I GARDEN GOSSIP. I (From the Gardener.") Tomatoes.—For filling plant houses which may not be needed for a month or two, strong, well grown plants may either be planted out or potted on into fruiting pots. They are less trouble when they can be planted out, and, if possible, provision should be made for this, especially when the planting is on a large scale. Cucumbers.—From this date thes'e can be readily grown in frames over slight hotbeds. The plants should, if possible, be strong, but we have been quite successful when sowing in the hillocks of warmed soil in the frames. See that the soil used in the centre of each light is open and rich. Smilax.-This is so useful that all should grow it. Sow seeds now in a pot or pan, prick off and grow on the seedlings in the usual way, train them on strings as growth demands, and useful material will be obtained for autumn and winter decorative work. Tuberous Begonias.—Tubers with growths showing may be planted during the ensuing week, 'at least in early districts three inches Helow the surface is a safe depth to plant, and previous to placing the tuber in position, arrange just a little flaky leaf soil in the hole for it to rest on, adding a little more above it when set. The Common Polypody.—This British fern is not as frequently seen in conservatories as it ought to be. Now is the time to secure it, and once established it will be greatly appre- ciated, especially during winter. It does not want sun, and flourishes in a dull corner where other plants would fail to grow. Perennial and Annual L-inarias.-Linaria-s are so interesting and beautiful, so easy to cultivate, and so useful for gathering, that it is sur- prising how few gardens contain them. A border planted with groups of all the kinds of perennials, with annuals added in summer, makes a pretty, instructive. feature. Perhaps the best of the perennials is L. repens alba, an eighteen-inch grower, which blooms all the summer; its delicate sprays of snowy bloom are delightful among scarlet or rose pink flowers in vases. L. vulgaris, two feet," has showy yellow flowers, and is fit for quite rough ground as long as there is sunshine. L. Alpina is the very dwarf purple and orange blooming familiar rock plant; L. pallida, all violet, is as small; L. Dalmatica is yellow again, and is handsomer, although dwarfer, than L. vulgaris. The annual L. reticulata aurea purpurea is purple and, gold, rather tall, but very light growing; there is a. crimson and also a white variety" of L. Maroccana, which is twelve inches in height. L. bipartita splendida is a red purple L. aparinoides is of gorgeous colour, and grows tall. There are annual Crimson and Gold, Snow White, and Golden Gem Linarias as well. The Aubrietias.—Among the many flowers 01 the day the Aubrietias stand pre-eminent in the garden for their adaptability to all forms of spring gardening. Some flowers are only for the border, some for the edgings, some for formal beds, some for walls alone. But the Aubrietia has a place in all these, and we can never use it too freely for spring gardening, especially as now we have a wonderful variety of colour and of shade. The darkest coloured varieties are Prichard's Al and Dr. Mules. Each has its value Prichard's Al as the larger flowered, and Dr. Mules as covering itself more freely with bloom. Great masses of the latter are delight- ful now, and will remain so for a long time indeed. For a deep red one, we have the choice of the fine Fire King, Leichtlinii, and some others. The former is a little too much inclined to grow loosely, and this trait requires to be kept in check by annual clipping back after flowering-a measure which should be adopted with all the Aubrietias. There are some beauti- ful rose coloured varieties, such as Leichtlin's Lavender Rose, or Moerheimii; and among the choicest forms we may reckon the exquisite Bridesmaid, with blush coloured flowers. When we come to blues and violets and pale purples, we are more than ever embarrassed with the choice; but Hendersonii, Graeca, the pretty deltoidea Wallacei, and the dwarf Tauricola should not be forgotten, and a new white variety of A. Tauricola will give us the good white I Aubrietia so long desired. There are many more, and one need only say that all the Aubrietias in the nurseries of first-class hardy plant growers are worth growing in everybody's garden. Iris Pun--Ila.Coming in about this time are the delightful little dwarf Flag Irises, mostly forms of 1. pumila, but some hybrids and other true species". Some are in flower before this date and, less effective though they are than the greater Flag Irises of the later season, they are charming things for the front of the border, for small beds, or for the rockeries. The true 1. pumila seems scarcer than it was, its place being often taken by I. pseudo-pumila, a hybrid of rather taller stature, but of greater value as well. Of the true pumila forms, which grow only about 4 inches high, one may recommend the type which has violet purple flowers; caerulea, which has its blooms of a delightful skv blue; the lovely little Count Andrassy, which has azure blue flowers, with darker falls, but which is 1 inch or 2 inches taller the pretty luteo-maculata, with brown falls and primrose standards, the falls being ornamented with a yellow margin and the pretty versicolor, with purple fallr- edged with blue, and sky blue standards. There are others, and those who wish still more of these dwarf Flag Irises may indulge themselves with some plants of the Olbiensis varieties, of which one may speak again. Give pumila varieties a sunny position and they will do well almost anywhere even on the top of a wall with but a modicum of soil. The Wood Anemones.—It is surprising how few gardeners know the different forms of ourown Wood Anemones, as we familiarly call the varie- ties of A. nemorosa. They are generally about their best at this time, although varying in different localities. Very beautiful are they, like the type with its snowy flowers, spread car- pet-like through so many of our woodland scenes. Naturally, in the garden we like to have something we cannot find every day in our country rambles, and in these forms we have many beautiful flowers. Here is a sheet of sky blue, as beautiful as any colour our own British skies can give in the witching spring of the year. This is A. Robinsoniana, a native form of our Wood Anemone, with beautiful blue flowers. From it, again, has been raised the fine A. nemorosa Allenii, now coming into the market, though expensive as yet. It has more purplish flowers, which are larger and grow on a taller plant. There is also A. n. caerulea, varying in tint of blue, which may be found in some of our woods. From it has come A. n. purpurea, with a s"hade of purple in the colouring. Blue Bonnet is another good blue Wood Anemone which in in the market; and there are several others not yet in the hands of the trade. Then we have rubra fl. pi., with rosy coloured flowers, not always true, however; Levingei, more constantly rose, but single, while the other is double. The double white Wood Anemone, A. n. alba plena, is a bonnie flower indeed while the element of quaintness in the species is given us by A. n. bracteata, the Jack-in-the-Green of the family, which has its white flowers surrounded by green bracts. Then there is a major, or larger form of the single white; with a few more uncon- sidered varieties of greater or less merit. Asso- ciate with these A. ranunculoides and A. r. pallida, of different shades of yellow, and it will be seen that our garden in early spring is not destitute of beauty, even if there is nothing in bloom besides the Wood Anemone.
