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dum to the Handbook, altering the title to Snooxophone, and that Snooks should go back

that his typist should be a male.

pen to paper in the Navy. Snooks, of course, got engaged to the typist; he even eventually finished the Handbook, to the Admiralty to write it. and having tasted blood-or He went, on the stipulation rather ink and lost all taste for seafaring in consequence, applied to go to the Staff College. He afterwards broke off his engagement to the typist because she insisted on his learning the Flat Charleston, and was sued for breach of promise.

So much for Snooks. But the Handbook became a Secret Publication, and every ship in the Navy had a Snooksophone on trial, with orders to report on it monthly, and the correspondence on the subject multiplied as the sand grains on the sea-shore.

Then it occurred to Snooks that calling his invention a Snooksophone sounded rather like self-advertisement, which he was all against. So he wrote another letter suggesting that it should be called a Snooxophone. This was approved by the Admiralty, who decreed that there should be an Adden

Finally, some unfortunate Marine Officer in charge of the Confidential Books of a cruiser lost a copy of the Handbook and Addendum, and was tried by Court - martial under the Official Secrets Act.

A bell rings seven times somewhere on deck, and the rattle of cups and saucers in the wardroom pantry suggests that it is time for tea.

Let us retrieve the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, Volume I., from the deck, where it slipped while we dozed, and put it back on the shelf, which is the proper place for Regulations.

Some day I think I would like to write some more about Snooks, who was beginning to interest me when I went to sleep.



That "sun-dried bureaucrat," Sir Philip
Hanbury-Erskine, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., &c.,

CHUCK that slain file on the scrap-heap; light my thrice-lit cigarette.

So the last hand-stroke I'll do here's done at last!

But to-night my heart is ravaged, and I'm "wild with all regret," As the minutes tick the "present" into "past."

Ah, the years by locusts eaten-years that never come again! How we clutch at them, like children chasing bubbles!

But to-night their joys come back to me-forgotten all their pain,

And our labours and our toils and strife and troubles.

For behold, grim Death has come to me-me, quick with life and vigour !

Death as sure and harsh and cruel as Fate's self!

And when the real thing happens, shall I find it any bigger?
That "end of all " that lays one on the shelf?

Ten words of cypher. . . "Offer YX post in Far Cathay..." Was the bolt that crashed my world about my ears:

Yet if it hadn't happened I'd be grousing, I dare say,

At the rottenness of overseas' careers.

Yet now the thing is on me-now the hour to go has struck— (And my fellows mark my soaring with kind eyes, Swearing loudly I've deserved it-not a word about my luck!) Why, there's not a torn root in me now but cries

And bleeds and throbs and quivers, till I'm one big bag of woeI, who've cherished my ambitions with the rest,

And wrought for them and fought for them, and pray'd the gods would know

That my work was rather decent-at its best.

But I didn't know "Promotion" was another name for Death, And that all the griefs our stricken death-beds hold

For the dazed and panting wretches that lie struggling hard for breath,

'Spite their agonies and travails manifold,

Are pale shadows of the grief by which to-night my heart is torn, As I sit here with my senses all intact:

That men can't feel like this with bodies utterly outworn

I'm as certain as of any proven fact.

Our Service is a strange one. You can't match it in the world,
For it harnesses and holds you like a vice.

Then suddenly you're taken and across the earth are hurled
And watch your whole world vanish in a trice.


All the work on which for years you've spent the best you have to give ;

All the knowledge you've been down to hell to get;

All the schemes you've had the vanity to dream would wear

and live;

Every Minute that you rather hoped had met

Some need and, if thereafter set on record for a while,
Might cheer the collar-galled and spur the slack;

Every thrust of spade, with elbow-grease, you've dug into a file
To make your doctrine fool-proof; and, alack!

Every friendship . . . there's the heart-break! All the folk you know and love

The shipmates who with you have toiled and play'dAll, all are riven from you by the Powers up Above,

Yet the order's just a thing to be obeyed.

