning, my dear madam, I exclaimed, I hope you are well." To which cordial greeting she stiffly replied that she would "be all the better for my leaving go her hand, and she begged I would not take such a liberty again. But as I have already stated, my entire nature seemed changed, and I was not to be put off with such a rebuff. There was awakened within me a feeling of veneration for her sex to which my bosom had been a stranger now longer ago than when I stole my grandmother's Bible and spectacles. I did not let go her hand I squeezed it even harder as I remarked with emotion: Ma'am, were you ever married ? Were you ever a mother r She was about to make some spirited answer when the doctor placed his forefinger on his forehead, and with a glance at me shook his head. Bosh," mut- tured Deborah. I don't believe it!" You don't believe that you were ever a mother," I continued earnestly. Alas, then, it would be un- reasonable of me to expect you to pity me, as I yearn to be pitied—I had a mother once-Qnoe, I say! and I pressed my brow distractedly. It must have been many years since, but the veil of time departed seems strangely lifted, and, as though it were but yesterday, I can see myself kneeling at that mother's knee, a curly-headed little boy. Oh, mother, mother! You have lost me all these years, but I am coming back to you now 1" And I covered my eyes with my hand and leant my face against the wall, while Deborah escaped and hurried upstairs, and I heard her turn the key in the lock of the room she entered. The doctor was in a state of terrible agitation. He begged me to bocsIm, and we went-down to the breakfast-room together* Now," said he, when we were alone, be candid with me, and tell me what I am to understand by this strange behaviour of yours." Jfc" Sir," I replied, pressing my head with both handa t■ ns I paced the room, I wiah it was in my power to 've you a satisfactory answer. I am a changed man. t is all I know about it." Vaswer me this," aid he, sternly confronting DM, 14 are yon really changed, or are you acting the hypo- crIt.e t How can I answer you," I replied, simply, if I dont know? I did not make the change myself. I did not desire it. If a man can be a hypocrite with- out knowing it, I may be one. I shouldn't like to say. 1\.h! you poor thing you will be both scalded and drowned!" This last was not addressed to the doctor, though he could scarcely have looked more amazed if it had been. It chanced at that moment that a (tv blundered into the cup of coffee he had just poured out. With tender solicitude I fished it out with a teaspoon, and placed it on the table-cloth. The doctor laughed strangely. "Yon did not use to be so soft-hearted, my friend," he remarked; "it was only yesterday that I saw you when you were in the garden throw a piece of brick at a poor cat cross- ing the wall, and you were delighted because you hit it and made it howl; you remember that?" "Now you remind me, I remember it, sir," I replied, shuddering at the painful recollection and then, after another silent turn or two across the room, I exclaimed despairingly: Yes, that will be the worst of it. I cannot bear it, it will drive me mad What will ?" What ? Why, the crushing consciousness of the wicked wretch I have been—of the ten thousand wrongs I have done, and now can only bemoan with- out being able to remedy them. Oh the horrible— the horrible memories of the past!" But I ridiculously failed in what I intended to be a telling climax to this outburst of distraction. I made a clutch with both hands at my hair, forget- ting in the excitement of the moment that I had none, and my wig came off in my hands. But the doctor was too seriously thoughtful to see anything funny in it. I flung myself down on to a couch and buried my face in a cushion, and so lay, giving vent to my grief for several moments. Then, as though the dreadful suspicion had at that instant flashed to my mind, I leapt up with such suddenness that he himself rose hurriedly from his chair and had made several steps towards the door before I could lay an arresting hand on his arm. Doctor I" I exclaimed imploringly, tell me the truth, is it you who have wrought this amazing change in me?" He hesitated ere he replied evasively: If you have any reasons for asking the question, I shall be glad to hear them." Only this. I cannot forget that you have already informed me that you commenced your experiments on the first day of my coming here, and that you have continued them ever since. Is this the result of them ?" "Do you regret it if it is so?" he asked calmly. I do not admit it, but, for the sake of argument, we'll say it may be so. Then comes the question, would you rather be as you were or as you are? Would. you rather, my friend," and his eyes filled with tears as he released his arm from my hand and pressed it affectionately; would you rather be the brute who yesterday laughed at the cruelty of break- a poor cat's ribs with half a brick, or the man with impulses so humane that you could not refrain from rescuing a drowning fly ?" Oh a thousand times," said I, returning the affectionate squeeze of his hand, I would rather be good than bad. If you only knew, doctor, the de- lightful sensations with which I awoke this morning, and what a delicious joy it was for me to throw those things to the poor crossing-sweeper, you would not ask me the question. I want to be good and do good." And so you shall, John Bird. But we must not be too precipitate. We must——" But I want to set about it now—to love my neigh- bour as myself, to give new suits of clothes to every- one that is ragged and shabby, and feed the hungry —I would not let even a stray dog go without a good dinner. I wish to be kind to the aged, and to make every workhouse ring with rejoicing. I should like to get together all the pleasure-vans that money could hire, and take aU the people that were getting well in the hospitals and all the crippled little children for a delightful long ride into the country. But first of all," and here my utterance became broken, first of all I should like to find the humble grave where my dear mother rests, and cover it with beautiful flowers. But itfcan never, never be I" "Why not?" the doctor asked, his dilating eyes betraying the pleasure my rhapsody afforded him; tell me why not ?" "Because, sir," I answered mournfully, and pressing my forehead, the great change that has come over me is so swift and sudden, that my brain is fairly carried away in the whirl of it. It is too much for me. My head is so stuffed full of confusion, it seems as though it must burst! Yet I will do all the good I can while reason holds her throae. I will go out now and commence. Let me have the money that is due to me, doctor-five pounds, I think it is. That will make a few poor hearts rejoice, at any rate!" But he wouldn't agree to that. Indeed, he did not like the idea of my going out at all, in my excited state of mind, but, as I could see, he was afraid of making matters worse by thwarting me; so he gave me a couple of pounds out of his own pocket to do as I pleased with, and off I went. It had often occurred to me, when I sometimes went to the play, how altogether done up and in- olined for a soothing pipe and a spell of quiet the principal actor must be, after he had been struggling and fencing, and putting himself into a violent per- spiration about one