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saying, and in it I was hopeful I had at last got a real clue to the discovery of the band who had been so long and so pressingly wanted by
I questioned Mr Dorrington on this head eagerly, but with sadly disappointing results. He had never had but the one man-servant, he explained the old fellow who was still with him, and who doubled the parts of groom and gardener, and he was satisfied that he had nothing to do with the robbery. I knew the old man in question, and quite agreed with his master as to his innocence. The present maid-servants, Mr Dorrington went on, had been with him for a considerable period; and their predecessors in the household had left in a friendly way, to be married to respectable working-men who were for the most part known to himself. As to loafers, whom, as a guardian, he had dismissed when they had been attempting to quarter themselves or their families upon the rates-as to 'that sort,' they were to be numbered by scores. Some of them might of course be burglars or associates of burglars; but he had no knowledge or remembrance of anything pointing to any one man having been more likely than the others to have gone wrong that way.
Driven back in this direction, I resumed the routine line of inquiry by questioning the servants. As the cook, while anything but fair, was fat and more than forty, I could readily credit her emphatically expressed assurance that she had no followers. For other reasons, I could as easily believe a similar assurance upon the part of the kitchen-maid. With the housemaid, it was different. She was a pretty girl, with a rather determined expression of countenance. As I spoke to her, it struck me that her manner was at once nervous and guarded; nevertheless, she answered unhesitatingly. Yes,' she said, 'she had a sweetheart-name, Charley Wilson; occupation, a carpenter; worked for Parks and Crawford the builders; lodged in Street, at the greengrocer's shop at the corner. Had known him pretty near two years, had walked out with him "off and on" for twelve months, and regularly for about six; had last seen him on Sunday, and was to meet him again next Sunday.'
'Was he allowed to visit her at the house?' 'Well, he had been till about two months ago.'
'And why not for the last two months?' 'Because master had objected to it. She didn't exactly know why. She supposed some one had been speaking against Charley to him. He had wanted to turn her against him; but she wasn't a girl of that sort. Charley had always behaved handsome to her, and never more handsome than lately. She knew, of course, that master meant well by her; but for all that, he was mistaken. And now, was there anything else I would like to know?'
"There was not,' I replied; and having added an apologetical remark to the effect that in these affairs one was bound to ask each member of the household a question or two, I left her.
Joining Mr Dorrington again, I told him what the girl had said, and asked him what were his reasons for forbidding the visits of her sweetheart.
'I'll tell you,' he answered. 'A member of the firm that he works for is a friend of mine, and I learned from him that this Wilson was a fast, flashy sort of fellow. He is given to billiards and betting, and loses time at his work. Such a customer is not likely to make a good husband to a decent girl; and as my servant is a decent girl, I wished to break off the courtship, for her sake.-But mind you, though I say he's a bad lot for a girl to take up with, I don't suppose for a moment he had anything to do with this robbery, if that's what you're driving at.'
'I hardly know that I am driving at it yet,' I said. 'So far, there is nothing like evidence; while at the same time it seems the only point worth following up. I don't think the housemaid knows anything; but though she answered straightforwardly, she had a look of having to pull herself together to do so; and unless I'm mistaken, she rather hopes than feels certain that it is impossible her lover could have had any hand in a job of this kind. how, a flashy, betting working-man is quite as likely as not to get into bad company. Again, this fellow is a carpenter; and you may take my word for it that it was no novice in the handling of carpenters' tools that cut out that wine-cellar lock; while you can see for yourself that those skits on the drawing-room walls have been done with a carpenter's pencil.'
'Leave you fellows alone to make things fit into any ideas you've got 'old of, or 'ave let get 'old of you,' was Mr Dorrington's uncomplimentary comment on this. 'However,' he concluded, 'I suppose you'll act on your own judgment, and it's no use to arguefy.'
I bowed assent to the last proposition, and was passing out, when, as we came to the drawingroom, he threw open its door, and once more waving his hand towards the drawings on the wall-paper, asked: 'Do you make anything out of them yet?'
