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The Strange Adventures |
-of Christopher Poe | § Stories of Strange Cases Solved in Secret by a Banker-Detective p | By ROBERT CARLTON BROWN | I §£ (Copyright, IMS, by W. G. Chapman.) y | THE ROYAL RUBY | Paris would pawn her soul for a rare jewel. Therefore the following item, tucked away in a popular Parisian paper, proved good press work, though how the fact leaked out has never been learned: “Miss Blondell of New York, stopping at the Palais d’Orsay, will wear the Royal Ruby in her box at the Chatelet tomorrow at the opening night of the new spectacle. The celebrated gem was recently purchased for 400,000 francs from the Bey of Tunis, by ber father, the Amer lean capitalist.” Scores of curiosity-seekers, held in the meshes of glittering Paris, read the notice, and appeared at the per formance next night to witness the first public display of the jewel. They craned their necks and stared at the empty right-hand stage-box, for infor mation had oozed out that this was the Blondell box, and the knowledge had spread rapidly through the anxious au dience. Would she come? That was the question on all sides. Would she wear the jewel after this advertisement; or come without it, or stay at home? Surely the Royal Ruby would not he seen that, night. When this state of mind had been rc ached, the heavy plush curtains at the rear of the watched box suddenly parted, and her father ushered Miss Blondell into the box, removed her low-cut sable cloak, threw it over the rail in sight of all, and handed her to the chair nearest the stage. Hundreds of eyes behind opera glasses noted the smallest detail, and curiosity-seeking Paris held its breath as Miss Blondell r moved the pin tightly securing the rciirf over her bosom, and threw the silk covering from her neck, revealing the Royal Ruby, scintillating in the striking setting of a white satin bo dice. While the multitude of eyes was pinned on the wondrous pendant, slid ing on a thin gold chain about her reck. Miss Blondell leaned slightly to ward her father to speak. At that second one-half of the breathless au dience was startled to see the light chain slip from her right shoulder. A broken end dangled for a moment, and then the Royal Ruby slid quickly down the severed chain, and disappeared Irom sight below the brass rail sur mounting the upholstered enclosure to the box. A series of surprised gasps came from the audience, a low curious whis tle of astonishment from a gentleman sitting alone at the far end of the box next to the Hlondells, who had leaned forward to seo with the rest; and at that moment Mr. Blondell noticed the dangling end of chain clinging to a gardenia in his daughter’s bosom and turned as wax-white as the dower. All of which was duly* registered by hun dreds of eyes behind opera-glasses. At that moment the girl missed the gem, snatched up the chain, and stoop >d quickly to the floor. “It was on when I sat down.” she said to her father in a low tone, w’hich carried to the tense ears of those near by. “It dropped to the floor!” cried sev eral of the awed audience in French, giving vent to their excitement in an effort at relieving the situation. Meanw'hile Blondell and his daugh ter had been searching the hardwood floor at her feet. The head usher hur ried down the passage-way to the box, and the single gentleman in the re mote corner of the adjoining box rose as if to help. But Blondell rushed to the small door, and warned back the usher, while his daughter upturned chairs and shook out her skirts. It was no small article to lose. A pigeon-blood ruby of fifty-eight and three-quarters carats, the size of a robin’s egg, bigger than the hall of an ordinary black hat-pin, and not quite so large as a cherry, with a ring im bedded at the top. through which the chain had slipped. With hie back to the curtain, pre venting assistance, Blondell, his face still white, scanned the floor, which slanted down to the upholstered en closure jutting over the pit. Several of the audience, in their ex citement, rushed to points of vantage along the aisles, and scrutinized every movement of the pair in the box. One man in the main body of the theater, quite near the Blondells, rose in his seat, and gave a quick sign which at tracted the capitalist’s attention. A look of recognition lighted up his face, and he cried in a tense tone: *“Poe! Poe!” A second later, “Come here!” Christopher Poe tucked his hat un der his arm, and sauntered up the aisle, turned into the passage-way to the box, and edged through those crowding for a look, with an air of quiet authority. Mr. Blondell held the curtain back ror him, and Poe stepped into the box. His actor’s mouth twitched, and the corners of hie sensitively shaped nose drew down in two satirical wrinkles to his lips, as he put out a long, limb-like arm to grasp Blondell’s hand with slim fingers. “I was wondering how they would get it,” he said simply. “How they’d get it!” repeated the elderly man with a