thing and another all the evening. I could realise exactly what his feelings were now. As soon as I got well away from Blooms- bury-square, I sought a quiet public-house parlour, and smoked a cigar with a cool pint of ale, after which I paid a visit to Margaret Ketch to report pro- gress. r CHAPTER IX. MABGAKET CONVINCES ME THAT I AM BUT A POOR SCHEMER, AND COACHES ME AS TO THE WAY I SHOULD GO. I DON'T think I have mentioned that I had taken a respectable lodging for Margaret in a quiet street in Soho. She had not returned to her old place of residence since the day when I found her among her companions. I naturally experienced some difficulty in per- suading her to do what I wished, especially as, from a money point of view, I was unable to convince her that up to that time I had made much by my curious adventure. All I had, in fact, was about thirty shillings, but that was sufficient for present needs. And when I had fully explained bow matters stood, concealing nothing from her, she was not long in making up her mind to share the chances With me. She pleased me very much by the quickness with which she caught at the possibilities of the case, as well as by her shrewd suggestions, which were the more unexpected because, as far as I knew, no mem- ber of her family, excepting her grandfather, was really talented. But apart from a personal liking for her, I had always looked on Margaret as far cleverer than any of her relations. Most women would have giggled at the many queer pranks I had played on the doctor, but she listened as grave as a judge while I was relating them to her as we walked about Hampstead heath, and laughed only once, and that was while I was telling her of the mortal funk I was in that first time when I was pretending to be asleep while the doctor was operating on me. He has got plenty of money, you say—you are sure of that ?" she remarked. There can be no doubt of it. Thousands of pounds I should judge from the style of the house and the valuable things in it." And what are your ideas. Jack, as regards the amount you may make out of him ?" All depends on how he is managed. A hundred pounds very likely." talk like a fool," said Meg impatiently; if, one hundred, why not five ?" We will go fair shares in it, whatever the amount," I replied. Why, if we are to get married, of course we shall," says she. That was the chief inducement I held out to her. She was quite positive that the rascally pianoforte tuner "had committed bigamy in marrying her, and that, consequently, she was now free to do as she pleased. She had proof, she said, that his first wife was still alive, and as we did not intend to get married yet awhile, I took her word for it. But to go back to my story. I felt ratheproud of my morning's work, and, as I have already-said, after giving myself time to cool, I went straight off to Margaret to tell her all about it, not forgett ing, you may be sure, to show her the two sovereigns in proof of the success of my bit of play acting. She listened with great attention, but when I had finished, to my great disgust and dis- appointment, she did not look even commonly pleased. Don't you think I did very well ?" I asked her rather sharply. No; I don't," she replied coolly. Well, of course I don't pretend to be as clever as some people, but I don't see that I could have done more." More says she. You shouldn't have done half as much. What could you have been thinking about trying it on with that woman ?" Oh! that's it," says I laughing. Why, you silly girl, she is an old one. Fifty, if a day, and as ugly, as sin. Uglier." I don't care," says Meg, how old or how young she is, or how pretty or plain. I was not thinking about such nonsense as that. You should have Jet her alone. The game you are playing is with the doctor. It wasn't clever to give her a chance t6cut in and spoil you/ 'j. .f .«i. How, cut in ?" Why, don't you see that you almost forced it on the doctor to talk with the old woman about you as soon as yeur back was turned? And she is not oracked, remember, if he is." "Well, leaving her out of it," (Meg shrugged her shoulders), "I did not do so bad with him." "As it turned out, p'ra'ps not. It answered oi» useful purpose at any rate." As regards the two pounds, yon mean ?" Pshaw That's your weak point, Jack, making so much of trifles. We shall have pounds enough bv- and-by if you will be advised by-me. What I meant was that his being so easily gulled proves beyond a doubt that he is fairly off his head over this phreno- logy nonsense. But you must be careful. No more pantomime tricks, Jack. Shying a towel and soap at a dirty old crossing-sweeper may be very good clown- ing, but it isn't sound business." "But you forget that I wanted to commence with a startler. Hang it all, haven't I been telling you how well it went down with him ? You don't know the man as well as I do." Don't be angry, dear, I only know him through what you have told me. Of course you should know best how to manage him. He gave you the cue as to the best way when he couldn't keep the tears out of his eyes while you was telling him that pretty story about the old granny and the sick child and the pining flower plant." And that is the pitch I have been playing up to. What is the next best move ? That's the question." "You must leave that to him." What, the move ?" No. You must leave it to the doctor to inform you how the game is going, and you will, of course, act accordingly." I thought she was joking, but she spoke quite seriously." Why, you are talking like a fool, Meg. It is likely, isn't it, that I should question him on the subject? Or that he would tell me if I did ?" There will be no need to ask him. Is there no way of getting the information you want but by word of mouth ?" What other way is there ?" "Isn't there his handwriting?" says she with a saucy laugh. Why, you simpleton, you don't mean to say that you never thought of that ?" Thought of what?" Why, the note-book, to be sure. The little volume in which he writes down the progress of your inte- resting case, with his comments on it. You know where it is kept when it is out of his possession, and how to get at it. Keep your eye on that book, Johnny dear, and how can you go wrong ? It is the key to his money-box." I remarked lightly that I had, of course, thought of the note-book. But strangely enough, it had slipped out of my memory for the time being at any rate. That she was a shrewd one this little example shows, and I was more convinced than ever that I had done a wise thing in taking her into partner- ship. (To be continued.) 1
SARAH BERNHARDT'S ACTIVITY. The theatrical gossip writer in the Figaro gives a recent example of Mdme. Sarah Bernhardt's activity. It is amazing. Her present tour embraces Italy, Roumania, and Constantinople, and in the midst of her engagements in the South of France she found time to return to Paris to see her friends and to superintend the reopening of her theatre. Leaving Nice after the performance on Tuesday night, she arrived in Paris at midnight on Wednesday, supped with her family in her hotel, slept three or four hours, conferred with M. Edmond Rosland concern- ing the decorations, costumes, and staging of L'Aiglon (the piece in six acts which the eminent author will read to the artists on December 5), and left again at ten in the morning for Bordeaux, where she played in the evening.
