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I The Voice of the Charmer.…
The Voice of the Charmer. I [ By Mrs. L. T. MEADE, I Authoress of "The Medicine Lady," A World of Girls," "Wild Kitty," Wheels L of Iron," The Cleverest Woman in England," cfc., chc. k CHAPTER XXXIV. A FORTRESS WON. THESE was a narrow path across this field which led direct to the high road from Sidminster. Mar- got now walked down this, path feeling breathless ana agitated. She had put a considerable distanoa between herself and Joshua. It was no longer necessary for her to run to get away from him, but breathless as she was, she still walked quickly. In her agitation she had taken the wrong turning, and was now going away from the Red Lodge. This fact scarcely troubled her. She had much to think over, and did not care to meet either Ward. or Patty until her thoughts were arranged, and her brain ceased to swim in dizzy wonder. Presently she reached the high road. It lay white and dusty to the right of her and left of her. A breeze had sprung up that stirred the dust, and blew it into her face. She was too much excited to notice this small discomfort. At last," she said to herself, my fears may really rest. At last all is made plain, and Patty, my dear, my darling friend, is completely and for ever exonerated. I suppose I am glad-yes, I am very glad. It was dreadful to be told the truth by such a horrid personage as that Joshua Day; still I must look upon this chance meeting with him as a direct interposition of Providence. Yes, of course, I'm very glad to know the truth. All my suspicions must now die for ever. When I see Mr. Ward I must apologise for having doubted him and Patty, and I must sue to him—yes, I must humbly sue to him to keep my secret, and never to tell Patty of my doubts. How bitterly I regret now that he drew some of my real feelings from me two days, ago." 9 Margot still walked fast; she turned a corner, and saw a dogcart coming to meet her. A tall man in a tweed suit was driving, the groom sat behind. Margot felt her heart give a glad bound. At sight of her Dering pulled up quickly, he flung the reins to the groom, jumped off the cart, and came at once to her side. How lucky this is," he. exclaimed. Is it possible that you have been coming to meet me ?" No," answered Margot. "1 had not an idea that you were expected." You don't mean to say that Ward never told you. I have come down to the Red Lodge to-night on purpose to see you." Your name was not mentioned to me," answered Margot. She leant against the hedge as she spoke. Her interview with Joshua had tired her. Some of her defiant spirit was laid low. The contrast between Joshua and Dering was so great that she could not help experiencing a sense of pleasure and safety in the presence of the latter. The feeling in her heart was reflected on her face. Dering saw it; something emboldened him to seize the opportunity, and, if possible, to take the citadel by storm. It doesn't greatly matter whether you knew I was coming or not," he said. I am here, and so are you. Now you have got to hear me out." Margot coloured. We have no time for conversation now," she said, "if we mean to get back to the Red Lodge for dinner." Dinner is not of the slightest consequence," said Dering. I want you to come for a walk with me. We are not far from the pine wood. Come with me there, I have something to say, and you must hear me." I would rather go back." But I should prefer that you stayed with me for a little. Please remember that I have come to the Red Lodge for the express purpose of talking to you. You may as well listen to me first as last." Dering had never been so bold before. Margot raised her eyes and looked at him timidly; some- thing ia t-he gaze he gave her caused her to lower her black eyelashes. Come," he pleaded. "We shall have shade in the wood, and be alone." She turned with him without a word. "Why did she do it-what was the matter with her?" she asked herself this question many times. Several times she halted, too, and opened her lips as if to speak, but a glance at Dering kept her silent. There was an altogether new look about him; his lips were set in a hard, firm line. The determination in his blue eyes gave them a quality and depth which Margot had never before noticed in them. When they found themselves in the shade of the wood, Dering turned abruptly and faced Margot. You are not well," he said. What is the matter ?" "I am quiet well," she answered. She pulled herself together with an effort. You are very pale," he replied. I say again that you are not well." "Yes I am. I have been working hard lately, o,nd-I have been in considerable trouble." I thought as much," said Dering. His tone took a deep note. He came a little nearer. But my trouble is over," said Margot bravely; only the getting rid of it has startled me. I met a disagreeable man just now; he frightened me rather. That is probably why I look pale and tired." Who can have dared to frighten you?" Oh, it doesn't matter. It was only a rough person of the name of Joshua Day. He persisted in walking with me, and he talked disagreeably. I wanted to get rid of him, and had just done so when I met yoq. I was glad to meet you." Dering's eyes flashed. Margot noticed the look. Again she glanced done uneasily. We ought to go home now," she said, speaking I without her usual decision. Patty said they were to dine at eight. They will be surprised if we do not appear." What does that matter ? Ward and his wife are happy people-intensely happy. They can live through an anxious half-hour, even if we cause it them, which I doubt. Now, Margot-yes, I will call you Margot-you have got to hear me out." If I must, I must," answered Margot. Sho turned a little away. I want to know if you will marry me." I told you some time ago that I would not." Some time ago is not now. I ask you now again—again, for the last time. If you reject me now, you must give me your reasons." Margot was silent. Dering looked at her. Do not reject me ?" he asked. I wish you would not speak to me on this sub- ject, Sir Wilfred. I told you some months ago that my mind was fully made up." That has nothing whatever to do with the pre- sent