OUR SHORT STORY. [ ONE IN TEN THOUSAND. I I THE STORY OF A. STRANGE FINANCIER. I It was one of those moments of supreme im- portance into which a lifetime seems com- pressed a moment of crisis, of a mental pain that wrung each expectant nerve. He had flung love and ruin into the balance. Which would kick the beam? The footman had taken up his card. He waited there, in the hall—John Algernon Brewis, broken financier. He knew that she must have received his letter of confession. Their engagement was to have been announced that very morning. Would she even see him now? He kept turning white and red, cold and hot. It was death or life to him. The servant descended. Would Mr. Brewis follow him? Ah, at least, then, he was to be granted an interview. A door closed behind him. He was alone with her. How beautiful she was! If it had not been for her quiet, composed greeting, he would have thought that she had been weep- ing. "You got my letter, Florence? "Yes," said Miss Anstruther. "It was a fear- ful shock to me." Brewis sank into a chair, for his limbs were shaking. The thought that he might lose her, that fate intended to snatch from him so dear a prize, was more than he could bear. He said huskily- "It is seven months back since I began t* speculate with my fortune. I lost a consider- able sum, regained it, then lost more. I should have pulled myself together, but I met you. You are rich. You won my heart, won all ihe love I am capable of bestowing. I felt that I dared not seek to woo you, Florence, with such a mere shred of my means left to me. Money I must have. It was sink or swim. I threw my- self heart and soul into the gambling markets. At first fortune favoured me again. I made love to you as your equal in social worth. You gave me your heart. Then the tide turned. Ah, the pain of the past few months. I pitted my young brains against a veteran head. He has been too crafty for me. Slowly but surely this man has beaten me. I have been, by him, strangled, suffocated, wrung dry. I do not blame him; it was part of the legiti- mate game." "The name of this man?" "Morris Hawksby." If Brewis's thoughts had not been so intro- spective he would have seen the girl start and turn her face aside. He continued, "The man is my master, as he is the master of hundreds." There was a period of silence while Florence watched the dejected figure. Then she said simply, "What are your plans?" "I have none; I feel altogether broken." He roused himself with an effort. "Florence, you won't throw me over, will .you?" he entreated, passionately. She saw that he had been very hard hit, and the tears started to her eyes. Perhaps there flitted through her mind a faint doubt if he was playing the man, and whether he would let cir- cumstances beat him. She said quietly- "Does it not all depend upon yourself?" I suppose so yes. of course it does," was the dejected answer. "I have got to begin all over again, that is clear." "And most necessary." i "You are severe and critical. Heaven knows what I am good at." j j^° .fn<^ prove that you are worthy of me, Brewis got up with something like a groan. She gave him her hand. He would have drawn her to him, would have clasped her tightly in his arms', but she drew back. He kissed her cheek, and went out of the room with a feeling that his heart had died. On the stairway he met a man ascending, pre- ceded by a servant. It was Morris Hawksby. The great financier glanced at the younger man -an indifferent, impassive look. Brewis re- turned it with a furious stare; a thought had passed into his brain that made him feel as if he woud have fallen. What was this man doing at her house? He went out into the wide street, along which many carriages were passing and repassing. It was five o'clock on a November day. The ends of the thoroughfares were obscured by a thin fog that was settling down with the day's decline. It seemed to enter into his bones; the gloom of the hour mingled with his blood. The touch of despair made him desperate, ready for any chance or mischance that fate might have for him. So he walked on, slowly and moodily, hour succeeding hour, untired, listening to the wild thoughts speaking in his brain. Suddenly he paused his breathing had become hoarse and quick. He looked round furtively. The river ran black and turgid beneath the bridge. How far down was it? Twenty feet? What did the drop signify? Brewis leaned upon the coping of the parapet. At what a crisis had he arrived The cold, horrible stream was whispering as it ran round tue stone piers. It was calling him, he said. One jump, and then-yes, he would end it so. His fingers gripped the parapet; he nerved himself for the single effort. Suddenly he turned sharply. A hansom cab had come up swiftly and unseen. A man's face looked through the lighted window. He saw Brewis cowering there, and Brewis saw him. Hawksby again Was that a sneer upon his inscrutable face? The suspicion was galling. Brewis walked on quickly. His terrible tempta- tion had passed. An hour after midnight found Brewis still pacing the hushed streets. Involuntarily he had made his way westward again. He had been thinking so long and so hard that his ideas ( lacked any cohesion. He was always driven back to that staring truth—he was a ruined man, separated by a gulf of poverty from the woman he loved. Through the fog circling round a street lamp he saw the name of a thoroughfare upon, the glass, P-- Place. He called to mind that here was situated the luxurious dwelling-place that Morris Hawksby had recently purchased. He knew the number, and presently, walking on- ward he came to it. The fog was now very thick. No sound echoed in the street. Brewis paused before the house. Something caught his attention, and he drew closer. Was it possible? Yes, one of the win- dows on the ground floor was open at least four inches from the sill. The sound of footsteps came out from the fog. Brewis moved away. He met the policeman who was patrolling his