[ALL HIGHTS RESERVED.] THE SEED OF A SIN. BY C. J. HAMILTON, Author of A Flash of Youth," dec. II CHAPTER XVI. FOTND AMIDST THE FLAMES. MEANWHILE Hartley Netterville had reached .1 Jthe :'C'.lIe 01 dl:;i1,stel'. The the brigade had just dashed up with their noisy engines, and a solid, compact mass of tet-i-ified men and shrieking, struggling women were still pouring out of the theatre doors. At present it seemed a case of more frightened than hurt, but the large flakes of burning wood that fell from the roof into the street showed that the fire was still raging within. "Th' manager be keeps on sayin there s nought th' matter," said a brawny Yorkshire man, as lie elbowed his way out. 66But happen he wants to quiet th' fowk down a bit. Was it on the stage that the fire began ? nked Dr. Netterville. Ya-as, ya-as, mon, on the stage. Just as yon actress woman as does the best part came on, a curtain caught fire. My word, it did blaze up is she safe ?—Miss Branksome I mean." That I can't tell thee. lv'e had (-DOW to do to get my missus here out. She nigh falllted on the stairs, I just had to drag her along. Dost happen to know if there's a doctor about any wlieres ? I am a doctor; I'll see to her." Dr. Netterville had brought a few simple restoratives with him, and after he had seen to the pale, shrinking little 'woman, he pushed his way on to the booking office. Here he found a fat, cheery elderly man, wlic appeal ed to be taking the lead, and pointing bo the best exits. He was wiping his hot brows with a red handkerchief when Dr. Netterville accosted him. Are the performers all safe? Is there anyone in the dressing-rooms?" Not that I know of," was the curt reply. The firemen have got the hose playing on the roof now; the fire will soon be got under. It's more a panic than anything else. There never was any danger." No danger, mon cried a voice in the crowd. I. You'd better go in and see for yourself. It's just like the pit of hell—like the fiery furnace that you read about in the book of Daniel. Dang me, if I ever go inside a theatre again as long as I live 1 Not till the next time, measter," answered a shrill feminine voice. Outside the principal entrance Hartley Netterville noticed the words, Stage door." He remembered it now. It was in 4iere he had gone the night before in search of Rose Branksome. If she had not already escaped; it was probable that she would be here, in the very room, before which be had stood in such anxious suspense, till he was turned away by the obnoxious manager, Oswald Phillips. Down the long passage he went, half-blinded by the suffocating smoke that seemed to be everywhere, penetrating mouth, nostrils and eyes. The door of Rose Brank- some'a dressing-room was half open, he pushed it back, and went in, but she was not there! Dresses and mantles were strewn about, even rings that seemed to be of value were lying on the table, but there was no sign of their owner. Hartley did not wait long, lie hurried out again into the passage, d turning to the left through a side door, he suddenly found himself before the stage. "What a sight met his eyes Water was being poured down from the roof on the velvet seats of the dress circle and the boxes, a huge chandelier had just fallen and. was lying smashed in a thousand pieces, and over all was the unmistakable roar of the still unexting-uished flames, which, though baffled, seemed to be yearning after their prey. The audience had dispersed— boxes, pit, and gallery were empty. Only a few officials were to be seen, shouting orders and directions which nobody seemed to mind. Amongst them Hartley recognised the short, squat figure of Oswald Phillips. He heard some one say to him The fair Rose is all right I suppose ? And the answer came, 1 heard she had igone to her lodgings with her dresser. I'm going thereto make sure, as soon as I can get away. Here, hold tight there! Don't take them things through that door, the staircase is on fire. Give a shout to the in- spector to come here as quick as blazes Hartley turned to make his way out, but he soon grew bewildered amongst the flies* -and the strange little passages that seemed to lead nowhere. Turning down one of them he found himself before a closed door, which seemed to be locked. He was just going away when a low moan fell on his startled ear. "My God! Is there anyone inside?" he shouted, as he pounded at the door. Yes 1 came the faint reply. I am here, Rose Branksome. I can't get out. The door has been locked from the outside. Can you open it No key was visible, and though Dr. Netter- j ville shook the door with all his strength, it did not give way. Andtlieflre-siirelyitwa.