'Out of them,' I answered, taking a last good look at them, and out of the rough work in the garden, I of course make out that some or all on the job knew you, and didn't like you. And that, too, you see, would apply to this Charley Wilson, who, you may depend upon it, doesn't love you for trying to separate the girl and him.'
Leaving China House, I made my way to the greengrocery establishment at which I had been informed the lover of old Dorrington's housemaid lived. When I reached the premises, the proprietor had just returned from his rounds, and stood on the pavement removing the baskets, scales, and so forth, from his van, a decidedly smart one of its kind; and in that respect in keeping with its owner, who was a particularly smart-looking fellow. He answered my questions readily enough, and without evincing any special curiosity as to why they were asked.
'A Charley Wilson did lodge there,' he said, 'and did sleep there last night.'
'What time did he come home?'
'Well, they had been together to the Greyhound till half-past eleven, so that it would be a quarter to twelve when they got home; and Charley had gone straight to bed, leaving him to lock up.'
'But he might have gone out again after you were in bed.' 'Why, yes, he might; but as it happened, he didn't. He couldn't a done it without me knowing. Our door-fastenings go hard, and the door itself can only be shut-from the outside-with a bang. No one could go out without making a row that would wake a heavy sleeper, which I ain't. Besides, our young un was queer, and kept both the wife and me awake pretty well all through the night.'
This was conclusive so far; and it was not from any doubt of the greengrocer's truthfulness, but with an eye to giving something of roundness to my report, that I called at the Greyhound, and at the workshops in which Wilson was employed-only to find that my suspect had been at the public-house till the time named, and had duly turned up at work at six in the morning.
I was thus left without even a theory to suggest, and my official report was a very blank affair indeed-so far, that is, as the important point of detection was concerned.
The non-success of the police was duly recorded in the papers, and once more the locals came down heavily upon the Force. The bills announcing old Dorrington's offer of a hundred pounds reward were liberally displayed. For a week or two they were objects of interest to local students of wall literature; then they were rapidly covered by other and newer advertisements; and the China House burglary having fulfilled its nine days as a wonder, was speedily forgotten, the more especially as, within that period, another house in the neighbourhood was broken into, apparently by the same gang of burglars.
Other business coming in the way, I, too, ceased to have any special remembrance of the China House job, and seeing how unsatisfactory my connection with it had been, I was not sorry to forget it. As the event proved, however, this forgetfulness for the time being, a blissful forgetfulness-was not destined to be permanent. Five months later that is to say, in the April of the following year I had occasion one day to make a visit to a notorious street in a low quarter of the division. A few of the inhabitants of the street, whose poverty, and not their will, consented to their living in such a place, were of the poor but honest class; but the bulk of the residents belonged to the no-visible-meansof-support, or habitual criminal classes. Though the street was a picture of poverty and squalor, a certain tavern flourished in it; and as I turned into it on the day in question, there was a disturbance outside the public-house. A plainclothes man who has been any length of time in a division is as well known by sight to the shady characters of the district as any of them are to him. As I approached the scene of the skirmish, an under-sized, over-dressed, horsy-looking youth, apparently about seventeen or eighteen years of age, stepped out from the crowd, and addressing me in what was intended to be an authoritative tone, said: 'Mr Grainger, I give that man into custody.' 'That man' was the landlord of the public-house, who was standing in his own doorway.
'What do you charge him with?' I asked. Assault,' was the answer. 'Whom has he assaulted?' 'Me.'
'Yer lie, you varmint!' broke in the landlord, who had come up while we were speaking. 'I haven't assaulted you yet; but if you try your monkey tricks on with me again, I will, and properly too. I'll shake the sawdust out of you, you image!'
'I suppose you have been doing something to provoke an assault,' I remarked, addressing myself to the youth, who was standing his ground with a particularly self-satisfied air.