moment. Is your mind now fully made up to reject me?" I——" Dering interrupted her eagerly. No, it isn't," he said, and there was a joyful sort of conquering ring in his voice. You need not say any more. I defy you to say to my face that you do not like me a little; I defy you to look full at me and tell me, that because of what I did i* did TrJ^U ai? implaeable and unforgiving. What iinloeispdfnii ^consideration for you. 1 have M f J,• do not intend to apologise any ¥ymlatther and your father wished us to T IM to sTnr/v°Uj fu"y aware of the fact; I The seaueT nr em*?arrassrc>ent by acting as Idld. I he sequel proved that I did wrong. Well, we've spoken enough about this. I^id wrong-I acknowledge it. Let us now drop that Dart of the subject for ever I loved you, Margot-dfyou love me ? That is the question of questions-an- swer it. Look at me while you answer it." I never knew that you loved me," 8aid Margot. Didn't you ? Well, know it now. I iove you with all my heart and soul. I have loved you for months. I am your lover. Will you have me for ¡ your faithful lover and husband for all the rest of '■ You are very good," said Margot. Don't say that. I am a man pleading for the dearest thing in all the world. If you reject me I < shan't die, nor do anything extraordinary, but I shall be miserable. If I love you and you love me, why should we both be miserable ?" I never said I loved you." I think you do-nay, I am sure of it. You do love me-yes, I know it. Tell me so with your own lips." Dering put his arm round Margot's waist; he drew her close to him. "I am poor; I am unfit for you," she sud, making a struggle to keep back the fast-yielding citadel. What does that matter ? Who cares about money in a supreme moment like this ? Say Yes or 'No,' Margot. Remember "-here Dering re- moved his arm, pushed her away, and looked in- tentlyat her-" remember that if you say No' now I will believe you. I will never ask you again —never. I love you, and you love me. Can you dare to make us both wretched ?" No, no; only-" You love me, Margot f 1-yes, I think I do." You will marry me P" "If you wish it." Do you wish it, Margot?" Yes, yes, Wilfred"—here she laid her flushed face against his arm-" yes, yes. I am weak, I am overcome. I yield-I yield utterly. Yes, I do love you-I have loved you for a long time. I would not dare say it even to myself until now; but I know it now." My darling! Margot, you are the sweetest girl in all the world. When sh&U we be married ?" As soon as you like." J CHAPTER XXXV. I I A CONFESSION. I No one made any remark when Margot and Dering returned to the Red Lodge quite an hour late for dinner. They were received by Ward and his wife as if nothing in the least extraordinary had hap- pened. Margot ran up at once to her room. She shut the door and locked it; then she flung off her hat, pushed back her hair from her brow, and stood tor a moment by the wide-open window re- flecting on the change which had suddenly come into her life. Yes, she acknowledged it now. A beautiful thing had happened to her. She was crowned by the love of a good, a very good man. The love he gave her she fully returned. All the harsh, hard thoughts—all the futile struggling against an unkind fate—had departed. She was happy; she loved and was beloved. I loved him all the time, but I was too proud to say it—I was too proud to admit it," she mur- mured to herself. Yes, I loved him all the time. I am the happiest woman in all the world now." In the golden light of love, Margot had no time yet to think of the strange reversion which this half hour in the pinewood had wrought in her worldly circumstances. She and her mother had lost the Red Lodge but Sir William Dering was the richest man in his county, and Margot as his wife would have more money than she knew what to do with. Margot's mother would have the dream of her life fulfilled, and be happy and victorious and gracious and sweet as of old. When the cloud was lifted from Margot, it would also be lifted from Mrs. Fletcher; but Margot thought of none of these things just now. Her heart was singing a song, and she could think of nothing but the air to which the song was set, and the words of the melody itself. She changed her dress for a white one, and went shyly and softly downstairs. Dinner was waiting for the lovers in the great dining-room, but Margot had little appetite to eat. 0 When she took her place at the table, Ward, who had been standing by the open window, turned and looked at her. He hadn't asked Dering a word as yet, but he knew perfectly well what had happened. He also was quite con- tented, and did not want to hurry the young folks into telling him what he already knew. He left them after a time, and went back to Patty, who was lying on a sofa in one of the drawing- rooms. Well? she said, looking up at him eagerly. It is as I expected," he answered. They are the happiest pair of young fools in the world. We won't bother them with questions to-night." "I want to kiss Margot and bless her," said Patty. Say nothing to her to-night, dearest," an- swered Ward, unless she happens to speak to you. She is lifted up into a sort of lovers' para- dise, and her feet scarcely touch common earth. This is a very delightful sensation to her, but it is uninteresting to bystanders. Wait until she has slept on her bliss. Then you may say anything to her that you like." Patty promised somewhat reluctantly. She was most anxious to give Margot that sort of kiss which one woman will give another whom she dearly loves, on an occasion like the present. She and Margot were the same age, but she felt motherly towards her to-night. She could not help judging from her own past experience, and feeling certain that Margot was longing to pour out her heart to her. The evening passed away, however, in the ordinary manner, and Patty being tired and weak, went up to her room rather earlier than usual. She had scarcely done so before a knock at the door announced the arrival of Margot. Patty instantly guessed that she had come to confide in her. She told her maid that she would not want her services again that evening, and called to Margot to come in. "Have you come to brush your hair