OUR SHORT STORY. I CUPID'S MESSENGER. I By PEAHKES WITHERS. I The girl in the pale grey frock leaned her elbow on the mantelpiece and, tilting her chin a trifle, contemplated the Yf)¡¡ng officer through half-veiled lids which did not wholly hide the gleam of amusement in her eyes. "Won't you sit down, CaptaIn-" She consulted .j;h card she had just propped against the little gilt clock but did not add the name she read there. "Heath," said the good-looking young officer, giving his toothbrush moustache a pat. .Dudley Heath, but commonly—not to say vulgarly—called by your brother, Hamp.vtead Heath.' He thinks it funny, and 1 don't contradict him. Your brother, MMB Carrington, plumes himsell on his sense of humour." The girl's lips twitched. "I rather fancy," she remarked, "that a sense erf humour runs through the whole family. But do sit down, please!" Captain Heath sat down. He dropped his cap, cane, and gloves on the carpet beside him. and crossed his long legs. "I had to keep my word, of course," he said. "Shame the poor old chap couldn't get any Christmas leave, especially as Midhamp- toa is such a rotten hole-I beg your pardon, I ought to have said, an appalling .-pot '-fur a training camp. (One gets dashed slangy in the Army, don't you know.) Still, I don't fancy Sidney deserves JIBY tears all the same. He's in tow with a clinking little damsel in the neighbourhood. Daughter of the local squire, nod all that; and he's banking on having dill-ller with the family to-day. So, you see, there's no occa- sion to send him a wreath of mistletoe or anything of that sort." "It was very nice of you to call," decided the girl. "It's much more satisfactory to get one's Christmas greetings by-by deputy than by letter. Don't yøll think sor" "Much more satisfactory to me, I a-ssure you In fact, it's a great pleasure." The girl smiled. "It.' a pity all the rest of the family are out, isn't it?" she murmured. "My mother and father have gone to church, and my younger sister Ethel is—well, I fancy, she » reallv somewhere in the grounds." "She's an awfully pretty kid," declared Captain Heath with enthusiasm, then bit his underUp with violence."you've seen her-" "Oh!" cried the girl, "you've seen her" "ot at ail, not at all!" he declared hastily. "Sidney had a photograph of you and vour sister, taken togethur-" "He showed you that.- 1 s Did he send any messages r" yes. He sent lots of love and so 011. And he wished you a very jolly Christmas, with heaps of mistletoe—I mean pudding, of course. And—oil, I don't know—the usual sort of Christmas pow-wow, so to speak. He .er no, I don't like to tell you that, although I badly want to." ilwivr.-do the things I want to myself, Captain Heath," declared the girl, perching herself on the arm of a chair, gazing coquot- tishly at the young officer. "Well, he—that is, your brother—said that lik, hoped you-that you-well, that you would be good tonic." Good to you? He said that?" She arched her brows at him. "Yes. He did, honest Injun! You see, I'm practically an orphan. I hate to push my- self on your notice, but I'm really a most deserving ca-se. I've got six days leave, one stodgv uncle, one gouty father, and one high-voiced spinster aunt with a wart on her nose. They're all gathered together to h<-r n c;? e Thev're all g- celebrate Christinas in their own fashion, and—'Ugh! I'm afraid to go home! If only I had a really topping sister now, like Sid "Onlv a sisterdemanded the girl. "Well, I'm not really particular about the degree of relation-ship. Perhaps—on the wholen-it would be better if it were some other fevow's sister. Girls don't show their be.<t side to their brothers, do they?" "Is that Sidney's philosophy?" "Oh. no-iu- aa idea of my own. "I see. Well, you'll wait till my parents come in. won't you? By and by, would you like anything to drink? You would I I can see a thirsty look in your eyes!" She ran? a bell by the fireplace, and a few minutes later Captain Heath was con- tentedly sipping a whisky-and-soda. You don't look nearly so nervous now." announced the girl critically. "And, reaUy, I think you managed awfully well." "Managed what?" questioned the young man with a start that nearly upset his beverage. "Everything' By the by, I suppose Sidney didn't send any written message* "Not a line! But, I say, what did you reallv mean about managing?" "I was thinking what a dreadful thing it would have been if you'd called before they went to church." "Would it? Why?" There was a blend of eagerness and anxiotv in the Captain's voice. "WeD, for one thing," announced the girl slowly, "because, you see. I haven't a brother!" "Haven't a brother?" "No—nor ever had one!" "But-I stty-oh, you mustn't pull a fellow's leg like this, Miss Carrington. Sidney "Sidney isn't my brother!" Captain Heath drained his glass at a gulp and set it down on the nearest table with a shaking hand. He-he-" he stammered. "Is the one who has been pulling your leg," she informed him demurely. "Captain Sidney Carrington—not Dora Carrington. As a matter of fact, I shouldn't dream, of course, of indulging in any such unladylike pastime." "Oh. I say, but you are—you must oo!" "I'm not! And as I'm not, what do yon suppose my people would have thougnt' of vou if you'd said to them, Good morning Your aon has asked me to call! They could hardly have believed you, could they, considering they haven't any son?" Captain Heath produced a handkerchief from the cuff of his sieeve and mopped his face with it. "Bv George!" he said, "you're doing it dashed well, but you are doing it, you know. I'm quite game to admit that Sidney didn't reallv