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ignorant, had no suggestion to make. being at hand “when there were a lot I ask the question of any highly cul- of rough customers about who were tivated modern Staff officer, What looking nasty." should have been done? Frankly, I The idiosyncrasies of inspecting gengave it up, and I believe that, after a erals were always of much interest, long toil with a hatchet, the poor and, previous to an inspection, even brute's head was cut off, and some of the most swagger colonels often conits body was removed for the pot. I descended to pump the A.D.C. as to draw a veil over the memory of the the points to which the General was dish that afterwards appeared at our likely to pay particular attention. As table. It certainly had no resemblance I have told, General Lawrenson looked to either turtle soup or turtle steaks. for equitation, another General would

The annual inspections of regiments absolutely revel in checking the books in old times were very amusing in and records in the regimental office, a themselves, and brought the General's third was an expert in saddlery, while A.D.C. in contact with numberless a fourth would not admit that a corps good fellows in every rank of the Serv. was in proper order unless the barice, all of whom were pleasant ac- rack rooms were scoured, polished, and quaintances, and some became inti- whitewashed like dairies Even what mate and dear friends. To think only were called the "inspection lunches” of the rank-and-file. In after-years, were often carefully considered, so men who had been soldiers turned up that the General might perchance be in many different places and showed mollified by the entertainment that their kindly memories by the most was offered to him. A story was told friendly attentions. A gold-laced por- of the Duke of Cambridge when he ter at a restaurant would depart from was making a certain tour of inspechis dignity and rush to give his per- tion. On the table of the first corps sonal service. A butler at a country that he visited was a dish of homely house would by no means allow the pork chops, of which H.R.H. partook officer whom he recognized to be va- with approval. The tip was sent on leted by the first or second footman, that pork chops were food such as the but himself attended to the visitor on Commander-in-Chief loved. At

his the chance of a word or two about the next inspection lunch, therefore, pork time when the old —th lay at Houns- chops were duly provided, and again low. The police force was full of old they were appreciated. But when, for soldiers, who would stop the traffic in the third or fourth time, pork chops apa crowded street for the passage of an peared as the leading feature of a milold friend. I remember, too, being once itary mengi, it is said that the remark the victim of an assault at Epsom and burst forth, "Good God! am I never grappling with my assailant. I yelled to see anything but pork chops?” "Police!" and mounted constable An inspection of Household Cavalry quickly came to my assistance, fol. was always one of the pleasantest dulowed by a couple of plain-clothes men. ties of the year. Then, as always beAfter I had charged my man at the of- fore and since, the Life Guards and fice in the Grand Stand, and the case Blues were in tenue, in conduct, in drill, was arranged for the next Petty Ses- and in all interior economy second to sions, my police allies all introduced none and equalled by very few of the themselves as men who knew me well English cavalry regiments. There was while they were serving in various little chance, therefore, of any faultcorps, and expressed their delight in finding to mar the serenity of temper


on all sides. Generally also some people of light and leading made a point of taking the opportunity to look at a corps in which they had possibly served themselves or had some relations serving so the inspection became a small social function. How magnificent was a charge of these corsleted men-at-arms! The horsemanship and rapid accuracy of movement that they showed were of the highest order, and certainly could not then be equalled by any Continental cavalry. I am reminded of this particularly, because I attended some French cavalry maneuvres immediately after being present at a Life Guards' inspection. The great feature of the last day of the French manæuvres was to be a grand charge of Cuirassiers, and it was eag. erly awaited. When it came, however, I at least was terribly disappointed. Good as their horses were, the “Gros Frères" never allowed them to be extended beyond a common canter, and, even so, the plain was strewn with men who had lost their saddles. The French Staff were, however, apparently perfectly satisfied with the performance, and one of them said to me with pride, "Maintenant, Monsieur, vous pouvez dire que vous avez vu une charge de Cuirassiers.”