O no; I haven't,' he retorted impudently. 'If you chaff a fellow a bit, and he ain't clever enough to pay you back in your own coin, that's not to say he's to come the rough-and-tumble line on you. This fellow had no right to take the law into his own hands. If he didn't like what I've done, he had his remedy; he knows where I live, and could have summoned me for proceedings calculated to lead to a breach of the peace.'
'You know all about it, then,' I said, without attempting to disguise a sneer.
'Yes; I do,' he rejoined. 'I know my rights, and I mean to stand on them; so, you do your duty, and take that man into custody.'
'Certainly not,' I replied. 'I have witnessed no violence, and can see no evidence of your having been assaulted. Since you are so knowing, you must be aware that you have your remedy. If you don't like what he has done, you can summon him-if you can persuade a magistrate to grant a summons.-And now, you had better go.'
'Or else you'll move me on, eh? You'd like a chance to run me in, wouldn't you? But you won't get it; I don't give openings; so, ta-ta;' and uttering this parting bit of bounce, he thrust his hands into his pockets and swaggered off, whistling a popular music-hall tune. He was playing to the gallery, and he had his reward. By a derisive guffaw directed at me, the onlookers expressed their admiration of his spirit, their satisfaction at hearing a detective bounced;' and having thus relieved their feelings, they departed.
What is it all about?' I asked the landlord, when we were left alone.
'Why, he's been trying to take my character away,' was the answer.
'Oh!' I said, lengthening and accentuating the exclamation in a manner intended to make it convey more than met the ear. As a matter of fact, the character of mine host of the Lion and Lamb was of a kind that most people would have regarded as a reproach which they would have been more than willing to have had taken away. That he had never actually been in trouble was held-by the police at any rate-to be due rather to his good fortune than his deserts. He was an open associate of habitual criminals ; his house was used by well-known thieves; and he was an organiser and chairman of 'friendly leads' got up for the benefit of members of the local school' of law-breakers, for whom a defence fund was being raised; or who, having been 'put away' and done their time, found themselves in low water upon their return to the outer world.
'He ain't exactly been a-sayin' anythin'; it's what he's been a-doin' of,' was the somewhat oracular response.
'And what might that be?'
'I'll show you, if you'll wait a minute,' he said; and as he spoke, he stepped briskly into the house, coming out again presently, having in his hand a sheet of paper about a foot square. "That's what he's been a-doin'!' he exclaimed
with angry emphasis, as he held the paper up to view. Fortunately, he was too excited himself to observe the effect produced upon me. At sight of the paper, my heart was in my mouth,' for the thing that had aroused the ire of the landlord was a drawing which at a glance struck me as having been done by the same hand that had drawn the caricatures upon the wall-paper of China House. Of so much I felt certain even before I realised the details of the picture. Here at last, and thus accidentally, I said to myself, I had really got a clue' to the China House job; though how it would work out, I had not for the moment the slightest idea. Commanding my manner as well as I could, I examined the drawing with real interest, but assumed indiffer
It showed a man-intended to represent the landlord, and actually bearing some resemblance to him-standing over a crucible. From the mouth of the figure proceeded a scroll, on which was written: Try our patent safety-pot, boys. Good prices given, and no questions asked.' Under the drawing, by way of descriptive title, was inscribed: "The worthy chairman in "melting moments."
'Wants to make you out a fence and melter?' I remarked.
'Yes; and that's a kind of thing I wouldn't stand, even if there had ever been anythin' of the sort agen me, which you know there ain't.'
'Why should he have done it?' I asked. 'Well, partly, I expect, because I was going to chuck him out the other night for being imperent to the young woman as plays the piano at the Harmonic Meetings in my house; and partly just because he fancies himself good at this sort of thing. He sets up for being first-rate all round, and in particular reckons himself one of the touch-me-nots in the pen and pencil line.'
'If he is the too-clever-by-half sort of customer you seem to think him, he may find pen and pencil are edged tools,' I observed, by way of keeping up the conversation in such a manner as should not suggest to my man that he was being drawn.