ask me to call-that I suggested it. rovsdlf—and that lie didn't seem particu- larly keen to let me. That was pretty low down of me, I'll admit, but I well, it's awful to have to give oneself away like this, but I was just crazy to meet you. I bagged Sid's precious photo! I've got it on me now! And it's perfectly true. as yott rather hinted a while back, that I've been wan- -c,round g v;(,-Tt- dering round and round the grounds, won- dering now the deuce I could manage to meet you before I ivncountered voor people. And then-" "All this ia rather embarrassing, of course, interrupted Miss Carriflgton with a queer little" catch in her voice which might have indicated suppressed laughter, or, on the other hand, practically suppressed anything. "The point is that SidHey is not mv brother, and that consequently I can. t be bribed into sisterhood by your revela. tions, and ought not, therefore, to encou- rage vou to go on with them. Sidney is my cousin!" "Thank God for that. though he doesn t deserve to be," cried Captain Heath fer- vently. "The callous Wrute! After all^ it migiht have been worse! I suppose he If t me walk into this trap with both feet out of a sort of lingering jealousy on your account —eh? I can understand it, for that othet girl isn't a patch on 16 girl lsn t a patch oa-I beg you pardon. I guess this is my cue to make an undigni- Red exit. I'll clear out J" He reached wretchedly down to gather his belongings from the carpet; but the girl moved impulsively across to him and < touched him on the shoulder. "You can't possibly go till you've met my people," she objected. "Besides, I don't want you to! I've—I've been expecting you all the morning!" "What?" gasped the bewildered young man. "What do you mean?" "Sidney wrote to me about you," she ex- plained. "The letter arrived last nights And he sent a photograph of you so that there couldn't possibly be any mistake." Good Lord!" groaned the Captain. "I wondered what he wanted it for! What did he say?" She produced a letter, in some mysterious fashion, from the neck of her frock, and handed it to him. "I don't think you ought to read it, really," she toM him. "But. on the other hand, I thing you ought to. S<* please do!" He read the letter: "DEAR DORI.S,If a chap named Health comes potting round, as he threatens to do on Christmas morning, with loving messages and all that sort of tosh from me, just kick him out, will you? He's been a bally nuisance ever since he's seen that picture of you and Ethel. Don't kick him hard, though, because he's one of the best. And after you've kicked him take him under the mistletoe and give him one for me! t'I've told him you're my sister. You could hardly expect me to tell him you're the girl that's turned me down six times in succession, could you? And if I'd told him you were my cousin he might have been a bit more diffident about butting in. After all, you said you'd be a sister to me, so I've onlv told the truth. All the fun of the fair !—Yours, "SIDNEY. "P.S.—I've found a topping little girl round here, so if Heath wants to join the Brotherhood, don't mind me! It's simply a question of taste." "Of course you'll stay. won't you?" be- seeched Doris. "My people are bound to insist on your having dinner with us-and I think you've earned it." "Earned what?" daringly inquired the Captain. "Something to eat, of course, silly man!" "I say," he reflected after a while, "what an awful mess it would have been if I had met vour people first!" "Yes," she agreed, "it would. But you couldn't have done it. You see, my eister Ethel was scouting for me, and if it had been necessary she would have warned you in time
I WHERE THEY COME FROM. I Shakespeare is the great eouroe of our popular quotations. So many phrases in common use were first written in his plavs that an old man, who read books after he retired from busine-ss for the first time in his life, complained, when he made the acquaintance of Shakespeare, that his works were "all quotations." Hero are a few of Shakespeare's most popular phrases: "To be or not to be," "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." "Giving the lie direct." "Swoet O ne t<)uc h cf are the uses of adversity." "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." "All tTi-e world's a stage, and all -the men and women merely players." "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." "All that glit- ters is not gold." "The unkmdest cut of all." "The course of true love never did I run smooth." "Thereby hangs a tale." I "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety." "Conscience doth make cowards of us all." -————— o
I RIDING A CAMEL. I Camels aro not the patient, quiet, kindly creatures generally" pictured. They have nasty tempers. A caravan, crossing the desert is alway-s noisy; the loud and angry enarls of the camels make the w8te pl aces resound. And, in addition, with their long necks, they are, able to turn end bite their riders when enraged. A famous African explorer once said to a vouth who expressed a sentimental desire to cross the Sahara, oti camelback: "Young man, I'll tell you how you can get an idea of what riding a camel in an African desert is like. Take an office stool, screw it up as high as possible, -and put it, along with a savage dog, into a cart with- out any springs. Then seat yourself on the stool, and have it driven over uneven and rocky ground during the hottest parts of July and August, being careful not to eat or drink more than once every two days. and letting the dog bite you every four hours. This will give you a faint idea of camel riding in the Sahara."