I JAPANESE "ENGLISH." I The extent to which Japan is becoming Anglicized1 is evidenced more or less by the ever increasing use of the English language there. There are few large stores in Tokio which do not exhibit some sign or other written in English, and the same is true, to a less degree, of other large cities in Japan. At Kioto, for instance, there is a hotel which dis- plays an announcement reading as follows:- On the dining time nobody shall be enter to the dining and drawing-room without the guests allow." The municipal ordinances of that city contain the following specimen of English literature: "Any dealer shall be honestly by his trade. Of course the sold on,4 shall prepare to make up the safe package." A Tokio dentist recently sent out a circular written in both Japanese and English. The so-called English portion read as follows: "Our tooth is an important organ for human life and countenance, as you know; therefore when it is attack by disease or injury artificial tooth is also very useful. I am eng^-p^ in the dentistry and I will make for your purpose." A shoemaker in the same city displays a sign- board' containing the word's: Shoos maid and men dead hear." At Nikko you can buy a bottle of claret which has a printed label on it like this :Weak man who is not so hard of his stomach takes notice of his health ever must use this wine. usually." Fortunately for the buyer of the wine, the claret is not as bad as the English. I
A VANISHED LEGEND. M. Sardou has just destroyed a Victor Hugó 0 legend. On the faith of guide books, confiding tourists, and even many Parisians, have looked upon the gardens of the bathing establishment of the Rue de Feuillantines as the gardens where Victor Hugo passed the playhours of his child- hood. Somewhat tardily, M. Sardou writes to point out that when the street was changed from an impasse to a thoroughfare, the gardens of the Victor Hugo domicile, and the house itself which was at the end of the impasse, had to be demolished, and no longer exist. M. Sardou himself inhabited the place before the transformation.
THE RUSSIAN SECRET PRESS.—The Russian clandestine press is clandestine in everything. It is the most secretly conducted press in the world. There is no editorial office, with an editor in a snug inner chamber, receiving the visits of his contributors, discussing the articles for the next issue. A mystery and inviolable secrecy govern the whole working of the affair. The editor himself may or may not know the persons Who are responsible for the mechanical production of the paper; he seldom, if ever, knows the place at which it is produced. A con- fidential messenger comes to a given spot on a given day to receive manuscripts from the editor's hand; he comes again to deliver the proofs; and the rendezvous is never twice the same. The contributors are known probably to none except the editor. In a word, precautions, the most minute and extraordinary, must be ob- served if the secret press is to baffle the ever- lasting efforts of the police to unmask it. Stepniak tells us that during the time he was one of the editors of "Land and Liberty he was taken once, and once only, to the printing office.
