giniiiniiiuiiHUiiiHiEtiHiiiiEiiiiiuimiiiiiitiiiiiuiiiuiiiiinuuiiiiiniiiiiiinmu: X [ALL EIGHTS RZnB'BD. ZZ ￼ = | FATAL FIMOERS | ￼ £ By WILLIAM LE QUEUX, E a Author of The Money Spider," The Riddle of the Ring," &c. S; 5111111 II i III Ii 111111 iI I I U 11111111111 n: 11 111111 it 11111111111 11111111111111 J 11111 i! I II II i II 11111111 L IŒ I CHAPTER II. (Continued.) I THE NIGHT OF THE SEVENTEENTH. ] As far as could be ascertained, the assassin had left no clue to his identity The three detectives, after examining the latch Upon the firont-door, agreed that the mur- derer must have entered there in company with his victim. Yet Burgess, the only ser- vant remaining up, had heard no sound Until the front-door had slammed. Lady Ravenscourt and Miss Maidee-ait Irene was always called-had accompanied Sir George to the Foreign Office, where a brilliant reception had been held in honour of the visit of a foreign prince, and leaving at eleven had taken him in his motor to the Travellers' where they had dropped him, proceeding home and retiring to their rooms. The whole affair was a complete mystery. Somehow the papers had already got wind of it, far by three o'clock reporters arrived hot-foot, thirsting for information, which the shrewd Hurgess, at the instigation 01 the detctives,. strenuously withheld. Burgess, as soon as he could slip away for a moment, entered his pantry and, locking the door, took from his pocket the crumpled manuscript, which his master had been in the act of writing when struck down. Spreading it out with trembling fingers, he read it from end to end. "That's strange! he gasped astounded. "Why did Sir George so earnestly desire this to be burned? Perhaps, after all, I ought to have told the police everything." He stood motionless, gazing upon the floor of the narrow pantry, the strange document in his hand. Faithful servant that he was, he was now div led in his duty towards hie master and his duty to assist the ends of justice. He was entirely at a loss to know how to act. To give the paper to the detectives would be to disclose a fact which, at all hazards, his dead master wished suppressed. Yet, if he burned it, he might be destroying a very valuable clue. Burgees suddenly resolved to disobey the promise he had given to the dying man, and consult her ladyship, and ascending the ctairs lie tapped softly at the door of her room. Miss 'Maidee gave permission to enter, and the old servant found the pair plunged in the deepest grief. Excuse me, your ladyship, but-well, may I speak to you for one moment alone? 1 would not disturb you at this hour of grief were it not absolutely imperative." "Lady Ravenscourt can see f no one, Burgess," replied the tearful girl quickly. You ought surely to know that!" "But I deeply regret, miss, I must speak fith her-alone." The widow raised her tear-stained face, and motioned to the girl to go out of the for a. moment. Then, when the door had closed, Burgess advanced to the grief- etricken woman, and explained how he had discovered Sir George, and what the dying man had said, afterwards handing her the paper which her husband had penned. t Swiftly she read it through, then, staring straight before her, her white hands tremb- hug. her eves filled with tears she cried: "What can all this mean, Burgess? Why did my husband so eagerly desire to conceal the fads? It must be given to the police, by all means. They should not remain in ignorance of this another moment." "If that is your ladyship's decision, I will carry it out," replied the grave-faced man. and, bowing respectfully, he retired, closing the door softly after him. Big Ben slowly boomed forth the hour of five as he descended the stairs and called Detective-inspector Medland into the long dining-room. To him he made a. full statement, after- wards producing the crumpled manuscript which Sir George had been so anxious should be destroyed. The quick-eved, dark-haired detective looked suspiciously for a second into the butler's round face, then taking the sheet of paper, read the lines of crabbed writing from end to end. "That's most extraordinary! he declared when he had finished. "Why didn't you produce this before, eh ?" "Because of the promise I had made to my dying master. I was compelled to con- sult my mistress first." The inspector grunted in evident dissatis- faction, but returning to the library, held secret council with the two officers accom- panying him, as a result of which both the latter came hurriedly out and put on their hats and coats. "You'll not have much difficulty in find- ing Charlwood Street," Medland said briskly. "It's a short turning running be- tween Denbigh Street and Lupus Street- number 78. Be as quick