I THE WORD "ALMANAC." I The etymology of this word has probably been more disputed than that of aHv other in the English lanllago, and from the opinions expressed upon the subject, Verste- gan's has been accepted as probable, though there can rot be the- slightest doubt that ttio Saxons, from whom he obtains his deriva- tion, took their turn from the Arabic. The Saxons, he says. "used to engrave upon cer- tain squared sticks, about a foot in length, or shorter or longer as tiley pleaded, tho courses of the for the whok yoere. whereby they could ahvaies certainly tell when the new moones, full moones, and changes should happen, as also their festivall daies, and such a carved stick they called an al- mon-aght; that is to say, al-mon-koed—to wit, the regard or observation of all the moones, and hence is derived the name of almanac." One of these squared sticks, of uncertain date, is still preserved in St. John's College, Cambridge.
I SHOWN BY FEATURES. I "Every feature of tho face," said a physi- ognomist, "tells its story of that character, and it is always a reliable index. "Lips that droop at the corners denote keen sensibility and self-consciousness. A mouth that is tilted upwards at one corner shows an erratic tendency, but it also marks the possession of ready wit. A wide mouth that closes like a trap shows that its pos- sessor will get all he can aad keep what he gets. "Large nose and mouth, together with ears firm of cartilage and with clearly- defined convolutions, are an infallible sign of a strong, capable character. "Upright wrinkles or lines between the eyes tell of innate kindness and truthful- ness. Lateral or horizontal lines on the forehead mark the person who can control others. He is usually long lived. Long head and large ears also denote longevity.
Marshal Foch has accepted the invitation of the Mavor of New York to visit that city. The Nobel Pe-aoo Committee hae resolved not to distribute its £ 8,000 "peace prize for 1918. The convictions for drunkennee in Great Britain in "armistice" week were 836. as com- pared with 742 during the four preceding weeks.