IN THE PUBLIC EYE. I KING EDWARD, wherever he goes, finds wel- come eager and spontaneous. In Algiers our I King and Queen have been cheered by Arabs, French, and British in chorus, and have forged yet another link in the chain of amity which is our old friend the Entente Cord Local bands, of Zouaves and others, played jod Save the King" whenever there was time to get a breath in edgeways. C'est epatant—at least let's hope the bandsmen knew the tune—but there was practically no danger. His Majesty carried no revolver; Algiers is not so close to Tangier as all that; ana we have not even heard that he was rash enough to risk the cigarette of the country as an antidote to "tea in the Moorish fashion." But no matter. Sauve qui peut—let all who can play "God Save the King." -.0' THE PRINCE OF WALES is to pay a visit to Lord and Lady Windsor at St. Fagan's Castle, Glamorganshire, when he goes to Cardiff to lay the foundation-stone of the University College. Included in the large house party invited to St. Fagan's are the Premier and Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain. The Prince will be the guest of the Marquis of Ripon in the third week of August for grouse shooting on the famous Dal- lowgill Moors. -'0'- PRINCESS LOUISE AUGUSTA OF S GELT; SWIG- HOLSTEIN is a member of the Royal Family for- tunate enough to have a profession-or, rather, art--at her finger-ends in case of need. She is an expert worker in enamel, and her home in Queensberry-place is filled with remarkaibly (beautiful specimens of her craft, while many of her relatives and friends own bits of jewellery, frames, or boxes wrought by her. The finest piece of enamelling she ever completed was a memorial cross for the grave of her brother, Prince Christian Victor, which was taken out to South Africa by Princess Christian on her visit last autumn. o: THE GRAND DUKE PAUL OF RUSSIA is so tall that wherever he may be travelling no hotel bed is large enough for his comfort, and he has for long used one which he had built in sections, so that when travelling he can carry it with his luggage. The bed is put up by a special mechanic, under the superintendence of the Royal valet, in any house where the Grand Duke stays. -:0:- LORD ABERDOUR, whose marriage with Miss Brenda Hay, the pretty daughter of Admiral Lord John Hay, has been fixed for June 5, is the eldest son of the twenty-first Earl of Morton a title conferred on James Douglas, third Baron Dalkeith, on his marriage, in 1457 with Princess Joanna, daughter of James the First of Scot- land. Lord Aberdour is seven and twenty, and a Captain in the 4th Oxford Light Infantry. His family has had a more than ordinarily eventful hnjiory. II1 s ancestor, Sir William Douglas, of Liddesdale, known as the Flower of Chivalrv," had a grant in 1335 of the Earldom of Atholl, but resigned it seven years later. Eleven years after that, Sir William was killed, almost in cold blood, by the Earl of Douglas, "to avenge," said the Earl, "my wife's dishonour." His younger brother, Sir John, was assassinated in 1350 by order of Sir David Barclay of Brechin, and the "Flower of Chivalry" had Sir David'assassin- ated by way of revenge. o: LORD HOWARD DE WALDEN has left his zebra farming in Central Africa, and is now at Monte Carlo. He has purchased a famous motor boat, and intends to indulge in yacht racing. Lord Howard de Walden will spend a great part of the summer at Seaford House, his magnificent London residence, which has so often been utilhed for -charity entertainments. Hitherto its owner has shown little inclination for town life, but seems now disposed to give it a fair trial. His favourite amusement is fencing, and he is a great authority on heraldry. < I :o LORD GALWAY is to be congratulated upon the narrow escape from destruction by fire which his fine .scat, Serlby Hall, has had. Lord Galway, in addition to owning about 7,000 acres of laud in Nottinghamshire, is a Deputy-Lieutenant, a i-P., and an Alderman of the county. Before he was created a Peer of the United Kingdom he sat in the House of Commons for North Notts for thirteen years. # He was an A.D.C. to Q UGi-Rn I Victoria, and continues in that capacity under tne King. Lady Galway is not only a ciiarmin^ hostess but a woman of exceptional intellectual capacity. She has written poems and published them, and is proud of being a Lady of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Eng- land. It was at her suggestion that unoccupied cottages in the country were placed at the dis- posal of the wives of soldiers and reservists during the war. One of the tallest women in England, Viscountess Galway has a daughter even taller than herself, the Hon. Mrs. Skeffin^- ton Smyth. ° -0:- THE COUNTESS OF GOSFORD, whose daughter:, are all golf enthusiasts, has presented a silver cup recently to the co. Armagh Golf Club for foursome competition. The cup is to become the property of any lady winning it two years in succession. 0: M. PADEREWSKI is, perhaps, the only living; commoner who has enjoyed the honour of having his portrait painted by a member of the Royal Family. The picture in question was painted by Princess Louise (Duchess of Argyll), to whom the maestro gave three sittings of two hours each. O PROFESSOR JOHN MILNE, the authority appealed to every time an earthquake disturbs the earth's crust, has qualified' for his post by studying the surface of the globe in many laiiec,, As mining engineer and seismologist his journeyings have taken him over Russia, China, Arabia, Australia, America, and Newfoundland. In Japan, where he was for twenty years in the Government employ, he established1 an earth- quake survey with nearly 1,000 stations. The cable companies often appeal to him when their lines are interrupted, and never in vain. Some time ago it was reported that two West Indian cables had broken on December 31. "That is very unlikely," said Professor Milne, "but I have a eeismogram showing that these cables may have broken at 11.30 a.m. on December 29." And he then located the break at the exact spot it had occurred off Hayti. _.v.- M. CAMILLE DREYFUS has died in Paris almost forgotten, after having been among the foremost men of the Republic. Born in Paris in 1851. he studied mathematics, but when the war of 1870 broke out he enlisted as a volunteer. In 1874 he was editor of the "Avenir de ht Sarthe." An ardient defender of the Republic, he was condemned to five months' imprisonment. for a pamphlet attacking the dictatorship of Marshal MacMahon. In 1885 he was elected Deputy of La Seine; in 1889 he stood again as an opponent of la boulange, and was re-elected for Paris. He had founded ctLa Nation," which 'brought him into conflict with M. Drumont. He was seriously wounded in a duel with M. Drumont, 2 and also fought the Marquis de Mores. One of the founders of the "Great Encyclopaedia," he edited the economic and political section. :0 THE REV. DR. BEVAN, the pastor of the prin- cipal Congregational church of Melbourne, who is now in London, bears, a striking facial resemblance to John Bright. Melbourne is the stronghold of the Australian Protectionists, but Dr. Bevan ha.s never concealed his opposition to that school of .political thought, and has fre- quently spoken from Free Trade platforms. There was some talk of bringing him forward as a, Free Trade candidate at the last Com- monwealth General Election. Dr. l^vau s church is a prominent building of Oriental &tylc on one of the finest, sites in Melbourne s ix fashionable thoroughfare. During the of the late Rev. Thomas Jones the poa- preacher of Wales"—whose son, • J- M.P., recently achieved a notable Lileral victory—this church was densely crowded every Sunday by people of all denominations. Dr. Bevan; who also is a Welshman and a powerful preacher, has filled its pulpit for twenty years. He is probably unique in having held' pastorates in three capitals of Anglo-Saxondom-London, New York, and Melbourne.
