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tried-at least not if it were found the descendants of the of much value. And so cen- old houses still on the old tury after century passing by acres.

A little something is on record concerning most of the generations of this ancient family, but as they are not as a rule particulars that would be apt to satisfy the general taste in matters of family history (which has learned to demand more ghosts, duels, elopements, and missing wills than the Stourgarth annals supply), the present chronicler proposes to edit them severely, An item here and an item there through the centuries betwixt the twelfth and the twentieth may serve, however, to explain that quiet countryside through which the long road passes to-day, and why the sheriff has not above one case of manslaughter a generation before him.

Numbers Four, Five, and Six (Bjorn II., Magnus, and Thorkell II.) lived and died in their native isles, but Number Seven, Sigmund Thorkellson, or Sigmund Squint, as he was indifferently styled, was one of a host who made a famous voyage-that last great sailing of the Northern Navies across the west seas. The long ships steered in their hundreds through the Pentland Firth and the Hebridean Sounds, shields glittering along their gunwales, and coloured sails and fluttering flags above, till they met the equinoctial gales off the Ayrshire coasts, and a


few of them at last had the luck to be in that fierce skirmish which legend has since converted into the famous Battle of Largs. There Sigmund with the squint laid on like a man, and from thence he steered his ship tortuously past iron coasts and through autumnal seas back to the old hall on the shore. And with the home-coming of that navy the sovereignty of the seas passed from those northern captains (though little they guessed it then) to their kinsmen on the great island to the south.

Number Ten is worth a passing reference owing to his name. It was Thomas: a good enough name in itself, but, after Biorn Crooked-nose and Sigmund Squint, a little like sound filtered water after port. It was given him because it was the name of an Apostle, and his mother was a pious lady; and it marked a stage in the island story. So did the name of Number Eleven (floruit circa 1390); only this time it was the surname that was significant. After the Scottish fashion, he took his estate as his surname, and though his hair was red and his father's name was Thomas, he was known neither as Magnus Ginger (or Norse words to that effect) nor Magnus Thomason, but as Magnus

Stourgarth. And as the flood of Scottish fashions grew even stronger, his descendants never cast back, but remain Stourgarths to this day.

Number Fourteen is chiefly remarkable for having been buried beneath a tombstone with a coat-of-arms upon it, which, owing to its being almost completely weathered away, has considerably embittered the local antiquaries, some maintaining that it represents a voleano in eruption, and others the head of a hitherto undiscovered mammal. Owing to this disorepancy of opinion, the precise armorial bearings of the family remain in some obscurity.

It was either in the time of this Fourteen or of his successor (Alexander Stourgarth of that Ilk) that the family demesne of Stourgarth was at length split asunder. The ancient laws as administered by the wise and weighty men divided everything else, but of the Head Bu only the profits were shared, not the lands, and the eldest son sat there. But by this time each son was getting his slice of earth, and so two new houses arose one at the top of the township, styled the Upperhouse or Appihouse, and one below it, the Midhouse; while the old house of Stourgarth became henceforth generally known as the Netherhouse,

As to the inhabitants of these houses, the confusion between the various portioners of Stourgarth has left a series of conundrums that no genealogist may solve, and the

only compensation for the misfortunes that now began to overtake these portioners is that in this matter things became a little clearer through their successive declines and falls. The portioner of Upperhouse left two daughters whose spouses beth elected to reside upon the estate, and hence the Upperhouse became the Upperbigging; for in the islands a bigging means more than one where houses are concerned. Thereafter both grandsons simultaneously bonded their shares to an obliging lawyer, and a few years later that portion had departed from the old race.

Just over 300 years ago was a time of tyranny and extortion the island history, which tradition still paints black to this day. The laird of Midhouse was first unjustly condemned for removing a march-stone, and his property was gripped by the Earl. Then he was illegally pardoned, and received it back on payment of considerably more than its price; and after this unfortunate gentleman's death, his family of seven sold the retrieved estate by means of seven separate charters, which the same obliging lawyer assured the parties were quite essential, and thereby pocketed seven fees.

Alone of the three, the old mansion still housed its founder's race beneath its dilapidated roof. So dilapidated, in fact, was the whole dwelling that it was replaced on a smaller scale and in materials which succumbed to the winters still

more readily. Yet again it was replaced, and yet again it orumbled, its old title of the House of Stourgarth growing all the while less appropriate through these changes, till no one knew it as other than merely the Netherhouse. And

all the while its owners grew less and less "of that Ilk" and more and more pacific, workaday contrasts to Biorn of the Crooked-nose and the resplendent Crusader. And thereby, most probably, they still cling to their remaining acres.