CLUB WINDOW. •. Admiral William Sowden Sims, the distin- guished American sailor, is known as "Sims the Slogger." He says his motto is Cheer up and get busy I" Sir Albert Stanley, the President of the Board of Trade, 'Ita"" once in the American J Navy. At the outbreak of the Spanish- American war he belonged to an organisa- tion known as the Naval Reserve, the mem- bers of which underwent a period of train- ing every year to make them eflicient. On the outbreak of the Spanish-American war they were drafted into the Navy proper, and the regular sailors christened their vessel "The Kindergarten." # The first vessel to start a regular pas-, eenger service across the Atlantic was the Britannia, of the Cunàrd Line. That was in 1840. The voyage took fourteen days. # Mr. Carnegie, complimented one day on his gifts to the cause of education, said: "There is nothing so pathetic as the self-1 made man who is conscious of his lack of education. These poor fellows seem to t'hint tliat everybody is educated but them- selves. "I once heard a man with a diamond horseshoe pin say hoarsely to a waiter, Shove over that there chandelier.' It isn't a chandelier, sir,' said the waiter, as' he obeyed. It's a cruet." The man with the diamonds blushed. Well, never mind what she is,' he said, shove her over. We ain't all been to oollege.' « The Chinese are nothing if not polite. Not' long ago a Chinese paper, asking German residents in China not to speak German, put it this waj" "If for nothing else, as a mat- ter of politeness and courtesy, a nice feeliug of the fitness of things, those who use Ger- man should refrain from doing so in this country. It is not good manners to speak of ropes in a family that has had a hanging." Bishop Montgomery once enjoyed a trip in a wheelbarrow. It was during a visit to v ? s 'urm f d Bi?sh.p China, and Dr. Montgomery had Bishop Scott for a companion. Describing the in- cident, Bishop Montgomery writes: "Bishop Scott and I were on onel barrow, Lanchester followed on a second, the luggage in a third. We did it luxuriously, with three men to each barrow-aile in front, one be- hind on the handles, and a third with a rope in front of all." It was a forty-five miles trip, and Dr. Montgomery calculates that he and his travelling companion had 25,000 buifcps on the first day. Sir Charles Wyndham, who is reputed to be the wealthiest actor-manager, acted for a pound a week in his early days. At his annual birthdav luncheon, a novel game of General Post'" is played. It is always arranged 'that the ladies on each side of Sir Charles shall change places after each course, so that all shall have the pleasure of sitting next the famous actor. that if there Sir Oliver Lodge once said that if there were any inhabitants on Venus they would be unable to see any of the stars around them. This assertion mystified a number of people, but Sir Oliver afterwards explained. "It is an interesting fact," he said, ."that from every planet in the solar system pre- cisely the same constellations of stars could be seen as are seen from the earth when the atmosphere is clear. But if the atmosphere is permanently cloudy, ef course, none are visible. This is believed to be the ease in the planet Venus." Sir 'John Ellerman is the controller of many great, shipping lines, and .is said to be the richest man in England. It has beft stated that he is worth at least = £ 35,000,000. # # I The Order of Merit was instituted by King Edward to mark his Coronation, and less than forty Britons have received the decoration from its founder and his son, the only foreigners to whom it had been given before Marshal Foch being the Japanese Field-Marshals Prince Yamagata and Prince < Oyama, and their fellow-countryman, Admiral Count Togo. When the Order was created its first twelve recipients were simultaneously announced. Of these only three survive—Viscount Morley, Lord Ray- leigh, and Admiral of the Fleet Sir Edward Hobart Seymour. The remaining nine were Earl Roberts, Earl Kitchener, Lord Kelvin, Viscount Wolselev, Lord Lister, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Keppel, Mr. Lecky, Sir. William Huggins, and Mr. G. F. Watts. Miss Florence Nightingale was the only woman admitted to the Order. Sir J. Forbes-Robertson was once a mem- ber of a life-boat crew. He was a boy at the time, staving in Cornwall, and when a wreck occurred off the coast he willingly lent his assistance. Pulling a great sweep, he rowed with the stalwart Cornishmen. What he felt M eloquently expressed in his own terms: "Frankly, ladies and gentle- men," he said, "I was in an awful funk4!" Tbev had meatless davs years a g o in t?he They had meatless days years ago in the Navy when on two da;s in the week, and later on one day, no meat was given the crews of the ships. They were known banian days, after an East Indian sect which rigorously avoided the use of meat in their diet. When poor fare is doled out now to the tars, it is still dubbed "banian fare." Kurt Eisner, the dictator of Munich, has long been a well-known local character in long ?Bavarian capital, and has been the centre of controversy for years. If he woke, up in the morning and found, everything placid, he went out to look for trouble. His favourite hunting-ground (says the Ex- press") was the big beer hall opposite the town hall" where, like a -hungry 'lion, he waited for prey. Officers were his favourite enemies, and if he could pick a quarrel with one of tbotn he was happy. He did time on a number of occasions for libels, and ho one ever supposed that he would be aiiytbing- more than Crazy Kurt. » The Bishop of London can always count on aa attentive audience. Once, however, he was aiiouted down. It was, at 'a Fulham Baby Show. "The audience of two hundred babies was the most trying I have ever faced. said Dr. Ingram. "They were all right till I began to speak, but no sooner had I begun than they all, with one accord. lifted up their voices against mo." During the South African War General Allenby was Field-Marshal French's most trusted commander. His unique gifts as a cavalry leader and organiser were then fully recognised, and on one occasion he achieved what seemed the impossible. Whenhandl.ing a flying column on the Seacow River he so demonstrated against the enemy's communi- cations at the Colesberg Road bridge as to impel him to disclose hjs strength; but Allenby, after seizing some prisoners, fell ba.tk in a skilful manner and if.a 'T all attempts to cut him off. att,-Imp?a to ciit himoff. Mr. J. D. Ryan, the American Director of Aircraft Production, tells an amusing story of a countryman of his, a self-made man from the Middle Western States, who, while on a visit to Rome, was received in audi- ence at the Vatican by the Pope. "Glad to meet you, Pope." was his unconventional greeti ?g. "I knew your father, the late Pope."
