-====.. Maidstone was thrown into diarkness by the failure of the electric supply, and the trams were at a standstill from, the same cause. There were only seven charges to be dealt with at Tower Bridge Police-court the other day, and the Clerk observed that if cases went on decreasing in this way they would have to get a pair of white gloves ready for the magis- trate. x k, ••• •
OUR SHORT STORY, HER LAST REQUEST. It was a very pretty drawing-room" and it looked bright and cosy with its cheery fire, while outside the wind was blowing furiously round the snug little house, and shaking doors and windows and rustling among the climbing ivy as though angry at not being abla to sio more mischief. The lady sitting in the low chair, gazing dreamilyadi the glowing coals, did not seem to 'be affected) by the brightness of the room, for her eyes were full of tears, and the tender, mobile "mouth was quivering as if with some inward pain. Suddenly she heard the click of a latch-key in the street-door, and hastily wiping away all traces of tears, she went into the hall to meet her husband. "Well, little woman!" was his usual greet- ing; and the- Elsie Raynor was folded tightly in her husband's arms, a proceeding he never omitted after his day's absence in the City. Well 1" she answered, smiling brightly back with loving pride on the tall, manly figure1. "Is dinner ready? I hope so, for I am hungry enough to eat you, only you are so very nice to look at it would be a pity." "It would, indeed! especially as dinner is just going in, and you can satisfy your appetite and admire me at the same time." "Just so. I'll be off, then, and get rid of a little City dirt." And he sprang up the stairs, whistling a merry tune. Elsie sighed as she looked after him. "He is so happy now," she murmured, "I dread asking him. I could not bear to be refused; it would be too dreadful." Gerald made short work with his dressing, and was soon sitting opposite his wife at the daintily-spread dinner-table. "Any news?" he asked, after the first rapid clink of knife and fork had somewhat subsided. Not much. Mrs. West called, and I-I have had a letter from Maud," Elsie answered, glancing at her husband to see what effect her words had on him. Indeed with sudden coldness. I should like you to read it after dinner, Gerald," his wife went on, speaking quietly, though her heart throbbed .quickly, for her sister Maud's name was a tabooed one in their household. "You must excuse me, my dear; I would really rather not." Gerald and Elsie had been married four years. During the first twelve months of their married life Elsie's only sister, Maud—they were both orphans-had lived with them. Gerald had been very fond of bright, wilful Maud. She was much too pretty, he had said, to go out v governess, and had insisted on her living with them, and very happy they had been until, three's years before, she had eloped with Gerald's cashier. Gerald's anger was d«ep and bitter, though grief at the unhappy girl's probable fate predominated, especially when, in a few days, he found defalcations in the cash to a. large amount. Though crediting Maud with inno- cency regarding the money, he vowed neither should ever darken his doors again. The shock had caused Elsie to have a. long illness, which made it harder for Gerald to forgive, and never since had he mentioned Maud's name to her sorrowing sister. When the dessert was on the table, and they were once more alone, Elsie left her chair, and knelt down by her husband's side. Gerald, dear," she said gently, "will you not let me read this letter to you? It concerns us both very nearly." Gerald threw back his head with an impatient gesture. Very well," he said, coldly Elsie took a. soiled, crumpled note from her pocket, and read, her voice almo.st inaudible, the following:— Elsie, dear sister,—Ere this reaches you I shall be at rest. Yet once more I ask your for- giveness. God knows I have been punished for my wicked deceit! Soon I shall be beyond all earthly help; but, oh, Elsie! for the sake of old times save my child, my pure little Daisy! What her life will be if left to her father's care. I shudder to think; what mine has been, I shudder to tell even to you. In pity, then, and for mercy's sake, save my child! Oh, save her from her mother's fate !