beat, and passed him with a slinking tread and flushed cheeks. He looked round. Would the officer observe that open window? No, the fog baffled him; he went straight on, and his steps died away. Brewis returned to stare up at the house, which had no light in any window. How he hated iL owner, to be sure He felt that this man had wrought him an irreparable injury. And then, the house! Whv, it was filled with trea- sure The rare and costly things within its stone walls were commonly spoken of. An area railing partitioned off the short space between the steps and the narrow ledge of the unshut window. To climb the railing, balance one's self for an instant, and by a single stride to c>ain the sill, was no difficult task. Thump, thump, thump! It seemed as if his heart must. bnrst its bars. He looked to right nnd left, listened intently. What could be more easy? In another minute the thing was done. He turned in the room, and pulled down the win- dow softly. Then he stood still, wiping his streaming face. He had become, in a moment, by one short step, a criminal. Gradually his agitation lessened. He dared not strike one of the matches in hie pocket. As his eves grew accustomed to the gloom he be- gan to perceive just where he was. The apart- ment was a reception-room. Valuable pictures adorned the walls. That piece of furniture yon- der bore the appearance of a cabinet. He moved towards it, and as he did so he collided with the back ol a chair. He felt the thing lurch over sideways, and he grabbed at it, only to send it flying. It fell to the carpet with a dull crash. A hoarse curse escaped from Brewis. He drove his nails into the palms of his hands standing rigid, hardly breathing. "Fool, you fool!" he gasped. Then he added feeling thoroughly scared, "I will go, I think. What good am I at this sort of thing? What madness sent me here? Yes, I will clear." As he turned to make his escape by the way that he had entered, the door of the room was opened quickly, and the electric light was switched' on. Brewis spun round, and he saw the figure of Morris Hawksby standing on the threshold. It is you, then?" said the master of the house. "I thought I heard someone move. Your mean- ing? Brewis had turned livid. His dry lips were capable of no utterance. The horror of the situation attacked his senses, drove him momentarily frantic. He rushed forward to grapple with Hawksby, to strangle him—any- thing-he knew not what. The other caught him by the shoulders and threw him backward upon the carpet. Brewis rose slowly, then slunk away from Hawksby, whom he watched with eyes of terror. The "master approached the window, which he flung up. He turned to the intruder. "I presume you came in by this way," he said. "Now go The other did not move; but he watched Hawksby narrowly, an indescribable expres- sion in his face. "I tell you to go," repeated the master. "I will give you one minute. If you are here after that time, I shall give you into custody." Half the minute passed before Brewis moved. Then he. stepped slowly to the open window, still regarding the other with the same indescrib- able look. He clim'bed to the sill, and was gone. The humid night swallowed him. Florence Anstruther could not understand her visitor's mood, nor he hers. Brewis had burst in upon her in this unconvenional way. He said that he had come to say good-bye, that he was going abroad, that he should never come back. He had not told her of the insanity of the past night. How could he? The loss of his honour had wrought him a deeper hurt than any loss of fortune. He had but one idea-to leave the country and to forget himself. "Good-bye, Florence! I was never worthy of you, my darling." "If you wish it, good-bye. Only there is something which I should like to have told you. Still-" "Whatever it may be it, is too late to affect my purpose." "Mr. Hawksby came to see me last evening." "Ah Yes, I met him on the stairs." Brewis turned pale. "And he told me why-why he crushed you; why he permitted and encouraged you to waste your energies and fortune in a struggle with him in the markets. I could not understand his technical expressions and details, but you know." "Why he crushed me?" echoed Brewis, look- ing at her in a bewildered way. "It was just a matter of supremacy. He would have done the same to anyone else. He-" "Stop," said Florence. "You are wrong. He beat you because you were in his path, because you were between him and his hap- piness." "I?" Brewis drew a hand over his forehead. "Pardon me-" "He loved me, John. He wanted me. Yes, yes he told me this himself. And he was afraid of you, so—so he ruined you." She paused. Brewis said, piteously— "Go on." "Last evening Mr. Hawksby offered me his love, his hand, his fortune." "Oh, my eoul, Florence And you—you—" "Refused him." "Thank God!" "Why, how can it matter, since you are leav- ing me for ever? Listen to me. You have done this man a great injustice. He is brave and good. I will repeat his words Since you refuse my offer, Miss Anstruther, there is but one course open to me. Brewis was in my way. All's fair in love and war, and I' ground him under. Yet now that I see clearly that he has your heart, your peace, in his keeping, I perceive that my duty lies another way. Tell him that I shall pay a visit to his bankers to-morrow morn- ing, will restore every penny that he has lost- ay, and double it for the plucky fight he made with me.' That was all, John. And now—now Merciful heavens! What is the matter with you?" Well might she ask the question. Brewis, his cheeks the colour of death, had sunk into a chair. An awful fear showed in his eyes. She knelt before him, caught his hands, and noticed that they were as cold as marble. "John John," she implored, "speak to me! What is it? Ah, I told you too abruptly. The good news is more than you can bear." If Brewis understood her words, he was not capable of replying. He could only stare at her with his vacant eyes. Suddenly he laughed, and