% spreading this way-, for the terrible hissing seemed to be coming nearer and nearer. Half frantic with despair, Hartley Netter- ville flew to the end of the passage. An iron curtain bar caught his eye, and seizing it he made his way back and drove it against one of the panels which yielded at; last to the re- peated blows. The other panel was soon smashed in. and Hartley rushed into the room through the gap. He found Rose with her back to the window .and her hands clasped. "You have come! you have come I" she sobbed hysterically. I-I thought I was left here to die alone." "Yes, yes, I have come. You are not going to die. We two shall be saved to- gether." He took both her hands in his and for the first time gazed earnestly into the dark depths of her eyes, the eyes that had so often looked at him in his dreams. The red glow from the burning roof, and the falling embers that bounded against the window-panes, lit up the small room with a lurid light, and coloured the two figures, as they stood close to each other, hand in hand, and face to face. 11 Who—who are you ? she murmured faintly. I don't remember to have seen you, and yet it seems as though I know you ,quite well." "We must have met in the land of spirits," he answered, clasping her hand closer in his. And I have seen you act. I have seen your photograph, too. I have often longed to see yourseii. 1 have something to tell you. I wanted to tell it to you last night, when I was sent away. "Tell it to me now she gasped. Her warm breath touched his cheek a loose wave of her soft hair gave him an electric thrill. It was heaven to stand there with her, even though death in its most terrible form, might be at hand. He knew thai- here was the one Nyomaii in the 41iole world for him, and he Was content to let everything else go. Tell me, tell me all! she murmured again. But this time her glorious eyes sank beneath the stead fastness of his gaze. My name is Netterville, Hartley Netter- ville," he began. "Iam a doctor; I nad a practice in Ireland. I was with your husba,nd When he died, he spoke to me of-you, his last thought was of you. I TeJl Rose, he said, and now I am telling you. I have more to say some other time, but you ought to know you are free, if- I am not going to marry that wretch, that beast of a Phillips," she cried. He need not think it. Oh, my poor Rupert," •he continued. Why—why was I not M with him ? He loved me so well-so well He died —you say, but how ?—where ? "He died from a cycling accident. He suffered no pain, lie only spoke a few words. We could not find out his name or address, that was why you did not hear." And—and you were with him ? "Yes. I did what I could for him, I closed his eyes." "God bless you for it! God bless you a thousand limes Hartley Netterville felt as thought knife had stabbed him. Stay, stay he stammered, there is more to tell. 1-1- His child, our little Rosamund," inter- rupted Rose. I am sure he thought of her." "You have a child," cried Dr. Netterville, jealously. Yes, I have her to live for, I)tif; she has been sent away from me. Oh, I have suffered et-uelly-c)-ttelly. But we must not stand talking here. Look out. Can we make our way through the passage ? No, that was impossible. A wave of flame had caught some inflammable scenery, and was crackling it in its fiery maw. "The only thing to do," cried Hartley, is to stand at the window, and call for the fire escape, someone will be sure to see us or hear us." He caught Rose in his arms, and lifted her up to the window seat, which was some distance from the ground. He wrapped a heavy velvet mantle that was lying on the floor round her bare neck and arms. •'You are trembling," he said, in a voice that vibrated with tenderness. You are trembling, itxiy poor "No, no," she cried. "Not now. bee, the firemen have heard you shout to them, there is one of their brass helmets, they are coming! I hear them say they are coming. Only for you I should have been burnt to death I She shuddered, and drew closer to him. How did you come to be in such a trap ? When the fire began, my dresser, Lucy, brought me in here, and ran for help. Erery- one must have thought I had left. There is some valuable scenery stored here, and someone-Mr. Phillips, I expect—must have turned the key in the lock and taken it away with him. That is how I came to be locked in. 011, how glad and thankful I was to see you How can I ever reward you for what you have done ? He looked at her as though the look was their last. The fire escape was coming nearer. It was just at the window. He saw it. Kiss me once," he whispered in her ear. "Just once, and say that whatever I have done in the past you forgive me." I do—I do she cried. Her full red lips met his in one soft, sighing, caress. The next minute be had lifted her on to the fire escape at the window, and she was slowly descend- ing the ladder. The shouts of the crowd below announced that the rescue had been safely carried out, and now it was Dr. Netter- ville's turn to follow. But the flames bad made more rapid pro- gress, and fragments of the burning roof were falling fast. One of them caught the sleeve of his coat, and be was badly burnt before he had reached the ground. He remembered no more till he found him- self in the ward of an hospital, having his arm dressed by the house surgeon. You'll do now," were the first words lie heard. Take a drop of tbis, and you'll be able to get home, the air will do you good." As Hartley slowly moved to the door he heard the church, clock close by, strike three —three in the morning. And this was his wedding night! He remembered it all now, and the hotel where he and Vida. were stop- ping. Did he feel a traitor to her ? Much more he felt a traitor to Rose, for she, he knew, was his true mate—the woman who was born for him alone! ] I- CHAPTER XVII. -1 I VIDA BECOMES