here?" asked Patty. I am very glad if you have, for although I have come up to bed in obedience to John's mandate, I do not feel the least bit sleepy." Margot had put on her white dreasing-gown, and her rippling black hair fell far below her waist. "I have come to see you on the excuse of brushing my hair," she said. In reality, I want to tell you Here she paused and coloured vividly. You have guessed? she exclaimed, eagerly. Oh, yes, Margot, darling exclaimed Patty. I have guessed. You don't know how glad I am. Come here, Margot; let me kiss you. My dear little sister, you have indeed made me happy to-night. God bless you, Margot. Yes, He will bless you for you are very good." No, I am not good," answered Margot; but I am very happy." Sit down on this hassock at my feet," said Patty, and tell me all about it; and first of all, answer a question which I am burning to ask: Why did you not make yourself happy long ago? Because I didn't know my own heart." But you know it now? Yes, I assuredly do." You love that dear fellow as much as he deserves to be loved?" I don't know as to that, Patty. I love him very much. I love him so deeply that I can't even talk about it. The wonderful and extra- ordinary thing is that I didn't know that I really 1 loved him until he spoke to me to-night in the pinewood." "The pinewood!" said Patty, with a queer sort of a sigh. So you came to a decision there? It has been destined of late to hear many lovers' vows. Well, you are going to be very happy, Margot; and I say again that I congratu- late you from my heart. How delighted your mother will be! Now, of course you will give up that preposterous idea of going as a nurse to St. Thomas's?" Don't speak of it like that, Patty. It would have been a very good life for me, had it been my duty to enter upon it. Now, of course all thai sort of thing is at an end." When are you going to write to your mother, Margot? "I am going back to her to-morrow mcming, Patty." Oh, that is cruel! exclaimed Patty. Won't you stay witn usl There couldn't be a sweeter place for lovers than the Red Lodge, with a pi ie- wood close by." I must go back to-morrow," said Margot. We shall probably be married soon." That is delightful." I can't realise all these details yet," said Mar- got but the main facts must, of course, be told to mother, and I should like to tell her my- self. I am the happiest girl in the world. Yes, I fully admit it." Here she stood up, went close to the window, clasped her hands tightly together, and looked out. I don't deserve my happiness," she said, look- ing full at Patty. I wrapped myself in my pride like a cloak, and I made mother miserable." You have puzzled me a good bit too, Mar- got," answered Patty. But, never mind, it's all right now. I think we both are especially lucky. I am already married to the man whom I She paused. She did not go on her face sud- denly paled; her eyes grew misty; her full red lips trembled. "Whet is it, Patty?" asked Margot, with anxiety. I have a pain here often," said Patty, press- ing her hand to her heart—" an extraordinary pain, not physical (I have had that too. I don't want to think of it) but I have a pain, an ache, just here, just by the breastbone, which depresses me. It feels like a sort of haunting fear. It tells me that love like mine-like mine-so deep, so passionate, so terribly self-forgetful, cannot last, and I have staked my all on its lasting. Take warning by me, Margot. Don't ever love Sir Wilfred as I love John—but there," she added, yon couldn't. It isn't in you." What do you mean? answered Margot, star- tled and half-offended. I think I can love as well as anybody. Why do you hint that my love must fall short of yours? Dearest, not because I disparage you," ex- claimed Patty, laying her long white hand on Margot's arm; but because, though good, your circumstances are different. You will be bright and happy. When I think of the saint-like sort of life you and Sir Wilfred can lead, I almost envy you." There you are again, Patty, as mysterious as ever," replied Margot. Why can't you and your John take your happiness quietly like other mortals? Oh, yes I know you are quiet enough before people. I never say anyone with so much self-repression as Mr. Ward. But you are neither of you really natural." Natural! answered Patty. Do you notice that we are not natural ? Of course I do. How could anyone who really loved you as I love you, Patty, fail to notice that all too patent fact? You, at least, are always in a state of strain. It must be dreadful to love in your way. I wouldn't do it for all the world." And I wouldn't change with any human be- ing exclaimed Patty. "I glory in the love which gives me pain. Who wouldn't who really knew John as he is? Patty lay back in the deep chair into which she had thrown herself. Her face was as white as the white dressing-gown which she wore; her eyes looked big and dark, there were black shadows under them the lower part of her face looked slightly worn, pathetically old, as though her life was lived twice as fast as most people's. You look feverish and ill," said Margot. You must not agitate yourself. But the fact is I have never understood you." Pattv looked up and smiled at her; there was something infinitely pathetic in the smile. I expect to be misunderstood," she said "it doesn't matter. You are going to be as happy as May sunshine. Your weather will always be the fresh bright weather of June, but I, I dwell in late August, when the earth is languid with heat, and the world is drowsy because it has had so much happiness. We are different, and most people would prefer your lot to mine, but I wouldn't change with you nor with any human bein- that ever breathed." Well, well, I can only say again that I don't understand you," said Margot, "but I love you I love you with all my heart, and now that I am beginning a new life I want to say something to you-I want my soul to be purified by confession to-niffht." Wh at can you possibly have to confess ? asked Patty. Ever since the day we lost this property," said Marprot, "I have been sinful, hard, and wicked. My cloak of pride covered me from bead to foot, and slowly and gradually the hand of