WHEAT CROPS OF THE WORLD. A review of the world's wheat crops has just come to hand from the Department of Agriculture at Washington. This not only gives the latest infor- mation on ,the crops in every important country, but also discusses the various world's estimates already made. It is written by the Hon. John Hyde, the statistician to the department, who comes to the conclusion that the difference between this year's and last year's crops will materially ex- ceed 300,000,000 bushels decrease. So far as the United Kingdom is concerned, Mr. Hyde puts the yield at 33 bushels per acre. This is a very high estimate, Sir J. B. Lawes having put the crop here at only 31 bushels, and this is practically the same as most other estimates.
THE BOERS AS SHOOTERS. If one man can hit with a rifle an object the size of the human figure practically every time at a given distance, and another to score as many hits at the same distance requires an object as large as the side of a barn, then, other things being equal, as many more of the poor marksmen would be necessary for 8. fair fight as the size of a man is contained in the broad side of a barn. The above comparison has held good in the past in the experience of the British with the Boers, the British taking the part of the bad marksmen and the Boers of the good marksmen. The Boers from childhood have been familiar with the use of firearms, while their outdoor habits have given them a capacity of vision enabling them to determine distances and a clearness of sight at long, range which, coupled with their almost constant practice with guns, makes them very good sharp- shooters. It is a well-known fact that "frch air children taken from London into the country for a day or two complain of pains in the head, and that their eyes ache, owing to the over-tasking of them in looking at objects at a much increased range. A largo number of the British army are made up of men provided with much shorter range eyes than those possessed by the Boers. If the Boers stick to their plan of fighting in skirmishing order, every man for himself, as the American Indians fought and as Washington fought the British in the War of the Revolution, then the advantages of shrapnel and canister and automatic machine guns will not (says an expert, writing in the Morning Herald) avail the British so much as might at first be expected from what was accomplished by them in the Soudan. I anticipate that the Boers will not attack the British in mass and in the open, for such a course would be simply suicide in the face of modern artillery and automatic guns.
BLACK SEA NAVAL SCANDAL. The scandal of the huge naval frands which first cropped out about two years ago, and which have since been under the dilatory process of Russian legal investigation, will be brought before a Naval Court-martial at Sebastopol on December 3 next. The number of persons in the Government Procura- tor's indictment is 43, says the Sebastopol correspon- dent of the Graphic, and includes many officers and officials of high rank, several of them holding the honorary title of State Councillor. „ One of the primarily accused officials escaped to Turkey before the arrest warrants were made out, and two others, both senior naval officers, committed suicide. These frauds in all branches of the naval commissariat had been carried on systematically for a long number of years, and the total defalcations are said to amount to some 10 or 12 millions of roubles.
WARNING TO LAMP-USERS. Moved thereto apparently by the number of acci- dents that have recently occurred, the Public Control Department of the London County Council has issued a circular containing suggestions for securing safety in the use of lamps. The County Council still attaches importance to the raising of the flash-point, and suggests the precaution of never burning oil which has a flashing-point of less than lOOdeg. Fahr. It is further suggested that purchasers of lamps should have regard to strength of reservoir, the make of the burner, and the weight of the base; and they give hints as to the treatment of the wick, as well as to such matters as lighting and extinguishing.
A GIANT GAS ENGINE. The growing importance of the gas engine as a motive power is demonstrated in the fact that no less than 600,000 effective horse-power have, as esti- mated, been installed during the past 20 years in the shape of gas engines in this country and the Conti- nent alone. During late years the gas engine has been enormously improved, and there appears every prospect of ita becoming, in some circumstance*, a formidable rival to steam as a prime motive power; In Fcilde/i's Magazine attention is devoted to a gas engine now building (and a type of which is illus- trated), which is estimated to rate at no less than ) 1500 horse-power. A gas engine entailing the dimen- sions, involved is utterly beyond all previous con- ceptions, and the result of the experiment is being awaited with great interect by gas-engine experts and others interested in mechanical power.
