Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 28, 1914
Author: Various
Home - Random Browse



VOL. 147.

OCTOBER 28, 1914.


Reports that Germany is not best pleased with Austria-Hungary are peculiarly persistent just now. There would indeed seem to be good grounds for Germany's displeasure, for a gentleman just returned from Budapest says that the Hungarian MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR has actually issued an official circular to the mayors and prefects throughout the land enjoining upon them the duty of treating citizens of hostile states sojourning in their midst with humanity and sympathy.

* * *

Inquisitive people are asking, "What is the KAISER'S quarrel with the Bavarians?" He is reported to have said, the other day, "My wish for the English is that one day they will have to fight the Bavarians."

* * *

The King of BAVARIA, by the way, has been operated upon for a swelling of the shoulder blade. We are glad to hear that he is progressing favourably, and it is hoped that the swelling will not, as in the case of another distinguished patient, spread to the head.

* * *

For the following little story we are indebted to the German army:—"Fears are now entertained of an epidemic breaking out among the German troops in Antwerp, as, the German artillery having destroyed the municipal waterworks, there is no drinkable water available."

* * *

Several striking suggestions have reached the authorities in connection with the danger from Zeppelins. One is that St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey should be covered over with dark cloths every night, and that shoddy reproductions of these edifices should be run up in another part of London, and be brilliantly illuminated so as to attract the attention of the enemy.

* * *

Another method of confusing the airships, it is pointed out, would be to drain the Thames, and to flood a great thoroughfare, say that from the Bank to Shepherd's Bush, and to place barges on it so that it would be mistaken for the river and cause the airmen to lose their bearings.

* * *

Meanwhile the authorities who are responsible for the safety of London are said to be anxious to hear of an intrepid airman who will undertake to paint out the moon.

* * *

There are, of course, always pessimists among us, but we would beg the editor of The Barmouth and County Advertiser to try not to be downhearted. Impressed, no doubt, by the recent sale of two German warships to Turkey, he gives voice to the following opinion in a leader:—"Our Fleet to-day is supreme; but no one knows when an auction may take place...."

* * *

It has suddenly become more imperative than ever that the War should be finished quickly. A publishing firm has issued the first volume of a history of the war with an announcement that it will be completed in four volumes at a fixed price. If the war should last longer than a year the last volume threatens to achieve such a size that the publisher would either have to go back on his word or be ruined.

* * *

The L.C.C. has just produced a new, revised, up-to-date and fully detailed map of London, and the German War Office is furious to think that it has been put to the needless expense of compiling a similar document itself.

* * *

It has been pointed out that the War has had a most satisfactory effect on criminality. And even in civil actions witnesses would seem to be turning over a new leaf, and even insisting on giving evidence against themselves. For example, we learn from The Northwood Gazette that a van driver, charged the other day with damaging a motor-car, said in cross-examination:—"I pulled up about fifteen years after the accident happened."

* * *

In spite of the War our Law Courts pursue the even tenour of their way, and the Divisional Court has just been asked to decide the important question, Is ice-cream meat? Personally we should say that, where it is made from unfiltered water, the answer is in the affirmative.

* * *


Daily Mail.

We should have thought this well-known characteristic was hardly worth mentioning.

* * *


was the title of a paragraph in a contemporary last week. These cases must surely be exceptional. We always think of spies as wearing a recognised uniform, or at least a label to indicate their profession.

* * *


This war is shattering many of our illusions.

* * *

Mr. FRED EMNEY, who is now appearing at the Coliseum, would like it to be known that he is not an Alien Emney.

* * * * *


* * * * *


"The country in which so much interest centres may be briefly described. From near —— to —— and onwards in a south-easterly direction there is a low range of chalky hills, closely resembling our South Downs. There is no harm in saying definitely that not a German is on this line."—Daily Telegraph.

No apparent harm, but you can't be too careful. If the news gets round to the Germans that they are not there, they might at once set about to correct this defect.

* * * * *


"Mr. F. Marsham-Townshend's Polygamist, 3, 6-2, E. Crickmere 0

Mr. F. Marsham-Townshend's Polygamist, 3, 6-2, O. Grant 0"

Irish Times.

Racing, you will be glad to be reminded, still goes on, but of course only for the sake of creating employment. By putting two jockeys upon the same horse the desired end is attained more easily.

* * * * *


[Thoughts extracted from a sea-shell (howitzer pattern) by Our Own Special Conchologist on the Belgian Coast.]

There was a King by name CANUTE (In ancient jargon known as KNUT), And I, for one, will not dispute The kingly figure which he cut; A god in mufti—so his courtiers said— Whatever thing he chose to have a try at, He did it (loosely speaking) on his head, By just remarking, "Fiat!"

One day they sat him by the sea To put his virtue to the test, And there, without conviction, he Threw off the following, by request:— "Ocean," he said, "I see your waves are wet" (Bravely he spoke, but in his heart he funked 'em), "So to your further progress here I set A period, or punctum."

He knew it wasn't any good Talking like that; and when the foam Made for his feet (he knew it would) He turned at once and made for home; And "I'm no god, but just a man," he cried, "And you, my sycophants, are sorry rotters, Who told your KNUT that he could dare the tide To damp his heavenly trotters."

* * *

The scene was changed. Another strand; Another god (alleged) was there (In spirit, you must understand; His actual frame occurred elsewhere);— "O element designed for German ships, Whose future lies," said he, "upon the water, I strike at England! Ho!" and licked his lips For lust of loot and slaughter.

Then by the sea was answer made, And down the wind this word was blown: "Thus far! but here your steps are stayed; England is mine; I guard my own!" And as upon his ear this challenge fell, Out of the deep there also fell upon it, or Close in the neighbourhood, a singing shell From H.M. Mersey, Monitor.

And just as old CANUTE (or KNUT) Stopped not to parley when he found His line of exit nearly cut, But moved his feet to drier ground, So too that other Monarch, much concerned About his safety, looked no longer foam-ward, But said, "This sea's too much for me," and turned Strategically home-ward.

O. S.

* * * * *



"They do say as this old Keyser or Geyser or whatever 'e calls 'isself be goin' to 'op it."

"Afraid of 'is life, if t'other side should win—that it?"

"Likely 'e is—an' well may be. T'other side be our side in that case, bain't it?"

"That's it. An' it's 'im for 'isself an' the rest for theirselves, from what I can see."

"This old Keyser, 'e's to blame for most ev'rythin' happenin' nowadays. Reg'lar firebran' in our midst, 'e do seem."

"Daresay 'e was drove to it, if we could but see all."

"Some woman nagged 'im into it—if you ask me."

"They do say 'e craves for peace with 'is whole mind."

"Parson 'e says on Sunday as the hypocrit' cries for peace where there is no peace."

"This war seems to take people out of their true selves, makin' of 'em ravenin' beasts."

"Men, too, as otherwise acts quiet an' well-meanin' enough. You 'eard what Doctor done?"

"What 'e done?"

"Not to old Sally's son, Jim?"

"'Im as 'urted 'is 'and blackberry time—a year ago this very month?"

"'Im. Ill unto death, 'e were, with blood poisonin', and Doctor 'e says what a shockin' state 'is blood must 'ave been in for the poison to serve 'im so."

"An' old Sally been a-keepin' of 'im ever since. 'Er needle been at it reg'lar, but 'ardly earnin' a livin' wage owin' to the meanness of them who 'as it to pay."

"An' a poisoned and, when the worst be over, ain't no bar to the appetite."

"Glad she's been to do it sooner than lose 'im, as she lost 'is brother with 'oopin'-cough."