blank stare, his hand quivering. "What do you mean, Poe?” “Too bad you didn’t see the item in yesterday's paper; but I suppose you don't read any more French than you hare to,” Christopher Poe went on casually. “They announced the first appearance of the gem. Half the jewel thieves in Paris are in the audience.” * "But the ruby can’t be stolen! I saw no announcement. The stone’s here. In this very box! See!” he in dicated the hardwood floor, without a rag and with no possible crevice in which even a pin eodd lodge. "We are shut in on all sides with a three foot siding. There is no place for the gem to be concealed.” “All of which proves that it is not here. I doubt if it is even in the thea ter at this moment. It was clever, very clever,” replied Poe, stepping to the side of the young lady, on her knees, still searching. “There is no use,” he said to her. “This is Mr. Poe, Christopher Poe,” her father introduced in a flurried tone. “You have heard me speak of him. He’s just arrived from Hamburg.” “Oh, yes. You saw the stone drop just now?” the girl asked quickly, her eyes still searching. “Yes; but. really, there is no use looking.” Poe’s tone possessed a strange finality. He bent to remove the light chain of fine gold which still clung to the gardenia, and made a casual examination of it. "Nipped off with a pair of pliers,” he smiled. “A common trick, easily exe cuted by fifty men in Paris. Your tightly pinned scarf prevented it from dropping or being stolen in the crowd. You felt nothing, I suppose, on the way from the carriage to the entrance?” “I was a bit anxious.” she admitted, turning up her flushed face. “I pressed the jewel tightly through the scarf. Now that you speak of it, I did feel something cold touch the back of my neck for an instant, but I felt quickly for the chain and found it safe, only protruding slightly above my scarf in the back. “And already severed by a pair of pliers concealed in a clever hand,” added Poe. “It has happened often, this nipping. You were pressing the stone w'ith your hand on the scarf. The thief knew r he could not get the gem in the crowd; he waited for you to un pin the scarf when you were safe in the box and off your guard. The stone slid dow r n, and dropped the moment you threw the wrap back and leaned forward; but, naturally, you did not notice it at the exact instant of fall ing; several seconds passed before the discovery, and that was all the thief needed.” “Absurd!” laughed Miss Blondell. “You don’t mean that the thing is stolen. It’s surely here somewhere. It couldn’t have disappeared from the box in that instant.” “Certainly no person saw it disap pear," replied Poe. “I was watching the curtain myself; it did not move. There was no one in the passage-w r ay behind the box, and surely no thief in side it.” “Then how could the stone have disappeared?” cried the girl. “Y’ou can see at a glance there are no cracks or crevices it could have slipped through or lodged in.” “That’s the only assurance I have that it is stolen,” answered Poe, bend ing his short waist, and picking a small splinter of wood, not a quarter of an inch long, from the leg of a chair near the doorway. "But it’s absurd to think that any one could have stolen the jewel in the second it dropped to the floor before I stooped to find it.” “As much as ten seconds elapsed after the jewel had struck the floor be fore you began looking for it, Miss Blondell. Much can be done in that space of time — But the performance is beginning!” He broke off abruptly, as the lights were turned out in differ ent parts of the house. “Father! Yaey must leave the lights on!” cried the girl. "We can’t find the jewel in the dark.” “It’s quite useless,” answered Poe, with a careless shrug of his shoulders. “The stone is probably on its way to Montmartre by now. You see, Blon dell,” he turned to the wavering fa ther. “the floor slants down to the framework in front; it is quite bare. The stone could not have rolled up hill and out into the passage-way, so common sense tells us it’s gone alto gether. As the chain was cut on the way from the carriage to the door, we must believe the stone is stolen.” “But it seems impossible,” declared Blondell, lowering his voice, as the curtain went up, and the audience found Itself with divertedinterests, the majority more concerned* in the stage box tableau. “It couldn’f have bounced up three feet and over onto the stage, it couldn’t have been picked up by the gentleman in the adjoining box —’’ Poe stopped abruptly, his brows shot up on his forehead and the satirical wrinkles again appeared, joining the corners of his nostrils and lips. He had glanced toward the other box, and found it empty. For a second he fingered the splinter of wood in his pocket, the wrinkles deepening and his eyes fixed. Turning short, he said in a low tone to Blondell, “Wait for me at Pal ais d’Orsay;” then he bowed absently to the girl, ducked through the plueh curtains, and hurried out an exit. As he sat in a cab five minutes