SUSPICIOUS. VIDA was not of a resentful disposition, and yet she deeply resentedthe strange behaviour of iiei: husband on the evening of their marriage. The thought of it rankled within her like a poisoned dart. When next morn- ing she read the sensational head-lines in the local paper HEROIC CONDUCT OF A DOCTOR THE LIFE OF A POPULAR ACTRESS SAVED THROUGH HIS EXERTIONS her lip curled, and a frown darkened her face. She and Hartley were alone in a first- class railway carriage, bound for their honey moon at Felixstowe. His right arm was in a sling, and his cheek showed red marks where the fire had touched him the night before. What on earth you went to busy your- self looking after that actress—that Rose Branksome—it passes me to conceive," grumbled Vida. "Such Quixotic, ridiculous nonsense* I never heard of I Surely there must have been people at the theatre to mind her—people of her own rank. She is, of course, a low, common person." She is nothing of the sort," interrupted Hartley, sharply. "Her husband belonged to one of the best county families in Eng- land." Really! You do surprise me. It does not seem very likely that such a distinguished personage as that would be acting with the Myers-Millington Company. I saw the manager of it standing at the hotel bar—a coarse, vulgar-looking man of the name of Phillips, and I was told that he is going to marry this wonderful Rose Branksome." She is not going to marry him, I know that I So she has acquainted you already with all her private affairs, has she ? cried Vida, viciously. What friends you must be Let us have no more of this, Vida," ex- claimed Hartley, in his most decided tone. I decline to discuss this subject with you^ and I must request you not to mention Rose Branksome s name again—at any rate, in my hearing." Vida bit her lips. She knew that when Hartley spoke like this, she would have 1o give in, but, in her heart of hearts, she cursed the woman who had come between them. How, how could she have her re- venge? With a woman s vanity, she looked down on her pretty tailor-made blue gown that was so eminently becoming, on her natty, beautifully-fitting grey gloves. She touched the exquisite tulle hat, which even Madame Claudirie considered a creation, and she • thought with bitterness that all these glories were quite thrown away on her newly-made husband, for he never once glanced at them or at her. He had kept his word, he had houghi- a practice, he had married her, he was givinghera home, and that was enough! There was none of the proud satisfaction, the gratified sense of ownership that a bride- groom generally feels for his bride. The next fortnight was got over somehow. There were hours of intense boredom, days of weariness and ennui, so that both bncte and bridegroom were heartily glad when t ey were well over. The weather changed, too, and it became chilly and dull, so that t»r. Netterville proposed returning to Bourne- mouth a week earlier than had been at hrsc uri-ai)ged. There were so many things to settle about the house, lie said, and Vida eagerly agreed. She thought that when she made herself useful to him, he would appreciate her more. Many marriages, she argued, that did not begin with a great burst of happiness, ended far better as time went on. But sometimes, as she looked at Hartley's pre-occupied face, a great longing rushed over her to know what he was thinking of, and if he had any commllniea,tion with Rose Branksome, that horrid designing creature, who must have planned that fire just to steal him away from me. Some days afterwards, when Vida was Hacking up to go to her new home, she lifted one of her husband's coats trom the tloor ana I felt something crackle in the pocket. It was a letter, addressed in a lady's handwriting. I Vida had not the smallest scruples in unfold- ing and reading it. Her curiosity became very much quickened when she saw that the name at the end was Rose Branksome." The letter was as follows: York, Monday, Oct. 8th. "DEAR DR. NETTERVILLE,—I was very sorry not to haveseen you the morning you called after the fire, but strict orders had been given that I was not to be disturbed by anyone, as complete rest was necessary after such a severe shock as I had gone through. All the same, I regret not to have seen you. I wished to ask you about my husband's sad end, and also to thank you again with all my heart for saving my life on that terrible night. Any words of mine seem too poor to express my gratitude. Mr. Phillips still makes himself very objectionable to me, but I am helpless, as without him, I should have to give up all hope of getting on in my pro- fession. I fancy there is some mystery con- nected with his early life. I wish I could discover what it is, I might then be able to escape his most unwelcome attentions. I believe he comes from Poole, not far from Bournemouth, where I am told, you are going to live. Perhaps you could find out more about him. Somehow, I think you and I will meet again somewhere. Till then,— Yours sincerely, ROSE BRANKSOME." A spasm of jealous fury crossed Vida's face as she finished this letter. So that was where he went the morning after the fire she exciaimed. He was two hours away. He said he went to have his arm dressed at the hospital. I