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he got hold of a gardener to give him some practical

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. advice. However, with this slight drawback, the book is admirably designed for the teacher who wishes to [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions work out an elementary course of instruction for a expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake country school, either as an introduction to practical to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected life or to a more special study of agriculture and horti

manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. culture.

No notice is taken of anonymous communications.] I. Clinical Lectures on Diseases of the Nervous

A Note on the Coloration of Spiders.
System. Pp. 279; price 7s. 6d. 11. Lectures on
Diseases of the Nervous System. Second series.

It is well known that in a large number of animals, both

vertebrate and invertebrate, the colour of the flanks and Pp. 250; price 6s, net. By Sir William R. Gowers,

ventral side of the body differs from that of the dorsal. In M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S. (London: J. and A.

the majority of cases the dorsal surface is most darkly Churchill, 1895 and 1904.)

tinted, the ventral palest, and the flanks intermediate in In these two volumes Sir William Gowers has collected depth of tone between these two. This gradation of colourin revised form a number of clinical lectures which ing has the effect of neutralising the shadows that are cast have appeared in various medical journals. In the

by the upper upon the lower portions of the body. Thus the latter volume he has also printed the Bowman lecture animal does not stand out in prominent relief, but is, so to on subjective visual sensations delivered to the speak, artistically flattened, and thereby rendered less Ophthalmological Society, and the Bradshaw lecture conspicuous. on the subjective sensations of sound. The clinical To this general rule I have recently observed an interestlectures deal with many subjects in neurology; some

ing exception which affords strong evidence in favour of

the truth of the above interpretation. The spiders belong. are mainly descriptive, some speculative. In reading

ing to the genus Linyphia are, almost without exception, them one not only appreciates the original and

darkly coloured upon the ventral surface; their flanks are suggestive way in which the facts are presented, but

variously slashed with oblique white bars and stripes, while also the finished literary style. In a short notice it is their dorsal surface is yet more freely speckled with white impossible to deal with them in detail. The two or pale spots and lines. In these spiders, then, the scheme lectures on the subjective sensations of vision and hear- of coloration is the exact opposite to that which prevails ing are perhaps of wider scientific interest than the elsewhere. Now the Linyphiidæ spin horizontal webs, in clinical lectures. In the first the visual phenomena the centre of which they rest inverted, clinging to the lower experienced by sufferers from migraine are described

side. Thus it is the ventral side of a Linyphia that is exand figured, and there is an admirable résumé of

posed to the strongest light, the dorsal side being in the

deepest shadow. The inversion of attitude at once fully

In physiological teaching with reference to vision.

explains the inverted shading of the body. the second lecture the phenomena of tinnitus, of

OSWALD H. LATTER. auditory vertigo, and other labyrinthine sensations are

Charterhouse, Godalming, October 30. discussed in a luminous and attractive way. Both neurologists and physiologists will find much in these volumes to assist and to stimulate them in researches

Sir J. Eliot's Address at Cambridge. into nervous phenomena.

AGAINST some of the main conclusions of Sir J. Eliot's Lectures Scientifiques. A French Reader for Science opening address before Section A (subsection : cosmical

Students containing Extracts from Modern French physics) may be set the facts that south-east winds are rare Scientific works in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, on the south-east coast of South Africa, and that the rain Physiology and Botany, with a Glossary of Technical of the greater part of the tableland and south-east coast Terms. By W. G. Hartog, B.A. Pp. vii +371.

comes mostly from some northerly direction.

My concern, however, is chiefly with the following re(London : Rivingtons, 1904.) Price 5s. "The University of London now insists that candidates marks, reported in Nature of August 25 last :

“ The chief features of the rainfall of the period 1895for a degree in science shall be able to read and under

1902, in the Indo-oceanic region were as follows:- . stand accounts in the original of French and German There was a marked tendency in each year for late comscientific work. In compiling this book Mr. Hartog mencement and early withdrawal of the monsoon currents, has had the needs of such students in mind so far as and for deficient rainfall throughout the whole season over French is concerned, and he has succeeded in bring- the greater part of India. These features were very proing together a varied and representative collection of nounced in the years 1896, 1899, and 1901. The most reextracts from French scientific works and scientific markable feature of the period was that the region to the periodicals. Among the latter the Revue générale des

south of the equator, including South and East Africa, Sciences takes a very prominent position, contributing Hutchins, Conservator of Forests, Cape Town, states that

Mauritius, and Australia, was similarly affected. ... Mr. to Mr. Hartog's collection as many as fifteen extracts.