later, on his way to a music-hall in Rue de Clichy, Christopher Poe looked and acted more like a bored Frenchman in search of pleasure than anything else. Had the Jehu who drove known the truth about his fare, he would have been more particular In his work, and would never have dared to juggle with the. little taximeter at his side. But Poe, glad to be relieved of his desk duties, and enjoying his holiday in Paris, kept no worry-book in which to write down such daily vexations as crooked taximeters. As he sat back in the cab and drove through the fascinating streets of old Paris, he was both sorry and happy that he had stumbled onto so interest ing a crime. The cab dropped him before a popu lar Clichy music-hall, and he stepped into the manager’s small office in front “I want the names of all the leger demain performers on your circuit. Only those not working now; any act out of the ordinary. Monsieur Fleury,” he said, having shaken hands cordially with the friendly little Frenchman at the desk, leaving a hundred-franc note in the man’s palm. ‘Monsieur Hardy always pays so well,” smiled the manager, pocketing the note, taking down a huge index, and beginning to jot down names and addresses rapidly. “You want sword swallowers, snake-charmers, card fakirs; all the curious ones in Paris?” “Exactly, if they can do sleight-of hand as well,” answered Poe, idly toy ing with the splinter from the chair, and removing several particles from it to examine in detail with the aid of a little pocket-magnifier. A confidence gleamed in those strange eyes, and his lips moved expressively. In ten minutes’ time the manager penetrated Poe’s abstraction, and they ran over the list together, Poe asking particularly concerning the act of each performer. “This man Torche?” he exclaimed, hie finger suddenly stopping at the name. “He has bulging eyes, a promi nent forehead, and can dress like a gentleman on the stage?” “Exactly!” cried the French mana ger. ‘You know him?” “Not yet,” smiled Christopher Poe, the satirical wrinkles from his lips deepening for the moment. “You have seen him then, surely?” “I believe so. His act is clever, you say?” “He is a very wizard at both of his specialties I told you of.” replied the manager. “He is not well liked. He is too cunning.” Poe waited for no further particu lars, but thanked the manager, stepped through the door, purchased a bag of luscious red cherries from a street vender. got into the waiting cab. and gave the driver Torche’s address. During the two-mile drive to an ob scure street off Rue Saint Jacques, in the Latin Quarter, Christopher Poe leaned back in the cab, consuming the cherries, and holding telegraphic con verse with himself. It was not solilo quy; consisting only in parts of 'S — 1 Mi£non*, the police will co.ll upon you soon:' phrases jerked out as he twisted his mobile lips with a nervous hand, the hand of a man of taste, with only a band of fine yellow gold on the fourth finger. “Cabochon cut,” he muttered. “Curi ous—whistle—trousers sight poor smell —cherries —whistle. Woman! Al ways woman to steal jewels for! Good! Very good!” The cab finally stopped at the out of-the-way address, and Poe, telling the cabby to wait, jumped down, and se lected the handle from a cord under the painted numeral IV on the door step. He jerked it down quickly, and heard the faint jingle of a bell far above. But no footsteps came in an swer to his summons, no shout of “Entrez!” welcomed him, so he shoved the door open, and groped his way up rickety flights of stairs to the fourth floor, avoiding the debris in the dark like a cat, and going instinctively to a door, through a crevice in which a dim light shone. He knocked on the panel. No an swer. He rapped again. The light through the crevice was suddenly blot ted out. “From Monsieur Fleury, about an engagement! Gone to bed, Torche?” he called in a deep bass, the French slurred in accordance with cheap the atrical usage. There was a noise inside. A match scratched. The door swung open, and a thin, hatchet face with a prominent forehead and bulging eyes, helping to support the flabby bridge of a bent nose, peered out. Seeing that the vis itor was a gentleman, with an expres sion not unlike a concert-hall man. Torche invited him in, with a bow, and a greeting in his native tongue. “Monsieur will be so good as to par don the appearances. I was going to bed when yhu knocked. It is about an engagement you come?” He stood dressed only in*the ordinary wide-bulg ing trousers of the Frenchman, and a stiff white shirt, with a narrow white tie. Christopher Poe had stepped in, and quickly taken an inventory of the room. Disorder was everywhere evi dent, as though things had been hasti ly concealed. A high silk hat and the tail of an evening coat poked from un der a pillow in the corner. Beneath a closet door |ie saw the edge of a wom an’s skirt protruding slightly. “I am not intruding, Torche? You are quite alone?” asked Poe, quickly scanning the man’s face. "Quite albne,” answered