lOUR CHILDREN'S CORNER. I A FEW RIDDLES. When are soldiers stronger than elephantsT —When they carry a fortress. Why is the letter "E" like I>ondont—Be- cause it is the capital of England. Why is the letter "E unfortunate?—Be- cause it is always in debt. Why is a. nail fast in the wall like a feeble old man?—Because it is in firm (in- firm). Which is the easiest way to twallow the door?—Bolt it. Why is a bill-poster always a loyal per- vant?—Because he sticks up for his master. In which month do all men and women work least —In February, because it is the shortest month. Why is a poor picture like freshly-made tea?—Because it is not well drawn. Why are watches like grasshoppers?—Be- cause they move by springs. What is it everyone in the world is doing at the same time?—Growing older. I POPPY'S DREAM. She- was dreaming of a party, With dancing games and toys, Crackers and dolls and jacks-in-the-box, And dear little girls and boys. There was—oh! sflfch a lovely supper, Ices, creams, and jam, Sandwiches—beef and egg and tongue, Anchovy, sardines, and. ham. Then the ganfes they played at after, Thev were, oh, so full of fun And Poppy took part in all cf them, And wished they might never be done. There were hundreds of beautiful 'presents On dazzling Christmas trc,g.. And- you just stood underneath thera, And down they came on your knees Poppy was happy as happy, It was such a lovely dreai-i- But then she awoke and discovered Things are not just what they seem! I THE GAME OF "KATE." There are fifteen sentences in the game of "Kate," and each is solved by the appropri- ate word for it Which ends in "cate." The sentences should be written on a' card, and the players should be given smaller cards on which to write their answers. There must, of course, be a prize for the winner. r 1. Kate is a good pleader—Advocate. #- 2.' Kate is frail—Delicate. 3. Kate sometimes get out of joint—Dis- locate. ￼ k es thinlg clo'iil?le-Duplicat?e. 4 K,t. makes thing double—Duplicate. 5. Kate loves to teach—Educate. 6. Kate removes ink spots—Eradicate. 7. Kate is perplexing, hard ;to under- stand—Intricate. 8. Kate prays earnestly—Deprecate. 9.—Kate uses her teeth—Masticate. i. 10. Kate is not always truthful—Prevari- cate. 11. Kate gets smothNed-Snffocate. 12. Kate returns a favour—Reciprocate. 13. Kate goes to the country—Rusticate. 14. Kate will telephone her friend—Com- municate: ￼ move out-V Mate. 15. Kate will now move out—Vacate. I, QUEER CHRISTMAS GIFTS, People send other people queer Christmas presents sometimes. Some years ago a little boy of four years old arrived at Queenstown on boarl a great liner. There was a label round his neck on which was written "My Hame is Thomas Murphy. I come from LWT(mœ, Mass. I am going to my grandparents. I am in charge of the matron." He had been put aboard at Bos- ton by his father to be taken to his grand- parents at Castle Island, County Kerry, as a' Christmas present. A famous, lion-tamer tells of a queer Christinas present he once received. It was a consignment from a friend abroad of three boa-cotistrietors and five alligators, "With Jim's best wishes for a lively time." The lion-tamer and his wife got the lively time desired. He says:— "I shall never forget how annoyed- I was when, during the night, two of the alligators broke out of their boxes in our bedroom and began exploring. I could not find the i matches, and I and my wife remained on top of the bed canopy till morning. Luckily, my wife never thought of the thing that worried me. I was afraid the alligators might call on the boa-constrictors to wish them a Merry Christmas, and so wake them up, too!" SOME TONGUE-TWISTERS. Tom Tye tried hig tie twice to tie, But, tugging too tight, tore the tie. Tom turned to Ted Tye, Then told Ted to try To tie the tie Tom tried to tie. A smart young fisher named Fischer Fisheo. lish from the edge of a fissure; A fish with a grin, Pulled the fisherman in, Now they're fishing the fissure for Fischer. A right-handed writer named Wright, In waiting "write" always wrote "rite." Wh-:r-e he meant to write "right," If written "right" right, Wrigbt would not have wrought rot writing' "rite." THE FANCY DRESS PARTY. I It was a fancy dress party, and that meant that you had to go dressed up as somebody. else- Of course, thev were sure to enjoy themselves, because they loved dressing up more than