drought prevailed more or less persistently over the Karroo The book should be of service not only to the under

region in South Africa from 1896 to 1903, and that cattle graduates referred to, but also to students of science

and sheep perished by millions. He also states that the everywhere, for it is now more than ever necessary that drought extended to British Central Africa from 1898 to the man of science should be able to acquaint himself 1903. The previous statements evidence the continuity, at first hand with the results of fellow-workers abroad. extension, and intensity of the drought. . . . The preceding L'Industrie oléicole (Fabrication de l'Huile d'Olive).

statements have shown that variations of rainfall for pro

longed periods similar in character have occurred, and may By J. Dugast. Pp. 176. (Paris : Gauthier-Villars

hence occur again, over the very large area including the and Masson et Cie., n.d.) Price 3 francs.

Southern Asian peninsulas, East and This little volume, which belongs to the Aide-Mémoire Australia, and perhaps the Indian Ocean. The abnormal

South Africa, series, is a practical account of the manufacture of actions or conditions giving rise to these large and prolonged olive oil, and indicates several directions in which the variations must hence be persistent for long periods, and results of scientific research have been utilised to im- be effective over the whole of that extensive area.” prove technical processes. The formation and compo

Now the question is, what is a drought? sition of olives are first explained, then the methods of point of view there is nothing but drought over a very large extracting the oil are described and an account given print, showing the variation of the mean actual rainfall

area of South Africa. But I gather from the table you of the appliances necessary for the purpose. The

from the normal in India, that by drought is meant unusual properties and methods of preservation of olive oil and and prolonged general dryness setting up marked economic the utilisation of the oil-cake are also considered. results such as large loss of cattle and great loss of

NO. 1827, VOL. 71]

From one

capital," and so forth. If that interpretation is correct, then there has been no such drought in South Africa in the years stated.

This is proved by the accompanying table. It shows the average rainfall over each of the twenty rainfall districts of South Africa, during each year, in percentages of the means. These means have been computed for 160 stations having long records of twenty years, more or less, and are fully given and explained in my Introduction to the Study of South African Rainfall.” The information from which they are derived is open to all who take the trouble to look for it in the annual reports of the Cape Meteorological Commission.

The great mortality among cattle and stock can be explained without assuming that there has been a prolonged drought. In farming matters we live from hand to mouth. Farmers of the Karroo prefer to pray for rain rather than take the trouble to store it up when it comes. Therefore, if the rain is short in the late summer, and late in coming in the next spring, they have no reserve to fall back upon, and their cattle die. One year's drought kills off the stock almost as surely as fifty years' would. For instance, there was great loss of stock in 1897. Yet what were the facts of rainfall? At my station, where the annual mean is about 18.5 inches, the fall in December, 1896, was 8.42 inches; in the whole of 1897 it was 8.85 inches, and in January,

Percentages of Rainfall in the Various Districts of South Africa during the Years 1891 to 1902.

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1898, it was 8.43 inches. Thus there was a drought during 1897, many cattle died, and there was much praying for rain. The year 1903 was probably almost the same as 1897, the fall at Kimberley being only some 65 per cent. of the mean, whereas the fall during the last half of 1902 was good, and during the first half of 1904 excellent. But with the exception of these years there has been nothing that can properly be called drought, in the sense of Sir J. Eliot's address, over any extended region of South Africa within the past fifteen years at least. Thus there is nothing to justify the statement that we have been under the same influence as that which set up the prolonged drought in Australia and the dry years in India. J. R. SUTTON.

It is pretty plain that the area of winter rains, including the west coast and Cape Peninsula, was short of rain in 1896; that 1897 was a dry year over the area of summer rains, which comprises the greater part of South Africa; and that the south coast and adjacent districts, where the rainfall is fairly uniform throughout the year, had a dry year in 1899, and one not very wet in 1895. The area of summer rains, being so much greater than the rest, of course sets the tone of the mean rainfall of the whole country, making 1897 a dry year on the whole, and 1891 a very wet year.

There seem to be dry areas somewhere or other in pretty well every year. For example, the rainfall was short in the western part of the area of summer rains in 1902, although the fall was good enough further east. It was short over the east-central Karroo and south-east in 1899 in sympathy with the dryness of the south in that year. Even in 1891 there was a short fall over an extensive region.

I fancy that the impression of unusual dryness over South Airica in recent years arises from the misleading mean values used by the Meteorological Commission for comparative purposes. These are taken from Buchan's rather futile " Rainfall of South Africa,” and average fully two inches (equal to perhaps 10 per cent.) too great.