Torche, with evident relief, glancing toward the closet door. Poe took a proffered chair, and went to the point at once. THE SEA COAST ECHO, BAY ST. LOUIS, MISSISSIPPI “I am an Englishman, as you per ceive from my looks rather than my accent, for 1 have spent my life among the concert people here. Monsieur Fleury was so good as to suggest that you can do clever work. I am opening a concert hall on the Clichy, and he suggests that you do legerdemain for me.” “Legerdemain, ah!” The prominent eyes of the other brightened; he threw a slip, of paper into the air, snatched up a keen-bladed knife that lay on a box beside a loaf of bread, and cut the dropping paper into six clean pieces, while it was still in the air, so swiftly that Poe’s eyes were deceived, anti it seemed to be done in a single stroke. “Bravo!” he cried. “You have oth er acts as w’ell? The trained pigeons, the white mice, Monsieur Fleury sug gested.” “I have given them up. They do not pay now. Too many people train mice. It is nothing!” answered the other, the conceited grin on his face giving way to the creep of a crafty gleapi. “That’s too bad,” replied Poe. Ani mals amuse on the stage. I would like such an act. I could pay two hundred francs a week for a man with a trick dog. or a monkey, say?” “Two hundred francs. It is a good deal,” said the other shrew dly, the grin beginning to freeze. “Not too much for a fine act. Mon sieur Fleury tells me you are wonder ful with animals. It is too bad you have given them up.” “All dead. I have given them up. But 1 may train another for you. lam clever at it. I know the mice best.” A shadow shot across his face as he said this last. There was a creak of the closet door, and he suddenly glared de fiantly at Poe. “I’ll tell you! Did you ever think of training a rat?” cried Christopher Poe, as if some sudden inspiration, not fail ing to note the sudden change in Torche. The defiant look in Torche’s face broke down a little, and he seemed nervous as there came a second warn ing creak from the closet door. Poe made no move, but held his breath, feeling the air of suspicion, and ready for the slightest surprising twist in the scene. “A rat! A capital idea!” laughed the concert performer. ‘‘l will try it.” His tone had become disagreeable and harsh. “If you make good with your train ing, come to me through Monsieur Fleury and the two hundred francs a week are yours.” Poe rose quickly, as though ihe interview were ended, and started tow’ard the door. Torche hesitated, seemed to waver between two desires, and finally ad vanced close to Poe, and asked in a tone that appeared anxious: “The sleight-of-hand alone will not do?” “No, I’m afraid not.” Poe had half way opened the door. Torche had drawn strangely close, edging a little to one side, toward the knife which he had thrown back beside the bread. “What is that?” cried Poe, pointing over Torche’s shoulder to the closet door, and assuming a look of horror. ■ Torche, thrown off his guard by the simple trick, turned on his heel with a hiss and stared at the closet door, his hand Instinctively seeking the knife beside him. The door had not moved, but the ruse allowed Poe to give a strange little whistle, almost unnoticed; a whistle curiously like that which had issued from the lips of the single man sitting at the far end of the box next to the Blondells at the Chatelet. At that instant, while Torche’s gaze was still fixed on the closet door, a pink nose and two glassy eyes peeped out from beneath the left leg of the performer’s flapping trousers, and Poe dropped one of the bright red cherries from the bag he had purchased, within a foot or two of the animal. With a swift swoop the sleek rat pounced upon the cherry, clutched it between its teeth, and, like a flash, darted up the trousers leg again. Christopher Poe stood with a cynical smile deeply grooved in his hard cheeks. With a guttural snarl Torche sprang to action, clutched the knife in a leap, and dashed on Poe, only to find a steady revolver aimed between his eyes, and the cool voice of Poe de manding: “Give me the Royal Ruby!”* “Sa majeste diabolique! Xe Diablel” hissed Torche, backing from the gun. the whites of his eyes rolling, and his hands up like the rays of heat from a st&ve, with steady mo tion. “You have the secret You saw me in the box tonight!” His agony-stnained fingers, still dntcbte& the knife. had quivered up |above bead, and with a sudden i twist be jerked the whole force of his [ body behind th§ blade, and crashed It | down upon his adversary. Before Poe could pull the trigger a large woman leaped on him from behind with a snarl, and bowled him to the floor, the knife hurtling into the closet from which the woman had burst forth un noticed. In the struggle that followed, the French pair fought like savages, Poe’s revolver was kicked from his hand, and Torche suddenly leaped after it, giving Poe the chance to twist from beneath the woman with a wrestling trick and dash through the door to the head of the stairs, where