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than in other countries-it blue and fresh and keen, with seemed to me that in the long- dew sparkling upon the grass, run any compromise would and strings of sparkling cobonly expose us to renewed and webs on the bushes-the last aggravated persecution. It swallows flashing through the would be an admission of help- olear air, and an early thrush lessness before Sinn Fein. trying his voice amid a chorus Moreover, it might encourage of robins. The ugly threat of men of Horgan's type to firearms which had haunted follow his bad example and me all night seemed to melt stir up similar trouble in other away into the region of utter places. impossibility. I sat on a fence, with the horses exploring the pockets of my overall for sugar, and felt convinced that, in the long-run, all Horgan's plans would be frustrated.
When I told the Head Constable that I could not bear the thought of giving in, and that I meant to urge my people to hold out at all costs, he said I was quite right. He had been ordered to put the worst possible consequences before me, but secretly hoped we would be firm, for the sake of showing Horgan and his confederates that they could not intimidate us.
I felt very glad he had spoken to me first instead of to my people, for it would only have worried them, and to no purpose. Yet when I thought matters over that night, it was dreadful to realise that I had, on my own, refused to consider the possibility of compromise, and decided on a course which might entail loss of life.
However, the matter settled, and there was nothing for it but to go on.
Next morning I got up very early, and let myself out of the sitting-room window. The police were at the other side of the house, and did not see me. I made my way up to the fields, feeling very free at being unguarded for once! It Was a perfect morning-all
Before long Mrs Flavin appeared. On catching a glimpse of me between the thorn-bushes she gave a start, for, being short-sighted, she thought Horgan or his friends were lying in wait for her. She went back into the bohereen, and then reappeared armed with a big stick, her face set and grim. You can fancy her relief at finding me, instead of, possibly, an armed Sinn Feiner!
I explained that I wanted to learn to milk, and when we had driven the cows down to the yard she gave me a lesson. I did not get on well that morning, but after two or three attempts there was deoided improvement. However, in a few days Mrs Flavin pointed out that there really was no need for me to learn.
"They'll not stop me coming to milk unless they take a gun and shoot me," she said,
It just shows what determination can achieve. In spite of endless threats from Horgan, that old woman never
missed a day, and is still going on quite undisturbed.
Another week or two went by, and Horgan and Leahy finding themselves unable to starve or terrorise us, sent word they were placing the matter in the hands of the solicitor of their union. A few days later it transpired that the union had refused to help them. The solicitor told them they were "d-d fools," and had no case-thus proving the Sinn Fein origin of the whole business, which the police and Flavin had throughout insisted upon.
However, the two men still refused to leave their houses, so in due time the eviction took place. Leahy, whose Bolshevik mood had been succeeded by a deep depression, went quietly enough, but Horgan was very truculent. He told the Head Constable that he and his friends would picket the place for a year, and give us no peace day or night, and that he was going to pitch a tent at our gate and live in it to his dying day! He actually went as far as to light a fire on the kept grass just outside the gate and make a gipsy encampment, but next day the weather suddenly turned cold, and he disappeared. I hear he has not troubled to look for another situation, for having abundantly proved his hatred and malice towards loyalists, he expects shortly an influential
(and lucrative) post in the government of the Irish Republic!
After the eviction things became much easier. There was no more tampering with our water supply; the glen stream was never again diverted from its course, nor the cateh - tank drained and filled with large stones and mud. Every day I had the satisfaction of finding the beasts in their own fields, and, what I appreciated most of all, the water-tubs were untouched. For some time before the eviction they used used to be tipped over and emptied an hour after I had laboriously filled them. These were mean little annoyances, and made one laugh sometimes simply because they were so petty, yet they added considerably to the day's work.
The police remained at Gortnacool for some weeks, and still come out occasionally to see how we are getting on, though none of the worst threats have materialised, and indeed the boycott has gradually evaporated.
Things are scarcely normal yet, but the shops send us food; and, best of all, the laundress has decided she can receive our washing without risk of instant death.
There is one serious sting left. The manager of the Dunreagh coal store is & prominent Sinn Feiner, and refuses to give us any coal.1
1 Since writing this the manager has been arrested and deported, and loyalists are revelling in the good fires they ought to have had during the winter.March 1920.
For weeks past we have been wearing outdoor clothes in the house, and shivering over inadequate turf fires. The coalcontroller will not allow us to shange our dealer, or we might be supplied by Messrs Xa loyalist firm in Inchbeg.
Now that things have quieted down, I have learned why the plain-clothes Head Constable was so insistent upon police protection for us. The farmers' wives in the neighbourhood tell me that Horgan went round all their houses with red flags, urging the men to accompany him to Gortnacool and demonstrate. He told them such proceedings were becoming fashionable everywhere, and that the time had come to
"down the quality" and clear a way for the Irish Republic!