arything else at all. They had long talks about what each one was to be, but at last they settled it. It was a, gieat sucoe-ss, certainly. She went as little Miss Muffit, with a dear little mob cap on, and a long sash, and a spoon and basin (which hadu't got anything in it, of course; for her curds and -whey. He number One was littlo Tommy Tucker, and he made everyone laugh wry much, be- cause ho kept on singing for his -supper-he began as soon as ho got into the house, long before it was supper-time—and no one could stop him. He num ber Two was .Tack Frost, and he would have been splendid if only he had been able to keep upright, but he would wear roller-skntesf and the result was that he kept on tumbling over. Jac'uo was just himself, and he enloy-edi himself as much as anybody—indeed, rather more, for all the people at the party petted him, and said what a clever dog he was, and gave him bits, of biscuit until he really could hardly cat any more at all. They all stayed until the very end, and were th(1 last to leave; and by that time they were -very tired and just a little cross. If But they got home all right, and' though they felt rather "partYiBh the next day, they all agreed that it had been splendid fun, and wished very much that they could have some more like it. But Mother said that one was quite enough to last for quite i a long time ¡ But for a long time after that-all during I the holidays, in fact—they used to play at I "Fancy Dressing" every day,; it is wonder- I ful what you can do with shawls: Hnd table- cloths, and somebody else's hats. Nurse'said j she was thankful when it was all over and j done with, but then she was never very fond of "pretending" games, wasn't Nurse. 1
I IN THE POULTRY YARD." j I BY COCKCROW; EGGS FOR HATCHING. FOR HATCHING. The selection of eggs fof hatching is a matter which is worth taking a little trouble over. Very often the only point as to which any care is exercised is whether the eggs are fertile or not. That being settled the sitting is made up in any old fashion, t!he eggs being taken at haphazard. This method, or rather lack of method, is a great mistake, and is a fruitful cause of disap- pointment to the poultry-keeper, who fre- ',tr y k ce l)er, w h o fre- quently finds ,had he has couv.ted more chiokens before the hatching than are there after. The truth is that not the best sitter that ever sat would be able to hatch strong, healthy chicks out of some eggs, though their fertility may be beyond question. One of the first things to remember is that hens' eggs are better as chick-produ- ￼ MAKING A I SELECTION. c-ers than are the eggs of pullets. This is especially, the cas,, early in the year. Breeding prens to ensure the best results should be made up of hens in their second year, with a vigorous and healthy cockerel. Tho fresher the eggs for sitting the -better. If possible they should not be moro than three days old. Eggs over a fortnight old should not be used for in- cubator-hatching. Ecrgs that are being kept for a. sitting should be kept in a place where frost cannot, get at them. They should be stood with the small end downwards, or laid on their sides and turned daily. So far as size is concerned, the best plan is to stick to the average, of. course, having regard to the breed. Eggs mnch, above or below the average size rarely produce good chicks. Choose those egsrs that are of a good shape' and whose shells are nice and smooth and without blemish. Egg" with very thick or very thin shells should be rejected, as also "should those EGG 9 AND I EGGSHELLS. that are mis-shapen. If chioh appear at an from the latter they will be cripples. Very often eg8 with rough shells, or shells too thick or too j thin, are unfertile. When. they do contain a germ it probably soon dies when the egg is thin-shelled, while in the case of a thitk- shelled one if a chick develops it is, as like as not, unable to break its way to daylight. By exercising the greatest care in the selec- tion of eggs and sitter success, though it cannot be commanded, may be deserved, and things ought to go fairly well. You. will meet people, doubtless, people who flatter themselves that they know a thing or two, who will tell you that they can tell the sex of the chick from the shape of the egg, Do Rot believe them. They are not the first to make the claim, and no one of them has