FIELD AND FARM. 1 EARLY SOWN ROOTS. j One principal reason why heavier crops of swedes and turnips are grown in North Britain than in Southern England is the earlier period at which they are sown. April is not too early to sow swedes in Northumberland, while in the South of England the principal area is drilled in June and even July. April-sown swedes will grow to a large size wherever grown, and the 50- ton crops wnich are reported in root-growing competitions every autumn indicate that big crops of swedes are not confined to Scotland. Early sowing is inconsistent with catch-cropping, and entails a winter fallow and early cleaning of the land. The essentials for success in root growing are expressed shortly in four words- clean, moist, fine, and rich. If land can be so described it will grow a good crop of roots, but if one of these words is not reflected in the con- dition of the field the crop will be liable to fail altogether. Early sowing is an additional security for success, provided it is not carried to excess; and probably the first week in May is early enough. There is a constant succession of work on farms, and the following calendar may be helpful to a class of readers who write to ask questions upon matters which experienced farmers scarcely need to be instructed upon. Mangel from April 20 to May 10. Early rape from April 20 to May 10. Early turnips from April 20 to May 10. Kale for autumn feed from April 20 to May 10. Swedes from May 1 to June 15. Ordinary turnips from June 1 to July 15. Late turnips from July 15 to August 15. Rape for spring feed, July. Kal-e for spring feed, July. MANURING MANGEL. A study of the composition of mangel throws a great deal of light upon the ingredients re- quired for growing the crop. It would be in- judicious to conclude that an abundance of any particular substance in a crop proves that it ought to be applied to the land for agricultural chemistry is by no means an easy subject. By far the greater part of every living plant is de- rived from the air and natural rainfall, and this d.gespecially true of root crops, including mangel- wurzel. To those who have not studied chemis- try it seems extraordinary that out of a. total weight of say, 33 tons of mangel, which is an ordinary crop, only about half a ton should be derived from the soil. Analysis, however, proves that this is the case the remainder being com- posed of water and carbon derived entirely from the atmosphere. In examining the ingredients which are drawn from the soil by such a crop of mangel by far the largest amount is nitrogen, of which important constituent 2 cwt. will be required, equivalent to the nitrogen contained in 13 cwt. of nitrate of This enormous amount of nitrogen is partly derived from the soil in the form of nitrates naturally developed from the decay of nitrogenous matter existing in the soil. It is also derived from the usual application of dung to the mangel crop; but the large quantity of nitrogen required by a 33-ton crop of mangel points to the advantage of a liberal dressing of nitrate of soda. If, as is often the case, 15 tons of dung contain 150 lb. of nitrogen, this alone is equivalent to a dressing of 9 cwt. of nitrate of soda, although not so quickly available for the use of the crop. Well-made dung and nitrate of soda are the two most effective manures for mangel; and superphosphate is of secondary im- portance. It is true that mangel requires a con- siderable amount of phosphoric acid, but not to the same extent as it does of nitrogen. Hence a dressing of 4 cwt. of superphosphate ought to be supplemented with a sufficient amount of nitrogenous manure. Nitrate of soda has been mentioned as one of the best sources of nitrogen, but excellent crops of mangel may also be grown on land which has carried sheep eating cake and corn.^ As pointed out in this column on various occasions, mangel grows well after a root crop fed off by sheep, and is to be preferred to late corn. Ground so treated has just received a copious dressing of nitrogen, and is therefore well fitted for producing mangel-wurzel. POTASH SALTS FOR MANGEL. Looked at from a chemical point of view, potash seems to be particularly desirable for mangel, as the thirty-three tons used as a standard crop in these remarks removes as much as 450 lb. of potash from the soil. Potash in the form of kainit is often applied, and there is every reason to suppose that it must be effective. No crop can compare with mangel in the amount of potash removed from the land, for an ordinary crop of swedes only requires about 80 lb., and cereals only take up from 30 to 40 lb. Why kainit is not universally used as a manure for mangel is at first sight puzzling, but still more extraordinary is the compara- tively small effect it often produces when applied!. Most soils contain sufficient potash, partly aa a mere natural fact, but also on account of its continual return to the soil in the forms of farmyard manure, roots and hay fed on the land, and vegetable refuse of all kinds applied to fields. Comparatively little potash is carried away from the farm in grain, and an equivalent is brought