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Now letters pended enough hard work on her to make me love her. No influential friend would have served me better. She had given me a chance to come out. a bit to find out what I could do. No, I don't like work. I had rather laze about and think of all the fine things that can be done. I don't like work -no man does-but I like what is in the work, the chance to find yourself. Your own reality

only known it. went to the coast every week. 'My dear sir,' he cried, 'I write from dictation.' I demanded rivets. There was a way-for an intelligent man. He changed his manner; became very cold, and suddenly began to talk about a hippopotamus; wondered whether sleeping in the steamer (I stuck to my salvage night and day) I wasn't disturbed. There was an old hippo that had the bad habit of getting out on the bank and roaming at night over the station grounds. The pilgrims used to turn out in a body and empty every rifle they could lay hands on at him. Some even had sat up o' nights for him. All this energy was wasted, though. 'That animal has a charmed life,' he said; 'but you can say this only of brutes in this country.

No man―you apprehend me? -no man here bears a charmed life.' He stood there for a moment in the moonlight with his delicate hooked nose set a little askew, and his mica eyes glittering without a wink. Then, with a curt good-night, he strode off. I could see he was disturbed and considerably puzzled, which made me feel more hopeful than I had been for days. It was a great comfort to turn from that chap to my influential friend, the battered, twisted, ruined, tin-pot steamboat. I clambered on board. She rang under my feet like an empty Huntley and Palmer biscuit-tin kicked along a gutter; she was nothing so solid in make, and rather less pretty in shape, but I had ex

for yourself, not for otherswhat no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.

"I was not surprised to see somebody sitting aft, on the deck, with his legs dangling over the mud. You see I rather chummed with the few mechanics there were in that station, whom the other pilgrims naturally despised-on account of their imperfect manners, I suppose. This was the foreman a boiler-maker by trade-a good worker. He was a lank, bony, yellow-faced man, with big intense eyes. His aspect was worried, and his head was as bald as the palm of my hand; but his hair in falling seemed to have stuck to his chin, and had prospered in the new locality, for his beard hung down to his waist. He was a widower with six young children (he had left them in charge of a sister of his to come out there), and the passion of his life was pigeon-flying. He was an enthusiast and a connoisseur. He raved about pigeons. work hours he used sometimes to come over from his hut for a talk about his children and


he had to crawl in the mud under the bottom of the steamboat, he would tie up that beard of his in a kind of white serviette he brought for the purpose. It had loops to go over

his ears.

his pigeons. At work, when ing invasion of soundless life, a rolling wave of plants, piled up, crested, ready to topple over the creek, to sweep every little man of us out of his little existence. And it moved not. A deadened burst of mighty splashes and snorts reached us from afar, as though an ichthyosaurus had been taking a bath of glitter in the great river. After all,' said the boilermaker in a reasonable tone, 'why shouldn't we get the rivets.' Why not, indeed! I did not know of any reason why we shouldn't. 'They'll come in three weeks,' I said, confidently.

In the evening he could be seen squatted on the bank rinsing that wrapper in the creek with great care, then spreading it solemnly on a bush to dry.

"But they didn't. Instead came an invasion, an infliction, a visitation. It came in sections during the next three weeks, each section headed by a donkey carrying a white man in new clothes and tan shoes, bowing from that elevation right and left to the impressed pilgrims. A quarrelsome band of footsore sulky niggers trod on the heels of the donkey. A lot of tents, camp-stools, tin boxes, white cases, brown bales would be shot down in the courtyard, and the air of mystery would deepen a little over the muddle of the station. Five such instalments came, with their absurd air of disorderly flight with the loot of innumerable outfit shops and provision stores, that, one would think, they were lugging, after a raid, into the wilderness for equitable division. It was an inextricable mess of things decent in themselves but that human folly made look like the spoils of thieving.


"I slapped him on the back and shouted 'We shall have rivets !' He scrambled to his feet exclaiming 'No! Rivets!' as though he couldn't believe his ears. Then in a low voice, 'You . . . eh?' I don't know why we behaved like lunatics. I put my finger to the side of my nose and nodded mysteriously. Good for you!' he cried, snapped his fingers above his head, lifting one foot. I tried a jig. We capered on the iron deck. A frightful clatter came out of that hulk, and the virgin forest on the other bank of the creek sent it back in a thundering roll upon the sleeping station. It must have made some of the pilgrims sit up in their hovels. A dark figure obscured the lighted doorway of the manager's hut, vanished, then, a second or so after, the doorway itself vanished too. We stopped, and the silence driven away by the stamping of our feet flowed back again from the recesses of the land. The great wall of vegetation, an exuberant and entangled mass of trunks, branches, leaves, boughs, festoons, motionless in the moonlight, was like a riot


"This devoted band called itself the Eldorado Expedition, and I believe they were sworn to secrecy. Their talk, however, was the talk of sordid buccaneers. It was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage. There was not an atom of foresight or of serious intention in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world. Their desire was to tear treasure out of the bowels of the land with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe. Who paid for the noble enterprise I don't know; but the uncle of our manager was leader of that lot.

