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And Darwin himself has noted the vis- visits, and Lord Avebury's bee, preferits of bees to flowers which have lost ring blue, you may, theoretically, protheir petals. Here, again, is a flower duce a blue flower. You put your of white clematis of which snails have penny of faith in the slot, and it is eaten the greater part of the petals. evolved while you wait. With the bee Yet it receives as many bee visits as of nature, the real visitor of the flowthe perfect flowers on the same plant. ers, this is impossible.

There, again, is a flower in that bed If it be true that: of harpaliums of which a caterpillar 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the has neatly eaten off the ray florets. view Nevertheless, there is a bee on it gath- And robes the mountain in its azure ering nectar, although there are scores hue, of perfect flowers around it! Such

it would also appear that it is remoteare the strange ways of the bee, which ness from actual fact wbich has enin the imagination of certain theorists abled the theorists to crown the bee selects the most showy flowers for its with an azure halo and make it the visits!

evolver of the blue flower. With Aristotle's bee, constant in its

G. W. Bulman. The Nineteenth Century and After.

THE JOINT IN THE HARNESS.

BY “OLE LUK-OIE,”
AUTHOR OF “THE KITE."

III.

stones formed the roof of the shed. The bridge, slowly creeping forward Never a savory spot, an odor as of a behind its noisy head, was not the

motor garage

now bung about the only spot where progress had been place, its pungency unpleasingly inmade that day. The same sun that tensified by the smell of some extindissipated the clinging mist from the guished acetylene lanterns, for here river and revealed the bridgers at also they had been working through work, lit up another scene of toil in a the night. Men kept passing in and village some thirty-five miles away,- out of the shed,-they were erecting of toil less imposing, but no less im- machinery out in the yard. portant in its results. The little de- In a room of the village inn, still the serted village, the “Hornet's nest," was best house in the place, four officers the lair of one section of the raiders. had just finished a hasty meal and Nestling on one side of a low hill, hid- were pusbing back their ammunitionden by others slightly higher all round, box seats from the packing-case table. the spot was well chosen for its pur- One of this group was noticeable: very pose. On each side of the principal pale,-he carried his arm in a sling street straggled houses, once white but and had been eating clumsily with his now roofless and blackened. From a

left hand. Another was almost as cow-byre at one end there issued the conspicuous: wiry man, with sound of hammering, and now and then freckled face and red hair, he wore a the hum of a motor engine, driven for hybrid naval uniform. Upon his yachtshort bursts at high speed, rose to a ing cap shone a metal badge representwhine. Tarpaulins clumsily stretched ing some insect. The third, the COIDon charred rafters and weighted with

mandant of the section of raiders, was LIVING

VOL. XXXIV. 1792

а

a

AGE.

big and bull-necked, and the sly ex- rigging them up in a shed we found. pression in his protuberant eyes made I have twelve-the Gadily, Wasp, Bee, him look like a cuuning froy--if such a Mosquito, Tsetse, Ichueum--thing can be imagined. All these were “Steady, steady-I haven't time to lisyoungish men, but the fourth was the ten to the whole entomological dictionyoungest. He had nothing to distin- ary. How many will be ready for this guish bim but his pink cheeks and a evening-for Lusiness, I mean?" bread-and-butter face; he was attached "All-I hope." to the nautical man only, and did not "Are your anarchists, engineers, wear his uniform.

chauffeurs, or skippers prepared to “We can't spread this map in here," proceed on individual forlorn hopes? said the senior, in a guttural voice, Mind you, those who do not blow themlighting his pipe; “let's go into the next selves up, or get smashed by a fall, room, or, better, into the tap-room, or taken prisoner, will almost certainly where there's a bar." Following him, get shot as spies, and it's odds that they separated on each side of the long 'good-bye' at starting will be good-bye counter, the pewter top of which was for ever." thick with dust, pieces of plaster, and “We quite realize all that, sir, and broken glass. It was a moment's work we'll take our chance. 'Tis a forlorn to sweep this off to add to the wreck- hope in a way; but the prizes are large. age already inches deep on the floor. Why, just think, given a chance" The little run, where some buxom “Yes, yes, I know. I see you are a "patronne" or "Miss" bad formerly cran-I mean, an enthusiast, and quite reigned, was more than ankle-deep in rightly. Well, I'm going to give you a broken glass and crockery; the shelves bellyful of chances!" The other smiled. behind were bare of their former ar- "Now, listen. As you are a newray of bottles. Behind the shelves, the comer, I'll put you in touch with the sharp edges of the slivers of a dusty position in a few words. Never mind mirror, radiating outwards from one if I tell you something you know alor two points, caught the light in a pris- ready, don't interrupt-listen. See matic sparkle, and gave the one touch square D 14? That's where their third of brightness to the brutal squalor of army is, some seventy thousand strong. the room. Even the smell of dust and They're in a good position, at a strateplaster had not altogether exorcised the gic point, and are holding some vilestablished reek of stale tobacco-smoke lages, the names don't matter. They've and spilt liquor which still hung about. been there five days. Our Western