"That must be a matter of twenty-five year ago—before ever Jim was born."

"You ain't told us yet, dear, what Doctor done."

"I'm comin' to that. Jim, 'e's not without 'is uses an' 'e's more time, like, to read the paper than the other men. So 'e reads the news an' tells it all over at 'Plough an' 'Orses' nights, an' they do say the way 'e urges of the men to 'list is somethin' wonderful."

"Not thinkin' of goin' 'isself, of course?"

"Ain't 'e 'ad a poisoned 'and? Still, this 'e did; to a lot of chaps as 'eld back 'e says—'If you goes to Doctor to be examined I'll go with you,' 'e says—could a man do more? 'I tell you honest,' 'e says, 'that with my poor 'and I'm a man marked down for stayin' at 'ome, worse luck. What would I give,' 'e says, 'to go forth in the pride of 'ealth, same as you? Still, I'll go to Doctor with the rest of you, if only to show 'ow these things should be done.'"

"'Ow many went?"

"Three in all, includin' of Jim. 'E led the way up to Doctor's surgery, then 'e waved the others in front of 'im. 'Take the sound men first, Sir,' 'e says, 'an' then, if you'll spare me a minute, I'll take it kind.'"

"What did Doctor do?"

"Doctor 'e does as Jim says and takes 'im last, after tellin' the other two as they were better at 'ome. 'I been waitin' for you,' 'e says, an' 'e turned on Jim that fierce as never was. 'A 'and as 'as been perfectly well for the last six months to my certain knowledge ain't goin' to prevent you fightin',' he says, 'so off you go an' 'list.'"

"Poor old Sally! No one to work for now but just 'erself, then?"

"War be an awful thing, it seems, for raisin' the wicked passions in peaceful men. Keyser, Geyser—whatever 'e calls 'isself—and our old Doctor ... it be all the same."

* * * * *

Extract from Fortress Orders at Malta:—

"A box containing butchers' implements, and marked with a red cross. Finder should communicate with the D.D.M.S., 28, Strada Britannica, Valletta."

If we did not happen to know through our Secret Intelligence Bureau that D.D.M.S. stands for Deputy Director of Medical Services we should suspect that the Germans had been once more using the sign of the Red Cross as a screen for their barbarities.

* * * * *

Illustration: THE LIMIT.




* * * * *

Illustration: UNDER ONE FLAG.

Genial Person (to retired Colonel, who for the past two months has put in fourteen hours a day recruiting). "LOVELY MORNING, SIR. I SEE YOU'RE ON OUR SIDE."

* * * * *



Dear Charles,—We're tired of this place, so we're going to move on. Some said, "Let's go to Egypt and doze in the sun." Others were for India, and one, having a flame in Guernsey, proposed that the Division might just as well go to the Channel Islands as anywhere else. But what tempted the majority was the thought of a season's shooting without having to pay for so much as a gun licence, and so we decided for the Continent. We gave formal notice to the War Office of our requirements, said we would let them know in due course what time we should want trains, ships and motor omnibuses to start, and asked them to call for our luggage at an hour we would name, indicating that in the case of each man it would not be more than a couple of trunks or so, half-a-dozen odds and ends of smaller bags, and a case of golf clubs. To this the War Office replied that they were in receipt of our favour, thanked us for our kind patronage, assured us of their immediate attention to our esteemed commands on this and all occasions, and begged (positively begged) to be allowed to remain our obedient servants. If then you hear (as you probably will in a few days) of our departure, you will appreciate the exact manner of it: a duly deliberated and quietly dignified excursion, undertaken by us in our own way at our own time, because we happen to feel so inclined and not because we happen to be so ordered. (Speaking in the language of the registered alien, "Yes, I don't think.")

Meanwhile we watch with interest the effect of our new recruits upon the battalion as a whole. You will remember that those recruits are from all classes, and the presence of the so-called Non-manual is clearly marked in the daily conversation overheard. Thus in the good old B company you will hear: "'Ere, Bill, where's me pull-through?" "I ain't seen yer ruddy pull-through." "You'm a liar; you've bin and took it." "Get off with yer; I ain't. If yer want a ruddy pull-through, why don't yer pinch Joe's ruddy pull-through? 'E's away on guard." In F Company as now constituted it runs: "Angus, have you seen my pull-through anywhere?" "No, Gerald, I have not." "You are sure you haven't taken it by mistake?" "I assure you I have not; but, if you want a pull-through, I am sure Clement would not mind your borrowing his temporarily."

Among our last draft of recruits was a newly-joined officer who had been at the military business before. What he liked about us was that we are Territorials, immune from this new "platoon" system. "I like people," he said, "who call half a company a half-company." He had tried the new business, but couldn't manage it; he could give the "On the left: Form section" all right, but when it came to platoons he would shout, "Form ..." and then could think of nothing better than pontoon or pantaloon. His brother, it appeared, had joined a Territorial regiment up North; being methodical he had read all the letters from the front which have appeared in the Press, and set about equipping himself accordingly. Even if he should lose all except what he stood up in he meant to keep dry and warm; so he scrapped all his shirts, socks, vests and whatnots, and substituted others of monstrous weight and thickness, lined his tunic with fleece, his breeches with waterproof, his puttees with fur, and his boots, it was said, with all three. Within twenty-four hours of completing his fortifications he was sailing for India.

We all contemplate that time when our valises shall be, unhappily, no longer with us. The odd things we must still have are: towel, razor, soap, shaving soap, shaving brush, toothbrush, extra boots, socks and so-on's, mess-tin, knife, fork, spoon, revolver, ammunition, compass, clasp-knife, field-service pocket-book, note-books, sketching-books, lamp, flask, bandages, mug and house-wife. These might be accommodated in the haversack or elsewhere, but that all available sites are already occupied by what we, or better still our relatives, friends and acquaintances, consider indispensable, such as pipes, tobacco, matches, compressed victuals and drinks, maps, dictionaries, medicine-chests, chocolate, purses, cheque-books, letter-pads, fountain-pens, fountain-pen fillers, chronometers, electric-torches, charges for same, unpaid bills, unanswered correspondence, sponges, ointments, mittens, bed-socks, camera, boot-brushes, dubbin and spare parts. Obviously one will eliminate (as you were about to write and suggest) the bills and the correspondence, but those, Charles, are the only things that don't occupy room. What else can one eliminate? The only thing is to reform one's life and learn to be a pantechnicon; one may also, with a little ingenuity, use one's clothes to serve a double purpose. I have only got as far as evolving a scheme for tying up all the outlets of my breeches and then filling them with air, so that one leg makes a bolster and the other a pillow—two articles which, you will observe, were omitted from the inventory.

By the way, our new officer was only gazetted on the very day he travelled down with us. He started badly with a heavy reverse and casualty list, for we played bridge on the way and he lost his first day's pay, messing allowance and field allowance, all except twopence, which goes (I believe) to income-tax. When we arrived at our billet we found Pay in process. A private, who has a moment or so ago saluted and withdrawn with his pay, seeks re-admission. "Colour-Sergeant!" he says. "What is it?" "I think you have given me sixpence short." To which the brutal Colours replies briefly, "'Op it." Later another private comes. "Colour-Sergeant!" says he. "What is it now?" "I think you have given me sixpence too much." "Come in, my lad, come in," replies the kindly Colours.

