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PRETORIA ALMOST IMPREGNABLE.
Nature and Art Have Made It So In Condition to Withstand a Long Siege Its Fortifications. The most important place in South Africa at present is Pretoria, the cap ital of the Transvaal, where Oom Paul has made the most elaborate prepara tions to withstand a siege and where the Boers may be relied upon to make a most stubborn resistance. The place 1b defended by nature and art as few other towns In the world, and has been described by nme military writers as being Impregnable. On three sides of Pretoria the mountain ranges rise to elevations of 1,000 and 2,000 feet above the streets of the city, which itself is 4.B00 feet above sealevel, but 1,100 feet lower than the site of Johannesburg, to the south. On the fourth side the south and facing the approach from Johannesburg the range flattens away to a vast level plateau, treeless, desolate, exposed at every point to the sweep of any guns that may command It. The town is 1.0S0 miles from Cape Town, 50 from Johannesburg. On the map it seems as easy of approach as a prairie village In Nebraska. But the map topographer fails to present the lofty, barren hills that face the south ern plateau, the precipitous banks of Aapies river, the narrow gorges so few in number the innumerable "spion" or lookout kopjes that seem literally to leap from the bosom of the plain and sullenly, silently oppose access to the capital city. The civil engineers who laid out the railway from Johannesburg to Pretoria found such problems of grade and mountain resistance offered them that the road finally was forced to enter the city on a line resembling the curves and twists of a great boa constrictor. You look up to the mountain fronts as your train struggles to find its way Into Pretoria, and wherever the eye rests there appears to be the lines of a fort, a redoubt, the front of masked batteries or the domes of boom-proof rifle and cannon pits. To the north, east, west and south these engirdle the city. They command the few very few narrow entrances to Pretoria. They Thatch like great dogs the dusty, eun rotted veldt over which any English troops, coming from the south must pass. They blink at the one railroad to Johannesburg and the one to Lou renco Marques. Their location has been with purpose. Capt. Schlel, now an English prisoner, constructed the one at Daspoort from plans obtained in Berlin. He brought special assistants from Berlin to aid him in the work. Amsterdam engineers built others of the defenses. After them came French engineers, and then those of Italy, so tnat the completed structures repre sent the genius of four nations. There are seven of these forts, and In external appearance they look alike. They have masonry faces, with earth work which covers their fronts to a great depth. In this they conform with plans and suggestions to be found In M. Blochs much-studied work, "The Future of War." Pile upon pile of sand bags are stacked up wherever shells from the enemy might strike. There are many hidden recesses, se cret passages, complete telephone con nectionsnot only with each other, but with the government buildings in Pre toria. Searchlights are mounted in each structure so as to command the surrounding country at night. The magazines are underground, and are reported to be mined. Report has it, also, that the near approaches are mined and that the electrical construc tion is such that considerable portions of an enemy's army might be blown Into eternity before surrender came, for food, in the event of siege, enor tnous quantities of maize have been accumulated enough, it is said, to feed ihe army and the population of Pre toria for five years. The supply of ammunition is calculated to be suffi cient for two years. How many gun3 are mounted or will be it is difficult to estimate. The total artillery force of the Boers at present is estimated at 450 guns by the English. The guns originally placed in the forts were 15-centimeter Creusots, but their number is not definitely known. II. Blocii has estimated that it will re quire but 500 men to each of these forts, each force supplied with ten modern guns, to keep the English at A REAURKABLE WRECK. A fall-rigged ship was left lying In Southampton three weeks ago, after a .boat. bay forever. Right or wrong, he main tains that occupying a besieging po sition, devoid of sustenance, the Eng lish will be in greater danger of starva tion than the Boers, and that convoy supplies cannot