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ing away a notorious purveyor of literary filth, the man moved his business to Boulogne, and at intervals crossed the Channel with a portmanteau full of his wares in packets addressed to his clients in this country; and these he posted in Folkestone. I had thus gained nothing by my action; for in Blackwood's time the Police were treated like the man in the street, and refused information about such letters once they were handed in at a Post Office. But Walpole was a sensible man of the world, and when the Secretary of State summoned him and me to a conference on the matter, he at once declared that whatever was needed to stop such a scandalous abuse of the Post Office should certainly be done. The result was that the scoundrel was arrested on his next trip to Folkestone, and his trial at the Kent Assizes ended in a conviction and a severe sentence.

This being arranged, the Police watched for the man, tracked him to the post office, and arrested him as soon as he had posted his filth. The Secretary of State then issued a warrant directing that the packets should be given up and used as evidence. The case was thus complete, and a conviction followed as of


As regards the practical question of the exercise of these powers by the Home Office, I can speak with exceptional authority. For during the many eventful years that I had charge of secret service work at Whitehall, under different Administrations and five successive Secretaries of State, every warrant of this character was prepared by my own hand, and I had always a full cognisance, if not the actual direction, of the action taken upon it. And I can aver that no such warrants were ever issued, save to check serious crime or to prevent a flagrant abuse of the Post Office, such as I have described. If the facts were generally known, so far from there being even a prejudice against the exercise of such powers, there would be a general outory against the laxity of Government in this matter. The Post Office is the regular agency for the dissemination of what is fraudulent and corrupting—a state of things which, as I have already said, is not tolerated

As everything entrusted to the Post Office is, while in transit, the property of the Crown, the Secretary of State is empowered to give orders respecting the disposal of it. All that was necessary, therefore, in the case above mentioned was that the Folkestone postmaster should be put in touch with the Police, and have orders to send a report to St Martin's-le-Grand, giving particulars of the packets posted by the criminal, and then to delay their transmission pending instructions. in America.

(To be continued.)


It was the beginning of the Indian cold weather, There was just sufficient heat in the midday sun to make the cold appreciable towards midnight. I was alone at our little training bungalow, and was busy putting the final polish upon those of the string that were entered for the Malinagar meeting. I was living lightly, since the last few years of my racing life were a continuous struggle against 14 lb. of superfluous flesh. My dinner had consisted of an underdone chop, a few rusks, and a big cup of black coffee. After dining I spent an hour working at the register in which I chronicled the " "form of the stables contemporary to my own. It was work that required careful thought and consistent entry. This finished, I dallied with my correspondence, lingering over the perusal of one note, for there is no need that I should disguise my feelings, I was in love.

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The words of that note have remained seared in my mind these thirty years: "Though I appreciate the very, very kind thought that prompted your offer, I could not think of accepting so magnificent a present. It will be enough to let me ride the pony sometimes when he has an off day, and to see you ride him to victory when you run him. He is a darling, and it was ever so kind of you to offer to give him to me,”

When a man offers to make a gift of a pony that is capable of winning five thousand rupees in a season's races, he is in earnest. The woman who knows how to refuse such a gift knows that the donor is in earnest, and thinks also that she herself is in earnest.

I read the letter through a dozen times, trying to analyse each sentence from the point of view of the writer. Had she felt that the offer was in the nature of a bribe? That its acceptance might compromise her future relationship with me? Did it mean that she could not accept a gift from me where she might have taken it from another? I knew that I did not stand alone in this, the greatest contest in which I had entered. Yet I believed that I out-distanced all competitors save one. Was this one the cause of the refusal? How I hated him. I knew that he was not worthy of her. Little is hidden between brother officers. I knew the baseness of his mind. I knew the unbridled wantonness of his sordid past. But from a woman's standpoint he was good to behold. He possessed that subtle polish that attracts the fairer sex. was suave and insinuating. He was artistic even in his villainies. Moreover, on the surface he was a fine man. In the saddle he was the only contemporary gentleman rider who gave me a moment's


anxiety. As finished a horseman as he was parlour-knight, Archie Lidbetter rode with his head as well as with his body. He was, I had learned through a long and bitter experience, no ordinary rival in any field. I left the letter with my decision as to the answer still open, and stepped on to the verandah to make my last visit to the stables. The handlantern was standing on the top of the steps. The chowkidar left it there every night, for no servant would sleep actually at the bungalow. They openly feared the ghost, and all herded down in the ser

vants' quarters, a hundred yards away. They wondered that I had the nerve to sleep in the bungalow alone, and solemnly told me that one day the apparition would assuredly reveal itself to me. I swung down the avenue to the stables. The air was already cold. The wind soughed through the bamboo-groves and made these overgrown grasses creak and groan. Solitary fire-flies, here and there, made thin streaks of light against the shade of the grove. As I neared the stable a horse coughed, and another stamped as some insect worried it. A single oil-lamp was burning in the stable, while the saises and grass-cutters, wholly rolled in their blankets, slept on the mud floor in front of the loose-boxes. The horses, halfwakened by my entry, stared listlessly at my light. One more wakeful than the others made a pretence at a whinny as it recognised me. I walked down the line, putting a rug

straight here, rubbing a soft muzzle there. The head sais, when I stumbled over his prostrate form, awoke with a terrified mutter, and adjusting his puggree with ludicrous haste, informed me that everything was well.