Buchan used only the rainfall of the ten years 1885-94 in constructing his results, and therefore got inflated averages in consequence of the heavy rainfall of 1891; whence the rainfalls of recent years are made to appear minus as compared with what is called the mean, whereas, as compared with the better means of longer periods, they would be often plus.

I trust to your courtesy to give my reply to Mr. Sutton's criticisms on certain portions of my address at the recent British Association meeting.

My address was in part based on an investigation I have had on hand for nearly two years, and which will be shortly published as a paper in the Indian Meteorological Memoirs. In that will be found a statement of the chief features of the meteorology of South Africa during the period 1892–1902. It is confessedly based upon very imperfect informationpartly derived from newspaper reports, partly from data in certain meteorological reports received from Cape Town by the Calcutta Meteorological Office, and partly from data obtained from Mr. Hutchins, Conservator of Forests, Cape Colony, with whom I have been in correspondence for many years on the meteorology of South Africa and usual unsuited to the staple crops. Local knowledge of the agricultural and economic conditions is hence of the greatest importance in estimating the probable effect of a given variation of rainfall in any area. Mr. Hutchins, I have every reason to suppose, possesses such knowledge for South Africa, and hence I attach the highest value to his information on such matters.

The evidence I have collected, a small portion of which was given in my address, appears to me to have established that during the period 1895-1902 there was a marked tendency to more or less continuous deficiency of rainfall over the Indo-oceanic area, most pronounced in dry inland districts, and which in India intensified into severe droughts in the years 1896, 1899, and 1901, diminishing the crop returns over large areas to such an extent that it was necessary to resort to famine relief on a large scale during the twelve months succeeding each period of crop failure.

I was unable to make as precise statements for either Australia or South Africa, but the scanty facts and information at my disposal appeared to justify the statement that these areas were similarly affected. I also pointed out that this period stood in marked contrast to a preceding period of three years, 1892-4, when the precipitation was apparently in general excess over the same large area.

I give in the following table a comparison between the rainfall variations of India, and the area of spring, summer, and autumn rains in South Africa, which, so far as I can judge, is mainly dependent on the Indian Ocean supplies of aqueous vapour. I give, in the absence of the number of stations for each area, the arithmetic means of the second and third horizontal rows of figures in Mr. Sutton's summary of his data :

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Period of general excess of rain

Percentage variation Year India S. Africa 1892 + 12

+ 8 1893 +22

+14 1894 +16

+ 4

its relation to that of India. Mr. Hutchins was for some years in the Madras Forest Department before he went to the Cape some fifteen or twenty years ago. He has made a special study of the rainfall of South Africa, and is a careful and enthusiastic investigator in rainfall problems. He is, from his double experience in India and South Africa and his present official work and position, eminently qualified to form a judgment on the abnormal features of rainfall distribution in either area, and on their economic effect. It is hence, as I hope to show later, very satisfactory that Mr. Sutton's figures confirm the general inferences I made about South African rainfall, based chiefly on Mr. Hutchins's information, in my address.

Before discussing Mr. Sutton's data and inferences, perhaps I may be permitted to deal with two or three important issues raised in Mr. Sutton's letter. The first is contained in the opening paragraph, in which

south-east winds are rare on the south-east coast of South Africa, and the rain of the greater part of the tableland and north-east coast comes mostly from some northerly direction.” If these casual remarks have any point at all, I think I am correct in assuming that they imply that Mr. Sutton considers the rainfall in the areas mentioned is not due to humid currents from the Indian Ocean, but from the dry interior to the north of the tableland. I have examined the rainfall charts of South Africa given in Bartholomew's “ Meteorological Atlas," and they certainly indicate to me that the aqueous vapour, the condensation of which gives rainfall in the eastern half of South Africa, is brought up by air movement from the Indian Ocean, and occurs as a summer precipitation. Hence, so far as I can reasonably judge, that area forms a part of what I have termed the Indo-oceanic region. I might add, in further reply, that rain in certain parts of India during the south-west monsoon chiefly occurs with easterly and north-easterly, and even with northerly winds. But these facts have not yet been utilised by anyone to prove that the rainfall is not brought up from the adjacent seas and oceans by the south-west monsoon circulation.