THE moet remarkable tattooed man in the world is Professor Frank Howard. He has upon his body 780 designs in red, blue, and brown. These different colours were made with lamp-black, gunpowder, soot, charcoal, brickdust, Chinese, American, and English wrmilion, Indian ink, Prussian blue, indigo, Indian red and carmine, Japanese and China Wack. It took 154 days to tattoo him all fOver.Professor Howard is a "native of the City o P)FOvidence,U.S.A.. J -• "• JfJ i v1 iii'i >: 'i ,T J. „
Lot 73. A rosewood antique cabinet, with date 1794 and initials J. H. carved upon an inner drawer." That was the "lot" I bought for three pounds fifteen, and the "rosewood antique," lame in one foot, nodded its acquiescence with a comical effect. As I turned my back upon the sale, a man rushed into the auction room. Lot 73 ?" I heard his breathless inquiry and saw half a dozen faces swing round in my direction. Without an instant's delay the tall, broad-shouldered stranger bore down upon me. You have just bought a cabinet—lot 73?" Yes." May I have a few words with you in private ?" Each consenting, we turned into a communicating room. My name is superfluous to you, as is yours to me," he began, exhibiting a natural nervousness. "The business I propose is a simple transaction to buy back from you the rosewood cabinet." The cheerful nod with which the rosewood antique had just favoured me recurred to my mind. There was something of the yearning for friendship in it— or even for protection. "jBut if I don't want to sell it ?" I replied tenta- tively. I will make it worth your while. What did you give for it ?" "Three pounds fifteen." "I will reverse the figures. Fifteen pounds three is my offer." He smiled eagerly. For one moment I was in- clined to profit by my chance, but the memory of the cabinet's friendly nod, added to an inexplicable distaste for my companion, fired my natural obsti- nacy of disposition. I don't care to part with my bargain," I said. My companion caught his breath. You know the value of the cabinet, I presume?" he queried. Its value to me, yes; to you, no." I carved out the initials and date myself, as a jokje. The thing is of no value and dreadfully crippled. I offer you twenty pounds." "i I would rather not," I replied, my obstinacy now ablaze. You would not get a fifth of that price elsewhere. Can't I tempt you ? Thirty pounds ?" No, thank you. I've taken a fancy to the old thing." Forty ?" I would really rather not." Fifty ? It is purely a sentimental figure," he added, with an assumed indifference that did not deceive me. I must attribute my refusal to the same cause," I replied. So hie eagerness to possess the rosewood antique" was purely sentimental. As I faced him, returning gaze for gaze, I tried to weave the thread of romance about the square-jawed man, the cabinet and a fair lady unknown. But the thread wouldn't hold. It slipped easily enough about the rosewood cabinet and the unknown lady, but ever when it reached the man it broke. I did not like him and I would not conceive that the sentiment which prompted him to pay exorbi- tantly for a broken piece of furniture was worthy of the pame. He must have gleaned my determination, for his next words attacked it directly. I have been some time absent from home and remed to find my house emptied of its furniture, seized by bailiffs in my absence, and sold, To-day, passing these rooms. I saw the catalogue of this sale and recognised the cabinet. If you will not part with your purchase, permit me, in your presence, access to a secret drawer in the cabinet, and posses- sion of a little—er—document lying therein. That is all I ask. The cabinet may be yours by right of purchase that which it contains is mine by right of —Sentiment." "By right of sentiment? It is, perchance, a love letter?" Yes; a love letter." He blushed and spoke with eagerness. That u value at fifty pounds. More, my dear sir. It is invaluable—to me." "Then take the letter," I answered, shortly. "Get it at once. I've no wish to pry." Evelyn (I had been married two months) was out when I reached home with my purchase and, prepar- ing a little surprise for her, I propped up my lame- footed cabinet in the corner directly opposite the dqor. Then I sat down and again essayed to com- plete the web of romance that had snapped so per- sistently in the auction rooms. frvA light cry from Evelyn shook my reverie away. She was standing in the open doorway, in an atti- tude of amazement, her distended eyee fixed upon the cabinet with an intensity hardly justified by the unexpected discovery of an added piece of furniture. She stood thus for nearly a minute, while un- formed, unheard conjectures prevented me breaking the spell. Then she moved, still ignorant of my presence, walked quietly fo the cabinet and pulled dotf n the sloping lid, exposing a little nest of empty pigeon holes. At that action she eeemed to hesitate, recoiling from the rosewood antique as from an act of sin. But the deterrent was momentary, and before I coold conquer my vacillating thoughts, Evelyn had thrust a hand to the rear of a pigeon hole, and with a jerk and snap out new the secret drawer. "Gone!" The hushed word seemed to rush from her very throat. Assuredly such agitation was due to an emo- tion more potent than the discovery of a cabinet in a corner of the. drawing-room My mind leaped to a resolution. Rising softly (I was now at the back of her line of vision) I moved nimbly from the room— Unseen. Whatever the link between my wife, the big, over- bearing stranger, and the cabinet, I would no longer play the common spy. In due course Evelyn, I felt assured, would reveal it, and the romance would only taste the sweeter for lingering a while on the palate before swallowing. But when I joined Evelyn at dinner she made no reference to the incident. Seen my new purchase?" I queried. f Yes," she replied, in a remarkably even voice. And what do you think of it, dear ?" What I think of all cabinets, John. They're a mistake, taking up the space of an object that might easily be more useful to us and certainly more beauti- ful. You know I don't care for the things. Why did you buy it? And such a dirty, worm-eaten thing, too!" Then I remembered that Evelyn had expressed a dislike to cabinets when we were furnishing. shift it into my den, and the sight of it won't worry you," I said. Evelyn made no reply, but, as was very patent, resolutely turned the conversation. And there my inquisitiveness might well have paused but for an incident that occurred the very next day I was at the house of a steadfast friend, Miss Calloway, with whom my orphaned wife had lived during our engagement, when a servant brought my hostess a visiting-card. Mr. Jesse Harding? I wonder who he may be," mused Miss Calloway, and excusing herself, she left the room. Two minutes later she returned. Here's a funny coincidence," she laughed. A friend of Evelyn's has called to see her. And the fun of it is he asks for her by her maiden name." "And you corrected his ignorance, of course?" Indeed, no," she blithely replied. "That would have spoiled the joke. I merely said that Miss Blake was out. but that .frien.d of hers would speak to him. There! Now go and explain. You are already blushing to perfection." Miss Calloway laughingly pushed me from the room. He's wait- ing, poor fellow I Go 1" I declare; that it was not altogether a surprise. It flashed upon me as I descended the stairs, and when I opened the door and face to face with the stranger of the auction-room—the friend of my wife—the man who offered fifty pounds for my wifea love-letter on the score of sentiment. I declare that his was the confusion, not mine. < Yes. There stood the man who valued Evelyn's love-letter at fifty pounds, and more! For the first time in my life the green eyes of jealousy laughed in my face and shook me with an intolerable hatred. What had been this romance between my wife and that man? Only fourteen months had elapsed since Lfirst met Evelyn. Was c this fellow a previous suitor?