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I'm getting sick of this,” formances of a fly on the declared Barkly, First Lieu- ceiling.) tenant of the Menelaus. “Here “No," replied Barkly, “I we've been lying for nearly a wouldn't if I were you. Since fortnight doing nothing, and I have acquired discretion and those wretched forts ashore a circumference I have had to there nobly following our ex- relinquish the more violent ample. I don't believe there forms of exercise and leave the is a soul there except that old futtock rigging to the upper chap in a green turban and yardmen and to little boys a dirty nightshirt who comes who cultivate a waist and a up every morning and evening habitual disrespect for their on to the ramparts and says elders. Don't you know, you his prayers so ostentatiously. exiguous epitome, that the Ship's grub for a fortnight. 'lubber's hole' is reserved for I ask you! And all the other those who have attained the ships round at Alexandria and respectable age of forty?” Port Said and Ismailia living “Why, Number One, you on the fat of the land-a couldn't get through the lubland flowing with milk and ber's hole,” interpolated the honey—or ashore playing at Commander. There isn't soldiers and spoiling the Egyp- room for that circumference tians. Look here, can't we of yours.” do something !

"Exactly. And that is why regatta, or a seining party- I now offer myself as umpire that beach looks as if there in a race over the main topought to be lots of fish to be mast head between you and caught. Or 'Follow my the Paymaster. He's older Leader' aloft

than you, but he's skinnier. I wouldn't back you at Who'll back the Commander that, Number One, though I'd against Old Pay?give a fiver to see you going

Mister Old Pay, please,” over the futtock rigging,” retorted the Paymaster with laughed the junior Lieutenant, dignity. “ When a man has Johnson by name, irreverently. passed the age of forty-five he The First Lieutenant was dis- is entitled to the prefix. Do tinctly not one of Pharaoh's you really imagine, First Lieulean kine. (It should, perhaps, tenant, that I am going to be explained that in "going risk life and limb by going over the futtock rigging” aloft ? After thirty years at one has to emulate the per- sea I have more sense.”

Get up


“I thought I'd get a draw superfluous spirits in 'serving from one of you,”

of you,” laughed the Egyptians.'" Barkly. What about you, “If I were quite sure NumCommander ?

ber One wouldn't come back, The Commander gave no I'd get up a petition to the answer. He didn't like such skipper begging him to send pleasantries directed at him, them all on duty,” said Jones, and pretended he didn't hear. the Second Lieutenant, who

“I'll tell you what, Number thought he was getting too One," exclaimed the Captain senior for watch-keeping, and of Marines, “I'll make you a

I'll make you a wanted the First Lieutenant's sporting offer. I bet you a job. fiver you won't go and land “My dear Barkly,” said the under the forts and bathe.” Commander testily, “ you really

“Done along o' you,” replied are not contemplating such a Barkly. “Splendid idea. But mad project, are you?” I must have some one with me And why not? retorted to pull me ashore in the skiff. Barkly. Anything to do away It would be wanting in dignity with this monotony. But serifor a man of my perimeter to ously, sir, I'll come with you man the oars. I'm very good to your cabin and argue the at the tiller, but I find that point with you.” They both pulling anything but the fore- rose from the table and made and-aft oar detracts from my for the wardroom door. “They imposing presence. Besides, as daren't touch us, you see; they British representative on a for- know well enough that our eign shore, I must have a staff guns could knock their rotten and retinue with me."

forts to smithereens in ten “I'll come,” shouted Johnson minutes, and we know there and the junior Doctor in are none of the black artillerychorus.

men here; they were all put “What's that? demanded out of action at Alexandria the Commander.

last month. And besides-" “Barkly says he wants to go The door closed behind his ashore and wash himself—his portly figure. tub on board is not big enough "Number One's going to for his imposing presence,” in- win that fiver of yours, Solterjected the Fleet Surgeon. dier," jeered the “Worm." “And my mate and the ‘Worm' “ He always manages to get want to go with him and sand round the bugs. Do you want and canvas him under the to hedge! I can't afford any Gippy forts. Better let them fivers, but I'll bet you ten bob go, Commander. We can spare we all get back all right and them all. They're so full of en- have a jolly good bathe into ergy that they make me tired. the bargain." Let the Gippies catch them “I don't see the use of that and make them work off their to me,” replied the Marine

dolefully. “If you win, you'll appeared to be deserted, and get your ten bob all right; but the Captain of the Menelaus if you lose, I'll have to whistle rather welcomed this insane for mine, for you'll be languish- expedition, in the hope that it ing in Arabi's pet gaol with a would force the garrison to bow-string round your neck, or show themselves. But he gave something equally encouraging." orders that the skiff was to be

“ All right, I'll leave it to closely watched, that one battery you in my will,” declared John- of heavy guns was to be ready son. And then there was a to open fire if necessary, and a general move from the mess to machine-gun (Gardner) also prethe smoking circle on deck, pared to fire upon any armed where Barkly shortly joined party which should appear and them, meditatively filling his show signs of aggression. pipe.