pride began to ossify my very heart itself. A few hours ago I didn't think anything would induce me to tell you what I now mean to say; but now, as I dare look at you, I feel that I dare not deceive you, Patty. Pattv, my darling, beau- tiful sister, my loving friend to whom all my heart has gone out, I thought badly of you. I thought shame, shame of you, Patty; I must con- fess to you, and you must forgive me before I lie down to-night." Margot now knelt by Patty's chair. She lowered her head until it rested on the arm of the chair her hands were clasped. A curious startled look of alarm filled Patty's eyes. I don't want you to confess to me," she said. Thoughts which have never been spoken-" But they have been spoken. I told Mr. Ward." You told John? What did you tell him? That I suspected you." Patty suddenly pressed her hand to her heart; she gave a faint laugh. Margot started upright, and faced her. I'll tell you," she said. If you were another you'd never forgive me, but being yourself you will, and I must wash my soul white. I was guilty of a base, base thought. Patty, I will tell it to you." » Dearest, believe me, I don't wish to hear it." It is dend," replied Margot, and it must be decently buried I will bury it for ever in your presence. Patty, do you remember the night when you walked in your sleep, when you went up the secret stairs to the octagon room, and when vou took the will out of its resting- place? Patty did not reply; her eyes, wide open and almost fixed in their stare, were raised full to Margot's face. Margot, intent on her humiliat- ing confession, did not even notice them. I followed you," she said. "You knew that before, didn't you? That part was told you at the time." Yes, yes. Why should we rake up that old storv? "Because I must tell vou all. When you came back to your room, Pntty, you threw your 1 y hands above your head. and you said, oh, with such passion, The will is false I have sold my- self to the devil! Pattv suddenly sprang to her feet. TTow cold it is," she said. Let us shut the window." "Cold." interrupted Margot. "The night is intenselv hot." "No. I shiver; there is a fog coming on. one of our dreadful Devonshire foiz,; ,tf,ocrtba,tebills to the bone, that gives vou a sort of ague." 0 Margot looked out of the window in surprise. The moon was shining brightly in the dark blue summer skv. The air that came in was soft, warm, and balmy. "You are ill, Pattv," she said. "I oughtn't to trouble you with all these details." "You repeated something that I said in mv sleep," said Patty. How" I hate the thought of that night, and all the dreadful time before I became John's wife Her voice shook she went across the room, opened a drawer, took out a large white woollen shawl, and wrapped it ronnd her. "Your teeth are chattering. Have you really got a touch of ague? said Margot. Oh, no; I am only cold. It is the fog coming on." "Patty, darling, there Is no fog. Look out at the summer night. Could anything be sweeter or clearer?" Yes, but the fog will soon he on us. Do you not see how motionless the trees are? Margot, please say good-night' now. I am tired I must go to bed." I will leave you in a minute," said Margot, But I have not yet confessed." Margot, I hate being confessed to. I must tell you. You must know me as I am. I believed you guilty. Patty.' Guilty," said Patty, with a ghastly smile. She shivered. "How I wish we might have a fire," she added inconsequently. Yes, 1 thought the will was false. Patty, who had half risen, slipped down again in her armchair. Try as I would," continued Margot, absorbed in her own reflections, and not specially noticing her friend. Try as I would, I could not banish the thought. The will is false,' I said to myself, and Patty had sold herself to the devil.' The thought used to come to me in my dreams it used to follow me about all day; it turned me into a cold calculating, cruel woman. I could not forgive I did not want to look you in the face. Oh, Patty no wonder you look white, no wonder you can't glance at me. Oh, my darling how could I doubt one like you? But I did, I did. Two days ago I could not help telling Mr. Ward what I thought." And what did he say?" asked Patty. She wrapped her shawl tighter about her as she spoke. He was pained and shocked; no wonder. He said that your face-your sweet, sweet face- would best kill these cruel doubts. He warned me not to mention them to you. I promised." You ought to have kept your word." "I meant to keep it; I would have done so. but all is now completely changed; the doubt is dead for ever. Listen to me, Patty. When I went out this evening I little knew how mu:h was to happen. My cruel doubt was to be slain, my cloak of pride torn to tatters, and love, beau- tiful love, was to crown me and fill my heart with rejoicing. In the first part of my walk I had an unpleasant and yet delightful experience. I met a man of the name of Joshua Day." A man; I didn't catch the words," said Patty, in a faint voice. "A man, a queer man, called Joshua Day. Do you know him? Yes." Patty, are you faintt" No go on, Margot." I met Joshua Day, and he told me that h. witnessed the will." He told you that?" said Patty, suddenly rising to her feet, flinging back her white shawl, and gazing full at Margot. "What did you say he told you? That he witnessed the will. He described the whole scene-the morning room, Miss Rhodes, your old nurse Joan, and the London lawyer. He spoke as such a person might speak but he set my doubts at rest for ever. What did you say, Patty? The scoundrel! cried Patty, with passion then her voice broke and changed. Oh, Margot, I can't see the room is turning round hold me, I don't want to fall." What is this?" said Ward's authoritative voice. He entered the ream quickly at thit moment. What is the matter? What have you done to Patty, Margot? Do take her, Mr. Ward," said Margot, ter- rified in her turn. She wants brandy. See how white she is." But what have you done to her?" sail Ward. Have you been saying anything to upset her? I was only confessing to her-confessing my doubts." Ward's face, in spite of all his self-control, wore an ugly look. Leave us now," he said abruptly. (To be continued.)
