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considered move on the part of the Government-I refer, of course, to the recent note issue, which has led to the present low exchange and business dislocation. But, of course, there was nothing in that to affect him personally, and indeed, owing to the extremely shrewd steps he took when the project became known to banking circles, we have even profited by it so far. No, there was nothing in that. My father had faced many a crisis of much more vital importance to his interests, and I really believe he enjoyed such things."

The doctor nodded, a reminiscent gleam in his eye. There was much evidence, almost legendary, to the same effect.

"What you have said," continued Don Julio, "simply confirms what Santelices and the others in the bank have told me. He appeared suddenly to fall away, for no visible reason. My father was, as you know, a man of extreme reserve, even with us who knew him intimately. I fear he lacked the capacity to confide-he never in his life put his feelings into words. I know, none better, that behind his manner he could

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Don Julio shrugged his shoulders-an entirely Latin shrug, expressing the most complete bewilderment.

"I fear I shall never know," he replied.

Across the street, within sight of the two men as they rose from their chairs, a clerk was chalking a blackboard outside a money-changer's office. He slowly wrote: "Cambio sobre Londres-423 peniques." In the almacen next door the Italian grocer removed a price ticket from a pile of yellow sugar, and substituted another indicating a rise in price.



THE opening scene is laid in a city which has three different names, ending in -berg, -wow, and -opol respectively.

The great waiting-room of the railway station has a chill stone floor, and walls adorned by still more chilly-looking classical statuary of heroic size, but of distinct merit.

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As you sip your milkless tea out of an octagonal glass, you watch the local squireens come in and out in their long, frogged, fur-lined coats with immense many pleated skirts such as men wear in Persia. They stamp the snow from their Vfronted high-heeled jackboots, strew out their gear, and settle down, as people do in spacious countries, where trains come in and out at all hours of the twenty-four. Every now and again a fresh party drives up in a sleigh, slithering over the dirty hard-packed snow of the station yard.

You drink almost endless glasses of tea as you wait for the rest of your party and for your train. Tea is peculiar in this country very peculiar, because it is called by a name not, as in all other languages, derived from the Chinese. Your Tibetan's Tsambo and your Irishman's tay are philologically the same, however different they may taste. One could hardly expect tea made

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Where we now are we call it Herbata, no doubt from the desire to be different. When two men of this country meet, you will there encounter three opinions. Praise God for the diversity of his creatures.

Your train, when at last it comes into real being out of the frozen murk of the first dawn, stimulates your feeling of adventure - glamour. For not only has the towering locomotive with shiny works outside a real practicable cowcatcher, but it boasts also a vast bulging smoke-stack with a very Texan spark-arrester ; and a bell, no less.

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one is in a hurry, genuinely Here and there a line of speaking.

The train is steam-heated almost to suffocating point; the morn is extremely young and not yet properly aired, so very soon three sportsmen are sprawling in somnolent contortions all over the baggage jumbled on the floor.

Then the early dawn converts the frosty murk first into pearly slashes, then to a turquoise blue. As one's sleeve scours the hoar from the windows, the rising day discloses a landscape half Asiatic and half Irish.

Bouldery river-beds, undyked and unrevetted, take one's mind back to the valleys of Miranzai, or of the Jaxartes, as the train rumbles over rough-and-ready timber bridges across affluents of rude Borysthenes.

Now and again burnt-out gable-ends like blackened fangs obtrude from the kind earth, and bend one's thoughts towards Irish Constabulary Barracks and Court-houses in Kerry and Clare.

The countryside rolls down southward in big gentle slopes.

There is spaciousness, and the eye is not hemmed in by the close hedges of England nor distracted by telegraphpoles. It can as often as not traverse a quadrant of the horizon without being jarred by some rasping ugliness made by humans.

There are few trees below the foothills. This increases the feeling of emptiness, and even of bareness.

sparse poplars marks the line of a road, or a thicker clump almost hides a village of whitewashed or yellow-washed single storey houses.

The rich black soil becomes thin as it slopes down to the stones and shingle of the shallow water-courses, which the unfenced railway crosses on unfenced timber bridges.

Though the countryside looks bare to the English eye, the land is rich and fertile to the last degree. So much so, indeed, that the German in his military occupation in 1917 loaded the very earth of the fields into trains, and transported it to enrich the hungry plains of Prussia. Thus is the Teuton.

An old retainer driving a Magyar caleche meets the party at the wayside station, and in some extraordinary way all the multifarious gear is packed into it. Now one packs oneself in with bear-skins and wolfskins, and glad to do Though the city and all around was under snow, here, several hundred feet higher, the roads are almost free, and one can drive on wheels. The longtailed scarcely groomed horses take the carriage along at a spanking pace, more usually a canter than a trot. It rocks and sways over the ridges of the frozen road. The harness is good, made of well-greased supple leather, its components fastened together with raw hide thongs, and all goes well.

