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CHAPTER I The public may possibly wonder why it is that they have never heard in the papers of the fate of the passengers of the __Korosko__. In these days of universal press agencies, responsive to the slightest stimulus, it may well seem incredible that an international incident of such importance should remain so long unchronicled. Suffice it that there were very valid reasons, both of a personal and political nature, for holding it back. The... more...

A GLIMPSE OF THE BRITISH ARMY I It is not an easy matter to write from the front. You know that there are several courteous but inexorable gentlemen who may have a word in the matter, and their presence 'imparts but small ease to the style.' But above all you have the twin censors of your own conscience and common sense, which assure you that, if all other readers fail you, you will certainly find a most attentive one in the neighbourhood of... more...

CHAPTER I. THE NEW-COMERS. "If you please, mum," said the voice of a domestic from somewhere round the angle of the door, "number three is moving in." Two little old ladies, who were sitting at either side of a table, sprang to their feet with ejaculations of interest, and rushed to the window of the sitting-room. "Take care, Monica dear," said one, shrouding herself in the lace curtain; "don't let them see us. "No, no, Bertha. We must not... more...

PREFACE The Title story of this volume was written about eighteen months before the outbreak of the war, and was intended to direct public attention to the great danger which threatened this country.  It is a matter of history how fully this warning has been justified and how, even down to the smallest details, the prediction has been fulfilled.  The writer must, however, most thankfully admit that what he did not foresee was the... more...

It was nine o'clock at night upon the second of August--the most terrible August in the history of the world. One might have thought already that God's curse hung heavy over a degenerate world, for there was an awesome hush and a feeling of vague expectancy in the sultry and stagnant air. The sun had long set, but one blood-red gash like an open wound lay low in the distant west. Above, the stars were shining brightly, and below, the lights of... more...


Chapter I. Of Cornet Joseph Clarke of the Ironsides It may be, my dear grandchildren, that at one time or another I have told you nearly all the incidents which have occurred during my adventurous life. To your father and to your mother, at least, I know that none of them are unfamiliar. Yet when I consider that time wears on, and that a grey head is apt to contain a failing memory, I am prompted to use these long winter evenings in putting it... more...

"Number 481 is no better, doctor," said the head-warder, in a slightly reproachful accent, looking in round the corner of my door. "Confound 481" I responded from behind the pages of the Australian Sketcher. "And 61 says his tubes are paining him. Couldn't you do anything for him?" "He is a walking drug-shop," said I. "He has the whole British pharmacopaæ inside him. I believe his tubes are as sound as yours are." "Then there's 7 and... more...

BEHIND THE TIMES. My first interview with Dr. James Winter was under dramatic circumstances. It occurred at two in the morning in the bedroom of an old country house. I kicked him twice on the white waistcoat and knocked off his gold spectacles, while he with the aid of a female accomplice stifled my angry cries in a flannel petticoat and thrust me into a warm bath. I am told that one of my parents, who happened to be present, remarked in a... more...

INTRODUCTION Dame History is so austere a lady that if one, has been so ill-advised as to take a liberty with her, one should hasten to make amends by repentance and confession. Events have been transposed to the extent of some few months in this narrative in order to preserve the continuity and evenness of the story. I hope so small a divergence may seem a venial error after so many centuries. For the rest, it is as accurate as a good deal of... more...

A HYMN OF EMPIRE (Coronation Year, 1911) God save England, blessed by Fate,So old, yet ever young:The acorn isle from which the greatImperial oak has sprung!And God guard Scotland's kindly soil,The land of stream and glen,The granite mother that has bredA breed of granite men!God save Wales, from Snowdon's valesTo Severn's silver strand!For all the grace of that old raceStill haunts the Celtic land.And, dear old Ireland, God save you,And heal... more...