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“If I had that,” he remarks that the Danish invaders in one day, “sure I wouldn't call their retreat used it to bury the King me cousin."
arms. Whereat the Cadet laughs “ 'Tis the fairies' Rath, so it appreciatively. Owney's eyes is,” Owney continues. become fixed and abstracted. “Have you ever seen the
“Did ye ever see the King ?” fairies?” asks his friend. he asks suddenly.
"Augh, to be sure I have." “ Yes.”
The Cadet's eyebrows go up. The eyes sparkle again, filled “And what may they be with quick intelligence.
like?” “Could ye tell me now, how The child glances about him does he keep his crown on quickly and cautiously. when he does be walkin' “Sure and aren't they grand about?"
little men in green coats." The Cadet remains immov. “Never! And where do you ably grave.
see them?” “Ah, that is his secret, “Sure and don't I see them Owney."
leppin' in and out of the “I'd like for to see it,” hedges.” Owney's voice is Owney observes reflectively. lowered ; it sinks to a whisper
"Perhaps you will some day, as he adds, “An' they do be when he comes here. He's the out and around the Rath on King of Ireland, sonny.” bright nights. Begob they do. “Begob he's not."
Dancin' and leppin' in rings, There is no mistake about sky-high." the emphasis. The Cadet wisely “In rings?” refuses to challenge it. Indeed, “Aye, sure ye can see the he is possibly more interested fairy rings they do leave on in his own reflections, for be the grass." says after a short pause
The Cadet nods; he has “I'd like to dig into that seen the curious markings which hill."
all the countryside persists in Owney follows the direction pronouncing fairy rings. of the speaker's eyes, and then Perhaps that is why when, looks at him with great so- one moonlight evening in midlemnity.
winter, Owney mysteriously "That hill! If ye touch a offers to show him “somethin'" sod in that hill the fairies 'll at the Rath, he is rather inate ye.”
different to the proposition. "Fairies !” The Cadet’s ac- The child has so plainly set his cents sound amused, and his heart upon it that the other's eyes rest again upon the 80- good-nature gets the better of called hill, which is in point of his disinclination. He proposes fact a huge, conical, grassy that they should both go thither mound known as Ballyduggan on the motor bicycle. To his Fort, from the local tradition surprise, for once Owney de
clines that hitherto unfailing as he speaks, and begins rooting treat.
up the earth, from which the “ 'Tis creepin' along we'd grass has curiously receded, with better be.” His eyes narrow his finger-nails. The Cadet, oddly, “The fairies 'ud be puzzled, watches him. terrible wicked if they cot “Stoop.” Owney's voice is a sight of us, and sure the quick and low. His friend noise of that 'ud wake the stoops to humour him. Owney dead !”
scrapes and burrows furiously. So creep they do by devious “Have ye e'er a knife? Here, ways known only to Owney, put it in down there." and by no means easy going. Suddenly interested, he does The Cadet's feet are soaked not know why, the Cadet starts before he gets there—even field digging with his big claspservice boots are a disadvan- knife. The latter comes against tage compared to bare feet on a curious lump. certain occasions. They emerge “Eh," the Cadet exclaims at last on the side of the Rath, wonderingly. at a spot which the Cadet does “Go on,” repeats Owney. not know. The moon is at the “I'll help ye.” full, and the grass gleams white “What the devil's in it, and sparkling in its clear cold Owney ?" radiance. The stillness is un Owney shakes his head. canny. The spirit of solitude “Ye'll know yerself. 'Twas broods over the spot.
the queer way they had. I “I haven't been round this seen them ..." side before,” says the Cadet The Cadet is thoroughly suddenly, and he glances about roused. him, alive to the strange beauty “Whatever it is we must of this queer hill which rises find it out,” he mutters ; 80 starkly above the fields. “that's clear.” He notes for the first time a They succeed in getting the small group of slender armowy earth, which is rather loose, firs, like stone pine, standing away sufficiently to enable the clear and solitary like a sentinel Cadet to pursue his investigagroup about twenty yards above tions. Suddenly he utters a where Owney has now halted. sharp ejaculation, The latter looks up at him and “Gelignite—by God!” then down at the ground.
He stares at Owney, whose “Whisht !” he ejaculates eyes, shining like jet beads in huskily; “look at the ring the brilliant moonlight, devour there."
him. The Cadet laughs. The child “For the love o' God,” he catches his hand.
whispers, “take care and don't “Don't laff for yer life. let it hurrt ye.” Look, come here-look."
The Cadet smiles down on He goes down on his knees him. VOL. OCIX.-NO. MCCLXIV.
"It won't hurt either of us belt ye with stones when yer like that, my son, and it will doin' it.” never hurt any one, please goodness.”
The newspapers duly reported He glances round carefully, some days later a smart capnoting the direction.
ture of gelignite and other ex“We'll fetch this out beiore plosives hidden by the Sinn the sun sets to-morrow, Ow- Feiners with considerable astuteney."
ness in a lonely spot, unnamed The child turns a little pale. and very vaguely indicated.