—MAUD. There wa-s a painful silence, then Gerald said, sternly- "As she sowed, so must she reap. I will have no child of that scoundrel's in my house!" Elsie uttered a sharp cry of pain, and then lifted her face, white with emotion. "Gerald." she said, hoarsely, it is my sister's child too. Oh, let me have her, dear, dear husband If left to his care she will bo ruined. I will not!" he said, in a voice so hard and stern that his wife trembled. I tell you, Elsie, every time I looked at the child I should think of its parents' sin." "But it is not the child's sin," she pleaded. HOh, Gerald, think of it! A little, tender, pure vhild, left to the guardianship of such a man And you—you might save her if you would." My dear Elt=;e, I have decided. The child shall not come here; so, please say no more about it." I did not think you could be so hard, Gerald. You have so often wished for a child." Yes. one of our own, not the daughter of a felon. You had better leave me, Elsie, or you will make me angry, and I don't want to quarrel with my little wife." And he drew her to him, and ldssed the tearful face very tenderly. cc There, run away, my darling. I have impor- tant letters to write." Gerald eat looking into the fire after his wife had. gone. thinking sadly of the blighted Iifeso soon sinking into an early grave. Poor girl!" he muttered. So young and fair. If you had only trusted us in time you might have been saved from this." It was a stormy night. The wind blew in 1 fierce gusts, and the rain and sleet beat down pitilessly on the heads of the unfortunate pedes- trians who were obliged to brave i.t. Gerald Raynor was struggling on through the nuiddv street's, on towards the bright little home and his 'wife's tender smile of welcome. As he (turned the. corner of a street he stumbled over some object lying on the ground. Stooping over it he saw it was a woman, young and fair, and at a 'glance he saw she was quite dead. He lifted the heavy head to a resting-place on his arm. Her ragged dress scarcely covered the once beau iftil, but now shrunken limbs, and her wide- t open eyes had even in death a look of wild despair. With a sigh of pity Gerald parted the tangled lhair from the cold brow. Though soiled and stained with the impurities of the streets, it vet curled round the white forehead like a halo. Surely none but one could have such hair and eyes ? A crowd had gathered round, and many recog- nised the dead girl. "Sure enough, it's Daisy Hampton," said one. "A short life and a merry one, and this is the end of it. Av, she was a boirnie lass, though." "This is how they most always do end," said another, a kindly-looking woman. "Poor thing she might have been different if she d had some- one to look after her. Gerald's heart felt bursting. Was this, in- deed, the little white flower his wife had said he could save, if he would? And now now it was too late. She was lost, perhaps for ever, and it was his fault? He might have saved her, and he would not. Then a policeman lifted up the body of Maud g child. A stretcher had been brought, and they were going to take it to the dead-house. How carelessly they lifted her. Surely they had never heard or read Hood's soul-stirring lines "Take her up gently, Lift her with care Fashioned so slenderly. Yo-ing, and so fair. "All that remains of her Now is pure womanly." With a sudden, sharp cry of agonised re- morse, Gerald sprang to his feet. Why, surely he had not been dreaming? Where was he? Was the wild night, the dead girl on his arm, the crowd around him, all, all a phantasy? a crea- ture of his imagination? It was indeed a wild night, for the windows were shaking violently, and the rain was beating against the glass. All else was but a dream. 'The fire had nearly ex- pired. Only one faint name. shone fitfully, and cast weird shadows over the room. "Only a. dream?" he murmured, passing his hand over his bewildered head. "Yes, I see it now. How wonderfully real it was." And then, with sudden resolution, he walked into the draw- ing-room, where Elsie was still waiting for him. She looked up with a faint smile, showing a face swollen with crying. "Where is Maud's letter. Elsie?" "Here, dear," with startled surprise, taking it from her dress pocket. Gerald looked at the address, and then con- sulted his watch. "It is a dreadful night, darling. Would it hurt you to go with me?" "Go with you? Where? Oh ,Gerald, are you going to Maud?" "Yes, my darling, but we have no time to lose. I will explain all as we go. Run and pack up a few things, and I will send Jane for a, cab. I can see my blind selfishness now." 'S -r-if • A week later Gerald and Elsie returned to their home, bringing with them a little fair- haired child of two years, whose blue eyes had fairly taken captive Gerald's heart. Poor Maud had gone to her rest in perfect peace, and con- tent at the last, her hand clasped in her sister's. Her husband had left her. and was gone none knew whither, so that Gerald and Elsie, had no opposition to the adoption of little Daisy. She has been the delight and pride of his home for many long years now, and Elsie often speaks with thankful tears of Gerald's dream and the happi- ness it brought them.
MONKEY AS BURGLAR. Ã Montmartre policeman rose out of his bed, when he was violently assaulted on the head, and looked for a burglar. He could find no one. He went to sleep when he had bound up his head, and was again wakened by the water-jug being thrown at his face with a well-directed aim. Then he found that a monkey, which must have entered by the open window, was grinning at him from the bed hangings.
