Abbildungen der Seite

skipper pedalled, the motor snorted, blows, for the fat man still mechaniand the propeller began to revolve. cally jerked the string, though his eyes Faster, faster spun the blades as the were all but starting out of his head. clumsy machine gained way, until the Silent, stupetied surprise held all. The propeller was nothing but a halo, and mud fountain had barely subsided, when its loud lum almost drowned the throb- -a second liss and splash close along. bing of the motor. The Thing buzzed side the bridge, and another subaquedown the street like a cockchafer, and, ous explosion followed with its geyser when clear of the houses, it soared of mud and water, which, falling on away ste:dily into the moonlight, shed- the bridge, would have washed the ding its wheels like the skin of a chrys- dazed filt man away but for the string alis. This was repeated successfully to which he clung. At last the pile eleven times, but when the last ma- driver stopped. Barely had the soused chine, manned by the pink-cheeked sec- soldiers got their breath after this ond officer, sliould have left its wheels douche, when they were shaken by a and soared away into the night, there racking detonation some thirty yards was a flash, and a violent detonation back along the bridge, accompanied by shook the houses. Fragments rattled the sound of rending timber. The air back among those watching two hun- hummed with fragments, while all near dred yards away.

the end of the doomed bridge lay pros“There go the bravest men I've ever trated by the blast of this shock. Still met," remarked the chief of raiders. another detonation followed, this time As he reached the hole blown in the right among the men, as the bomb road, he added—“poor young fellow!" struck a sack of bolts. Bodies were and his voice was even a little more thrown right and left mingled with a guttural than usual.

volley of bolts, which shrieked as they

spun through the air, dealing death all IV.

round. It was worse than any shrapIt was nearly four in the morning, nel-shell, for these missiles were heary and "all was well” wlien the and jagged as potleg, and the force be "plumber," reaching his post on the bind them was terrific. The boiler bridge once again, made himself snug must have been pierced by one, for it on a plank resting upon two sacks of burst with a deep roar, capsizing the fish-bolts. The pile-driver still insulted truck, and the whole machine toppled the ear with its din, the steam and the over into the swirl below, but not be flare-lights still roared, and the water fore a cloud of steam had gushed out, lapped against the timbers, while the scalding the maimed and helpless men mouth-organ whined a hymn-tune a close by. To add to the horror, the short distance away.

wrought-iron reservoir of the fare A sudden biss, and—“plop" into the light was shattered; the blazing oil river, not a pile's length away, fell poured out over the timbers into the something; all but simultaneously, with water anil spread in a flaming film, the mutiled report of an explosion un- momentarily lighting up the inferno be der water, a column of spray slot up, fore it was swept down-stream. The and falling backward revealed a heav- cries of the mangled filled the air. ing blister of mud, just visible through After a minute's respite, a faint crash the mist. l'be men playing dropped sounded overliead, succeeded by a burst their cards and sat up, the wbine of of yellow light, and two flaming masses the mouth-organ froze in the middle of fell, spinniug in a sickening spiral, a bar, but the pile-driver continued its plumb on to the girder-bridge above. where their fight ended in a double seen to fall-.curving towards one of detonation against the iron. Again the the hills in the north. sound of flying metal filled the air. As the flames of the burning forage This sudden cataclysm was too much. soa red higher, and the clouds of sparks Men born of women could stand no and lurid smoke rose in huge volume more; discipline was lost, and a general to the sky-Uow of the gray hue prewail rose up. Those who had for day ceding dawn,-the roar and crackle of and night toiled like slaves, dropped the flames drowned all other sounds. their tools, their work, and fled off the bridges towards shore. A bouquet of dazzling red stars

The half-dressed figure of the confilamed out on high with a soft liquid

sumptive railway traffic officer might report, and slowly floated to earth. In

have been seen later against the glowthe crimson glow the panic-stricken

ing enibers, gazing helpless at the fugitives paused in terror. What was

scene-the realization of his fears.

He coming next? There was not much

was no longer thinking of his pard, of time to doubt, for a succession of

bis poor friend the “plumber,” or even flashes and detonations round the

of the horrors all around him. He was corrugated-iron dynamo-shed showed dreaming of the fate of an army, and where the attack was falling. These

of the ultimate results of its destrucended in one report with a metallic

tion. ring, for which there was no flash, and

V. the electric light went out as a grinding crash sounded from the shed. A A solitary man stood by a hedge. In second shower of red stars slowly sank his hand was a charred pole, on top of to earth. Then, with many little ex- which a light, screened from below, plosions, fires sprang up in the "yard" was burning feebly. Close by a hobaway by the station. Most of them bled horse cropped the scant grass. soon burned out without doing damage,

No other sound broke the stillness of but the stacks of forage had been the night as the man gazed steadily uptouched and burst into a blaze. As wards. The moon had sunk and the the dense clouds of smoke and long stars were growing pale in the gray tongues of flame mounted up, from of false dawu, when the horse threw overhead a shower of magnesium stars up his head and snorted. The man were wafted gently downwards, light- gave no sign. A moment afterwards ing the whole landscape as they fell. he heard a faint rustle in the sky as of The work of destruction ceased. In flighting geese. Ghostly in the mysthe intense light, the flying machines, terious lig!t a shape loomed up and as they circled round, were visible to swept past overhead on a long slant. all those above the mist.