she shrank from him at that sinister sound. What a jest was this that fate had played upon him! This man, this Morris Hawksby, who could and would have saved him, he had wronged, and made an enemy of him indeed. The madness of a moment had robbed him of honour, love, and fortune. Brewis staggered to his feet, and was on the point of rushing from the room, from the house, when the handle of the door was turned, and there entered, unannounced, Hawksby himself. Brewis stepped backward, watching the other as if he anticipated a pistol ball. Hawksby advanced to Miss Anstruther, with whom he shook hands, exchanging a commonplace greet- ing. Then he turned, and appeared to catch sight of Brewis for the first time. No change passed over his rugged face. He moved towards the young man, while he extended his right hand. "Ah, Brewis," said he, "I did not see you. How do you do?" The other, whose face was now white as a sheet, held out four shaking fingers. Twice he struggled for a word, but could not find it. "You are looking none too well," continued Hawksby. "Take heart, man. I have just come from a visit to your bankers. Had a long chat with them. Explained things after my own fashion. Nice people. I believe you will find that your account stands there about the same as it did a year ago; and if it is a little more, why, blame my impertinence that has led me to help you without asking permission. Ah, no thanks. I did it gladly, from my heart. Good-bye, Miss Anstruther. 1-" "God bless you, Hawksby!" Brewis made a piteous gesture. His voice was strangled. He strove to repeat his words. "God bless you!" he said hoarsely. "I—I No further could he get; but he, dropped into a chair, and covered his face with his hands. "Good-bye, Miss Anstruther—Florence," said Hawksby. And his voice sounded strange to his own ears. "Look after Brewis. You have till his heart. Good-bye He went out quickly, and left those two- alone. =
CHARM OF THE NURSE.—What is the charm of the trained nurse ? asks a writer. What is that mysterious quality that draws her patients to her after, as cases," they have been dismissed ? Wherein lies the secret of their fatal fascination ? So prevalent has become this epidemic of the recovered patient marrying his nurse that if Weller still walked the earth and observed humanity tb- day his warning would be, not" Bevare of vidclers," but Bevare of nurses." The patients who became bridegrooms talk somewhat incoherently of their courtships. What men ever talked sanely on the subject ? But from their incoherence one may gather some truisms. Propinquity has much to do with it. Likewise "gentleness is woman's most attractive quality." Nurses are ever gentle, even while at their firmest. Men, as everyone knows, require an immense amount of waiting on when they are ill, and it is pleasant to have every wish anticipated by a deft silent nurse. And there wo have one of the chief charms of the nurse, her silence. A sick man hates superfluous words, and tires of the sweetest voice, if, like the brook, it runs for ever. It is observable that most men who marry their nurses are past life's meridian, and a sage has said that after a man is forty the woman he loves is the woman to whom he is accustomed." At that age habit has set her seal, and his gentle, silent, soft-voiced nurse has become his habit.
NATURE NOTES* t FIGHTING SONGSTERS. A correspondent says he hits twice recently oeen blackbirds chase a cat. The cat in both cases fled for safety into a house. QLIMBING RABBITS. The feet of some Australian rabbits show an adaptation which is being gradually brought about to a new mode of locomotion. The rab- bits are becoming climbers, and often ascend trees in their search for food their feet are said to be growing slighter, and the claws longer and sharper. SPOILING NATURE. It is time to protest, says "Photograpny," against the way in which telegraph and tele- phone lines are ruthlessly led through some of the loveliest parts of the country, regardless of everything but the immediate convenience of a Government department. The wires, no doubt, are a necessity along our roads and railways, and of this we do not complain. We do object, however, when a walk like that lovely one along the Wey from Guildford to Godalniing is de- faced the whole way by a hideous procession of posts, which might have been led along the high road, where they could have offended no one's aesthetic senses. ALLURING FLOWERS. It has been shown that colour in flowers playu an important part in attracting insects to them, and in a review of the theories on this subject Professor A- G. Tansley lately pointed out that among day-flying insects those which have a long life and a long flight are attracted mainly by colour. It is the lower types of insects, those with a short life in the winged state and a short flight, which, because they have poorer sight, are more dependent on smell. To these propositions some suggestive corollaries are added by Mr. H. N. Ridley in a recent number of the "New Phytologist." Mr. Ridley sug- gests that some insects go a good deal by the form of flowers, regardless of colour and scent, and he describes an instance which came under his observation in the Suez Canal, when a num- ber of Macroglossas flew into the steamer's smoking-room. The room had all round it a row of white enamelled tiles on which were rude representations of flowers in blue. The figures were alternately of conventionalised chrysanthemums and a cup-shaped blossom more or less resembling a tulip. The moths flew round the room ignoring the chrysanthemums but attacking the tulip-like flowers vigorously with their proboscides. Mr. Ridley suggests that smell may be used to guide the insects to the neighbourhood of the flowers, and that colouring or attractions of form then come into play. He supposes that insects may be more susceptible to scent than we are, and may have more sensitive scent organs. A VEGETABLE CATERPILLAR. One of New