Page images

for themselves; and now Murano is once again the busy place it was in the olden days, while Dr Salviati has been loaded with orders, medals, and diplomas.



WE were a family of quite middle-class people, not in the rank of the Cliffords at all; and yet our dear father and our uncles were Sir Arthur Clifford's most intimate friends. That was how we came to know anything about the diamonds. We lived close to Grange, the grand old home of the Cliffords. It was a superb old North-west of England house, set in magnificent woods, overlooking the Irish Channel. Thorp Uplands, our home, was just a rambling place, which had grown with the growth of our family, from the squat farmhouse where our grandfather, Hugh Thorp, lived in his comfortable yeomanly style, to its present condition, when it might be termed a 'commodious residence;' not the least pretentious, but oh! so snug, with its long passages and unexpected staircases, and windows stuck in anyhow. Besides our father and mother, there were six of us. Tom, our eldest brother, was in Uncle Thomas's cotton mill, which was situated quite near our farm; Paul, who was next to him, was in the navy, a messmate of Jack Clifford, Sir Arthur's second son; and our youngest boy Joe was in Uncle Hugh's warehouse at Liverpool. As Tom lived with his uncle at the factory, we girls ruled the roast at Thorp Uplands. There were Ruth and Naomi, the twins; and Olive, my humble self. Every day one or other of us went across the park to sit with Lady Clifford and read to her for an hour or so; then, if the day were fine, we would take her out for a walk round the quaint old garden, or drive her about the lovely park; for Lady Clifford had no daughters of her own, and was blind.

That was not the only trial which weighed heavily upon the great family of Clifford of Grange. There was a sadness, a blight upon them, which shadowed and oppressed them all; for they were poor, miserably poor for people of their condition. I have heard my uncle say that when all claims on the great estates were paid off, Sir Arthur Clifford had scarcely four hundred pounds a year to live upon. Young Arthur Clifford, the heir, was in the Guards, and Jack, as already mentioned, in the navy. Only that Lady Clifford had been an heiress, the sons must have done as our boys did-gone into business. Uncle Thomas said it would have been the wisest thing they could have done. Perhaps he was right; but then Sir Arthur and my Lady were old-fashioned folks, proud as Lucifer, and very tenacious of old ideas. I think the sight of her son with a pen behind his ear, perched on an office stool, would have driven Lady Clifford mad.

We were just yeoman folks a hundred years ago, we Thorps; but our grandfather was a clever, far-seeing man. He cast his eyes upon the rapid brook which summer and winter went babbling down the glen at the back of 'Thorp's Farm,' as the house was then called. An artist

might have thought of the beauty of the rushing stream; a poet might have jingled words to match its rhythm; but the practical Yorkshireman saw in it so much power running to waste; and after much bargaining, he obtained the use of it from the Sir Jasper Clifford of his time, a youth who was spending his income after the reckless fashion of the day, and who was glad to get the big sum Hugh Thorp laid down for the signing of the lease. The money went in a night at Brooks's; but the mill my grandfather built stands to this day.

[ocr errors]

We own a fair share of the Clifford estate too, and Uncle Tom is one of the chief creditors who have claims on the property. I often feel deeply for the Cliffords, because we seem to have risen upon their downfall. And yet the glamour of the old grandeur clings to the ancient house; to the handsome middle-aged baronet, and his still beautiful wife; to the Hall, with its great shadowy galleries, where generation after generation of painted Cliffords look down from the walls upon the decay of the family. But especially does the magic linger over the ancient chest wherein, fast locked in an iron-bound casket, reposed unseen the Clifford diamonds.

As children, we used to hear about their splendour from our dear mother, who had seen them gleaming in a flaming ring around Lady Clifford's slender throat, springing in an arch of fire above her gentle brow, and burning on her arms and bosom with a blaze like the sun at noonday. Wonderful things, too, were blent with those magnificent jewels in our imaginations: such as the magic gem which lit up a whole chamber by its glow, in one of those tales of wonder and delight, the Arabian Nights; Sindbad's Valley of Diamonds, from the same delicious volume; and pictures we had seen of Solomon's Temple; all which were brought to our minds by the mere mention of Lady Clifford's diamonds.