Mr. Sutton in a later paragraph says he fancies that the impression of unusual dryness over South Africa in recent years arises from the, misleading mean values used by the Meteorological Commission for comparative purposes which are taken from Buchan's rather futile · Rainfall of South Africa,' and average fully two inches (equal to perhaps 10 per cent.) too great. There is an air of certainty about this statement which I am unable to share without further proof. Buchan's means are based on ten years' data, Mr. Sutton's on twenty years' data. It does not necessarily follow that twenty years' means are better representatives of normal or average conditions than ten years' means. It depends entirely upon whether the ten years may or may not be accepted as representing the normal conditions, and whether the additional ten years' data are for an abnormal period or not. The fact that the two sets of means differ on the average of the whole area by 10 per cent. indicates to an outsider on South African meteorology like myself that it is quite as probable the ten years' additional data erred in defect as that the ten years' data employed by Dr. Buchan erred in excess. There hence appears to be in the absence of any proof) an element of doubt in his means, just as he asserts to be the case in the rather futile means of Dr. Buchan.

Again, if I read Mr. Sutton's letter rightly, he considers that the question as to whether the crops have failed over large areas being due to drought is settled by a consideration of percentage variations. It is certainly not the case in India. A percentage variation gives no certain indication unless considered in relation to the normal fall, and also to its time-distribution. A deficiency of 25 per cent. is of absolutely no economic importance in such areas as Sind (with an average rainfall of about four inches) or such as Arakan (with an average of more than 200 inches). The former area depends solely on irrigation for cultivation, and the latter is so abundantly supplied for the rice crop that it bears a loss of fifty inches lightly. On the other hand, in the regions termed the dry zones in' India, where the mean rainfall ranges between fifteen inches and thirty inches, a deficiency of 20 per cent. is usually a serious matter, more especially if it accompanies more irregular distribution than

Period of general deficiency of rain

Percentage variation Year India S. Africa 1895 - 5 - 9 1896 12

- 5 1897 normal - 21 1898 + 1

- 9 1899 - 27

- 18 1900 - I

+ 2 · 1901

10

+ 7 1902

5

+10

...

...

.

These figures show that the eastern half of South Africa had heavier rain than usual during the same period (1892-4) as India, that it was steadily in defect during the first five years of the period of persistent deficiency of rain in India, and was especially deficient the years 1897 and 1899, the former being the year and rainfall season following the first severe drought year of the period in India, and the latter the same year as that of the greatest drought experienced in India during the past 100 years at least. The parallelism between the two sets of figures is, indeed, more complete than I anticipated, and hence I consider not only that Mr. Sutton's conclusion to the effect that “there is nothing to justify the statement that South Africa has been under the same influence as that which set up the prolonged drought in Australia and the dry years in India is neither in accordance with what I hold to be the general meteorological conditions and relations of the whole Indooceanic area nor even with the data which Mr. Sutton furnishes. The probability, so far as I can judge, is at least twenty to one that there is some relation such as I have suggested. The chief object of my address was, I may add, to urge the necessity for the coordination and intercomparison of the meteorological observations of the whole Indo-oceanic area and their discussion as a whole by an efficient scientific staff in London. The question at issue between Mr. Sutton and myself, for example, could be authoritatively settled by such an investigating office.

In conclusion, I hope that my remarks may not be interpreted as in any way depreciating the value of Mr. Sutton's work in collecting and discussing as a whole the rainfall data of South Africa, and in utilising the data to obtain normal means for purposes of comparison. His work will, I am confident, be appreciated by all interested in African meteorology from any point of view. JOHN Eliot.

Bon Porto, Cavalaire, Var, France.

a

toun

The Origin of Life.

struck her that the noise was like a cat's jump from a ALTHOUGH to the evolutionist it must necessarily appear height. Procuring light she found the cat standing by the more than probable that at some time or other non-living

door. She then saw that the curtains, where folded on the matter has bir evolution acquired the properties of life, and

bed, had been a little disturbed, put in her hand, and found to nin the only question is as to how this has come about,

three soft warm kittens! They were immediately put into vel, for all that he has been in the habit of admitting that

a basket with flannel, and set by the kitchen fire; but as the complete failure of all experiment in this direction makes

soon as the lady had gone downstairs she met the cat, with the negative evidence very strong indeed. My present object

a kitten in her mouth, on her way back to the bedroom. is to suggest that the negative evidence, so far from being Why did she select that room? She was not petted by the strung, is so weak that perhaps it can hardly be said to lady, nor friendly to her. The housemaid was safe, busy exist

waiting at table. In the experiments the first step has always been, and, so

Debarred from this resource, she hid the kittens. again far as one can see, must always be, to destroy all existing while the family were at dinner, and apparently felt so sure life and all existing germs of life. Suppose the agent to

