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Such is the pressure of life nowadays, that people are apt to "go dotty" in various ways; and the disease often shows itself by a delusion that the victim of it is being watched by the Police. The vigilance of an all-seeing Providence is not more inexorable than that of Scotland Yard in the estimation of such a man! He cannot look out of his window without seeing a Police agent lurking somewhere near his house. He cannot go out, day or night, but that his steps are dogged. If he takes a railway journey, a detective gets into the next compartment just as the train is starting, and when he alights at his destination another detective is waiting for him on the station platform. For years after I left office, I received letters from dupes of this delusion, appealing to me to use my influence with my successor on their behalf. And my assurance that it was all a delusion sometimes brought me a sheaf of closely written pages of diary, detailing the victim's movements day after day, and the proofs of his being thus persecuted. One man stares at him, and, as he passes, another man "shuffles with his feet," a not uncommon element in the craze. I can recall only one instance in which an official reply proved of any use. It was the case of a personal friend of mine. I told his brother to write to me about it, and in reply I expressed regret at the annoyance caused him, and added that I had given the necessary orders to

put an end to it, as he had been mistaken for some one else.

Judging by official correspondence, this delusion is a speciality with men. A not uncommon phase of the disease with women is the belief that they are being constantly subjected to a powerful electric current, worked by some one in a neighbouring house. If a real infliction of this kind were possible, the victims would not suffer more than do the dupes of this delusion. I never hesitate to ridicule the fears of men who thus suppose they are shadowed by the Police, but these poor creatures excite only pity. And while it is useless to reason with them, to help them is impossible.

If folk of this sort are only to be pitied, lunatics whose delusions have reference to Royalty are a danger. And it is remarkable how often mental aberration assumes this phase. This was a frequent cause of anxiety to the authorities, and of danger to the Sovereign, during all Queen Victoria's reign. When I first came to London a lunatic of this description gave the Police no little trouble. One morning when he had announced his intention of going to Windsor, where the Queen was in residence, three officers were set to watch him. He got up steam by a couple of rounds of Hyde Park at five miles an hour, and then headed for Windsor. One of the officers broke down before they had gone many miles; another was done before they were half way;

and the third, who stuck to his man, was invalided for a week afterwards. But by the time the lunatic reached the Castle, the exercise had so soothed him that he quietly took train back to town. This sort of thing it was that precluded charging him before a magistrate, for in this free country it is not illegal to take a twenty-mile walk at five miles an hour. But shortly afterwards Frederick Williamson called on him to see what he could make of him. He found the man in a state of great excitement, with a huge pulpit Bible open before him. He had just made the momentous discovery that he was the Messiah ! Williamson urged on him that it was extremely wrong to keep the discovery to himself: he ought to make it known. But how? "Come to Bow Street, and tell it to the Chief Magistrate in open Court, and it will be published in every newspaper in London." The man responded eagerly, and was ready in a moment. "But," said Williamson, "you mustn't go without that Bible." A few minutes brought them to Bow Street in a hansom, and the poor fellow's dramatic announce ment was followed, of course, by his committal to an asylum.

The public never realised what a marvellous escape Mr Gladstone had in April 1893 when the lunatic Townsend, with a loaded revolver in his pocket, lay in wait for him in Downing Street. A lunatic is often diverted from his purpose as easily as a child, and the man's own explanation of his failing to fire was that the Premier smiled at him when passing into No. 10-a providential circumstance that, for Mr Gladstone was not addicted to smiling. That case cost me much distress of mind. "Never keep a document," should be the first rule with a criminal. "Never destroy a document, should be an inexorable rule in Police work. But in this case I had destroyed a letter that would have proved an important piece of evidence. I always ignored threatening letters myself, and I have had my share of them; and when one of my principal subordinates brought me a letter threatening his life, I felt so indignant and irritated at the importance he attached to it, and the fuss he made over it, that I threw it into the fire. That letter was from Townsend, and though no harm came of my act, I could not forgive myself for it.

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'Maga' readers may perhaps have expected to find in this number some reference to the House of Commons debate of April 21. But the above article was typed some two months ago, and I am unwilling to alter my syllabus, especially as it includes articles relating to matters dealt with in that debate. The May article had, of course, been returned for press before April 21. I may add, moreover, that it is not in this way that I will make my promised apologia.

(To be continued.)



PERHAPS the chief charm of Patagonia lies in its absolute unlikeness to any other land north or south. The plains, rising in vast terraces across the continent, from the low coasts on the east to the mountain-ranges on the west, show grass, on all sides grass, as far as the eye can reach. Not a green inviting grass, but of a yellowish, harsh, and prickly nature, which leaves spines sticking into the fingers. All vegetation other than the grass is dwarf, stunted by the unceasing winds which sweep over the open country. Leagues upon leagues of califaté thorn, no higher than a man's waist, broken now and again by pebbly patches sparsely set with maté negra, innumerable pools, and huge tracts of glacial detritus, are all undergrown and overflown and surrounded by this sea of grass. It forms a very desolate and forbidding landscape, yet it is one which lays a strong hold on the imagination and the memory: once you have ridden over those lonely plains, you often feel a desire, which sometimes amounts to a craving, to go back and ride across them again.