Torche had stored to pick up the revolver. Before Poe could grasp Torche the woman hurled herself upou him again, and in the turmoil that' followed the stooping Torche lost his balance, and hurtled down the rickety flight of steps; near the bottom the body crashed through the rotten rail, and Poe trembled at the sound of an agon izing scream, as the man slipped through the opening between the bal ustrades, and dropped with a kicking clatter to the main floor, four stories below. The woman stiffened up, and released her hold on Poe, as she lis tened in awful silence, the muscles in her face stretched tense with horror. In that instant Poe recognized her as an Apache, dyed in criminality, whom he had encountered before. She returned to the fight like a lioness, but Poe managed to overcome her and bind her ankles and wrists skilfully w'ith the cord torn from her dressing-gown. He left her struggling on the door sill, moaning, “Le diable Poe!” and snatching at the cord with her teeth. She wriggled through the doorway into the room, and struggled toward one corner, hissing vile oaths at Poe meantime, who stood with his arms folded, watching her direction intently. Finding that she was surely edging toward a rickety desk in the corner. Poe anticipated her effort, stepped to the crazy piece of furniture, and picked up several articles, one after another, the woman watching him with greedy, catlike eyes. Suddenly his hand encountered a long-stemmed, deep-bowled clay pipe, filled with fresh tobacco. A hiss of pent-up breath greeted his movement, and he turned with a keen look at the woman. Her face had become as stone, and not a single feature betrayed her. Christopher Poe smiled, dropped the pipe into a loose outside pocket with satisfaction in his manner, dusted his clothes, raised his hat to the woman, who had suddenly slumped into a sob bing bundle, and remarked: “Good night, Mignon; the police will call upon'you soon.” Poe felt his way down the long, dark stairway. The whole house had been raised by Torche’s plunge, and Poe found three excited members of the gendarmerie administering first aid. They stopped long enough to seize him as a stranger, at the advice of the reg ular lodgers in the house; but Poe only smiled, turned back Torche’s left trou sers leg. showed the astonished police the big trick rat, still warm, but dead, in a cleverly contrived pocket, its home, where it had remained until the end. After a few significant sentences whispered to the policeman in com mand, Poe was allowed to depart and enter the waiting cab, directing the astonished driver to take him to the Palais d’Orsay. Fifteen minutes later he walked into the Blondell suite, and was greeted by father and daughter with the eager question, “Well? Have you got it?” for something in his usually im penetrable face bore a trace of suc cess. “I’m not quite certain," he answered, stepping to the center table, and tak ing the long-stemmed clay pipe from his pocket. Before the astonished eyes of the watchers he tapped the bowl of the pipe against his palm, and some of the tobacco dropped out. At the sec ond tap a glittering stone rolled from the bowl. Poe picked it up and hand ed it to Miss Blondell. “It’s the Royal Ruby!” she cried. "Quite intact.” he answered, “in spite of being carried in a rat’s mouth, and hidden in a pipe bowl. An in genious gentleman, your thief.” They pressed him for explanations. “Well,” said Poe, with some hesita tion, running a slim hand through his tufty hair in a characteristic move ment, "I didn’t have time to ask for the details. But here are a few rough suggestions. Your imagination will easily supply anything that may h missing. Torche, a concert performer, with a wonderful trained rat, has an exacting mistress of criminal record. She reads that the Royal Ruby is to be worn at the Chatelet. Together the pair evolve a scheme to secure the jewel for the vanity of Mignon, the mistress.” “Yes,” the Blondells breathed eager ly- “ They have 48 hours in which to train the rat to pounce at once on any round, glittering red thing. Torche has trained him to retrieve by smell and sight, before. A rat’s sense of smell is stronger than its sight, but this one has been taught to distinguish colors in performing. Torche goes to the Chatelet, easily learns which is the Blondell’s box, and secures the one next to it. Tonight, the rat being let ter-perfect, he takes him in the pocket built in one baggy trousers leg, as he carries him continually, on and off the stage. He goes early to the perform ance, waits for theißlondell carriage, stumbles against Miss Blondell, and, with a sleight-of-hand motion, cleverly clips the chain showing above your scarf. Knowing that you will have se cured the scarf so the stone will not drop until you remove it, or seeing your hand over the stone and realizing the folly of getting away with it in the crowd, he hurries ahead of you in to the opera house, and is just in time to drop the well-trained rat beside the curtain