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set in concrete, and on these pillars the wooden houses were put up, -for it is found that malaria hangs about low, and it is an advantage to sleep some distance above the ground. When the river rose, the remaining stores went to Jebba and the engineers with them; though by that time the 2nd battalion and Royal Artillery were so comfortably settled in the grass huts that they hardly desired the change. The sol diers, who before had been employed in building, now were turned on to the new fatigue duty of carrying timber and other materials from the landing-place; and besides the fatigue duty drill went on unceasingly. At half-past five A.M. every day there would be réveillé; officers dressed to an accompaniment of jabbering from the parade-ground as the never-silent negroes assembled; at six "Fall in" would sound, and from half-past six to eight was parade. Then after breakfast, from nine to ten, came drill for recruits, and till twelve, when the men had their mid-day meal, various fatigue duties. Then came sleep, and again, from four to six, parade, and by the end of that Europeans had had enough of it. Always, too, during the day there would be musketry practice, an uphill business, for the negro is slow in learning how to shoot; but the perseverance of his instructors has got the better of his incapacity, and up to 400 yards volley-firing is done with very

fair results. The men are armed with Lee-Metfords, and the little bush - fighting that was done against Lapai and elsewhere proved the superiority of the hard bullet over that used in the Sniders. The soft bullet is apt to break up when volleys are fired into bush where natives are hiding; but the Lee-Metford projectiles went through the cover so completely that the hidden party always ran before our men could get close. The three batteries of gunners also, under Major Robinson, have arrived at a considerable degree of competence, and, in short, the force has become effective.

It has not been without cost. Europeans working hard under service conditions in any hot climate must always be liable to a heavy mortality, and although the climate in these regions of the Niger is less disagreeable than that of many places in India, it has proved deadly. The mortality at Lokoja, which is near the junction of the Niger and Benué, where the land at the confluis submerged at high Niger, has been greater than that at Jebba, Jebba, which lies farther up - stream, with no stagnant water about; but even at Jebba it has been heavy. Still, the country is a very different one from the coast with its mangrove swamps, which Mr Harold Bindloss has so vividly described in his book on the Niger Delta.1 The situation of Lokoja, lying at the confluence

ence

In the Niger Country. By Harold Bindloss. Wm. Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London: 1898.

provided vegetables, but has

of two huge rivers, and backed
by mountain chains, is very been
-
beautiful, and the scenery in
general recalled South Africa
the

to

who had seen men kloopfs and kopjes. At Jebba the stream is not so broad, and is pent in between high stony cliffs above the island itself one of many in the river-rises the great Jebba rock at the foot of the rapids,- -a huge crag in mid-stream, wooded at its base, but bare and bald for its upper half. Sport is still only a matter of anticipation, for the officers have been too hard at work to spare the time needed to hunt big game in the dense bush; but plenty of tracks have been seen, both of elephants and lions, and no doubt in easier times there will be good bags made by men stationed at Jebba. For the moment it is worth while to note two very important experiments that were tried to make life less uncomfortable. A soda water machine was brought out and put under the charge of a non-commissoned officer who had learnt the work in India. All the water was boiled in a huge copper before being aerated, and thus a drink was available in which the microbes could find no harbourage. Still more interesting was the regimental farm of the 2nd battalion, started under the direction of Captain the Hon. Fitzroy Somerset of the Grenadier Guards. This has not only

а means of fattening cattle, sheep, guinea-fowl, and turkeys procured from the natives, so that the Europeans have never wanted for fresh food, and have even been able to supply the gunboats. The black soldiers receive a weekly ration of guinea corn and trade beef; it is prepared for them by their women. The Yorubas prefer yams, but it has hitherto been hard to get these. The recruiting has gone on steadily, till both battalions are nearly, if not quite, up to strength. With the 1st battalion, which began with a nucleus of Hausas, the original difficulty was to enlist Yorubas; and, with Fitzgerald's, which began by enrolling Yorubas, the opposite was the case. Hausas and Yorubas being enemies, it was hard to induce either of them to enlist in a regiment recruited, apparently, from another and not a friendly race; but once one or two companies were organised, things went on more easily. What has been said of the work done at Jebba describes also in rough outline that carried out at Lokoja by Lieut.Colonel Pilcher and his officers with the 1st battalion. In short, the force, which was started in a somewhat experimental way a year ago, is now one that can be counted upon, and its officers may be heartily congratulated on the results of their work.

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons.

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It will have occurred to almost every one who spends a considerable portion of the year in London, that the people of the Metropolis do not make so great a use of the Thames as might be expected. A little inquiry shows that they are not given the means of using it which they ought to be. The good-humour of Londoners suffers long before it is unable to withstand the friction of which itself is the polished product. Londoners take their pleasures more gladly probably than most of their countrymen, but do not (to use an angling term) "bait the swim" for them. With the need of playgrounds becoming more urgent daily, they are content to enjoy themselves in such only as are opened for them, and seldom seek new ones for themselves; and as there is no one to adapt the Thames to their uses, that which is every

VOL. CLXV.-NO. MII.