back in purchased foods. From a chemical point of view a dressing of potash salts ought tOo be very effective on mangel, and no doubt will be found so on all soils deficient in potash. In cases where farm- yard manure is not available, a mixture of fer- tilisers suitable for producing a heavy crop of mangel might be compounded as follows — I 3 cwt. of nitrate of soda, 3 cwt. of kainit, j 3 cwt. of superphosphate. It would be extravagant to increase the amount of nitrate, but there can be no doubt that, if applied at the time of sowing, such a dressing as the above would greatly stimulate growth. Mangel is a fast grower and a gross feeder, and its possibilities in the way of weight per acre j are extraordinary. A PROFITABLE FARM CROP. Winter beans are a profitable farm crop, I grown the right way. In the first place the seeding should be effected either in September or October, the latter month being usually found most convenient, especially when the corn harvest happens to be late. Farmers often complain of their winter beans having lest plant, caused! in most cases by too late seeding. Not only is this evil in a great measure prevent- able, but by setting the coulters of the seed- drill sufficiently wide for the rows of bean plants to admit the horse-hoe to work in their intervals, seedling plants of cabbage, kale, or kohl-rabi might The. set into them after the last hoeing has been effected, with every probability of a second valuable crop being raised, so that even if the beans were found to have lost I plant in winter, while they would be likely to pgd. all the better for being thin, there would be something else to occupy the ground and develop to a high degree of perfection without doing the slightest harm to the crop put in first, for ere they got big and bulky the beans would mature towards ripeness and not require much nourishment any longer from sun and air. Commonly, when this system has been adopted, farmers have sown th seed of swedes or turnips among, the beans after the last hoeing, which, if fly does not carry off the young plants, may possibly succaed, and indeed have often done so when there has been suffici-ent painstaking to. ensure a good result. But, on the other hand, still more frequently after the seed has been sown no further trouble has been taken to thin out the turnips until the beans were pulled up or cut, by which time they would most likely have run up to stalks and be ill-adapted for bulbing. The method I have always given preference to (observes 4C Iconocla.st") is that of setting the drill coulters so -as to have double rows of beans closely together,, or nearly so, with a broad interval between the double rows for the free working of the horse-hoe. Then, if the seed of kale or kohl-raha be sown into a well-prepared nursery- bed in March nice seedling plants would be just fit to he drawn therefrom in May, after the last horse-hoeing of the intervals had been effected. A little artificial manure must be given if the green crop has to be raised in any soil not absolutely reeking with fertility. Kohl andi kale are botli fond of nitrate and phosphates conseouently, a dose of super, deposited with each plant after being set, to be followed a ^rtnight later with a sowing of nitrate, would frove of great utility to ensure vigorous growth. 11 the potash the soil might want should have ibeen applied in the form of kainit when the beans were drilled, because all leguminous plants grow robust on that plant-food.
OTJR SHORT STORY. I 9 BY PIGEON POST: OK, THE PLOT THAT FAILED. M How's it done ?" Mr. Washington Whiffle was genuinely puzzled. Moreover, he was distinctly ill at ease, perhaps because he was somewhat unfitted for the part of petty tyrant. The victim of his tyranny," by-the-by, was the more comfortable of the two, for Lucy understood her father perhaps better than he understood him- self. They regard me, no doubt, as a selfish old dog in the manger!" he muttered, as he leaned against the trellis-work, and idly fed the pigeons. Hang me if they're not right! I am an old dog in the manger! I've no objection to young Frank Brew-ood as a possible son-in-law, but he'll have to bide my time. I will not be left alone in the world at my age. Lucy can marry when I can find someone to take her place, and not before. That was the position I took up at first, and still hold, the more determinedly because I hate to be worsted in a war of wits. Heigho he continued; with a sigh. If the charming little widow were only a few years older, and a few thousands poorer, I'd risk a refusal. Does she treasure the flowers I send every morn- ing ? Does she ever get them ? I cut them, Lucy packs them, J ohny Brown takes thenvfMrs. Dewar's butler receives them, and-what then ? I may be wrong, but I've a very poor opinion of that butler —hang him He's a rascal, or I am for misjudging him. He's only been there a month or so, and the more I see of him the less I like him. I'm con- vinced that there's something wrong about him- just as I'm convinced that Frank and Lucy are corresponding, which brings me to the old question: How's it done ?" Mr. Whiffle asked