to your box, which joins that to his, and push the animal in with a dexterous shove of his foot, himself con cealed from the audience by the plush curtain. The rat seeks the dark cor ner by the stage; Torche has practised the thing well by dropping the rat in the closet to his own room, and throw ing a cherry first and then a paste ruby In to him, teaching the animal to seize the glittering bit of red at the signal of a low whistle he uses on* the stage. The rat grabs the Jewel, ana runs for its hom? In Torche's trousers leg, guided by sense of smell.” "But that sounds impossible!” cried Mise Blondell. “Not when one considers that the rat has been trained for years, and was particularly instructed for this per formance. Of course, Torche took a big chance at failure all around. His chances of success were about one in six, but there was slight danger of detection, and the game was worth the candle. The very boldness of the plan made it successful.” ‘How did you find out all this?” cried Blondell. his eyes bulging with interest. “What was the clue you picked up from the floor in the box?” “Only a splinter from a chair leg, with a few hairs clinging to it,” smiled Foe. “When the rat made his hasty exit he bumped against the chair, and several of his hairs were torn off and held by the splinter. I suspected they were the hairs of a small animal, and on examining them felt certain, by the color and bristly texture, that they were the hairs of a rat or mouse. So I put two and two together, secured a list of concert performers from a the atrical friend, and found one who had trained mice and a rat. 1 took a chance, and called on him, after asking the description of the performer and finding that it tallied exactly with the man In the box next to yours, whose strange whistle 1 had noticed, and connected with the peculiar signals usually given by animal trainers to their pets. "It was all quite too simple. 1 found the man Torche, and used the bait of, offering an engagement, knowing that he would be glad to work, to avert pos sible suspicion from himself. It real ly was quite too easy, though a little out of the banking line. Even Torche felt that I had seen through the game, and tried to knife me when I re ferred to his rat. Poor fellow, he'll probably gel a life sentence for trying to satisfy Mignon s vanity. It was the folly of a lover. The stone would have been traced in time, anyway, unless they intended to -eut it up and sell it. You can be quite sure, there is always a woman behind every jewelry mys tery.” IMMENSE LENGTH OF COAST Great Britain’s 6,500 Miles of Shore Hard for an Enemy to Blockade— Harbors on Every Side. “A survey of the coast geography of the British Isles shows some things of tremendous interest when considered with reference to the blockade un dertaken by the Germans, the first seri ous blockade ever attempted against the United Kingdom.” says a bulletin issued by the National .Geographic so ciety. Great Britain is a land of har bors and highly developed ports. Its foreign commerce clears from more than 120 seaports, situated upon every sea washing the islands. To shut off English commerce with other lands would require an almost impossible sea strength. Moreover, besides Its wealth of widely scattered harbors, the United Kingdom has particularly irregular coastline, which would serve to greatly multiply the labors of a blockader. Broken by rocky headlands, bays, and deply penetrating inlets of the sea. the English coastline alone stretches for a distance of 2,350 miles. To the south, upon the English channel, lie the great seaports of Plymouth, South ampton, Portsmouth. Brighton and Dover; to the east, toward the North sea, are the ports of London. Har wich, Great Yarmouth. Hull and New castle. and to the west, toward the Atlantic and the Irish sea. are Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea and Liverpool. Hun dreds of smaller ports are sprinkled in between these great harbors of world fame. Scotland is a still more baffling problem to an intending blockader. Probably its most striking feature Is the irregularity of its coastline, and its coast is shielded by an intricate mass of bold, rocky headlands. Though much smaller in area than England, Scotland has a coastline of 2,300 miles, or one mile of coast to every 13 square miles of area. Few places in Scotland lie more than forty miles from the sea, and smaller ports dot the entire coastline. Ireland's greatest ports, Belfast and Dublin, are situated upon her east coast on the Irish sea. Limerick, upon the River Shannon, gives Ireland an important Atlantic harbor, while Queenstown is an outlet in the south and Londonderry in the north. With its more than 6,500 miles of coastline, and its well-developed har bors all along the way. the United Kingdom prevents a problem of ex treme difficulty to any power intend ing to maintain blockade against It. The New Torpedo. A weapon of the greatest value in coast defense is a torpedo that can be started and