"In exterior he resembled a butcher in a poor neighbourhood, and his eyes had a look of

sleepy cunning. He carried his fat paunch with ostentation on his short legs, and all the time his gang infested the station spoke to no one but his nephew. You could see these two roaming about all day long with their heads close together in an everlasting confab.

"I had given up worrying myself about the rivets. One's capacity for that kind of folly is more limited than you would suppose. I said Hang !—and let things slide. I had plenty of time for meditation, and now and then I would give some thought to Kurtz. I wasn't very curious about him. No. Still, I was curious to see whether this man, who had come out equipped with moral ideas of some sort, would climb to the top after all, and how he would set about his work when there."

(To be continue 1.)





I TAKE up the thread of my reminiscences of the House of Commons where I left off in my previous article,1 at the end of the elections after the China Dissolution in 1857. The New Parliament met on April 30. The star of Palmerston was in the ascendant. Bright and Cobden were conspicuous by their absence. Sir Stafford Northcote, retiring from Dudley, had been unsuccessful in securing the suffrages of North Devon. Lord Cavendish, afterwards Lord Hartington, now Duke of Devonshire, and Lord Althorp, now Earl Spencer, made their first appearance, and were welcomed as representatives of historic names and Whig traditions. Mr Evelyn Denison was chosen Speaker. There was no great thirst for legislation. The Royal Speech at the close of the session, indeed, spoke of the many Acts of great importance which had been passed, but there was only one great legislative enactment on which the Government could congratulate itself, the Act establishing a Divorce Court.

the land on August 28. It did not raise any party question, and the issue was never doubtful. Mr Gladstone and Mr Disraeli were united in opposition, while Mr Walpole and Mr Henley were divided, the former supporting, the latter opposing, the bill. But the proceedings in Committee were very animated. We had a succession of single combats in the Homeric style between the Attorney-General, Sir Richard Bethell, and Mr Gladstone, which were only equalled in briskness by those of 1866 between Mr Lowe and Mr Gladstone about the Trojan Horse. The Attorney-General speaking at the end of the Treasury Bench and Mr Gladstone at the corner seat on the second bench below the gangway were in close contact, and the latter was described by the former as "boiling over with arguments," and "his eloquence exuding from every pore. The Attorney-General was supercilious and amusing, while Mr Gladstone gave us a striking illustration of unflinching courage The bill was introduced in in fighting a lost battle, of his the Lords. It came on in the wonderful power of debate, and Commons for second reading on of his intense and earnest July 30, and became the law of religious conviction. In vain


1 See 'Blackwood's Magazine' for July 1898.

he complained that the bill was pushed forward with unprecedented levity. In the Upper House the Duke of Norfolk, as representative of the Roman Communion, had offered his determined opposition. But the Lords Spiritual as a body, with the exception of Bishop Wilberforce, were less vigilant in their criticism than might have been expected with regard to a bill that proposed changes of such vast importance in the law of Church and State.

our laws, and had abused the asylum which England offered to political refugees by going forth from our shores to take part in these atrocious acts. Irritation sprang up between the two countries. The French colonels addressed the Emperor, denouncing the English nation. Count Walewski made a communication to the English Government. On February 9 Lord Palmerston introduced a bill to amend the law relating to conspiracy to murder, which Disraeli and the Tories supported. Leave was given to introduce it by a large majority-Ayes 299, Noes 99. The second reading came on on the 19th. Mr Milner Gibson moved a resolution from the Government side of the House expressing regret that the Government, before introducing the bill, "had not felt it to be their duty to make some reply to the important despatch received from the French Government, dated Paris, January 20, 1858." This amendment received the support of Mr Disraeli and of Mr Gladstone, and of the majority of our party. Mr Henley said that the resolution was "true as Gospel: how could any man vote against it?" In my view, Lord Palmerston was right in condemning it as an "insidious amendment. It was unsound, if not unprecedented, intended to destroy the bill, and to defeat by a sidewind the decision of the House on the previous stage. The House carried Mr Milner Gibson's amendment, and so destroyed the bill by a majority of 19,- Ayes 215, Noes 234. I voted in the minority with

Parliament was called together again on December 3, and passed a bill to indemnify the Bank of England for having issued notes in excess of the amount authorised by the Act of 1844. It then adjourned until February 4, 1858. The Indian Mutiny and the account of the enormities committed at Delhi and Cawnpore had painfully absorbed the minds of all during the autumn, and our Indian Empire seemed shaken to its very foundations. The affairs of India, therefore, occupied the most prominent place in the Royal Speech; the attention of Parliament being next called to the laws which regulated the representation of the people. But meanwhile another matter arose which demanded the prompt action of the British Government, and produced an unexpected result by its consequences on the Ministry of Lord Palmerston. In the middle of January, Europe was shocked by the startling intelligence of the attempt to assassinate the Emperor Napoleon. Some of the conspirators had lived under the shelter of

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