We were lectured in map-reading and so forth this morning, and were told that, all else failing, we might get our bearings from observing the direction in which the local church pointed. But an active brain suggested that these Germans had no doubt thought of that years and years before and, in order to deceive us, had built their churches with the east windows pointing west. When, the other day, the R.A.M.C. man inspected the feet of the battalion, the same intelligent unit wished to know who had got the first prize and whether for quality or quantity.

Yours, HENRY.

* * * * *


* * * * *


North Eastern Daily Gazette.

Przemysl, however, remains in Galicia.

* * * * *


(In humble imitation of the exploits of the German Wireless Service.)

Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD and Mr. KEIR HARDIE have joined Mr. BLATCHFORD in a recruiting campaign, with most gratifying results. In the course of one of his speeches Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD announced that the experience he had gained while tiger-shooting in India had enabled him to organise an elephant-gun battery, with which he was shortly about to proceed to the front.

It is reported that, at the instigation of the Chevalier WILLIAM LE QUEUX, the Republic of San Marino has declared war on Germany, and appointed the Chevalier as generalissimo of its forces, which are estimated at 250 men.

Great consternation has been caused in Vienna on receipt of the news that, in view of BEETHOVEN'S full name being VAN BEETHOVEN, and his origin Dutch, he has been removed from the list of belligerent composers and regarded as a neutral by concert-givers in London and Paris. A counter-movement has in consequence been started with the object of treating BEETHOVEN as a hostile alien during the progress of the war.

The transports of enthusiasm caused in Berlin by the announcement that Mr. G. B. SHAW had decided to be known in future as Mr. BERNHARDI SHAW have given place to bitter disappointment on the peremptory denial of the rumour by the famous comedian himself. As a matter of fact he is hesitating between Benckendorff, Balakirev and Bomboudia.

* * * * *

"War F. N. Belgian Manager going home, sold new F. N. Motorbike 2-1/2 H.P. kick starter at cost price."

Advt. in "Ceylon Independent."

The starter will probably consider that it is not worth it.

* * * * *

"A flag day on behalf of the Belgian refugees was held at Wimbledon yesterday. A procession was formed in front of the Town Hall headed by the High Sheriff of Paris, M. Leo Strachey."—Sunday Chronicle.

We welcome M. STRACHEY to England, and trust that he will be impressed by such British institutions (e.g. The Spectator) as he may chance to come across during his stay.

* * * * *


Who ran to watch how Nancy fell Beneath a storm of shot and shell, And, when she didn't, felt unwell? THE KAISER.

Who stimulates his gentle sons To ape the manners of the Huns? Who doesn't feed the Bear with buns? THE KAISER.

Who circulates ingenious glosses To minimize his army's losses, And scatters showers of Iron Crosses? THE KAISER.

Who suffers agonizing pains When stern necessity constrains The bashing-in of Gothic fanes? THE KAISER.

Who has for several weeks of late Omitted to communicate With any foreign potentate? THE KAISER.

Who in a cage of steel, we're told, The tides of war about him rolled, Watches the scroll of Fate unfold? THE KAISER.

* * * * *

Illustration: The Recruit here portrayed, being most anxious to get into KITCHENER'S Army, is determined to accommodate himself to any conditions as they arise.

Officer (filling in form). "WHAT'S YOUR RELIGION?"

Zealous Recruit. "WELL, WHAT ARE YOU SHORT OF?"

* * * * *


Since the War began the military experts have monopolised one corner of the smoke-room. Don't imagine I am going to write about them. It is in the other corner of the smoke-room that the Cheering-Up Association meets. There we all come and relate our business troubles and listen to the troubles of our friends. It is wonderful how consoling other people's troubles are. Robinson brightens perceptibly when he discovers that Jenkins is also heading for the Bankruptcy Court.

Of course the talk began with Mitchell's play. It always does. We have followed with tempered interest its pilgrimage from one manager to another these two years.

"All U P," groaned Mitchell. "Algernon Princeton had promised faithfully to produce it in October. Now he's closed his theatre. He's a pretty patriot. If it had run—let us put it moderately—two hundred nights I should have made L4,000 clear. American rights would have been worth quite as much. Touring companies in the provinces, Colonial rights, translation rights—why, I should have made ten thousand—no, in business matters one must be accurate—say, twenty thousand. It's all that WILLIAM! If I wasn't over age and hadn't tobacco heart, I'd go and have a pop at him myself."

"That's just speculative loss," said Nairn. "Now I've lost an actual income. You men know I'm by way of being a financial authority. Well, who wants financial advice nowadays? I give you my word of honour I've sold nothing since the war began except half-a-dozen articles on the weakness of Germany's financial position. If it is anything like my financial position the war won't last long. I envy Wilson over there. He's got something to sell that's wanted. Nothing like the wholesale woollen business nowadays."

Wilson shook his head. "You don't know all," he said. "I don't mind telling you fellows in confidence that I owe over four thousand pounds, and I don't know when I shall be in a position to pay it."

Everyone looked sympathetic, and when Wilson had risen from his seat and walked towards the door there was a general murmur of "Poor fellow, it's hit him very hard."

Wilson paused at the door and looked back. "Did I mention," he said, "that I owe that sum to German manufacturers?"

It was unanimously voted by the Cheering-Up Association that no club rule was violated when Mitchell hurled a match-stand at the member whom we had been cheering up on false pretences.

* * * * *



As our wives remark to each other nowadays over the knitted helmets, "It's extraordinary how dark London is at night." They then drop two and purl two, and add, "Particularly as the evenings are drawing in so." But while they prattle of it thus lightly we (their husbands) are outside in it all, marching ... and wheeling ... and tripping over each other. At what risk to ourselves I will show you.

It was Thursday the 22nd, and at six o'clock our Company might have been seen (had there been a better light to see it by) progressing smartly in column of platoons. The shades of night were falling fast as over Regent's Park we passed, and my platoon was marching last, excelsior. As my platoon came opposite our Commanding Officer he gave the order, "About turn." We did so. "Form fours, left"—we made it that. The night fell thicker; I can now speak only for myself and my immediate neighbours. "Right incline"—we inclined rightly. Another "Right incline" and a "Halt," and then the C.O. came up to look for us. My platoon had got together somehow, and murmurs came to us from the platoons behind us. You know how quickly a rumour will run through a company. Such a rumour now ran through ours. It went from man to man; it came to me at last; it went on ... it got to our Commander.

"No. 1 platoon missing!"

The C.O. came up to us, struck a match and counted us. Only three platoons—we were a platoon short.

The rumour was true!

We never saw that platoon again. Its story, as we piece it together from the tales of park-keepers, policemen and other non-combatants, is as follows. It failed to hear the order "About-turn" and marched straight forward. In the Regular Army a combination of obedience with initiative is taught the recruit; we are still at the implicit obedience stage. No. 1 platoon had its orders. It came to some railings three hundred yards further on and climbed over. At the Ornamental Lake it took to the water. The survivors continued the march south. They were seen for a moment at the Marble Arch, and then again at Epsom. Nothing more is known definitely; but a specimen of the Corps badge has been found on the beach at New Shoreham, and it is supposed.... Well, well—we shall miss them.

These, then, are some of the dangers which we who drill in the evenings face cheerfully. But there are other spirits, less brave but more energetic, who drill in the early mornings. I have been told the hour at which they fall in, and I tried at once to forget it. I am in bed then. But there is, I know, one hero who comes up thirty miles from the country to attend. In order to be there punctually he has to get up three days beforehand each morning, and have his breakfast over-night; but he does it.... And I think the Germans ought to know.