,WITCHES OF MARTINIQUE.
WITCHES OF MARTINIQUE. Three marvellous stories of old-time fortune- telling by negresses of Martinique are related by the Gaulois." To the young seventeenth cen- tury girl Francoise d'Aubigne, still famous as Mdrne. de Maintenon, it was foretold that she cA would be presque Reine." To the Empress Josephine, in her insular girlhood, plus que Heine" was the black Sybil's prophecy. A rela- tive and playmate of Josephine's heard herself addressed as Reine Voilee." Pirates carried her off, she became favourite Sultana, and Abdul Aziz was her grandson.
[THREE MURDERS AND SUICIDES.
[THREE MURDERS AND SUICIDES. A horrible crime has taken place at Bois Colombes, a suburb of Paris, a young married woman named Mme. Bourgoing being shot dead by a man whose wife had acted as the murdered lady's charwoman. It appears that the char- woman had been dismissed by Mme. Bourgoing, and in a spirit of revenge had incited her husband to commit the crime. The woman has been arrested but the man has disappeared, it being surmised that he has committed suicide by throwing himself into the Seine. A second murder is also reported, the victim in this case being a young girl who refused to accept the hand of an old cabman well on in years. The cabman, meeting the girl in the street, calmly shot her, and then blew out his own brains. From La Pape, near Lyons, comes the story of a farm labourer, who having been discharged from his post, murdered his master's daughter, and then killed himself.
! BEATEN BY AMERICA.
BEATEN BY AMERICA. Japan has just given an order for six American locomotives for the Hokkaido Government Rail- ways, on which British locomotives only had been previously specified for. The Board of Trade Journal" says that this is the first time that the Government have placed British and American makers in competition on the same specification. The makers were given a free hand as regards design, and, with the exception of the tyres, they were not bound to any par- ticular manufacturers for the material. The specification was just such a one as British makers had been asking for, yet they were beaten in the contest.
MURDERS BY MUTINEERS.
MURDERS BY MUTINEERS. News of a terrible tragedy of the sea has just reached this country from Port Townsend, U.S.A. The story of the tragedy was forwarded to the British Vice-Consul at the latter port by Captain Meyers, of the British ship India, which was discharging at Ayacara, the most ir southerly port of the South American continent. It appears that while the Chilian barque Flecha was unloading her cargo at Ayaeara a mutiny broke out among the crew. The sailors mur- dered in cold blood the master of the vessel, Captain Wesley, together with his wife and child, and also the first and second officers and the steward of the ship. After thus brutally destroying all those in authority, the mutineers scuttled the ship, and succeeded in escaping to the mountains. The Flecha was formerly the British barque Darmouth, a wooden ship of 915 tons, built at Dundee in 1857. She was owned by a Valparaiso firm.
|UNEARTHING ANCIENT EGYPT.
UNEARTHING ANCIENT EGYPT. Drs. Grenfell and Hunt have just brought their series of excavations at Fazoum to a brilliant close. A great number of papyri of the ptolemaic period have been recovered, and in one of the cemeteries crocodiles were dis- covered simply buried in rolls of papyrus. At Hibeb, on the east bank of, the Nile, between Minieh and Beni-Souef, a cemetery of the earliest ptolemaic was unearthed. In this cemetery the mummies hail all been swathed in papyrus. The discoveries at Hibeb are, says the Bourse Egyptienne," considered important.