FIELD AND FARM. I THE BAEVEST. Already the early harvesters have had three or more interruptions to their work through rain. This is not surprising (says the "Agricul- tural Gazette") after such a drought as that of July in the country generally, and after three dry months in some divisions of it. But we have noticed in the great majority of seasons that rain has occurred shortly after the begin- ning of harvest in the early districts. In an average of seasons, moreover, August stands -second or third in respect of rainfall at both London and Rothamsted, and probably this is the case in the country generally, or at least in the southern half of it. It does not follow that there are usually many rainy days in August, as the rainfall occurs frequently in heavy storml, which are quickly followed by fine weather. But in the monthly averages in London August stands next to October, while at Rothamsted the sequence is October, November, and August, Julv being fourth at both places. Already at some stations August has supplied a great deal more rain than occurred during the whole of Julv. In reference to cut corn crops this has been unfortunate, although at present we trust they have not been seriously injured. But the downfalls have been of such immense benefit to root crops, pastureg, and second growths) of clover and mixed seeds that they have done more good than harm. It may now be hoped that a good plant of white turnips will be ob- tained on a large acreage where swedes failed, and- this will have a, grea.t effect upon the food supply for live stock. We must hope now, how- ever, for generally dry weather, as harvest is becoming general over the greater part of the United Kingdom. AFTER THE RAIN. Hindrance to the work of cutting and har- vesting corn by showery weather is always a source -9f anxiety (writes a correspondent of the "Agricultural Gazette"), and the general ripe- ness of all cereals at the early period of the first week of August tells us that every day of delay brings with it more or less waste. One of the troubles inseparable from a self-binder is the difficulty of making satisfactory progress when the surface soil is moist and sticky, although the corn growing on it is dry enough for binding in sheaf. It is true that even land of .stiff textur,e. cannot be called wet, nor is the surface unable to bear the pressure of wheels because the sub-soil is saturated by rain. Nevertheless, many pirecious hours are cur- tailed from active work in the case of a self- binder, which would be available in case of a scythe or even a. light reaper not furnished with the additional weight of a binding apparatus. In all other respects except progress in the cornfields, the breaking up of the drought is an unmixed benefit to farmers. The particularly serious absence of growth, both on grais6 land &nd on fields planted with turnips and cabbage, was threatening our supply of keep for present use, and also for the needs of the coming winter. And, grateful as the recent rainfalls have been to our desert-like pastures and stunted green crops, their recovery from drought is not yet much in evidence. The arid condition of what, by only a figure of speech, can be called after- math, even in meadows cleared of their hay in June has been so suggestive of complete loss of life in the turf that a full bite of autumn grazing seems to be out of the question. On oidpastures of immemorial age there is, happily, a far more rapid recovery, and the eager crop- ping of the first shoots of green grass by live stock tells us how long and hard has been the trial of the summer drought. We have to go back many years in order to recall a time in which, during the long weeks which follow mid- summer, dairy cows have required so much help from artificial foods. It has always seemed to the writer unwise to restrict either a dairy herd or a grazing herd solely to the grass which is naturally produced. More often than not there comes a time in the summer when land upon which there is a full head of stock in an aver- age season is temporarily unable to give such a supnlv of grass as is necessary to keep up the output of milk or meat. FARMERS AND INCOME TAX. i A return relating to income tax, issued as a Parliamentary paper, gives £273,102 as the amount charged in Great Britain under Sche- dule B for the year ended on April 5, 1902, when the tax was Is1. 2d. in the pound, as com- pared with £ 9.611,362 levied under Schedule A, £ 2;544,130 under C, zC23,808,362 under D, and £ 2,914,208 under E. The total Ts £ 39,151,164. It is only quite large farmers who are liable to income tax, if they have no income apart from their farms, as the rent must exceed £480 to make one-third of it outside the limit of ex- emption. A farmer rented at P-600 is liable to be charged with income tax on only £ 40, namelv, on £ 200 less £ 160 of abatement. If it were not for some farmers owning the land they occupy or otherwise having income de- rived otherwise than from the farming of land, the sum charged would have been even less than it was. I MARKET-GARDENING NOTES. I There is not a more luscious or finely- flavoured fruit in cultivation than the straw- berry, says Mr. W. W. Glenny, in the "Agricul- tural Gazette," though it is not capable of ,being kept in perfection many hours after gathering, and therefore its reign is but short, (unless we contrive to grow the earliest and the .latest, and so prclong a season which otherwise -would be soon over. Exceptional weather tends to limit the duration of fruitfulness, and still further curtail the brief time of 'bearing. A backward spring, followed by drought in May, had the effect this year of deterring the growth of foliage, and diminishing the develop- ment of bloom, thus the yield from strawberry plantations was deficient. Probably those 'for- tunate growers who had a fair crop found it anore remunerative on account of the limited eupply. All the strawberries we require in Great Britain ought to be raised in the country, for, <being a soft fruit, they are less convenient to pack and more liable to damage by excessive beat or wet. Many French strawberries this season have been sold to flavour Italian cream, as unsuitable for table use, because they were moist and sticky. At all events there seems a good market for first-class fruit, if true to variety and with characteristic flavour. Then comes the importance of planting a choice kind, not perhaps the last novelty which may have been shown at any recent horticul- tural exhibition, but a recognised variety which is suitable for gardener's \("'k popular among consumers and buyers; one that by-experience proves itself adaptable for market purposes. Strawberries can be raised from seed, and there are gardeners who give much attention to this pleasing occupation, seeking to discover some treasure that shall surpass all known kinds. But the practical grower seeks to avail himself of a kind or kinds that have qualities favourable to field culture, and that are of ,known excellence. With this object in view, he prefers to take his young, plants from the parent roots thus he ;perpetuates the good characteristics of a, valu- able variety instead of seeking to introduce new varieties. In the strawberry the leaf-bud has the power of developing roots, if removed from the parent, and may thus form an independent structure. It is by separating the buds, and by placing these in circumstances favourable to their growth, that any particular variety may be •propagated more certainly than by seeds. 'Even whilst attached to each other, the leaf budB not unfrequently become really independent of each other and of the 'parent; the leaf buds, which are formed at the end of the runner or creeping stem, of the strawberry, send down roots into the soH, and' thus absorb their nourishment directly from it.