'I'm sure he will,' agreed the landlord emphasising his assent by an expletive. There's not much doubt about his turning out a case of too bright to last. He's a bad bred un; he'll take to forgery, or something else in the eddicated swindling line.'
'A bad bred un,' I repeated. 'Who is he, then?'
'Why, Curley Bond's son. I thought you knew
'O indeed,' I said; and again I had to do all I could to speak in a tone of seeming indiffer
The mention of Curley Bond in this relation was to my mind confirmation strong of my belief that I had come upon the track of the China House burglars.
THE PROSPECTS OF NEW GUINEA, Now that New Guinea seems destined either to
be formally annexed or put under the protection of the British empire, a few notes in reference to the probable future development of the country and its internal resources may not be uninteresting. To begin with: there is no brilliant prospect in the immediate future, and it is only by dint of great energy and perseverance that anything will be made out of it in the future. Although there is splendid land for sugar, rice, tea, and coffee, nothing can be grown until the natives are induced to assist in their cultivation, and that alone will be a matter of long persuasion. Sago, on the other hand, is abundantly grown, and seems destined to become a considerable export; pepper and spices are already cultivated, and can be still further developed ; whilst ginger, turmeric, and nutmegs can at the present time be had for the asking. Cocoa-nuts are also in fair abundance, and form a great source of trade amongst the natives themselves everywhere, for, besides being exchanged with the hill tribes for other articles of food, they form a substantial proportion of the dietary on the spot. The cocoa-nut trees are plentiful along the coast; but so far as knowledge at present goes, they are not to be found in great numbers inland. The manufacture of copra is not thought to have much chance of success, since it takes eight thousand nuts to make a ton of copra. Valuable timbers are known to exist in the country, but not at present in districts where it would be safe to work them. Various scented woods are to be had, and these may prove of value in the future; ebony is also abundant; and in many places, the natives have paddles, spoons, &c. made from the wood. So much for the vegetable produce from a commercial point of view. The flora of the country is at the same time very strange and interesting, and has many choice varieties and novelties to reveal to the enterprising botanist.
To the sportsman, New Guinea offers several attractions, as there is plenty of variety, though no large game. The plumage of the birds is magnificent, and so long as there is a demand for their feathers, will amply repay the trouble of procuring them. Bêche-de-mer fishing has also great charms for white men, and there is a good field for it. The artist, traveller, and ethnologist will again each find a wide field of study. The scenery is of the grandest description, comprising huge forests, giant waterfalls, mountains, and plains; and the habits and customs of the people, together with their primitive weapons and implements, afford interesting subjects for speculation and research. The climate, in some places, is, however, a serious drawback to many enterprises which travellers and explorers of all kinds may in the future undertake. This is especially the case with regard to the explorations for gold produce. There seems no doubt that gold is in
the country, and to a considerable extent. Sir Roderick Murchison was of opinion that it existed in such quantities as ultimately to revolutionise its value in the world. So far, in a few places where it has been sought, only the colour has been obtained. The most likely locality for it is now said to be the Owen Stanley range, which is the watershed for the Fly, the Williams, and many other large rivers having outlets on the south-east coast. Almost insurmountable difficulties, however, exist in the way of reaching it. There are only two known approaches to the range from the coast, and they are more than hazardous. A succession of mountain ranges intervene, and across these no horse can travel; neither can native carriers be obtained. Rain falls daily in the ranges; and this fact, together with the rivers which would have to be swum, renders the enterprise of great physical risk as regards fevers and chills.
grounds, which, although apparently a wilderness, are nevertheless held by the right of acknowledged proprietors;' and this is exactly the state of affairs with regard to land tenure in New Guinea at the present day.