know now he went to see this odious creature, this detest- able woman, who has forced herself between him and me. But I will show her that he is my husband. Mine by law and right, mine absolutely, and that she can have no claim on him." There was a pile of illustrated papers on the table beside her. She took the one that came uppermost. It contained a full account of the fashionable wedding which had taken place at Nether- ford Hall, with portraits of the bride and bridegroom, and minute details of the dresses and wedding presents. There that will open her eyes," thought Vida, as she scored the column heavily with a blue pencil, and directed it to 11 Mrs. or Miss Rose Branksome, Myers-Millington Company, Theatre Royal, York." "I Imve no doubt she thinks Hartley is an unmarried man, and that she may entrap him. Actresses are so artful. I should like to see her face when she finds my portrait as Mrs. Hartley Netterville 1 I am sure I am a great deal prettier than she is." Vidit was not satisfied till she had taken the paper to the pillar-box and posted it her- self. She did so with a sensation of triumph. She had only just returned when Hartley came into the room, apparently looking for something. He pushed down the pile of papers from the table, knocked down the sofa cushions, and upset the music stand. Vida eyed him curiously. What are you looking for ? she cried. Only for a letter. I can't think how it went astray." "Was it from anyone in particular?" asked Vida. From no one that you know." Was it from a woman—a lad y ?" "What do you want to know for? Yes, it Was. Will that satisfy you ? I can tell you what it is, Vida," he cried, turning at her almost fiercely, "I will not have you prying and spying into my private affairs." Oh, won't you? You forget that, as your wife, I have a rlight to know everything that concerns you." "I am not so sure of that. And there are some chapters in your own life that don't quite bear to be dragged to the light. What about that episode with Sir Charles Camp- bell ? You don't care to hear that touched upon, I think ? "Of course not!" exclaimed Vida, colour- ing. "It was just the man's silly vanity that made him mention it. He wanted to make himself of importance. I never cared for him." I am not so sure of that. He said he had your letter offering to marry him. He kept it in case of contingencies." Disgbsting little fool. He always was a fool. Only for his being a, baronet, and tolerably well off, no girl would he bothered with him. Why will you talk of such disa- greeable things?" cried Vida, putting up her slim hand, as though to ward them off. If you really wish for us each to have a clean slate, I may as well tell you that I found that letter you had from that shame- less hussey, Rose Branksome." "Youfoundit? Where is it ? Give it to me at once "Not so fast, please. I found it, and I read it, and this is how I treat it!" She caught up the letter, tore it into a hundred pieces and flung them in Hartley's face. "Leave the room directly," he muttered, in a. hoarse whisper, or I might forget my- self." And do what ? she cried, trying to ap- pear at her ease. "And strike you he added, with a look that sunk into her soul. Awe-stricken, she passed out of the room silently. After she had gone, he sank back in a chair, and covered his face with his hands. God forgive me lie groaned. Some- times I almost hate her The seed of his sin was indeed springing up. fast and strong. He saw it multiplying around him, and he knew that it was now helpless to keep the crop down. He must reap as he bad sownl (To be continued.)
BARRISTER'S RUINED LIFE. The siory of a barrister's wasted life, followed bv suicide, was revealed at Birmingham. William George Burbridge, who was born at West Hampstead 35 years ago, was called to the Bar at a comparatively early age, and be- came a successful pleader in the metropolitan courts. He gave way to intemperance, found himself briefless, and finally retired from prac- tice. He went to Birmingham two years ago as a labourer in the city electrical station, but was discharged. He was found dead at his home at Perry Barr. A bottle containing laudanum was found on the fire.
I THE LIFEBOATMEN'S STRIKE. I Lord George Hamilton and Captain Acton have presented their report on the Waimer life- boatmen's claim against the Central Lifeboat Institution for payment in connection with the launch on April 23. The report recommends that the launch be allowed and the men paid, and that in the rule in question the part re- lating to windward position be withdrawn. The rule would then read: "In fine weather the boat in the most advantageous position, havina regard to the wind, tide, and distance from the causalty, is the only one to be launched."
si Kenyon Coins has been notified that the Collis-Griffiths Syndicate has.,secured the Vogel lontem Diamond Mine. which lies only a mile and a halt from the famous J agersfontein Mine 8 Big horses going to Amsterdam to be made into sausages fetched as much as £ 17 each, stated a witness at the Thames Police-court during the hearing of a cruelty charge. Increase in the price of opium in the Straits Settlements, according to a report issued, has given a great impetus to the consumption of icorphia.