GARDEN GOSSIP. I (From the "Gardener.") I Five Fine Phloxes.—The Phloxes in seven gar- dens out of ten will prove to be the same colours, probably iiie same varieties, which is surely a Pact to be regretted. Few gardeners know that chaste, extra fine, most artistic of varieties La Framee, the blossoms of which are a genuine pearl grey with a white centre. Grown be- side the cerise, white centred Pantheon, whieh sends out side spikes of blossom, as well as the centre one, La Framee will form one of the love- liest possible border groups. For a real violet Phlox, bright in colour and fine in flower, I should choose Ouragan; there are many better known purples, but they are either dull in colour or approach the magenta shade of the commonest kind of old fashioned garden Phlox. Eugene Danzanvilliers is not as rare to find as are the three named above; it is a lilac blue, white centred, and very cool and pleasant in effect; it is an exceedingly dwarf variety. Among all the white Phloxes that are so valuable- for bor- der adorning or for gathering, I know of no creamy white that is all round excellent, except Eden, a variety that is but lift. tall. A good buttonhole rose is Alister Stella Gray, a variety of semi-climbing habit. The flowers are produced in immense, but not crowded, clusters at the ends of the shoots, and if taken in the bud state are excellent for making ladies' sprays or gentlemen's buttonholes. At this stage they are a pretty cream colour, with a centre of bright apricot, and are so small and compact that four or five can be worn in the coat without transgressing the canons of good taste. The Chinese Meadow Rue.—One really needs an inspired pen to do justice to tile beautiful Chinese Meadow Rue, Thalictrum Delavayi, in a mere description. It is the very best of its race, and when widely known not a garden of any account will be without it. It is of slender growLii, reaching a height of four to five feet; the stems are like those of the Maidenhair fern in colour and thinness the foliage also is lika the iVxaacteiiiiair fern, but even more elegant, and of a French grey tint below, whilst tho drooping, bell shaped, mauve coloured flowers are borne in elegant sprays like those of Cle- matis recta. The slightest breeze, swaying them to and fro, gives a shimmering effect to the clusters of yellow anthers that hang in pretty tassels from each mauve dome. A better plant than this can hardly be desired; it is worth hundreds of the tender exotics grown nowadays for cut sprays of flower and foliage. Several growers, I learn, experience difficulty in its culti- vation, but I have had no trouble in growing it well in a more or less damp soil, fully exposed to the sun. It commences to flower early in July, and continues throughout August, being more lasting than the bulk of Meadow Rues and in- finitely more beautiful in blossom. < it Top-dressing.—This is most beneficial to Chrysanthemums, as it brings to the roots fresh, suitable food just when it is particularly wanted. The roots have been busy in the soil and ex- hausted the ,supplies of nutrient matter, and ad- ditional quantities must be forthcoming to keep the plants in proper progress. Liquid manures are excellent, but even they can scarcely take the place of a top-dressing composed of equal parts of turfy loam and well rotted manure, to which may advantageously be added a small proportion of bone meal. The surface of the soil in the pots must be perfectly clean before the top-dressing is applied. A depth of two inches answers admirably. < Dahlias.-The plants are now rapidly advanc- ing into flower, and will demand constant atten- tion. One of the points that is sometimes over- looked is the examination of the supports and ties; with the expansion of growth these are apt to become too tight, and unless relief is given they do considerable damage. The plants must have abundance of water during dry weather, with supplies of liquid manure accord- ing to judgment. Kelep a sharp look out for insect enemies, dislodging them before they secure a firm hold. Spinach.—In light soils a late sowing of spinach seed may be made. The usual way is to sow between rows of peas but ialthougli this practice may be carried out in the summer, it would not answer for the late crop. The latter must be raised on a, warm border, and the rows of plants fully exposed to sunshine and light from a young stage. The ground, also, must be rich. If it has not been manured recently, put in a plentiful supply of well decayed dung and thoroughly mix it with the soil all over the space to be cropped, not merely where the rows are to be. Draw out shallow drills about two inches deep and two feet apart. If the weather is dry and settled, pour water into the drills before sowing the seeds. Cover the latter with dry, not moist, soil. In a few I days the seedlings will appear, when they should be thinned to about four inches apart. Rapid growth is essential, and this will be secured by following the above instructions, and water- ing occasionally with clear water and liquid manure. Mushrooms.