They were historic stones too; for the necklace and coronet had been in pledge to raise money for the king in the sad times of the Civil Wars; and the bracelets were a gift of King Charles II. to a fair Lady Clifford of his time. Then the earrings were made of jewels won by an heroic Clifford upon Indian battlefields in a later generation; while the stomacher was a trophy gained by another son of the house-his share of the plunder of a great galleon in the war with Spain. There were stars and pins and brooches too; and local valuation set down the diamonds as being worth a perfectly fabulous sum; but Uncle Thomas used to say they were not worth quite so much as people thought; and we somehow felt that he understood their value to a farthing. One day, when we were talking of them, he said abruptly: 'I say it is a sin and a shame to keep so much money lying idle in a box. Twenty thousand pounds-worth of senseless stones locked up, never seeing the light of day, while the Cliffords are in such want of money. It is simply madness.'

'Oh, Uncle Thomas, are they worth so much?" I cried. 'I thought they were not so very valuable.'

"Eh?' he said, turning sharply on me; you have more sense than I gave you credit for. Now, Ruth and Naomi there are firmly persuaded that those baubles are worth treble what I said.'

Chambera's Journal,
Sept. 9, 1882.]


The twins lifted their voices in indignant protest. Uncle laughed, and went on: Yes; I call it a crime of the Cliffords to keep that large sum lying there while they are in such need.'

'But, uncle,' I said, 'surely things are no worse now than they have been for some time. The Cliffords do not seem to be in greater need of money than usual.'

'Humph!' uncle said, casting a meaning glance

at the twins.

I understood him. He meant that there was something to be told which would not bear telling in the ears of the children,' as we still persisted in calling our two youngest and prettiest. Taking up his hint, I suggested a game of Spoil Five, an old-fashioned pastime, of which our good, kindhearted, hard-headed uncle is exceedingly fond.


day or two? That house of mine is in a sad state
for want of a woman in it, and she has such a
way of bringing things into order.'
Mother smiled. ( Well, I can scarcely spare
her,' she said. 'But as she is not going very far,
I suppose I must do without her for a little.'
I was much surprised. Uncle never had
made such a request before; and even to my
unobservant eyes, it was plain that something
underlay the trifling reason he gave for requiring
my presence.

We were a very happy household; but for my own part, all the poetry of life lay at Grange. To go up the long winding avenue, under those beeches, which were planted in the days of the Restoration in place of the more ancient ones hewn down by Cromwell's troopers in the troublous times to enter the grand old hall, where once the 'Merry Monarch had banqueted with the young and fair Lady Clifford to walk on tiptoe through those great rooms, silent and sad, but so wonderfully suggestive in their faded splendour-this formed the greatest pleasure, the fairest romance, of my young life. At home was honest prose; at Grange was an inexhaustible source of poetry and romance. And then dear Lady Clifford was so fond of me! Ruth came next in her affections; Naomi last; not that she was not fond of Naomi too; but then, of the three of us, she was the one who went least often to read and walk with her.

I think the first wave of the great tide of change which swept round us and altered everything, touched us that evening as we laughed and made merry over our old-fashioned game of Spoil Five. Once it was done, uncle kissed the twins, bade them good-night; and then, when they were gone, he turned to mother.

When do you want her to go?' mother asked. 'Now-to-night, if possible,' Uncle Thomas said; and when mother demurred at the suddenness of the request, father cried from behind his newspaper: Yes, yes; let the child go. Why, it's only a step.' And I knew that there was some good reason why I should so instantly make a change of residence.

My preparations were not extensive. In half an hour, uncle and I were walking slowly along the winding path which led from the Uplands to the mills, a servant having preceded me with my box.

Once well away from the house, uncle stood
still, and turned me round so that he could see
my face in the silver light, for the moon was
almost at the full. Olive,' he said huskily,
I know you are a girl of sense.-Now, don't
make any protest, because I have great faith
down to my house.
What for, do you think? you

I said I had no idea.
'Well, then-to entertain an unexpected guest.'