Eight times this happened in quick sucRifle-shots rang out, close by at first,

cession. To the weary eyes of the then growing into a general fusilade, watcher the shapes seemed to be travwhich became fainter in the distance,

elling in long swoops-now up, now like an irregular feu-de-joie, towards the down-anıl slower than when they had tartbest outpost line, marking the passed bim on their outward journey. course of the angels of destruction, still For the others that he had seen go to be seen in the light of the conflagra- out he waited, -waited till the hills to tion. This wild shooting was not quite the east stood out purple against the without result, for a mass of fire was blushing sky,--but waited in vain.

Blackwood's Magazine.

[ocr errors][merged small]

The unfortunate misunderstanding The worst that can be said of Sir A. which has arisen between Sir A. Swet- Swettenham is, not so much that he tenham, the Governor of Jamaica, and showed himself pedantic when pedantry Rear-Admiral Davis, of the United was undesirable, as that he seems States Navy, is happily understood in to have lost his temper, and conveyed its real bearings by the people of his wishes to the Admiral in a letter both nations. A Governor, harassed of which the flippancy is hard to de and overworked after a great calam- fend. His excuse must be that the ity, and living amid scenes of appalling events of the previous week were not misery, receives an offer of help from calculated to preserve a judicial and the fleet of a friendly Power. He de- balanced teniper of mind. The inciclines it, declaring himself competent dent, as we have said, has passed off to meet all demands; but the friendly harmlessly. The Governor has conAdmiral, thinking, no doubt, that all veyed his official thanks to the United hands are needed, and that the laws of States Administration, and Sir Edward official etiquette should be silent dur- Grey, on behalf of the British Governing such a crisis, lands bluejackets, ment, has expressed his gratitude to and helps to clear away débris and pre- Admiral Davis for his services, and serve order. Thereupon the Governor, has instituted an inquiry to determine while thanking him for his good inten- the authenticity of Sir A. Swettentions, begs him to withdraw in a letter ham's letter. The United States Gorwhich, to say the least of it, is unfortu- ernment have announced their intennately expressed, while he also declines tion of letting the matter drop, since all further American offers of relief. they consider that “the action of one No other course is left for the Admiral man at a time of great distress and but to depart with as much dignity as mental strain should not be the means possible. The whole incident is ex- of raising an unpleasant issue with a ceedingly regrettable, but at the same great and friendly nation." This seems time we

are not disposed to make to us a very proper course to take, and much of it. If etiquette may be over- it is one which the American Press, looked in a crisis, so also may lapses which is always very jealous of its of taste. The most that can be said country's dignity, is fully prepared to against Admiral Davis is that, in the endorse. There is no need of officious absence of British warships, he thought disclaimers by public men in this counit his duty to act in the way that a try, or of any obsequious apologies. British Admiral might have done, and All Englishmen and Americans underforget for the occasion, that he repre- stand perfectly well what has hapsented a foreign Power. History can pened, and make every allowance. show more than one occasion when Fortunately, at the time of the fricboth British and American naval com- tion in Jamaica Mr. Root, the Amerimanders have been guilty of the same ican Secretary of State, was on a visit lapse of memory with the happiest re- to Canada as the guest of Lord Grey. sults. He may have committed a After the President, Mr. Root is the breach of etiquette, which in the cir- most distinguished of American statescumstances should have been wel

If Mr. Roosevelt were to resign, comed by the representative of Britain. he would probably succeed him in the


Republican leadership, and in any case ican people looked upon the great mais the most authoritative and trusted terial and spiritual progress of Canada exponent of the Roosevelt policy. He without jealousy, nay, rather with adhas given the Monroe doctrine its mod- miration and hope. There was a paern form, and he has done more than triotism of the American Continent as any other man, not even excepting the well as of Canada or the United States. President, to interpret it rationally in Their pioneers were of the same race practice. To-day he may fairly be and had grappled with the same probclaimed as the chief authority on lems. To-day, in spite of differences, American foreign policy, the exponent the same questions were occupying of the new American Imperialism, but their minds. Mr. Root did not blink with it all a wise and cautious states- the possibilities of friction. The two man, in whom impulse is ever subser peoples were loyal to different national vient to reflection. He has always ideals, and in that loyalty lay their been conspicuously friendly to Britain, strength. Difficulties were bound to and the visit which he is paying to arise, but let them remember that for Canada, in return for that of the Cana- ninety years, under a simple interdian Governor-General to the States, change of Notes dealing with the armacannot fail to bear fruit in the relations ment on the Great Lakes, the two between the two countries. He has countries had been living side by side talked frankly to interviewers of his