Zealand's most singular curiosi- ti is the so-called vegetable caterpillar. Mr. W. Ii. KIrby states that several large caterpillars are known to be infested by various parasitic fungi. These convert the whole of the. caterpil- lar into a woody substance, and then sprout from it to a length of several inches. The infested larvae, usually growing to about four inches, live like others until ready to assume the pupa state. Then they bury themselves, die, and the fungus sprouts usually from the neck of the caterpillar, sometimes acquiring the length of nearly a foot. The natives eat the plants, which have the flavour of a nut. A MORAL FROM THE SEAGULLS. Everv day, from my window, I see the gulls (wrote the late Rev. Henry Ward Beecher), making circuits, and beating against the north wind. Now they mount high above the masts, of vessels in the stream, and then suddenly drop to the water's edge, seeking to find some eddy un- obstructed by the steady-blowing blast; till, at length, abandoning their efforts, they turn and fly with the wind; and then how like a gleam of light do their white wings flash down the bay faster than eye can follow. So when we cease to resist God's divine influences, and, turning to- wards Him, our thoughts and feelings are up- borne by the breath of His spirit, how do thev make such swift heavenward flight as no words can overtake! CROW AND STOAT. A correspondent has witnessed a fierce fight between a crow and a stoat. The bird had been flying a few feet above a ditch, when suddenly is made a dart downwards. Clinging to its neck, when it again took wing, was a stoat, which it tried in vain to shake off. The bird dropped to the ground and the battle went on. The crow shook off the stoat by biting its hind leg. The latter thereupon seized the bird by the wing. The crow evidently saw the correspondent move, and was about to fly off. The stoat, seeing its opnortunity, again seized the bird by the neck, and they fell into a ditch, leaving quite a stream of blood, which had come from both combatants. The spectator of the fight seized the crow and threw it into the air. In the meantime the stoat had vanished. VERY ARTFUL BIRDS. An agriculturists' paper tells this yarn. We suspect that it first appeared in New York, how- ever. "A poultry fancier who kept some fowls in a field beside a railway line fed the fowls on wheat, but the sparrows, starved by the, hard winter, would come by the score and steal it from them. The fancier did not know what to do to stop them. At last he decided to feed the fowls on Indian maize, thinking that it would be too large for the sparrows to swallow. He went again the next day, and to his surprise there were just as many sparrows as before. They were taking the corn in their beaks and laying it on the metals, waiting for a train to go over it and crush it so that they could eat it." ANIMAL TALK. The cries of animals are a species of natural language. The older grammarians taught us that crying, weeping, laughing, etc., were examples of natural language; they were expressive of feeling natural to men and were understood by all intuitively. The origin of spoken, or artificial language, as it is called, is a large subject, and it may »be presumed that all forms of natural language, including the cries of beasts and birds, are, as the term implies, natural to them-that is, born with them-and the specific cry of any species must be deter- mined by some peculiarities of the vocal organs in that species. An example is given—a. crow croaks and a rooster crows because by the peculiar structure of their vocal arrangements they can utter those sounds more readily than any other. Yet, by training and effort, some of the lower creation become able to imitate and reproduce other sounds than those most natural to them, just as t'he first natural outcries of the infant give way through culture to the myriad utterances of artificial language. The bawling of a cow and the roar of a lion are quite different sounds, and as things stand now, the sound uttered by one- of these animals would be quite impossible to the other; yet either of these outcries might in time come to be the natural cry of the other. If the two species of animals could be brought to live peacefully together and to the lion it should become apparent that the voice of the cow would be of great value to him, say in the matter of securing his food, there is no reason to doubt that he might in the course of time, from effort transmitted from generation to generation, come at length to possess the dulcet notes of the cow. If the giraffe, which was originally only a large antelope, has developed his high forequarters, his elongated neck, and his long, flexible upper lip from his efforts to browse on the higher branches of the trees, and if the flounder, which when young has its eyes on the opposite sides of its head, as any well-regulated fish would be expected to have, is able through long-continued effort to transfer the eye that rests disagreeably on the sands around to the other side of the head, where it may be of some service, there is no tell- ing what varieties or modifications of voice or shape may be wrought in nature in the course of the ages.
