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The Manor, Silverton: that he will not stay for more than one

September 10, 1907. night. I am afraid that Mrs. Rice Darling Tootoo,-Your prophet sounds must be a very malicious and untrustdelightful! But can we ask a favor of worthy woman, and I think that she him without knowing him, and would be should be made to apologize to Alice, care to lecture to a small village audi- who is naturally very indignant at the ence like ours? Of course, we should odious calumny. do our best to make everybody come,

Your affectionate, but they are very apathetic and not

Lulu. very intelligent. If you would be so

Garibaldi Villa, Balham: kind, George thinks it would be better

September 15, 1907. that you should sound him first. ..

Dear Lulu,-As after all the trouble I am so glad about Mrs. Rice! But

I have taken you are not satisfied with you are unjust to Alice; she is the soul

my arrangements, you had better write of good-nature and most popular with

to Mr. Wetherby yourself. The Philosthe servants here. She says they knew

ophers' Club, Balham, will find him. all about the laudanum, and that it

I think you may be assured that he will came from the public-house!

not be eager to stay for more than the Your loving,

one night. ... I think that an apology
Lulu.
is due not to, but from, Alice.

Yours ev.,
Garibaldi Villa, Balham:

T. St. H.
September 12, 1907.
Darling Lulu,—There was no reason

As the result of a further corresponwhy you shouldn't have written to Mr. dence with Mr. Wetherby, it was deWetherby, as you know he doesn't cided that the lecture should be on come for nothing. However, as you

some historical subject, and the prophet wished it, I have communicated with

finally selected as his theme "The him, and he is to come to you on Nov. 10th-his one remaining free night, for

Swedes as the Pivot of Continental Polhe is in tremendous demand for five itics." Fearing that this title would guineas and expenses. He doesn't sound rather formidably in the ears of shoot or hunt, but he likes to meet rustics, Mr. Cherrybank shortened it to interesting people; so I daresay you will “The Swedes," and the local printer, have a house-party then. ... Mrs. Rice thinking the definite article superfluous, has shown me the bottle, and it has the

(out it out, and issued the bill as follabel of Figg the chemist on it. She

lows: says that Alice shocked them all by the way she "carried on” with Joseph

On Nov. 10th, in the Schoolroom, at in the servants' hall.

8 P.M. punctually,
Your loving,

A Lecture on
Tootoo.

SWEDES,
The Manor, Silverton:

By Mr. H. Wetherby, Esq.
September 14, 1907.

Lantern Slides.
My Dear Tootoo,-George thinks that

When November 10 came round, Mrs. five guineas and expenses is a great deal to give, and, of course, if we were

('herrybank was a little flustered. She to pay all the lecturers at the same was accustomed to entertain ordinary exorbitant figure we should soon be in people, but she had had no experience the bankruptcy court. However, as

of prophets, and original thought rather you seem to have engaged him definitely,

intimidated her. The house party conGeorge thinks that we cannot now draw back. But we should like to

sisted only of Mrs. Cherry bank's aunt, know by what train he is coming and

who was rather deaf, and a friend of what his subject is to beit must be

her husband's who had come for the something quite simple. We assume hunting; but she had invited the Rector

and his wife, Major Bridge, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Knight, and half a dozen other local celebrities to an early dinner to meet the lecturer, who was expected to arrive at 6 P.M.

The first and most surprising revelation of the evening was the personal appearance of the prophet. Mrs. Cherrybank was prepared for a tall, majestic figure with a flowing white beard, and had half expected to be confronted with a leathern girdle and a demand for locusts and wild honey. Instead, there stepped into the room a small and stoutish man, faultlessly dressed, who bowed stiffly and talked about the weather. Vor did he shine in the drawing-room, in the trying interval that precedes the announcement of dinner. The guests, who had been somewhat intimidated by their hostess's description of Mr. Wetherby, were introduced one by one, and, finding that they had nothing to say, withdrew to talk hunting shop amongst themselves, leaving the prophet and Mr. Cherrybank to exchange platitudes on the hearthrug.