The country abounds in extensive well-watered grazing-grounds; but until the land question is settled, the country will not offer any great facilities for pastoral pursuits. The settlement of these questions is certainly no easy one. A gentleman who was in partnership with another Englishman in what is known as the Kabadi 'land-grabbing' venture, has been in treaty with various tribes for some time past for a stretch of country for cattle-breeding purposes. The land is at the rear of the Verimana range, and reaches from Mann-Mann to Bootless Inlet, an area of about thirty miles by ten. For six months, he has been negotiating, and during that time he has obtained innumerable signatures to his form of agreement, and has thus acquired the lease of the land, according to our ideas, as well as distributed a fair amount of trade. However, as it is estimated that there are about five thousand individual owners whose rights have to be considered when the cattle arrive, it is probable troubles will begin.
Another drawback would be in the probable collision of some or all of the party with the inhabitants of the various settlements which would have to be passed, and from which carriers would have to be obtained. So long as the white man behaves himself, it is true he has nothing to fear from the natives, and is generally welcomed. He may stay as long as he wishes in any of the villages along the coast, with the natives helping him in his work as he requires, provided they get what they want in return. This is generally tobacco, and the idea of a white man in a good many places resolves itself into a harmless foreigner who has unlimited supplies of tobacco, and who, for some insane reason, wishes to see the Papuans' territory. They are for the most part a harmless, lotus-eating, friendly people themselves; and they humour the white man in his desires so long as he does not interfere with theirs. There are, however, places where it would be dangerous to rely too much on this friendliness, as, for instance, from Aroma to Cloudy Bay, and in the adjacent islands. Many white men and Chinese have fallen victims; and the heads of Captain Webb's crew, with a few The great future difficulty would seem to be others, making altogether about seventeen skulls, in inducing the natives to work. So far, their form a trophy which is preserved with great life is a very pleasant one; they hunt, fish, dance, pride. In some cases, Englishmen have received fight now and again; but beyond eating, sleeping, a friendly warning in time to quit a dangerous and enjoying themselves, they have no thoughts. locality where the natives, in spite of good treat- They have no cares for the future, no thoughts ment and large presents, have shown a disposition of the past, and it seems almost a pity to disturb for a little blood-letting; but this is principally a life so pleasant and primitive. They have a in the inland districts. At South Cape and to fine country, and they work just enough to prothe extreme east, again, where mission-teachers vide themselves with their food; besides which, are established, the natives are very friendly, though it is now feared the labour operations' recently tried there may prejudice the natives against the white man for a long while to
One or two feasible suggestions seem already to have been made with regard to the land question. It is suggested on one side that the example of indigo and tea growers in India should be followed, and advances of seed and implements made to small growers on condition that the crops-for which an additional bonus would be granted-be given to the advancer. This has some doubtful aspects, however; and a more favourable settlement of the question seems to lie in an adaptation of the Javanese system of leasing lands through the government-that is, all transactions in land to take place through it, and it alone. Those who have spent any time in the country seem agreed that it is useless for any private individual or syndicate to attempt to take the matter in hand.
The idea that seems so prevalent in our own country and in some parts of the colonies, that the country is open to any one who can take possession of it, is somewhat an erroneous one. As a matter of fact, there is not an acre of land without an owner, the lands being huntinggrounds and gardens for various tribes. It has been said that 'one of the first laws in the primitive community mainly existing on the product of the chase, is to protect the rights of individual hunters, and thus we find that among the most savage tribes there are certain hunting
so much as they have seen of civilisation, they do not seem inclined to imitate. The greatest good of the greatest number is nevertheless the moving factor of modern life, and before that, the Papuans, we suppose, must bend. That they do not want either annexation or protection, has been pretty well shown; but in spite of that, we may hope that English interference, which arose primarily in a dread of the occupation of New Guinea by another power, which might prove troublesome to the colonists close at hand, may in the end be for the best. In time, no doubt, there will be much to repay enterprising colonists for their efforts to extract the riches of the country in all their varied forms; but until the country is more settled and the white man is better understood, trade will not develop very rapidly;
and the uncertainties in connection with transactions with the natives, and the risks of various kinds, not only from the people but the climate, will for a time at least outweigh any destined advantages.