ever yet proved that he can teli from the shape of an egg 'whether the chick is going to be a pullet or a cockerel. The only cer- tain deduction on the matter of sex to be made from an egg goes backwards instead of forwards. If you see an egg it is pretty safe to say that a hen laid it. As to what will come out of the egg itself no man klloweth-no. nor woman either. Daylight hours are few at this time of the year. The shades of night fall early, and A FEED BY I- LAMPLIGHT. many poultry-keepers do not reach home after the day"a work in time to give the fowls their evening meal be- forg dark. The question arises -whether the meal should be A given by artificial light. The answer is a decided affirmative if the only alternative is that the fowls should go short of necessary food, That would mean that the birds would have to go to roost, with their crops empty. A eourse of this sort of thing would amount to semi-starva- tion., and the egg-production would certainly suffer. In such a case there can be no doubt that a good meal in the evening by lantern-light is essential, and as there can be no scratching, soft food only should be given. At the same time it is better that the meal should be a daylight one if pos- sible, and probably there are ,few poultry- keepers who are unable to obtain a deputy to feed tho fowls for them before da^iness sets in. These are what might be termed hustling times, and poultry-keepers who want to THE FORCING I POLICY. make profits have to I hustle with the rest. There seems to be a danger that I some of them mav ovprnn the hustling busincss. For instance, some "QÍ the people who believe in forcing pullets to lay very early may find in the end that it is not a paying policy. A bird forced to lay too early suffers from impaired vitality sooner or later. Eggs will certainly be small to begin with, and may continue so; while period, of re6t will M ty qontiiiiie so; mhile periods of rest will be longer. The pullet thus brought on too soon becomes old before its time, and more often than not does not pay its owner as well as one that is not hustled into laying. Poultry-farmers, even those in a small wav, will be interested in learning how AN T/LECTKIFIED POULTRY FARM. things are.done in America. I quote the following from ?Chambers's Journal": "The importance of saving I labour by tho use of I mechanical devices needs no I explaining in these days of shortage of man- power; hence* the contrivances having this end in view that have been adopted for his poultry-farm by a man1 in New Hampshire, U.S.A., arc worthy of careful study. One of the chief tasks in -conncction with the care of poultry is the preparation and ad- ministration of food. Grain is distributed to fifteen hundred hens on this farm by automatic devices that scatter it over a wido area. This is accomplished by means of six huge galvanised steel hoppers, suspended from the ceilings of the scratching-sheds, each having a capacity of twenty-two biashels. The bottoms of these hoppers are cone-shaped, and are fitted with circular spreaders into which the grain flows auto- matically; but it does not run through to the floor until the spreaders are rotated at a high soeed by etectic motors, when the grain is thrown over a wide area." "The motors," the article proceeds, "are controlled bv electric clocks that start and "LITTLE AND OFTEN." run them until the correct ￼ amount of grain has passed fivetimes a day, the inven- tor. whose hens have been very successful at egg-laying conipetitions, being a strong believer in feeding little ) and often.' For mixing the soft food or < mash, the farmer referred to uses a very large hogshead, mounted horizontally on a j shaft, and revolved by an electric motor, The various foodstuffs are introduced in their proper proportions, and the hogshead is revolved until the' mixing is complete. The food is next drawn off into boxes with opening bottoms, and these are conveyed on j a truck to holes in the floor, through which the mixture is discharged into three self- feeding hoppers v in the pens below, each having a. capacity of fourteen bushels. Another interesting feature of this farm is a bonndary fence, which, in addition to the usual wire-netting, carries a set of electrified wires that 'has proved very effective in keep- ing off thieves, of both the four-legged and the two-legged varieties.