I don't know whether it is true that modern generals have not the same prestige as their predecessors in my young days, when they were very aweinspiring personages before whom everybody quailed. A story was current in my old regiment about Lord Cardigan when he was Inspector-General of Cavalry. If any man ever as

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serted the dignity and importance of bis position, he did, and one unfortunate sergeant, to whom he somewhat brusquely addressed a question, was so dumbfounded that he could hardly articulate. The Colonel tried to shield him, and hoped that his Lordship would excuse the man, as he was rather nervous. "Good God!" replied Cardigan, “who ever heard of a nervous hussar?" Curiously enough, it was often the case that men, who had shown over and over again that they were full of pluck, quite lost their heads when they suddenly found themselves confronted with a live general, particularly if he was a little peremptory. They did not perhaps generally carry their deference for high rank quite so far as the sternly drilled Russians in the Crimean war, who, when one of the Allied Generals blundered into their lines, were so taken aback by the apparition that, instead of securing him as a prisoner, they at once presented arms. It may possibly be well in some ways, if it is the case that the non-commissioned officers and privates of to-day have not the same blind reverence for the heads of the military hierarchy as had their predecessors, but there is no doubt that, on occasions without number in our history, the most marvellous deeds have been accomplished by the command and leading of a general, simply because in the eyes of the rank-and-file he was so tremendous an individual that he must be implicity and unhesitatingly obeyed.

I dare say I have been garrulous enough for the present.


Murdo, the son of the Catechist, was taking home the cows on a summer evening. His mind was disturbed, and his anger was a good deal roused, because of a dispute on Church questions he had just been having with a man on the road. In particular, he was roused against his two neighbors, Alastair Mackenzie and Neil Maclean, and against Neil's brother, the shoemaker. Not only had these men left the minister and set up a tabernacle of their own, sacred to pure doctrine, but they had such a large following in the parish that they contrived to make things very unpleasant for those who, like Murdo, preferred the ministrations of the old minister to the Sabbath homilies of the shoemaker, for he it was who generally officiated in the building most recently dedicated to dis sent.

Now Murdo, being the son of the catechist, a notable good man,-was one the new party would fain have counted among their number. True, he was a simple man, without sharpness or ability, and he was an oldish man, and on occasions like the New Year he was apt to partake over freely of spirits; yet despite these drawbacks and although his father, the good catechist, had been twenty years in his grave, he had the name, and belonged to a country where to be the son of a good man is to have a certain position. Popular feeling then was against him, because he had not been as zealous for certain ecclesiastical formulas called "Principles" as had been expected of him.

The clear light of the summer evening was melting into dusk as Murdo and the cows left the highroad and made their slow way over a rough newly-made path that, when completed, was to lead past Murdo's house and

down through the township of Brae to the sea. The red cow and the black cow and the little brown calf seemed in the half-light all one vague dark color, akin to the clumps of birch bushes here and there, or to the patches of heather that broke up the cultivated ground. Murdo felt the soil and gravel of the newly-made road difficult to walk on. He did not feel kindly towards the road, perhaps because the men who had the contract for it were those two neighbors of his -Alastair Mackenzie and Neil Maclean-with whom he was so much at variance. He could not leave his house in these days without meeting the two, carting and gravelling, breaking down and building up, and when they met they never failed to have sharp words with one another.

Murdo burned with indignation to think of what the man on the road had been telling him, which was nothing less than that the minister was to be turned off the school board at the next election. The people who were against him in the place were strong enough, the man had said boastingly, to put in one of their own number instead of him. Murdo breathed a Gaelic remark that was not particularly suitable to a church dispute. Had not the rainister served the people on the school board since these people were themselves children at school?

Murdo was so taken up with the thought of all this that he almost overbalanced himself, and narrowly escaped falling into the burn that, through a narrow rocky channel, rippled down to the sea near his own house. He stood still and glared at it. Here was cause for anger indeed! Alastair and Neil had removed the rough bridge over which he and the cows had been wont to go,-they had

done that since he left home in the afternoon. The poor dumb beasts were cropping the grass beside the path and waiting for something to be done. Murdo's thoughts and ejaculations were somewhat violent. It is perhaps best not to record them. It was true that the little old bridge had to come down sometime, since the new road was to be built over the burn, but what Murdo took as a piece of personal malice was that the bridge had been removed in the evening, without any warning having been given him, and that nothing in the way of a temporary make-shift had been put in its place.

He was now forced to make one himself, and he bethought him at the moment of a large piece of old wood with which Alastair and Neil had made a way across a drain for their wheelbarrow. It was about half the size of a barn door, and would bridge the gap very well. He went back along the road till he found it; then he raised it and dragged it along to the burn, saying to himself that at all events Alastair and Neil would not "have the face" to remove it in the morning without putting some other temporary arrangement in its stead. The device succeeded very well, and Murdo drove the cows across it, put them into the byre, and went in to his supper.