LINERS LEAVE LIVERPOOL. It is officially announced that the White Stai Line has decided to transfer its Wednesday Royal Mail service from Liverpool to Southamp- ton. The first sailing from Southampton will j take place on June 5. The reason for taking this important step is the growing demand of travellers that facilities should be provided to enable them to embark or disembark at either a Continental or British port, thus obviating the necessity of crossing the English Channel. Steamers will be despatched from Southampton on Wednesdays, and will, after calling at Cher- bourg, proceed to Queenstown, embark the mails, which will meet them on arrival, and sail at once for New York. Returning, they will proceed direct from New York to Plymouth, thence to Cherbourg, and end the voyage at Southampton. The White Star Line has no in- tention of abandoning Liverpool, and will main- tain a weekly sailing of passenger steamers from Liverpool to New York on Thursdays, in place of the previous Friday service. Vessels will call at Queenstown both outwards and homewards as at present The Southampton Docks and Harbour Board have before them plans from the London and South-Western Railway Company providing for the immediate construction of a new deep-water dock. At low tide the new dock will contain forty feet of water, and will be the deepest basin in Europe. Pour Cunarders can be ac- ocmmodated at one time at every state of the tide. The dock will be an open one, without gates or locks, with an entrance of some 300 feet wide. It was officially announced on Monday that the Cunard Company has decided to follow the example of the White Star Line and trans- fer some of its New York sailings from Liver- pool to Southampton. No date has been fixed for the change, and for the present the company will adhere entirely to Liverpool. The directors of the Cunard Company, in their otficial an- nouncement, state that for some time past they have been considering the advisability of the move in order that they might be aDle to avail themselves of the facilities of the Channel ports.
FATAL HOTEL FIRE. A voung servant, named Rosie King, was burned to death in a. fire which broke out at four o'clock on Saturday morning at Brook's Hotel, Surrey-street, Strand. The girl was asleep in a bedroom at the top of the building, and failed to make her escape with the othei servants by walking along a parapet to the ad joining premises. The hotel was severely damaged, part of the roof being totally de. stroyed. Another fatality occurred at a fire at a baker's shop in High-street, Camden Town, where a man named Christopher Murray, agd 35. was suffocated. Splendid discipline was maintained at a serious outbreak at St. Nicholas Industrial School, Manor Park. The 400 boy residents turned out at the bugle-call, and, without the slightest exhibition of panic, obeyed their masters as if it were an ordinary fire-drill prac- tice. A fireman was seriously injured by & falling beam. A serious fire broke out at midnight en Satur- day at the paper mills of Messrs. Edward Lloyd, Limited, Sittingbourne. Nearly a dozen brigades were summoned from surrounding districts by telephone, and they were at work for three hours before the flames were extinguished. One of the three main engines, a boiler-house, and i a paper-making store were destroyed.
A FATAL MISTAKE. I As the 2.50 London to Manchester express was leaving Crewe on Sunday afternoon a young man opened a carriage door and fell under the train, which went over him. Both his legs were cut off. and he died at the hospital. Passengers in the same compartment stated that deceased remarked he had left his luggage on the platform and that lie jumped from the train to get it. his identity has not been established. Deceased was about 30 years of age, and had in his possession a ticket from Wolverhampton to Manchester.
KING SUED FOR DAMAGES. While motoring near Pernersdorf, Saxony, re- cently, the King of Saxony passed a cart in which were two brothers named Starcke. The horse shied, and one of the brothers was thrown out, the wheel of the cart passing over him. The King, seeing that the man was badly hurt, at once stopped the car, and conveyed him to the nearest infirmary, where he afterwards succumbed to his injurie*. The King offered the family a sum of C60 as com pensation. The offer, however, was rejected ai d the Starckes have commenced an action against the King with the object of obtaining a much larger amount.
SHIPBUILDING STRIKE ENDED. The dispute between the shipbuilding employers in Stockton, Middlesbrough, and the Hartlepools, and the platers employed in their yards, which has lasted ten weeks, was settled on Saturday. The dispute, which in its later stages involved about 6000 men, arose out of a notice by the masters to bring down the men's wages to the level those paid on the Clyde. This, on account of the great re- duction it in many cases Represented, was resisted by the men, and a strike begun. Repeated con- ferences have been held during the past ten weeks, and concessions made by both sides, and as a re- sult of another such meeting on Friday the men on Saturday were called upon to ballot as to whether the amended proposals should be accepted. The result was announced at West Hartlepool, where the votes were counted, there being a majority of over two to one for acceptance.
<• FATHER CHRISTMAS BURNT. Mr. Claude A. Pelham, agent to the Countess of Cardigan, and secretary to the Pytchley Hunt, was badly burnt about the hands while impersonating "Father Christmas" at an annual treat to the children of Deene. Mr. Pelham's sleeve caught fire as he was reaching to distribute the first pre- sent from the Christmas tree, and he was enveloped in flames immediately. Archdeacon Harris rushed to i is assistance, and tore off his burning coat. The Archdeacon was also slightly burned. I:)
It is reported from Palermo that the Kaiser and his sons may pass some weeks at Taoriuaia, in Sicily. The London County Council have decided to reduce the fare on their tramway route between Lordship-lane and Dulwich from 2-d. to ltd. The ancient palace of the Kings cf Bulgaria. at Tirnova has been destroyed by fire. All the archives were burnt. Seven torpedo-boats, built at the Ansaldo Works, Genoa, for the Imperial Turkish Navy, have arrived at Constantinople. A French sailor was decapitated by a passing train while leaning out of a carriage window iu the Havre-Paris express.