But at dinner after the first glass of champagne, he took up his parable and spoke. The Rector was lamenting to his neighbor, Miss Binns, that in the course of his travels he had found comparatively few ('hristians in Palestine. Mr. Wetherby caught the remark, and breaking off a conversation with his hostess on the amenities of Balham, he said in a loud voice, “Christianity has lost its hold on the Oriental mind through its Orientalism; in religious propaganda, as in vestry meetings, agreement is only possible through opposition; the thing we believe in is always the thing we doubt." Then, looking round the table, he added with intense conviction, "After all, the only real thing in the world is half-a-crown."

Conversation had ceased suddenly, and all ears were turned to the speaker.

“Why so?" the Rector ventured to interpose. It was a foolish question,

and the Rector should have known that certain Revelations must be taken "lying down"; but the Prophet took up the challenge.

“Why so?" he replied, “or, rather, how otherwise? To the man in the street, l'lato's Republic, the Gospels, Blue-beard, and the Fiscal question are all myths; and the man in the street is the epitome of the man out of the street-the dustman is the concentrated experience of humanity. But give the dustman half-a-crown and it means to him the public-house—the realization of feelings that are his, because after the third glass they cease to be feelings and become a pain-and the only perfect thing in the world is pain."

For the rest of dinner Mr. Wetherby had the conversation to himself-which was what he wanted. He belonged to that school of thought which seeks to express truth through paradox, and the company was fairly dazzled by the fertility of his imagination.

"A brilliant talker!" whispered Mr. Cherry bank to the Rector, as they made for the carriages which were to take them to the schoolroom.

“Yes," replied the Rector doubtfully, “but a little daring, perhaps."

The village schoolroom was redolent of oil lamps and damp clothes. · Although the night was wet, a fair number of farmers and laborers had come to hear the lecture, attracted by the title and the promise of a magic lantern. A sheet had been stretched across the back of the daïs, the lantern was fizzing and popping ominously in the centre of the room, and the schoolmaster, obviously ill at ease, was fumbling with the slides. When Mr. Cherrybank had formally introduced him, the lecturer assumed an easy pose and began:

"Now, what is a Swede?"

There a short pause, during which the rustics prodded each other shyly. One of the boldest was about

Was

ex

to hazard a reply for the honor of Sil- mahn," he said, "whether 'ee knaw the verton, when Mr. Wetherby answered diffrunse atween a Swede and a turhis own question.

mut." "I will tell you," he said. “A Swede If that is a riddle," replied the lecis neither animal, vegetable, nor min. turer, with condescending playfulness, eral, neither fish, flesh nor herring but "I am afraid that I must give it up." a prophecy and a portent. On his own "Ah! 'a thought 'ee didn't!" poor soil and among his native for- claimed the farmer triumphantly. ests he was a prophecy: at Lutzen, on "And 'a doan't believe the Dolphus or the plains of Germany, he became a thic thar Chawles knawed un neether!" portent. But first let me show you a At this point Mr. Cherry bank thought picture of a typical Swede."

it wise to intervene. He tapped his stick on the floor, and “As it is getting late," he said, “and the lantern fizzed and clicked.

some of us have to be out of bed early There was a puzzled pause, and then to-morrow, I think that-er—that we Mr. Cherrybank coughed, and said, “I won't trouble Mr. Wetherby with fear there is some mistake, isn't there?" further questions. We have all lis

The lecturer looked round and his tened, I am sure, with great interest, face clouded with annoyance. “T_T!" and-er-instruction to-er--what has he said. "That's the cannon-ball that been a most interesting and instructive killed Charles XII.-I'm coming to that -er-lecture. I am sure we are all later. Put the slides in, please, in the very grateful to Mr. Wetherby for comorder in which I gave them to you." ing amongst us; and some of us will

