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bery. Orders were promptly content. The ivory was ours given for his apprehension, and again. we sat ourselves down to await About half-past eight the the denouement with what boys arrived, and the headman patience we could muster. of the safari was brought to
All that day we waited and the administrator's house. all that night, but the Greek “Yes," said the boy, in did not put in an appearance. answer to our questions. “The Doubts began to raise their master started with us seven hydra heads and torment us days ago, but at M'pinda (a with the thought that he might village quite close to the Great have gone to another store, Bend) heard that the but always we argued that it Bwanas from Siwezi were learwas the money he wanted, and ing their camp in a great hurry. the longer be held the ivory the My master sent us on alone, greater became the danger. and he went back, and we are Finally, at lunch next day, to take the money for this word came in via the bush, ivory back to Sultan M'kara, that two tusks of ivory were who will keep it for my master coming down the trail. The until he returns." little storekeeper hugged him- “ And where has your
master self with glee, and we smiled gone ?” asked R. sweetly. sardonically. We sent out our
“I don't know, master, but boys to bring in the earliest I think a long way.” possible news, and the adminis- “I'll bet be has," said R. trator had a cell in the native bitterly. gaol cleaned out and put in We confiscated the ivory, of order. Everything was ready course, and although the adfor M. Xavier's arrival !
ministrator was willing to send Towards four o'clock what out a search party to round had been merest suspicion hard- up the Greek, we decided to ened into a definite rumour. let the whole business slide. There was no white man with “We shall meet him all the safari. Could it be true ? right one day, never fear,” said
He'd never trust a native R. as we bade good-bye to the with £160, surely,” argued R., storekeeper, having seen our but as the hours went on the ivory safely labelled to the rumour was repeated and re- bank, and despatched by the peated until it was a moral store's own porters. certainty. The Greek had “And when you see him, slipped us. Still, we had the take my gun from him and ivory, though the revenge we keep it for me, will you ! had planned would have been begged the storekeeper. so deliciously sweet. Towards R. looked at me and I looked dusk we heard that our boys at him. We grinned. and the police had taken charge "Well, Sir Galahad !” I jibed, of the safari, and so we rested “by the time you have righted
the wrongs of all these store- Surely no one else comkeepers you will be an old man. ing ?” he muttered.
“Leave it to me, laddie,” We followed his glance. replied my partner. “I've “It is,” said R., whose eyes got a feeling I shall get level are phenomenally good. “It's with Mr Xavier before many a white person, too, judging weeks have passed," and with by his loads." that and the fervent thanks of For a while we sat and the too trusting storekeeper, watched the oncoming safari. we passed out down the trail, It was easily a mile away, but and commenced our weary trek something in the gait of the back to Siwezi. By this time man leading made me pause. the rains had settled in good I ran for our glasses, and one and proper, and it was many look was sufficient.
months before we again heard The robber chief,” I cried. 1
any news from the outside “ M. Xavier of the kingdom of world, for no one travels in Greece.' the monsoon months who can “No!” said R., jumping to avoid it.
his feet. The final act was not played “It is, as sure as death, out until the following summer, I repeated, and in a few more
when we happened to find our- minutes there was no possible selves at the Boma, P- doubt about it.
We had had a long circular We watched the safari make hunt lasting over four months, camp some four hundred yards and feeling bored with each away, and then we turned to other and life in general, we the administrator and told him decided to go into P- for the whole story of our con
a week or two, and get some nection with M. Xavier. tennis (on their home-made Now what about it?"
courts) and some bridge. There asked R. “We want revenge !” were two other Britishers in “I should imagine so, re| P—, and they were as pleased plied the A.O. in his best
G to see us as we were to see official manner, “but you see them, so that we made a very all this occurred in foreign cheerful quartette.
territory. I am quite helpless Things went with a swing to assist you."
' for a week, and no happier “Then must I be the law, folk could be imagined than quoted R., and picking up we four.
Then—it was on a bis hippo whip from a chair, Sunday evening, I remember- strode firmly to the door. we were sitting drinking our “If he runs you in, I shall sundowners on the verandah fine you five pounds for assault, " when the policeman suddenly called out the A.O. narrowed his eyes, and gazed “It will be worth it,” replied up the big road into the setting R. loftily, and in a few minutes sun.
was off along the road.
Within ten minutes he was he challenged Mahommed to back again with his face as prove his words, and in the black as thunder.
event of his not being able to “Nice sort of fool I am,” he do so, claimed
3000 rupees growled challengingly.
damages. Thou has said it," I re- That was the gist of the marked sweetly.
thing, and the A.O., when he “Oh !
Dash it! You can't had heard the claim and heard larrop a chap of his age, es- what Mahommed had to say, pecially when he lies down to looked very black indeed. it,” he mumbled.
“I believe he'll get away I laughed. I had experienced with it, you know,” he said, the same feeling. You just suddenly, at dinner that night. could not thrash that oily “Oh, never!” we protested Greek.
violently. For a while there was silence. “He will, I'm certain," re
What do you think he's peated the A.O. come for ?" asked R. suddenly. the whole thing was sub rosa.