Uncle Thomas has never been married. He lives in a cosy unpretentious house close to the mills; and brother Tom, as already mentioned, lives with him. Of ourselves, I may say that I am older by three years than the twins, that is to say, I was five-and-twenty past that evening when we sat and played Spoil Five, and the twins were just twenty-two. They were wonderfully pretty girls, and alike in features, although quite different in colour; Ruth's hair being a deep russet brown; and Naomi's flaxen, with just enough of a warm tinge in it to light it up. Both had clear gray eyes; but Ruth's looked shaded very thick and lashes the colour of her wavy hair. If I could

'Yes; that unhappy boy, Arthur Clifford.' Uncle spoke in a tone of deep vexation.

choose between them, I should have called her the prettier of the two. She had more warmth and colour about her, and certainly she had the sweeter disposition; but every one called Naomi the beauty, and sometimes I joined the popular opinion. I myself am not a beauty; I never 'Arthur Clifford! Why is he not at Grange? was. Only just a plump, good-humoured little What has brought him home?' These and a lass; very brown and healthy-looking, with no-host of other questions I poured out as we stood thing special about my face save and except the Thorp eyes. We all had rather good eyes, and mine were no worse than the rest of them.

face to face in the moonlight.

He drew my arm through his, and we walked slowly down the path in silence for a few minutes, before he answered me. 'He has come home because he is in great trouble,' said my uncle in a low voice; and he has taken refuge with me because he dare not face Sir Arthur or my Lady.'

In great trouble?' I questioned eagerly. 'What kind of trouble, uncle?" 'Money trouble.'

'Oh, that is the least of all troubles,' I said lightly, in my ignorance.

Is it?' said Uncle Thomas bitterly-'is it? Child, how little you know! No matter. This unhappy lad has been driven to do a very foolish and dangerous thing in order to raise money. Now, he feels the consequence; and in mortal dread of an exposure, flies to me. Silly boy! I was very angry with him when he came this evening-very; but now I am beginning to pity him. He was placed in a very false position. Sir Arthur never should have put him in the Guards, amongst rich young fellows who need never give a second thought to what they spend.'

'What has he done, uncle?' I asked.

'I may as well tell you, knowing you to be a sensible little girl, and that what I say will go no further. He put his father's name on

has not a ha'penny to meet it. The bill may be in Sir Arthur's hands to-night, for all we


'Three hundred pounds is not such a very large sum is it, uncle?' I said gently.

Do you mean that I might give it to him? Eh puss? I can't say I see my way to that at all,' uncle replied. 'No; I'm a fool about some things, I grant you, but not such a fool as all that."

I walked beside him silently for a few paces; then he spoke again. 'Just see what want of money has done in that family. Here's this thoughtless youth just ruined; and'-uncle stamped his foot on the path-here is a fortune under us-coal, my girl, coal and iron enough to make the Cliffords millionaires. No capital to work the mines; no energy to start them; and two as fine lads as ever lived just lost for want of money, while twenty thousand pounds lie idle in a box! It's enough to drive a man mad!' 'Why don't you start the mines yourself, uncle?' I said. 'You have energy enough, and money too.'

Ay, but not years enough, my girl. No, no! I've got too many irons in the fire as it is. -Here we are. Meet the lad as if you knew nothing.'

It was easier said than done, for, as we entered the library at the Mills House, Arthur Clifford sprang forward eagerly to meet us. I fancied his countenance fell as he saw me; and an instantaneous flash of memory recalled sundry little things I had observed between him and Naomi when he was last amongst us. I remembered, even while I was shaking hands with him and saying how surprised I was to see him, that they used to play croquet together a good deal in those days, and that they danced together whenever opportunity offered. Could it be possible there was any kind of understanding between them?

Uncle Thomas had left us together, and for a while neither of us said much. At length Arthur lifted his dark curly head, and said abruptly: 'I did not expect you to-night, Olive.' 'Did you not? I suppose just as little as I expected to see you.'


"Well, no; not in that way, my dear girl. knew Mr Thorp would bring some one back; but'- He stopped short, and cast a shy embarrassed look into my face.

'You did not expect me?' I said laughingly. 'No; I did not."

'And which of us, then, did you expect?' 'Naomi.'

I laughed again-a forced laugh. Here were my suspicions proved true.

I know she would have come over had she thought I was here,' he continued. 'Never mind. I'll see her to-morrow.'

I did not say anything; but perhaps he saw by my face that I thought it was not likely. He rose from his chair and sauntered to the hearth, where he stood leaning his arm on the mantel-shelf, and looking into the red depths of the fire for a few moments; then: "This is an unlucky business, Olive,' he said moodily.