I EPITOME OF NEWS. An authority etates that the gold in the shape of coin and ornaments hoarded by the natives of India amounts to the enormous sum of two hundred and fifty millions sterling. Statistics prove that nearly two-thirds of the letters carried by the world's postal services are written, sent to, and read by English-speak- ing people. The Bayreuth festival performances this year were, according to statistics just publishedo attended by 8,541 persons, 654 of whom came from the United Kingdom. Four of the largest operators in the recent bull campaign in the Chicago wheat market are stated to have cleared £ 1,150,000 within a fort- night. A man who struck a match on an electric- standard at Bolton is to be prosecuted by the local tramways committee for defacement. A fifteen years' walking tour round the world is the journey on which a Belgian journalist named Bonneff and his wife have set out. They start entirely without funds. Aklahoma's Democratic nominee for the. United States Congress has undertaken to kiss all the babies in the State during the progress of the campaign. Twenty-five thousand and seventeen pirated copies of musical pieces were seized last month by the agents of the Musical Copyright Associa- tion. The Noah's Ark has gone ashore off Porth- minster Beach. The crew of the vessel (a trawler) were saved. A dog and cat were drowned. The date of Mr. Balfour's speech in Glasgow has been changed from the 18th to the 24th of November. The Prime Minister will speak at a banquet on the evening of the 23rd of that month. Nothing is more disquieting at the present time than the study of suicide statistics, and the question become still more disturbing when we hear of a case like that just reported from Colorado. A magistrate there was tired of life,, but he wanted to get out of it in an unorthodox and modern way. So he got a dynamite bomb* set fire, to the fuse, and then, lighting a cigar,, sat on the top of it and calmly awaited his doom., Dr. Bunge, a Russian medical man, proposes to establish a sanatorium for consumptives in the Polar regions. He has observed that the members of exploration parties returning from the Polar regions are always in perfect health* owing to the purity of the air and complete absence of all harmful microbes. In the Polar. regions bronchitis, laryngitis, influenza, and other contagious diseases are unknown. The Hon. Geoffrey Coleridge, only son of LordS Coleridge, K.C., and grandson of the late Lordi Chief Justice Coleridge, is engaged to be married to Miss Jessie Mackarness, daughter of the late Mr. Evelyn Mackarness, of Lahard, count# Cavan. The bridegroom-elect is in his twenty- seventh year, and was until recently a lieutenant. in the Devonshire Regiment. The Duke of Fife is one of the few great land- owners in this country who do not believe in the accumulation of vast estates. His Grace for some years has steadily parted with his land as opportunity afforded, holding that one man can- not control large tracts of territory to the besfi advantage of the community. He is probably the only total abstainer among the dukes in the; House of Lords. The Queen of Roumania, who is preparing an opera in conjunction with a small boy-the latest musical prcdigy-is both a poetess and ai writer of stories. She took to authorship ini order to drown her sorrow. Her Majesty is» supposed to have a better head of hair than any other woman in Europe. She is an accom- plished linguist, speaking no fewer than sever* languages. The Prince of Waldenburg, a wealthy Viennese nobleman, and his newly-wedded bride are spending their honeymoon in an original manner.; Accompanied by a white mule which carries < small travelling outfit, they are making a walking tour through Italy. A large staff of servants with heavy luggage travels ahead of the bridaB pair, to arrange for their reception at the best. hotels of the towns visited. Mrs. Tom Thumb, made famous by Barnum, ie. still alive at the age of sixty-five. She has ? regular turn in a. "Midget Theatre" at Coney; Island, and is driven home each evening inI the identical coach presented to Tom Tliumti in 1884 by King Edward, then Prince of Wales-, She is very religious, a member of the Acton"l' Church Alliance, and of the Woman's Aid Society. The Army Council has awarded the medal for meritorious service to twenty-eight retire,4 warrant and non-commissioned officers and onaf warrant officer still serving. Fourteen of the medals are for men of the Army Service Corps,. eight for men of the Royal Army Medical Corps", four for Infantrymen, two for the Army Payj Corps, and one for the Army Ordnance Corps. It is not generally known that whales, afte gorging themselves with fish, lie asleep on theo surface of the water. Trawlers arriving at New-, haven have reported passing through schools offi wales from sixty to eighty feet in length, which" have taken no heed to the boats passing quitef close, and were evidently fast asleep. The consumption of soap in India only reaches the modest amount of one ounce per headi annually*. The marriage will take place in India, early i November, between Major Selby H. Henderson" Indian Medical Service, and Ruby Mildred/se- cond daughter of Walter F. Wells, Indian Civil Service, Lucknow. The destroyer Roebuck will be paid off on Sep- tember 21, and will turn over her crew to the new destroyer RiBbl-e, which will replace her ÏIiIi the Felixstowe Instructional Flotilla. One thousand four hundred and thirty-sevea claims under the Workmen's Compensation Acfli were made in the county courts of England azul Wales during the past year. I Ostrich raising has become a profitable indus- try in Australia. They produce magnificent white feathers, some of twenty-seven inches in lengthy The profit on each ostrich is about 105dol. an year. The first birds were sent there froBK Africa. Because he forgot to shut the door leading to the Imperial Court a man in Korea has been sentenced to fifteeii, vears' imprisonment. He has assigned his wife to another man in liquida- tion of a debt. Too many loose expressions are made with re- gard to the definition of drunkenness, says the- Liverpool Recorder. Personally, he does not' consider a man drunk so long as he is atflte to- take care of himself. In a Liverpool shipping office there is a clerk who has used the same penknife for eighteertt years, the same pen for fourteen years, and an. indelible lead pencil for five years. Queen Maria Christina of Spain has expresse4. through Colonel Fiquerola Ferretti, her approval of the suggestion of the Countess of Aberdeen: that Spain should become affiliated with the International Congress of Women, of which; Lady Aberdeen is president. The Rev. A. Tighe Gregory, LL.B., vicar of Bawdsey and curate of Ramshott, Suffolk, for fifty-seven years taken three full services with sermons every Sunday. Even now, at the age of eighty-five, he cycles or drives seven miles to his second church. The oldest wooden building in the world is, believed to be the church in Borgund, Norway.. It was built in the eleventh century, and has been protected by frequent coatings of pitch. In is built of pine and in fantastic Romanesque design. A Toledo man has just married at Hamilton,, Ohio, a girl whose father insisted upon her full name of "Missouri Arkansas Napoleon Four Hundered Miles Below the Mouth of the Ohio Absher" being placed on the records.