However, he and all of us had our reward last Saturday, when we marched down to camp five hundred strong. It was not so much the remarks of the spectators (many of whom foolishly mistook us for Belgian refugees) which flattered us, as the respectful way in which the police held up the traffic to let us pass. Five hundred men take some time passing; to delay for that time the taxi of some impatient War Office official, bulging with critical despatches, gave one an importance never to be acquired in civil life. For a mere editor not even a tricycle would be held up.

As I have said, our exact status in the military world was misapprehended by the spectator. It so happened that our more elderly members were on the left or pavement side, and it was from the pavement side that I heard the remark (evidently from one who felt that his relief-fund subscription had not really been wanted), "Well, they don't look 'ungry." Others on this side surmised that we were suspected waiters rounded up from the different restaurants, and made humorous complaints to us in our late capacities—as that their ice-pudding had been fried too long. But on the road side we did better. Dear ladies, observing only the flower of the Corps (myself and others), took us for the real thing and called down blessings and kisses upon our heads; and for a time we even deceived a small boy who had been watching us eagerly. But only for a time. "Lumme," he said aloud to himself, "there's anuvver of 'em wiv knock-knees," and disillusionment cannot have been long delayed.

It may be admitted that some of the more active ones feel it a little that they have to carry the more elderly ones with them. A suggestion has been made that there should be an age-limit of eighty-five, but I don't know if it will come to anything. Another suggestion is that a special Veterans' Wing should be formed, which, instead of marching, would go out at the week-ends with a couple of cement-hounds, and look for cement foundations. It is felt that the work would be useful and yet not too active. It is in the same spirit that we discuss what will be done with the Corps as a whole when the Germans arrive. The pessimistic view is that we shall be immediately interned by the War Office, to keep us out of trouble. Others, more hopeful, think that we might be kept for "exchanges," in case the enemy make any notable captures. For instance, five of us might be considered the equivalent of an artillery mule; a platoon would balance a Territorial subaltern; and the whole bunch could be offered for (say) the return of the Albert Memorial. But the most popular impression is that we shall be asked to give some sort of display in the centre, in order to lure the Germans on. And while we are forming fours strongly and persistently in front of them ... the real attack (Regulars and Territorials—with rifles) ... will fall suddenly upon their flanks ... and decimate them.

So we talk, but at heart we take it seriously; and very seriously and gratefully we take the real soldiers who give up their time to teach us, and do not seem to think that that time will be altogether wasted.

A. A. M.

* * * * *


"Thorny Bank."

Dear Sir,—I am directed to give you notice that the Vesuvius Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. has lately acquired the freehold of these premises and desires to have the insurance against loss or damage by fire transferred to itself. The premium, at the rate of one shilling and sixpence per cent. on their value, is fifteen shillings. Upon receipt of this sum I will give immediate instructions for a policy to be issued and forwarded to you.

I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,

D. SMITH, Secy.,

The Vesuvius Fire Insurance Co., Ltd

H. JONES, Esq.

* * *

"Thorny Bank."

Dear Sir,—In reply to your letter of yesterday, I find that I have an unexpired policy for L1,000 with the Etna, an office which has enjoyed my confidence for many years and in which I have other insurances. Under this policy I am held covered till Lady Day not only against fire, but also against lightning, explosions of gas—most things, in fact, except riots, earthquakes, the King's enemies, aeroplanes and volcanoes. Regretting, therefore, that I am unable to give you the business, because of the more extensive benefits conferred by the Etna.

I am, yours faithfully,

The Secy., HY. JONES.

The Vesuvius Insce. Co.

* * *

"Thorny Bank."

Dear Sir,—I am in receipt of your letter, but I would beg to refer you to your lease. You will find it there expressly stipulated that you shall insure in some office of repute in London or Westminster to be approved of in writing by the Lessors. In these circumstances you will no doubt be persuaded of the desirability of sending me the premium forthwith, in order to effect an insurance which has your Lessors' approval. It is possible that the office you name would give you credit for so much of the premium as is proportionate to the risk unexpired. Yours faithfully,

D. SMITH, etc., etc.

H. JONES, Esq.

* * *

"Thorny Bank."

Dear Sir,—I feel very keenly the suggestion that the Etna is an office of questionable repute. The likelihood of fire is small, as unfortunately the premises are at present standing empty, though I have a tenant in prospect. But in any case it is unthinkable that the Etna could not assemble a thousand pounds, should the need arise. If you care to write to me again shortly before Lady Day with terms no less advantageous than those I now enjoy, I do not say that I should not be prepared to consider them. But in the meantime this unprofitable discussion must cease.

Yours faithfully,

The Secy., HY. JONES.

The Vesuvius Insce. Co.

* * *

"Thorny Bank."

Dear Sir,—I am directed to inform you that, unless the premium for effecting a fresh insurance in this office is forwarded within a week, proceedings will be taken to enforce the forfeiture of your lease without any further notice whatever.

Yours faithfully,

D. SMITH, etc., etc.

H. JONES, Esq.

* * *

"Thorny Bank."

Dear Sir,—Being desirous of effecting an insurance of these premises against fire, I should be obliged if you would kindly give instructions for a policy to be issued at once. I enclose postal order for fifteen shillings. The policy when issued should be forwarded to me.

Yours faithfully,

The Secy., HY. JONES.

The Vesuvius Insce. Co.

* * *

Policy No. 3,262,854.

Dear Sir,—I regret that owing to my absence in Scotland the safe receipt of this policy was not sooner acknowledged. But I still more regret to have to inform you that the insured premises were totally destroyed by fire at a late hour last night, the cause of ignition being ascribed to the caretaker's habit of smoking in bed. Whilst sympathising with you in your loss, I find, on reference to my lease, that I am under covenant to reinstate them as speedily as possible. As I particularly wish to avoid any unpleasantness with my Lessors, may I ask you to proceed with the work at once?

Yours faithfully,

The Secy., HY. JONES.

The Vesuvius Insce. Co.

* * *

Policy No. 3,262,854.

Sir,—I am in receipt of your letter of yesterday, which has been handed to the Claims Department. I recollect that in a former letter you adverted to an existing policy with the Etna Office, and as that office will be liable to contribute a share of the moneys covered by the double insurance you are required to furnish particulars of the policy.

Yours truly, D. SMITH, etc., etc.

H. JONES, Esq.

* * *

Policy No. 3,262,854.

Dear Sir,—I enclose, as requested, particulars of my policy with the Etna. For my own part, I do not quite see how it will help you, since, profiting by your advice, I succeeded in obtaining a part rebate of premium—thus, I apprehend, releasing the risk. But no doubt you know best.

Yours very truly,

The Secy., HY. JONES.

The Vesuvius Insce. Co.

* * * * *


Bright Pupil. "TO WIN!"

* * * * *


Asbury Park Evening Express.

Too many.

* * * * *



* * * * *


(Being a humble appeal to English Divines, suggested by the attitude of Teuton Professors to the Belgian atrocities.)

Hear me, most noble missionaries who, Toiling on Africa's half-tutored shore, Had words quite recently at Kikuyu Whereof the motley bard may say no more.

I would not dare to judge of warring creeds; It may be that the dark-skinned Hottentot Has skill to balance up his spirit's needs And know that this is truth and that is not.

But there are sloughs of ignorance so deep That sect and rubric seem to fade away, Souls unaroused as yet from barbarous sleep That have not glimpsed the prospect of the day.

These have no art to tell the wrong from right Who tot up two and two to sums unknown; Uganda, relatively erudite, Has wants unfelt by Frankfurt and Cologne.