—Mushroom growing is a, most interesting occupation. Moreover, it is a very profitable one, but many amateurs are afraid to venture a beginning because they fancy they will not succeed. The season for mushroom growing is now approaching. It is not neces- sary to always use a shedr to raise this tedible fungus, as beds formed in the open air are often quite as profitable as those made up in specially constructed houses. The material used must be of a heating nature thus stable manure and sweet leaves' are the best. All material used must be prepared in due course, as it would not do to put it haphazard into a heap and then insert the spawn, or failure would probably be the result. Every morning collect the manure from the stables, spread it out thinly in an open shed, and' add fresh manure to the old, mixing it all together and turning it over every other morning. In this way the rank gas is expelled, and the material is prevented from burning, and, at the same time, sweetened. Shallots.—These will now be quite ripe enough to take up and store. When the tops wither and turn yellow all growth ceases, and harm would result if the bulbs were kept in the ground afterwards. Place the shallots on boards in an airy shed, or outside when the weather is fine, as a gradual drying is more 'beneficial than a forced one. The value of shallots lies chiefly in their weight and solidity. Immature bulbs would not possess these qualities, but those let to ripen and then gradually dried and stored would. < Bulbs.—Pot up the earliest batch of these as soon as obtainable. Narcissi of the Paper White and Double 1-tomen classes, Roman Hyacinths, early Tulips, represented by the Van Thols, Proserpine, Pottebakker, and Chrysolora, are all suitable. Corms of Gladiolus Colvillei and its white form should be placed in five and six-inch pots these latter do not need plunging, but all those named before them do. Cyclamens.—A few seeds of these may be sown thus early, in fact it is doubtful if the main batch is not better sown now rather than in November, as usually advised. I have found it wise to start them in a close, shaded frame in- side a house. Great heat is not needed, indeed this should be avoided as tending to dry the Boil too much. If this takes place during the process of germination, there will be small pro- spect of raising these plants from seed. The Crested and Butterfly forms are interesting, and should be included wherever Cycla.mens are grown in quantity. « Gloxinias and Achimenes.—-As these plants go out of flower gradually withhold waiter until they are dried off. For a time a sunny frame will suit them, but it is useless to try to ripen the corms properly if they are exposed to heavy rains.
—————————————————— NEW KENTISH DISH. BRACKEN AS DIET. As a result of the. statement as to the value of bracken as an article of diet, Kentish farmers are discussing the possibilities of obtaining a marked for another, and as is claimed, infinitely superior substitute for asparagus, namely, the heads of young hopbine. In the country districts of Kent hop-heads are largely eaten, when in the early part of t'he season the superfluous shoots are cut away from the plants. They are said to make a delicious dish, and it is believed they possess certain highly beneficial properties. At the right season a large supply of hop-heads could be guaranteed if there were a market for them.
— THE PLACE FOR FARMERS. The Royal Commission on Immigration ap- pointed by the Government of West Australia has just reported that the area. within which wheat may be grown in that colony amounts to 148,000,000 acres, or nearly double the size of the United Kingdom. Not only are the farmers' staple products numerous," says the Royal Commission, but they are high in class his wheat, his wool, his lambs, his fruit, and his wines can all be pro- duced fit for the world's best markets, and, owing to the fine. climate, they may be produced under few natural difficulties."
BATHING BURGLARS. Burglars have tastes. They have their own little idiosyncracies in pursuing their avocation, as witness the case of James Cooper, who has just been committed for trial at Belfast on charges of burglary. It was Cooper's weakness for cleanliness that brought him into the hands of the police. He was paying a call at a certain house, but, being adverse to front doors, he made his en- trance via the ash-pit. The consequent effect on his appearance com- pelled him to have a bath preparatory to start- ing operations." Unfortunat-ely the house- holder discovered him before he had finished his toilet. In another case against Cooper the bath formed a preliminary to his burgling activity.
WOMAN WHO LED A CHARGE. Mme. Julienne Jarrethaut, who was a, vivan- diere in the Franco-German war, has just died in Paris. At the battle of Ablis she saw the captain and both lieutenants of a company fall, wounded. Putting herself at the head of the 120 leaderless men, she led a charge which resulted in the, cap- ture of sixty Germane. For this and for the conspicuous part she played in the defence of Chatea-udun, where che served out ammunition under the fire of the enemy's guns, Mme. Jarre- thaut was decorated with the Cross of the Legion of Honour.
EASTERN COUNTIES PLAGUE. I There is a veritable plague of "harvest bugs" throughout the Eastern counties1. Chemists say that the demand for carbolics, ammonia, pre- ventive soaps, and other known remedies is un- precedented, and physicians state that the worry and loss of sleep caused by the irritation created by the little insect have turned an otherwise dull sea,son into an extremely busy one. Nine out of ten people in the country towns and villages—particularly in Essex—are victims, and the question of remedies is the only thing one hears discussed. In many cases the attacks of the harvest-bug have been so serious that the sufferers have had to be swathed in cooling bandages and put on the sick list.