“To borrow money," I sug- Mahommed evidently trusted gested promptly.
the old swine, and further. No. He's come to enter more, he couldn't take a receipt a suit for defamation of character for the rifles, because it's illegal against Mahommed."
for him to have firearms. Nor I fell back into my chair. could be engage him to shoot “For what?” I stammered. ivory, because he can't take
Defamation of character,” out a licence to import it into repeated R. seriously.
the country. So that he had Well, that is the limit! to trust him.” roared the policeman, and for “Well, it's a howling shame the next minute or two we if he does get away with it, laughed until our sides ached. broke out R. "The law's an
However, next morning at ass if it can't nab that old nine o'clock M. Xavier pre- villain.” sented himself at the office of The A.O. spread his hands. the A.O., and duly stated his “I can only dispense justice
I case. His claim against Ma- as per the book of words," he hommed was for libellous utter- said. ances that had damaged his Cha ! snorted R. Bang character severely. The words him into jug and chance it ! ” he complained of were : (1) Well, despite all our protests Mahommed's statements that which were many—and all he had engaged him (the Greek) our threats—which were more to shoot elephants in Portu- —the case proceeded, and as guese territory ; (2) that Ma- the A.O. had predicted, the hommed had given him 2000 Greek won. Mahommed simply rupees ; (3) that he had given hadn't a leg to stand on. Не him six rifles. Furthermore, hadn't a shred of evidence to
support his contention, and to Flats. I heard again the soft all intents and purposes he note of the violins as they sang had made very libellous state- a dreamy valse tune to the
a iments against the shining white- laughing couples on the club
ness of the character of M. floor; smelled again the hauntXavier, a Greek gentleman. ing sweetness of the lotus
Then came the question of blossoms on Shalima. . . the damages. With the yellow Shaking myself vigorously, I and black tooth flapping wildly looked across at my partner. in and out of his mouth, the His eyes were far away. unspeakable Greek made an “For the sake of the old impassioned speech for five regiment and in memory of all thousand rupees. I could have the mad, gay days in India," shot him where he stood—the he said softly, reaching into liar !-but, like all other sinners, his pocket. he succeeded and was awarded " And for all the tongafive hundred rupees.
wallahs I've beaten," said I R.'s curses were loud and hysterically, dragging out some long, and that night we sat in notes. secret conclave with our old The Sahibs ! exclaimed friend Mahommed. He simply the old man, tears streaming had not got the five hundred, down his face as he gathered and we believed him. Poor old up the notes. “The Sahibs fellow, he was most terribly I have heard my father speak agitated. He would never be of. They never die ! able to return to his village For the rest of the night we in India, and he hated and were strangely silent. Not so loathed the idea of dying in easily is the magic of the old Africa. What could he do $ days to be dispelled. And his family!
“Curse that damned Greek,” Softly the Hindustani words said R. viciously, as he punched floated into our ears. The his pillow into shape. “Why little store faded back, and do the wicked prosper ?” into my memory swam the “Don't spoil it," murmured picture of the old regiment as I, pathetically, closing my eyes it swung down the Gharial to the moonlit witchery of this Road to the church on the alien land.
VOL. CCXVIII.-NO. MCCCXXII.
A FOGGY AFFAIR.
BY T. A. POWELL,
On the lower reaches of the this gloomy berth that I joined Tyne, where man has taken submarine “C8 ” one drizzling charge of this beautiful river evening in September 1916. and used it for his own pur- We had six boats in the poses, one sees British industry flotilla, which allowed for three in its most unattractive form. to be berthed alongside the Rusty skeletons of half-built ship, one to be refitting, and ships, squalid slums and coal- the other two to be detached ing staiths jostle each other to a sub-depôt at Blyth, seven for room on the precious river miles up the coast. C8 " had frontage, while the air is full seen much service, as
as subof the reek of furnaces and marines go.
very chemical works.
small, and had but fifteen men If there be one reach more in her crew; but she was my hideous than the rest, it is first command, and, as such, Jarrow Slake. Though one of I was very proud of her. the least desirable places in We were a training and coast the British Isles, it is full of defence flotilla ; our days were historical interest. Near this spent in diving exercises ofi spot, a few years ago, were the coast, and our nights were dredged up some old oak tim- spoilt by raids and rumours bers, part of the foundations of raids. Often there would of a Roman bridge, probably be a scare in the middle of the built by the Emperor Severus. night, and a bugle would sound They were quite sound after the call for submarine crews having lain submerged for to man their boats—a particuseventeen centuries. On the larly aggressive piece of music, northern bank is the end of which fills me with loathing Hadrian’s Wall, while on the even now.
A crowd of sleepy Durham side is Bede's Church, wretches in oilskins and seaall that remains of Jarrow boots would stumble along the Monastery.
greasy gang-planks and cast Here, during most of the off the "springs.” The boats war, moored head and stern would glide out one by one in the dirty water, lay the old into the darkness of mid-stream submarine depôt ship Bonaven and pick their way past the ture, with her port side within moored steamers and barges fifty yards of a row of decayed to the open sea. Sometimes wooden piles marking the edge we lay at a buoy off Tyneof a half-tide timber-pool on mouth in order to be ready to the southern bank. It was at reach our patrol positions be