So, when the flags are furled, the trumpets mute, And soft-voiced messengers replace the guns, Let it be yours to stifle old dispute And found a first-aid mission to the Huns;

Teaching them not at first the subtler things Of dogma, suited to a folk more wise, Such gospel as ye bear to savage kings, But "steal no longer" and "have done with lies."

Tell them that murder is esteemed "tabu", That the Red Cross is now a sacred sign; Tell them no more than that; it will be new; They have no need of ritual on the Rhine.

Let presently a non-sectarian school, Where knowledge shall be taught to Teuton men That mumbo-jumbo is an out-worn rule, Be built at Heidelberg or Goettingen.

There shall the Vandal sages come and go, And learn at last why Belgium felt chagrin, And pace the Prussian goose-step very slow, From class to class, with lots of halts between.

They shall attain in time, but not as yet, To starrier heights that now the negroes win; Meanwhile your common goal is clearly set To wake the untouched blindness of Berlin.


* * * * *


"Lieutenant Asquith's first thought is for the comfort and feeding of his mary ..."—Daily Record.

* * * * *

From an ante-War advertisement:—


Lectures under the auspices of the International Peace Association.—Aug. 3 to Aug. 29."

This course of pacific lectures has had to be postponed, but it is hoped that it may be given by the end of next summer under the auspices of the Allies in Berlin.

* * * * *

Illustration: A PLAIN DUTY.


[The number of Belgian refugees in Holland is probably ten times as great as the number in England.]

* * * * *





* * * * *


Mr. Arthur Grayson, recently returned from Bad Nauheim, brings an interview with His Excellency Herr VON BODE, which he obtained under curious circumstances. It seems that the famous Director of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, and for long the ultimate arbiter of taste in Germany, wishing to send a message to the American people, wrote to an American journalist, also, as it chanced, named Grayson, and also a resident in the other Grayson's hotel, making an appointment. But the American Grayson had then gone, and the English Grayson having opened his letter by mistake, and being not unwilling to see Berlin for himself during war-time, carried the missive to the capital, met the illustrious virtuoso and received the confidences intended for the instruction of New York and Washington, correcting their preposterous view of the German origin of the war.

We now give Mr. Grayson's words: "'To make you understand the situation clearly,' said Herr VON BODE, 'we must go back a little into history. Some years ago I was offered by an English dealer a wax bust of Flora, which I saw in a moment was by LEONARDO DA VINCI. No trained eye could have mistaken it for anything else. I therefore bought it and made it the very jewel of this superb collection. England, however, always envious and acquisitive, in matters of connoisseurship dense, and now mad with rage to think that I alone had sufficient culture to discern the true and beautiful, at once set up the cry that the bust was the work not of LEONARDO in the fifteenth century, but of an Englishman named LUCAS in the nineteenth. They stopped at nothing in defence of this claim. The English sculptor's son was even produced to remember his father at work on it; while it was affirmed that a piece of his father's waistcoat had been used as an internal support for the bust. The campaign of calumny and mis-information, in short, was as thorough as if WOLFF'S Bureau—I mean it was very thorough.'

"'And what happened?' I asked.

"'We had no doubt ourselves,' said my companion. 'Had Mr. TUSSAUD himself sworn that he was the modeller only yesterday we should have had no doubt, so indelibly, to the competent German eye, was the genius of LEONARDO stamped upon it. But we permitted the bust to be opened from the back, and true enough a piece of modern cloth was found within. That, however, as I say, could not affect the authenticity of the work, for it might easily have been sent to LUCAS for renovation, and it is well known that a renovator often stuffs something inside the shell of these busts to keep it from falling in while he is at work.'

"'Still it was, perhaps, awkward for you?' I asked.

"'In the contemptible English art circles some cry of triumph was raised,' he replied, 'but no one in Germany was shaken. Moreover, they knew—what I knew—that England raised these doubts merely to cover her own original stupidity and ignorance. She was now convinced that it was by LEONARDO, because she knew I could not err, and her game was to belittle the bust. How barbaric! how devilish! but how characteristic! And why did she belittle it?" he continued.

"'Why, indeed, go to that trouble?' I said.

"'Because'—his words were slow and impressive—'because she wanted it! She wanted it, hungered for it, thirsted for it. She had let it go and she could not forgive herself. How much she wanted it no one will ever know!' He paused.

"'What then did she do?' he resumed. 'Finding that her bitter attack on the bust was useless, and served only to make us prize it the more, she began to plot to steal it. I could not tell you the number of attempts that have been made to get possession of this world-wonder. No one could tell you. Day after day Englishmen, disguised even as German gentlemen, thronged the museum, all asking the way to the bust. We were continually on our guard. Attendants patrolled the room day and night. Our efforts were successful.'

"He paused again and looked at me in triumph.

"'Yes,' he resumed, 'the bust remained where it was. England, in despair, then decided that a supreme effort must be made, and began to arm and mobilize. The art faction got hold of Sir EDWARD GREY—nobbled him, as you say. It was upon learning of this treacherous preparation and its dastardly motive, that our sublime KAISER took the action he did. I say it with conviction, there would have been no war but for England's mad desire to possess again the LEONARDO wax bust.'

"'But what about the violation of Belgium?' I asked.

"'Ah!' he said darkly. 'It was England's intention to march through Belgium to Berlin to get the bust. Fortunately we knew that. We therefore marched through Belgium first.'

"With these words the famous virtuoso sat back in his chair.

"'If you will consent to be blind-folded for a part of the journey—a necessary precaution which I am sure you will appreciate,' he remarked a moment or so later,—'I will show you the priceless masterpiece in its hiding-place. Then you will understand. Also I should like the world to know how Germany reveres and guards its choicest treasures."

"Naturally I consented, and a bandage being bound over my eyes I took the hand of my companion and was led away.

"You may wonder that after everything that has been happening recently I was willing thus to entrust myself to a German, but you must remember that so far as he knew I was an American, a member of a country whose goodwill has been angled for with every conceivable bait. It is not as if I had been a cathedral or a French priest or a Belgian mother.

"For how far I was led I cannot say, but we seemed to descend an incredible distance into the earth and then pass along interminable passages. At last my eyes were unbound and I discovered myself to be in the midst of a company of soldiers armed to the teeth, obviously underground, and I saw opposite me, in the light of an electric torch, a massive iron gate, which the supreme expert proceeded to unlock.

"We entered a gloomy cavern and again were confronted by a massive gate, which in its turn was also unlocked, revealing an inner chamber in the midst of which was a glass case.

"My companion reverently uncovered. 'The triumph of my career,' he murmured. 'The coping-stone of my virtuosity. The cause of my ennoblement.'

"Before us was the famous wax bust, fresh from the hands of LUC—I mean LEONARDO.

"'And the early-Victorian waistcoat,' I said, 'which the clumsy fellow who renovated this bust always stuffed into the Leonardos which he was called upon to botch—you still have that?"

"'Oh no,' replied the enthusiast hastily, 'we threw that away. Why keep that? But you can understand," he continued, "why we have taken all the precautions we have? Whatever else might be lost in any attack on Berlin—should one be within the bounds of possibility—this must be saved.'

"'Not only must,' I replied, 'but will be saved. I feel certain that your plans have been sufficient. England, whatever else she may take from Berlin, will leave this bust with you.'

"He wrung my hand. 'You hearten me,' he said. 'But now for the return journey;' and again the bandage was applied."

* * * * *






* * * * *

Among other items being produced at the Ambassadors' Theatre by an Anglo-Franco-Belgian company is "My Lady's Undress." A contemporary describes this as "a good take-off."

* * * * *

"English submarine after a rude battle drowned the German Ship Heine."