HUMOUK OF THE WEEK. A NARK OR AN ARKP In the course oi a betting prosecufwra at the London Guildhall, a witness, giving' his version of a conversation, said that one man asked another if a certain stranger was a c; tee." The otSer thought not, but suggebted he might be a nark." The 0 Alderman: Do you mean the thing that Noah came out of? (Laughter.) Witness: No, sir; it's a man who looks out .for the police. Mr. Douglas (chief clerk): In other words, a "nark" is a policeman's nose? (Laugh- ter.) WHAT SHE MISTOOK. A young lady was consulting an oculist. I want a pair of glasses of extra magnify- ing power," she said. Oh, indeed! What makes you think you need very strong glasses?" Because while I was visiting some friends in the country the other day I made a very painful blunder which I never want to re- peat." "I am very sorry to hear that. Did you mistake a stranger for an acquaintance?" "No, it was not exactly that," said the young lady, But I mistook a bumble bear for a blackberry THE MAN IN THE MOON. Asked what he had to say in his defence, a young man at Marylebone charged with stealing a hansom cab, horse, and harness, replied. "I can assure you I know as much about it as the man in the moon." Mr. Plowden: Ah! are you going to call him? (Laughter.) Prisoner: Well, sir, it was an absolute dream to me. Why? 'Well, I'll tell you. I took a little too much liquor, thanks to the- publican. Mr. Plowden: Very well; let him have his thanks. (Laughter.) v HIS OPINION. A prisoner at the 'Wood-green Court pcr- sisted in submitting immaterial questions. The Magistrate's Clerk: You are wasting time. Prisoner: I don't know about that, sir. It's all a waste of time for that matter. (Laugh- ter.) SHE COULDN'T SAY. A Bishop, who was travelling through tho wilds of Canada, stopped at a log-cabin to have a. rest. "Are there any Episcopalians about here?" he asked the woman who lived in tho cabin Well, sir, I hardly know," She said with hesitation. The men did kill something yesterday in the barn, but whether it was one of them things or not I cannot say!" OF COURSE." A man named Rogers was charged, before Mr. Plowden, with being drunk. Were you drunk?" asked his worship. Certainly," came the emphatic reply. Mr. Plowden: Well, it is always pleasant to have no doubt about a thing. Rogers: But I really can't say whether I was incapable or not; I have no recollection. Unfortunately, I went out last night and got mixed up with a good deal of convivial com- pany. At eleven o'clock, of course, I was sober, but at twelve o'clock, of course, I was drunk. Mr. Plowden: It seems to come to this: At eleven o'clock, of course, you were sober; at twelve o'clock, of course you were drunk; at. 12.30, of course, you were incapable; and next morning, of course, you are fined 2s. (Loud laughter.) AS THE ROMAN'S DO. Daniel McDonald, a broad-spoken Scotch- man, charged, at the Thames Court, with be- ing drunk and disorderly, denied the allega- tions, and called as a witness another Scotch- man, who admitted McDonald had had & drop, and was not quite sober. Mr. Mead: But he is a Sootchman. I thought they got drunk on New Year-g Day? Witness: Well, you see, when you are in Rome, you do as Rome does. Mr. Mead: I see. Well, the Roman will have to do as the Romans do, and pay 7s. 6d.. (Laughter.) WELL ACQUAINTED. An old man of 74 who was charged with absconding from Camberwell Workhouse and stealing a pair of boots, walked up to Detec- tive Gordon, and exclaiming Good after- noon, Mr. Gordon," gave himself up, and said he had sold the workhouse boots. Mr. Francis remarked that the prisoner and the officer seemed to be well acquainted. Prisoner: Yes; to tell you the truth, he has locked me up three or four times. (Laugh- ter.) a « THE DOG AND THE GATE. A Mrs. Stanley applied through counsel, at Marylebone County Court to have an order against her set aside. His Honour Judge Selfe said the present was about the thirtieth application he had already heard in connection with the case, and he had never yet seen applicant in per- son. Is there such a person as Mrs. Stan- ley?" he asked. She has been ill, I believe, sir. She cannot be ill always. This lady seems to think she can play fast and loose with the Court, but I would have her know that His Majesty Has a place reserved for people who set the authority of his courts at nought ™ I/0?" Jlonour adjourn the case for Mrs. Stanleys attendance?—Yes, for iust as long as it will take to get the lady here. Mrs. Stanley appeared later in the day, and said she did not reply to the notice said to have been sent by the respondents because she did not receive it. Counsel: Did you set your St. Bernard iiog at the solicitor who sought to serve th& notice, madam? Applicant (with dignity): I did not. Is it true that in consequence he had to get over the gate? (Laughter.)