be brought in with such repidity and success as to make the siege successful. The fountains, or water supply, of Pretoria is within the radius of forts. The westernmost fort is on the range of hills behind Pretoria, and lies at a distance of 31.000 feet from the city's center. There is a powerful redoubt to the southwest on the range of hills through which the transport road to Johannesburg passes. This completes,- 1 with various earth batteries, the cir- I cle of the larger works defending the Boer capital. Behind the great redoubt mentioned are the principal magazines, one excavated out of the solid rock, with a bombproof roof, and the other built into the kloop, also bombproof. Communication between the redoubt and the last-mentioned magazine is by means of a covered way. Roads con nect all these forts with the capital, and they have pipes laid for water, a3 well as electric lights for the search lights. An English view of what can be done with the Pretoria fortifications is found In the following description of the liege train en route from England. This is the second train of its kind sent out from England during the last forty-six years. The last occasion was when sixty-five heavy guns and mor tars were sent from Woolwich for the siege of Sebastopol, where, with fifty ship guns, they took part in the bom bardment of that city in connection with the French siege train. The train now on Its way out from England com prizes thirty howitzers, fourteen of 8 inch caliber, eight of 5-inch and eight of 4-inch. It Is calculated that the in vestment of Pretoria will require 42, 000 British troops, leaving the remain der of the army to guard the fortifica tions, occupy certain strategetic points and operate against that part of the Boer army not required for the defense of Pretoria. This part of the Boer army is expected to fall back into the north in the Zoutpansberg mountains, which the Boers are reported to intend to make their stronghold, and where they expect to carry on the war against England indefinitely. WORLD'S SMALLEST BOOK. It Ii Than Half an Inch .Square and Contain Thirteen ragea. The smallest book in the world has just been printed in Cleveland, says the Leader of that city. But ten of them were printed, and none of them is for sale. In all the catalogues of the rare book dealers, what is called the Bijou Almanac is named as the small est book in the world, and until now mia queer position on the beach near terrible storm. The crew escaped In has been that. The Cleveland book breaks the record In size, or lack of size, for printed books. There are rare little volumes engraved on Ivory fastened together like a book, but they are not really books in the esti mation of collectors of miniature vol umes. The Bijou Almanac is a real book, printed on real paper, and bound in stiff little blue covers. It was made in London In 183G by Schloss. It has sixty pages, a calendar for each month, and some wonderfully delicate little steel engravings. It Is half an Inch wide and five-eighths long, and not much thicker than the cover of an or dinary book. The owner of this little CITY OF PRETORIA, SHOWING DEFENSES. book, which is worth several times Its weight in gold, is Charles II. Meig3 of C7 Eastman street, who Is also the publisher of the other tiny book men tioned, the one that is the smallest in the world. This smallest book In the world measures Just three-eighths of -'n inch by half an inch over all. There are thirteen pages in it, and the work has been done in a Cleveland printing establishment. The type was sot by hand, and then the pages photographed down to the limit of distinctness, though the book can only be read with a magnifying glass. Under a strong glass, however, the work Is seen to bo distinct and perfect. It Is printed on genuine India paper, and this is one of the most interesting things about the tiny book. The Oxford Press, the English Bible publishing concern, con trols all the genuine India paper pro duced, and it was with the greatest difficulty that enough was procured to make even the ten copies of this tiny book. It is said that the paper was surreptitiously obtained. The title of the book Is "Thus Spake tne Wind," a very old religious poem of no par lar interest. AGAINST THE ORGAN. A Hfttne I'arson Straggle and Comet Out Second Heat, In a Kennebec church Sunday week, says the Lewiston Journal, a new min isterthat Is, one who was being given a try had about as much trouble as usually falls to the lot of one poor