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body's business being nobody's business, comparatively few have found out its possibilities. A more general æsthetic enjoyment of the river's enchantment -the mystery of the Pool, the wonderful robes of blue and silver and gold and russet in which it clothes itself when Night descends between the bridges we ought not, perhaps, to look for; but we might expect it to be used to relieve the congested traffic of the railways and streets, instead of disgraced by the meanest service of river-steamers that ever plied, and to be so regulated as to afford comfort to the holiday boater, and a decent accommodation for the citizen who desires a dip. Londoners have not awakened, as one day they must, to the play-ground they possess in their great river. When they have, they will marvel to think that ever they 2 s

allowed it to be so scandalously neglected and mismanaged as it is.

There is in London, however, a body of men who are by no means insensible to the value of the Thames the anglers; and it may be conceded that the River Conservancy, in so far as they have legislated in respect to the Thames anglers at all, and howsoever much they may have done so under pressure, have managed in the main to legislate in their best interests. The club anglers of London-a characteristic race-have other fishing-grounds, of course. The Lea, Izaak Walton's river, is nearer the doors of many of them. Not that they object to go far afield for their sport. Every Sunday morning in summer, London Bridge Station is crowded with working - men anglers, with roach - poles in hand, and boxes and baskets of most ingenious internal economy slung over their shoulders, waiting with wives and families for special trains to carry them to the banks of the Arun, sixty miles away in Sussex, or through Kent to fish the Medway at Tunbridge or at Yalding.

But the Thames is the favourite holiday - ground of the metropolitan club anglers, of whom, it is estimated, there are enrolled some seven or eight thousand; and if we include the members of the Reading, Henley, and other up-river associations, and the holiday and unattached anglers of all sorts and conditions, we may at a very moderate computation put down the number of those who fish the Thames at 15,000. Their

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numbers, and still more their wide social range, for the Thames anglers do not belong to the artisan and middle classes only, but include men occupying high positions in the Church and the State and eminent in the arts and literature,—make them a body of very considerable influence. Of necessity, they angle chiefly for coarse fish; and it may be that there are readers of 'Maga' who conceive of the angler for coarse fish as the mild lunatic so often pictured in the pages of 'Punch.' If so, they may be quickly undeceived. Many of the regular Thames anglers are to be found in the season on the banks of salmon and trout rivers, and very notable sportsmen they are there. Moreover, the tackle and the methods of approaching the fish employed on a greatly overfished river like the Thames, where year by year the fish are being educated to a higher state of acuteness, are such as to qualify those who are expert with them to angle for almost any fish in almost any water. On the Thames, where many of the roach-swims approximate to those of the Lea, slow and subtle, there is practised chiefly the fascinating Lea style of roach-fishing, with long, stiff, tapered pole and tight line, as opposed to the short rod with long and running line preferred by the Nottingham fishers. To kill roach by either method demands a skill that no fly-fisher need sneer at. And fly-fishers are not absent from Thames side. They are to be found on the shallows outside the National Gardens at Kew, and in

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the tideway, busy with the dace, and he who can hit a dace in a "full" water, with such tackle as they use, ought to be able to kill trout anywhere. Again, in the summer months, fly fishing for chub under the leafy boughs is a favourite sport with Thames anglers; and, when speaking of expertness, we must mention the remarkable skill they have developed in "trotting down" a dainty bait for chub-singularly pretty work. But apology for the Thames coarsefish anglers surely is not necessary. The expert fly-fisher is the first to acknowledge their skill in their own sport. Their enthusiasm and attachment to their favourite swim are notorious, and their patience is only exaggerated in the slanderous prints already referred to. As they have increased in numbers and in skill, the stock of coarse fish, prolific and hardy as these are, has been threatened with depletion, and a section of the Thames anglers have been ready to associate themselves in societies, which, besides their protective work, have from time to time netted reservoirs and private waters for fish to turn into the river. Whether these wellmeant efforts at restocking have always been wise may be open to doubt. We ourselves have a strong conviction that in stocking a water, whether with coarse fish or with Salmonida, it is best as far as possible to use fish propagated in the water itself; and further, that this is far more often possible than is generally believed. But, spite of mistakes, the Associations on

the Thames have been doing excellent work, and have shown a rare public spirit by their efforts to provide sport in the river of the metropolis for a large and estimable section of the inhabitants.

The stocking operations of the Associations have not been confined to coarse fish. From time to time they have turned into the river and its tributaries small quantities of levenensis and fario, and have planted ova on natural redds. The Henleyon-Thames and District Fishery Preservation Society, which we instance because its report has come into our hands, has handled in the course of re-stocking, between 1883 and 1898, some 7000 trout, yearlings and twoyear-olds, of various kinds, and over 11,000 trout - fry, and in these fifteen years has planted about 170,000 ova. That the turning-in of trout into the river is not without beneficial results to-day is evident enough. We may note one indication of it. The Thames trout proper

-the trout indigenous to the Thames, that is runs to a great size: the standard for it is fixed by the Conservancy Act at 3 lbs., at which weight it does not rise to the fly. The proposal is now made, we understand on the initiative of Mr William Senior, to lower the standard for trout taken by the fly, so as to enable the fly-fishers to try their hand on trout on the river. This lowering of the standard, which involves the risk of the young indigenous Thames trout being taken under 3 lbs., would never have been made with the sanction of so

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