ENSILAGE AND DAIRY CATTLE. In a letter to the Scotsman, Mr E. T. Blunt, of Blaby Hill, Leicester, writes: "I have several times been asked the question whether I considered ensilage a substitute for hay or roots. Will you allow me to give you the following figures? which, I think, conclusively prove that it is not only a substitute, but superior as a food for dairy cows to either one or the other, or even to both combined.
Five acres of clover, producing ten tons of hay, will produce forty tons of ensilage. The cost of making it into hay, stacking, and thatching will be fifteen shillings per acre; therefore, if the value of the hay is four pounds per ton, the value of the crop for that purpose is £36, 58. I find the cost of making ensilage to be 4s. 6d. per ton, including a fair charge for use and depreciation of silo and press; therefore, add nine pounds to the £36, 5s. and you have £45, 5s. as the value of the forty tons of ensilage, comparing it with hay at four pounds per ton. For several weeks I have fed five cows entirely upon ensilage, and find they consume three hundred and forty pounds per day, or 1 ton 1 cwt. 1 qr. per week, equal to 39 tons 6 cwt. 1 qr.-say forty tons-for thirty-seven weeks; the cost of which, ascertained as above, is £45, 5s. Thus, each cow will cost rather less than five shillings per week. The same number of cows, fed upon hay and roots, will consume four hundred pounds of roots and eighty pounds of hay per day; or for thirtyseven weeks, 46 tons 5 cwt. of roots and 9 tons 5 cwt. of hay. The roots, at fifteen shillings per ton, will amount to £34, 13s. 9d.; and the hay, at four pounds per ton, to thirty-seven poundsa total cost of £71, 13s. 9d., or 7s. 9d. per cow per week. For five cows for thirty-seven weeks we have, therefore, a balance in favour of ensilage of £25, 8s. 9d., or 2s. 9d. per cow per week. Each system produces about the same quantity of milk; but the ensilage-fed cows are decidedly in the best condition; whilst their milk yields four or five per cent. more cream, and is as sweet and good as that from cows fed on grass in
With such facts as these before me, I was rather surprised to see the notice issued by the manager of the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company that he would not use milk from ensilage-fed cows. I at once requested Dr Emmerson, the public analyst for the counties of Leicester, Northampton, and Rutland, to analyse the milk from those cows which I had fed entirely upon ensilage for several weeks. following is his Report: "The sample is of specific gravity 1034, and consists of the following percentages-Total solids, 13·120; fat, 3·300; solids not fat, 9.820; ash, 83; water, 86.880. These results represent a milk of first-rate quality; and prove that the food was nutritious, and that the cows had been in good health, so as to enable the mammary glands to secrete a milk so rich in albumen, fat, &c. The microscopic examina
tion showed the usual abundant small oil globules, and absence of pus cells or any foreign matter."
In a letter accompanying his report, Dr Emmerson says: "The only possible objection to silos can be when they are imperfectly constructed, so as to allow more air to reach the inclosed vegetable matter than admits of oxygenation beyond a certain amount, and decomposition begins; then, of course, the food would be unwholesome."
With reference to this, permit me to say that attention to two simple rules will insure good ensilage. The crop should be quite green and full of moisture when placed in the silo; then, after ten days or a fortnight, it should be subjected to a continuous pressure of not less than one hundred and fifty pounds to the square foot. I obtain this pressure by means of levers, which are easily adjusted and require little attention, and can be managed by an ordinary farm-labourer. The cost of the silo, hitherto a difficulty, need deter no one. I find that wooden silos make the best ensilage, and cost little.
With such facts as these before us, and also when we take into consideration that two crops for ensilage may be obtained in one year, that in making it we are quite independent of the weather, and that many crops may be grown on land now growing corn at a ruinous loss, which will give a much greater return per acre for ensilage than clover, I think we may look for still better results than the above, and may confidently rely upon our arable land thus becoming a source of profit, instead of loss, to
AN old-world country garden, where the hours
The walks are straight, and patterned with white stone,
I dream once more I hold within my own.
M. E. W.
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