—a jilted lover?—adventurer?—Evelyn had spoken freely of her life, yet never a word of Mr. Jesse Harding, the rosewood cabinet, the hidden love-Letter. I would learn it now-at once. I would witness the destruction of the letter, now. However obtained —in circumstances true or false—now that Evelyn was my wife no honourable man would continue to nurture such an epistle and, with it, an affection that was sworn to another. But I had my doubts of the honour of the man with the leering mouth and over- weighted jaw. "You were acquainted with my wife, I under- stand." Your wife ?*' Miss Evelyn Blake is now my wife." I—I was unaware——" "I suppose so. Nevertheless, yon were once acquainted with the lady who is now my wife." "Intimately." And the love-letter you were so anxious to pur- ohase from me yesterosy was written by—Miss •Blake." • < II .J t J: < 1; I..d ;.L J- c. 1. I never said so." But I say so now." So I hear. Yet it ie possible that your elates mentis inaccurate. I think not." ) You are very confident." r Evasive statements will scarcely convince me to the contrary." He shrugged his broad shoulders, and was mute. I suppressed my inclination to blurt, yet why prolong an uncongenial scene ? You will be good enough, Mr. Harding, to pro- duce the love-letter I unwittingly helped you to re- possess, and which you probably carry in your pocket, and destroy it before my eyes." I pointed to the crackling fire. My attack seemed to deprive him of speech. He gasped for breath. Without waste of time," I added, pushing my advantage. My hostess is awaiting my return to the drawing-room." A dumb stupidity seemed to mask his face. He continued to stare at me. "Come!" I added, unveiling my impatience. "It has to be done. Do it like a man, and go!" You—you strange person!" he gasped aad, breaking into his deep laugh, essayed to leave the room. But I was at the door before him, blocking his exit. "Not until you have burnt the letter!" I cried. "Then, the sooner the better." A spasm of anger crossed his face. His hand doubled and rose as if to strike. In defence I seized a chair. Then he dropped his hand, glared momentarily, and burst again into laughter. Don't be a fool," he said. "If only you knew what an idiot you are making of yourself you'd be sorry—for yourself. Really, I'm half inclined to empty my pocket-book into the fire as you wish, and leave you to repent-" Repent ?" That's what I said. Only, respect for your wife prevents me—respect and consideration for the great sacrifice she once made for me. Shall I go on?" The man's demeanour left me bewildered, nigh speechless. Go on I faltered. Three years ago I was a bigger fool than you are now. I borrowed my employer's money, and could not repay it. Upon the brink of desperation I ap- plied to Miss Blake, who, as my crippled sister's angel, visited at our house. Miss Blake had just inherited a legacy of £3215. Unhesitatingly shelent me the sum I needed, £3000, in notes, bidding me save myself for my dear sister's sake. It was too I late. The return of the money would not have stopped the prosecution. The law was at my heels. As I hid the notes in the secret drawer of the old cabinet the law entered the house and arrested me. Begging a farewell of my bedridden sister, I com- municated the whereabouts of the money, bidding her inform Miss Blake. Alas! the shock almost killed my poor relative, and, while friends took her away, the furniture was sold. When Miss Jtflake I was at last informed, the cabinet could not be traced." He took a deep breath, shifted his position and continued— A little while back I was liberated. Yesterday, with fifty pounds, lent by a generous friend, in my pocket, I passed the sale room and recognised the cabinet in the catalogue. The rest you know." "But—but you said it was a love-letter!" I ex* claimed. Ton did. I simply acquiesced. Remember, I did not know you. If I had told you the drawe: contained so many £100 notes-" He paused for a moment, then continued more cheerfullv- If you will give me name and address I will send the money to your wife." I hung my head.
FUTURE PRICE OF IRON. ft can be pretty safely stated, remarks the Denver Mining Reporter, that the present prices for pig iron will be maintained for at least nine months, or until the middle of the coming year. On the one hand the mills are behind in their orders and only in rare cases can delivery be promised within six months requirements are being increased by the building of bridges, railways, and munitions of war unproduc- tive countries look to the United States, England, and Germany to supply their increasing demand. On the other hand, large consumers, appreciating the probable scarcity, have contracted for a supply months ahead, and their claim for the product ia practically removed from the existing market; the supply is increasing in two ways—the marketing of old material, and by the production from the mines, the increase from the latter source being estimated at two-and-a-half million tons over 1898 in the United States alone.
A BRITISH EMBASSY'S TABLE WARE. We have it on the authority of an American paper that the Presidential mansion cannot make so brave a show in regard to table ware as her Majesty's Embassy at Washington. When Lord Pauncefote brings forth his plate chest and spreads a state banquet the magnificence of the White House silver, china, and glass ware sinks into insignificance. The silver service which the British Government has fur- nished for its representative there is valued at 50,000 dollars. The weight of the precious metal is upward of a thousand pounds, but its chief value lies in the exquisite workmanship. The regal arms of England and beautifully-traced flowers, birds, and vines set off every article. The centrepiece is a marvel of the jeweller's art. Connoisseurs have de- clared that this centrepiece is the handsomest orna- ment of its kind to be found outside the houses of kings. The china of the British Embassy compares with the silver in value and delicacy, and the glass is equally rare and costly. The total value of the table ware is upwards of 75,OOOdol.
THE "SIX-TOE HIGGINSES." From the New Orleans Times Democrat: Down in Kimble County, Tex. said a visitor from the Lone Star State, is a remarkable six-toed family, about whom, so far as I know, nothing has ever been told in print. Their name is Higgins, and the family is composed at present of a grandfather, who must be over 90, four middle-aged sons, and a drove of grandchildren, numbering 25 or 30. Old man Higgins, who is culled "Mexican Bill," has six toes on each foot, and his wife, who is now dead, was equally well provided. They were cousins, and all their sons have six toes except one, whose feet turn in, noticeably at the ankle, but are otherwise normal. All the grand- children have at least six toes, and several of them have seven, the extra one being in each case more or less rudimentary, and not developed like the others. I can vouch for this personally, as I have seen the whole tribe on a number of different occasions, and in summer-time they generally run around bare- footed. The Six-toe Higginses' is the name the family is known by among all the neighbours."