The tapestry lent by tne JJukeof Devonshire to the Kensington Museum is one of a set of four, probably removed from old Hardwick Hall by Bess of Hardwicke," the famous Countess of Shrewsbury. These had been cut into strips and nailed on the sides of some of the deep windows of the present hall, which was bunt by her. There they were recently discovered by Mr. Arthur Strong, the librarian to the House of Lords, and have been restored. The piece shown is 35ft. long by 15ft. high, and depicts a landscape, a bear hunt, a boar hunt, etc. An appeal is being made to the American public to save from the axe of the lumberman the lew remaining groves of Californian big trees. Several of these trees are said to be 5000 years old, 300ft. high, 30ft. through, and still growing. The sequoias, the family to which the big trees belong, flourished away back in the Miocene period. Then they covered vast areas both in Europe and America, but now they are restricted to a narrow strip in Califo
Crack Cricketers, i
Crack Cricketers, i [SPECIALLY CONTRIBUTED.] I WILFRID RHODES. Once upon a day--and not very long ago,the now dead Empire builder, Cecil Rhodes, had to go to a West Riding town on some quest in- volving millions of money. "Cum on, Joe, laad, an' see t' greeat mon, Rooads; he'll be at t' staashun ommust noo, an't' Mayor an' Corpcra- shun's ti meet him, wi' t' tahn band an' all," said one millhand to another in the dinner hour. By gum, ah will that," responded his mate PI-i sud gra.adly looike to clap een on him." Together the twain hurried to join the expectant crowd and when the Colossus stepped from the train to a carriage in waiting, amid thunderous cheer- ing, Joe 0 turned disgustedly to his fellow of the factory. "Yon's nooan Rooads," he blurted out, "yen's owd anuf ti be Rooads's feyther." There was only one Rhodes in the world for the sport- loving Yorkshireman, and that was the brilliant young "creckit-laaiker" who had just then bowled himself at a bound into the mental hall of heroes of the Tykes," and taken the place held before by "Bobby" Peel and "Teddy" Peate. The man who metamorphosed the map of South Africa stood as a j^ersonage of no account in the eye of the typical Leeds""loiner," when compared with the left-handed lad whose praise as a trundler was beginning to be sounded over all the shire of many acres, and who to-day is the idol of every Yorkshire lover of the grand old greensward game of England. They wagged their heads dubiously Yorkshire- way about the chances of success of Archie Maclaren's England team for Australia when it was found that the famous couple of wicket-cap- turers, Wilfrid Rhodes and George Hirst, could not go and no doubt the potential pair would have made a vast difference to the strength of the side. Hirst the Cornstalks have for some years known and respected, here and at home, and the willow-wielders from "down under" who did battle with Mr. "Joe" Darling in 1899 can scarcely have forgotten the stripling who, one September afternoon at Scarborough, playing for the England team of that mighty, padless, slogger r'nd'genial gentleman, Mr. Charles Inglis Thornton went on against them on a pitch so much to his liking that it might have been made for him, and bagged nine of their wickets in eighteen overs and four balls (ten of the overs I maidens' for only four and twenty runs. Major Wardill-this notwithstanding—is reported j to have recently spoken rather disparagingly of Wil- frid Rhodes, as "an over-rated bowler"; but since the left-hander outed seven of his men on the rain-sodden Edgbaston ground for the scant score of seventeen runs in the opening "test" match of the present season, perhaps the gallant manager of the Australian combination may have reformed his view. When the ground helps him at all, Wilfrid Rhodes is simply and surely a, terror to batsmen of every calibre. As witness the "record game, for lowest county aggregate, last June at Trent Bridge, when he had half-a- dozen Notts wickets in under eight overs for four runs, and when only thirteen was the total tally of the Lacemen against Schofield Haigh and le Mr. Maclaren might well want to take Rhodes to Australia with this feat in his eye but Rhodes wisely heeded the wish of Lord Hawke that he should conserve his destructive force for York- shire consumption. The executive of the cham- pion county treat their players too well to be flouted. Wilfrid Rhodes "comes through" Kirkheaton, "Huthersfild way,"—where also was born his trusty co-partner in many a splendid trundling performance, George Hirst. The fast left-hander is seven years the senior of the two, for Wilfrid Rhodes only got his first glimpse of daylight on the twenty-ninth of October in 1877. A strap- ping youngster, clean-limbed and five feet nine tall, he soared straight out of club cricket into county fame when he was twenty-one, being given a successful trial on Lord's Ground against the M.C.C. in 1898, taking two wickets of the club men for 39 and four for 24. Yorkshire was want- ing a slow left-hander to take the lost place of Peel just then, and they found the very man in Rhodes and Rhodes has never looked back. He is undoubtedly entitled to come into the cate- gory of cricketing "cracks" now, though he is still so yo7;ng, ana there are those—not bad judges either—who contend that, at his best, on a pitch rendering him any assistance, there has never among the great ones of the game been a greater than he. With action high, easy, and ideal he in bowl- ing takes but a short run, bringing his arm over smartly and gracefully. The finger-break he gets on the ball. and the deceptive flight he gives it, confer upon the hurtled sphere a destroying power that baffles the most accomplished of