that they were safe, that she went and sat by the kitchen be hear. How does the experimenter know that the very

fire, awaiting the usual scraps. Of course a search was means he employs to destroy in living matter the property

made in all likely hiding places and corners frequented by of life are not equally efficacious in destroying the peculiar the young people, who were very fond of this cat, and property or properties of matter that is just on the point thought she was fond of them. A piteous, faint squealing « transmutation? For all that we certainly know to the betrayed the poor little creatures on the floor behind the contrans, dead matter may be changing into living every

largest folios in the library. The space above the books das in every pool, especially every warm pool, on the face

was so small that it is difficult to think how the cat got in of the earth. If so, the difference between the last state

with a kitten in her mouth, or even without it. This was of the non-living and the first state of the living must, by

the one room into which the housemaid seldom came, the et clutionist's hypothesis, be extremely small; and it is especially in the evening, as the master sat there. He did probable to my mind most probablem-that both would be

not pet the cat at any time, and she took no notice of him. similarly affected by an unusual degree of heat, or what

But though securely hidden, the kittens could hardly have

lived in that cold place; their mother seemed to have overever other agent is calculated to destroy life; the precaution eliminating life and its potentiality at one stroke. But the

looked their need of warmth. After this failure she subsalue of the negative evidence is precisely in inverse pro

mitted to have them kept in the basket in the kitchen.

Y. N. portion to this probability. If the probability is thought great, the negative evidence will necessarily be thought small. I submit that the probability is very great indeed,

Fish.passes and Fish.ponds. and consequently that we are pretty much in the same posi

In your issue of August 18, in an article dealing with run as to the possible evolution of life from non-living

fish-passes and fish-ponds, the following statement is matter as we should have been if no experiments had been made :mur. Certainly, so far as the logic of the matter is con- “Much of the information as to the construction of cerned, there is no need yet to consider the hypothesis of ponds and their inlets and overflows is, of course, ancient, lile having been imported here from another planet.

and can be found in such books as the ' History of HowieBirmingham, October 25.

George HOOKHAM.

(by the late Sir James Ramsay Gibson Maitland, Bart.).

The above statement may easily cause the incorrect inThinking Cats.

ference that the information in Sir James Ramsay Gibson I HAVE known three cats which behaved as if they thought. Maitland's work is now obsolete. Perhaps you may care to The first, a large, sleek tabby, belonged to a private family

make it known that this is, of course, not the case, although living in the City. Between 1846 and 1858 the owner,

no doubt with lapse of time improvements and modifications Mr. l. S., was surprised by his manservant coming to his

are introduced.

HOWIETOUN FISHERY Co. office at the back of the house in business hours and asking, Howietoun Fishery, Stirling, N.B., October 24. * Did you ring, sir?" "No, I have not been into the house, was his answer. This occurred repeatedly. At Average Number of Kinsfolk in each Degree. last the man watched, and observed that, the family being in other rooms, the dining room bell rang, and when he

I THANK Dr. Galton for his explanation (p. 626), which answered it the cat ran out of the door. He then purposely only shows how easy it is to make mistakes in things which shut her into the room. A leather easy chair was so placed

appear perfectly trivial. The discrepancy can be accounted that by getting on the seat, and then standing on the

for, however, more simply still by the fact that families arm, she could reach the knob with her front paw ; and she

containing boys only have to be left out of account, and continued to practise this accomplishment as often as she

therefore in the families which contain at least one girl was shut up in the room.

there are on an average more girls than boys altogether.

G. H. BRYAN. The second cat, also a large tabby, lived at Blackheath. Her master often sat up late writing. The cook, a “good old servant," also now and then sat late, sewing or read

Misuse of Words and Phrases. ing, in the kitchen. One night after twelve Mr. H. F. It is quite true, as Mr. Basset says, that in English was interrupted by the cat running into the library (the door considerable care is often required in the arrangement of being open), mewing and clawing him, then running a sentence, so as to avoid ambiguity"; but he seems to go towards the door, and repeating these acts.