candidate. He arrived early at the church and found that the furnace was out of gear and that the auditorium was densely filled with smoke. The janitor and the gathering congregation opened the windows and labored with the furnace, and at last cleared the room enough so that the minister was dimly discernible through the blue, tear-producing haze. The services started with a congregation whose eyes were aflame and a minister who was beginning to get uneasy. The vol untary was nearly over when one of the stops failed and a shrill, high pipe began to whistle. It pervaded the score of the music and the organist couldn't drown It out, no matter how much he hammered the other keys. At last he stopped. But the high whistle kept right on. The organist Jabbed the stop In hopeless wrath, but to no avail. The music kept pouring out despite all he could do. The congregation wore a broad grin. The minister tried to look as though nothing had happened, and the services went on. The next hymn went all right it didn't contain the note that bothered and the parson and the organist breathed easier. Then came the last hymn before the sermon, and once more the single, piercing note rose high above the tune the organist was playing, rjie last verse was sung, the organist paused and the congrega tion rustled into their seats and settled themselves for the sermon. But the organ kept on. The minister rose and stepped forward to begin. But he couldn't with that ear-piercing whistle in the air. He looked reproachfully at the organ, but the brazen thing only whistled away in the same mocking way. The audience was smiling broad ly, and the minister could not help but smile, too. And there they eat eyeing each other till the organ had exhausted the supply of wind In Its lungs, and with a last little whlstla gave way to the clergyman. They sang the closing hymn sans organ, to? they did not want to take any more chances. ALL DUE TO APPETITE Will the OlrU or the Future Ite ft lUce of OlanteMea? Why are almost all girls tall nowa days? Or, perhaps, one should rather say, how is It that modern maidens aro so much more developed than those of a generation or two back? We have been assured that it is because they take so much more outdoor exercise, and because they go In for physical training, that they have literally grown up In this extraordinary fashion. It pleased a great many people to have this theory deduced. But we aro never suffered to hold any theories long now adays. Thus, one of those deplorably unromantic persons who revel la hor rid prosaic facts that knock down all our prettiest and most poetical theo- rles, has discovered the real reason why girls are so much taller at tho end of the century than they were at the beginning and middle. The truth, we are told, is that they eat twice as much as their predecessors. A small p.ppe- tlte used to be considered de rlgueur; to be hungry, per contra, was vulvar. But the modern maiden makes no pre tense of living on air, or love, or meringues, or Jelly, or whatever un substantial fare it was that was sup posed to nourish the girl of other days. She has a good hearty appetite, and she is at no pains to conceal it; indeed, she rather vaunts it than otherwise. A good dinner she thoroughly appreci ates, and when she can get meat she never trifles with fripperies. There is doubtless a great deal in this very pro saic explanation of an obvious fact. But If it be true, then we must keep our girls well In hand. "Increase of appetite," the immortal maker of apt quotations has told us, "grows on that it feeds on," and If our maidens con tinue to develop good appetites, and engender them by much outdoor ex ercise, the women of the future will be a race of giantesses. London Queen. Where the Yankee Vt'a Slow. We want small American retailers over here, writes a soldier from the Philippines. Wherever the army goes they should follow. Something should be done to encourage them to come here. They should be guaranteed pro tection, and in times of trouble an asylum for themselves and their prop erty in army quarters. We want American retailers of shoes, clothing, haberdashery, stationery, provisions and canned goods. We want small res taurants and beer saloons. The pre vailing margins of profits are enor mous. The stock necessary is small. A few hundred dollars would buy It. I'm beginning to think since I came over here that the Yankee is the slow est man on earth. Every other na tionality is getting a hand in on the Philippines. What is the