Thirsty and hungry to the last limit of their I endurance, some distinguished-looking travel- lers struggled into a farm-yard, and requested the rosy-cheeked dame to prepare them dinner as quickly as she could. Leisurely she placed an appetising meal on the table, but they hesi- tated to touch it, because of the dubious condi- tion of the plates and jugs, which looked as if they had been accumulating duet in some ob- scure corner for a quarter of a century. That's Aunt Keziah's crockery," said the dame proudly. It's lain untouched in her box for twenty years. I got it out in your honour." Thank you very much," said one of the ladies, but— but would you much mind washing it first?" Why, to be sure, honey," the dame re- sponded. I should have done that before, but my son, who's a footman in London, allers, give me to understand that the more dust and cobwebs there was on your bottles and things, the more you aristocrats enjoyed drinkin' out- of 'em!" A prosperous country merchant, who had installed a telephone near the front door of his shop, one morning stepped up to the trans- mitter to answer a call. Just at that moment a small farmer, who had never seen a telephone before, came into the place and inquired: "Wanter_ buy any eggs?" The merchant, who was intent upon getting his message, gazed abstractedly at the farmer and shouted into the telephone, "I can't hear!" "Wanter buy any eggs ?" shouted the farmer, in a voice that made the windows rattle. Still unable to hear the man who was at the other end of the wire, the merchant again remarked, this time without locking at the farmer: "I can't hear you! Speak louder!" For the third time the farmer spoke, roaring out his previous question so loudly that passers-by stopped and asked what was the matter. This had the desired effect. Tl&e merchant left the telephone, forgetting his call, and', turning savagely on the intruder, shouted: "No! I don't want .any eggs The farmer smiled, and as he went out was heard to remark softly: "I never did see one o' them deaf fellers but I could make 'em hear if I only let myeeif out."
NATURE NOTES. I THE CAUEL CAN'T SWIM. The camel cannot swim. Extraordinary though it sounds, the moment this anuual loses its tooting in a stream it turns over, and makes no effort to save itself from drowning. MISTAKEN FOR BISONS. In the great Arkansas Valley there grows a curious weed. In shape like a round ball, it varies in size from one foot or less in diameter to five or six feet, some specimens being quite as high as a. man is tall. it grows upon a small stem, which is, however, stout enough to bear the mass till it has ripened and dried, when a puff of wind will blow it over and snap the slender support. With every gust it then rolls away across the prairie, bounding over bushes and rocks, -such is- its elasticity and lightness. When a strong wind blows, the spectacle of a large number of these tumbling weeds is most amusing. MADE FROM A LEAF. The tailor bird of India, a tiny yellow crea- ture, makes a most curious nest. To escape snakes and monkeys, this bird takes a dead leaf, flies up into a tree, and with a fibre for a thread and its bill for a needle sews the leaf to a green one hanging from the tree the sides are sewn up, an opening to the nest thus formed being left at the top. The leaf apparently hang- ing from a twig would never be taken for a nest. PAID TO KILL VIPERS. The official viper-killer of France has a dress composed of 900 skins of venomous reptiles. He receives a small payment for the head of every viper he destroys. The viper when at rest is not easily observed, since, by mimicry, it assumes the colour of the ground or rocks of tne locality that it inhabits. DOGS AS POLICEMEN. Most of us have heard of the dogs employed in Continental armies, "the dogs of war as they have been called. As scouts and sentinels dogs are, of course, invaluable. Belgium, how- ever, has recently gone a step further by em- ploying dogs in the police force. These animals are taught by means of dummy figures made up to resemble as much as possible the thieves and dangerous characters they are likely to meet. to -say, an immense amount of care and patience is needed in training of this kind. But the dog detectives are very intelli- gent, and when thoroughly trained rarely make a mistake. When attacking a wrongdoer they speedily drag him to earth, after which they molest him no further, unless he. attempts to escape, in which case he is likely to be badly mauled. The dogs- wear steel spiked collars, to which are attached official badges. In addi- tion, each is provided with a little brown water- proof coat for use. on stormy nights. Each dog accompanies a policeman on his nightly rounds, and walks the regular beat with him. The crime in the particular districts patrolled by the dogs is said to have shown a marked decrease since the advent of the canine constable. LIVING UNDER ICE. How does a- fish