DANCING AT THE PAJUS EXHIBITION. Among the countless places of entertainment tha.t ore being devised for visitors to next year's exhib1- tion—ana M. Picard estimates that he:will receive at least 60,000,000 visitors—ose that is likely to be famous is the Palace of Dancing. The Paris corres- pondent of the Morning Post says it is proposed to realise an ambitious scheme with the Palace of Dancing in 1900. The Palace, which has been accorded a splendid site on the Cours-la-Reine, facing the foreign pavilions on the other bank of the Seine, is to be a thoroughly equipped theatre, specially arranged for the production of ballets and fitted with all the most ingenious devices of the stage carpenter's art. The dances of every country and of every epoch will be given on its stage.
MAITRES LABORI AND DEMANGE. The suggestion that the Bar of England should give a dinner in honour of Maitres Labori and Demange, whoso brilliantly defended the unfortunate Captain Dreyfus, has been acted upon. The trea- surer of the Middle Temple, Mr. Williailn Ambrose, Q.C., recently invited them on behalf of the Inn to dine with the principal. members of the English Bench and Bar in the ancient hall of the society o. the Middle Temple Grand Day. Unfortunately, on account of professional engagements, they are un- able to leave Paris this year, and accordingly cannot accept Mr. Ambrose's invitation.
"WHAT occupation does your father pursue?" a gentleman asked a youngster the other day. "Oh, he's a 'dreadful accident maker' for the news- DaDen." was the replv- MR. H. N. ATLEE, whose death has just taken place at Ealing, was the last surviving member of a family which for upwards or two centuries and a half has been associated with the parish clerkship of that quondam village. The first entry occurs in the register of baptisros in 1644, about which time there were several entries relating to a Cromwell family. Among other local events in which the signature of an Atlee has figured are the burial of Home Tooke, who reposes in the churchyard of St. Mary's; the marriage of Lord Byron's daughter to the Earl of Lovelace, at which the late Mr. grandfather was one of the witnesses; and entries in the name of the Percival family, one of the members of which, the daughter of the murdered Prime Minister, still lreaidea in the parish. t ■ ..v II:
FEARLESS LONDON LADY. In the Kingsland district of London, the home of thousands of working-class people, a representative (says the News of the World) got wind of an interest- ing affair the other day, and set out to investigate. The reporter made his way through the rain and slush of a horribly wet day to 93, De Beauvoir-road, London, N., where he found a buxom, ruddy lady, with good-humoured energy in every line of her face. Mrs. Allan, though grandmother to six, bears her fifty-two years bravely. She has been a hard worker all her life, and told the reporter she had "no fear of the prevalent rheumatism and sciatica which the ( weather naturally suggested. I And yet," said she, I was a martyr to rheuma- tism and sciatica for ten years. I used to dread going to bed, to face another night of misery. The sciatica would come on all of a sudden and quite cripple me, so that I wasn't able to get about. I I have been laid up with sciatica for a. week at a time." I suppose you tried the usual remedies?" I Tried! I tried everything, medicines and em- brocations, but obtained only slight relief for a short time. Many a time I have crawled about when I ought to have been in bed. It seemed as if I had just to go on suffering, there was no help for it." But, Mrs. Allan," interposed the reporter, on a wet day like this, I should have thought your rheumatism would be troubling you. Yet you say that you now fear nothing Nor do I," came her quick reply, "for I'm a different woman lately. And it's all owing to these," and, walking alertly across the room, she held up a box of Dr. Williams' pink pills for pale people.. "I always keep these pills handy, you see," she ( resumed, though it was only by accident I tried j them. A young friend of mine, who had been taking the pills for anannia and had round them do her a lot of good, begged me to take some. She left. me six pills. That was about four months ago. I took them, and already began to feel easier. Then 1 bought a box of Dr. Williams' pink pills, and I have had about seven boxes altogether. "The result is wonderful. I have nothing now to hinder me getting about in all weathers. Lately 1 stopped taking the pills for a little time. You know how quickly sciatica pains come on. Well, all of a sudden I was taken with those pains in my legs, and was scarcely able to get across the room. I said to the girl who helps me, This means a day or two upstairs for me,' and I had actually to go up the stairs backwards. However, 1 took two of Dr. pink pills after eating my supper, and was well and able to walk with ease next morning. You see they are a safeguard. I have never felt bettor or had such ease and good health as I have done since taking Dr. Williams' pink pills. I recommend them to all my friends, who know the good they have done me. All my own people will tell you the same. ] only speak the honest facts and everybody ought to testify to what is honest." Mrs. Allan's married daughter, who had been pre- sent at the interview, said in corroboration that Dr. Williams' pills had done her mother a world of good. In fact, she had been one of the first to recommend them to her mother, having tried them for asthma, and derived great benefit from them. Asthma, indeed, though apparently one of the least lively disorders to be cured by internal medicine, is, like bronchitis and other chest complaints, amenable to treatment by the scientific action of Dr. Williams' pink pills, which, by enriching and purifying the blood, enable the system to resist the effects of cold and damp. This. Mrs. Allan's experience—cured after ten years' suffering of rheumatism and sciatica, and able to stave off the effects of damp afterwards by a single dose—shows what the pills do for rheu- matic sufferers. They have similarly cured cases of influenza and its after-effects, anaemia, nervous pro- stration, St. Vitus' dance, paralysis, consumption cf the bowels and lungs, and indigestion. They in- crease the weight of emaciated or thin people by enabling them to derive benefit from their food. Only genuine pills cure, and these can be distin- guished by bearing the full title—Dr. Williams' pink pills for pale people—(seven words). Price twa shillings and ninepence, of all chemists.