himself the question again and again. He was, however, much nearer the solution than he dreamed of. Funny! he muttered, suddenly, as he counted the feeding pigeons. "Very funny. Only nine of 'em This is the third morning this week I've counted one short, and, strange to say, I've missed a different bird on each occasion Yesterday it was the old red cock, but he's there now. Let me see—yes! The little blue hen is missing. Now, where, I wonder, is the little blue hen ? Mr. Washington Whiffle searched every corner of the little cot in vain. He had turned towards the house, with the intention of reporting the mysterious affair to his daughter, when, like a flash, he hit the obvious truth. Great Caesar! he gasped. What an ass I've been! Why didn't I think of it before ? Plotting by pigeon post. My dutiful daughter smuggles off a pigeon to that smart fellow Brewood early in the morning. Later in the day the bird returns from Woodside Farm with important despatches in connection with the plan of campaign for upsetting 'the old man's apple cart'! H'm Clever, very! Am I too late, I wonder ? Have they already planned an elope- ment, or shall I cut the line of communication in time ? Mr. Whiffle hurried into the house, to leave it again a moment later with a double-barrelled gun under his arm. His little discovery was likely to prove fatal to the little blue hen," if not to the hopes of the lovers. He took up a position about half way between his own house and The Cedars-Mrs. Dewar's place—behind which lay Woodside Farm, and waited. Barely an hour latter Mr. Whiffle's gun spoke, and "the little blue hen" dropped almost at his feet. The shot riddled note which he detached from the leg of his feathered victim was scarcely what Mr. Whiffle had expected to find. It was only a line, hurriedly written in a feminine scrawl: In grave danger! Come or send help to The Cedars." The Cedars!" grasped Mr. Whiffle. "Mrs. Dewar in danger! What on earth does it mean?'' Your month expires to morrow, Harris, and I shall not require your services any longer! You have not only disappointed me. Candidly, I don't trust you!" Something very like a smile lurked round the lips of Mrs. Dewar's butler. Much to his mistress's surprise, he calmly turned round, closed the door, and locked it! "My dear Mrs. Dewar," he remarked, mockingly, it would have paid you better had you distrusted me 11. little earlier. When I came I didn't intend staying a whole month, and I shan't trouble you long now." I 1, What do vou mean ?" gasped the widow, now thoroughly alarmed. As you seem to like candour, you shall have it, my lady returned Harris coolly. I'm not Harris! Harris got beastly drunk and-for a consideration—handed over to me the position at The Cedars his excellent references had secured him. I came down in his place, intending to remain only long enough to lay my hands on the famous Dewar diamonds-a glowing description of which I had from a fellow who occupied the next cell to mine at Portland, a man who, once upon a time, was the soldier servant of your late lamented Colonel Dewar!" Then," ejeculated the widow, backing towards the bell, you are an imposter-a common thief ?" An ardent collector of all that is beautiful- and valuable—in the jewellery line," laughed the fellow. I wouldn't touch the bell, its useless I took the precaution of disconnecting the wire five minutes ago Moreover, the maids are all locked up in the kitchen, the groom has gone to the town on a fool's errand, and the old gardener's sleeping off the effects of a drop of very fine old Scotch whiskey I persuaded him to taste Mrs. Dewar was a plucky little woman, but her position was undeniably desperate. Don't unnecessarily alarm yourself went on the master of the situation, I only resort to violence when other means fail. I want the key of the secret panel in your dressing-room." What do you know "As much as a month's careful spying has taught me. The jewels are behind that panel, and I want the key If I refuse ?" I shall take it by force, in which event you'll not live to tell tales, my lady. Come, I've no time to waste!" Mr. Dewar hesitated a moment, then tremblingly unfastened one of the small keys from the gold chain round her neck. The rascal seized it eagerly, and turned to the door with a triumphant grin. I don't think it will be necessary to truss you up he laughed, as he placed the door key in the outside of the lock. That window looking on to lawn would be handy for you if it were not so well barred on the outside. As it is there's only the ventilator, and I'll risk you getting out of that before I return. One word more, Mrs. Dewar. Don't make too much noise, or I may lose my temper!" The door had barely closed behind the bogus butler when Mrs. Dewar sprang to her feet. Seizing a scrap of paper, she hastily scribbled a line in pencil. Then, pouncing on a small basket, from beneath the closed lid of which the staiks of many newly cut flowers protruded, Mrs. Dewar bore it to the table. Mr. Washington Whiffle would have been astounded if he could have peeped in at the window j ust then. His carefully chosen blooms were uncere- moniously