He got up

too far when he says that “ brevity ought always to be and followed the cat, which now ran into the kitchen. The aimed at.” Too much brevity will often, as we are warned cook was sitting asleep close to the fender, a piece of coal by Horace, lead to obscurity : brevis

laboro : had fallen on her dress, and it was burning. No harm obscurus fio”; and the absence of inflections and genders happened, thanks to the cat.

renders it impossible to write English in the brief, epigramThe third was a very small, slight cat, white and tabby, matic style that is common in Latin. a good mouser and bird catcher, and not at all afraid of To Mr. Basset's rules the following may be advantagea rat. On one occasion the servant, exasperated by the ously added : that new words of foreign origin should not trouble caused by the cat's selection of a birthplace for, be employed when English words will suit the purpose as kittens, drowned them all, for which she was duly rebuked. well or better. For instance, autotomic and anautotomic, The next family arrived in a suitable corner, but, when two as applied to curves, are objectionable, because self-cutting or three days old, disappeared, as well as their mother. and non-self-cutting express precisely the same ideas in As the cat was never allowed to go upstairs, it was supposed simpler and more familiar words. I am at a loss to know that, like another cat once before, she had made a lair in on what ground Mr. Basset objects to the phrase the garden, where she spent most of her time. At dusk the singular cubic curve”; does he think the epithet is mistress of the house went up to dress for dinner. As soon couth” or “ inelegant” or “ inaccurate."? as she entered her room she heard something fall, and it

T. B. S.

esse

nonun

October 31.

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FLOODS IN THE MISSISSIPPI.

Missouri and Kansas remained no longer rivers, but

became merged into an inland sea. When the flood WE E have on previous occasions directed attention subsided there was revealed a condition of general ruin

to the reports issued by the Department of and desolation. Holes had been gouged in the streets Agriculture of the United States, and to the valuable some 30 feet deep; railroad tracks had been torn to information they afford to the officers engaged in the pieces; an oil tank, 50 feet in diameter and 30 feet high, different departments. We have now been favoured made of iron plates, had been torn from its foundations with a copy of a report issued by the Weather Bureau and tossed about like a frail shanty; freight cars

had been broken up and carried away down the river; heavy locomotive engines had been rolled over and were discovered lying in mud banks; and mud from 2 feet to 4 feet deep covered everything. An approximate estimate of the loss in this district was put at 31 million pounds. In the vicinity of Kansas City the losses were placed at upwards of three million pounds, while the value of the bridges destroyed was more than 150,000l. In previous floods the losses have fallen principally on the agricultural districts, but this time the loss to the farmers was less than one-third of the total, and about the same proportion was borne by the railroads.

But great as the losses were, they would have been far greater but for the property saved owing to timely warnings issued by the

Weather Bureau. Owing to the Fig. 1.–Kansas City, Missouri. Scene in the freight yard of the St. Louis and San Francisco careful records kept of previous Railway after subsidence of the flood.

floods the department was enabled

to forecast the time at which the on the floods in the Mississippi watershed in the spring flow would reach the various towns situated on the of 1903,' which gives an interesting and detailed river, and the height to which it would probably rise, account of the most disastrous floods in this district of and so could send out timely warnings. In the lower which there is any record.

district alone the value of the property saved by reThese foods are described as marking a new epoch moval to places of safety was estimated at 5 million in the economic history of the country. When previous pounds. The forecasts as to the probable height of floods occurred they ran harmlessly over unbroken the flood were issued in the higher districts at least forests, and bottoms tenanted only by the beasts of the field, except over a limited area where there

small farms tenanted by French colonists. The floods of 1903 descended upon fertile and highly cultivated fields, and upon rich valleys filled to overflowing with vast industries devoted with never ceasing energy to the fulfilment of the insatiable demands of

The resulting ruin and desolation were beyond description. Along the lower Mississippi 6820 square miles of country were inundated. In Kansas City five square miles of territory were overflowed ; large portions of the manufacturing towns of Venice and Madison were flooded to a considerable depth; more than 3000 square miles of territory, one-half of which was under cultivation, were

Fig. 2.-Repairing levee at Lagrange, Mississippi. overflowed and the crops ruined.

The towns of Armourdale, Argentine, and Harlem four days in advance, and in the lower part, at New were covered from 8 feet to 12 feet with water, and had Orleans, twenty-eight days in advance. By these to be abandoned. Twenty thousand people in this warnings the people were kept well informed of what district were made homeless. All public utilities were they might expect in the way of high water. The put out of service; sixteen out of seventeen bridges work of the River and Flood Service in furnishing over the river Kaw

washed away.

The information regarding this flood was complete and 1 "The Floods of the Spring of 1903 in the Mississippi Watershed.' By

satisfactory. By the use of the Post Office, telegraph H. C. Frankenfeld. (Washington : Weather Bureau, 1904.)

and telephone lines, and the daily Press, and with the

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commerce.

were

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