Page images
PDF
EPUB

heavily handicapped by youth- had paid Hughie the highest ful cocksureness and want of compliment it was in his power ballast.

to bestow-and that costs an They discussed many things Englishman an effort. in that dingy bedroom. Lance's So they parted. But Mrs past; Uncle Jimmy's little Lance did not let Hughie off so allowance, mortgaged many easily. As she accompanied years in advance; the credi. him downstairs to open the tors to whom, together with door for him, she suddenly the law of the land, he was seized his hand and kissed it. indebted for the presence be- Tears were running down her neath his roof of the versa- cheeks. tile Mr Mould ; his future ; Hughie grew red. the journalistic work which “I say, Mrs Lance,” he said was promised him as soon as in clumsy expostulation, “it's he should be fit again; Mrs all right, you know! He'll Lance; and also Mr Hali- soon be quite well again.” burton.

“Let me cry,”

said Mrs Joan's name was barely men- Lance comfortably. “It does tioned. Lance exhibited me good.” newborn delicacy in the matter. They stood together in the His officious solicitude on his obscurity of the shabby little sister's behalf was dead; he hall, and Hughie, surveying the knew now that no woman need flamboyant but homely figure

regret having trusted before him, wondered what the Hugh Marrable; and he was future might hold in store for content to leave it at that. this little household. It all

“Well, I must be moving,” depended, of course, on said Hughie at last. “ Buck "Mrs Lance," he said sudup, and get fit! It's good to denly, “tell me—do you-love hear that there's work waiting him ?” for you when you get about “I do!” replied Mrs Lance, again. Grand tonic, that! So in a voice which for the mo

ment relegated her patchouli He shook Lance's hand, and and dyed eyebrows to nothingthe two parted undemonstratively. Lance made no set “And does he-love you?” speech: he appreciated Hughie's “He does—thank God!" desire that there should be no

are both all right, returning of thanks or contrite then," said Hughie, nodding a expressions of gratitude. All wise head. "Nothing matters he said was

much—except that!” Hughie, you are a sports- “That's true,” said Mrs Gayman !”

mer. “But-I wonder how you Then he settled down on his knew !” she added curiously. pillow with a happy sigh. He “Good-bye!" said Hughie.

long !”

ness.

" You

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(To be continued.)

A RIDE THROUGH CRETE.

BY MRS EDGAR DUGDALE.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as we

If there is a place in the proprietress; he pointed out to world where East and West us the windows and balconies do meet it is Canea. On one overlooking the harbour and side of the quay the old Vene- quay which were destined for tian fortress carries the flags us; he mentioned as a huge of Europe, on the other the jest that he had not been to minaret of a mosque rises bed all night lest our ship above the busy cafés. The should come in and find him street of the coppersmiths unprepared, and within five might be in the heart of minutes he had won all our Tangier, and many a red fez hearts; but it was at the and black veil remain to show actual moment of landing that that Turk vanquished Vene- we had a taste of his real tian three centuries ago upon quality. “ Are the customs the walls of Candia.

very strict here?” we asked, It was at six o'clock in the seeing a row of officials watchmorning on the 25th of Marching the approach of our row1909 that we landed in this boat. “Extremely,” said Monenchanting city, and it was sieur Gallance, “but do not

were rowed over the derange yourselves, for your green waters of the harbour boxes will not be opened. Say that we made the acquaintance nothing, and I will arrange of the first of the many

friends it." Accordingly we landed, whom we left behind us in and walked along the quayCrete three weeks later. The side, objects of extreme ingreat lesson to be learned interest to the bystanders, but that light-hearted land is that unquestioned by the douaniers. it is the unexpected which Presently Monsieur Gallance happens, and before many days rejoined us. “ Your luggage had passed it seemed natural is passed,” said he. “How did to look for friends in every you do it?” we asked. village, every inn, and every said,” replied he mysteriously, gendarmerie post upon the “that you were British officers. way, and not seldom to find That suffices. They believed them; but even on this, the me, and the baggage of officers morning of our arrival, we is not opened. began to realise a little of the These were the circumstances greatness of Monsieur Gallance. under which we first set foot He met us upon the ship and in Canea, and in reflecting took charge of us at once and upon them one could not but for ever.