his antagon^ts exceedingly. Rhodes varies his pace from slow to medium with judicious cunning, albeit h, looks as guileless as a girl ingenue. Batsmen have come to know and to distrust that artless and modest manner of his, though, a.nd with very good reason, as the score-books of Yorkshire for four years past can eloquently 0' show. His pitch is the perfection of accuracy on "his day," and that day comes oftener than in the case of most front rank men. He keeps his proper length all the time, and has a tre- mendous "spin" on when the ground is not too hard, while even upon true, dry wickets he must not be treated with anything like contempt, as many an over-confident subject of "Willow the King" has ruefully found. Rhodes is an oppor- tunist of the very first water, taking every ounce of advantage that can be gained out of a pitch rendered difficult by rain, sun, or wear. To his arrival in first-class cricket at "the psychological moment "-when the White Rosarians were bereft of Pee: in his prime—and to his promptness in seizing his chance and keeping his hold on the positon gained by the infinite painstaking art, Wilfrid Rhodes owes his present splendid emin- ence as a slow bowler. Helped wonderfully by that always trusty-stumper, David Hunter, at Bradford, in 1897, when still quite new to York- shire cricket, Rhodes wiped the eye of Surrey by taking the last seven second innings wickets for two dozen runs; and it was recognised at once that a new star had arisen in the cricket firma- ment. The star is yet shining with undimmed lustre, and the hope is that its brightness will endure. Thirteen Surrey wickets fell in all to his arm in the Bradford match just mentioned, and that same week at Huddersfield he over- threw seven of the men of Hampshire—including the redoubtable Major Poore-the score wickets costing him only 125 runs. In all matches for Yorkshire at the end of his first season his bowling figures were:—Overs, 1135.1; maidens, 448; runs, 1982; wickets, 142. Average, 13.95. He was miles in front of Haigh, Wainwright, Mr. Stanley Jackson, and all the rest of his colleagues with the leather-except for the nominal pre- cedence of Mr. Ernest Smith, who very success- fully bowled in four back-end matches, and took a baker's dozen of wickets for under 10 runs apiece. Moreover, there was only Jack Hearne seriously before him in the first class averages, and that but by decimal points. It was a debut to be remembered, this of Rhodes's, especially as he proved himself a useful bat and up to the .high standard of Yorkshire fielding smartness. Rhodes played in 1899 in three "test" matches for England against Australia, and no English- man took more wickets than he in these great encounters, though both "Sailor" Young and J. T. Hearne had a little better average figures. He played for the Pros. against the Gentlemen and got the wickets of both Fry and "Ranii." He was in 1899 far and away ahead of the York- shire bowling averages, and a rattling good second to Albert Trott in the general averages of the trundlers for the season, with these feres:~?v+ers' 1518-4; maidens, 543; runs, flncTci/i l3' 179-, Average, 17.10. Rhodes flogged the Sussex bowling to the tune of 81, not out, at Harrogate, and manifested by his fine free upstanding style with the willow that he had in him the making of a crack batsman if only bowling were not his forte. Nobody was anywhere in comparison to Rhodes as bowler in 1900, when he "ended up" thus:- Overs, 1553; maidens, 455; runs, 3606; wickets, zbl. Average, 13.81. He also had the very re- spectable batting average of 21.12 for 31 com- pleted innings. Last year Rhodes was again "on top" as trun- dler in the season's record, and did wonderfully well on pitches that mostly played in favour of the bat. Here is the work ne achieved:—Overs, 1565 maiden#, 505; nuw, 3797: wickets. 251. 1565; maidens, 505; runs, 3797: wickets. 251. Average, 15.12. Rhodes also, let it be noted, went up several pegs in his batting, and made in ali 854 runs in first-class cricket, with the average of 26.(53—figuring actually as a centurion at Scar- borough against the M.C.C. He is notoriously bowling quite as wet this year as eyer he has done in his brilliant, if still brief, career. And there we must leave him.
I THE KING'S BIRTHDAY.
I THE KING'S BIRTHDAY. I The King's birthday was officially celebrated on the 30th. ult. in London with the customary dis- play of bunting at the public offices, dinners given in the evening by several of the Ministers, and the illumination of many of the West-end thorough- fares at night. There were also celebrations at the principal garrison towns and naval har- bours. The King presented colours on the Horse Guards Parade to the Irish Guards. His Majesty was accompanied by the Prince of Walest the Duke of Connanght, Prince Christian, and the Commander-in-Chief, as well as by te Head- quarters and Home District Staffs, and the cere- mony was witnessed by the Queen, the Princess of Wales, and many other members ef the Royal family. After the King had inspected the troops, the ceremony of consecrating the colours was performed by the Roman Catholic chap- lain of the regiment, and prayers were read by the Chaplain General to the Forces. The King then presented the colours, and briefly ad- dressed the troops. After a few words of reply from the colonel commanding, the troops saluted the new colours, and the usual Royal birthday ceremony of trooping the colour followed. The King also on his official birthday held an Investi- ture of the Order of the Garter at Buckingham Palace, when he conferred the insignia of the Order on the Dukes of Bedford and Mariborough, the two Knights recently admitted.
I I. TEXTILES OF KINGS."