A UNIQUE MOUNTAIN TOWN. II>isti'i!is. a itule village seated amid the White MONNIM'TIJ! on the boundary between Maine and New llampjlnre, is the most unique town in the United States, if not in the world, says a writer in the New York Times. It con'ains over 300 inhabitants at all times of the year, and in the winter months. when the lumber camps are full, the popu- lation is doubled. It has two large manu- facturing establishments, business houses, fine re- sidences, a post-office, telephone and telegraph offices, an electric lighting plant, a railroad, a school, and churches. Tn fact, it has every con- venience that a town can possibly have, yet it is not town or city, or plantation, or even an incor- porated place, and the visit of the tax collector is an unknown thing. The territory where the village is located was granted to Richard Batchei- der by the State of Massachusetts in 1797, and 60 years ago four families moved there from Frye- burg, in the western part. of Oxford County. Me. They cleared away about 100 acres of land and built several log cabins. A few years later they were obliged to abandon the settlement on account of the appearance of "Nigger Tom," a runaway slave, who announced to the terrified settlers that he had been" sent by the Lord" to take the pro- perty which they had worked hard foryears to clear. Then the village was named Nigger Tern's Settle- ment," and was known as that until about 1850, when G. A. and D. R. Hastings purchased over 20,000 acres of the land, and the Wild River Lumber Company of New Hampshire took 40.000 acres. Since then the town has grown with great rapidity, every nation being represented. On any pay day the most cosmopolitan gathering of types from all parts of the earth may be seen in the village store, when they call to settle their weekly grocery bills. The homes have a foreign aspect. Those of the main street are about 40ft. wide by 40ft. deep, two stories high, square like immense dry goods boxes, painted Venetian red. without blinds, and each with six rooms on a floor. They are com- fortable and are kept in good repair. Every house is surrounded by huge piles of lumber giving it the appearance of a town within a stockade. The larger buildings are bound to the earth by huge chains to protect them from the fierce gales which blow down the mountain sides. The most remark- able thing about this remarkable town is the absence of crime. Notwithstandingthe heterogeneous population there are no police. There was a con- stable in the place up to two years ago, but when his commission expired it was impossible to find anyone to take the position. If perchance it is neces- sary to bring a person before the trial justice one of the foremen in the lumber mill goes to the culprit and tells him that his presence is desired at the company's store. There the sentence, if the man acknowledges his guilt, and he usually does, is given him by the booikeeper in the store. It it the only village in the United States where there is no carriage road. The only means of transportation to or from the village is over the railroad which runs from Gilhead to Hastings. The road follows the valley of Wild River, along a route so narrow that in many places there is barely room for the ralls, It penetrates 14 miles into the wildest defiles of the White Mountains. A ride upon it is a new experience, even to a traveller who has visited every part of the world. Along some parts of the road the grade is 400ft. to the mile. The school in the village is a unique feature. The schoolhouse was built in 1892 by the lumber companies, and the teachers are paid by a monthly contribution of 10 cents from each of the workmen in the milIa.
INSURANCE COMPANIES AND ELECTRIC LIGHT. A writer in the Elcctrieiun says it ie taking the average householder a long time to realise that ia replacing gas by electric light he has materially diminished the risk of fire on his property. It is suggested that a movement should be inaugurated to compel fire insurance companies to reduce their pre- miums upon all kinds of property on which electric light has been installed. He further expresses the belief that one fire office at least has already taken this step. If, he says, every owner of a building refused to take out a policy with an office who will not grant the relief in question, the insurance com- panies' recognition of the safety of electric light would Boon take the desired form. I
THE case is mentioned in a Chinese paper of a native, aged 40, who has married and divorced 35 wives and is now married to the 36th. He was first married at 18, and the reason assigned for this ex- traordinary example of inconsistency is that he has a younger sister of extremely jealous and rancorous disposition, who, from the moment taat a bride enters the house, institutes a system of persecution, which soon drives the unhappy woman to ask her husband tor a divorce. THE venerable Princess Clementine of Saxe- Coburg-Gotba, who came over to Kngland for the purpose of attending the wedding of her great-niece, Princesse lsabelle de trance, is a daughter of Louis Philippe, King of the French, who made his home in England after the Revolution of 1848. In spite of her great age (83). she is remarkably strong, both in mind and body, and (says the Lady) she looked regal at the Royal wedding in a beaut iful gown of rich purple velvet, trimmed with rare old laca. She was leaning upon the arm of her son, Prince Philip, during the ceremony, and he accompanied her back to Vienna a day or two after the wedding.
RECENT SHIPPING CASUALTIES. A QUESTION OF AGE. That all too-little-read Blue Book dealing with shipping casualties contains, hidden within its covert (says the Syren and Skipping), facts which amply repay one for the trouble of digging them rmt. One of these more salient features is especially un- pleasant reading-namely, the analysis of the bhippmg loss roll for the year terminating with June 30, 1898. In plain English, the returns show that there is an uumistakable tendency for old vessels to meet with disaster. In fact, it would seem that the older a vessel gets, the greater are the chances that she will encounter loss. This is borne out, Dot only from the list of missintr find foundered vessels, but what is far more remark- able, in the case of vesselg which conic to grief through stranding. If we take, first, the case of the vessels listed as m'ssir.g." then out of 31 craft tabulated in this melancholr categori eix only were under five years of age. while no 'ewer than 15 were either 20 or upwards of 20 years of age. The anrage age of these" mi8sing" vessels work* out at just upon IS years. Eight of them were steamers. One of them was a new steel barque of 1490 tons, bound from Liverpool to San Francisco. Eight of the missing ships had coal cargoes, and four carried grain. "Missing, is. of co.srse. but one form of foundering, as it figures in the casualty returns, the only difference being, cf course, that the "missing" vessel leaves not a trace be- li in." to tell the story of the final disaster. Of the vest-i Is which met their fate by foundering, there were 34 which were of 100 tons or over. The youngest of these craft was five years old, while the patriarch of this foundered fleet had seen ro less t han 69 years of active service, while half of the 34 vessels listed were over 20 years of age. The signi- ficance of these figures is still more striking when the average age is worked out—the figure being just on 22 years. It will be urged, of course, that there is nothing startling or unusual in these