“Anyway, I am greatly relieved that force, which is not strong enough to atyou have come," said the last speaker. tack, has been hanging on to and ba“I heard you

your way, rassing them; we cannot make a grand but many expected things do not ar- attack, yet we hope to scatter their rive these days, and I was not too hope- army and bag much of it. It has ful. And though I must confess that marched a long way, fought a lot, and I am even now a bit sceptical about lost nearly all its transport, and-this your box of tricks, I am only too keen is the point-it must be starving, quite to try. Have you unpacked your played out and very short of ammuniwhat do you call them-squadron, fleet, tion, anil it has only got one line of covey, swarm ?”

ra il communication, which is cut! The “Yes, sir," somewhat stiffly answered railway's back along here-see?" The the man in the nautical suit. “They've other nodded. “Of course we cut this all been unpacked, and my men are line when we retired. In fact, I believe,

were

on

on

though I'm not entirely in the confi- vain to get near it, but the whole place dence of the 'Generalissimo,' that he is surrounded by outposts, barbed wire, wished the enemy to advance here. and all that, and they have lit up the Naturally they have been doing their bridge till it looks like a gin palace. best to reopen communication, and, be- My enginưer officer, who blew up the ing splendid engineers, have done a lot; bridge originally, spent some hours the but so far they have not succeeded, for night before last watching them from no trains have goue up, and only a a hill, and, thanks to their lighting, small wagon convoy or two-a mere saw a lot.

He had three men carrying trifle. The country all round for miles dynamite with him: one blew himself is a desert as far as supplies g), we up, two were captured, and he himself saw to that, and they must be in a was wounded in the arm. Nothing very bal way. We know from spies that walks can get near the bridge. that they have been for days on re- But that's the place to attack-that's duced rations and have many sick, and their sore spot, and here you aretheir guns are not so busy as they 0 Beelzebub, Prince of Flies, with were. Vy duty, like that of the other your horde! Your duty will be, so long raiding parties, for the last five days as a single insect remains, to fly to that has been to prevent communication be- spot every night and bite or settle or ing re-established the railway. sting, or do what you will to delay the We've cut the line and telegraph -their work. Remember, if the bridge is de. wireless is not working, for we cap- layed for three days I expect the third tured all their gear-till we are sick. army will fall into our mouths like a The bridges are very strongly guarded, ripe plum. No food, no ammunition, and all the petty damage we can do is no horses, they cannot retreat far. repaired almost at once, for unluckily Now you have the position." it is a double line, and they repair one "Yes, quite; but as to the details—" pair of rails from the other. Alto- “My sapper here I presume you gether, our efforts are futile. Now, I know each other, being in the same don't believe in your new machines fly- corps-has a large-scale plan of the ing about vaguely and killing a few place, and knows every inch of it. He wretched men here and there by a will arrange all details with you. He bomb, and I think the chief must has the very latest information. I'll agree, as he has sent you bere. I be- leave you two." lieve in attacking some sore spot, and “Very good, sir." going back to it again and again. The "Hold on; there is one thing more, and one place wbere they are vulnerable is then you will have all my ideas. The at the big broken bridge-here, one aërial attack will be made to-night. bundred and thirty odd miles from the Now, how about the news of this reacharmy. They're working like devils to ing the other forces of the enemy?” repair the break, or rather to cross the "Oh, that seems simple,” interposed river by a temporary bridge first, and the youth. "I suppose you'll have they are doing it much too quick. every wire cut, and kept cut, so that They may be through in a day or two, not a whisperand if so-their army is saved; but if "Not so fast, young fellow. I see you we can delay the repair for three or are not yet a psychologist, and do not four days even, I think it is lost! They appreciate the moral factor in war," know all this, and they've made a Port he answered, quite pleased at catching Arthur of the bridge-bead, and got a the youngster. “The attack takes large garrison there. We've tried in place to-night, and, whether it succeeds or not, it will certainly cause consterna- we shall be able to drop three bombs tion and alarm at the bridge. I want out of four on to a patch a little bigger that consternation and alarm to than this room. If the wind rises it be transmitted to the starving army. is more difficult, because we have to I want the news of the blasting turn up wind to hover, and the balancof their Lopes, or even of the ing is not so easy.