I I. TEXTILES OF KINGS." i Something like a quarter of a million pounds' worth of tapestry will be used in the new Corona. tion Hall and in Westminster Abbey itself at the Coronation. The hall, the exterior of which has been so successfully toned down with the semblance of age, that it looks like a portion of the old abbey itself, is to have a most interesting interior. Under the able hand of Mr. Guy Laking, the keeper of the King's Armoury, the inside of the building will be given the appearance of an old baronial hall. Ancient armour will adorn the walls between the mediajval windows, helmet and breastplate and sword will be quaintly disposed in proper posi- tions here aud there, and the walls themselves will have very much the appearance of ancient oak. Rich historic tapestries, some of the most precious in existence, will adorn this hall and the theatre" in which the actual Coronation takes place. One is a superb piece of Flemish tapestry worth by itself £ 100,000. Indeed, this sum was actually paid for it when it changed hands some time ago. The superb piece of Flemish tapestry mentioned will adorn the Coronation Hall, in which the royal procession will be formed in readiness for its stately pro- gress down the nave to the place of crowning. It is profusely enriched with gold thread and gives a pictorial representation of the marriage of Queen Esther with King Ahasuerus. Several centuries ago it formed one of a set which belonged to the Spanish Government, and it adorned the royal palace at Madrid down to the time of Louis XIV., when it was carried away into France and came into the custody of the great Cardinal Mazarin. From his descendants it was purchased by Messrs. Duveen, and sold again by them a few weeks ago. It is considered by connoisseurs to be the greatest masterpiece of its kind in existence. In the course of the next week or two it will be placed in position, and in front of it will be laid the Regalia of England in readiness for the arrival of the King and Queen.
CENSUS OF THE COUNTY OF YORK.
CENSUS OF THE COUNTY OF YORK. The result of the census of the County of York has just been issued in the form of a Blue-book, which gives details of the area, houses, and population. The population is also classified by ages, conditions as to marriage are given, and facts are supplied concerning occupations, birth- places, and infirmities. The Ancient or Geographical county contains, according to the revised returns, an area of 3,882,328 statute acres, with a population of 3,584,762 persons. In 1801 the population was only 859,133, so that, during a century it has increased practically fourfold. The three Ridings, each being an administrative county, together with eight county boroughs, have now a population of 3,590,752, as against 3,213,981 in 1891. The In three registration ridings, each being an ao-arega- tion cf registration districts, contain a popular tion of 3,595,325. The City and County Borough of York has a population of 77,914, as agairfst 6/,841 ten years ago. The females enumerated largely exceed the males, although it is stated tnat the disproportion is not so great as in London or Lancashire. It is shown that the proportion of the married to the population at all ages is now higher than it was in 1891. owing to the decrease in the proportion of children tnrougn the decline in the birth rate. The pro- portion of the married, however, if calculate with the population aged upwards of twenty years, is distinctly lower than it was ten years ego, among both sexes. In the returns blind persons number 2,673; deaf and dumb persons, 1,655; and lunatics, 6,934.
The King on Monday held an Investiture at St. James's Palace, and subsequently held a Levee, at which a large number of presentations were made. The Prince and Princess of Wales on Monday afternoon gave a reception, at Marl- borough House, to the officials and members of the League of Mercy, whose object is to obtain financial support for the London Hospitals from the class to whom their advantages are chiefly afforded. His Royal Highness said a few words of appreciation of the work done by the Society. Mr. Justice Seymour, of Newfoundland, who has arrived here on his way home, after spend- ing his vacation in Ontario, says his Government did not recall him on account of speeches made by him at Toronto in favour of confederation with Canada, but refused for that reason to extend his vacation, which terminates on June 1. Mr. Seymour is strongly in favour of confedera- tion, if suitable terms can be arranged. He says there is absolutely no feeling in Newfoundland in favour of annexation to the United States. But he thinks that the question of confederation with Canada will soon become one of the leading issues of the day.
I POULTRY ALLOTMENTS.
POULTRY ALLOTMENTS. Lord Burghciere presided at the annual meet- nig of the National Poultry Organisation Society. The object of the organisation is to bring small poultry farmers and cottagers, who have from six to two or three dozen eggs per day to dispose of, into direct communication with retail dealers and dispense with the middleman. As an example of their work, it was pointed out that recently the price of eggs ruling in certain Devonshire markets was Is. for twenty-six, while in Somerset, where the society have brought producers into touch with retail dealers, the eggs were sixteen a shilling. At the present time sufficient scope is not given to people in a email way to keep poultry in the neighbourhood of London, or, indeed, in any of the Southern counties or the Midlands. In parts of Lanca- shire and the West Riding of Yorkshire farmers allow poultry-keepers to place roosts in their fields, at a charge of 10s. per annum per house accommodating twenty-five hens, the only condition being that shelters are frequently shifted, the owners having access to the fields at any time during the day. The hens have a free run of the ground, and they pick up so much natural food that they do not cost more than a penny per week to feed. The net profit amounts to between 4s. and 5s. per year for each hen. Many of the poultrykeepers who avail themselves of this arrangement are operatives in the numerous factories of these two counties, who find a ready market for their eggs, for which the price varies, according to the season of the year, from Is. to Is. 1),1. per dozen.