He told us that he feel that it is not only the came from the hotel of which Cretans who are sometimes madame his mother was the liars ! Indeed, there VOL. CLXXXVI.NO. MCXXVIII.

[ocr errors]

never

2 N

[ocr errors]

seemed to be any ground for hardly suffice as a channel of St Paul's criticisms of them communication between ourin this, or any other, direction. selves and a Greek-speaking

Monsieur Gallance was him- population in the midst of its self a Frenchman, though years Lenten fast, that in a good of life in Crete had made him hour for us Monsieur Gallance as happy in talking Greek as came to our rescue. in his own language. It was Early upon a lovely April with his help a few days later morning we left Canea, to drive that we made preparations for the first stage of our journey our ride through the country. through the valley of Suda. Our way was

to lie across Three hundred years ago a the island till we touched its Scottish traveller named Wilsouthern shore, and then north- liam Lithgow, whose ‘Rare Adward to the town of Candia, ventures' have lately been rea distance of 130 miles in all. published, thus described what Mules and ponies were easily he saw upon that same road :forthooming, and Cretan rugs of gorgeous dyes to pile upon

“The Olives, Pomegranets, Dates, the wooden saddles by day and Figges, Oranges, Lemmons, and

Pomi

del Adamo growing all through to sleep upon by night. Four other. And at roots of which trees mules for ourselves, two more grew Wheat, Malvasie, Muscadine, for the muleteers and the

the Leaticke wines, Grenadines, Carnbaggage, was

obiers, Mellones, and all other sorts our original

of fruites and herbes the earth can calculation, but in the end we

yield to man, that for beauty, pleasrode a party of eight instead ure, and profit it may easily be of six, for there came with surnamed the garden of the whole

a gendarme and Monsieur Universe, being the goodliest plot, Gallance himself.

the Diamond Spark, and the Honey The gen

" darme was provided by the spot of all Candy." kindness of the commandant, Marvellously fertile and and made a splendid advance- beautiful the place certainly is, guard to our column as he rode even in this prosaic twentieth ahead on his active little horse, century, when “Leaticke wines” with rifle slung on his shoulder. are, alas, no longer to be met It was but a quarter of an with growing at the foot of hour before we actually started Lithgow's wonderful fruit-trees. that we persuaded Monsieur On this spring day the young Gallance to come with us. We corn stood already a foot high had stipulated for a muleteer around the roots of the olivewho could talk French, and it trees, violently green under was only on the day of our their shimmering silver. The departure that we discovered Cretan yokes his dun-coloured his excursions into that lan- oxen to a wooden plough, and guage to be practically con- scratches an inch or two off fined to the cheerful “Bon jour, the surface of his island, and madame,” which was his daily even so its valleys yield him greeting to me.

It was 80

three
crops

in

a year, and its plain that this phrase would olive groves are as fine as any

us

in the world. Though he spoils it is not much more than ten his fruit in the gathering and years since the gendarmes came his wine in the making, the into being. Cretans themselves, riches of his land are as evident they fulfil many of the funcas they were in Lithgow's day. tions performed by the Irish But swords must be beaten into Constabulary nearer home, and ploughshares and spears into it seems that they are hardly pruning - hooks before Crete less efficient.