In those days I believed myself to be a man with unshakeable nerves. It was long afterwards that the fences began to look big when one took a raw animal out to school in the early morning. Yet as I walked back through avenue of soughing bamboos the solitude of night seemed to strike, though there was noise enough. The treecrickets chirped their unending song, bull-frogs boomed their amorous chorus from the shores of the lake hard by, and a miserable jackal added to my depression by jarring the harmony of the other night sounds with his raucous and melancholy thanksgiving. Perhaps it was the cold that made me shudder as I entered, with a feeling almost of relief, the semicircle of light which the bungalow threw upon the gravel path.

Once back in the bungalow, I smiled at this little show of timidity. Lighting a cigarette, I turned the key in my desk, snuffed out the wall lamps, and passed into the bedroom.

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"Are the third entries closed?"

"Yes, they closed yesterday; they are in the paper to-day. "Is there anything unexpected in them?"

"Yes; the Ionides stable has entered a bay Arab pony, called St Quintin, for each of the pony chases."

happened to me on that memor- best out of him unless you able night. From the depths know him." of sleep I was suddenly awake, and I sat up in bed with the fixed impression that something was wrong. Everything that follows is simple matter of fact. There is nothing that is terrifying or disagreeable about it, and to me it is now only a perplexing memory. As I started up in bed I saw, sitting in the chair by the dressingtable, my old friend and brother officer, Walter Ronald. Now, although Walter had died at sea at least seven years before, just as the ship had left the Hugli, it never struck me at the time that it was incongruous for him to be there beside me.

"Hullo! Ronald?" I queried, for he was too senior for me to address by his Christian name; "what brings you here?"

He smiled his comfortable, quiet, fat smile, and toyed with some trinket on the toilet-table as he answered

"I have come to talk about the Malinagar meeting. What have you entered in the Civilians' Cup?"

It seemed to be quite natural that Walter should talk to me about my stable, for all that I may know about training a horse I learnt when, as a subaltern, I sat at his feet.

"I am running The Top," I answered.

"You are very keen to


"I intend to win!" "Is The Top an easy animal to ride?"

"He is easy enough to ride. But it is difficult to get his real

"Do you know anything about the pony?"

"Nothing, except that it appears to be a recent purchase. The 'Asian Pocket-Book' shows it as having run on the Bombay side. No great performer. It was placed once at Poona, running a poor third to Woodlands and Cauker, and it has run unplaced at Mhow, Bangalore, and Bombay, in mediocre company."

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Walter Ronald thought for a moment, and then volunteered the only statement that he made during the interview.

"It is the best measured pony in India. It has a 13.11 certificate, and could not fairly come under the stick at 14.11"

I replied to the effect that it had a Western India Turf Club certificate, and perhaps they were slack in their measurements on the other side. Walter continued to question me.

"Is there any one who could ride The Top as well as yourself?"

I replied that in ordinary circumstances Teddy Calthorpe or Joey Reeves would be able to bring The Top home in the company that he was likely to meet in this particular race.

"That is a good thing," said

my visitor; "if I were you I would not ride at all at the meeting."

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'Why ever not?" Walter Ronald shook



"Give it a rest, Jimmy. I were you I should stand down for the meeting.'

a note of the statement Walter had made to the effect that the pony was the best measured animal in India, and of the his measurements I had attested from the Pocket-Book, placed the record in my desk, and turned in to bed again. I slept profoundly until the khansamah brought in my tea in the morning. My first impression was that I had had a very realistic dream. But the arrival of the old bearer soon dispelled this impression. He was still much shaken, and said that Walter Sahib had looked him straight in the face. Naturally I said nothing to the old man of my own experience. Any corroboration on my part would so have alarmed all the servants that I doubt if any of them would have stayed longer in my service.

I was on the point of pushing for an explanation, when a fearful hubbub arose outside from the direction of the servants' quarters. In a second I was upon my feet, and in that moment my visitor disappeared. I went out on to the verandah and found a great commotion at the servants' quarters. The khansamah and cook, in repulsive déshabillé, were trying to pacify my bearer, who was yelling as if he would part his soul from his body. At last we brought him back to reason, and he said, trembling like an aspen leaf the while, that he had seen Ronald Sahib in his mess kit walking from the bungalow. Now, before he came to me, this old man had been Walter Ronald's bearer, and I remembered at this moment that Ronald, when he had been in my bedroom, was in mess kit. This was indeed curious, as no one of us ever brought uniform to the bungalow. When I had finally quieted the old man I returned to my room and wrote down Walter's conversation about St Quintin, and found by my watch that the time was a quarter-past one. I then looked up the pony's record, and found that it had a W. Í. T. Club's certificate of measurement for 13.1. I took


The most curious part of the whole experience was the reality of the interview. During the conversation nothing had suggested the supernatural was only when I began to consider the sequence of the events on the following morning that the strange significance of it all dawned upon me. For some reason that no human logic could explain, my old friend and instructor had returned to me from the great unknown. The object of his coming appeared to to be to warn me against riding in the races at a particular meeting. Human appreciation of the unknown is calculated upon the basis of the sense we term fear. Walter's warning, therefore, seemed to forebode some impending danger. If I rode at the Malinagar

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