The lantern clicked again and Charles hope to hear him again, perhaps-erXII. came in jerkily on his head. elsewhere; and we shall all of us look

So Mr. Wetherby stepped from the forward, I am sure, with-er-with inplatform and went to the aid of the (reased interest and-er-and interest harassed operator. After considerable to his brilliant contributions to theer delay the slides were reduced once --to the daily papers." more to order and the lecturer resumed “What a curiously perverse sense of his discourse. And a very brilliant humor your rustics have!" said Mr. discourse it was. Gustavus Adolphus Wetherby to the Rector, as they shook the Apostle, and Charles XII. the De- hands afterwards the platform. vourer, of the Swedes, were introduced, "They missed the more obvious points turned inside out, and finally dismissed and laughed at others which I should with a sparkling epigram; but their in- hardly have expected them to find trusion only added an element of per- amusing. They seemed to be especially plexity to the larger part of the com- tickled at the idea that the Swedes have pany, who, having started on a wrong a future. It was an interesting experitack, stuck to it with rustic obstinacy. ence for me; for it is the only occasion Mr. Wetherby concluded with some on which I have ever lectured to a daring conjectures on the future of purely agricultural audience." Sweden, and then invited questions “I am afraid,” said the Rector hesifrom his audience.

tatingly, "in fact, I am tolerably cerThere was an uneasy shuffling of feet tain that they were under the impresand a good deal of whispering, and sion, all the evening, that you were finally a hard-headed, red-faced man, in fact, that you were speaking about who farmed his own land, was lifted roots." from his seat by his neighbors.

And, for the first time in his life, the "Ah should lahk to ask 'ee, yung Prophet found himself speechless. The Cornhill Magazine.

G. F. Bradby.

on

A VISIT TO MOULAI EL HAFID.

rabid

I journeyed from Tangier in the

pro-Hafidist, had issued strinearly part of June, to try and make gent orders that none of the townspeomy way to Fez where Moulai el Hafid ple were to assist Europeans to go to had just arrived, as I wished to find Fez under divers pains and penalties, out the true state of affairs in the cap- for he supposed their presence would ital. I had studied the situation in not be welcome to his master. After a Morocco from the papers, which dur- long search and much bargaining we ing the past year have been so singu- came to terms with a swarthy negro larly badly informed, and almost the muleteer, who agreed to carry our baglast words I read before leaving the gage to a village called Shimaja, thirty coast were, “Moulai el Hafid has ar- miles on the road to Fez, where we rived at Fez, accompanied by about could pass the night with a Caid who five hundred followers in rags. He was friendly to Carleton. I elected to proceeded to the Mosque to pray.ride a horse on the road; but my comThese few lines did not convey a very panion preferred to sit on the top of a cheerful picture of the prospects of the pack, declaring that on a long journey new Sultan of Morocco, and did not it was the more comfortable. We disaugur well for the success of my jour- carded all superfluous kit-carrying ney inland.

Finding I could get no only a tent, some tinned provisions, a one to go with me to Fez from Tan- change of clothes, a Martini-Henry rigier, I took steamer to Larache, a lit- fle, and a large revolver which I bad tle port forty-eight miles down the purchased in T: gier. Owing to the coast, accompanied by a guide called Act of Algeciras, there is great diffiRabet, who could speak little culty in taking arms and ammunition French, a little English, and had an into Morocco. I brought two rifles out acquaintance with several other lan- from England, but they never got farguages. At Larache I bought a horse, ther than Irun on the Franco-Spanish hired mules, and rode inland twenty frontier, where they were seized by miles to Alcizar, where my real diffi- the Customs officers, who told me that, culties commenced. I was told it in addition to paying a duty equivawould be impossible to get through to lent to twice their value, I would have Fez, but this is invariably the answer to obtain a permit from the Minister one receives when travelling off the of War to carry them through Spain. beaten track, and it has long since Not wishing to delay my journey beceased to trouble me. I soon found cause of two old Mausers captured in an invaluable companion for the jour- the Boer War, I abandoned them to ney in Mr. Harry Carleton, brother of Spain. Just before the train started Bibi Carleton, our Consul at Alcizar, the gendarmes, touched with remorse, who speaks Arabic like a native, and suggested that I should give them is well known and respected among half a visiting card, and on my return, the Moor's.