NOTES ON NEWS. -1 f The General Election is over. In normal conditions we should know by this timf i what the result had been. I Tni: GENERAL ELECTION. and w hether the Govern- I ment had won or lost. Afr it is, there arc many votes of soldiers and I I sailors to come in. and for some days yet j the ballot-boxes will keep their secret. It I camot be said that there has been a great i- deal of excitement. Compared with ¡ General Elections of past years, there was a notable lack of heat and passion. That I in itself is no bad thing. Indeed, it would be all to the good if it meant that the electors had gone to the poll in great numbers seriously determined to elect the best possible Government to conduct the ti flairs of the nation' during what must, be a very difficult time; when a host of pro-, blems must be faced, calling for the most enlightened and wisest statesmanship in their settlenent. Unfortunately there were abundant indications that the dull- ness of the proceedings are largely due to apathy on the part of the public. To lyliat extent the Service men have voted remains to be seen, but it will probably be found. that a large percentage have not sent in. their ballot papers, either through lack of interest or opportunity. There appears, too, to have been a larger number thani usual of abstentions among home elec- tors, and early reports seem to indicate that more women than men went to the -poll. It would be curious if it proved, in spite of the women's qualifying age having been filmed at thirty in order to maintain a majority of male electors, that the new' Parliament has been elected by a majority of women after all. I Besides the conscription issue, which be- came acute onlv a few days before the* I Liwgt7R I' POLICY WANTED. 'poll was taken, the ques- tions which groused most t i ciiis I t1(. 1 1 interest were the punish- ment of the ex-Kaiser, the payment of war in- demnities by Germany, and the question of clearing all enemy aliens out of the country. These questions, upon wliieli, all candidates have been compelled, whether they liked it or not, to make declarations, will probably be largely decided at the Peace Conference. There lias been a re- markable lack of interest in questions of I dorr;cstie legislation. It ha been quite ex- ceptional, for instance, for heddcrs to put questions relating to the policy of Qoali? tion or other candidates with regard to Labour problems. Yet it becomes clearer every day that these may be very serious. The railwayman's demand for an eighth hour day, just conceded, is only part even of their programme, which includes other very important points. The transport "workers are coming along with a series of demands; railway clerks, who are not j1\- cluded in the general railway award of an eight-hour dayr are asking for a .thirty- eight hour week and a considerable ad- vance in wages. Other demands ti-orn other bodies of workers will doubtless be presented before long, and the need for a firm and well-considered policy becomes every day more manifest. It is certainly matter for regret that the electors as a whole have not shown more interest in this and other domestic matters to which the Government will be obliged to devote attention. It is not surprising that the question of whether the Germans are to be compelled OUR ENOR- MOUS BILL. to pay the war costs of the Allies should arouse intense interest. The bill is tremendous, and it has been stated that an account for £ 24,000,000,000 will be presented for pay- nwnt. As to the justice of the demand there can bo no question. The Germans caused the world catastrophe, and they ought to pay. They have already a pretty bill to meet in the compensation "for an damage done to the civilian .population ot the AJlies and to their property by the aggression of Germany by land, sea, and from the air." That has already been de- I cided. There remains the other vast ciityi. The' Prime Minister has committed him- self to the declaration that Germany must pay up to the limit of her capacity to do so. Everything of, course, turns upon what her capacity may prove to be. Mr. Lloyd George has announced that this matter has been considered by a Com- mittee, which takes a more favourable view of Germany's power to pay than do the officials of the Government Depart- ments, who had not given a very hopeful report. From all of which it seems that the people who believe that Germany will pay the whole of the £ 24^000,000,000 must be of an extremely* sanguine temperaments We are on the threshold of an era of commercial aviation. It is possible that THE FLYING. AGE. alrcraft factories ma y pass from the. production of machines for- warlike purposes to the output of the aeroplane of. com- merce with little delay. The war has brought about some astonishing develop- ments in long-distance flying and weight- carrying. A machine carrying forty-one persons I has flown over London, and there comes news that Italy is to produce machines which will accommodate a hun- dred passengers. Seats may already' be booked for. trips from, London to Paris, and business men will be able to do the double journey easily in a day. A voyage, from this country to India has been suc- cessfully accomplished.. Very soon the world will be. 1m wings. Said Mr. Hadley- Page in an interview the other day: "Im- mediately the aerodromes are established and the ground organisation and tho meteorological service complete, large pas- senger-carrying-machines will fly between l'-tigh nd and IndJa, Australia, Africa, and ether parts of the world." It is emiri- dently expected that the Atlantic will bo I flown during the coming year.
BROTHER'S HEROIC RESCUE. j At Chesterfield a coroner's jury warmly com- '1] mended Joseph CI?r??n on his brave "PPK^Q j wor? when two tors of roof fell in PIackwell '?J Collierv hi:ryi? CI&r??o?'s blether..? Although another fall was imminent, and j he himself had narrowly escaped being buried, ] Josenh OJarkson set to work to liberate* hie. brother, and this he did before help arrived. John Clarksryi sustained a. fraeiurs of both legs and etft hard, With schlp" injuries idymg ( subsequently is ho-, pi (a I.
According to the Cuke of Northumberland, the only firm foundation for reconstruction was self-denial and hard work, and politicians should draw attention to this instead of trying to persuade people that they could get some- thing ier nothing. Sailors and soldiers and regimental 'units re- taining (togs adopted by them during hos- tilities will, on demobilisation, be assisted by the Blue Cross Fund.