matter with the American? He isn't coming fast enough and is missing big opportuni ties. Eer for Odd. Nicaragua boasts a volcano called Misaya, about which a curious but hardly credible story is told. When, in 1522, the Spaniards overrun tho state, the volcano was very lively. Many of the victorious Spaniards thought that the raging fire at the foot of the crater was neither more nor less than purest gold in molten state. The puzzle was how to get it. But at last a few men, more foolish and more venturesomo than their mates, had themselves low ered down until, by means of an iron chain with a bucket at the end of It, they could reach the fiery mass. Of course, as soon as the bucket neared the surface it was melted In a moment, and the silly fellows, when drawn up, were half dead from the heat and the poisonous smoke. Almnat There Already. Miss Fortee Yes, dear, we have been engaged for a long time, but what has prevented me from taking tho ir revocable step has always been tho fateful question, "Will he love me when I grow old?" Miss Tenny Don't worry, darling; you'll soon know now. Stray Stories. CASUALTIES. A woman took a leading part' In a labor riot at the Merchants' Loan and Trust bulldiug. Chicago, in which many were injured. Landslip buries half the houses In the village of Klappal, Bohemia, the occupants barely escaping with their lives. Anderson-McKelvy Lead and Oil company's big building in Pittsburg collapsed, killing four persons. CRIME. Two Fort Dodge girls sent to reform school because they attended theatri cal performances twice a day. Berlin society women fought a duel. Man arrested In New York accused of complicity in theft of $10,000 worth of beer stamps. Melba's husband, Charles N. F. Arm strong of Texas, secured divorce on ground of desertion. Porch climbers entered the house of O. W. Potter, Chicago, and stole $20, 000 worth of Jewelry and other valua bles. MISCELLANEOUS. Duke d'Arcos, Spanish minister to the United States, refuses to attend the Dewey celebration at Chicago. A stranger startled worshipers in Trinity Episcopal church, Chicago, by striding up to the chancel and shout ing, "I am the Resurrection and the Life." Col. Bacon of New York has issued a publication, accusing Theodore Roose velt of "quitting" at the battle of San tiago. Robbers beat Kate Sullivan to death and her sister Joanna until she be came Insane In an Ohio farmhouse, where the two women, who were re puted to be wealthy, lived alone. Prince Ferdinand will not attend the wedding of Prince Louis of Saxe-Co-burg-Gotha and Princess Mathilda of Bavaria because Prince Regent Lult pold doesn't like Ferdinand's proposed change of religion. Danger of famine in Persia. Professional base ball season opens this week. Russian military experts surveying railroads through the south and in Caucasus. Dr. Leyds joined Boer peace com missioners and they held formal meet ing In Milan. Viceroy Curzon told Baluchistan it would be protected, thus giving Rus sia a hint. France exerting pressure on Tur key to obtain railroad concessions in Syria. Pope snt king of Spain his minia ture and an autograph letter. Czar's envoy has completed his mis sion in Abyssinia. Italy dlssatl.-.fied with her position in the drelbund. ninmomls discovered in British Guiana. Edmond Rostand is dangerously ill. Gates of Knrnak found in Egypt. Silas B. Cobb's estate, Chicago, es timate at $3,5u0,00''); will filed, be queathing $S7.."00 to charity. Paris thronged with visitors to at tend opening of exposition. Many buildings incomplete, some still un roofed, and no exhibits ready. Will not be complete for six weeks. Relatives of the wife of William II. Parlin will fight his suit for divorce brought in Seattle on the ground of In curable insanity. The steel stocks are weak on manipu lation; the railway shares strong. The Burlington road Is preparing plans for an extension of Its line to Yellowstone park. Lady Schorr won the Ardelle stakes at Memphis. The committee In charge has an nounced the program of athletic sports for the Paris exposition. Gov. Roosevelt has positively refused to be a candidate for vice-president. Paris hears that an entente has been concluded between Russia and Bul garia. Franz Josef washed feet of twelve oldest men in Vienna. London Mail praised Viceroy Cur zon. Destructive floods In Austria. Naval board of construction decided against double turrets fsr new battle ships. Schley may get pay as rear admiral from date when his promotion was first proposed. Miles' friends