This is from The Bahia Blanca Times (the only foreign paper we take in), and shows how the news gets about.

* * * * *

The Daily News quotes the Berlin Taegliche Rundschau as follows:—

"Germany and Holland ... are neighbours of ethnological affinity and united by numerous commercial and intellectual bombs."

Even the bombs in Germany are cultured.

* * * * *


"Excuse me, but can you tell me which is Hunter Street?" said the tall pleasant-looking man with the slightly foreign aspect.

"Hunter Street," I said, waving a vague hand, "lies over there. It is," I continued, fixing him with a stern look, "for constabulary purposes a chapel-of-ease to Bow Street."

He did not seem in the least perturbed.

"Ah!" he said, "a special constable, I suppose?"

I was only going on duty—theoretically I am never off duty—but I am missing no chances.

"Yes," I said, "I am. Do you mind telling me, quite between ourselves, you know, whether you are a German spy?"

He smiled slightly.

"Because if you are," I said, "perhaps you wouldn't mind holding on a minute. The strap of my truncheon has (tug) got fouled (tug) with my (tug) braces."

I got it out at last and stroked it lovingly. "I can't start before I'm ready," I said. "Rather neat bit of wood—what? Chose it myself at Bow Street. I take a 13-1/2-ounce racquet, you know."

"You seem," he said, "to have given up caring whether I am a German spy or not."

"Your mistake," I said; "I was merely gaining time to size you up properly. Better take your pince-nez off. Broken glass is such a nuisance, don't you think?"

He ignored the friendly hint. "As a matter of fact," he said, "I am partly German."

"Show me the German part," I said, gripping the corrugations of my truncheon more tightly. "I'm a little pressed for time."

"And partly French," he went on.

"That's rather awkward," I said.

"And I was born in Russia."

"Worse and worse," I said.

"And spent practically the first twenty years of my life in Italy."

"This," I said, "is the absolute boundary. Yours is a case for the New Prize Courts."

"But you haven't formally arrested me yet," he said.

"True," I said, "I'm just coming to that part, but at the moment I've forgotten the opening movements of the half-nelson."

"My wife," he said musingly, "will be very annoyed. She's extremely English, you know."

"Look here," I said, "I really think I shall let you go, after all. So little of you is the enemy, so much the friend, that I don't care to take the responsibility of arresting you. But perhaps I ought to resign. Come and have a sandwich, I've just time for one, and we can talk it over."

"Right," he said, "we may as well. By the way, it was my grandparents on my mother's side who were French and German." Then, producing his warrant card, he said, "I am a Special too. My name's Briggs."

* * * * *


Some of our Soldiers, who were within seventy yards of the German trenches, hoisted an improvised target. The Germans did the same. Both sides signalled the result of the shooting.



* * * * *

The following reaches us from General Headquarters abroad:—

"ARMY TROOP ORDER, NO. 40.—Information has been received that many Field Service postcards are arriving at the G. P. O. without any address on them. The instructions printed on the cards that nothing is to be written on them does not apply to the address. O. C.'s are requested to bring this fact to the notice of all ranks. Oct. 12, 1914."

The discipline in the Army seems to be almost too good.

* * * * *

"The German Press is conducting a campaign to prove that Belgium was deceived by the English, who, it is asserted, depicted the Germans as sausages; hence the people were frightened when the German troops approached."—Yorkshire Evening Press.

The Scotch, however, are even less polite, The Aberdeen Evening Express announcing boldly—


* * * * *


The blinds were drawn, the lamps were lit and the fire was burning brightly. I was reading an evening paper—we get the 5.30 edition at the moment of publication, though we are thirty miles from London—and I had just found Prezymyzle (my own pronunciation) on the map for the thousandth time. Helen says that quite in the early days of the war she was told it ought to be pronounced Perimeeshy, but that seems impossible. Rosie declares for Prozmeel. Still she isn't very confident about it. One thing seems certain: when the Russians take this jaw-cracking town they will pronounce it quite differently from the Austrian form, whatever that may be. Just think of what happened to Lemberg. There appeared to be a kind of finality about that, but no sooner were the Russians in it than it turned into Lwow. After that anything might happen to Przemysl.

However, there were the three of us sitting in the library. I was helping the common cause with the evening paper and the map, and Helen and Rosie were knitting away like mad at khaki mufflers for Lady FRENCH. Click-click went the needles; the youthful fingers moved with incredible deftness and celerity, and line after line was added by each executant to her already enormous pile. There had been a long silence, and the time for breaking it seemed to have come.

"Well done, both of you," I said. "You really are getting on to-day. A week ago I thought you'd never get finished, and now——" I waved my hand encouragingly at the two heaps of wool-work.

"There," said Helen, "you've made me drop one."

"Pick it up again," I said with enthusiasm. "What were girls made for if not to pick up dropped stitches? But tell me," I added, "what would happen if you didn't pick it up?"

"My soldier," said Helen gloomily, "would go into the trenches and, instead of having a muffler, he would suddenly find himself coming undone all over him. Do you think he would like that?"

"No," I said, "he wouldn't. No soldier could possibly like a thing of that sort when he's got to fight Germans."

"I wonder," put in Rosie, "what my soldier will be like. I think I should like him to have a moustache—yes, I'm sure I want him to have a moustache."

"He'll have a moustache all right," said Helen, who is practical rather than dreamy. "And he'll have whiskers, too, and a beard as long as your arm. Do you think people have time to shave when they're in trenches?"

"Well, anyhow," said Rosie, "both our soldiers will be very brave men."

"That," said Helen, "is quite certain. Let's put in some good hard stitches to thank them for their bravery."

There was a short silence while this operation was performed with great zeal. The fingers flew through their complicated task and the web seemed to grow visibly.

"Haven't you both," I said, "done about enough? Talk about mufflers! In my day a muffler was something a man wore round his neck; but your mufflers would serve to clothe a whole platoon from head to heel with something left over. Benevolence is all very well, but you shouldn't overdo it. There isn't a soldier alive who wouldn't trip over your mufflers. Think of him tripped up by a muffler and caught by a German."

"Lady FRENCH," said Helen, "wrote in her letter to The Times that every muffler was to be two yards and a half long and twelve inches broad."

"Well," I said, "you've got the breadth all right."

"Yes," said Helen, "we got that in the first line, and we've never let go of it since. Anybody could get the breadth. You could do that if you tried."

"Graceless child," I said, "you don't seem to be aware that in my earliest boyhood I once began to knit a sock."

"But you didn't finish it," said Helen. "I know that story."

"Fathers," said Rosie, "could knit very well if they tried, but they won't try."

"Come," I said, "I won't compete with you in knitting, but I'm game to bet you've done seven feet six inches in length already."

"All right," said Helen, "we'll bet a penny. Only remember, mine was only six feet yesterday and Rosie's was four inches shorter."

I spread the fabrics on the floor and set to work with a tape measure. The first result was, Helen five feet eleven inches; Rosie five feet six inches.

"This," I said, "is maddening. You are imitating Penelope."

"I don't know about Penelope," said Helen, "but you haven't straightened them out enough."

I smoothed them out carefully and measured again. This time the result was, Helen six feet two inches; Rosie five feet ten inches.

"Capital!" I said; "I will do some more smoothing."

"No," said Helen, "that won't be fair to Lady FRENCH or our soldiers. We must give them an inch or so over, if anything;" and they picked up the unfinished mufflers and set to work at them with renewed energy.

