Page images

oandle, she saw my eyes wan- Nol Closer. Fits us as a beardering among the gracious skin fits the bear. It has shadows,

taken our impress like wax.” “Isn't it wonderful," she Somehow I didn't think that said, “to have found a house impress had come from the which fits us like a glove? Giffens' side.


A November afternoon found mises as we rode up the avenne. Leithen and myself jogging I thought of drink or drags, homewards from & run with and promptly discarded the the Heythrop. It had been a notion. Fulloirole was above wretched day, Twice we had all things deoorous and wholefound and lost, and then a some. Leithen could not mean deluge had set in which soat- the change in the Giffens' ways tered the field. I had taken a which had so impressed me a hearty toss into a swamp, and year before, for he and I had got as wet as a man may be, long ago discussed that. I was but the steady downpour soon still puzzling over his words reduoed every one to a like when we found ourselves in condition, When we turned the inner hall, with the Giffens towards Borrowby the rain making a hospitable fuss over coased, and an ioy wind blew us. out of the east which partially The place was more delectdried our sopping clothes. All able than ever. Outside was a the grace had faded from the dark November day, yet the Cotswold valleys. The streams little house seemed to be transwere brown torrents, the mea. fused with sunshine. I do not dows lagoons, the ridges bleak know by what art the old and grey, and a sky of sourry- builders had planned it, but ing olouds oast leaden shadows. the airy pilasters, the perfeot It was a matter of ten miles lines of the ceiling, the soft to Borrowby: we had long colouring of the wood seemed ago emptied our flasks, and to lay open the house to I longed for something hot & olear sky. Logs burned to take the chill out of my brightly on the massive steel bones.

andirons, and the scent and “Let's look in at Fulloirole," the fine blue smoke of them said Leithen, as we emerged strengthened the illusion of on the highroad from a muddy summer. lane, “We'll make the Giffens Mrs Giffen would have as give us tea. You'll find ohanges change into dry things, but there."

Leithen pleaded & waiting I asked what ohanges, but dinner at Borrowby. The two he only smiled and told me to of us stood by the fireplace, wait and see.

drinking tea, the warmth draw. My mind was busy with sur- ing out a cloud of vapour from

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


our clothes to mingle with the made the silliest prattle wood-smoke. Giffen lounged oharming. in an arm-chair, and his wife “We are going to fill the sat by the tea-table. I was house with young people and looking for the changes of which give a ball at Christmas," she Leithen had spoken.


" This

hall is I did not find them in Giffen. simply olamouring to be danced He was muoh as I remembered in. You must come both of him on the June night when I you. Promise me. And, Mr had slept here, a trifle fuller in Leithen, it would be very the face perhaps, a little more nice if you brought a party placid about the mouth and from Borrowby. Young men, eyes. He looked a man com- please.

We are overstooked pletely content with life. His with girls in these parts. ... smile oame readily and his easy We must do something to laugh. Was it my fancy, or make the country cheerful in had he acquired a look of the winter-time." picture in the dining-room? I observed that no season I nearly made an errand to go could make Fulloirole other and see it. It seemed to me than cheerful. that his mouth had now some- “How nice of you !” she thing of the portrait's delicate oried. “To praise & house is complacenoe. Lely would have to praise the householders, for found him a fit subject, though & dwelling is just what its he might have boggled at his inmates make it. Borrowby lean hands.

is you, Mr Leithen, and FallBut his wife! Ah, there the oirole us." changes were unmistakable. “Shall

exchange?She was oomely now rather Leithen asked. than pretty, and the oontours She made a mouth. "Borof her face had grown heavier. rowby would crush me, but it The eagerness had gone from suits & Gothio survival like her eyes and left only comfort you. Do you think you would and good-humour. There was be happy here?” & suspicion, ever so slight, of “Happy,” said Leithen roage and powder. She had thoughtfully. Happy? Yes, a string of good pearls — the undoubtedly. But it might be first time I had her bad for my soul. . . . There's wear jewels. The hand that just time for a pipe, Giffen, poured out the tea was plump, and then we must be off.” shapely, and well oared for. I I was filling my pipe as we was looking at a most satis- orossed the outer hall, and was factory mistress of a country about to enter the smokinghouse, who would

who would see that room I 80 well remembered nothing was lacking to the when Giffen laid a hand on part.

my arm. She talked more and laughed “We don't smoke there oftener. Her voice had an airy now,” he said hastily. lightness which would have He opened the door and I VOL. COVII.-XO. MOCLI,




looked in. ... The place had He shrugged his shoulders. suffered its third metamor- “I don't bother much about phosis. The marble shrine these things. But I propose whioh I had noticed on my to follow suit. It will please first visit had been brought Ursula and do no harm to any. back, and the blue mosaic pave- body. ment and the ivory walls were bare. At the eastern end We halted on the brow of stood a little altar, with above the hill and looked back on the it 8 copy of a Correggio garden valley, Leithen's laugh, Madonna.

as he gazed, had more awe than A faint smell of inoense hung mirth in it. in the air and the fragranoe of

"That wioked little house! hothouse flowers. It was & I'm going to hunt up every chapel, but, I swear, a more sorap I can find about old pagan plaoe than when it had Tom Carteron. He must have been workroom or smoking- been an unoommon olever room,

fellow. He's still alive down Giffen gently shut the door. there and making people do “Perhaps you didn't know, but as he did. . . . In that kind of some months ago my wife be- place you may expel the priest came a Catholio. It is a good and sweep it and garnish it, thing for women, I think. It But he always returns." gives them a regular ritual for The wraok was lifting betheir lives. So we restored the fore the wind and a shaft of ohapel. It had always been late watery sun fell on the there in the days of the grey walls. It seemed to me Carterons and the Applebys." that the little house wore an

“And you ?" I asked. air of gentle triumph.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



their orops.

