BELIEVERS in cremation will derive encourage- ment from the report just issued by the Council of the Cremation Society of England, which shows continued progress of the movement in this country. During the year under review 301 cre- mations have been carried out by the society at Woking, as against 240 during 1899, being an in- crease of 25 per cent. This brings the total number of cremations performed at Woking up to 1824. During 1900, 88 bodies were cremated at Manchester, 16 at Glasgow, and 40 at Liverpool. This brings the totals at these places to 475, 75. and 102 respectively. The recently-formed London Cremation Company has been fortunate in secur- ing an extensive site which will enable them to mate provision for the disposal of the ashes of an immense population for a number of years, and at the same time to create a beautiful place which will remain an open space. A TON of gold is worth £ 125,583. A ton of steel made up into hairsprings is worth 91,576,458-more than 12J times the value of pure gold. Hairspring wire weighs l-20th of a grain to the inch. One mile of wire weighs less than half a pound. The balance gives five vibra- tions to every second, 300 every minute, 18.000 every hour, 432,000 every day, and 157.680,000 every year. At each vibration it rotates one and a quarter times, which makes 197,100,000 revolu- tions every year. In order that we may better understand the stupendous amount of labour per- formed by these tiny works take, for illustration, a locomotive with six driving wheels. Let its wheels be run until they shall have given the same number of revolutions that a watch gives in one year, and they will have covered a distance equal to 28 complete circuits of the earth. All this a watch does without other attention than winding qaee every 24 hours.
MARKET NEWS. MARK-LANE.—The spring corn and root errps are still very deficient for want of rain. English wheat 6d easier, being quite nominal thereat, as the supply available is becoming more nud more reduced on the country exchanges, while next to nothing offers here. White; 29s to 31s; red, 28s to 30s 6d, delivered np. American descriptions are not freely offered, but tend generally 6d lower on the week, while a large number of the cargoes still arriving are ordered off to the Continent. No. 1 Northern Spring, old, _about 31s 6d, landed, and new, 31s No. 1 hard Mani- toba, old, 33s. Hard Duluth. 33s 6d, landed. Hard Kansas, 29s 6d ex-ship, 30s to 30s 6d landed. Australian continues in ample supply, at 29s 6d to 30s ex-ship, and 30s to 30s 6d ex-store, 4961b. New Zealand remains scarce. Hunter's 28s 6d to 29s Tuscan, 29s 6d to 30s, ex-store, 4961b. Russian above buyers' ideas as before, and crop reports continue satisfactory. Ship- ments of flour are on a liberal scale, and granaries are full, while consumers anticipate concessions in the near future, prices being 3d to 6d easier since last Monday. American first patents quoted at 24s to 25s second ditto, about 23s to 24s. cL First bakers. 19s. to 20s; and second, 17s to 18s. Cascadias, 22s 3d ex-store; Hungarian, 28s for best; seconds, 27s 6d. French patents, 21s 3d. English firm. Roller whites, 19s 9d to 20s. Town household, 24s 6d and whites, 27s 6d per sack. Australian patents, 20s to 203 6d ex-ship; 20s 6d to 21s ex-store, 2801b. Grinding barley quite neglected, and against buyers. Persian, 17s to 17s 3d ex-quay: f.a.q. Odessa, 18s 3d ex-ship; 18s 6d ex-quay. Malting not named at present, trade being now over for the season. Shipments of American oats are limited,and a check has been given to the heavy supplies of St. Petersburg, but late ex- cessive arrivals of latter weigh heavily. American mixed clipped quoted at 15s ex-ship. 15s 6d ex-quay; white clipped, 15s 7d ex-ship; 16s 3d ex-quay 401b.; common Rica, 14s 9d to 15s ex-quay 381b. Russian (extra line), 19s 6d and useful, 17s 6d. Black Libau nominal. New Zealand ordinary bluff and sparrowbills, 24s 6d to 25s 6d ex-store 3841b. Maize 6d lower for fiat on the week, and in fair supply. Mixed American, new. 19s 6d ex- ship, 20s 6d landed. Odessa out of supply on landed terms, and nothing is expected temporarily. The market for beans and peas was again abso- lutely featureless, but firm. Egyptian splits, 20s 9d ex-mill. Mazagans, 21s landed. New Zealand, 33s 6d to 34s 6d 5041b. ex-store. Of peas, Maples, 40s to 42s 5041b. ex-store. Victorian duns nominal. Canadian, white, held for 30s 6d ex-granary. Maize germ meal remains scarce for American on spot, being upheld at £ 4 17s 6d per ton. English, £ 4 12s 6d to £ 4 15s ex-mill. LONDON METROPOLITAN CATTLE.- Quotations: Scotch, 4s 6d; Devons, 4s 6d; Norfolks, 4s 4d to 4s 6d; Lincoln shorthorns, 4s 2d to 4s 4d; and fat cows, 3s 8d to 3s lOd per 81b. Irish stores, yearlings, ;E7 10s to ICS per head. Sheep entries were of fair extent, and included 3400 Eastern Counties. With no improvement in the demand, business at late prices ruled quiet for both wethers and ewes; 7 to 8-st.onc Down wethers, 2 5s 4d; 9-stone ditto, 5s to 5s 2d; 10-stone half- breds, 4s 8d to 4s lOd; 9-stone Yorkshires, 4s 8d to 4s lOd; 8-stone Scotch,5s 4d 10-stone Down ewes, 4s to 4s 2d; extreme. 4s 4d; ll-stone half-bred ditto, 3s 8d to 3s lOd. Lambs met with slow support. 5-stone fat Downs, 6s 8d to 6s lOd. No calves were offered. Pig trade slow but steady. Neat small, 4s 2d to 4s 4d per 81b. sinking offal. Milch cows, £ 16 to E22 per head. Coarse and inferior beasts quoted 2s 4d to 2s 10d; second quality ditto, 3s 2d to 3s lOd; prime large oxen. 4s to 4s 2d; ditto Scots, &c., 4s 4d to 4s 6d; coarse and inferior sheep, 3s 2d to 3s lOd second quality ditto, 4s 2d to 4s lOd first, 5s to 5s 4d inferior lambs, 5s 4d to 5s 8d second quality ditto, 5s lOd to 6s 4d and firsts, 6s 6d to 6s IOd per 81b. SMITHFIFLD MEAT.—Fair supplies for which a slow demand prevailed, and only small sales trans- pired. Quotations: Beef: Scotch, 3s lOd to 4s 4d; English, 4s; American, Deptford killed, 3s 7d to 3s 9d; Liverpool, 3s 6d to 3s 8d: Ameri- can refrigerated, hindquarters, 3s 8d to 3s lOd; forequarters, 2s 2d to 2s 4d. Mutton: Scotch, 4s 6d to 5s English wethers, 4s 2d to 4s 6d; ewes. 3s to 3s 4d; lamb, 5s 4d to 6s. Veal: English and Dutch, 4s to 4s 8d. Pork Dutch, 4s per 81b. POULTRY AND GAME. Quotations Fowls' Yorkshire, 2s 9d to 3s 3d; Essex, 3s to 3s 3d; Welsh, 2s 3d to 2s 6d; Boston, 2s 3d to 2s 9d; Surrey, 3s 6d to 4s 6d; Sussex, 3s 3d to 3s 9d; Irish, 2s to 2s 6d; Ameri- can, 2s to 2s 5d; cock turkeys, 5s to 6s hen, 4s to 4s 9d; goslings, 5s to 6s; Bordeaux pigeons, lOd to Is; feathered, 8d to lOd wild rabbits 6d to 8d; tame, lOd to Is each; Australian, 7s to 8s per dozen. Russian: Fowls, Is 2d to Is 6d; ptarmigan, Is Id to Is 4d; blackgame, Is 4d to Is 5d; Manchurian partridges, Is 2d each. BILLINGSGATE FISH.-Salmon, English, Is lOd; Scotch, 2s to 2s 2d; Irish, 2s; Norwegian, h 7d to Is 9d; trout, Is \1cl to 2s; soles, Is to Is 4d; slips, 6d to Is; red mullet. 2s to 2s 6d; dories, 2d to 3d per lb.; turbot, 7s to 9s; brill, 5s to 7s; halibut, 6s to 8s; lemon soles 5s to 7s; plaice, 5s to 8s per stone; large steamer plaice, 35s to 10s small, 4s to 6s per trunk; Aberdeen plaice, 35s; whiting, 7s to 12s; gurnet, 8s to 14s: hake, 10s to 12s; live cod, 10s to 16s; dead, 6s to 10s per box; English mackerel, 10s per 60; steamer haddocks, 4s to 8s per trunk live eels, 15s to 20s; dead, 10s to 14s per draft; lobsters, 20s to 35s per score; crabs, 25s per hamper. WOOL.—Though another week has passed, NO improvement can be reported in this market, and the same unsatisfactory condition of things con- tinues. Growers and buyers are still very much apart in their estimate of values, the former asking rates much above those ruling in the market. Buyers, of course, are guided by the prices offered by customers, and spinners have to refuse business owing to the low prices offered for yarn. Many growers talk of keeping their clip rather than accept these poor rates, but as certain classes of Colonial wool are exceedingly, low, their action will not have much influence on the market. One thing is certainly evident. that very great care will have to be exercised by buyers in order to avoid loss in taking up this season's clip. Downs, 7d to 9d; Kents, 5|d to 6d; half- breds, 6-|d to 7|d. WHITECHAPEL HAY AND STRAW.—Specially- picked hay, 92s to 96s; prime hay. 84s to 92s; inferior hay, 67s to 80s; prime clover, 97s to 102s; good clover, 80s to 95s; inferior, 60s to 75s; prime mixture, 82s 6d to 95s; straw, 26s to 368 per load. CAMBRIDGE CATTLE.—A good show of store beasts, and all cleared. Fat beast, very little alteration in the trade. A fair trade all round for fat sheep. Some good lots of stores to hand, which met a fair trade. Fat pigs a better trade, at more money than last week. Stores a good trade. Hay, straw, and roots short supplies. Prices: Beef, 6s 6d to 7s 6d; mutton, 4s 2d to 5s 4d; pork, 5s 9d to 6s 6d. READING CATTLE. — Beef was in moderate supply, and sold at 4s 4d to 4s 8d per stone for best, and 3s 6d to 4s 2d secondary. Slow trade. Mutton sold at 5s 2d to 5s 6d for best, 4s Sd to 5s for secondary. Lamb trade, best making 6s 4d to 6s 8d, secondary 5s ha to 6s 2d. Veal plentiful and fair trade, at 5s 8d to 6s 2d for best. 5s 2d to 5s 6d for secondary. GRIMSBY FISK-Quotations: Plaice, 5s 6d to 5s 9d; lemon soles, 6s to 6s 6d per stone; soles, Is to Is Id per lb.; live dabs, lis to 13s; dead ditto, 9s to 10s; live codlings, 9s; dead ditto, 7s to 9s; kit haddocks, 12s to 15s; gibbed ditto. 15s to 18s; live ditto, 14s to 16s per box; whitches, 5s; whitings, 2s per stone; gurnets, 7s per box; turbot, 7d to 8d brills, 5d per lb.; live ling, 2s 6d dead ditto, Is 6d; live cod, 4s to 5s 6d; dead ditto, 2s to 2s 6d live skate, 4s to 5s; dead ditto. 3s to 4s each; Findon haddocks, 4s to 5s live halibut. 6s to 8s dead ditto, 4s to 5s English shrimps, 3s 6d; foreign ditto, 3s prawns, 3s 6d per stone; kippers, 4s bloaters, 4s 6d: red herrings, 2s 6d per box; catfish, 15s to 25s live coal fish, 20s; dead ditto, 10s per score: salt cod, 8s per cwt; lobsters, lOd to Is; salmon, Is 8d to Is 9d; grilse, Is 7d per lb; to Is salmon, Is 8d to Is 9d; grilse, Is 7d per lb; conger eels, 2s 6d to 5s each hake, 80s to 100s roker, 15s to 20s; mackerel, 4s to 5s per score; sturgeon, about V.7 each; ice, Is 6d per cwt.
UNCLE JOSH: "Mean to tell me that when I git in a draught and git cold, that cold is caused by microbes ?" Uncle Silas: Of. course It'a Wised by microbes that like to sit in a draught."
[All Bights Reserved.] THE TEMPTATION OF ADRIAN NORREYS. BY JULIAN ASHTON. AUTHOR OF "Love's Reward," "A Spirit's Curse," &C., &c. 4 CHAPTER III. I TEMPTATION AND TRIUMPH. I ADRIAN NORREYS did not go down to Scarborough the next day. Instead of taking the Great North- ern train to York, and thence to the beautiful northern "watering place, he took the London and South Western train to—Teddington. A casual stroller by the Thames that afternoon might have noticed a pleasure skiff slowly drifting down the current, bearing a young couple towards the Teddington weir. The girl sat in the stern of the boat, carelessly dangling the rudder-lines with one hand, and letting the other trail in the water that rippled alongside. She was certainly beauti- ful, yet the face was far from perfect. Pprhaps its chief feature was the pair of great brown eyes, as they looked lazily at you from under the heavily- fringed eyelids. The nose, though well-shaped, was somewhat too large, and the full red lips, which disclosed two brilliant rows of faultless teeth, also erred a little on the point of size. But the figure was suberb-tall, full, and set off to exquisite ad- vantage by the closely-fitting costume, and the attitude of the girl as she leaned back on the well- cushioned seat was graceful and unstudied. Her companion is already known to our readers. Adrian Norreys had ceased sculling, and, negli- gently grasping the handles of the light oars, was moodily gazing on the water. It was plain that his reflections were not of a pleasant kind, and after a steadfast glance at him, his companion burst into a peal of scornful laughter. The proverb says, Marry in haste, and repent at leisure, she said, between the bursts of merri- ment. You look as if you had both married and repented in haste; yet, let me tell you, that I think there are a good many men who would be willing to change places with you, and be the husband of Sybil Clare, the famous actress, instead of thinking it a great misfortune, as Mr. Adrian Norreys appar- ently does." Is it not a misfortune for each of us ? he an- swered. The first attraction of a mistaken impulse has soon passed away, and what is there to look forward to in the long years of the future ?" Upon my word," retorted the girl angrily, if that is not one of the rudest and most cruel speeches that was ever made to me. I am willing to make you a good wife, at least I can but try, and I don't think I am so unattractive that you need feel repulsion or distaste on that account. I've told you that I am quite ready to let our marriage remain a secret until you think a fitting time has come to make it known. What more can you want ? What else can I do ? You married me of your own free will, and certainly you wished it very much, by all appearances. It is not fair to treat me like this, Adrian; it is not justice, you ought to see that it is not. I have done nothing to deserve it." Do you think that that does not make it harder for me ?" he said mournfully. All that you have said is perfectly true. I admit every word. You are not to blame. I have done you a great wrong; I only wish I could undo it. I ought to have waited and seen if time confirmed the feelings I believed were certain to last through my whole life. There is more to be said for a long engage- ment than I thought. It gives the lovers time and opportunity to know each other better, and-" "And to break it off .after months-perhaps years of waiting, and thereby spoil the poor girl's chances of a settlement in life," she interrupted saucily. Thank you for nothing, Mr. Norreys, Oh, you men are selfish creatures indeed. You can always marry: there are plenty of girls who are only waiting to be asked. Not so with us. We have to wait till it pleases some lord of creation' to offer his hand and heart, and if he throws us over after a long engagement, a girl often passes the rest of her life in single blessedness." Well, is that a worse fate than 71 He checked himself just in time to avoid the irritating words than ours." But with a woman's quickness she divined his meaning, and flashed out in anger— How unkind you are, Adrian. You will make me hate you, when I don't want to. I believe you would be glad to get rid of me, I do indeed." Nonsense," he replied. Dcn't talk such folly. But wh&t's that?" and resting on his skulls, he turned half around and looking back, remarked, A steam launch coming up." They were just at a sharp bend of the river, and although the launch was still hidden from sight, they could plainly hear the panting of the engine, and the quick throbbing of the screw as it beat the water. They were the right side of the road," so Adrian gave himself no concern about the ap- proaching boat. But unfortunately, steam launches on the Thames have on more than one occasion proved somewhat reckless of the lives and property of other holiday makers, and the people on this boat, culpably assuming that all was clear, swept round the bend on the wrong side. The instant the steersman caught sight of the skiff right ahead, he yelled a hasty warning which should never have been needed, and wrenched his helm hard over. At the same instant, Adrian seized his sculls, and pulled a des- perate stroke starboard. The combined effort on both the launch and the skiff might have succeeded, though the steamer was carrying on like a tor- pedo-boat, had not Bella completely lost her head in the crisis, and pulled her right hand rudder line. This had the effect of completely neutralising Adrian's efforts, aud whirled the boat right round under the sharp stem of the steam launch. There was a heavy shock, a scream from the woman, and the light skiff rolled over, cut nearly in half, and plunging its two occupants in the cold, deep, swift waters of the river. Adrian was a good swimmer, and as he found himself sinking, felt no fear, but holding his breath, paddled gently with his hands, and speedily rose to the surface. The first sight he could distinguish was his wife, beating the water frantically, and shrieking in terrified accents, Save me; oh, Adrian, save me." Through his mind there flashed the thought, Let her drown." It was a hideous temptation. It was the sin of murder. At such crises as these our minds work with electric speed. It was not so much a succession of ideas which presented themselves one after the other to him it was an instantaneous, completed picture. And it took this shape. Let her drown. You will be rid of the unbear- able incumbrance which now clogs your life and brightest prospects. No one will ever know it was anything but an accident: an accident for which you were not in any way to blame. You are not sure that you are strong enough or skilful enough to save her and yourself both. Why should two lives be lost, when one life-and that the worthier one-can be saved ? Be wise: take the chance offered you. Let her drown." In one second, only one, this leaped through his mind as the lightning spark flies from the cloud to the earth below. Then came a second cry from the sinking woman-" Help, save me, Adrian!" She called his name again; the wife's piteous, helpless appeal to the man who was her husband. He felt the force of that unspoken claim; and, setting his teeth hard, as if to spurn the devil's whisper and manfully bear his fate, he dived after her, caught her dress, rose with her senseless body to the surface, and partly floating, partly sustain- ing her, shouted to the launch for help. It was speedily at hand. Shocked at the mishap they had caused, the crew of pleasure seekers had succeeded in stopping their swift craft, and were slowly steaming back. Eager hands were stretched out, Adrian and his wife hauled over the thwarts, and landed in safety in the roomy boat, which had a pleasant, if small, cabin. Here Bella Curzon (or Norreys) was laid on a sofa, and restoratives applied. She soon revived, and loohed dreamily around. Then, as she became conscious of Adrian's dripping form standing by, her eyes lit up with sudden realisation of all that passed, and her lips parted as if to speak. But she restrained herself, and not even in that moment of gratitude and dawning affection for the man who had saved her, did she betray to the strangers standing around that her rescuer was—her hus- band. ,k CHAPTER IV. "Tis wen to be off with the Old Love, Before you begin with the. new." -Popular Ballad. IT was the day after the river accident, which had nearly ended so disastrously for one of the chief parties in this narrative. Bella, after her recovery, had returned to her home in Denbigh-place, S.W., and Adrian, after escorting her to her house, and satisfying himself that she was little the worse for her escape, took the night express from King's- cross to the North, slept at the Station Hotel York, and went on to Scarborough early next morning. Arrived at that beautiful seaside town, he called a cab, and drove to Norrey's Court, his mother's house. Here, as always, Adrian was received with open arms," which usually meant an en- thusiastic welcome. He was the idol of the home, and if he had not been blessed with a considerable amount of good sense, and, still better, perfect unselfishness, would perhaps have become a very spoilt youth. But one reasou why his mother and sisters loved him so dearly was that he never tyrannised over them in the many ways which a spoiled son or brother is apt to do. His first thoughts were always for others, and the virtue of unselfishness excuses many graver faults than Adrian possessed. He arrived about nine o'clock, and breakfast had been purposely delayed a little that he might join them at that social meal after his long night's rail- way journey. A telegram the previous day had informed them of his coming. Having been in- troduced to Vida MacKeith, the new governess, whom he glanced at with some curiosity, a glance which speedily changed into one of secret approval, he sat down with the rest of his family to the well- spread board. "And what did you amuse yourself with in London, Adrain ?" said Mrs. Norreys, as she poured out and passed to him a cup of fragrant, strong coffee, while Elsie, delighted to wait on her "big brother," stood by him with cream and powdered sugar. Went to the Academy, mother," he replied cheerfully. Shall I send you some trout, or will you have kidneys and mushrooms ?" Grilled trout, please. Were there any striking pictures ?" "No, not one that stood out far and away be- yond the rest. Many good ones, but no 'king of the walls' as in some years." Didn't you go to any of the theatres ?" asked his mother. Adrian paused for a moment befor replying. Love of truth was one thing on which he prided himself strongly. Often, at Cambridge, he had declared amongst his fellows that a gentleman should do or suffer anything rather than tell a lie." Now he had purposely meant to avoid speaking of his visit to the Melpomene, for the subject was distasteful to him; but when challenged by a direct question he could not refuse to answer. I did go to one," he said indifferently. To the Opera?" "No; to the Melpomene." Ah, that is where they are playing Tempta- tion and Triumph,' the famous drama. I read a long account of it in last Saturday's Illustrated London News. It seemed a powerful play from the critique. Did you like it ?" Very fairly. The chief motive of the plot is rather improbable, I think." And what did you do with yourself yesterday afternoon, Ady?" impetuously asked Elsie, who was bent on knowing everything that her brother had said, done, or thought, while he was in town. What an inquisitive puss you are, Elsie ?" laughed Adrian. "Well, I went boating on the river, if you must know. Wasn't seasick, either, I am proud to say." "Seasick on a smooth river," retorted Elsie scornfully. Rubbish. And you stroke of your college boat, too. There would be more danger of your getting upset, Ady." "So I was," he said coolly. "That shows what a wise little sister you are, Elsie You know I have a cold tub every morning. Well, yesterday I had two-one in the morning in my room, the second during the afternoon in the Thames." •' If I did not know that you were a good swim- mer, Adrian," said his mother," I should be rather anxious about it. But tell us how it happened. All right, mother, only it must be with the help of a cigarette. Ah, you women don't know what you lose by not being allowed to smoke." Some of the Highland cailleaches—that is, old women, Mrs. Norreys—" put in Vida, timidly, "do smoke. Up at Ullapool, I have seen them puffing away at their short black pipes with great enjoyment." "Not a doubt of it, Miss MacKeith," replied Adrian gaily, "though I don't envy them the strong black pipe. Now this," holding up a cigarette, "is a way of smoking just coming into fashion. Cigarette smoking was hardly known in England before 1856, or thereabouts. It is generally thought that our officers brought back the custom from their intercourse with their brother French officers, as well as the Russian officers taken prisoners. The seductive habit soon spread rapidly. It is one of the most enjoyable ways of tobacco I r indulgence ever discovered. But you want to hear how I got spilt in the river. Really there's very little to tell. I had hired a skiff at Teddington, and after pulling up stream for about a mile, rested on my sculls for a minute, just round a bend. A rascally steam launch came flying round the corner, on its wrong side of the road, and cut me down before I could get out of the way, though I seized my oar and tried hard to avoid them. I was over into the water, and the boat sank like a stone, but they soon hauled me abroad the launch none the worse." You had a narrow escape, my dear Adrian," his mother said. It was something more than a mere upset, as I thought. The steam launch might have killed you." True enough, mother mine, but all's well that ends well, and the launch didn't carve me like a ttirkey, I don't say like a goose, because it was their fault, not mine. But now let's turn to other matters. What is the programme for this morn- ing who's going to do what, as we say at Cam- bridge ?" Oh, Ady, do be a good fellow, and take us down to the sea. We can't go without you, because some cows have been put into the footpath field, and they do say that one of them runs." Thus Elsie, entreatingly: "Always charmingly vague, as usual, Elsie. Who do you mean by they ?'" Why everybody of course, you stupid brother. But we'll run and put our hats on, and get our spades and sailing boats. Miss MacKeith hasn't been down to the sea yet, and I'm sure she will like it so much." It was certainly a lovely morning for a lounge by the sea. The little bay, which was only about a mile from Norrey's Court, had never looked more beautiful than that day. Under the influence of a gentle sear breeze, the waves of the fast rising tide rolled shorewards with white crested tops, curling over and breaking on the smooth, hard sand in I musical roar. The glory of the sunlight steamed over blue sea, dark rock, white cliff, and yellow sand, seeming to touch them with fresh beauty. There was a delicious salt odour in the air, born of the flying spray, and it was like breathing life and health. Olga and Elsie set vigorouly to work, building a huge sand castle, surrounded by a cir- cular ditch. That this would speedily be destroyed by the rising tide, was the very thing the children hoped for, their only anxiety being to make the construction as large and solid as possible, so that their delight in watching its downfall might be pro- longed. Meantime, Vida and Adrian had seated themselves on a tempting bank of sand, watching the children's merry efforts. What a lovely place this is," said the young girl, looking thoughtfully on the sea. I ought to feel very grateful that my work has been cast in such beautiful scenes." "Well, yes," answered Adrian, between the puffs of his second cigarette. "I suppose you I might have had a berth (as sailors say) in a house I pleasantly situated in some long, uninteresting street; in a still less interesting town. Country and sea combined are certainly jollier. By-the-bye, Miss MacKeith, if it is not presumptuous, I haven't yet caught the name my sisters call you by. What it is if I might ask ?" "Vida," she replied. Spelled V-i-d-a, and pro- nounced Veeder: a rhyme to "leader." I don't wonder you are unfamiliar with it. It is rather an uncommon name. Gaelic, you know." It is a very pretty name," said the audacious young man. Now tell me its meaning. Every name has a meaning. What is yours ?" Vida glanced at him for a moment, then answered quietly, and without any pretence of affection, It means I well-beloved.1" It was now Adrian's turn to look at his com- panion, and with something so marked in his gaze that Vida felt the colour mounting to her face. She rose, and said, I think I ought to go to the child- ren for a while; they will want me. Would you like to see last night's Globe? My brother in London often sends it me. I brought it down to the beach with me, thinking I might have time to look at it here. But please open and read it, if you would like to." Thanks," he said, somewhat absently, as he took the little parcel from her hand. Curious, that paper travelled down with me in the train last night. I didn't get the Globe, but I bought the Evening Standard to read in the train. There was nothing special in it." Vida nodded, and turned away to join Olga and Elsie. Adrian lay still in the semi-luxurious attitude he had taken, gazing rather intently after her. Deuce take it, how pretty she is. Her eyes are perfectly sweet, just like a fawn's; and one can see goodness shining right out of them. She has all the fearlessness of perfect innocence, one can see; and has no more idea of flirting than a saint. How did the mother come to pick her up, I wonder ? What a contrast to Bella, with her bold beauty f Oh, what a fool I was. I shall have to pay dearly for that madness some day. Well, I'll stave it off as long as possible; poor mother will be fearfully dis- tressed about it. If they only knew who was up- set with me in the river yesterday, it would be confoundedly awkward now. But I managed that narrative cleverly. Yet how I abhor having to tell only half the truth." His eye fell on the folded, enclosed paper in his hand. He opened it slowly, and glanced at the inside sheets with great indifference. But sud- denly his eyes dilated widely, his fingers closed savagely on the paper as he saw under the heading of Latest Intelligence "— "GALLANT RESCUE OF AN ACTRESS.—This afternoon as the famous actress, Miss Sybil Clare, now playing at the Melpomene Theatre, was boat- ing on the Thames at Teddington, in company with a gentleman, the craft in which they were, was run into and capsized by a steam launch, which, it is said, wilfully neglected the rules of the river, by coming round the bend at Grass Point on the wrong side. The London stage would probably have sustained an almost irreparable loss if the gentleman had not devoted himself with the most admirable courage to rescuing his fair companion, whom he supported in the water till the launch could render assistance. We are glad to state that Miss Clare was little the worse for her immersion, and sustained her usual part in the play, I Tempta, tion and Triumph,' now being performed at the Melpomene. The name of the gentleman who was fortunate enough to render this inestimable service to the theatri- world is, we understand, a Mr. Norris." And this is her paper," said Adrian, bitterly. I cannot, I dare not, destroy it. I must return it to her. What shall I do ? The tragedy is coming off sooner than I thought. I can't stop it. Let it come. I have deserved my fate, and at least I can meet it like a man. But my poor mother. Ah, here is Miss MacKeith coming back. Well, I will say nothing till she does. Silence is still perhaps my wisest plan. But I never gave a thought to this getting into the papers." (To be continued).
A SAFETY EXPLOSIVE. I Maximite the new high explosive invented by Mr. Hudson Maxim, whose inventions must by no means (says Science SIftings) be confounded with those of Sir Hiram Maxim, has received its final test. It appears to be the most remarkable ex- plosive ever known, not only as to rendering power, but in stability, effectiveness after pene- trating the heaviest modern armour plate, and in safety to the persons who use and handle it. A 12in. armour-piercing shell, weighing 1000 pounds, was filled with 70 pounds of maximite and fired with a regular service charge of powder at short range through a 7in. plate of Harveyised nickle steel armour, the kind that is used on the best modern warships. The shell passed through the plate without exploding. The object of the Iv test was to determine whether this new explosive would withstand the shock of impact and the high degree of heat produced by impaet and penetra- tion. Maximite stood the test perfectly. Up to this time no other explosive than wet gun-cotton had ever been successfully fired through a platt of this j thickness. The substance does not deteriorate, and suffers no chemical change. The ordinary heat test is a temperature of 160deg. Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, but maximite has endured this temperature for two hours without any appreciable change. Maximite is a Government secret. Not only is the formula a secret, but the explosive is based upon an entirely new theory of detonation, and this theory is also kept secret. Lyddite, or fused picric acid, is so sensitive that it cannot be successfully fired through armour plate of any considerable thickness. It is hardly fair to speak of maximite as having an explosion point from heat, because if heated very greatly it will evaporate like water, and can- not be exploded by boiling. A storehouse filled with maximite and set on fire would not cause an explosion. It is one of the safest explosives to handle. It is no more dangerous than ordinary coal, unless a large quantity of fulminate is ex- ploded upon it in a tightly-packed shell. Maximite is a clayey-looking substance of yellowish-white colour which looks almost like mud.
THE President of the United States, who I receives a salary of £ 10,000 a year, must pay for all the food consumed at the White House; and the expenses of getting up an elaborate State dinner are not small. Cigars and wines the President buys, and they must be of the best. He has to maintain his own equipage. The Govern- ment, however, allows him a valet, also a clerk, who opens all his letters. All other personal ser- vants must be engaged by the master and mistress of the White House. THE Duchess of Bedford is an enthusiastic sportswoman, and so excellent a shot that during one season, when she fired3325 cartridges, two out of three were effective. As an angler, too, her Grace is almost equally expert. She also practises photography, and takes an interest in nursing and philantrophic pursuits generally. Devoted to her animals, she has quite a menagerie at Woburn. A SINGULAR fire occurred at a dwelling-house in Holly-street, Nelson. Underneath the parlour window was a dresser upon which was a glass globe, which, it is supposed, became so heated by the sun's rays that it ignited the window-curtains, the flames extending to the dresser, which with its contents and the curtains were destroyed before the fire was extinguished. There was no fire in the parlour grate, nor was any person in the room where the fire orginated. MR. HUGH HOLE, the son of the famous and genial Dean Hole, of Rochester, has returned in good health from South Africa. Hole was one of the first C.I.V.'s, and recalls with pardonable l pride the fact that he got 20 recruits for the corps who averaged 6ft. in height and over 40in. in chest measurement. Hugh Hole himself did something to bring up the average, for he is all but 6ft. 6in. in height and broadly made in pro- portion. Moreover, he has genuine ability, and a broad sympathy with his fellow not to be acquired in the schools. 1
BLOSSY'S BIRTHDAY GIFT. Blossy was five years old that wintry morning, and her birthday gift was a coral necklace with a diamond clasp-a pretty trifle, and a costly one, for Blossy's father was an extremely wealthy man. Mounted on the cushion of a velvet chair, the dainty little lady surveyed herself in the great pier mirror, clasping and unclasping the necklace about her dimpled neck with all a child's delight over the possession of a new toy. The voice of the footman from the hall attracted her attention. "No, sir," he was saying, emphatically, "nothing here for tramps or beggars. Take yourself off." I'm not a tramp or a beggar," replied a plaintive voice. "I never begged before in my life; but my mother's so sick, and the baby is freezing "N 0 matter-they all tell that tale. Be off!" cried the pompous footman, and the hall door closed with a bang. Blossy hopped from her perch like a spar- row, and was at the front window in a breath, pressing her rosy face and golden curls against the plate glass. It was snowing, and a bitter wind was blowing, and down below on the marble steps a little boy stood, sobbing as if his heart would break. Blossy could just see him through the glass, and her sapphire eyes dilated with childish wonder. She dropped her pretty corals, and tugged with all the might of her two fat arms at the heavy sash. Up it went at last, and the snow came whirling in, almost taking away her breath. But Blossy did not mind the snow; she faced it bravely, and, leaning out, peered down at the little wanderer below. Little boy, what's the matter ?" The child, shivering in his threadbare garments, and dreading to go forth into the winter storm, started up in amazement at the sound of the little bird-like voice. Looking up, framed like a rare picture in the lofty window of the grand London mansion, he saw Blossy's face and flossy curls. Little boy," she cried again, what do yow want ? what makes you cry ?" I am hungry, and my mother's sick, and we've no money to buy anything to eat, and the baby's freezing, 'cause we've got no fire," sobbed the little boy. Blossy's pearl-white brow contracted in a thought- ful frown. What could she do to relieve the little sufferer? Her child's heart was tenderly compas- sionate. If papa only were at home! But he was off to his business in the City, and Blossy's lady mother, lounging in her elegant boudoir, with a Frenchr omance in her hand, was not the woman to take an interest in a street beggar. Blossy's childish instinct told her this; she had no idea of applying to mamma. A dim thought of making a raid on the pantry and the coal-bin filled her curly head, and with an emphatic, You wait, little boy," she bounded down from the window. The coral necklace, glittering on the Turkish rug, attracted her attention. She caught it up with a cry of childish delight/and flew back to the window. Here, little boy," she cried, this is my birth- day gift, and papa said it cost ever and ever so much do you run and sell it and you'll get heaps o' money, and then yoAr mother won't starve, and the baby won't freeze," And down through the white, whirling snow flashed the jewelled necklace; and fell tinkling on the marble steps at the boy's feet. He picked it up, and raised his eyes in a bewildered way to the sweet face above him. Run," said Blossy; run, I say, and sell it, and buy something for your mother. You may have it, and welcome, and I know papa won't mind." She heard the nursery-maid approaching, and beat a hasty retreat, leaving the windew open, and the snow drifting in; and the little boy below, not knowing what else to do, closed his cold, Drown fingers over the costly trinket, and ran home with all possible speed. The merchant's sumptuous dinner was over, and he sat in his princely drawing-room, with the even- ing paper before him. His wife, in her satin and jewels, reclined upon a silken divan. Blossy came tiptoeing down from the nursery, and put her sunny head in at the door. Papa, may I come in ?" Why, yes, pet," replied the merchant. I've been expecting you this last half-hour." "No," interposed her mother, from her divan Blossy's in disgrace. What do you suppose she did to-day, my dear ? She gave that lovely neck- lace to a beggar-dropped it from the window to a common street beggar! She's enough to drive one insane. Go back to the nursery, you naughty child!" The merchant arose, and, going to the door, took the child in his arms. Now, Blossy," he said, resuming his seat, tell papa all about it." She hid her face in his bosom, sobbing bit- terly. I didn't mean to be naughty, papa indeed I didn't," she said. The little boy cried so, and the footman put him out, and he said he was so hungry, and his mother was sick, and the baby freezing, and I had nothing else to give him, and I was sure you wouldn't mind." And I don't mind. You are a good, generous little girl," exclaimed her father, kissing her tear- wet cheeks; and papa loves you for it, and will buy you another necklace." "Now, then," cried the mother, in rising wrath, what's the use of my authority ? You oppose me, and uphold that child in all her obstinate ways. I won't put up with it. The idea of tossing jewels to beggars, and you encouraging her! I will not put up with it!" "Hush, wife," said the merchant, soothingly. Don't blight the child's best instincts as they are cropping up. Let her alone." The indignant lady went rushing from the room, and at the same instant a servant appeared in the opposite direction. I beg your pardon, sir, but there's a lad out here who will insist on seeing you. I've done my best, but he declares it's important, and won't go." Show him in," commanded the merchant. And in a breath a little boy entered, his well- worn hat in his hand. I've come, sir," he began at once, his brown eyes clear and fearless, and extending a little par- cel to the merchant as he spoke, to return this, and to beg you not to think bad of me. The little girl here," his fine eyes lighting as they rested on Blossy, still perching on her father's knee, "threw it down to me this morning, and told me to sell it, and buy something for my sick mother. I didn't think about it, and ran off home, but mother made me see how wrong it was to take it, and I've brought it back, and I hope you won't think bad of me, sir." Blossy made a swift clutch at the package, as she slid from her father's knee. You shan't!" she cried vehemently, crowding it back into the lad's hand. You shan't give it back! Papa says he doesn't care, and I want you to keep it." Wait, Blossy," interposed her father. You shall keep your pretty necklace, and we'll give your little friend something more available. Here —give him this." He drew out his purse, and took from it a bank note which Blossy pounced upon eagerly, and put in the boy's hand. His fine sensitive lips quivered, and a mist dimmed his qlear eyes. I thank you, sir," he said; it will be a fortune to my poor mother. But," he added, hesitatingly, I'm not a beggar-only I couldn't see her and the baby suffer so. If you would let me work-if there is anything I could do. I'm a handy boy, sir, if I do say it myself." The merchant's keen grey eyes softened. So you would like to work for it, would you ?" he said. "Very well; come to my place of busi- ness to-morrow morning, and we'll see. Here's my card; can you find the place, do you think ?" Oh, yes, sir; there's not many places in London that I can't find!" Very well; come at ten-ten o'clock sharp. I like boys to be punctual." All right, sir-a thousand thanks to you, and the little girl, too." Blossy pushed forward and put out her dimpled hand. Good-bye, little boy," she said; be sure you get your mother plenty of supper." Twenty years after that wintry evening a great financial failure shook the commercial world, and some of the best London firms toppled and went over. With the rest was the great London busi- ness owned by Blossy's father. He failed utterly, The City warehouse, the grand London mansion, the plate and jewels, and horses and carriages, all went, and Blossy and her father retired from the gay world as poor as the poorest struggler that walked the streets. Her mother had died a year or two previous, and Blossy alone was left to com- fort and support her invalid father. For