I do not know why, but it seemed to me as if he looked upon his evil deed rather in the light of a misfortune, than in that of a grave

fault; and now a feeling of half-contempt mingled with the pity I had at first felt for


'Yes,' I said coldly; 'it is a bad business.' "Pon my word, Ölive, I had no idea it would turn out like this, when I just jotted down "Bart." after my name on the dirty scrap of stamped paper. See here; I give you my honour I wasn't responsible that day. We had been keeping it up rather hard-Pedder and Wilcox and one or two other fellows; and I— Well, the fact is I had been having too much liquor-don't look so shocked, my dear Olive; hundreds of fellows do it and when old Shylock came bothering about the cash I owed him, in desperation I signed the governor's name to a bill.'

'Oh, Arthur!'

'Ay, you may say so; but you'd cry louder if you knew it all.' He lounged across the room to the buffet, poured out half a tumbler of sherry, drank it at a draught, and returned to the fireside. 'I've shocked you terribly, I'm sure of it,' he said, and paused moodily. What tempted the governor to put me into the Guards, I'd like to know?' he asked in a low bitter voice. 'It was like flinging a man into the fire, and not expecting him to be burned. Such folly!"

'It strikes me that you are ready to blame every one but yourself, Arthur,' I replied, for I was beginning to feel more and more contempt for the man as he stood there trying to vindicate himself. And could our dear Naomi care for him? My heart ached as I thought of it.

"Well, why shouldn't I speak the truth? It was madness of them to let me mix with a swell set of fellows without sixpence in my pocket. Look here, Olive-did you see the mother to-day?'

'Ruth was at

'No,' I answered abruptly. Grange to-day. I am going to-morrow.'

'Are you?' His face brightened. 'See here. One of those diamond stars of hers would pay up all, and set me on my feet. Perhaps you'd ask her?'

'I ask her to sell her diamonds? Are you mad?'

'No; not the least bit in the world. I'd sell them all, the whole lot, if I had it in my power.'

Arthur Clifford, I'm ashamed of you,' I said haughtily, and left him to his own devices.

A STATE BANQUET IN MADAGASCAR. 'MR FROST, you are wanted for duty with the Admiral this afternoon, sir,' was announced with a grin by old Blowhard, our venerable quartermaster.

'That's rather a kill-joy for you,' sung out a voice from a neighbouring cabin, owned by C- my opposite number.



For the benefit of the uninitiated, it may as well to explain that one's opposite number' is the man who keeps the opposite' watch, or next watch but one, to one's self, and consequently the man to exchange duty with. Truly, it was rather a kill-joy, for C had undertaken my duty that day, and I had made every preparation for an expedition to the marshes after duck.

Chambers's Journal,
Sept. 9, 1882.]


I was soon enlightened as to the nature of the duty by a supplementary order brought by the midshipman of the watch, and delivered in what little Beckford thought a really officer-like style. 'Tail-coats, epaulets, white waistcoats, and swords, is the rig for officers going on shore with the Admiral, sir,' said Beckford.

'What's it for, Becky?' I asked.

'Oh! a feed, I believe, sir, with some of the nigger swells'-by which I understood Mr Beckford to intimate that I was to attend the Admiral to a state banquet given to him by the representatives of the Hova government at Tamatave.

Our good craft H.M.S. Who's Afraid had cast anchor in Tamatave Bay, Madagascar, a day or two before, and towards the end of as jolly a cruise as ever ship had the good fortune to sail; Tamatave being one of the last places we had to call at in the cooler and more southerly latitudes, before running up into warmer regions again.

Most of our hearts and some of our pockets stood sadly in need of repair. I was in the pitiable condition of suffering from both.

During the few days we had been lying in Tamatave Bay, I had found time for a cruise of inspection on shore, and had succeeded in discovering good chances of making a fairish bag of duck in the marshes. I had subsequently made all the necessary arrangements with my 'opposite number' for a free afternoon, when, as I have just described, my pleasant anticipations were shattered at one fell swoop by old Blowhard opening the wardroom door behind me and making the announcement already recorded. I believe, judging by the happy expression the old wretch wore, that he took a malicious pleasure in extinguishing the one bright spot in my otherwise gloomy prospects.


Comparing, however, their costumes with our heavy blue cloth and gold lace, I was bound to admit that the natives in that respect were really the more civilised race of the two. Standing on the hot sand under a blazing sun, in the same dress we are accustomed to wear in the Channel, made us feel very 'Turkish-bathy,' and possessed of less wisdom than our dusky brethren.

