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Deprived of the sordid amen- spoilt still hardy, self-reliant, ities of their towns, the greater resourceful, industrious, and, part of them are utterly help- many of them, wise with the less, utterly incapable of organ- wisdom of the soil, so slowly ising a decently civilised ex- acquired, so quickly lost. istence by their own efforts. Nothing will induce me to More natural surroundings believe that such men as John, appal and intimidate them. and those others of John's
In face of all this, one type_who were all of an earlier cannot help seriously specu- generation than he is, and even lating as to whether the Western then “behind the times,”— world of, say, 150 years ago were reared in homes of brutalwas not in better case for real ised stupidity and apathetic progress — real development- misery, such as we sometimes than it is at the present time. see and hear described as being And this even while knowing typical of the homes of the the very worst about that old-time peasantry; and if world which can be known, they were not, what reason and having imagination to vis- have we to suppose that their ualise worse things still of fathers were, since in those which there is left no actual days there was little or no record.
outside influence brought to True, there was then much bear on the peasant, and “Like -almost despairingly much— father like son was
far to be done if Humanity was truer saying than it is now! ever to work out its salvation ; Their world was, of course, a but at least there was less to mucb smaller one than is that be undone before the doing of their class nowadays; but could be got under way. There it was also a much fuller were many, many battles to be one-their range of interests waged—first and foremost, the more restricted,
restricted, but those one against the selfishness, the they had infinitely more vital callousness, and the arrogance and enduring. of the governing classes (vices Also, have we not all about for which their comparatively us still evidence of the careful, innocent descendants are now the thorough, the sincere, the suffering not a little); battles thoughtful craftsmanship of the against dirt, disease, intoler- past to contrast with the ance, and wanton cruelty ; shoddy, pretentious, debased battles for the creation and rubbish of the present ? development of a social con- I am quite ready to believe science, a recognition of man's that these peasants and these duty to his fellow-man. But craftsmen had, between them the working men—that is to all, every failing and every say, the great majority of all vice to which humanity is populations-were, if mentally prone ; but I insist on believe unenlightened, still mentally un- ing also that they had many
fine and noble qualities ; and and produced them whole, hands we have ample evidence in the and brains working together in excellence of the work they harmony-not, as now, the have left behind them that all "eighteenth part” of a piece of them who were any good of rubbish fashioned on at all took an immense joy in machine. production, an inherent pride But what are
we to do in giving of their best. And about it all ? Go back to what more tenacious hold in Nature ! Impossible !
? the bedrock of healthy happy Then where in the name of sanity of mind can a man have self-preservation are we to go ? than just that ? Whatever Meanwhile, Nature is ever their sins and shortcomings, waiting with the infinite they were not futile, puerile, patience which, being eternal, helpless, and neurotic.
We she can well afford-also is may be certain of that.
she ever watchful to take her But then, to be sure, in revenges. those days the workmen pro- And her revenges are very duced sound genuine things, terrible.
BY T. A. POWELL.
DURING a ward-room dis- might have the bird for his cussion on the various methods supper. On my refusal, he of communication open to a made a miniature hammock ship at sea, the subject of out of a piece of bunting, and, pigeons cropped up.
sewing up the dead bird inside, “I never found carrier- he tied a half-inch bolt to pigeons much use to me," I each end, and when we came said. "I've flown them from to the surface that night, we drifters and submarines when had an impressive burial at the wireless has failed, but, sea. except when they were within The two survivors were sight of land, they generally watched with great anxiety. seemed to prefer a naval life The crew could not have shown to the uncertain chance of more interest in them had they becoming shore - birds again. been dodos. We fed them as Sometimes, in submarines, the laid down in “Admiralty Inonly way to induce them to structions — Pigeons, homing, take to their proper element was feeding of,”—80 many ounces to put them on the periscope of grain a week to be charged standard above the bridge, to Vote “B." then close the lid and dive. The signalman, as the "comThen they had to fly, unless munications” expert, and a they chose to play at being poultry-keeper of some repute guillemots. Occasionally we amongst his fellows, consticame across a star turn which tuted himself keeper of the did its job nobly. Several of aviary, and exercised the birds our Harwich boats had very ry morning inside the boat. good results, but, as a general We had been asked to fly rule, they were too unreliable them over water, so, nothing to make them worth the exciting having happened on bother.”
patrol, I waited till we started My companion, an officer in to return home and let one of the R.A.F., seemed to disagree, the birds go. After a little so, to promote a little healthy coercion he began to circle argument, I told him about a slowly round, and then, as basket of pigeons which I had though struck by a braintaken out on patrol, and what wave, he flew off full speed had happened to them.