If this had been possible in impressions of the development of Can- the difficult early years of both naada, a land which he knows well, and tions, when national susceptibilities are on Tuesday at the Canadian Club at more tender, and opportunities for Ottawa he delivered one of those long quarrels more numerous, surely there and eloquent panegyrics which seem to was reason to hope that the future be the monopoly of American public might reproduce the past. men in their visits to other countries. Mr. Root has the courage to see that Every one, he said, who had been born even in a platitude there may be a and bred like himself under the Eng. truth. Blood, after all, is thicker than lish common law, and under English water,--the maxim with which the principles of liberty and justice, must American Secretary of State began his feel at home in Canada. For forty speech, and the Canadian Premier conyears he had watched her development, cluded. There is an impulse among and he had seen wonders. “Feeble, ill- men brought up under the same tradicompacted, separate, dependent Colo- tions to quarrel violently over small nies had grown into a great and vigor- matters, but in a crisis to draw inous nation.” Canada had found wealth, stinctively together. We have always and she had found statesmanship. argued that, in spite of local friction, What seems specially to have im- there was no real danger to Canada pressed Mr. Root was the fact that all from her great Southern neighbor, beclasses in Canada were deeply inter- cause there was no incompatibilty beested in politics. Without such a uni- tween their national ideals. The versal interest true self-government is United States has her own task of inimpossible, and we may detect a note ternal and external development, and of regret in the tone of a statesman in it need not conflict with Canada's. whose country politics do not always Moreover, in the Monroe doctrine as attract the best minds and the most stated by Mr. Root and President strenuous wills. In the conclusion of Roosevelt there is a guarantee of, and his speech he declared that the Amer- not a menace against, Canadian independence. The two nations of North reconcilable between the political and America, while each following its own economic advance of Canada and the career, will permit no interference from interests of the United States. In any other Power. If Canada is threat- small and crowded continents one naened, then the might not only of the tion may increase only at the expense British Empire but of the Unitel States of the others; but in the wider spaces will awake for her defence. Mr. of the West there is room for inde. Root's speech convinces us, if anything pendent growth, and in consequence were needed, that there is nothing ir- for a sympathetic mutual interest.

in peace.

The Spectator.



During the eruptions in the Antilles cause of the disturbance, but it apin May 1902, and again after the San pears that there has been considerable Francisco earthquake in May of last sinking along the sea-edge of the upyear, we attempted to show the relation raised Jamaican block, and we may of those manifestations of earth-force suppose that this bas been in preparato the broader features of earth-anat- tion for some years by the drain of unomy. We represented the earth's derlying material towards the active crust as fissured into a number of volcanoes. The sudden snap at the blocks, each tending to "seek the cen- edges where the raised block and the tre out," but sinking at diverse rates; depressed area meet caused the shock some, such

the North Atlautic, of the carthquake, and was followed South Atlantic and Pacific blocks, sink by the foundering of the floor with the towards it the most rapidly, while oth- forcing-up of mud along the crack. ers, sinking least rapidly, form the four Kingston itself stands, or stood, od great continental blocks of Eurasia, loose rocks of recent formation; it was Africa, and the Americas. Where the not these that snapped, but the underlarger blocks meet are smaller ones, lying harder rocks, while the grinding. and a notable one is the depression of up of the soft rocks produced the mudthe Caribbean Sea with the small ele- flow. vated blocks of the Antilles at its outer With our general knowledge of the border, Here, at the meeting-place of region, and with the memory of Port the greatest lines of strain on the Royal, all this might have been pre earth's surface, is a region of constant dicted. But no man could have fore movement and of excessive movement. told the day or the hour of the earthHere in Jamaica, for example, is one of quake's coming. “Professor Novack," the few places on this earth where, it is true, has seized the occasion once within fairly late geological times, de- more to vaunt in the "Times" the merposits have been raised from ocean its of bis weather-plant, which not only abyss to mountain summit. Small forecasts weather but predicts earthwonder that, following on recent earth quakes, and he states that, lecturing at movements along the backbone of the Havana in 1906, he "said that a catastwo Americas and the long-continued trophe would occur in Jamaica in a eruptions in the Lesser Antilles, there few years." Rather vague, but then sbould at last have ensued a disturb- be had run out of Abrus plants; when ance in Jamaica. It is too early to be bas them in working order he will speak definitely as to the origin and "be able to predict, not only the nature

« ZurückWeiter »