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ON PATROL. - VII.

BATTLE-PRAYER

SUBMARINES.

WHEN the breaking wavelets pass all sparkling to the sky,
When beyond their orests we see the slender masts go by,
When the glimpses alternate in bubbles white and green,
And funnels grey against the sky show clear and fair between,
When the word is passed along-"Stern and beam and bow"-
“Aotion stations fore and aft-all torpedoes now !”
When the hissing tubes are still, as if with bated breath
They waited for the word to loose the silver bolts of death,
When the Watoh beneath the Sea shall orown the great Desire,
And hear the coughing rush of air that greets the word to fire,
We'll ask for no advantage, Lord—but only we would pray
That they may meet this boat of ours upon their outward way.

THE BATTLE.FLEET.

The moment we have waited long

Is olosing on us fast,
When, cutting short the turret-gong,
We'll hear the Cordite's Battle-song

That hails the Day at last.
The olashing rams come driving forth

To meet the waiting shell,
And far away to East and North
Our targets steam to meet Thy Wrath,

And dare the Gates of Hell.
We do not ask Thee, Lord, to-day

To stay the sinking sun-
But hear Thy steel-clad servants pray,
And keep, O Lord, Thy mists away

Until Thy work is done.

DESTROYERS.

Through the dark night

And the fury of battle
Pass the destroyers in showers of spray.
As the Wolf-pack to the flank of the cattle,
We shall close in on them-shadows of grey.

In from ahead,

Through shell-flashes red,
We shall come down to them, after the Day.

Whistle and crash

Of salvo and volley
Round us and into us as we attack.
Light on our target they'll flash in their folly,
Splitting our ears with the shrapnel-oraok.

Fire as they will,

We'll come to them still,
Roar as they may at us-Back-Go Back!

White though the sea

To the shell-splashes foaming,
We shall be there at the death of the Hun.
Only we pray for a star in the gloaming
(Light for torpedoes and none for a gun).

Lord of Thy Grace

Make it a race,
Over the sea with the night to run.

KLAXON. THE MAN FROM THE CLOUDS.

BY J. STORER CLOUSTON.

PART I.

VII, AT THE MANSION-HOUSE.

As I followed the girl antly proportioned, low in the through the hall a man's voice ceiling, and pervaded with a asked

delicate yet distinot flavour of “Is that O'Brien ?”. the past. I found myself in

“No," she said; "it's some stinctively wondering how one one to see you, father.”

could reproduoe this particular She showed me into a room flavour on the stage; no armour and olosed the door, and in the or tapestry or any of the usual course of the next few minutes antique paraphernalia to be I came to one or two pretty allowed, for beyond the thick obvious conclusions. She was walls and rather small winolearly Mr Rendall's daughter, dows it was so difficult to lay and they were equally clearly one's finger on any one specific in the habit of receiving visits thing that palpably suggested at odd times from Mr O'Brien ; age. Finally, I decided that in fact, they evidently con- it was impossible to re-create oluded it was he, or Miss Ren, such an atmosphere. It was dall herself would scarcely have compounded of stillness within opened the door to me. Also, and the glimpses of primeval her reply might be taken as quiet without, of a touch of comimplying that if Mr O'Brien fortable shabbiness, of plenty had been the visitor it would of elderly books, and of a faint not have been her father he odour of the dampness of cenhad come to see. But whether turies mingled with the soent or no this were the true inter- of honeysuokle. My suspicions pretation, I so thoroughly dis- were suddenly lulled, and with liked and suspected O'Brien that prompt deoision which has that any suggestion of intimacy landed me in and pulled me out was alone enough to make me of so many holes, I decided to glad I had started on the de- drop my German accent. That fensive.

the charming Miss Rendall “Otherwise," said I to my might miss it and wonder what self, “what a charming girl to had become of it was (I must find in such a place !"

confess) a reflection which did However, I reminded myself not ooour to me till afterwards. that I had not oome here to be Just as I had come to this oharmed, and proceeded next decision in walked the laird, to tako stook of the room. and in two minutes I had oome