—He (the dog) would no let anybody get over my gate; you can take my word for that. (Renewed laugh- ter.) The gate was always kept locked?-Yes; we always kept the gate locked. Then how could anybody serve the notice? -Is there not a post and registered letter service in this country, sir. (Laughter ) And your dog would not permit people to climb ove • the gate?—What would be the use of keeping a dogr (Loud laughter.) The Judge: How do you suppose a notice is to be served it you keep your door locked lite hadeTZ3 ld°? ,°\the Premises? broken locked because the steps were You know very well that is not why you kept out the officers of the law. (LaS|htCern): Y°U quite wron? «iere. The Judge: Oh, no I am not. (Laughter.) EXPERIENTIA DOCET tooow -fT, little bo^ asked the new i T e" me the difference between a ic.Ke and an ocean?" l j I can, replied Edward, whose wisdom naci been learned from experience. "Lakes are much pleasanter to swallow when you fall in." NOT COMPLIMENTARY. No doubt the society which sent cards to Holloway with the words, "You have been Satan's captive, dear sister," meant well, but it was unnecessarily hard on the prisoa authorities. #*«.
PACIFIC LINER'S FATE. Despatches from San Francisco states that the gra«*«!st fears are entertained for the safety of the liner City of Panama, which left there on Decem- ber 31 with 15 cabin and 20 steerage passengers, 25 Chinese, and a crew of between 30and 40. Slieis reported to have been sighted cn a reef near Pigeon Point, in Southern California. Three rafis with oars, water barrels, and biscuit boxes have been washed ashore, and other wreckage marked Gty of Panama has also been cast up. When the vessel left on Monday a furious north-westerly gale was blowing. Twelve lives are reported to have b< e.i lost in an unknown steamer wrecked on the rocks that en- close the harbour of Ancona on the Italian coast.
BOOKS AND MAGAZINES. ME. DOOLBY ON LABOUK TROUBLES.—AN- | >ther amusing volume of Dissertations by Mr. j Dooley is published by Messrs. Harper. This j Dooley is published by Messrs. Harper. This is an extract from "The Labour Troubles-- "I see th' sthrike has been called off," said Hr. Hennessy. "Which wan?" asked Mr. LofJey. "1 can't keep thrack iv thim. Somebody is sthrikin' all th' time. Wan day th' horseshoers are out, an' another day th' teamsters. Th' Brotherhood iv Molasses Candy Pullers sthrikes, an' th' Amalgymated Union iv Pickle Sorters quits in sympathy. Th' carpinter that has been puttin' up a chicken coop f'r Hogan knocked off wurruk whin he found that Hogan was shav- in* himself without a card fr'm th' Barbers' Union. Hogan fixed it with th' walkin' dilly- gate iv th' barbers, an th' carpinter quit wurruk because he found that Hogan was wearin' a n-u'1' pair iv non-union pante. Hogan wint down town an' had his pants unionised an' come home to find that th' carpinter had sthruck because Hogan's hens was layin' eggs without th' union label. Hogan injooced th' hens to jine th' union. But wan iv thim laid an egg two days in succission, an' th' others sthruck, th' rule iv th' union bein' that no hen shall lay more eggs thin th' most reluctant hen in th' bunch." THE FALL OF WHIST.-Mr. Edward Dicey contributes an interesting article to the January number of the Pall Mall Magazine on The Fall of Whist." Changes of fashion are common enough, he says, but I never knew of a change so sudden as that which deposed whist, in the course of a little over twelve months, as the game of English cardplayers. All the pundits of the cardtable were dead against it. i myself, though I had no right whatever to claim to be anything more than a member of the rank and the of players, was very loath to believe that the supremacy of whist was really on the eve of destruction. Still, as I noticed how in every club with which I was acquainted, directly or indirectly, the whist table was de- serted for that of bridge; how member after member who had declared that whatever others might do, they themselves would remain faithful to the old game, dropped away one by one; and how the few who kept their word got to be regarded as old fogies who had fallen behind the times, my conviction began to be shaken, and I soon realised that bridge had come to stay. THE MATINEE GIRL.