some time his health had been failing, and this sudden loss of all laid him prostrate, an old man whose mind and body were alike enfeebled. A rare and radiant maiden was our little Blossy —the sweet bud had bloomed into a peerless flower. Bravely enough she met her grave respon- sibilities, uttering no word of complaint, betraying no sign of weakness or dispair. Her first step was to dispose of her jewels and whatever valuables she possessed, in order to raise funds sufficient to take her father to the seaside. She let them all go-all her pretty girlish orna- ments-and the old coral necklace, with the dia- mond clasp, was among them. She went down to the seaside with her pool father, but the salt-laden air did not invigorate him he sank perceptibly day by day, and one sul- try summer night found him dying. Blossy sat by his bedside in the little cottage she had taken, all her golden hair put back, her white, worn face full of an unutterable sorrow. Life looked very dreary and desolate to the friendless girl. It will soon be over, Blossy," panted the old merchant, "and I should be willing enough to go. but for you. Who will comfort you and take care of you, my poor little girl ?" Blossy choked down a bitter sob. Never fear for me, dearest father," she mur mured, dropping kisses on his cold brow: 1 am young and strong, and Heaven will help me." A tap at the door interrupted them. and Blossy. upon opening it, faced a tall and handsome gentle- man. He bowed deeply before her. I must beg you pardon, Miss Ross, for the un- timely intrusion. You have forgotten me, no doubt; but your father, my oldest and best friend Blossy uttered a sudden cry, and put out both her hands. "I know you now," she cried, "and papa has talked of you incessantly. I am so glad you have come." She led him to the bedside. The old merchant looked up, and his dim eyes lit with joy. Why, Howard, my boy!" he exclaimed have you come-and at the very hour of my need ?" The young man sat down, and took his old friend's hands in both his own. It required but a few words to tell his story. From the position of errand boy in the great London warehouse store he had gone straight up, and now he was the junior member of the wealthy firm, and had just returned from Calcutta. Arriving in London he had heard of his old benefactor's misfortunes, and had lost no time in following him to the seaside. But he found him beyond all moral help. My days are numbered," said the old merchant, solemnly. I am willing to go, only for Blossy- who will care for her." The young man's bronzed cheeks flushed, and his handsome eyes grew eager and wistful. Mr. Ross," he said, his voice unsteady, she shall never need a friend while I live. And," he added, hesitatingly, "if I might hope that she would ever come to regard me as her nearest friend! Oh, sir, since that wintry morning years and years ago, when I stood in the snow, a poor tittle beggar, and she looked down upon me like an angel, and dropped her pretty jewel at my feet— since that hour, sir, I have loved her. Her sweet i face has been the one inspiration of my life. The, hope that I might be found worthy to win her re- j gard has been my incentive in all I have aeeom- plished. If you will permit-if she will—I will promise to shield her from all sorrow and care." Blossy, little daughter, what do you say to this ?" Blossy was weeping, with her face hidden in the pillows, but at her father's call she put out her hand. He took it, and placing it within the young man's, clasped them closely together. What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder," he said, solemnly. My children, may the merciful Father bless you. Now I can die in peace." And a few hours later the old merchant's soul took flight, and hand-clasped, the newly-plighted lovers kept their solemn vigil by the dead.
MR. STODDART'S TEAMS IN AUSTRALIA. Mr. Stoddart has issued the following state- ment to the Press: Having regard to the recent discussion which has appeared in the Press, I feel that it is desirable that I should make a short statement of the circumstances under which I took out my two teams to Australia. The diffi- culty is that there is so little to tell. Both my teams went out to Australia purely as the guests of the Melbourne Cricket Club and the trustees of the Sydney ground. The invitation coming in this way, there was no question of making terms, but it was understood by me that this meant that the two clubs would pay all travelling ex- penses and hotel bills exclusive of wines, cigars, tips, &c., as in the case of former teams. I was, however, left a discretion in the matter of order- ing champagne for the teams at the expense of the promoters when I considered it necessary, and with the weather we experienced there this was almost a necessity, and the discretion was exer- cised by me freely but wisely in the best interests of our health and cricket. We were also shown tinbounded hospitality both by the clubs and private individuals but, to make it more clear, to imagine us the guests of any private gentle- man, or playing country house cricket in England, and to remember our incidental expenses were heavy would be the best light from which to judge us. No payments or allowances of any kind, direct or indirect, were made to any members of the teams except to the professionals, who were paid accord- ing to their written agreements sums by no means disproportionate to their services. Each amateur member of the team had to pay a considerable sum out of his own pocket, varying no doubt with the means and tastes of the individual, but in no case, I believe, less than £ 100. I hope this plain statement of the exact facts will dispel the absurd and absolutely unfounded rumours which have grown up by degrees out of a curiosity which is perhaps not unnatural, but which has fed on the somewhat unnecessary reticence of those princi- pally concerned in the matter. The accounts of my two tours I have never seen, and had no right to see, but the whole of the very large profits which were made were received by the two clubs who were our hosts, and no part of them reached the hands of any member of the teams."