'4- — — FIELD AND FARM. 1 CLEANING STUBBLES. JThe legacy of couch left us by last summer has (remarks Professor John Wrightson in the Agricultural Gazette") increased with com- S>und interest, and many stubbles are very foul, o time will be lost by good farmers in setting to work to clean them, whether for the reception of catch crops for spring use, or for winter fal- lowing for mangel, potatoes, and root crops generally next season. A few weeks of fine weather would be moist welcome, as nothing interferes more with the cleaning of land than « wet autumn. This is the best period of the year for hiring steam, and the cultivator is by far the best implement. Twice steam cultivating and twice steam dragging throws the work well forward, and the final task of detaching the roots of couch from the clods can be done by means of horse implements. The routine of the work has often been described, and it no doubt varies considerably. It, however, usually resolves itself into the above steam cultivations, followed by heavy drag harrowing, rolling, harrowing, chain harrowing, couching, and burning. After the ashes are spread the land may be ploughed, thoroughly dressed, and couched a second time, and in the foulest portions a third series of opera- tions similar to the second will complete the work. All this requires time and suitable, but not necessarily dry, weather. Showers are useful in rendering clods tender, but long-continued heavy rain is injurious, as it keeps the horses off the land, and encourages the fresh growth of couch. A good force of horses is never more necessary than in the two mo* Ihs which follow harvest. The heaviest root crops are obtained after winter fallowing, and catch crops are seldom followed by those record crops of which we read every winter. If possible, after stubbles have been cleaned they should be dunged and deeply ploughed and left for the winter. Spring cleaning is not so satisfactory as autumn clean- ing, as there are fewer opportunities, and a greater liability of producing a dry condition of soil through over-tillage, which interferes with the germination of the root crops. ARTIFICIAL MANURES. The failure of many acres of roots owing to drought will not improve the prospects of corn crops for next year. These fields will have to be sown with corn, and will miss the treading and manuring of the sheep. That one good crop begets another is an old adage, and certainly a good crop of turnips or rape fed on the land is generally followed by & good crop of corn. On the other hand, a failure of roots is likely to be followed by thin corn. With our present know- ledge of artificials we ought to be alble to at least compensate the land for the loss of manurial matter, and I suggest (says Professor Wright- son)., a dressing of 3cwt. of superphosphate and 3cwt. of kainit as likely to make up for the want of the sheep droppings. The value of a root crop fed upon the land as a manurial agent is well known, but the last two winters have shown that the treading of sheep is not an unmixed advantage. The best corn crops have lately been grown after grass and after corn, and the root land corn is often gappy and patchy. A crop of 10 tons of turnips fed upon the land without cake does not, after all, add much to the store of fer- tilising matter in the soil. Ten tons of roots contain over 9 tons of water, besides car- bonaceous matter of no manurial value, while .7 per cent. of ash is only .07 of a ton per 10 tons, or 156.81b. of mineral matter. Besides, much of the ash is of little account, and' some of it is carried off by growing sheep in the form of flesh J and bone. Even 20 tons of turnips only contain 313.61b. of mineral matter. This material has all been extracted from the soil, and is only returned to it again less what the sheep have extracted. As to albuminoids, turnips contain 1.1 per cent., or .11 ton per 10 tons, i.e., about 2cwt., which contains a much smaller quantity of nitrogen. With such facts before us it is very difficult to see where the value of turnips fed on the land comes in, unless they are helped by large quantities of cake and hay. It seems probable that the above dressing of 6721b. of good phos- phatic and potassic manures would quite com- pensate for a failure of turnips in a dry season. The treading of the land iby sheep is much relied upon, but, as above shown, it is sometimes injurious, and furthermore it seems reasonable that some means of consolidating the land other than sheep should be found, such as rolling and shallow ploughing. There is another point worthy of attention, namely, the importance of early sowing, which is sadly interfered with by sheep-folding. Much spring corn cannot be sown till May on account of the iteep, and the question is important, whethfcr a much better rop would not be obtained if the crop was sown ia February, top-dressed direct with 3cwt. of superpho-sphate and 3cwt. of kainit, and, perhaps, io April with lewt. of nitrate of soda. The case as presented seems to favour the view that we need not fear a failure of roots if we secure an early sown crop assisted by artificial manures. As to the entire question of turnip cultivation, there is the "profit" to be considered from the sheep themselves, but I find that the value of the turnip crop