-You have, writes Mr. Henry Arthur Jones in the "Atlantic Monthly," two phrases in America—"matinee girl" and "matinee idol." We have not the phrases in England, but we have the corresponding per- sonages. At a recent matinee given in an Eng- lish city by one of our most deservedly popular stage heroes, it is credibly alleged that at the opening of the doors 279 ladies consecutively passed the pay-box! Then a single man ap- peared. But he was a curate. I do not think that any explanation can be offered of this in- cident that would flatter the dramatic taste of the town, or indeed that concerns the drama at all. I think the only explanation that can be given of the matinee phenomena is to class them with the nursemaid and the soldier in the park; except, indeed, that the nursemaid has this great advantage, or disadvantage-she does actually talk with her hero, and in many cases is made the veritable heroine of uie story. RECOLLECTIONS OF LUCK NOW. Major- General J. Ruggles tells of the relief of Luck- now in his volume of recollections issued by Messrs. Longmans. Referring to the strains of "The Campbells are Coming," which headed mp a' the approach of Sir Colin's Highlanders, he says: As the soldiers entered through the Bailey Guard Gate the enthusiasm was un- bounded, the Highlanders greeting the garrison like joyous children. At the house of Dr. Fayrer, where the ladies and children were congregated, the bearded Highlanders rushed to clasp the ladies' hands they took the chil- dren in their arms and fondly caressed them, passing them from one to the other to be caressed in turn. After this scene of indescib- able delight, they sadly reflected one with an- other upon losses they had sustained, of the many comrades that had fallen in the way. From the day they crossed the Ganges, Septem- ber 19, up to the 25th, the day they reached us, their total loss in killed and wounded, officers and men, was 535. RUSSIA'S DIFFICULTIES.—We are oftsn told that the future of Russia is wrapped in dark- ness that no one can foretell how it will de- velop during the next few years. This view is incorrect, writes Mr. Rudolf Martin in "The Future of Russia" (Smith, Elder). The first year of the Russian Revolution, which came to an end on October 27, 1906, has made it plain that the Russian Empire is slowly, but surely, approaching a Reign of Terror, a State bank- ruptcy and dissolution. A recovery from its political, social, economical, and financial in- juries is impossible, since there is not even the serious desire for reform. The position of the peasants is growing worse instead of better, The racial, national, religious, and social hatred, instead of abating, is on the increase. The difficulties into which the Rus- sian Empire has been plunged during the years 1904 and 1S05, by the daring advance of Japan, are only a slight fore-taste of the things which the Russian Empire will have to face in the future. SIR CONAN DOYLE'S FIRST BOOKS.—It was the olive-green tint of Scott's novels which started me on to rhapsody, writes Sir A. Conan Doyle in the literary autobiography which he is contributing to "Cas,sell's Magazine." They were the first books I ever owned-long, long before I could appreciate or even understand them. But at last I realised what a treasure they were. In my boyhood I read them by sur- reptitious candle-ends in the dead of the night, when the sense of crime added a new zest to the story. Perhaps you have observed that my Ivanhoe is of a different edition from the others. The first copy was left in the grass by the side of a stream, fell into the water, and was eventually picked up three days later, swollen and decomposed, upon a mud-bank. I think I may say, however, that I had worn it out before I lost it. Indeed, it was perhaps as well that it was some years before it was re- placed, for my instinct was always to read it again instead of breaking fresh ground. WHO WAS BROWN.—" Wayside India is the title of a pleasant book, by "Miss Maud Power. She was there during the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and says: "Since the arrival of the Prince of Wales everything has gone up in value. The dhobies (washermen) charged royal-visit prices, and they must have come to an end of their supply of soap, for my clothes returned from the laundry slightly dirtier than they went." A small story of the Royal visit is: I heard that the Prince was in- troduced to a queer character in Madras whom I shall call Brown. "Who is that Brown?" asked the King's son. "Well, your Royal Highness," was the answer, "out here there is Curzon, Brown and God Almighty." To DIE WITH HER HUSBAND.—Sir Spencer St. John tells the following interesting alligator story in his Earlier Adventures of a Naval Officer" (Digby, Long):—Ijau, a Balau chief, was bathing with his wife in the Lingga River, a place notorious for man-eating alligators, when Indra Lela, a Malay, passing in a boat, remarked I have just seen a very large ani- mal swimming up the stream." Upon hearing this, Ijau told his wife to go up the steps, and he would follow. She got safely up, out he, stopping to wash his feet, was seized by the alligator, dragged into the middle of the stream, and he disappeared from view. His wife, hear- ing a cry, turned round, and, seeing her hus- band's fate, sprang into the river, shrieking, Take me also," and dived down at the spot where she had seen the alligator sink with his prey. She swam about, seeking to die with her husband. At last her friends came down, and forcibly removed her to their house.