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No one who did not live in the days of the passing of the Reform Bill can imagine the excitement which it produced in the country.

"Prince Leopold and the troops presented instead of ladies walked, supported by grounding their arms. Hasthe Dukes of York and Clar- denbrock, by Prince Leopold's ence, after the coffin. The command, wrote to Bloomfield Prince was crying, and his to beg that the Prince Regent lips quivered violently. They would order a vacant place to sat down on three chairs, cov- be left by Princess Charlotte's ered with black velvet, in front coffin for his own, which was of the altar. The service was done.' 99 1 very badly performed by the Dean of Windsor, who, when he left his stall, instead of going up to the coffin, read the service over the heads of the chief mourners and supporters. He also read the prayers consigning the body to the dust before it was lowered into the grave. Then followed some singing, also ill performed. It was like a stage burial, as the coffin seemed to be lowered down through a trap-door, and no dust was cast upon it.

"The ceremony concluded by Sir Isaac Heard, the Garter King-at-Arms, in his full robes, a very old man, rehearsing her style, &c. This he did in a very feeling manner, and was so overcome that he dropped into the arms of the persons behind him at the conclusion. Prince Leopold then retired, giving orders that the vault should be left open in order that he might pay a last farewell to the coffin. The rest of the assembly then dispersed pell-mell, having first crowded round the vault and cast a sorrowing look at the coffin deposited in its final receptacle.


is singular that the

My uncle Hugh (the Duke of Northumberland) wrote to my father to ask him if he would come with all his family to Alnwick from Scotsbridge, our house in Hertfordshire, saying that the castle could be armed and provisioned if a revolution broke out. My father, however, did not take so alarming a view of the situation. After the bill was passed, Rickmansworth, the little town near us, was illuminated. Only Scotsbridge and the vicarage were not so. The mob forced their way into the backyard of Scotsbridge, saying that if my father would not illuminate they would break all the windows and enter the house.

My father loaded his revolver, and sent out word that he would shoot the first man dead who crossed the threshold of a door that led into the hall, where we were all assembled.

The message had a salutary effect, and after breaking some windows the mob withdrew to

1 As Prince Leopold became King of the Belgians, this, of course, was not

ultimately carried into effect.


2 I

the vicarage and ordered the vicar to illuminate, and to give them the keys of the church in order that they might ring the bells. The poor vicar was so frightened that he ran up to his bedroom, whence he threw the keys out of the window, and soon we heard a merry peal of bells.

Speaking of family anecdotes, my father told me that in his grandfather's time a trunk, evidently made to fit into a carriage, was found in a lumber-room at Alnwick Castle. On being opened, it was discovered to be filled with gold pieces. Nobody alive knew

how it came to be so, and it was supposed to have been prepared for some journey which had to be suddenly abandoned, and that it had been totally forgotten. Some robbers broke into Northumberland House intending to carry off the plate. They had penetrated into the plate-room, and were about to depart with their booty, when one of them happened to touch an old silver doll which had a clock-work mechanism inside it, and it began to walk. The thieves were so terrified that they fled, leaving everything behind them. The doll is at Alnwick, and still, I believe, walks.



"ONE evening as I was lying flat on the deck of my steamboat, I heard voices approaching-and there was the nephew and the uncle strolling along the bank. I laid my head on my arm again, and had nearly lost myself in a doze, when somebody said in my ear, as it were: 'I am as harmless as a little child, but I don't like to be dictated to.

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Am I the manager-or am I not? I was ordered to send him there. It's incredible.' I became aware that the two were standing on the shore alongside the forepart of the steamboat, just below my head. I did not move; it did not occur to me to move. I was sleepy. 'It is unpleasant,' grunted the uncle. He has asked the Administration to be sent there,' said the other, 'with the idea of showing what he could do; and I was instructed accordingly. Look at the influence that man must have. Is it not frightful?' They both agreed it was frightful, then made several bizarre remarks: 'Make rain and fine weather

one man -the Council-by the nose-bits of absurd sentences that got the better of my drowsiness, so that I had pretty near the whole of my wits about me when the uncle said, 'The climate may do


away with this difficulty for you. Is he alone there?' Yes,' answered the manager; 'he sent his assistant down the river with a note to me in these terms: "Clear this poor devil out of the country, and don't bother sending more of that sort. I had rather be alone than have the kind of men you can dispose of with me." It was more than a year ago. Can you imagine such impudence!' 'Anything since then?' asked the other, hoarsely. 'Ivory,' jerked the nephew; lots of it-prime sort lotsmost annoying, from him.' 'And with that? questioned the heavy rumble. 'Invoice,' was the reply fired out, so to speak. Then silence. They had been talking about Kurtz.