Half-past three is an awful time for a square meal; but the Hova government are evidently not of Sydney Smith's opinion with regard to lunch being an insult to one's breakfast, and an injury to one's dinner,' and had fixed upon an hour which heaped insult and injury on every other meal of the day.


There was no shirking it; and half-past two saw us all arrayed in our war-paint,' packed in boats, and towed ashore by the steam pinnace. It was a lovely afternoon in the cool season, with a light southerly monsoon blowing, and a regular fleecy trade-wind sky. About twenty minutes' steaming of the sturdy little pinnace brought us to the principal landing-place of the chief town on the west coast of Madagascar.

All that was to be seen of the great city from the landing-place was a row of huts, with a wooden building kept as a restaurant by an enterprising Bourbonese. But in front of the row of huts was a sight which the natives thought could not fail to strike even us with awe. It was the guard of honour! The men composing it were drawn up in line facing us, and as the Admiral stepped out of the boat, they went through their performance in grand style. They were a guard representing, I imagine, all the military forces of the island, for they were dressed in every conceivable uniformcavalry, hussar, artillery, grenadier. Even a marine uniform was in the ranks. They were rigged out in cast-off English uniforms. Trousers seemed to have been issued only as a mark of distinction, for they were not universally worn. I thought it a doubtful benefit, comparing the temperature of Madagascar with that of the country they had been originally meant for. The arms seem to have been provided on the principle on which a boy collects postage-stamps, namely, to get as many different sorts as possible. The most impressive part of the proceeding was the salute. The commanding officer stepped out and yelled his orders in English. (This was perhaps meant as a compliment to the British Admiral, or resulted from the fact that a retired sergeant of our army had been instructor-inchief to the Madagascar army). Silence in the ranks!' he bellowed forth. No talking was going on at the time; if there had been, the order would not have been understood, being given in English; but I suspect, as Jack says, 'It's in their gunnery-book, and they has to say it.' 'Rear rank, take opin ordah!' was next yelled out. There wasn't any rear rank, so I don't know how the commanding officer got this order executed. As there was no appearance of a hitch anywhere, and he made no pause, it was apparently done to his entire satisfaction; and the next moment he sung out, 'Shoddah ums! Present ums!' and the Tower musket, the old flint lock, the chassepôt, the double-barrelled gas-pipe, the German gun, and the rest of the collection, came up to the 'Present' more less together.


The Admiral returned the salute with an

It was apparently a grand day amongst the inhabitants of Tamatave. A large crowd of those who had nothing better to do had assembled on the strand to see the Admiral and (as the news-immovable face. He loved a joke, and had as papers have it) his numerous and brilliant staff. keen an eye for the ludicrous as most people; Those who have nothing better to do' seem to so the command of his countenance must have form the major part of the population of an cost him an effort. African town.

The costume of the natives is simple and inexpensive; not being an artist, I cannot say whether it is picturesque, but I should say it is cool enough. It struck one that the intelligent Malagash had flung himself head-foremost into a grass-cloth pillow-case, and had succeeded in boring his round woolly black head through the closed end

The scene of our banqueting was some way off, and the governor had provided chairs and the usual team of four bearers for each officer, to convey us from the landing-place. These chairs are simply seats with a back, which are secured to long poles, and a small board slung underneath to rest the feet on. The bearers are fine sturdy fellows; and the distance and pace

when one considers the simple fare they live


Our road lay along the principal street, which runs the whole length of the town. The houses on each side are nearly all one-storied wooden houses, occupied by French residents from Mauritius and Bourbon. They seemed cheerful, clean, and tidy little houses enough. Our mode of progression may be an every-day sight to these good folks; but the sight of an English Admiral and all his officers in full fig carried shoulderhigh on apparently nothing but two long poles, struck me as rather comical.