if i produced the other half and it Our first step was to buy Moorish fitted, I should receive my rifles back. clothes. Carleton elected to travel as To this compromise I agreed, and in a niountaineer, but I wore the white consequence arrived at Tangier weapflowing robes of a Moor of the upper onless. After much trouble I bought class. We had difficulty in procuring the revolver of the Chief-Constable of mules, because the Caid of Alcizar, a Cadiz, who had been obliged to sell it

a

a

after a spree at Tangier, the conclu- tors. In a trice the street was cleared. sion of which found him with his Then he came in my direction, but havready money exhausted. I also bought ing an intense horror of snakes, and fifty cartridges; and this weapon, care- not wishing to cause trouble by threatfully loaded, never left my side during ening to shoot him, I fled inside the my stay in Morocco. I only had to house and watched the proceedings draw it on two occasions, and never from this vantage-point. What folto use it. On my return from Fez lowed disgusted me. This devoted three months later I tried it on the child of the Prophet placed the head sea between Larache and Tangier. of the snake between his teeth, held Six times on pulling the trigger there the tail in his hands, and exerting all followed the click of a hammer with- his strength stretched it out beyond its out any report. Four more cartridges full length, until it broke off at the were tried without result, and only the neck, leaving the head in his mouth. eleventh went off. Never put your Then having swallowed the head, he trust in a second-hand foreign-made walked down the street, at intervals weapon!

biting bits of the still wriggling body. The evening before I left Alcizar I This was the last I saw of him. witnessed unique exhibition of On the following morning we left Alsnake-charming, and one which I cizar at dawn, and did four good hours never wish to see again. I was stand- before the African sun appeared in all ing with Bibi Carleton and his brother its glory and with all its accompanyHarry outside their house, when a fa- ing discomfort. An hour after the sun natic came up, wildly gesticulating, rises the horses and mules lose their calling down curses upon us, and hold- energy and seem to give up all hope. ing in his hand a large, live and pois, their brisk step dies away, their heads onous snake. His hair was dressed in droop, and with parched tongues lollringlets, after the fashion of the early ing from their mouths they crawl Victorian ladies, and his whole appear- along at two or three miles an hour. ance was ferocious and disgusting. He We passed through some splendid was followed by a crowd of people country. On the grass plains through who pressed round him, and wishing which the road ran, herds of cattle, to clear the space, he took the snake flocks of sheep and goats, camels and by the tail and swung it round at mules,

grazing. The villagers arm's-length, quickly dispersing the were at work in the cornfields reaping spectators. The holy man then be- the harvest, and as they toiled they came pacified, curled the snake round sang a strange, plaintive song, which his neck, and even allowed it to crawl really means, “Oh, Allah, be good to partly down his back. Bibi Carleton us, we are working our best.” Travsaid to me, “This man is a frequent ellers on the road were few, and were visitor here, he is a fanatic, and we mostly muleteers. They eyed us with must humor him by giving him curiosity, and quickly discovered that money." (Thus even does fanaticism I was no Moor, in spite of my native yield to the power of money.) I attire. Rabet, my interpreter, a native handed over some silver, and most of of Tangier, replied in various ways to the spectators did likewise. But this the inquiries of the passers-by. At philanthropy instead of calming the one time I was an Egyptian Mohamman made him wilder than ever. He medan, having just returned from a seized the snake by the tail, uttered pilgrimage to Mecca, and now on my fearful cries, and rushed at the specta- way to the Shrine of Moulai Edriss at

were

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