It's Death in Life, I tell you-this sudden tearing out
Of roots so thick and tangled and so deep :

And a thousand odds and trifles that I've hardly thought about
Crowd upon me here to-night and banish sleep.

A haunted man! From every side ghosts troop in from the night

Of fights I've won and battles long ago;

Of the times I've made some

I was right;

"" bloomer and the times when

But the faces hurt the worst that, to and fro,

Flit like the softest shadows, more silent than a shade-
Men and women bearing memories for me;

Folk who gave me friendship, aye, and enemies I have made—
For you cannot fail to make them-two or three.

But the thing that twists the tail of me and makes me cough and choke,

Now the time for parting draws so deadly near,

Are the words some folk have written and some others I've heard spoke,

Every one of which will be a memory dear

When those who wrote or said them are ten thousand miles away,
And I have passed for ever from their ken,

For another term of service in that wondrous Far Cathay-
A ghost re-born into a world of men.

They make me proud beyond belief, and humble to the dustThose words too kind, too generous by far.

Who am I that men should praise me, honour, glorify, and trust? A sepulchre, where lime-wash masks the tar!

De mortuis ... One knows the rest. They feel that I am dead. One doesn't bandy jibes across a bier;

But upon my naked heart the sods are hailing down like lead. . . And to-morrow they'll be ranged upon the pier

To grip my hand and wish me luck; and how, I ask, shall I
Endure to part from friends I love so well?

Promotion? Christ! I tell you that to-morrow I shall die
And night will find me damned in deepest hell.

On deck I'll stand while bugles sound the last Farewell1 of all. (The lid is on, the nails are hammered true.)

And the mist that hides the shore from me shall be my funeral pall, And I'll see it through a wetter, salter dew.

They'll be sorry that I'm going-the bulk of them, I think;
But none of us was ever long miss'd yet.

And as I watch the shore-line go and 'neath the sky-line sink,
I shall dream some will remember, and shall know all will

1 It is the custom in Nigeria and the Gold Coast to sound The Hausa Farewell -one of the most heart-rending musical wails ever composed-by the massed buglers of the nearest available battalion of the West African Frontier Force, in order to speed the departing Nigerian Official, civil or military.




THE white paddle steamers churning their way slowly up the swollen brown waters of the Brahmaputra turn sharply from north to east as they enter the valley of Assam through the defile at Pandu Ghât. Passengers are enchanted with the cool breeze which greets them, while it rolls away the mists of the night to reveal the splendour of a mountain panorama in the brightness of an Eastern dawn.

Along the banks are virgin forests, dripping with the morning dew, where the antlered sambhur, following his watchful hinds, trips daintily across the swampy glade.

Here and there the forest opens out to reveal an expanse of green pampas grass, waving in the breeze its fronds of feathery silver.

At a bend of the river, in a bamboo grove, stands a planter's bungalow, with roof of thatch and deep cool verandahs, shady lawns, and flowerbeds, bright with the blossoms of an English garden.


bough to bough in the mangotrees darts the golden oriole, whistling his soft sweet note, calling you to share the joy of life in the lovely morning sunlight.


On the horizon, all around, rise the blue mountains of Himalaya, and above them the eternal snows tower into the blue of heaven, calm, serene, and pure. A strange man the traveller whose soul is not uplifted for a while by such a scene!

But the paddles stop their rhythmic churn. A loud bell clangs, and raucous voices squabble on the shore as the boat glides alongside the jetty.

Called to earth and sordid care again, the traveller can find it in his heart, truly, to say that only man is vile.

Such an introduction to Assam does many an English youth receive on his way to start a career. For Assam, still undeveloped, offers many prospects of flourishing industry in coal, oil, timber, and tea.

The broad river winding through the valley offers cheap and easy transport, while faster conveyance is available to the head of the valley by the AssamBengal railway and its branch lines. A new line of rail has been surveyed into Northern Burma by way of the Hukong Valley, but funds are not available these days for an enterprise which is at present of strategic rather than commercial value.

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