as you can, and 'phone me anything fresh you discover." The Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department himself arrived in a motor-car some twenty minutes later, and Medland, standing in the library, was engaged in ex- plaining the principal points of the mysterious alfair to his Chief when the tele- phone-bell rang sharply, and the inspector crossed to the instrument. "Yes," he answered'; "Medland speaking. Is that you, Wagner? Well?" And then the inspector listened. "What? Is that so? You've found the man Richard Goodrick murdered-killed in exactly the same manner as Sir George! This is most extraordinary!" Then, turn. ing quickly to his Chief, he said: "Perhaps, eir, yoii'd like to listen to this amazing re- port of Sergeant Wagner!" And he handed him the receiver, telling his assistant to repeat the facts to his Chief. "Well, Medland," exclaimed. the gentle- manly-looking official, gazing at the in- spector with a bewildered expression, when he had heard all the detective had to say and had himself asked one or two ques- tions, "this certainly is a most remarkable and complicated piece of business! Why, I .wonder, did Sir George want to burn that record he had written. We had, I think, better both go over to Charlwood Street at once-" CHAPTER III. I THE ATFAIB, AT CHARLWOOD STREET. AA the Chief drove Inspector Medland along in the landaulette, which had been waiting, the detective again took from his pocket the document which Sir George had been so anxious to destroy before his death. He read, by the little light in the car, as follows: "I, George Ravenscourt, Baronet, desire, on this seventeenth OJ] of January, 1908, to place upon recv-r(il a most strange and. &mazing circumstance which has occurred here, in the city of Westminster. Eighteen years ago the nation suffered an irrepar- able, loss by the death of one who was a great Imperialist. Without one showy ac- complishment, without wit to amuse or eloquence to persuade, with a voice un- melodious and a manner ungraceful, and barely able to speak plain sense in still plainer language, he nevertheless exercised in the Rouse of Commons an influence, and even a dominion, greater than Pitt the father, Pitt the son, Canning or Castlereagjh, and did more to extend tbp Empire Beyond the seas than any statcs- man of the century. "Suddenly, while at the zenith of his power, he became attacked by a virulent disease, which within a week proved fatal. England still mor.rns his death, and will continue to do so for a long time to come. "And to-day I have, by merest chance, discovered a mcst romantic and remark- able circumstance—one that has held me completely astounded, and staggers belief. "Sworn to secrecy, I am penning this record to be attached to my will, in order that you, my executors, alone shall learn the remarkable truth, which I desire and direct shall remain undisclosed for at least ten years after my death, when it may be published in whatever manner you may think most fitting. "My bewildering discovery was made in the following circumstances: This afternoon, at three o'clock, I called at a house, No. 78, Charlwood Street, Pimlico, there to consult a certain gentleman named Richard Goodrick, a retired school- master, whose hobby is the collection of curios. I was, unfortunately, by no means a welcome guest, though we had been friends through many years. I went there with a distinct, yet most unusual, object, for I carried with me negotiable securities to the value of fifty thousand pounds, ready to hand to him in exchange for a certain secret which he held. My negotia- tions were, alas! unsuccessful. The old gentleman's anger was aroused, and- There the uneven manuscript ended. That was all. In the act of penning that last sen- tence the writer had been struck down. The Chief had been looking over the de- tective's shoulder ss he read. "It is a mysterious and tantalising record, to say the least," he said. "And the mcrre extraordinary now that the man he visited to-day—the man with the secret—has also been assassinated." "Well, the statesman, whoever he was, who di-ecl eighteen years ago, could have had no hand in the affair-that's very clear. He can't concern us," declared Medland. "Somebody else wanted to learn the secret of this old man Goodrick—that's very evi- dent." It was still dark as the car approached Victoria Station, and, turning up Vauxhall Bridge Road, pulled up before the house in Charlwood Street. Wagner opened the door, and as the in- spector entered said in a voice of suppressed excitement; "There's a very strange mystery here, sir. We knocked the people up-a Mr. and Mrs. Ayres. who are the occupiers—and they told us that their lodger, an