* * *

This was four days ago. Now both the mufflers are gloriously finished and ready to be despatched. When our two soldiers wear them we hope they will feel that there is a little magic in them as well as a great deal of warmth. There is love knitted into them and admiration and gratitude, and there are quiet thoughts of beautiful English country-sides and happy homes which our soldiers are helping to guard for us, though they are far away.

R. C. L.

* * * * *


(A Point of View.)

Farewell to the stretches of pasture and plough And the flicker of sterns through the gorse on the hill, And the mulberry coats there, alone with them now, To cheer as they're finding and whoop at the kill; Farewell to the vale and the woodland forlorn, To the fox in his earth and the hound on his bench; Unheard is the pack and unheeded the horn, So loud and so near are the bugles of FRENCH.

The lines of blood hunters are gone from the stalls And a host of good men to the millions that meet, For grim is the Huntsman, in thunder he calls, And continents roar with the galloping feet; There's a country to cross where the fences are steel, And, though many must fall and the finish is far, There is none shall outride them, with heart, hand and heel, Who have gone hard and straight in "The Image of War."

* * * * *


(Suggested by recent exploits of the "Taube" Aeroplane.)

In ancient and in happier days the Dove Stood as an emblem sure of peace and love; Now must we link it with the fiend who flies Down-dropping death on children from the skies.

* * * * *



* * * * *


[It is rumoured that Cinema playwrights, following the example of certain well-known stage dramatists, are likely in future, in addition to the film representations, to publish their works in novel-form. The manuscript of one of the earliest of these productions has just come into our hands.]



The last rays of the setting sun, shining through the windows of the Foreign Office, fell upon Clement Carmichael, the brilliant young Foreign Secretary, as he sat at his desk studying despatches. A slight noise caused him to raise his head sharply, and he observed a stranger of alien appearance standing before him.

Without a word the intruder produced a revolver and levelled it at Carmichael. Caught like a rat in a trap, the latter, after a moment's hesitation, handed over the despatches and leaned back with an expression of bitter despair.

"It is Raymond Bluetherski!" he gasped when he was again alone. "I am ruined!"


There was not an instant to be lost. Dashing down the steps of the Foreign Office, Carmichael leapt into the waiting motor and shouted hoarsely to the driver. A moment later the car was disappearing rapidly down the street.


Felix Capperton, the detective whose fame had penetrated two hemispheres, was playing chess with his daughter Madge, a tall and beautiful blonde. Suddenly the door opened and Carmichael entered hastily. In a few tense words he explained the situation to the famous sleuth, while Madge Capperton stood silent, pressing her hands to her heart.

The detective pointed meaningly at the chessboard, and Carmichael bent over it with an expectant face.

"It is checkmate!" he said.

"We will checkmate Bluetherski!" replied the other confidently.

The eyes of the Foreign Secretary met those of the girl and a sympathetic smile passed between them.


In his private sanctum Capperton with skillful fingers fixed a moustache and side whiskers to his lean and mobile face. His daughter handed him a soft hat and a Gladstone bag, and he was transformed before her eyes into a commercial traveller.


Raymond Bluetherski paced the deck of a Channel steamer, deeply absorbed in the fateful despatches. Suddenly he turned smartly on his heels.

He was face to face with Capperton, disguised as a commercial traveller.

Accustomed to such emergencies his mind was made up in an instant. Rolling the papers into a ball, he hurled them into the mouth of a large ventilator which stood near.

Unhesitatingly the detective threw himself into the ventilator and disappeared head first. With a cry of baffled rage Bluetherski followed.


In the bows of the same steamer stood Madge Capperton and Clement Carmichael, gazing anxiously before them. Her fingers tightened on his arm. Their faces took on an expression of horror and despair.

A huge liner was bearing directly down upon them!


In the treacherous waters of the English Channel the brilliant young Foreign Secretary supported Madge Capperton with one arm, while with the other he swam strongly towards the only floating object in view.

As they drew near he perceived that it was a large ship's ventilator. It was sinking fast, and from its mouth protruded the heads of two men engaged in a life-and-death struggle. They were Capperton and Bluetherski.

With a cry of encouragement Carmichael redoubled his efforts.


A ship's lifeboat, propelled by strong and willing arms, travelled swiftly across the sea. Presently a shout went up from the man in the bow. Four figures were seen struggling frantically in the water, and the rowers bent themselves with renewed energy to their oars.


On board the liner which had been responsible both for the collision and the rescue, Raymond Bluetherski, a sinister figure, was seen to leave his cabin and disappear down the corridor. An instant later Carmichael and Capperton entered stealthily. With quick cat-like movements the detective pushed open the door and tip-toed into the cabin.

Carmichael waited outside in an attitude of intense watchfulness. As a steward passed down the corridor he assumed a careless expression and lit a cigarette with nonchalant elaboration.

Directly the steward had gone the watcher resumed his vigil, every nerve on the alert.


Inside the cabin the detective hurriedly opened drawers, turned over bed-clothes, tapped partitions and felt in boots. Then with an expression of disappointment he turned to the door.


In the corridor the two men stood face to face.

"Have you found them?" asked Carmichael hoarsely.

"No. They have sunk in the sea!" replied the other.


Across the smooth waters of the English Channel a motor-boat moved swiftly. In the bows the Foreign Secretary and the detective gazed earnestly forward.

Presently the latter clutched Carmichael's arm with an oath. Another boat had come into view, and they perceived that a diver in full costume was climbing into it.

The motor-boat came to a stop alongside the other. It could be seen that the diver held in his hand a ball of paper.


The diver's headpiece was being unscrewed. On either side of him stood Capperton and Carmichael, each with a loaded revolver.

At length the cumbrous helmet was lifted off and the face of the diver was revealed.

It was Madge!


The motor-boat drew up beside the quay and the Foreign Secretary stepped out with the detective and his daughter. All were plainly in a joyous mood, and they smiled happily at each other.

So gratified were they at their success that they quite failed to observe three men, who crept up stealthily behind them and thrust pads soaked in chloroform over their mouths.

In a few seconds the struggles of the victims ceased, and their inert bodies were roughly thrust into a waiting motor.

From the driver's seat Bluetherski smiled sardonically.


Madge Capperton lay in a cellar of Bluetherski's house, tightly bound and gagged. But her indomitable spirit was not yet cowed.

Using the edge of a rough stone as a saw she was laboriously severing the cord which tied her wrists. At length her persistence was rewarded and the frayed ends of the rope fell apart.

In fifteen seconds she stood up free.


In another cellar, similarly shackled, the resolute detective was exerting all his mighty strength to burst his bonds.

With a superhuman effort he broke the cord which held his arms, and in fifteen seconds he also was free.


In a small room in the same house the detective's daughter methodically pressed her hand against picture after picture hung on the walls. Her face was grimly determined.

At last she was successful. A large section of the wall slid back, revealing a dark opening.

After a few seconds' natural hesitation the brave girl stepped through the aperture.


Raymond Bluetherski lay asleep. On his dressing-table rested the fatal ball of paper.

Suddenly a portion of the wall moved back and Madge Capperton appeared in the opening. As noiselessly as possible she crept forward and snatched up the despatches. In a few seconds she would be safe!

At that instant Bluetherski awoke, leapt out of his bed and grasped her roughly by the arm. But he had reckoned without Capperton.

The commanding figure of the detective appeared in the room. He levelled a large revolver at Bluetherski, and the latter threw up his hands with a cry of baffled hate.


In a moonlit garden Clement Carmichael was waiting impatiently. Presently Madge came to him with a radiant face and placed the lost despatches in his hands. His reputation was saved!