THE Turkomans are a nomad whereas the Sarts have grad. and pastoral nation, number- ually developed into an agriing about two million souls, cultural people with fixed distributed throughout the dwellinge grouped round such steppes and deserts of Central Oases or along such rivers as Asia, eastward from the Cas- ensure them a regular and pian and north of Afghanistan suffioient water supply for as far as China, Striot Maho

In a waterless medans by religion and in- country like Turkestan, which tensely fanatioal, for years they sees no rain for eight or nine opposed the gradual advance months in the year, the quesof the Russians, but were tion of irrigation is of supreme finally subjagated and Russian importance. The Sart has Turkestan incorporated with brought the art of irrigation the Russian Empire. The and the conservation and disTarkomans are of

Mon- tribution of a limited water golian extraction, descended supply to the very highest from the invading hordes of pitob, after the principles of Tamerlane or Timur the irrigation were taught to him Tartar, and have preserved by the Russiang. Russia too their racial characteristios in taught him the scientifio culti& wonderful degree, consider- vation of cotton, as well as the ing the proselytising influences production of silk on oomto which they have been sub mercial lines. jected by Russia. They may The principal oities of Turk. be roughly divided into two estan are Bekhara, where the classes, the Wandering Turko- present Amir usually resides, man, and the Sedentary Tur- Tashkent, Samarkand, Askhakoman or Sarts. The former, bad, and Mery. It might have as of old, move from oasis to been thought that a people se oasis in the great Kara-Kum removed from Western civilisdesert, or follow the pastures ation would hardly have felt along the few rivers

few rivers and the shook of the world-war, but streams of Turkestan. Their this is far from being the case, wealth consists in their oattle, and at this moment the Turkosheep, and camel hords, whose mans are passing through the flesh they oat, whose milk they most violent national updrink, and from whose wool heaval that they have known and skins they weave their since their original great clothes and manufacture the trek from China into Central necessaries of life. This seo- Asia. tion of the Tarkomans live as It may seem to the superthey have lived for conturies, ficial observer that Turkestan can have no interest for the of the different communities British Empire, and that we inhabiting that country. The oan be in no way affected by Russian colonists, composed of whatever fate overtakes the railway workers, mechanios, Turkomans. On the oontrary, and oil-field workers and agriwe are going to be most deeply culturists, favour Republicanconcerned in the future of ism, but not Bolshevism, being Turkestan both politically and industrious and prosperous ; oommercially, and it is to be another section, principally regretted that we have been military, is composed of the compelled to sacrifioe the great remnant of the Imperial Rusopportunities which recent sian Army, and now forms the events placed within our reach, Russian Volunteer Army, who Previous to the world - war are bitterly opposed to the

Great Britain had no direot Bolshevists, but somewhat anintercourse with Turkestan; tagonistio the Russian it was divided from India by colony, in that they are said Afghanistan and Persia, and to favour the re-establisbment in addition Russia held com- of the Monarchy, to which the

, plete sway there. We were working colony is opposed. A more than willing that Russia third, and the most numerous should continue to develop that group, consists of the indigencountry and consolidate herself ous Turkomans, the lords of with the ruling Amirs, while the soil, who cannot as a whole encouraging the people to bene- be said to favour either the fit by Western progress, which colonists the volunteer they were not unwilling to do. army, because, in the first Now, however, the rule of place, they want Turkestan Imperial Russia is at an end, for themselves, and, in the and the whole politioal aspect second, they have not quite of that part of the world has forgiven Imperial Russia for changed. The Bolshevists their defeat at her hands. A have penetrated into Turk- fourth section, but until lately estan, and are in occupation of a very small minority, are the Bokhara and Samarkand and Bolshevists, who, however, only all Eastern Turkestan, as well dared to show themselves when as Merv and probably Askha- and where the Bolshevists were bad. Their propaganda is ram- in power. The three principal pant east and west of the Oxus, groups of workmen, volunteer they have their emissaries army, and Turkomans have 80attered throughout Western been driven into an unnatural Turkestan as far as the Cas- alliance against the common pian, and along the northern foe, the Bolshevist, and up frontier of Persia, and in Persia till Marob last they managed itself.

to preserve a solid front as Of late the political situation far as the Oxos. In this in Transoaspia has been pe- they had the support of caliarly intricate and involved small contingent from India, owing to the antagonistio views which acted as cement for the


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »