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Belding banner. (Belding, Mich.) 1889-1918, April 19, 1900, Image 4

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn96076641/1900-04-19/ed-1/seq-4/

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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 fall-rigged ship was left lying In
Southampton three weeks ago, after a
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,-
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Anderson-McKelvy Lead and Oil
company's big building in Pittsburg
collapsed, killing four persons.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
89Q II 2 to M
29 30 & & &
Items of General Interest Told ir
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
Rome fearful that meeting of em
perors threatens Italy's interests in
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
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
Navy department agreed to pay
$150,000 for the Holland submarine
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
The largest and most powerful lo
comotive in the world is being built
.Jn Pittsburg and will be exhibited in
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.
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,
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
Spiritualists' national convention
opened at Chicago.

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