old gentleman named Goodrick, had gone out about six o'clock last night and had not returned. In face of your orders, we were not satisfied, so we asked to see his rooms—and we found him dead in the sitting-room yonder." The trio passed along the narrow passage, where, at the foot of the stairs, stood the frightened landlady and her husband. "We 'àd no idea 'e'd come in!" exclaimed the white-faced woman. "We didn't, 'ear 'im, though we left the door on the latch at half-past twelve, in case 'e came in. My 'usband and I listened, but we 'eard nothing." "No sound at all?" asked Midland quickly. "None—till the police banged at the front door and woke us up with a start. They gave us a terrible turn, I can tell you." Medland grunted, and followed Wagner into the stuffy little room heaped with curios, where the flaring gas-jet revealed the body of Richard Goodrick lying near the fire- place, crouched with his knees to his chin, quite dead. "We've found no weapon-onlv this," ex- claimed Wagner, handing his Chief an old flint-lock horse-pistol, "and it hasn't been fired for years." "Didn't you hear any sound?" asked Med- land of Mrs. Ayres, for it seemed incredible. "Well, sir, I did 'ear a sound in the night, but I thought it were somcthink out in the street. It must 'ave been the street- door. "What time was it, do you think?" "Well, as far as I can guess, it must 'ave been nearly three o'clock. I recollect a 'earing Big Ben a-chiming the three-quarters past two. It was soon after that." "Mrs. Ayres," exclaimed Medland, "did your lodger have a visitor yesterday after- noon—a well-dressed man with a rather red, pi nply face? "Yes, sir. 'E stayed about an 'our and a 'all', and they were shut in together a-talkin' business. "Had you ever seen that gentleman be- fore? "Never, sir, to my knowledge. Mr. Good- rick seldom, if ever, 'ad any visitors." "Who were the persons who visited him? "Well, sir, there was my brother-in-law, Tom Maguire, who lives out at Ealin', and old Mr. Mellini, the Italian priest, who lives up Denbigh Street. They were 'is two closest friends. 'E was a very reserved man, as you might say. 'E never spoke of 'is business or affairs to anybody." "Well, Mrs. Ayres," said the detective calmly. "It's quite plain that your lodgor has been murdered. Somebody crept behind him and struck him with some sharp instru- ment which had been poisoned." "But who could have done it?" asked her bewildered husband, a. thin, insignificant little man with a large grey moustache. "Somebody who had a grudge against him, I should fancy," replied MedLand. "You say he was a rather quarrelsome man. Did he keep any money here? If so, robbery might have been a motive," he added, recol- lecting the fifty thousand pounds mentioned by Sir George. "I don't think 'e ever kept much 'ere," was the good woman's reply. 'E always paid 'is bill regularly, but 'e wasn't too flush o' funds, 'E spent it all on 'is curiosi- ties. Soiivetimes 'e went away for days 'an dave." "He bought all these antiques?" re- marked the detective. "He must have had money to do so. We'll have to search the place," he added, gazing around in bewil- derment upon the hopeless chaos. The doctor-the same divisional surgeon who had earlier in the night been called to Carlton House Terrace, summoned by tele- phone—arrived, and made an examination of the dead man. Life had been extinct about three hours, as far as he could judge. In the nape of the neck, just among the short hair, was a tiny puncture, exactly aa in the, case of Sir George Ravenscourt. "This Mr. Mellini! Did he visit him frequently?" asked Medland of Mrs. Ayres. "Not very often, sir.. 'E was 'ere about three days ago," was the woman's reply. "Mr. Goodrick called 'im Don Mario." The detectives examined the lock of the front door, but found no trace of its having been tampered with. "The assassin must have entered with a key," remarked Medland. "Or perhaps the guilty person might have been in here when the victim came in," remarked the doctor. "Possibly," said Medland. "Yet the chief mystery is the connecting link between this tragedy and the death of Sir George Ravenscourt. Was the asswin one and the ￼ 4ame person?" "Fm inclined to suspect so," remarked the Chief. "Why should Sir George desire that record to be destroyed—unless he feared some evil result?" "What evil result could he feir?" asked Medland. Save that in the terror of his dying moments he did not recollect how much he had written, or the exact extent of the truth which the record contained." "There was evidently some great mystery surrounding this man," the Chief said, pointing to the rigid body. "When you have cleared that up, Medland, the rest should not be difficult. The priest Don' Mario should be seen." "I quite agree," replied the detective, his eyes searching around the narrow, over- crowded room. There's some very remark- able connection between the two crimes. If we are to be successful no word of what has really happened must transpire to the Press. "Exactly. You must arrange that at the coroner's court it must appear a case of suicide. Understand," the other said, turn- ing to the landlady and her husband, "Mr. Goodrick swallowed poison. That is the report we shall give to the world. If the reporters ask you anything, just tell them that it was a clear case of suicide. Then leave the rest to us." "Very well, sir," was Mrs. Ayres' re- sponse. "We'll do exactly as you say, sir. But it wasn't suicide at all." "Of course not. But in order to evado our inquisitive friends of the Press that is the verdict which must be given before the coroner. It will clear the ground for In- spector Medland and his officers. We must find the assassin at all costs. I CHAPTER IV. I YET ANOTHER PROBLEM. Expert detectives that they were, they went to work quietly and methodically, Medland taking charge of the inquiry and directing operations. The body of Goodrick was conveyed up- stairs to the narrow back bedroom and laid upon the bed covered with a sheet, a grim object in the cold grey dawn. Below, the police oiffcers rummaged the littered sitting-room to see if there were any papers which might reveal anything concerning the dead man's friends. Wagner and his colleagues turned over the miscel- laneous pile of antiques of all sorts, from bits of moth-eaten tapestry to fine but tarnished objects in old silver, chalices, cups, reliquaries, and the rest. Coloured prints of value, parchment rolls with big seals attached, old maps and other docu- ments lay about, while upon antique furni- ture, moth-eaten and shabby, were piled pictures, china and bric-a-brac of all de- scriptions, sufficient to stock a fair-sized shop. 'E never went out but what 'e brought 'ome somethink for me to clean up and polish," Mrs. Ayers declared. 'E used to give ridiculous prices for them bits of old cracked china and rusty swords an', daggers an' things. Why, 'e'd think nothink of givin' ten or fifteen. pounds for one o' them old books over there. Sheer madness, I call it!" Wagner remarked that the old fellow seemed to buy anything, whether complete or not, as he held up the centre of the old Sheffield plate candelabra. Then, ignorant that within its fluted column reposed one of Richard Goodrich's greatest treasures, he cast it aside as rubbish. Just after half-past eight there came a sharp ring at the hall door, and a telegraph boy handed in a reply-paid message ad- dressed to the dead man. Medland opened it eagerly and found that it had been dispatched from the Charing Cross office at 7.25, and read "Appeal to you most earnestly to re- consider your decision. When and where can you meet me this evening? I do not wish to re-visit Charlwood Street. "RAVENSCOURT." "Why!" cried the inspector, "here is Sir George, who is dead, telegraphing to his dead friend. I must go at once to the telegraph office and see the original of this message. A dead man has asked for a reply from the dead!" Entering the car again with the Chief, he drove rapidly along Victoria Street and Whitehall, and was quickly in conversation with the clerk who had received the mys- terious message. "A youth about nineteen handed it in," said the clerk. "He was a tall, slim, clean- shaven young man in a dark blue suit." That was all the information the inspector could gather. Therefore, re-entering the car, he called at the house of mourning in Carlton House Terrace, and showed the original of the telegram to Lady Ravens- court, who, terribly broken down, was un- decided whether it was in herhusband's handwriting. The only explanation was that Sir George must have written the message overnight and given it to someone to take to the Charing Cross office. The person in ques- tion had failed to do so until this morning. After consultation with the two police officers on duty at the house, the inspector returned to Scotland Yard, where he dropped his chief and then went to Don Mario's address in Denbigh Street, only to find that be had left his lodgings about ten days before. Mr. Goodrick had called one morning, and soon afterwards the lodger had paid his bill and left. Wagner, his face and hands dirty and his clothes covered with the dust of years, was still busy turning over the miscellaneous i collection of odds and ends. Medland was much puzzled. He could see no connection between the tragedy in society and the one out of it. And yet there was, lie felt, some strange and re- markable connection. It seemed as though the assassin, having killed Sir George, had walked boldly and deliberately out of the house, slamming the door after him, and had then gone to Charlwood Street and there committed the second crime. The police surgeon had, during Medland's absence, made a further examination of the bodv udstairs. and now, on his return, de- scended, and in an eager, strained voice, called him aside. "There's some great mystery surrounding the deceased," he said excitedly. "While I was making an examination I discovered a very significant fact—that his beard is a false one Medland went upstairs and gazed upon the dead white face, now devoid of beard. Then he sought Mrs. Ayres, who was in the regions below. "Lor' bless yer, sir; we knowed that," she laughed. "Mr. Goodrick's wore & false beard theso past six years. 'E was very p iiud of 'is beard, but one day, when 'e wor reading with a lamp 'e upset it, an' all 'is whiskers got singed' off. So 'e went to a wig-makers an' got a new 'un. 'E didn't like to be seen without 'is beard, for 'e was very peculiar like. Sometimes 'e'd alter 'ie features with paint and things." "Then he always wore his false beard?" "Always, sir. I never saw 'im without ft." Medland was a very experienced officer, who had successfully conducted many- very intricate cases, but none, he admitted within himself, had been so full of curious features as the present. He noted many small points which his assistant had overlooked. (To be Continued).
While helping to mooj an airship at New- castle, Flight-Sergt. Johnson was carried off the ground by one. of the ropes, and fell from a height, fatally injuring himself. It was stated at Brentford that the Com- missioner of Police is considering the ques- tion of spare wheels which are carried at the backs of motor-cars so that the number plate cannot be read.
IjiiiiiiiiiiiiimttiiiiiiiiiiuiiiimiiiiiiirMiiuiiiMiiiiimwiiiiiMimiiiiiMiiiMtwmmmimmiiiuummummimmiiMmimiii THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN. = iiN nJ? ?L???? Ji?r??i?L??IiL??Ti??T a. æ. "In all town extensions I would like to see the greatest c&re exercised a = to promote good gardens." -Mr. Prothero. E lifiliffillill III-l-lifill li-lifili fill lfillifilififillirr. Canna (Indian Shot).—Bring th from under the greenhouse stage or frost-proof shed, placing in a glasshouse with a warm, moist temperature. If there is not sufficient soil attached to the roots cover them with a little coarse leaf-mould. Potting is better done when growths have started. ♦ # # Fuchsia.—For beds and borders in summer and autumn fuchsias are indispensable. Though when well supplied with water the plants thrive on a hot sunny border, it is in somewhat shaded positions and the north border where fuchsias are of the greatest value. Hence their suitability for use in town and suburban gardens. Sowing Celery.-A sowing of this vege- table should be made in warmth during March to supplement that sown in February for early use. Flower-pots or pans are use- ful receptacles for the purpose; drain thoroughly and use a light compost; water, to dra i n and allow ample time for surplus to drain away before sowing. The seed being very small, only the slightest soil covering is necessary. After sowing place the pots or plans on a mild hotbed if possible. Keep near to the glass after germination. When the seedlings have advanced sufficiently to handle, prick off into boxes. If they are to remain in the boxes until planting-out time, 3in. apart will be none too much space to allow between the plants. If they are to be again transplanted to a prepared bed or frame, they may be put closer together. » Pruning Hydrangea.—Several kinds of hydrangea should be pruned this month, notably B. paniculata and H. arborescens and varieties, Reduce last season's growth to from lin. to 2in. in length. The popular pink Hvdrangea IIortensLs must not be pruned now, all that is permissible being to cut out thin growths from the base if crowded. Sweet Scabious.—Though strictly speak- ing a perennial, it is found better in prac- tice to raise seedlings of sweet scabious in early spring each year, sowing for prefer- ence in a heated greenhouse. The large- flowering varieties grow some 30in. high. The colours include cherry-red, purplish black, mauve, pink and white; the flowers are very useful for cutting, with long stalks for vase decoration. Tobacoo Plant.—It is -worth while sowing seeds of the Nicotiana or tobacco plant in a greenhouse or frame. In. the absence oi glass, sowing outside is necessary, but the summer is well advanced, before the fi r.t flowers open. The old favourite N. ailiniB, 3ft. high, with its deliciously fragrant I flowers, is indispensable. There are now red- flowered plant6 of this tobacoo known as affinis hybrids, as well as the more vigorous Sander's" Red tobacco, 4ft. or more in height. For a shady border bold plants of N. sylves- tris, 6ft. high, with long tubular white flowers, are worth a place. I Broad Beans in BDNe-The sowing at once of broad beans in boxes is recom- mended to those whose soil is of a heavy nature. Weather and other conditions some- times render sowing in the open impossible; here, then, comes the value of seedlings raised thus and dulv planted out: they will be a fortnight at least ahea d of others. The boxes should be 4in. deep, and a good layer of leaves placed in the bottom, old potting-soil will serve for compost. Set the seeds 2in. apart all ways, about lin. belcw surface. Place the boxes in a cold" frame, and as soon as the seedlings are up com- mence to harden off. Plant out in deeply- dug and liberally-manured soil. Strawberries.—In a general way we do not advise spring planting, but it is not always avoidable. The ground should be dry on the surface at planting time and be made firm. Care must be taken in setting the plants that the crowns arc not buried below the surface. Old Strawberry Beds'.—Where those were given a mulching of manure in autumn they ought to be now lightly forked over. It will be as well to fork any short manure into the alleys without disturbance of the roots. Rake off any strawy material, and at the same time remove diep rooting weeds should these be present. A light dusting of soot, may be given after the beds have been put in order. # Onions in Boxes.—Where the seed sown last month germinated well and the seed- lings are too numerous, use a pointed stick with which to lift the surplus plants and replant them in other boxes, or better stili. in a cold frame. <- Cucumbers in a Small Greenhouse.—Over- watering young cucumber plants in the greenhouse needs to be strictly guarded against, or the plants will be klied. When in doubt, always keep the soil on the <?' side, giving what water is needed early in the morning. in Pot-Larly plant- of these now occupying separate- pots should be watered with great care; ;in extra dose will cause the tops to turn yellow. On the other hand, the cts ot a ei>n.tantly dry soil wiil be seen early in the summer by many of the plants running to seed. Cabbage.—To succeed the ordinary sprin g cabbage, a sowing of one of a small-hearted early variety should now be sov. a under glass. Sow very thinly, using light soil. When Sin. high, prick out the seed lines into a cold frame or in a temporary frame made from an old box; the frame must be in a Bunny position. Tomatoes in Prts.-There is no need to show undue haste in reciting young toma- toes from the fir6t small pots into others three or four times the- size they are now in. This applies with special force when the greenhouse is heated only just enough to keep out frost. Let the pots be well filled with roots before any repotting is attempted, and after potting use careful discretion when watering.
DO CHINESE EAT RICE ? There is a mistaken idea abroad that every inaii, woman, and child n China eats rice every day. As a matter of fact, there are millions oi Chinese living in She n si, Shansi, and North-western China, where rice is not grown, who never have seen or tasted rice. There are millions in the rice-producing sections who cannot afford to eat rice regularly. With these qualifications, it may perhaps be s?.id that rice is the staple article of Iet of the Chinese people, or. more correctly, of the people of Central and South China though, strictly speaking, there is reason to believe that the sweet potato occupies an even more general place in ihe dietary of the people throughout all sections, of China than does rice. The Yangtze Valley is the great cen- tre of rice production. Rice straw is the most common material for the manufacture of paper in China. It also serves as food and bedding for animals, as thatch for houses and as fertiliser. Rice wine, sam- sbu, is made in enormous quantities in China, although the people are not given to intemperance.
Summer time began in France on March 1. Mr. James Kichol, Cranbrook, Kent, a Mutiny veteran, has celebrated his hun- dredth birthday. Three schools were closed owing to the coal shortage at Sheffield, where coal thefts are frequent. Mr. Biron, the Marylebone magistrate, ordered the destruction of 5271b. of decom- posed bacon which had been found by a sanitary inspector at a shop in James-et-reet. Twenty out of forty-two county council divisions in Flintshire are to be contested for the first time, owing to the Labour Party pressing its claims for representation.
11111 liiii liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiill iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii [[[fill[[ [ILI- THE POULTRY YARD. THE POULTRY YARD. I = Helpful Hints for "Backyarders." By COCKCROW. A close watch must be kept upon the birds in the breeding-pall. If you wnntr- and of course you do—to get the best re- sults, .you must see that your birds are maintained in the best condition of physical fitness. You must see to it that the males are healthy and vigorous, and that the hens are also "in the pink." If the occupai ts of the pen a,re allowed to fall below the proper standard of healthy vigour, you can scar- cely be surprised if the results of the hatch- ing season do not come up to your most sanguine expectations. On the other hand, if you have selected your birds with care and treat them well they will do their best for yeu, and present you with strong and sturdy chicks. I ÅN IMPORTANT MATTER. As has often been said, it is a sensible thing to breed from good egg-producing stock. In this respect, however, there are other points to be considered besides that of mere numbers. The breeder of small ex- perience is apt to think that to breed from the hfn that lays the most eggs is the thing to do. Undoubtedly; provided that the eggs are all they should be in quality and shell and size. Not otherwise. Some very prolific birds lay small eggs, or eggs with soft or very small shells. To attempt tn breed from such hens is simply to court failure. They should be avoided altogether, for even if the chicks appear in due time, they will inherit the failing of the parent in a more pronounced degree. A less pro- lific layer should be selected, whose eggs j are satisfactory with regard to shells and size. I No GAIN BY WAITING. Time flies! The hatching season is get- ting on. Breeders will be well advised to set as many eggs as they possibly can this week, and from now on to the end of the month- Remember, you want your pullets to come on to lay in the autumn, and in order to ensure that it is necessary that they should be hatched before the end of April. There is nothing to be gained by waiting any longer, and a week or two in hand. now may make a good deal of differ- ence later in the year. April is often a pleasant month of spring weather. True, it does not always justify the poet's en- thusiasm, but it is generally softer and more balmy than March, and is, on the whole, quite a good month for young chicks. All the same, those breeders who are hatch- ing in Ma/rch a.re something to tho good. The earlier-hatched pullets, provided they are of the right sert, cost less to raise in the long run, and begin to yield a return in le6s time than those that leave their shells later. CHICKS IN THE BACKYARD. I Chickens are the better for having plenty of room, but quite good results may be obtained by the amateur breeder who has only a small confined space at his disposal. He must, however, take all reasonable pre- cautions to safeguard the health of the birds and encourage their development. The chicks will need a good allowance of corn during the first six or eight weeks of their lives, but feeding is a matter which con- cerns the breeder who is not cramped for room as much as the breeder who has more to spare. One of the important points, tc be watched by the back-yarder with limited accommodation is that of cleanliness. The litter in sleeping quarters and the run must be renewed frequently, and the ground forked over every now and then. Exercise is essential for growing chickens, and in cases of close confinement this means that there must be a good supply of scratching litter. Do not forget the daily ration of green food, with plenty of fresh water and grit. And, in order to make the most of the space you have, it will be well to weed out the cockerels as early as possible, to make more room for the pullets. DAY-OLD CHICKS. The existing circumstances suggest that there will be an exceptionally big demand for day-old chicks this season, and that these who make it their business to incubate eggs for the supply of this trade will find some difficulty in filling all orders. There is a tremendous amount of re-stocking to be done (says a* writer in "Farm, Field, and Fireside"), not only to bring flocks up to a more normal level and to re-start the suburban pens that have been unoccupied during the latter part of the war, but there will be the additional requirements of a host of beginners. For very many poultry- keepers, and would-be beginners, the pur- chase of day-old chicks is not only the easiest, but in many cases, the only method i of securing the desired stock. Large num- bers of those who have hens will be short of the required number of broodies, or of suffi- cient birds to supply their incu bators with eggs enough for their purpose, whilst many who have no hens as yet do not contemplate keeping enough birds to justify the purchase of an incubator. There is, moreover, the additional fact that the war-time condition" have tended to reduce the stocks of sitting breeds to a much greater extent than the stocks "of non-sitters. That there will be an ample, and perhaps more than sufficient demand for eggs for sitting may be antici- pated, but the general situation makes it evident that it will be far exceeded by the demand for day-old chicks, and doubtless the owners of incubators who cater for the trade are fully alive to their opportunities. I Is THE EGG FERTILE? "What about tEe hen and the china egg" I was Mr. Gerard's retort when some high and mighty German- remarked that persever- ance was s-ure to win in the end. And, fo far as results are concerned, a hen might just as well sit on a china egg as on an egg bhat is not fertile. It is a simple matter to discover whether an egg is fertile or not. It should be held between the first finger and thumb of each hand before a strong light in an otherwise d?k room. A candle will do, but a lamp specially made for th< purpose is better if many eggs are to examined. If the egg is fertile there will be seen towards the broad end a spider-like form, with blood-vessels radiating from a dark speck in the centre. If the egg it white and thin-shelled, the germ may be visible after two or three days, but it should not be rejected without further trial. After ten or eleven days a fertile egg will be quite opaque.