"I was broad awake by this time, but, lying perfectly at ease, remained still, having no inducement to change my position. 'How did that ivory come all this way?' growled the elder man, who seemed very vexed. The other explained that it had come with a fleet of canoes in charge of an English half-caste clerk Kurtz had with him; that Kurtz had apparently intended to return himself, the station being by that time bare of goods and stores, but after coming three

1 Copyright, 1899, by S. S. M'Clure Co., in the United States of America.


hundred miles, had suddenly decided to go back, which he started to do alone in a small dug-out with four paddlers, leaving the half-caste to continue down the river with the ivory. The two fellows there seemed astounded at anybody attempting such a thing. They were at a loss for an adequate motive. As to me, I seemed to see Kurtz for the first time. It was a distinct glimpse. dug-out, four paddling savages, and the lone white man turning his back suddenly on the headquarters, on relief, on thoughts of home-perhaps; setting his face towards the depths of the wilderness, towards his empty and desolate station. I did not know the motive. Perhaps he was just simply a fine fellow who stuck to his work for its own sake. His name, you understand, had not been pronounced once. He was 'that man.' The half-caste, who, as far as I could see, had conducted a difficult trip with great prudence and pluck, was invariably alluded to as 'that scoundrel.' The scoundrel' had said the 'man' had been ill-had recovered. . . . The two below me moved away then a few paces, and strolled back and forth at some little distance. I heard: 'Military post-doctor - two hundred


miles quite alone now -unavoidable delays-nine months -no news-strange rumours.' They approached again, just as the manager was saying, 'Nobody unless a species of wandering tradera pestilential fellow, snapping ivory from the natives.' Who was it they were

talking about now? I gathered in snatches that this was some man supposed to be in Kurtz's district, and of whom the manager did not approve. 'We will not be free from unfair competition till one of these fellows is hanged for an example,' he said. Certainly,' grunted the other; 'get him hanged! Why not? Anything-anything can be done in this country. That's what I say; nobody here, you understand, here, can endanger your position. And why? You stand the climate-you outlast them all. The danger is in Europe; but there before I left I took care to They moved off and whispered, then their voices rose again. 'The extraordinary series of delays is not my fault. I did my pos

sible.' The fat man sighed, 'Very sad.' 'And the pestiferous absurdity of his talk,' continued the other; 'he bothered me enough when he was here. "Each station should be like a beacon on the road towards better things, a centre for trade of course, but also for humanising, improving, instructing." Conceive you that ass ! And he wants to be manager! No, it's- 'Here he got choked by excessive indignation, and I lifted my head the least bit. I was surprised to see how near they were-right under me. I could have spat upon their hats. They were looking on ground, absorbed in thought. The manager was switching his leg with a slender twig: his sagacious relative lifted his head. 'You have been well since you came out this


time?' he asked. The other patient wilderness, that closed gave a start. 'Who? I? upon them as the sea closes Oh! Like a charm - like a over a diver. Long afterwards charm. But the rest—oh, my the news came that all the goodness! All sick. They die donkeys were dead. I know so quick, too, that I haven't nothing as to the fate of the the time to send them out of less valuable animals. They, the country-it's incredible!' no doubt, like the rest of us, 'H'm. Just so,' grunted the found what they deserved. I uncle. 'Ah! my boy, trust to did not inquire. I was then this-I say, trust to this.' I rather excited at the prospect saw him extend his short flip- of meeting Kurtz very soon. per of an arm for a semicircular When I say very soon I mean gesture that took in the forest, comparatively. It was just two the creek, the mud, the river, months from the day we left -seemed to beckon with a dis- the creek when we came to the honouring flourish before the bank below Kurtz's station. sunlit face of the land a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, to the hidden evil, to the profound darkness of its heart. It was so startling that I leaped to my feet and looked back at the edge of the forest, as though I had expected an answer of some sort to that black display of confidence. You know the foolish notions that come to one sometimes. The high stillness confronted these two figures with its ominous patience, waiting for the passing away of a fantastic invasion.

"They swore aloud together -out of sheer fright, I believe -then pretending not to know anything of my existence, turned back to the station. The sun was low; and leaning forward side by side, they seemed to be tugging painfully uphill their two ridiculous shadows of unequal length, that trailed behind them slowly over the tall grass without bending a single blade.

"In a few days the Eldorado Expedition went into the


"Going up that river was like travelling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances. On silvery sandbanks hippos and alligators sunned themselves side by side. The broadening waters flowed through a mob of wooded islands; you lost your way on that river as you would in a desert, and butted all day long against shoals, trying to find the channel, till you thought yourself bewitched and cut off for ever from everything you had known once-somewherefar away-in another existence perhaps. There were moments when one's past came back to one, as it will sometimes when you have not a moment to spare to yourself; but

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