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Parliament? What would the been shot dead in one of the situation have been if an busiest streets in the heart Irish Parliament had been of the city. It was not a established; the Nationalist single shot and a hurried rush Volunteers had been armed away of the assassin. Four and drilled 88 Mr John shots, with a long interval Redmond proposed; and then between the third and fourth, an Irish Republic in alliance had been fired, and scores of with Germany been proclaimed? people must have seen the The only valuable part of tragedy. Yet not one of them Mr Lloyd George's speech in could give even a description forecasting a Bill for a new of the murderer. The only "settlement" of the Irish witnesses who could do so were Question supplies an answer: two soldiers, who were lookThe war would probably have ing out of a window on the ended in a German victory. other side of the street. That And who can say that this is a sample of the state of situation would not have affairs there. arisen? The Ulster Loyalists predieted that when a chance of success occurred the bulk of the Nationalists would throw aside the appeal for Home Rule and declare for an Independent Ireland; and that is what, in fact, they did. Has Uister's opposition -though once again open rebellion-once again saved the Empire and Europe from a military despotisın?

I have lately been spending some weeks in Ireland, and have inquired, so far as my opportunities permitted, inte the state of affairs and of opinion there. As to the state of affairs, the Sinn Feiners are now relying on the second of their maxims-that England will concede anything to disorder. Disorder prevails over all the South and West of Ireland in its ghastliest form. Murder is abroad ever the land, and terror prevents the punishment of the murderers. The night before I reached Dublin a policeman had

As to the state of opinion, what struck me most was the amount of respect - I might almost say sympathy-which the Loyalists showed for the Sinn Feiners: in fact, if the Sinn Feiners could only be persuaded to give up privy assassination, I would say sympathy out and out. When I asked the reason of this I always got the same answer: "Well, you see, they are at any rate honest; they are not asking for what they don't want, like the Constitutional Home Rulers: they demand the end of English rule in Ireland, and that rule has become so brainless that some of us can't help thinking that no other rule could by any possibility be much worse." This, then, is the effeot on many many honest Loyalists' minds of a system of government which consiste of unlimited licence tempered by bombardments and military law. Will the English people ever adopt permanently the method of Lord Salisbury,

I need say nothing about Mr Lloyd George's new scheme for the "settlement" of the Irish Question, save this: earlier schemes, of which we have had three, were not repudiated by everybody concerned until at least they were discussed: his fell still-born from his mouth. Nobody I met in Ireland would take the trouble even to denounce it. "Noble spirits war not with the dead."

which consisted of firm gov- when England is struggling ernment tempered by remedial in the midst of a mighty war. legislation, and which made Now, physical facts compel Ireland the most orderly England to control Ireland in country in Europe, and Mr time of war. The discovery Balfour the most popular Irish of America, the Land of the Secretary in history? Free, as Irish Nationalists call her, was the greatest impediment ever met to Irish freedom. Before its discovery, and before the Portuguese found their way round the Cape, Ireland was only a breakwater between England and the ocean; since then, she is a barrier between England and the world. As Roger Casement pointed out, she lies athwart English tradelines, as Great Britain lies athwart German trade-lines: any one who controls her harbours can destroy England's commerce. Before these discoveries, when the bulk of English commerce erossed only the North Sea and the English Channel, English statesmen took little interest in Ireland. After them, they saw that the control of Ireland was vital to the life of England, and it was their anxiety to ensure this control which led to the wars and confiscations and plantations which have constituted the tragedy of Ireland. Is the present demand for Irish control of Ireland to lead to another dreadful act in that long tragedy?

A fear which I found possessed many of the higher minds in Ireland, was that the present state of affairs must end in a new reconquest of Ireland. Sooner or later, they thought, some English Government-and with the prospect of a Labour Government coming nearer and nearer, sooner rather than later-will give Ireland a Parliament with extensive powers. Sooner or later hat Parliament will proclaim the Independence of Ireland, and following the maxim that England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity, that proclamation will most likely take place

THE LITTLE ADVENTURE.

BEING THE STORY OF THE RUSSIAN RELIEF FORCE.

BY GILBERT SINGLETON GATES, 46TH R.F., R.R.F.

VII.

river.

"LIAISON." Perhaps the one suffered somewhat from Navy has a deeper apprecia- its prolonged baptism in the tion of the true meaning of the word than the Junior Service. That, after all, may be attributed to the surfeit of "liaison" which the Army experienced during the years of Armageddon.

on

: Fortunately for us, many sailormen came to live shore. The intricacies of the Russian dwelling completely mastered and mystified them. The deceitful nature of a Russian loft lies in its planked floor. If one treads on the plank nearest the door, the immediate result is the upsetting of the limejuice jar in the far corner. But as the liquid merely trickles down through the floor on to the backs of the sheep who happen to live beneath, it is a matter of small concern to the experienced dweller.