believe his promotion to rank of lieutenant-general is cer tain. Suggested that fund be raised to pay for cablegrams for sick soldiers. Contractors will not have grins for coast refense ready on time. Bank presidents and capitalists in terviewed at Chicago all say they vote at every election. Clerical leader In Bavarian house of delegates opposes Indirect election. Physicians In Cracow hospital threaten to strike for increased pay. Czar's demands on Corea for Masam po said to have been renewed. Australia sterns in no mood to ac cept British supremacy in the federa tion scheme. It Is probable a republic will be formed unless the desired Inde pendence can bo otherwise obtained. Ex-Gov. Altgeld Is opposed to nom ination of Paulson for vloo-president by democrats. Tralnloads of people from all quar ters of the globe are rushing to Paris. The city is being decorated and the ex position is nearlng completion. Announcement is made of the en gagement of John D. Rockefeller's daughter Alta to E. Parmaleo Prentice of Chicago. Nebraska university regents elected E. Benjamin Andrews of Chicago chancellor by a partisan vote. He may not accept. OUR. CALENDAR. 89Q II 2 to M 29 30 & & & II EVENTS OF lit Items of General Interest Told ir Paragraphs. COMPLETE NEWS SUMMARY. Itecord of Happening of Much or Little Importance from All Tartu of the Civilised World l'rlce of Farm Pro duce In Hatern Markets. Marquis de Galllfet, French minis ter of war, believed to be dying of pneumonia. Rome fearful that meeting of em perors threatens Italy's interests in drelbund. German Colonial society may ex periment with cotton in Africa. Two French merchant vessels to b built In Germany. More Russian troops sent to Port Arthur. Pugilist Terry McGovern will become an actor with a "speaking part." Gov. Taylor of Kentucky is in Wash ington looking over his case before Su preme court. Too much pressure exploded a de fective gas pipe near Logansport, kill ing two men. Troops sent to prevent rioting by strikers at the Croton dam. Automobiles to be used on the La Parra ranch In Texas. New York's Easter parade larger than usual. Senator Hanna ill with the grip. Real estate in Fifth avenue. New York, is held at $7,000 a front foot. Women in a Cleveland church ab stained from new Easter millinery and gave the money to raise church debt. Dr. Parkhurst wants a revision of the Westminster confession, declaring it an incubus that prevents Presbyte rian progress. President Harper will invite Count Tolstoi to visit Chicago. Secretary Root asked congress to establish six additional brigadier gen eralships as reward for officers. Secretary Root favors sending staff men back into tho line every now and then. Navy department agreed to pay $150,000 for the Holland submarine boat. Dr. D. K. Pearsons of Illinois will give away $".00,000 to celebrate hls eightieth birthday. German paper is stirred to anger by the election of American trads pro moters to membership in a Lusatiau chamber of commerce. Miss Helen Gould Is beslegc-1 by thousands of applicants asking mil lions In charity. In one week the re quests rggregated $1,548,502. Plot to dynamite the jail at Wat seka, 111., and free James Dunlap, held for bank robbery, is discovered. Miss Nellie Lewis is awarded dam ages in $50,000 for breach of rronilse against Millionaire Sam Strong of Cripple Creek, Colo. Commodity prices show no sign of a reaction. The largest and most powerful lo comotive in the world is being built .Jn Pittsburg and will be exhibited in Paris. Dr. E. Benjamin Andrews, Dr. Hen ry Wade Rogers, and other promlrent educators lost money by fostering a scheme to take 3,000 teachers to Paris for ctudy and to see the exposition. Wall street men are elated over th showing of thi weekly bank statement. Colorado college built a $00,000 lab oratory and will get $50,000 from Dr. Pearsons. Two New York magistrates favor whipping post for wife beaters. French ministry sustained, after at tack led by Castellane and based on failure to protest against landing of British nt Bicra, on Millerand's influ ence, and on measures against politi cal monks. Russian minister of war will Inspect every po?t In Tnti"l Asia. Men defeat. d women In Beattie, Kan. Constant weeping over death of hus band and daughter made New York woman blind. Dr. Taylcr In Utici presbytery urged elimination of election and reproba tion doctrines. New Yorl: Methodists voted against criticising th? Rev. Mr. Sheldon's paper. Spiritualists' national convention opened at Chicago.