Seizing the girl in his arms he pressed his lips to hers in a long passionate kiss.


* * * * *


(For a sensitive Scot.)

Tea-shop, how I loathe thee! Our connection's o'er; Henceforth I don't know thee Any more.

'Tisn't that I did not On thy pastry dote; 'Tisn't that it slid not Down my throat;

'Tisn't that thy crumpets Fell a trifle flat— If I've got the hump it's Not from that.

'Tisn't that the waitress Tried to wink at me, Or let fall a stray tress In my tea;

'Tisn't that I tossed thee Tenpence in the till For a snack that cost thee Almost nil....

Nay, 'twas this unnerved me— Just a scŏne alone, Which the lass who served me Called a scōne.

* * * * *


In connection with his chief Cartoon of this week, Mr. Punch begs to invite his readers to help the kind people of Holland on whom the care of so many Belgian refugees has fallen. Contributions will be gladly received by the International Women's Relief Committee (Miss Chrystal Macmillan, Treasurer), 7, Adam Street, Adelphi, W.C.

* * * * *



* * * * *


(By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks.)

Coasting Bohemia is the attractive title of a series of essays upon men and matters by Mr. COMYNS CARR, issued in a portly volume published by MACMILLAN. During the last forty years Mr. CARR, eminently a clubable man, has made the acquaintance and enjoyed the friendship of a galaxy of painters, authors and actors. He was equally at home with MILLAIS, ALMA-TADEMA, ROSSETTI, BURNE-JONES, WHISTLER, GEORGE MEREDITH, HENRY IRVING and ARTHUR SULLIVAN. A shrewd observer, quick in sympathy, apt in characterisation, he has much that is interesting and informing to say of each. Perhaps the chapter on WHISTLER is the most attractive, since in some respects his individuality was the most pronounced. In a couple of brief sentences, pleasing in the slyness of their gentle malice, Mr. CARR hits off a striking quality in the character of the WHISTLER we most of us knew. "At times," he writes, "Whistler was even greedy of applause, and, provided it was full and emphatic enough, showed no inclination to question its source or authority. There were moments indeed when, if it appeared to lack volume or vehemence, he was ready himself to supply what was deficient." Mr. CARR has in his time played many parts. He made a start at the Bar, but did not get further than the position of a Junior, which suited him admirably. As a critic, he cannot plead in extenuation the dictum of DISRAELI that critics are those who have failed in Literature and Art. He has written several successful plays, was English editor of L'Art, was among the founders of the New Gallery, and remains established as one of our best after-dinner speakers. Of such is the kingdom of Bohemia. From these various sources he draws a stream of reminiscence that runs pleasantly through many pages. The only drawback to the delight with which I read them arose from the circumstance that the volume was uncut. Why should a harmless reviewer be compelled to "coast Bohemia" armed with a paper-knife, interrupted, when he comes to an exceptionally interesting point, by necessity for cutting a chunk of pages? R.S.V.P., Messrs. MACMILLAN.

* * *

The ease with which the nuptial knot In Yankee-land is severed—such is The underlying theme of what The Letter of the Contract touches; So, but that BASIL KING has brain And uses it when he is writing, The book (from METHUEN) might contain Little that's novel or inviting.

Yet it's so good it's doomed to miss, I rather fear, the approbation Of folk who hope such books as this May help the cause of reformation; For, if divorce in U.S.A. Inspires such work, it stands to reason To change the law in any way Amounts to literary treason.

* * *

In contemplating the present season's output of fiction I have been impressed by the number of novels that might apparently have been written with an eye to the conditions that attended their publication. Which, unless one credits our romancers with much further sight than is commonly supposed to be their portion, is absurd. The thing is a coincidence; and of this there is no more striking example than the story that ANNE DOUGLAS SEDGWICK has prepared for the world this autumn. She calls it The Encounter (ARNOLD), and it is all about the struggle between "the Nietzschean attitude of mind in Germany," as exemplified in an egotistical, crack-brained genius named Ludwig Wehlitz, and the ideals of civilized Christianity exemplified in several other more agreeable persons. You will own that this is at least a propos. The whole thing is, of course, quite charmingly told. All the characters are thoroughly alive; most of all perhaps the placid, tolerant and entirely practical mother of the heroine. Persis Fennamy had been introduced to the genius as a suitable disciple and possible helpmate by the Signorina Zardo, who worshipped him from afar. Persis met Ludwig, was interested, impressed and even willing to admire. There were two other men also, attendant upon the great one: Conrad Sachs, who was gentle and deformed, and Graf von Ludenstein, who represented another type of German manhood. He represented it so well, indeed, that, when Mrs. Fennamy discovered that he had taken Persis off for an intimate conversation in a wood, even her tolerant placidity was deranged. But it was all right, and Persis escapes heart-whole from the lot of them, clay superman and all. She is to be congratulated. So is the author, for her book is both apt to the moment and interesting in itself.

* * *

There is, for all its gaiety, a certain external quality of pathos (now that the German is to us so sinister a figure) in much of The Pastor's Wife (SMITH, ELDER) with its types of an East Prussian village drawn in with those deft, half kindly, half malicious touches to which the creatrix of Elizabeth of the Garden has accustomed us. Ingeborg is the daughter of an English bishop—a bishop, by the way, so needlessly odious that even those who would cheerfully believe the worst of the order must protest against this hitting below the gaiters—and she meets her pastor in a railway carriage on a cheap trip to Lucerne. This so-utterly-by-the-pursuit-of-knowledge-dominated Herr Dremmel (his subject is scientific manure) has a lapse from the even paths of research into the disturbing realms of love, and with an egotistic single-mindedness which is beyond all praise overwhelms her into marriage by the heroic process of ignoring all objections, refusals and obstacles. And lo! in this manse of lonely Koekensee we have a problem! Elizabeth, tongue in cheek, in the mask of IBSEN!... I couldn't get myself to believe in the ineffable preoccupations of Herr Dremmel that made so desolate a pastor's wife; nor could I see the later enchanting Ingeborg in the little negligible mouse of the episcopal study (though I liked them both); and, as I said, I entirely refused to accept the bishop. But I heartily and thoroughly enjoyed the story, the happy little strokes of humour and irony, the apt, pert thumbnail-sketches of the subsidiary characters, the tender love of country things and moods; and saw that I'd been an ass to take it all too seriously. It was written to charm—and it's charming.

* * *

Laughter in these dark days is so wholesome a corrective that we mustn't be too exacting with Mr. PHILLIPS OPPENHEIM, that fertile spinner of yarns, when in The Double Life of Mr. Alfred Burton (METHUEN) he presents us with the diverting idea of a mean, little, loud, untruthful auctioneer's clerk converted by the eating of a mysterious brown bean into a paragon of candid truth, refined taste and romantic desire. There's an amusing scene when Burton's chief, a thoroughly resourceful specimen of his tribe, cries down, under the same mysterious influence, the pseudo-antiques he is selling, and so intrigues his old friends the dealers that, with a curious naivete, they make absurdly high bids in the belief that the auctioneer is up to some profitable little game. Mr. Alfred Burton himself becomes at a stroke a famous author just by merely writing what he sees and seeing true. (But wouldn't his readers also need a nibble at the bean?) Finally falling from grace as the effect of this food of the gods wears off, he accepts a directorship of the new mind-food company, "Menatogen," which brings him untold wealth. Quite innocent fooling which yet leaves one with the impression that our popular authors let themselves off rather lightly from the labour of working out their themes.

* * * * *


(With acknowledgments to the etching by M. Meryon.)



* * * * *


Home - Random Browse