Whether, in the main, this programme was altogether distasteful to them I have not discovered. It is evident, though, that they resented the idea of carrying it out at the bidding of a comparative stranger like Horgan, and one and all say it would be unthinkable so to treat "gintry who were rared in the neighbourhood."
According to the women, every one far and near prayed day and night that the devil would take Horgan and Leahy and put them in his choice place!
For my part, I heartily echo that prayer, and would like it extended to include all Sinn Feiners.
THE strength of the red tape by which the ordinary European official is bound is proverbial. But its strength is as a piece of cotton compared to the anchor-ehain of the latest Dreadnought when placed side by side with the deep, dark, blood-red material which fetters and binds the limbs, the very brain, of the Indian babu. He lives for it, he dies for it. Can we blame him? Who has taught him to shiver with fear at the thought of the setting aside of a single letter of the "Regulations"? They have no spirit, these "Regulations." They are there in black and white.
This red-tape disease takes a very virulent form in some of the smaller Indian postoffices. I was once talking to a babu postmaster on a Sunday morning. The office had closed a few minutes previously. A very tired youth came in and asked for a farthing stamp. He wanted it for a post-card which he was sending to his mother, who had gone off on a pilgrimage. He had come in a distance of some five or six miles to get his stamp. "Come to-morrow; the office is closed to-day," said the babu. On the table in front of us were numbers of stamps of the required amount, and I pointed out to the babu that it would give him no trouble to hand one over. It
was useless; and the answer to all my remarks was, "It is contrary to the 'Regulations.' Rather than infringe those terrible "Regulations," he would send the unfortunate youth back to his home without his farthing stamp. Luckily I had one myself, which I handed over to him.
Now for my story of how we got round the "Regulations and outwitted the babu, though we nearly caused his death in doing so. X and I, in the course of a shooting trip in the Himalayas, came across a main trade route along which ran a line of telegraph- and postoffices. Before starting, we knew that we should strike this road somewhere, and had left instructions that our letters should be sent to Jhatri, a place twenty miles north of Doraha, where we had joined the road. They were to await our arrival at Jhatri up till a certain date, and if not taken delivery of they were then to be returned. We settled ourselves comfortably in the small resthouse at Doraha, and then preceeded to the post-office to inquire if there were any letters for us. The office was a dark, stuffy little place, and we did not intend to stay in it a moment longer than was necessary. Little did we guess what a long sojourn we were destined to make there. The babu was
a small fat man, aged, rather deaf and blind. He was the personification of the "Regulations." They oozed out of him from every pore; they were written across his face; they shone from his eyes; his fingers twitched them as he spoke. On first acquaintance you would have described him as rather a pathetic sight. He had grown old in the service of the "Regulations." When we knew him better we used many adjectives to describe him-pathetic was not one of them. We told him our names, and asked him if any letters for us had gone through to Jhatri. "No, Sahib," was the answer; none have gone through." We were just going away when a thought struck me, and I said, "I suppose there are none here, waiting to go through, are there?" After a few minutes' hesitation he said, "Yes, there are three." We at once exclaimed, "Well, why on earth didn't you say so?" and asked him to hand them over. He retorted that it was quite impossible, and for some minutes the only reason we could get was the fact that it was contrary to the "Regulations." Oh these "Regulations"! We could hardly keep our hands off him. We were hot and rather tired, and it was almost impossible to keep one's temper. I should have liked to have seized and shaken him, stamped on him, beaten him, and squashed those "Regulations" out of him. But such behaviour, in these modern days, would
bring quick retribution. Visions of being recalled from leave, appearance in the courts, fines, and stoppage of furlough-all floated before one's brain, and we had to be contented with telling him merely a tithe of what we thought of him. We raved and swore, cajoled and entreated, threatened and bribed, all was useless. He merely stood and blinked at us, twitching his hands, and occasionally oracking his knuckle-joints. His only retort was, "They are addressed to Jhatri, and to Jhatri they must go. You must go to Jhatri to get them, Sahib."
Our route lay in the opposite direction to Jhatri, and we did not intend to accompany those letters for twenty miles along a very uninteresting road, take delivery of them at Jhatri, and then tramp twenty miles back again. We determined to get possession of them somehow. Then an idea came to me. It seemed a solution of the difficulty. I said to our friend,
Supposing I send a telegram to the postmaster at Arnia, whence the letters have been redirected, telling him to wire you to give us our letters here, will you deliver them then?" This made him think for some time. Then he rushed for his prehistoric volume of "Regulations," and consulted it for some minutes. He looked up rather sadly, and said, "I can find nothing about it in the 'Regulations."" I mentally consigned the "Regulations" elsewhere, but, keeping my temper, asked very politely, "But sup