You see we bave to mysterious attack, exaggerated by hover anyway to aim, and that's the fancy and ignorance of its exact na- difficulty. That's what the secret gear ture, to be the last message they re- and auxiliary-lifting propeller are forceive. Therefore, from daylight till the thing you called the little 'whingten to-morrow morning their wires whang,' I mean." will not be interfered with; but after "Quite. Now I know what sort of that they will be cut, and kept cut, thing you can do, and this, I think, is without chance of repair, and we'll the scheme. You see, their rate of stop all messengers, so that after this work must absolutely depend on their there will be mysterious silence. That pile-driver; if that is destroyed they will give time for the news to rankle, will have to drive by hand, which will for rumors to breed, and for the take-oh-five or six times as long. doonied army to exercise its power of Therefore, that's the sorest point in the imagination: the silence will assist. sore spot. They're working night and To men in their position a word of dis- day, partly by the aid of their electric couragement is worth an army corps to light; if that's destroyed it will hamper us. Afterwards, if any machines are them, but will not make them take left unexpended, we might further as- even twice as long, because they have sist their hunger-bred fantasies by fly- enough flares to carry on the low-level ing over them and dropping a bomb or bridge. That's the second sorest point. two, or even by flying over them and Agree?" “Beelzebub" nodded. "As showing a light. That's all, now. I'll they're so deuced near finishing, we leave you to arrange details. You must try and make a dead cert. of stopcome along and show what your box ping them to-night, as, once their of tricks is like." With that he went bridge is done, we cannot really damout, followed by the youngest officer, age it with these little bombs. There who stopped, put his head in at the fore I think you should sail out with door, and said, in a whisper of deep all yourfleet, and do your devilmost admiration, “Perfect devil, ain't he?” to-night."

Then followed a long confabulation “Yes; that's sound. I quite agree." between the two engineers over the "Take on the pile-driver first, and if large-scale plan of the bridge, which you get that, or burst the boiler. showed the information gained the pre- switch off on to the dynamo-house. vious evening.

That will be a much easier target. It's “How many, and what size bombs do bigger; ind if you get only one bomb you carry?" said the man with the to burst inside, even without hitting wounded arm.

anything, it will probably wreck the “One each; eight pounds of stuff.” show, for one splinter in the moving

"Well, that's not much good unless parts of the engine or dynamo revolr. you get a detonation alongside some ing at high speed will cause the whole vital spot. It won't do the structure thing to fly to bits. Two fair shots of either bridge itself much harm. Can should do the trick. Can you count on you drop accurately?"

two bull's-eyes out of twelve shots ?" “If the night is as calm as it is now, "I think so, if there is no wind. Can't we set anything alight? I'm curious-looking erections drawn up bestocking a splendid line in incendiary bind the cow-shed increased. Each bombs, pretty things of petrol and cel- was supported by a sort of dwarf biluloid, that look like capsules.”

cycle and tied down. They were skele"Nothing. I don't know where their tons, with great flat awnings of memammunition is, though they must have branous material and queer shape tons there. Hold on,-yes, I saw some stretched taut on light frames stayed mountains of stuff, just here; mark it

with wire. In their spidery appearance on the map, will you? That is prob- they had a remote semblance to reapably forage. After you have done all ing-machines. This semblance was you can, and expended all your explo- borne out by the gaudy fancy of the sive, sail along and drop a few capsules artist who had painted them, for he on to these mounds and over the yard. had run amuck with his vermilion and You may set something alight with blue in a manner usually confined to any luck. By the way, can you signal agricultural machines or toy locomoto each other?

tives. All the metal was painted, and "Yes-we carry colored lights and lit- there was no such bright brass or burtle lamps in our tails. How about find- nished steel about the machinery as ing our way?"

might have been expected. Each car"I was thinking of that.

When you

ried a small silk national flag at one get over the hills about eight miles end, and had its name painted on. away from the bridge, you can see the

"Good heavens! what gingerbreadglare of it in the sky, and you can looking things!" had been the somesteer straight for it. To assist you be- what uncomplimentary remark of the fore you can see this glare, we'll send officer commanding raiders, when he out a dozen men who will have lights first saw them rigged up. on poles, shaded so as to shine up- “Shades of Icarus, Lilienthal, Pilcher, wards. Will that do?"

and all others! What d'you expect ?" “Excellent. And about a place for retorted the pseudo-naval man, somelanding, in case any of us come back,

what nettled. “D'you want tractionthat's the great difficulty. Have you

engines or the winged bulls of Assura pond near here?”

bani-pal?” “Yes, about half a mile away. I'll It took the foxy one at least five mintake you to it later."

utes to suooth matters over, and he "That will do. You must put lamps had to suffer a long technical lecture to mark the pond, in case it is still before he succeeded. dark when we get back, and, if it is deep, have a man with a raft of sorts to haul us out.”

An hour and a half before the moon “Right.”

went down, the first fly made a start "Beelzebub" went out to coach his

down the sloping road. She was the men in the details and finish off the

“flagship," manned by the "admiral.” ilies. As the other sat still musing, he

He was seated in his machine, held up thought of the feelings of those whose by four men. work was going to be so suddenly de

"All aboard ?" he said. "All clear, stroyed, and he had a fellow-feeling of

you?" sympathy for them.

“Ay, ay, sir."
"Cast off.”

With that the assistants gave the maAs the day passed the number of chine a running shove forward, the

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