After some days of living in lofts, it became clear to our naval comrades that the failings of Russian floors were really a trivial matter compared to the immersion of a sixty-pounder gun.

The Navy on the Dvina excelled themselves in the matter of the sixty-pounders. There were only two of these, and

The Royal Engineers, assisted by large numbers of Russian soldiers, soldiers, succeeded after great effort in loading Number One gun from the beach on to the deck of a river lighter, H.M.S. Oildrum the Second. The tug Levic, a strangely obstinate tug by nature, proceeded to tow the loaded lighter up river. On the Dvina, whatsoever the Services propose, native tugs and the skippers thereof invariably dispose. The Levic, with true Russian nonchalance, became too exhausted to tow the Oildrum close inshore.

of

Lengthy consultations artillery, engineer, and infantry officers ensued, interrupted at intervals by sudden squalls of violent Russian from the Levic's captain. Finally it was agreed to pull the lighter ashore by ropes. These were affixed to the Oildrum. Every available man on the beach was commandeered to pull.

The strain began.

This sudden effort aroused the torpid Levic. She made an expiring attempt, which, instead of producing a favourable result, merely caused the entanglement of the ropes in

some of the numerous angles of the Oildrum.

With consistent dignity and grace, the sixty-pounder slid into sixteen feet of Dvina river, where it disintegrated into its various component parts.

8

After many days, the Navy plus divers and oranes fished up the gun. It was successfully reassembled, and, as reward for their work, the sailors were allowed to drag the gun some thousand yards or more, use it on the enemy, and drag it back again.

Being at war, one had to observe the results of the shooting of the guns. After much practice the naval gunlayers appreciated the art of hitting some target in front by aiming at a stick behind. It puzzled them at first, but eventually it was regarded as sound method, and not merely a mad Army fantasy. The naval observers cast some aspersions on the strength of the R.E. ladders which led to the observation post (I regret to say, in a church), and their final arrival in what they termed "a glorified dovecot "led one to regard them as super-critics.

As they carefully explained to the artillery observation officer, the dovecot was hardly as comfortable as the turret. If one moved a foot to the right, one fell down the ladder. A foot to the left, and the floor either collapsed or threatened to do so. Mending the floor was quite out of the question. This on the authority of the R.E. corporal, who worked the telephones in the dovecot. The Royal En

VOL. CCVIL-NO. MCCLII.

gineers on Troitsa beach had unfortunately exhausted their supply of nails. They had indented on the base for supplies, but the nail barge was fast aground. It was therefore manifestly impossible to mend the floor.

"Well, here you are, old thing. In front of the village can you see the village?— and to the left there's a yellow sandbank."

-

The speaker is the artillery liaison officer. The two naval officer observers strain to see the yellow sandbank.

"There's a trench all along the top of it."

That they take for granted, not being able to perceive any signs of a trench.

"Now that outting in the middle is a road coming down. On the left of the cutting there's a black slit. See it? That's an 'Emma G' post. Now go right about 300 yards. You see a clump of trees with a cemetery on top just to the right of it."

The bewildered observers, after searching the horizon for a cemetery above trees, faintly murmur an affirmative.

"There's another 'Emma G' in a blockhouse on the edge of the bank close to the trees. A trench runs around the back of the trees to the village, and there are blockhouses all along the cemetery."

The complete enemy dispositions having thus been revealed to the observers, they agree that their efforts shall be directed toward shelling the "Emma G" on the left of the outting. Three o'clock in

Q

the afternoon is fixed as the ful nature of the gunlayers. time for the shoot.

The hour arrives. Once more the observers are in the dovecot. The landscape is unchanged, the target as obscure. A herd of cows are browsing on the edge of the sandbank, while an elderly Russian peasant wanders in front of the outting. There is frantic buzzing and reorimination over the telephone. "Is Number One ready yet?" "Another five minutes." During the interval the cows wander down to the river, drink, and commence to return. The old peasant leads them homeward. More excitement on the the telephone. The gun is ready. Range and deflection having been corrected, there follows the order to fire.

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They are vehemently requested not to amuse themselves with the gun, but to keep to the same range, deflection, and target.

Long argument ensues, in which the gunlayers point out that they are firing at the same range and deflection as at the commencement of the shoot. If the gun misbehaves, it obviously is due to its long immersion in the waters of the Dvina. There being no gainsaying this argument, the Navy decides to go to tea.

Thus ends the day's shoot. The versatility of the seamen was magnificent. Some of them lunched at Siskoe with a lovable Russian priest, a man possessed of a simplicity and charm that evoked admiration in even the most critical of observers.

Prior to luncheon, the father sang a long and monotonous grace in his own language. Through the interpreter he inquired if his gallant English guests sang their grace. The Navy rose to the occasion. They always sang their grace. If their host cared to listen they would do so.

With solemn faces, three naval officers and four military officers sang the old nursery rhyme—

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