Next day no one came to work at the road. The men who had the contract were both too busy with their harvest work to attend to anything else, and for two or three weeks the son of the catechist saw nothing of them, but drove his cows in peace over the temporary bridge he had made. Then one evening he came home with the thought in his mind that the people he had met that day had behaved strangely to him. He could not tell what it was, but he felt there was something peculiar about them.

When he came in his sister was cry

ing. She was in such grief that he could not find out from her what was the matter; but presently his eye fell upon a strange-looking paper lying upon the meal-chest. He lifted it, and being a poor scholar he took some little time to find out what was in it.

When at last he deciphered it, it made him tremble all over, for it was a summons requiring him to appear on a certain day at the court at Aldarn, on the criminal charge of having stolen a piece of wood from Alastair Mackenzie and Neil Maclean.

His sister began sobbing out loud. "Oh, Murdo, Murdo!" said she. "To think that the name of thief would be attached to one of the children of our father!"

Murdo sat on the meal-chest and stared at the summons. He was slowwitted, and at first he did not grasp the thing very well. Presently, however, the blood mounted to his forehead. He clenched his fist and brought it down full force upon the table in front of him.

"This is the work of the followers of the shoemaker," said he in a loud voice.

He sat on the meal-chest all the evening thinking what was to be done, and the more he thought the more he saw


the terrible position he was in. Whatever might be said of the men who brought him into it, he saw at once that there was a weak point in his own He had taken the wood,-it was impossible to deny that. If Alastair and Neil, who had been to school with him fifty years before, who had been his neighbors all their days, and ceilidhed at his fireside,-if they chose to put an unfriendly construction on his simple action, what defence could he make? How would the sheriff look at it? If he-Murdo-were to explain that he required the wood, and that he couldn't very well get home the cows


1 From a Gaelic word pronounced kailie, meaning a friendly visit.

without it, would the law be satisfied no evil intention, but as you say you with that? He doubted it.

took the wood, and 'a criminal charge' "It is a poor thing," he said bitterly He paused and took snuff. to his sister, “when there is law “At the same time,” he continued, among friends."

I wouldn't be too down-hearted over But the poor woman was inconsol- the matter, Murdo. I have a young able. Never in her memory, she said, friend at Aldarn-a lawyer—to whom was any man or woman from the par- I shall write at once about you. He ish taken to court on such a charge. will do his best for you, and I am sure Since the days of her great-grand- the sheriff will be made to understand mother, indeed, when the famous mur- how the thing happened. I will write der took place, there had been no real a character for you myself. criminal charge against the parish. It was most unfeeling of Alastair Young lads were taken to court for and Neil to act in this way,” he added, rows and assaults at New Year time, his indignation getting the better of or for poaching and such things, but him. never for breaking one of the com- He wrote an excellent character for mandments. The serving of such a Murdo, which he said he would enclose summons in the house of Murdo, the in the letter to the lawyer, and with son of the catechist, was as much an this and such comfort as he could get affront as it would be on the breakfast- from the thought of the able defence table of a respectable clergyman. he was likely to have, the anxious old

Murdo did not sleep much that night, man was forced to content himself, He and next day he put the summons in went home still very down-hearted. his pocket and went to see the minister. Now the minister was a man who As the days passed, however, Murdo was fond of a joke, and not only that, received a good deal of sympathybut he had been a good deal annoyed

some of it from very unexpected quaron several occasions by the habit in ters. Many of the followers of the the place of making common property, shoemaker felt that Alastair and Neil as it were, of certain things. Often had brought disgrace upon the parish when he or his household were in need by laying such a charge against one of of the manse barrow or spade or white- themselves. They ought to have rewash brush, it was found that these membered, it was said, that Murdo things were doing duty at the house was the son of the catechist, and of a neighbor. It was true that the should never have been brought in any "lad” or “girl" had usually been in- disgraceful fashion before the law formed of their whereabouts, and re- courts. As for the people who were quested to "send word” when they not followers of the shoemaker, they were needed, and it was true also that were of course furious. they borrowed other things in return; One day the minister had a visit but, at the same time, the thing was from the two plaintiffs in the case. inconvenient occasionally, and They said they felt they had been when the old gentleman heard Murdo's hasty, being annoyed about the wood, story he was, though very indignant, which they had found useful, and they not quite so lavish with his sympathy wished to know whether it was possias Murdo had expected.

ble to “take back" the case. "It is a serious matter," he said, af- The minister told them that being a ter they had talked it over. “There is criminal case it could not be withno doubt of that. I am sure you had drawn, but must go on to the end. He


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