“With the sodjers,” he whis- The accounts added that while pers.
the troops, who were guided The Cadet nods.
to the place by Cadets of the “Don't be frightened, old Auxiliary Force stationed in son,” he says, as he catches the neighbourhood, were ensight of the boy's face; “I'll gaged in removing their booty, take care no harm comes to they were set on by a gang
of Irish children, who were so A slow smile of indescribable depraved as to hurl stones and cunning and affection creeps other missiles at the sorelyinto Owney's eyes.
tried forces of the Crown. The “I'll sit on the wall beyant” assemblage seemed to be under -he points towards a frag- the command of a ragged ment of low loose stone wall urchin, who yelled at the top running across the field at of his voice, "Thell with the the base of the Rath - "and English.”
IT was about the end of the first half of November that it became known in Constantinople that everything was not well with Wrangel ; and soon rumours of his having been overwhelmed in his positions guarding the Crimea began to circulate in the British messes on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
Then things came with a rush. We awoke one morning to find a few bedraggled ships casting anchor just below our windows, in the Moda roadstead, and to witness a long procession of misery as others in similar plight came limping and staggering down the straits, out of the Euxine mists.
This was the beginning of a time of sadness indescribable. Between eighty and a hundred ships, great and small, made up the total of Wrangel's argosy of suffering. Upon their iron decks—welling up and overflowing from below — were packed and herded more than a hundred thousand souls. Some of the ships—large-sized vessels of the Volunteer Fleet —carried between eight and ten thousand people apiece. The smallest, an open lightship, held over six hundred. The evacuation from Sevastopol had been quite orderly, that from Theodosia less so ; but as almost everybody who wished
to leave had been taken off, the overcrowding was appalling. From the very outset there had not been sufficient provisions to go round, and several ships had left the Crimea with their bunkers practically empty, and been picked up, as they drifted helplessly in the Black Sea, by Allied warships. It was a never-to-be-forgotten sight that one looked out upon from Moda. The deck of every ship was hidden by the mass of humanity piled upon it. For the most part they were civilians, in the case of the earliest arrivals— old men, women, and children. Snatched from their homes, in which until quite recently they had lived in fancied security, they had had time to bring away with them only a bundle of clothing or a roll of bedding. Yet the condition of the civilian ships was not so bad as that of the military transports. Farther from the shore, on the outer edge of this ragamuffin fleet, were about a dozen large trampish steamers. Rusted and unkempt, they had a look about them as of famished, mangy wolves. On them were the khaki-clad soldiery. One says “on” advisedly, for the men were heaped in a sort of uneasy mound upon the decks, up to the very shrouds. You realised with a shock, as the morning light grew clearer, that what had appeared at first to be piled-up superstructure was in reality a solid mass of men. There they stood in the biting cold, gazing dumbly shorewards, so tightly wedged as to be unable to move. For over forty-eight hours they had stood thus, clustering like frozen swarms of bees. These were men who had just come from a veritable hell on earth—rent by highexplosives, gassed, machinegunned—betrayed, too, by prematurely ice-bound rivers and the colder treason of their comrades. But they were soldiers still. Amid them, on the forecastle, one saw the field-guns they had saved from the clutches of the Bolsheviks, and each man held on grimly to his rifle and bandolier. The soldier's heart went out to them. France, having championed Wrangel in his prosperity, was not going to let him down in his adversity. She undertook the looking-after of this homeless floating nation ; and at the foremast of every ship the tricolour flew. But Britain only held aloof officially—or, if Britain held aloof, the British did not. A little headquarters mess at Moda, one of the messes of a Division that kept the line at Second Ypres, and for long months afterwards bore the heat and burden of the day in Macedonia, called a meeting of its members on the first night
of the arrival of the ships, in the bleak little messroom of what in pre-war days had been the “Moda Palace Hotel.” (Grandiloquent name, typical of both Turk and Greek 1) The meeting decreed that British officers were not going to stand idly by while women and children—yes, and the soldiers of a former ally—starved and perished at their door. It was patent, too, to everybody that the work of Succour would require all the help available. France, for all her generous impulses, would find that she had undertaken a task temporarily beyond her local powers. It was decided to run a soup-kitchen, on the lines of what had been done in France and Belgium immediately after the Armistice. All available stoves and field-cookers were to be got down the next morning to the little pier at Moda, supplies were to be procured from the R.A.S.C., friends in the Navy were to be asked to provide water transport. Everybody present at the meeting agreed to put up so many days’ pay to get the affair started, and before morning a large sum of money had been assured, together with promises of help from every other mess within call. The devoted co-operation of the rank and file was certain. The help came only just in time. In some cases it came, alas ! too late. Even when it was at its height, whole shiploads of men had to go for days unfed. It was not pleas