bundled out of the basket and littered about the floor. Half way down, and inside the basket, was another lid. This Mrs. Dewar cautiously raised, inserted her hand, and drew forth a little blue pigeon! With trembling fingers she fastened the brief but important message to the bird's leg, and drew a chair to the barred window. The next moment through the open venti- lator sped Mr. Washington Whifile's little blue hen "-to a doom sudden and swift as it was un- merited. So, you little vixen You thought to fool me with the wrong key ?" "Harris" haci returned. There was a dangerous gleam in his eye. Mrs. Dewar read it Murder —and Mrs. Dewar was not very far out 111 her reading. Quick, you jade!" he hissed in the widow's ear. If you value your life-the key!" "You have the key!" faltered Mrs. Dcvur, strivmg to gain time. Have you tried it in the right way ?" "I've tried it in every way!" growled the rogue. You've made a fool of me for ten minutes That's longer than any woman ever did before, and longer than you'll do again! For the last time-the key ?" The widow slipped aside, and placed the table between them. He had thrown it aside in a moment, however, and his fingers had closed on the old chain round her throat, when suddenly he started back with an oath. A shower lof broken glass fell into the room, followed on the instant by some eighteen inches of the barrels of a gun. Harris glanced along the sights to meet the gleaming eye of Mr. Washington Whiffle, who was standing on the lawn. Hands up, you hound!" Harris obeyed the command with remarkable alacrity. All the same his hands were barely over his head before the door opened behind him, and he found himself wriggling in the powerful grip of young Frank Brewood. Mr. Whiffle and Frank had met in front of the house. The surprise was mutual, but no time was wasted in explanations-save those which Mr. Whiffle himself had to give. Frank was none too gentle in the handling of his prisoner, who had had more than enough of it before Mr. Whiffle ran round and fell on him. For a really clever rogue, Harris "—the police subsequently dug up a few more of his many names-had a very poor pluck, and he was simply whimpering with fright when the village constable took charge of him. One thing puzzled Mr. Whiffle. How did his pigeon come to be at the Cedars? It was Mrs. Dewar who explained. I've known Frank some time, and I've known of his love for Lucy. You were a trifle hard on them, while I'm afraid I encouraged them. One of your birds came with those charming flowers every morning, and when Frank had anything particular to tell his sweetheart-and what lover hasn't ?— he had only to call here and send it by pigeon post!" "I see said Mr. Whiffle. I'm half sorry now I spared the gaol-bird, after shooting the little blue hen." A day or two later Mr. Washington Whiffle had another important question for Mrs. Dewar to answer. What ? laughed the lady, in reply. And take charge of an unmarried daughter as old as myself! In that event, no! "But," urged Mr. Whiflle," they could be married on the same day! In that event—yes!" smiled the widow Dewar.
EASTER CELEBRATIONS IN TRIPOLI. Strange as it may &eem> the most numerous body of religionists in the North African city of Tripoli are the Roman Catholics. That is owing to the fact that Maltese and Italians pre- dominate. The Easter festivities in the square are the most, striking event of the kind that hap- pens in the city, and' the powder which is dis- charged in great quantities on that occasion was, until a few years ago, given by the Pasha. The present kindly representatives of the Franciscan Order have built a fine new church, of which they are very proud" and there is also a body of French Marists who are engaged in mission work. The colony of Greeks, some forty or fifty in all, has a pleasant little church, and: a good priest, a former monk of Mount Sinai. There are six Church of England members of the North African Mission, who- are doing patient and admirable work amongst the Muslims, through their dispensary and preach- ing. And here, on the Sunday when I was in Tripoli, says, the Bishop of Gibraltar, we had a confirmation, and then knelt together for our eucharist. .——-————————
I MAGIC" BEWITCHED. Paris has within the past few days been the scene of a "most lamentable" tragio-comedy of the telephone. It is a tradition among despairing victims of the "hello girl" that there exists somewhere in the mysterious regions of the central bureau a magic number, the mere demanding of which brings self-willed damsels to submission and fear. A gentleman who believed he had possessed himself of this talis- manic secret, bethought him to try its powers. After being, kept waiting at his bell for an unconscionable time, he poured into the ear of the offending ma,id,en a demand for the mystic number. The effect was indeed magical, but not in the direction wished. The offended nymph abruptly shut off the offender, who could get no- response at all to his repeated calls that day. He had been suspended for twenty-four hours by flat of the telephone girl. He will not try the magic number again.