towards Germany, where, no After four days one had died doubt, he was killed and eaten from an obscure ailment. The within an hour of his arrival. wag of the boat asked if he The remaining bird was very
lethargic, and lived only for not lost, so we could not tell bis victuals. We waited till if our two messengers ever we were within forty miles of regained their native lofts. One land, and then let him go too bird, we knew, was “full many He flew undecidedly for 500 a fathom deep." yards, and then, following the “Did your fellows use pigeons example of his better known much in the R.N.A.S." I
? predecessor in Holy Writ, he asked. returned to the ship, where he “Oh yes,” he replied. “We settled on the truck of the always used to take them in wireless mast. Blank .303 from flying-boats, and in seaplanes a service-rifle had no effect as well, if we were off for a long on him ; his nerves were even stunt and had room for them. proof against coloured Véry's
Yarmouth in lights. He was not the bird September 1917, and used to to leave a kind home, where he fly a large flying-boat, No. 8666, was regularly overfed, and re- carrying a crew of four, and turn to miner's cottage, fitted with a twin Rolls-Royce whence he would be sent twice engine. We used to do long a week on a long railway jour- patrols to the Bight and up ney, jammed tight in a wicker- the Dutch coast. On three basket with a score of others, occasions I had seen a Zeppeand then have to fly fifty lin right inshore, off Heligomiles home—not be. He knew land, and given chase, but when he was well off.
when we started to climb I On approaching harbour I could never get my clumgave him another round from bungy' an inch above 12,000 the Véry's pistol, and be flew feet, while old man Zep used sulkily away and settled on to pop straight up to 15,000 the masthead of the Examina- and laugh at us. The annoying tion Service vessel outside the part was that he didn't mind pier-head. As we rounded the
As we rounded the us in the least; he knew we sea-wall we saw the captain couldn't worry him. He just of the vessel, an R.N.R. lieu- used to rise 3000 or 4000 feet, tenant, cautiously stalking him and then carry
doing with a service revolver. Later nothing. we heard intermittent firing. “Our people at the base On off days life in the Ex- always used to know when Zeps amination Service was apt to were working in the Bight by be devoid of thrills, and one their peculiar wireless note, 80 cannot blame the man for we waited till there was indulging in a little rough good old pow-wow' going on shooting when it came his way. over there, and then started
The owners of the pigeons off again. sent in claims for the loss of “This time we took a fast their birds; they always did 2-seater land machine with us. this even when the birds were She was a D.H.4, with a 200
H.P. air-cooled engine, and 11 A.M. on Wednesday, and the just the thing for a Zep. We forced landing occurred about couldn't send her by herself, forty miles west of Terschelling as it was too long a trip, and at 4 P.M. the same day. The her means of navigation were weather was fine, with a fresh very sketchy, so my old bus north-east breeze and a lumpy went with her to show her the sea. way, and to be a kind of fond There had been a little parent in case she got into trouble with our port engine. trouble. We found two Zeps On opening it up we found off Vlieland Island: they were that the necessary repairs could L44 and L45, scouting for two not be tackled outside a work. divisions of light cruisers and shop, 80 we had to cut out destroyers, covering the opera- half that engine. This, totions of a big mine-sweeping gether with the fact that we flotilla. We started to take had a big overload in a heavy them on, but both our machines sea, precluded any hope of were hit almost at once the being able to rise off the land machine in the radiator, water. and the flying-boat in the “ About this time it began hull and wing—by fragments to be very clear to us that of a high-explosive shell from things were looking black, 80 a light cruiser while we were we sent off a pigeon with a at 10,000 feet! It was wonder- message. We could not taxi ful shooting.
on our original course of west “There was nothing for it by south owing to the stern but to turn and start back. wind, so we turned “beam on" We could see that the land and steered north-west for Cromachine was in trouble, and mer, and taxied away, with the suddenly she started to descend, sea coming over green and all and the pilot had to make a hands baling hard, till our forced landing in the 'drink.' petrol supply was finished. We We circled down to the water, didn't hope to reach the coast, and then taxied along to pick but decided that there was a up the pilot and his observer, better chance of being picked who were sitting awash on the up by a ship or spotted by a top plane of their machine. 'plane if we made ground to They had been right under, the north-westward. and were rather badly shaken. We had a big canvas sea Their machine was smashed anchor' in the
the cockpit, so
, up, and sank soon afterwards. when we had finished our fuel As we wished to keep the flying. we hove it overboard and lay boat's weight down as much to it, so as to diminish our as possible, we took nothing drift and to tend to keep us out of the wrecked machine head to wind. except the two men.
The wind backed to south“We had left our base at west and freshened, darkness