It was not large, but pleas- to another decision, which was

lunomident presente do not openia

to adhere to the plan of oam- went on, “and it is no part of paign I had thought of as I that business to make myself walked, in so far as keeping conspicuous, and so I have my business to myself was taken the liberty of coming to concerned. My first impression your house." of Mr Rondall was of height, “You wish to wait here till and a certain quiet, formidable your ship returns ?” he inquality. He was grey-haired, quired. with a close-clipped grizzled “I thought perhaps you moustache, loose clothes as might know of some lodging though he had shrunk a little where I might remain quietly." in girth, and the unmistakable. He smiled slightly. air of a man who had seen “You had better stay here. considerably more of the world There is no other lodging.” than the island of Ransay. He I began to thank him, but received me quite politely and be out me short. hospitably, but with every “It is Hobson's choice," said moment that passed I grow he, “and my house is not overmore aoutely conscious of some crowded at present. Have you thing deterrent behind his lunohed ?” | courtesy. A sense of a strong “I am afraid I haven't." personality in the background, “Come and join us. My not actually hostile as yet, but daughter and I had just sat ironio and oritioal, set me in- down.” stinotively and instantly on He moved towards the door. guard. Not that I actually “I have no luggage,” I suspected the man, but to take said. him straightway into my con- “I can lend you what you fidence was simply impossible. want." A man of another temperament I thanked him again, and might have done 80-and quite said brazonlypossibly have been right; but “May I ask for the loan of his effoot on me was like tap- a coat? I am anxious not to ping a limpet.

exhibit my uniform coat in the I gave him my name, and island if I can help it.” then I said in a quiet confiden. I thought he looked a trifle tial way

surprised (it must be remem. "Forgive this intrusion, Mr bered that all this time I was Rendall, but the faot is, my in a buttoned-up oilskin), but ship has evidently been oalled be merely nodded again and away."

led me upstairs to a pleasant I glanoed towards the win- bedroom with & low ceiling dow, and following my look, and some heavy old-fashioned he could see the smoke of the mahogany furniture. There oraiser just visible on the hori. he left me, and in a moment zon. He gave a little nod but returned with & bruah and gaid nothing.

oomb and a tweed coat. "I was landed last night on I had noticed that in one a certain piece of business," I of the drawers there was a

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koy, and as I took the coat I I foresaw that lunch would said

be a function demanding con“I hope you won't think me siderable taot. Seeing that I unduly cautious if I look my had deoided, rightly or wrongly uniform coat up in one of these (and the Lord knew which !), drawers. There are certain not to trust these people, they papers in the pookets which I had to be kept in a nice am bound to be careful of.” equilibrium betwixt doubt and

Again I fancied I caught a confidence. To persuade them brief look of surprise, but it too thoroughly that they were must have been brief, for his entertaining a genuine British face was as insorutable as over naval officer would be fatal if as he answered

they were treasonably inclined, “Do exaotly as you like." and a serious mistake if they

A maid came with a jug of were not, for then they might hot water and then I was reassure the other islanders alone.

and my gang would go to “I wonder if the man be earth, not to be dug up again lieves mo?” I said to myself. in a hurry. On the other “Things are going a little too hand, to have them too susdashed smoothly!"

pioious would be all right if However, there was nothing they were treasonable, but for it now but playing the would probably end my advengame out. I first took the ture if they were honest. precaution of suddenly and The line I selooted was a quietly opening the door. blond of mystery regarding my There was nobody at the key- business, breezy chat on nonhole, so I took off my oilskin committal topics, and an 0008and put on the tweed coat, sional oddity of eonduet, such and then looked ap the top as might have been oaused by drawer and put the key in a guilty conscience or a harmmy pooket. Hardly necessary less strain of eccentrioity (and to say that drawer remained I left them to make their as empty as the others. choice).

“I call that eithor a very Here are a few choios ex. neat dodge or a devilish silly cerpts from our conversation, one,” I said to myself. “And which I happen to remember which it is depends ontirely on more or less verbatim. the results.”

Myself (chattily). “DelightAs I brushed my hair I ful air you have in your thanked my stars I was fair, island! Like champagne-or for & shave was now long perhaps in these parts I ought overdue.

to say like whisky-and-soda.” “What a pirate I'd look if Mr Rendall (somewhat drily). I were a brunotte!” I thought, “We do happen to be 40. and as it was, the recollection quainted with champagne.” of dainty Miss Rendall made Miss Rendall (smiling pleasme determined to borrow & antly as she hit). “We probrazor forthwith.

ably don't look as though we VOL, CCIV.—NO. MCCXXIII.

in

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