EPITOME OF NEWS. No woman has entered the Convent of St.. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, for 1,400 years. In proportion to its size Sheffield consumes about eight times as much coal as London. Five hundred trading vessels leave the Thames daily for all parts of the world. The post of a gate on a farm at Heckington just sold stands in three parishes—Burton, Asgarby, and Heckington. The tobacco monopoly has yielded the Aus- trian Government the enormous net profit of £ 5,000,000 for one year. The cheapest gas in the kingdom is sold at Sheffield, where the price is Is. 2d. per 1,000- cubic feet. In Lapland the crime which is punished most severely next to murder, is the marrying a girl against the express wish of her parents. Mme. Marie Darbe, a Paris dressmaker, stabbed herself with a penknife in a sudden fit of madness, and inflicted no fewer than fifty-two wounds. Manchester's Gas Committee will contribute 950,000 from its profits for the year to the relief of the rates, and the Tramways Committee ex- pects to hand over 946,000. Wages are very low in Spain. Farm labourers get about 6s. a week. The women who work in vineyards do not get more than 7td. for ten hours. Spain has more hunchbacks than any other- country. In some of the villages of the Sierra Modena 7 per cent. of the people are deformed in this way. There is one lighthouse in the world that is not placed on any mariners' chart. It is in the Arizona desert, and marks the spot where a well supplies pure, fresh water to travellers. The Ginnelle Lock on the Seine is so con- structed that one man can open or shut it by simply touching an electric button as he sits in his office. Alderman James Duckworth has retired from the position of Liberal candidate for Blackpool mainly on the grounds of ill-health. Alderman Heap will probably be the new candidate. Lord Halsbury has consented to address the undergraduates of Birmingham University next month. He will be the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain during his stay in the city. The Bernard Siamese Frontier Commission appointed as a result of the last Franco-Siamese Convention has not been able to proceed further than Kratt, having discovered certain errors in ,the geographical data supplied by Siam. A man who was arrested at Woodstock, Ontario, for attempting to pass forged cheques was disguised as a clergyman when he called at the first bank. On his way to the next bank, by a few deft changes of costume-, he transformed himself into a farmer. A house lease produced in a Montreal court had a clause prohibiting the tenant from having relatives to visit him, and also forbidding, dancing. The judge refused to grant an eject- ment for breach of such a condition. A bluejacket was returning to his ship, H.M.S. Caledonian, lying at South Queensferry, when, finding that the train was not stopping at Dalmeny, he jumped out. The express was travelling at 60 miles an hour, and the man was picked up unconscious. A bull being driven through the streets of Nor- wich entered the side-door of a public-house, passed through the living-room and up a flight of stairs into a pantry, where it did considerable damage before it was dragged out with a rope. No modern occupant of a throne has travelled more frequently abroad since his accession than -rif,ee F'eramand °f Bulgaria. He became ruler The Committee of the Priyy Council appointed to consider and determine JrtSn points connected with the establishment of a national museum and national library in Wales May 13 m&etia& 011 Saturday, Benjamin .Dilley, a well-to-do man of philan- Hi1",0,*310, tendencies, who has just died at Wilkesbarre, in Pennsylvania, directed by his will that his large house should, be reserved for his two pet cats, Blackie and Pinkie as long -as they live, and that they are to be card, for by his housekeeper. On the authority of the greatest manufacturer of dental supplies in the country there are over 40,000oz. of pure gold worked up annually for dentists' use for material in filling teeth in. plates and solders, the value of this sold approximating £ 200,000. The most valuable handkerchief in the world! belongs to the Queen of Italy. It consists of the purest of Venetian lace, and it is in perfect condition, in spite of the fact that it was made during the fifteenth century. Lace collectors- reckon it to be worth from £400 to £ 600. Miss Thomas, daughter of the Rev. J. D. Thomas, Congregational minister, of Bolton, has accepted a call to the assistant ministry of the Congregational Church at Leek. Miss Thomas, besidies being responsible for certain special organisations in the Sunday school, will preach every Sunday evening. A man living at Pitt&field, Massachusetts, recently lost his wife, and while he was weeping tsjtterly over her grave his sight suddenly became affected. He is now able to see cle:arly in the dark, but in the daylight he is quite blind. He sleeps during the day and riSJels at dusk. "Vanity Fair" hears persistent rumours of a new Viceregal arrangement at Dublin Castle which would considerably after the existing state of affairs. The Prince and Princess of Wales, it is said, will pay a yearly visit to Ireland for the purpose of holding Courts and entertaining officially, in which case the office of Lord-Lieutenant will either be abolished, or its present att-ributes greatly curtailed. How largely the facilities to olbtain cheap breakfasts are taken advantage of by children in London may be gathered from the fact that in the last fourteen months the Salvation Army received nearly £ 130,000 in farthings from th -D tiny mites. For this smallest coin of the realm- they are able to obtain a. fairly substantial meal, whereas otherwise they would have gone break- fastless. A great experiment in railway locomotion wilJ. shortly be essayed between Paris and Bordeaux. The Orleans Company is having a. special engine built which is to take an express through the 9 t,42 a journey in six hours. As the distance is about 372 miles, the rate of spøed will have to be ■about sixty-two miles per hour for six con- secutive hours. Money ts more evenly distributed in France than in any other civilised country. According to the taxation returns, fewer than 20,000 persons have property valuled at £ 40,000. Of these, only 6,000 have fortunes exceeding £ 70,000, while not more than 100 have £ 400,000 or over, and there are just ten fortunate persons who have more than £ 5,000,000 of this world's goods. The Lady Mayoress of London can appoint maids of Honour and a trainbearer, and she has her own private state carriage and four. At j- Mayor's procession, if she comes direct from- her country residence, a guard of honour is sent to meet her and to eeeort her to join in the pageant. TLl \dy Mayoress of York can retain the prefix of "Lady" before her surname for the remainder of her life. That an ordinary steel rail can T5e hurled high in the aiM- and twisted twice around the trunk of a ibig tree seems incredible, yet there was photographic evidence the other daY Of such an occurrence at Nanaimo, B.C. havoc was wrought, and the big which was lying on the. ground' fully 25 ft. from the spot at which the explosion occur red, was lifted in the air and wrapped aroundlibe trunk of a tree 12ft. away, as if it had been mere wire. The explosive that did this is knownu "gelignite."