must be placed much below the actual cost of its production if the sheep are to pay their bill and leave any profit at all. It is a difficult matter to make sheep pay Is. a week gross from September to May inclusive, i.e., lambs bought at 35s. must be sold in the wool at GOB. each if they are kept for twenty-five weeks. This is evidently far too much to expect. Still, if roots, cake, and hay, attendance, losses, interest of money, hurdles, troughs, etc., are all taken into account, would it not be found that tie actual cost would approach Is. per week if such a return as 60s. per head were actually realised over 400 lambs bought in September and sold out in May? KILLING PIGS. I In order to have a nice clean carcase, that will I drew easily, it is necessary (writes Mr. F. ( Wilson) to keep a pig, which it is intended to kill, without food for eighteen to twenty-four hours. A day and the following night is the best plan, as, though the animal may have got hungry, and perhaps a little noisy during the former, he will settle down with some show of content for the night, when the slaughtering process can take place as early as desired on the morning follow- icg. There is no question that clear, bright, frosty weather is the b^st time to choose for killing bacon pigs. The flesh sets firm and solid, looks better, eats better, and salts better than in close, muggy weather. However, we well know, "by sad experience taught," that we must take the weather as it comes, and make the best of it. The country butcher, or professional pig-killer, is not now such a familiar figure as was.the case a few years back. The old hands who followed the business-have in many cases died off, and no one has come forward to fill their place. Con- sequently an odd man or a farm hand is now soften called upon to undertake pig-killing. The task may prove a trifle awkward at first to a novice, but a little practice soon 'begets con- fidence and some dexterity. The chief points are to have everything ready to hand, knife, tools, hot and cold water, and so on, before the operation is begun. It is the worst of bad management to get the pig on the bench or block, and cut his throat, and then make the discovery that the fire under the furnace or boiler has gone out and -there is no hot water for scalding pur- poses. If the pig-killer is inclined to be clumsy or nervous when using the knife, he should try to overcome this. A deep, jagged gash is not wanted, nor should there be any attempt at hack- ing give a clean, moderately deep cut that will enable the blood to flow freely, every drop, as far as possible, coming out of the body. When this has been accomplished, the pig is ready for scalding, and it is very important that this process should be properly carried out. If the water is too hot, the pig will be over-scalded; if not hot enough, the hair will not come off well. The temperature should be from about 168 to 180 degrees. On a mild, muggy day the water will retain its heat much longer than on^ a sharp, frosty day, when it will chill otf in an incredibly short time. An extra quantity should he avail- able in the latter case. The pig should be well immersed in the scalding tub or cooler, and thoroughly scraped and cleaned; nothing looks worse than a badly-scraped pig. When clean, swill down with cold water, and lift the carcase on to the bench, cut the sinews in thehind legs, and place a stick, or gambrel, as it is usuaUly -called, between the sinews and bone to keel) the legs in I position, and then hang up. Cut open neatly and evenly, take out the entrails, etc afterwards J washing down with clean cold water, and wiping with a clean cloth. I THE HAY CROP. The quality of the hay crop of the present year, where it has been tested, appears to be much superior to that of 1903, except in cases in which over-heating occurred. The quantity, although smaller than that of the crop of last year, is generally large in the southern half of England, where some of the biggest yields of 1903 were obtained. Consequently the markets are glutted, and prices are low. A good deal of new hay has been bought at C.2 per ton, the buyer to truss and cart, or at C2 10s., trussed and delhnrod at a railway station.
[ GARDEN GOSSIP. Milla Biflora.-Most of the pretty plants for- merly known as Millas are now included under Brodiea. Only one of the true Millas can be considered to come within the scope of popular bulbs, and it is the pretty biflora which will pro- vide a charming display in May, if grown in light soil and given greenhouse or frame pro- tection during winter and spring. Similar con- ditions to those provided for pot grown Orni- thogalums and Gladioli of the Colvillei section will ensure a good crop of flowers. With a slight modification of treatment Milla biflora may be well grown as a window plant. It re- mains only to be said that the flowers of this Milla are white and borne on slender stems about 12 or 15 inches high. w » Repotting Palms.—Palms which are growing in small pots having almost filled them witn roots, should (writes "Solent" in "The Gar- dener") be repotted into larger pots forth- with. If left in this condition throughout the winter, many roots will be lost, as they are sure to decay. Moreover, the stunted state of the plants will result in loss of valuable time; the central leaves, instead of being robust, will possess small stems and correspondingly small new ones next spring. Plants growing in pots 8J inches across should be placed in 5-in. ones, and those now in the latter-sized pots in 6-inch ones. If you will take out several plants, you will find a number of young roots growing straight down towards the drainage hole in the pot; the reason for this is because the roots have exhausted all the nourishment contained in the soil, and are seeking fresh at the bottom of the pot, which is the moister part. Further- more, it will be observed upon close examina- tion that many roots near the collar of the plant have