contrive to live in an ice- covered pond into which no air can enter? This question has puzzled many. Says a iiatiirilist The matter troubles the fish but little. In Siberian or American rivers they catch fish through three or more feet of ice, and find them in capital condition, too. Yet the fish must have air. How does he get it? It is in the water at all times, plenty of it. You may dis- cover its presence by allowing water slowly to ceeome warm in a vessel of tin or iron. The air, which is held in the water very much as water is held in a sponge, is expanded bv the heat, and may be seen gathering in small bubbles attached to the surface of tho vessel. A fish needs very little air, for he has very little blood, and this is sufficiently oxidised by coming in contact with air in the water forced through his gills. If you take a fish Trom his element you will observe his gills to re-dderi suddenly. This is due to the rapid oxidation of the blood. The fish is killed by excess of air." THE ENDURANCE OF DOGS. Dogs and wild animals of the canine family are remarkable for their quickness and staying powers in running, as everyone knows. A fox- terrier, for example, will follow his master's carriage for hours, with no signs of fatigue. Wolves will travel sixty miles in a night. Nansen saw arctic foxes on the ice nearly five hundred miles from land. Eskimo dogs can travel forty-five miles in five hours, according to an authority, who relates that he once drove his dog-team seven miles in half an hour. A Siberian doz. on good ice, will draw about eighty pounds. Ordinary domestic dogs, at full speed, run at the rate of from thirtv-three to forty-nine feet per second; setters and pointers about eighteen and a half to nearly twenty-two miles per hour, and they can maintain this speed for two, or even three hours. Foxhounds, are very fast, and in a recent trial one of them beat a thoroughbred horse, covering four miles in six and a half minutes. Greyhounds can run at the rate of fifty-nine to seventy-five feet per .second. Horses, however, cannot exceed sixty-three feet per second. PLANT WITH MANY USES. The magi^ey plant, which is cultivated ex- tensively ire Mexico, can be put to many different The Indians make a rough sort of cloth, working with it as with cotton or any other textile, plant. Out of its fibre they make many different sorts of stuffs, and all these without the add of modern appliances. Besides from the juice of maguey is made a sort of 'liquor called mescal, much liked by the natives, "and said to be. very effica,cious in certain maladies. From the. same maguey juice the well known pulque is made, which is to the native what beer is to the. German and cheal) red wine to the French labourer. A splendid quality of paper is also made from the fibre of uus plant. MAGNET SANDS. There is a flat strip of land less than a mile long on the south-western coast of Norway which has long been notorious for the number of ship- wrecks which occur there each year. There seems to be nothing in the shape of the coast r no dangerous rocks, no mysterious currents in short, nothing to account for the fatalities to vessels which occur there. Quite recently a scientist lias found that the sand along this strip of land is strongly magnetic owing to the admixture of magnetic iron ore. At a distance of three miles from the shore the ship's com- pass showed a deviation of a whole degree from its true position. The cause for the frequency of shipwrecks is most obvious in the light of this discovery. A GIANT OCTOPUS. An octopus, measuring eleven and one-half feet from tip to tip of its tentacles, attacked a diver in Cape Town Harbour recently. Knives and hatchets had to be used to cut the, tentacles of the monster away from the diver. AUTUMN COLOURS. The green matter in the tissueis of a leaf is composed of two colours, red and blue. When the sap ceases to flow in the autumn the natural growth of the tree is retarded and oxidation of the tissues takes place. Under certain conditions the green of the leaf changes to red; under dif- ferent aspects it, takes on a yellow or brown hue. The difference in colour is due to the difference in combinations of the original constituents of the green tissues and to the varying conditions of climate, exposure and soil. Slaoles and oaks have the brightest colour. J: WORLD'8 GREAT FORESTS. The crown forests of Russia comprise 30,000,000 acres belonging to the Czar and 303,000,000 farmed by the national exchequer. The Czar employs 27,000 wood police, who cut 12,000,000 tons a year, chiefly for firewood. Twenty years ago woodcutters in the United States felled timber covering 10,000 daily, but this whole, sale destruction brought about such serious evils tha't of late measures have been taken, both by public authorities a,nd private persons, for pre- serving existing trees and woods and for exten- sive planting where the ground is bare of timber.