Some years ago the Netherhouse was again rebuilt, this time with the best lime and a good slate roof, and one window that opens and three that would if you scraped away the varnish, and a cottage piano in the parlour overlooked by almost all the Royal Family, Admiral Jellicoe, and the presidents of the Christian Union and the Licensed Victuallers Association. The present Mr Andrew Stourgarth, the proprietor of this mansion, is a gentleman much interested in agriculture and very little in antiquities. He has done very well all along, especially with his eggs and butter, and during the war has developed into an extremely prosperous person. If you ask him about his family history, he will apologise for the absence of his grandfather, who knew more about these matters than any man of his generation, but who has unfortunately been dead for the last thirty years; and then he will probably inquire about the orops in your own part of the country.

Mr Stourgarth is, in short, a very practical and a very peaceable sort of person, and he brought up his sons on the


most practical and peaceable principles. And yet there must have been a germ of something not altogether prosaic and net quite pacific in the blood, for the sons have not answered to expectations. Private Stourgarth is now Captain Stourgarth, D.8.O., and Skipper Stourgarth went west in a Mystery Ship whose end was a mystery too.

Possibly a hint of this germ was to be seen in the aforesaid grandfather, who had a strange fancy for unpractical lore, and in the fighting line was said to be a match for any two men when he was sober and any three when he was drunk. But, learned in family history as this legendary ancestor was, he would scarcely have been equal to the job of tracing his precise relationship to certain distant cousins who began to arrive in the isles in indubitably long ships-very long and low and black-one calm and shining day in late July. Through the sea fog on the morning after they were coming in their thousands, this time in vast vessels that would have been deemed by Biorn and the Crusader (and perhaps actually were deemed, if their

spirits still haunt the shores) make of the man). No doubt

to be islands broken loose. Even the grandfather would have been deceived and dubbed them strangers.

And still more at a loss would he have been to discover how he stood towards a certain party of thin, rather pale young men, with a strange note in their voices and a uniform a little unfamiliar, who appeared one day like beneficent apparitions and gave his grandson such 8 price as (thought Andrew) twelve eggs had never fetched on this globe before. He knew from this princeliness who they must be -democrats from the New World, and sea-fighters also to trade, who had come across to take a hand in the game. As a matter of fact, they followed that trade because they were kinsmen and the spirit was born in them; though Andrew, who read the papers very intelligently, ascribed it merely to the commands of their President (Wilson by name and peremptory by nature, so far as he could

this imperious statesman had in fact laid his injunctions on the young men, but how much or how little use it would have been to enjoin the wrong race to fight upon the sea became evident enough before this armada sailed at last away, their business completed.

For four long years and a little more the heirs of the ancient sea spirit of the North anchored in the same old bays, and steered out through the same old tideways to give their foes the same old uncomfortable sensation. So uncomfortable did it become at last that on a November morning another fleet came in-a pitiable string of things that had been warships, with a cowed horde of what once were fighting men aboard. That precession was the final test of the blood. No kinsmen of Biorn and Rollo were ever herded home quite so like bullooks for the fair! But without the inheritance, what could they do at sea against the heirs?


BY M. H. M.

WHEN Hercules Jervis sat in state at a select party in his honour at the Savoy, before leaving England to take up a high-sounding colonial appointment, he adopted a gracious tone towards those lesser beings whom he was leaving behind to enjoy the flesh-pots of London, what time he guided the Children of Ham in the way they should go. He even unbent to give dignified but noncommittal acquiescence (in the true official manner) to the half - jesting, half envious comparisons drawn between "polishing a stool" in London and "bossing "bossing niggers niggers" in Africa.

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A week or so spent among fellow - sufferers upon a ship rather dulled the rosy vistas that had formed themselves in his brain. But Heroules-despite the idiooy of his godfathers and godmothers in baptism-was by no means a fool. With open ears and shut mouth he gleaned many things, thereby acquiring merit in the eyes of the older men.

Followed a peried in a large and none toe friendly town. There he learnt the utter minuteness of the newly joined, and saw the very great gulf that was fixed between the Great and the Small,

When released from his duties he had not infrequently


to jump right swiftly to avoid being run over by corpulent, coloured Croesuses, elaborately elad, perfumed and patent leathered, who lolled arrogantly, cigar in mouth, in furiously driven motor - cars, and oursed vehemently any luckless white man who had the temerity to walk upon the roads required for their bombastic progress.

However, a friendly senior, who had constituted himself mentor to the Infant Hercules

as obviously he was called— reassured him that there existed a magic place called "The Bush," wherein the white man came to his own, and where was to be found a camaraderie in which all white men were accepted on their merits.

Wherefore his spirits rose and his step was as upon air when one morning he was summoned into the presence of his chief, to be informed that he was to repair forthwith to a certain frontier. a certain frontier. Well might he pat himself upon the back, and glowing were his letters to England, for appointments to the frontier were usually considered the plum of the junior service. Furthermore, that one so inexperienced had been selected showed that those in authority had observed possibilities in the Infant. On the other hand, they might have taken so great a dislike

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