perished to. Latanias, Seafortluas, Arecas, Phenix, and Chamer ,ps should be potted in a compost which is chiefly made up of good yellow loam; with this mix a little peat and sufficient sand to afford drainage. The ether sorts should have more peat mixed with the loarn, and this need be the only difference in preparing the compost. Be sure that the inside cf the pot is thoroughly clean and dry when. the new soil is put in; if wet, the loam will adhere to the side, and cause the roots to break off when the plants are again repotted. Use a potting stick, thick or blunt at one end and wedge shaped at the other. With the pointed end make the soil firm all round the old ball, and finish off the surface with th-3 blunt end. Over the crocks in the bottom of the pot put some of the rougher parts of the compost, to prevent the finer portion being washed down and blocking the hole in the pot. Place the newly potted pal ns in a warm but shady corner of a greenhouse or stove, and syringe theifi frequently. By next spring the plants will have vastly improved. < Easily Grown Alpines.—To possess a rock garden (remarks F. M. Wells) opens up a new, and I tnink I may say a fascinating, phase oí gardening. I have known people only moder. ate)" interested in the subject of gardening be. come enthusiasts when they came to attempt- ing the making and stocking of the rock gar- den. Of the making I have nothing to say, but about the stocking 1 hope I shall be able to give some useful hints. about the stocking 1 hope I shall be able to give some useful hints. In the matter of planting, one of the chief things to consider is the furnishing of plants that shall yield blossom, not only for two or three montbs in the spring, but for the greater portion of the year. There are certain Alpines that need especial care and knowledge as to treatment and soil; but, on the other hand, there are dozens, nay hundreds, that may ba well grown by the veriest novice and in ordi- nary garden soil. It is some of these latter with which we will deal to-day. There are the Semper- vivums. Such species as ft Wulfenii and S. montanum are denizens of the high Alps, and for months in winter are exposed to a tempera- ture below zero. S. arachnoideum, S. glaucum, and the familiar S. tectorum should all find place in some sunny, exposed spot. The soil should be inclined to sandiness, and a propor- tion of mortar rubbish or lime added. They are full of quaint character and distinction by reason of the delicate filaments that reach from leaf to leaf like spiders' webs. These disappear, it is true, in wet weather, but they return as soon as the weather again is settled. The Silenes are highly decorative plants. S. acaulis in its own native haunts grows high up on Alpine slopes, lying close to the ground like moss, and becomes in summer a vivid mass of rose purple flowers. I like to devote a great flat ledge to this plant, where it' shall grow as it listetia, and through it shall appear in autumn the mauve blossoms of autumn Crocuses. S. Alpestris, with its white blossoms and six inches of height, is charming in some sunny spot, and flourishes in ordinary loamy soil. For later flowering, and very useful on that account, is the rose hued S. Schafta. These plants may very easily be grown from seeds; they germin- ate easily, and offer little difficulty in rearing. For flowers of bluest blue we go to the Gen- tians-true Alpines are these, and the glory ol the mountain meadows. For the sake of their intense colouring, we should not be content only with the familiar G. acaulis, but likewise find a place for G. verna. Both are spring flowering, and more effective than any other flower the rock garden holds. But we cannot let the Gentians disappear with the spring and neither need we, for in G. septemfida we fmd a charming August flowering plant of such rare beauty that we cannot afford to pass it by. A rich loam that retains the moisture suits the Gentians. These plants should be firmly planted, have ample root run, and be left undisturbed. They are somewhat impatient d severe summer drought, and do not generally flower well in the neighbourhood of smoky towns. For the inex- perienced, it is better to purchase plants than to try raising from seeds, for this is a work of long patience The great family of Campanulacese must be well represented. There are varieties, like. C. Alpina, C. Garganica, and C. pulla, that are characteristic dwarf growing subjects. But we want also plants that yield large and distinctive blossoms, and to those mentioned we must add C. Carpathica, C. mirabilis, and C. Raineri. To grow to the height of less than one foot, few plants more interesting than Carlina acaulis can be found. This is widely distributed, being found at many different altitudes. Edelweiss need not be above the ambition of the novice. So long as it is planted in a spot that does not become water-logged, even in winter, and where it is not smothered by other subjects, it should flower and flourish in grand style. I have tried potting this up for the winter, but experi- ence teaches that it is better left undisturbed. Here, again, we have a plant that is easily reared from seed. Saxifrages must be generously represented, and many a plant with tomentose foliage, or leaves bearing a white felted surface, may be safely established in a sunny aspect. I have left mvself too little space to mention the numer- ous other subjects easily grown to perfection in our English rock gardens, so merely give a few by name only. Anemones, Alyssums, Aqui- legias (valuable as growing on long and slender stems), Arenaria, Aster Alpinus, Dianthuses in variety, Geraniums, Erica carnea (one of the earliest flowering subjects), Lychnis in variety, Alpine Poppies, Iberis, Myoso'is, and of bulbous plants we must not forget that the Crocus ranks as a trus Alpine." One has only to see once in a lifetime the- eat fields of Crocuses amid the green to t j -?r them for all one's days.