It was a very indeed becomes the “Garden short time after passing the of the Universe," for hitherto place of Monsieur Gallance's revolutions have always seemed disaster that we made our first more attractive than agrioul- acquaintance with one of them. ture to its inhabitants. On the He was our appointed escort, spurs

of the low hills which en- and joined us at the village of close this very valley the signs Kaleyvis, where we left the of devastation appear in the carriage and had our midday ruined houses of a group of meal. A table was prepared Turkish villages, which have for us by the side of a stream never been rebuilt since the which ran through the village fighting in 1898.

square, and upon the opposite Through the plain the road bank he appeared, a martial passes, and then rises to the form in tight blue uniform, with red cliffs which border Suda fiercely curling moustaches. Bay. Looking up and down We exchanged salutes, and over its calm waters it is not presently there came across to difficult to understand the im- us a little boy with a bunch of portance of its splendid natural iris in his hands. harbour-finest anchorage of

“For madame, from the genall the Eastern Mediterranean darme,” explained Monsieur -broad and deep enough to Gallance. Such was the inallow the navy of a great gratiating fashion of our innation to lie within its shelter. troduction. The road climbed high above That meal would have been it, and the horses stopped to an embarrassing one judged by rest.

Anglo-Saxon standards.

Our "At this turning,” said table by the running water, Monsieur Gallance, “I was under the shade of a great stopped by brigands & few walnut-tree, was in the midst years ago and robbed of all of the cluster of white hovels that I had, — happily only which calls itself Kaleyvis.

sixty francs. One man stood Every doorway was crowded, here with his rifle, another at and those householders whose that corner. What would you? dwellings were not conveniently I was thankful I had no more! situated for seeing the show Of course it was before the took up positions behind our organisation of the gend- seats. The bridge over the armerie."

brook accommodated the youngWe found Crete as safe as er generation, and a row of an English highway, although little brown legs swung to and

[ocr errors]

or

fro over its white parapet, while listen for a while, laugh, shake the eyes of their owners followed his head, and reply, “It is the fate of every fig and olive nothing : song

of love consumed by the English lun- merely.'

So it had to find its atios. For at the word of place among the indefinite and Monsieur Gallance the village inconsequent gaieties of that had heaped its supplies before un-matter-of-fact journey. I I us - eggs, honey, bread, and can compare the life we led bottles of the rough resinous during that week to nothing wine which we soon learned to but the opening chapters of know so well, and to abhor so a series of the most delightdeeply. We ate and drank ful novels by Merriman with as much unconcern as if Mason. There was no opporour surroundings had really tunity of becoming thoroughly been the scene out of an Italian absorbed into their plots, for opera, which they seemed to every night's lodging and day's be trying to imitate. On the journey was a new beginning, other bank sat the gendarme each in its way entrancing . with one or two chosen com- But there were episodes which panions, and the mules stood it was sad to turn from so tethered in the shade beyond. quickly, and such an one was There could be no more driving our visit to the Monastery of after this, for the carriage-road Arkàdi. ended at the very place where It was towards the end of a we sat, to be seen no more until long day's ride upon the lower it appeared again at the out- ground that we saw, high above skirts of Candia, and before us us and far away, the three lay a hundred miles of track wind-swept pines which are out in the limestone through the landmark of the great valleys and mountain-passes. monastery for all the country So it was with the joy of round. It stands 2000 feet pushing into the unknown that above the sea, at the head we mounted and rode away of

limestone gorge.

As upon

that first afternoon, we climbed towards it making trial of what so soon left behind us the tangled became the familiar order of banks of blossoming trees and our going, and discovering the fields of anemones and quickly the ways of the Devil poppies through which we had when he works among mules. ridden all day, and found in

The gendarme rode ahead, stead little tough rock-plants the two muleteers behind. in the open, masses of maidenCheerful companions enough hair ferns inside the dripping they were—overlastingly laugh- caves, and the strong, clean ing, and singing interminable scent of wild thyme on every ditties with a monotony of tune side. We crossed the glen, and which recalled more Eastern the gendarme spurred his horse music. Often did I ask Mon- on up the hill to warn the sieur Gallance to translate, but Fathers that we were near, he would never do more than for the next turn of the track

[ocr errors]

we

« PreviousContinue »