Although the pampas possess no animal that carries a trophy, yet a day spent upon them with the rifle is capable of yielding excellent sport, a fact perhaps enhanced by the knowledge that

80 far very few sportsmen have visited them. Indeed, with the exception of Captain Chaworth Musters of the Royal Navy, who in 1876 roamed all over the south of Patagonia in company with a tribe of Tehuelches, it would seem that this region is one of the rare parts of the earth to which the British sportsman has not been attracted. The voyage is long, and the fauna do not present any great variety, yet guanaco, wild cattle, ostriches, and pumas exist upon its pampas in vast numbers.

The grey fox, although not an animal of actual interest to the sportsman, cannot be ignored, for he is an intolerable nuisance, gnawing through the sogas of the horses, and thieving in so inveterate a fashion that hardly a camp can be made without its occupants paying toll of their belongings to his tribe. Nothing escapes the fox's voracious appetite-a raw hide, a saddle natural history specimens even when cured with arsenical soap,

all, if left within reach of a fox's leap, are pulled down and devoured.

But as numerous as the foxes, and far more apparent to the traveller's eye, are the guanaco. The herds of this curious animal are distributed over the whole area of the pampas; and though infinitely more plentiful in certain fav

oured districts-such as the vast tablelands to the southwest of Lago Buenos Aires, are to be met with in greater or less numbers in almost every part. Exactly as the caribou upon the same degree of latitude north, so is the guanaco to the south the prop of life to the nomadic tribes. The guanaco does not, however, migrate en masse: they only move, in the case of isolated herds, from their summer haunts on the high tablelands to winter in the river valleys or about the

shores of the lakes.

If the sporting qualities of an animal are to be judged along the usual lines, the guanaco must take high place. This somewhat dogmatic statement presupposes that the hunter's ideal is a chase in which he can see his quarry in the open, can match his intelligence against its instinct, and win or lose the day on his merits. Beyond this, again, there is the definition of Mr Bromley Davenport concerning the real and the artificial in sport, by which he defines the real as "the pursuit of the perfectly wild animal on its own primeval and ancestral ground, as yet unannexed and unappropriated in any shape or way by man; where, therefore, no permission can be asked, granted, or refused; where the wild illimitable expanse is free to all, human or animal, and the first come is the first served." In its Patagonian environment the guanaco fulfils his ideal. There


are as yet no ring-fences and but little barbed wire in the interior, where indeed the hunter may ride for weeks and perhaps never see anything save the landscape and the game upon it.

Of course the guanaco lacks one, and that the most important, of the desiderata of a quarry-he carries no trophy. The black face and the scarred neck of one old fighting buck is very like that of another; so that after the hunter has shot three or four he has before him no alluring prospect, such as the chance of securing a particularly fine or unusual specimen- a hope which, in the case of horned game, serves to keep his interest always at high-water mark. But, despite this fact, the chase of the guanaco and the fair stalking of а big buck sometimes presents difficulties which can be relied on to keep the hunter's enthusiasm well awake.

The fact that almost every acre of ground carries its crop of low thorn-bushes-and even when these are absent the sharp blades of the harsh grass can make a very painful wound-renders stalking a task not altogether without its difficulties. The fact that cover is represented only by the walls of cañadones, an occasional hummock, or little patches of maté negra hardly eighteen inches high, is also all in favour of the guanaco's side of the game. When to these things is added the fact that а guanaco can carry away as much lead as 3 K

almost any animal of its size, it will be seen that the sportsman may spend many fruitless hours before he can succeed in attaining any great success in this particular form of pastime.

It so happened that when I was travelling in this region the shooting of guanaco was by no means a pastime. We were a party of eight, and beyond the emergency rations which we carried to ensure us against the risks of crossing a gameless tract, we had nothing save a small allowance of flour between us and hunger. Besides this, I wished to shoot half a dozen old bucks, or machos as they are termed in that country, for my collection. Our travels were carried out on horseback, and at this period our advance was a good deal hindered by the continual straying during the night-time of one or many of our troop of horses. The time spent in tracking and recovering these often left many hours to spare for sport, and day by day I learned more and more to respect the intelligence of the guanaco. The experience of a typical day may perhaps be of interest.

It is sunrise, and I have just discovered that out of our sixty horses only forty-six remain to us, the rest have strayed in the night and may be anywhere within three or four leagues, as the tracks give ample evidence that the madrina or brood mare which the horses of each trop illa are trained to follow has broken her hobbles and gone off eastward at a trot. A

couple of gauches will start immediately to track them; while there is plenty of work for the rest of the party in camp, where a number of new maletas or packs have to be fashioned to replace those that hard usage and the exigencies of travel have worn out. A few skins are very necessary for this work, and so it is with the prospect of a threefold use for any guanaco I can shoot that I set out. We need the meat to eat, the skins to make packs for a part of our outfit, and I am eager to obtain a head or two as the animals approach their summer pelage.

Soon the camp is left behind, and looking back on it, the fact strikes me that it presents a picture very unlike the idea of a camp which is prevalent in any other countries I have visited. A mere pile of baggage, an open fire, and the blankets and bedding airing in the morning sun; a troop of horses feeding in the marshes by the river, and on all sides the low cliffs of the valley shutting in the horizon. Turning my back upon camp, I ride out with thirteen clear hours before me. The country is quite new to me, and apart from the fact that the river gives no hint of a ford by which to cross it, the nature of the ground on the southern bank looks the more favourable for my purpose. As I ride slowly along, I put up a brace of upland geese from the bed of the stream, and soon after I perceive a game-track leading along the side of the cañadon; up this my horse climbs until I find myself upon a broad and

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