"What is this man charged with?" de- manded the magistrate. "Bigotry, j u,(Igc replied the officer. "He's got three wives."
I ¡! [! 1 ¡¡ I!I ¡!II I Wi 1111 ill! II 111:11111 ml/mn ? FOOTBALL NOTES I = By "WANDERER." = Sl!llil(illIII!ll!lllllllll!llllll[Illlli:illllllS Like the poor, the problem of the transfer I fee seems to be with us always, For almct as long as I remember it has been a menace to peace in the camp of footballers and football officials. At last, however, a doe- cided effort is being made to arrive at a satisfactory solution. It is proposed to tal:e the- business practically out of the hands of individual clubs and to give to a committee the power to deal with all transfers. If the scheme goes through the player will no longer be at the mercy of his club in the matter of his share of a transfer fee, but that share will be automatically fixed, and will be the player's due unless the particu- lar club can show a good reason why the player being transferred should not. have a share of the fee. I CHELSEA MUST Go BACK. Granted, then, that the First and Second Divisions of the League will to increased, which clubs are likely to be t.aken into the fold? That is where the really interesting part of the meeting conies in. Eight or nine clubs are directly concerned in the voting', and I can assure you there has been much activity in the canvassing line dur- ing the last week or two. First of all, there is the problem of the two clubs to be given a place in the First Division—or perhaps it would be truer to say there is the problem of which club will accompany Chelsea back into the First League. The Stamford Bridge people have simply got to be taken back into the fold of the First Division in order that simple justice may be done. They were relegated as the result of a match which has been proved to have been squared. Hence, to compel CheL-^a to descend into the Second Division would he an injustice | FIVE CLUBS FOR ONE ACANCX. But which club will be taken into the First Division along with Chels-ear There are five strong candidates in the field: Tot- tenham Hotspur—the club which finished at the bottom of the First League at the end of the last normal season—Hull City, Bir- mingham, The Arsenal, and Earnsley, the latter club finishing third in the Second Division in 1914-15. One can never tell which way the voting will go at these meet- ings, or exactly what considerations will sway the voters. Personally, however, I shall be surprised if the 'Spurs are not taken back. They seem to me to have the strongest case. In the iirst place, never in the history of the League has a Fisst Division club been relegated to the Second Divi-sion in a case of extension. There you have a precedent which will carry a lot of weight, and probably mean a number of votes to Tottenham. THE CASE FOR THE ARSENAL. The Arsenal will get seme sympathy, for as a club they have had more kicks than halfpennies during the 1 a -1 few years. They were compelled to move from Woolwich be- cause of the lack of support, and the making of a new ground in North London involved the people concerned in a largo expenditure which has not yet begun to come back in the real sense. But while sen- timent is all very well, I do not quite see how the various clubs will be able to justify voting for The Arsenal in preference to Barnslev. In 1914-15 BarnsW finished third in the Second Division The Arsenal finished fifth. The task of deciding between The Arsenal and Barns'ey may prove such a big- one for some of the chibs that they will shirk it and give their vote to Tottenham Hotsimr. (