stopped, steered so that it will follow its quarry, and exploded at the right instant, all at the will of an operator working at the shore sta tion. This torpedo alternately flashes a light and .brows a jet of water above the surface, so that its course and po sition can be seen day or night. If the ship at which it Is aimed gets out of range, the torpedo can be turned around and steered back to shore, a feature of importance, in view of the fact that a modern high-powe.r torpedo costs upward of $8 'OO. Current-for driving the propel!e~ and controlling the movements of the torpedo is sup plied through a wire, that is wound around shaft in the torpedo and h s its free end connected with a genera tor at the station, the wire un winding from the shaft as the torpedo moves forward. —Popular Mechanics. Important Consideration. “Every woman ought to learn to swim.” “Perhaps, ’’ replied Miss Cayenne. “And yet it would spoil so many ro mances if all a girl had to do when she thought she was drowning was to rescue herself.” His Status. "Were you a bull or a bear in Wall street?’ “1 wasn’t either. I was the man who has to run for a tree when tko menagerie breaks Ioom.” CALVES INTENDED FOR BEEF Necessary to Give Young Animals Grain While on Milk Diet —First Winter of Importance. When you are feeding calves in tended for beef animals you have two methods which may be followed. You can let the calf run with the cow or you can remove the calf and feed him skim milk and grains instead of giving him the whole milk, writes L. Hunt of Kansas in F*arm Progress In these days of dairying the calf that is not vealed is likely to become a skim milk calf. The youngster that runs with his mother usually ends his first summer in excellent flesh, while the skim milk calf is not i plump, but usually has a larger frame. If you are going to make beef out of either of these calves it is necessary to give them grain while on a milk diet. If it is plain that they need this extra ration. In handling the skim milk calf give him a little oil meal while the change from the whole |o the skim milk is under way and keep it up as he grows older and bigger. Keep him on the pasture and at the same time keep up the feed of skim milk and oil meal y fIF Baby Beef. twice daily, and along with this there ought to be some cracked corn, bran and ground oats. There is not much use in feeding the calf that is running with the cow. If on the pasture he is getting about all that he needs. Asa general thing it will pay, though, to teach him to eat for he will have to go through the weaning period. If fed racked grains and kept on a good pasture the call will learn to eat before weaning time and will not lose much flesh when sep arated from the cow. The first winter is an important period to the calf that is being grown as a beef animal. The calf will have to be given shelter that is more com fortable than the open sheds that are being provided nowadays for the big steers. The rations ought to bo such as to keep up a rapid growth if these calves are to be made into “baby beef.’ Steers sold somew here under eighteen months of age are rated as "baby beef.” SPRAYING KEEPS FLIES AWAY Relief Afforded Live Stock by Mixture of Three Parts Fish Oil and One Part Kerosene. Relief from attacks by flies may b* brought to live stock on the farm b> the use of sprays. The following spray is suggested in extensior bullc tin No. 43 on “Flies and Thei: Con trol,” by F. L. Washburn, entoraclo gist of the Minnesota college of agri culture. Three parts of fish oil and one part kerosene. The spraying is best done with a knapsack sprayer, and it takes only two or three minutes to spray a steer or horse. The spray appears to keep off all flics for two days. REMEDY FOR PAWING HORSES Annoying Habit May Be Cured by Fastening Chain to Animal's Leg — Acts as Chain Switch. A horse that has the habit of paw ing, especially at night, is most an noying. It is also bad for the horse’s feet if he is pawing all the time. To stop this, take a strong strap with a buckle on it, als6 8 or 10 inches of heavy chain. Put the strap arc un i the horse's log above the knee so the chain will hang down in front of the knee. This device acts as a chain switch and will cure the horse of the pawing habit. It also keeps a horse from running in rough pastures. —Farm and Fireside. Sew Becomes Cross. A brood sow which does not secure sufficient exercise becomes cross and may eat what pigs she does farrow. Improper care and feeding also come in as contributory causes of small litters. Never Overwork Team, A careful, humane teamster will so manage his team that a full day’s work wiki be done without overwork ing man or team. Never trust a team to a brutal, passionate driver. Such a one will ruin a team in a few days. Watering Horses. Horses should not be watered when overheated. Let them cool of! first. Watering should be done before feed ing grain always, and the quantity of mixed grain should be Just enough to keep the horse in good condition.