figures. It is only to be expected that those vessels which have stood the strain of ocean- voyaging for a considerable length of time should be more liable to the risk of foundering, or being reported as missing," than newer craft. But granted all this, the question will suggest itself: If old ships are liable to founder or go amissing, is proper care exercised to withdraw them from the active list when, by reason of their age frailties, there is likelihood of their coming to grief?" The query is a pertinent and serious one, and we leave owners and underwriters to answer it from their more special knowledge of such matters. Admit- ting, however, that it is to some extent to be ex- pected that older and partially worn-out craft should succumb to stress of weather, it is inte- resting to inquire whether there is any connection between age and disasters of other types than foundering or missing. No fewer than 106 vessels of 20 years of age and J upwards were totally lost. It is only fair to point out that many of these craft were foreigners. Thus, quite a dozen Norwegian-owned ships came to grief mainly on the East Coast of Great Britain during the month of March, 1898, and of these the moet juvenile was a craft that had seen 20 years of ser- vice. The veteran was the Hannah, a sailer of 97 tons. She was bound from Seaham to Great Yar- with coals, and she came to grief like a worn-out steed not far from her destination, stranding on the Norfolk Coast. It is an interest- ing and legitimate query as to whether the age of a vessel should in any shape or form conduce to her going ashore ? It is quite possible that an old ship has less power of beating off a lee shore than a younger and consequently stauncher craft: or it may be that these worn-out vessels, when overtaken by bad weather, run for the nearest port, and get ashore in so doing, whereas a stronger baat would adopt the wiser policy of giving the land a wide berth. These may be possible explanations. The un- believer in the integrity of the shipowner might make another suggestion to the effect that ¡ an old and obsolete craft is past work and I that the best thing to do with her is to pile her up and realise her insurance. This is a somewhat cynical view to take of the matter, but the figures we have given are so alarming and point to such a connection between age and disaster that there is certainly occasion for uncharitable speculation. Of course, it will be urged that many of the vessels listed are built of wood, and are thus necessarily longer-lived than iron or steel ships. And it will I further be contended that many of the craft, par- ticulars of which we have given, are owned abroad. All this we admit, but at the same time. the facts we have mentioned have a significance which cannot be ignored. Why should vessels be allowed to sail J the seas until there is a probability that they will J founder or be missing if overtaken by abnor- ) mally severe weather ? Or if we take the case of total losses through stranding, what is the explana- j tion of the fact that so many of the vessels tibulated ] have long passed the allotted average period of the ship's life ?
ANOTHER GOLD COUNTRY. In an article on the trade of 'Corea, Engineering points to the prospects of that country being in the future one of the gold producers on a fairly large scale. The total output is estimated at of which the amount exported, as declared in the Custom's figures, was £ 240,047. As much again is probably exported clandestinely. An Ame- rican syndicate has developed its operations in the aorthern part of the Pingyang province. It has 80W a staff of some 40 foreigners and 1200 Coreans engaged there, entailing a monthly outlav of about JE4000 on wages. It is said that a sum of nearly £100,000 has already been invested in the under- taking, and that a further expenditure on electric machinery and other appliances is contemplated in the near future.
MEASURING EARTHQUAKES. Thirty-three stations are now for ascertaln- ing and measuring the trembling of the earth but it is still desirable, according to Engineering, that a central seismological laboratory should be esta- blished, at which earth movements could be re- corded and analysed in relation to the corresponding registers received from abroad. Professor Milne's own station at Shide, Isle of Wight, is still located in some dark and damp stables, which have ruined some photographs, and are responsible for other mischief. In spite of these difficulties, Professor Milne has recorded, during the past year, 103 earthquakes. Over 70 per cent. of these records are repeated in the registers of Kew; from 53 to 66 per cent. are common in Nicolaiev, Potsdam, and Trieste; and 56 per cent. to Victoria in British Columbia. From the time at which these disturb- ances reach the various observatories, it has been possible to locate the centres from which they have originated. In many instances these were shown to be suboceanic; and while they give evidence of geo- logical activity in ocean beds, they promise to indi- cate localities which it would be unwise to cross with cables. A curious feature exhibited in a collection •f results of the same earthquake is, that the large waves may be less in amplitude at a station near their origin than they are at stations more remote. An earthquake, originating in Japan, crossing beneath the Pacific to Victoria, B.C., may yield a smaller diagram at that place than the one obtained at double the distance in the Isle of Wight. In this latter case the large waves swept over the free sur- faces of two Continents. The inference is that oceans exert a damping influence upon indulatioM of their beds. Mr. Milne, referring to earthquake echoes, says that as an earthquake dies, it does so by a rhythmical succession of similar movements, which are more suggestive of surgings following reflections than of a spasmodic settlement of die- jointed Strata. The first of these surgings often appears about five minutes after the chief shock, and this, but on a continually decreasing scale, may be repeated many times before the earthquake has ceased. Mr. Symons states that earthquakes get a character impressed upon them, so that we have something like a postmark. us, last year, Mr. Milne correctly predicted that an earthquake report, wired from Japan, was wrong by 24 hours. The Colonial and the War Offices have met the Com- mittee of the British Association, and different types of instruments will be compared in the new central station.
ROPEDON MOUNT KENIA. Mr. H. J. Mackinder has given some additional details of the successful ascent of Mount Kenia- the great Central African mountain, 19,000ft, high. Mount Kenia is a great dome fully 80 miles across. Rising from the summit of this dome is a great pyram id of rock with two smaller peaks at the top —one 40ft. or DOft. higher than the other. The mountain is surmounted by belt of forest, and through this a path had to be cut for a distance of 3000ft. up the mountain slope. Thirty-four hours were consumed in reaching the summit. The descent was more dangerous, as the explorers oould not anchor themselves with their axes owing to the hani- gess of the ice, and there was very little snow on the surface to assist them. Darkness overtook them before they reached the foot of the mountain, and for 1- hours they sat on a narrow ledge of rock, roped together and half-frozen.
JAMES, where is the letter I left on my desk ?" I posted it, sir." "But I hadn't put the rum, and address on the envelope." That's just it, lir-I supposed it was an anonymoas letter.