Now we sway through a sleepy village, unpaved and un

lighted. Only a black-capped, long-gowned Jew is about, except for a few dogs, very much of the pariah variety. The houses are nearly all of a single storey, thatched and scattered irregularly in little wood-fenced courtyards on either side of the lanes, whose mud is frozen into hard ridges. To the centre of each wooden gate is tied a little bright posy of wild flowers. Here and there is a Calvary, often containing a wooden Virgin, with features so roughhewn as to suggest Maori or Easter Island carving.

A white eagle, single-headed, on a crimson shield marks the house of the Starost. The close observer notices that the eagle is crowned, though the country is called a republic. Everyone is a monarchist, yet there is no monarchy. Perhaps before these words are printed one of the new breed of Kings, who does not call himself a King, will have appeared. These Kings are more autocratic than any of the old kind have been for many a long year. Most of them treat their Parliaments as if they were merely dictaphones.

Few States in the world now hold squarely to "popular representation." The old Northman principle is almost dead, where each jarl had his say on behalf of his sept, in the hammering out of a project, and then sank his own opinions when once the plan plan was launched. The Mongol in Urga, the Kremlin, Khatmandu and Lhassa has his

hidden and unyielding autocrat who does not appear to his people. A secret and even supernatural terror carries out his decrees. Mediterranean man has a different form of dictator, elected on a wave of hysteria, and ruling by illogical but effective and practical manipulations of mob-psychology.

Less-civilised countries are ruled by graft, and each seems to get what it deserves.

These soliloquisings on Government while away the time. In uncramped lands, where one is not the slave of a railway time-table or of an omnibus service, there is leisure to reflect and ponder such as does not exist in the hurrying occident where man resembles the squirrel in his revolving cage. His haggard strained face marks the struggle to keep his head above the rushing flood which threatens to overwhelm him. He tramps up and up on his treadmill, and progresses not at all. He comes out ever by the same door that he went in.

The jolts and pitchings of the caleche do not hinder thought, but they fill the time very well until at last we turn off at a side road to the chaletlike shooting-box of bright pine, where a very kind host awaits us. We ramble over a bridge of heavy rough timbers, anchored down by steel cables against the floods when the melting snows make the little brook into a foaming torrent.

Over against the front door is, mirabile dictu, a hard tennis court. Under the hospitable

roof each wall and door-lintel the two axles. So loose is the

abounds with heads and skins of every local beast and bird. A huge boar glowers at us as we look at a great capercailzie over against him. Everywhere are the pelts of bears and wolves and lynxes.

Outside the keen air nips one as it comes down from the snow. Within, great stoves scorch the atmosphere as we sit down to the glasses of schnapps which forerun a huge meal. The talk runs altogether on shooting. Stories circulate of bears and boars and wolves. Rifles and guns are overhauled, and cartridges taken out of their packets.

A few hours are not of great importance in this vast country, so the evening is spent in talking, eating, and drinking. Next morning, after a breakfast of wonderful coffee and cream and brown bread and the delicious butter of the local cows, we drive on together to the little foothill village of "Plums.” Our countless traps, guns, dogs, and gear are piled into one of the weird and wonderful two-horse farm waggons of the country, whilst the sportsmen recline above everything, the jars and bumps of the frozen road tempered to their anatomies with armfuls of sweet hay. The waggon has no springs, and but very little ironwork in its construction; even the axle-trees are of wood.

The backbone of the conveyance consists of a single, long, round timber, which forms the only real connection between

construction that one axle can twist round on this central spine until it be nearly at right angles to the other. By virtue of this astonishing flexi-' bility, loads can be hauled over ground so rough that it would induce the most emblematical loquacity in the occidental waggoner.

Added to this, the raves can be lifted off so that the waggon then forms an excellent timber tug, the distance of the rear axle-tree from the front one being adjustable for different lengths of logs.

Such was the vehicle that carried seven men and a multitude of dogs, weapons, and gear to the forester's little log round on the outskirts of the village of "Plums."

It was well into the afternoon by the time the transit was completed, and another great meal lasted almost into the beginning of the slow dusk, so it was too late to go out into the forest. Instead, the party settled down in the best room of the little log house, whilst the retinue discussed the affairs of the world over the fire in the adjoining kitchen. A great cylindrical stove, reaching up to the ceiling, kept out the cold. From the front windows one looked straight on to the fir-clad foothills across the stony river-bed, in whose shingle and boulders a pleasant stream plashed and gurgled, in spite of the ice at its fringes.

The village consists of less

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