Jones volunteered to take "Well, what about it, Num- charge of the latter weapon, in ber One ? asked the Marine. order to see what sort of execu

“Oh, it's all right," an- tion it could make, for he was swered the First Lieutenant. scornfully hostile to machine“We go in the skiff after guns—the Gardner had only evening quarters. The skipper just been brought into the Serthinks it rather a sound notion, vice—and declared that they but he says you ought to come were sure to jam before they too."

had fired a dozen rounds. “Oh, if that's so I'm quite Barkly raised another laugh willing to go, though I'm not by declaring that what Jones much of a swimmer," said the really wanted to do was to create unsuspecting Sea-Soldier, with a vacancy for himself by mistakan air of condescension. ' But ing the skiff for a party of the why does he pitch on me?” enemy, and opening fire on it,

“Because your ugly face" in the hope of bagging me. would frighten Arabi himself,” But you couldn't hit a hayreplied the irrepressible joker. stack at a hundred yards, much

The Menelaus was lying in less me at a thousand.” Aboukir Bay, whither she had Immediately after evening been sent after the strategical quarters, at 4 P.M., the three move from Alexandria to Port adventurers got into the wardSaid had been made in August room skiff, and, dismissing the 1882, in order to take Arabi crew of one, shoved off for the Pasha's army in the rear. She shore, Barkly in the stern was to watch the Aboukir sheets, the “Worm ” and the forts until they surrendered, young Doctor manning the oars. and in the meantime to “con. The port upper deck battery tain "them. But hitherto there was at the same time manned, had been no signs on their cast loose, and loaded. They part of surrender or of any were 7-inch muzzle-loaders, but other action. Indeed, the forts the six of them were sufficient


to knock the forts to bits in a suddenly exclaimed, “Hulloa ! very short time.

Who are those beggars coming The boat made for the nearest along the beach ?” point of the shore, where a nice They looked at the shore, clean strip of sand, about 30 to and there, having obviously 40 yards wide, showed between just emerged from the sallythe frowning walls of the fort port, was a party of men, and the water's edge. Not a about ten in number, marching man was to be seen in the towards the skiff in military forts. Barkly carefully scanned formation, with an officer in the battlements and the sally- charge of them. port some 300 to 400 yards to “They're after the boat!" the westward, but all was yelled Johnson. quiet, deserted. There

“And our clothes,” added nothing to prevent their land- the doctor. ing.

“Dig out, you cripples," They beached the boat, puffed Barkly. Let's see if hauled her up on the sand, we can't get there before them.” and proceeded to undress. Still Their game of leap-frog had not a sign from the forts. brought them closer to the Johnson was the first to don shore, and they were but little his birthday suit, and he lost more than 100 yards from the no time in dashing into the beach, while the others, who water, which he pronounced were stumbling over the loose to be just right, neither too sand and making slow progress, cold nor too hot. The Doctor had at least 350 yards to go. followed him immediately, and The Navy might do it. Away together the two splashed and went the two young men,

neck swam out into deep water. and neck. They were both Barkly, more deliberate in his fast swimmers, and they both movements, took some minutes intended to save their clothes, longer before he joined them, at least, if not the boat also, but then he, too, swam away from the clutches of the Gipfrom the beach, but more pies. Barkly, though a good, slowly, until he was some 200 was but a slow swimmer at yards out.

his best, and just now he was The water was delightful : rather breathless and pumped clean, fresh, and warm. All from the exertion of the conthree of them being good swim- stant diving called for in water mers, they enjoyed themselves leapfrog, so he was left hopehugely, and soon forgot all lessly in the rear. about the boat and the forts Johnson and the doctor and the possible—nay, prob- reached the boat while the able—descent upon them by a squad was still 40 yards away, hostile force. They were busily and, without waiting to use engaged in a game of leap-frog their towels, they proceeded to in the water when Johnson huddle on their clothes with


all haste. Barkly was still lations clearly indicated to his some distance out, but swim- companions that they should ming all he knew and puffing address the new-comers. But and blowing like a grampus. the Egyptian spoke first. The two already on shore were “Eef you pliss, sare, seniore decently arrayed—they at least offisare," a circular movement had trousers and a shirt on- of the hand and an interrogative when the Egyptian party ar- eyebrow obviously denoting rived. The latter were that he wished to know which armed, except for the officer, of the three was "It." who wore a sword, a very dis- The “ Worm" waved him tosipated appearance, and a three wards the First Lieutenant, who days' growth on his chin. had continued to advance into Just as

this apparition shallower water, and now stood reached the boat, the First revealed, up to his knees in Lieutenant got into his depth water, but otherwise clad only and started wading to the in his manly beauty. shore, but paused for breath 'De Colonel 'e say, nous when still immersed to his nous rendons. We 'ave not a waist - or where his waist

waist manger-eat. We 'ave plenty should have been. He was drink-champagne-bot no eat. still speechless, but his gesticu- We rendare de fort.”

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