WOMAN'S WORLD. l A FEMININE FAULT. The fault of nine out of every ten; women is that they have &t. natural inclination to stoop, evidently in order to appear less taU. As a matter of fact, the tall woman who stoops when standing or walking with a shorter person does not take the fraetion of an inch off her height. On the contrary, she emphasizes her inches and makes herself look awkward. It is necessary that a tall woman should learn not to be conscious of her height. The mere knowledge that you are above the average height makes you feel awkward, which proves that the very first thing for a tall woman to learn is to forget about herself, and help to keep from impressing her height upon others. Of course, it is so much easier to be slumpy ° than to be graceful. But the tall woman who carries her height well will after a time cease to think about it, and the more natural her attitude when standing or walking the less attention she will attract on account of her exceptional stature. More can be accomplished by dressing suitably, however, than by any other means to produce an appearance of graceful proportion. Broad shoulder effects, and low, wide hats, take away from height. A tall woman's dresses should always be made to suggest breadth, while it is easier to decrease the height by wearing low-heeled shoes than to increase it very much by the aid of high ones. By such simple little devices as low heels, ankle-length dresses and hair done low in the neck and perfectly flat on top, it is quite possible for the tallest woman to make herself quite perfect. THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENT, That which surrounds us forms our character. If we live in the midst of filth we cannot keep it secret. The world turns its knowing eye on us, looks beneath the surface, sees our inner selves, our degraded minds and our cold, cruel hearts. If we live sur- rounded by the beauties of life, the world knows., too. Our hearts grow kind and sympathetic and our thoughts high and pure. We all know that, this is true. Then is it not our plain duty to surround our little children with every lovable, uplifting thing the world affords ? Is it not- our duty to ourselves to surround ourselves with everything which will refine our thoughts- and help to form within us an admirable character ? We owe it to our children, to ourselves, and to society. Probably the purest and most beautiful things on earth are flowers. Can you not imagine a character grown in the midst of the garden of flowers ? Flowers are uplifting, they are purifying. They strengthen and refine. They are awe-inspir- ing. If you cannot understand this, it is because you have not had enough of life's soft, dainty elements around you, and your mind is not suscep- tible to tender things. ? ? HOME, THE REALM OF WOMAN. Home is the habitat of woman., In the home, all that is charac- teristically feminine in woman unfolds and flourishes. Home without woman is a misnomer, for woman makes the home, and home is what she makes it. If she is illiterate, her home partakes of this quality if she is immoral, her home cannot be the abode of virtue; if she is coarse, refinement. does not dwell where she resides. If she is cul- tured, pure and refined, these qualities will cha- racterise the home which she creates. The higher the degree of her culture, her purity, her refine- ment, the more will these qualities characterise the home of which she is the centre. The self that woman takes with her in her marriage is her real dower. If her dower can be reckoned iu numerals only, no matter how many they may be, wrecked, indeed, will be her husband, impover- ished her children. But if she possesses industry, self-abnegation, purity and intelligence, combined with capability, she is in herself a treasure of treasures. ? I TABLE APPOINTMENTS. The hostess who lays her table with a quantity of silver must be sure that all other appointments are in keeping with the pre- tenuous display of silver, and this, in itself, has Vbl deeper meaning than most people would believe. With the many new and unique examples of forks and spoons with which the modern dining table is arrayed a man or woman who has lived out of the world for a few years would become much mixed when he or she contemplates the divers curious articles. There is the cheese scoop, the cucumber server, the asparagus server, the fish server, the berry fork, the cold meat fork, the butter spreader, the salad server, the salad fork, the orange spoon, the oyster fork, the corn fork, the chop fork, the ice cream fork, the bouillon, spoon, the olive fork, the soup ladle, the cake I knife, the bonbon spoon. Table silver of every descripion has never been in greater vogue than at the present hour. The best public proof of this is the cases upon cases of silver displayedl in the shops, and especially those houses that make a specialty of table service. Soup tureens, vegetable dishes, entree dishes, those for puddings, cakes, fruits, bonbons, besides the tea and eoSee services and a hundred other accessories, are all in evidence on the table of elegance. THE GIRL WHO FASCINATES. It is not always the prettiest girl' who is the most fascinating. The pretty girl is attractive to the eye, but when one comes to talk with her it often haunons that. she is little more than a doll, lacking culture of the inind. If girls could have their choice of qualities, most of them would choose beauty rather than mental gifts. And there is a reason for this, for the pretty girl rarely has to exert herself to charm. Yet it is true that the girl favoured with beauty is not always the popular girl by any means. Just because she is pretty she is apt to become careless in her speech and conduct. She relies too much on her beauty. Men are attracted by her looks, and want to meet her, but they quickly find out that she ha-s little more than her pretty face, and they soon tire of her. The plain girl, on the other hand, feels that she must offer some enduring- attraction, so she cultivates her mind. She always thinking of herself, but she knows that she must wear her clothes neatly if she wishes to look well, whereas her pretty sister feels that she can be slovenly and careless in her dress, and some- times regardless of the wounds she inflicts by rude conversation. DISCONTENTED WOMEN. Discontented women are always egotists. They view everything with regard to themselves, and have therefore tho defective- sympathies that belong to low organisations. They never win confidence, for their discontent breeds-4. distrust and doubt, and, however clever they may naturally be, an obtrusive self, with its train of likings and dislikings, obscures their judgment, and they take false views of people and things. For this reason it is almost a hopeless effort to show them how little people generally care about their grievances, for they have thought about themselves so long and so much that they cannot conceive of any other subject interesting the rest of the world. ? How TO KEEP YOUNG. This is how one woman keeps young: eats three warm meals a day at regular hOIl..¡;¡. and as often as possible two of them before midnight. She takes fifteen quiet minutes in a darkened room after luncheon. day with a cold bath, followed by a glass of cold or hot water. She IS areful to spend at least half an hour every day m the open air. comfortably r^es where can wa^ Me distance She doesn't waste her vitality in superfluous and energetic talking. She is neither self-centred nor family-centred, but has a few fresh outside interests to keep her alive" and thoughtful. She never lets herself moan over the past, nor worry about the future, but makes the best of the present and keeps sweet and cheerful.
If ,a:'man smiles and looks pleased when you pay him a compliment, pay him another one. In time you may be able to borrow money from him.