As we approached the entrance to an old and rather dilapidated-looking fort, a coated native dashed past us to turn out the guard stationed by the narrow passage through which we were to enter the courtyard. The guard consisted of one man in the uniform of a dragoon, but without trousers, followed by another with a sword, as officer of the guard. The latter seemed rather put out that his guard was so small, but determined to do his best before the foreigners, and make up for the smallness of the guard by the extra grandeur of his orders. The guard visibly trembled at the sight of us, but the officer was equal to the occasion. 'Silence in the ranks!' he roared out, standing on the right of the sentinel, and putting his mouth about an inch or two from the poor fellow's ear. 'Rear rank, take opin ordah!" he next shrieked out to the unhappy warrior. The sentry stood the yelling in his ear pretty well, and at the third order, 'Shoddah ums!' he threw his old gas-pipe about in capital style. When the salute was over, the order for the other part of him to take close order was given, and the guard dismissed. He looked a happier man, and retired into the kennel which was his guard-house with the air of having done something to deserve well of his country.

We alighted in a courtyard just inside the walls, and a narrow flight of steps brought us into a mud-built room over the fort. It was a very long low room, with few windows. The table was spread for between twenty and thirty guests, and I could not help meditating prospectively on its stuffiness when all should be present. We were received by the governor, who, with a Princess of the blood-royal, did the honours. She was a stout, cheery little body, with curly hair, nearly white, who spoke French perfectly, having, I believe, been educated in France. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Hova government had come down from the capital to meet the Admiral, and was also there to receive him.

Madagascar is rather strangely divided into two races-the Hovas and the Sakalavas. The former are recognised by us as the ruling race, and their government is held responsible in all dealings and treaties with our government. The Hovas are not, however, entirely masters of the island, for the Sakalavas hold a great deal of the southern and western parts of it; but they must eventually come under the Hova rule, for the latter, in place of being divided into innumerable tribes, are united under their Queen Ranavalamanjaka, and are certainly making rapid strides in civilisation.

The governor of Tamatave, the judge and

other officials, the principal inhabitants, our consul, a missionary gentleman, and ourselves, completed the party. The Hova gentlemen were dressed in sober black of Parisian fashion of a former date. We were received as if we had been entering a European court, our hosts bowing profusely. A few of the Hova officials could speak a little French; one could even speak a little English as well-he was, I think, the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The usual introductions being over-a thor oughly British method of shaking hands was adopted-small-talk, and very difficult small-talk, was attempted. Englishy-French and Madagas cary-French don't fit in at all well; so, after a few remarks which we neither of us understood, my Hova friend and I dropped into a mutually accommodating plan of 'Oui, oui,' and a smile after each other's stuttering attempts. After some interesting conversation of this description, we took our seats, or rather stood behind them; for, as a sort of preliminary grace, the healths of Queen Victoria and Ranavalamanjaka were proposed. Certainly the good folks in Madagascar are more loyal than we are; there is much greater merit in thinking of one's Queen when hungry before a meal, than after it, when one is usually-that is, if the dinner has been a good one-rather inclined to think well and kindly of all. The toast was received by all with loud applause, though the liqueur in which it was drunk was poured out of a bottle looking suspiciously like hair-oil,' and tasted like a mixture of lime-juice and glycerine. The health-drinking over, we settled down to the real business of the day. The governor sat at one end of the table, and the other end was pretty well filled by the fat jovial little Princess-Julie by name.


There was a long pause after the soup, and an uneasy stir was perceptible amongst our hosts. There was an occasional inquiry from the governor, and a message sent off by a slave; but with no satisfactory result. Our laboured attempts at polite and easy conversation made every minute seem an hour, for even Oui, oui,' grew a trifle uninteresting, after being repeated a few hundred times. Things must have been looking serious indeed; for in about ten minutes, the governor despatched the Chief-Justice to the kitchen to discover the cause of the delay. He returned from his mission looking very blank, and no ray of hope cheered the heart of the governor. Punishment is severe and summary in Madagascar, and I trembled for the fate of the cook and his staff. Another local swell, a species of Lord Mayor, was next sent posting down to the kitchen, but he returned ere long, having been as unsuccessful as the Chief-Justice. There was a decided hitch somewhere; and I was beginning to congratulate myself on a happy escape, when the fat little Princess jumped off her seat, and accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, toddled out of the room, no doubt making for the kitchen, to discover the cause of the delay. Either her charms had been irresistible, or the Minister for Foreign Affairs had taken up a very decided 'Stand-no-nonsense' sort of tone with the head of the culinary department, for they returned triumphant in a few minutes. They each headed a column of blacks who streamed into the room after them, bearing huge dishes,

« PreviousContinue »