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of 1924 from that of 1925- the biggest of all Bordeaux's both considered to be good merchants in the white wine years. The 1924 wine was trade. For him, Yquem was stronger and (at that stage) in a class by itself: and I harsher; the expert with me leave it at that. But if anywas all for it, though I found body will give me Château more likeness in the other to d'Arche (or any of the others) what a Haut Brion can be to drink with dessert, I shall and ought to be and no wine surely not complain. Why that comes from Bordeaux people do not use them, esbetter deserves the archbishop's pecially after lunch, instead of saying, who told a temperance port, is to me a mystery: the advocate that a fine claret was natural wine, innocent "one of God's good creatures." has no stupefying

Also, it is certain that none of us amateurs could find any appreciable difference between the Yquem which we tasted and the produce of its neighbour vineyards-Château Filhot and Château Vigneau. It was a relief to be told by the representative of a great firm (having at least as much interest as any one else in the repute of Yquem) that the difference difference has no relation to the difference in prices. Yquem fetches

double or treble what the others do. He himself had a special affection for Château Vigneau, a name little known over here. For my part, I hope I may never forget the Château d'Arche of 1911 which I was given in one hospitable house. It had lost none of the keenness and scented freshness which the French prize in a great white wine the tendency of these products of the over-ripe grape is to become syrupywhich they call madéré-too like a Madeira.

But, since I am setting out other people's wisdom, it is only right that I should quote

brandy, effect.


But when all is said, the glory of Bordeaux lies in its red wines, and if at present they are hard to come by in perfection, time will set that right. The French just now are, more is the pity, in no condition to be lavish in their outlay. And it is only right to remember one main reason for the shortage. The French fought the war on wine; at one of the decisive moments General Pétain insisted that every poilu should have his full litre a day, and that was no small help in surmounting the worst of all dangers that France encountered-the mutiny in 1917.

If anybody is shocked that one should write such an article as this in praise of a 'fluid which undoubtedly can make men drunk, the conscientious objector may be asked to consider the part which wine holds in the daily life of the most industrious and sober people in Europe-the French.

No doubt the poilu in time of war, or the average French

little of the choice growths about which I have been writing: but even a little knowledge of France teaches one how much good wine goes unlabelled. Your host in the provinces may give you wine that is delicious, and you ask (as you should) what it is; and you are told that it is simply some old Médoc, bought direct from some small grower-but, of course, kept and kept with care. And Médoc has no monopoly-except of the best. Wine is grown all through the Bordelais : quantities of it in Entrè-deux-mers, the flat tongue of land between the tideways of Dordogne and Garonne. This is not highly esteemed. But on the slopes of the right bank of the rivers are many good lesser wines, especially at points opposite the great vineyards on the left bank. Thus, Sainte Croix du Mont, facing Sauternes, gives a wine that I shall drink again whenever I get the chance: and opposite Pauillac, and opposite St Julien, are little nests of good vineyards-as if the seam of favourable soil passed under the broad water.

household at any time, sees self with the least costly of all luxuries. But many will feel, as I do, that it adds to the enjoyment of a wine when you have a picture in memory of the place it comes from: you drink it with affection-at all events, if the associations are pleasant. And this at least I can say, that whoever visits Bordeaux with a few introductions finds himself among people so friendly and welcoming that he cannot fail to remember them with gratitude whenever he drinks Bordeaux wine. Also, he will make acquaintance with a town superb in the beauty of its buildings and full of historic interestabove all, for a native of these islands. Bordeaux fought for centuries to remain English. That, no doubt, ended some five centuries ago. But since then Bordeaux has turned a good many Englishmen, Scots, and Irishmen into citizens of Bordeaux who have even given their names to noble vintages (Léoville Barton, Château Kirwan are two examples, both Irish); and the interest of commerce is certainly supplemented by a kindliness into which perhaps more of ancient tradition enters than those who show it or who receive it often guess.

In short, a visit to Bordeaux gives one useful guidance in the business of providing one



DON ALEJANDRO MACKENZIE had no heart; there was nothing in his bosom but a bag of pesos. That had been said of him so long ago-for he had been wealthy enough to annoy the envious for many yearsthat it had passed beyond the realms of jest, and become an axiom to his business associates and the depositors of his bank. Otherwise, they might have said if they could have seen him, as he sat alone in his office one December morning, that here was a man who had not only a heart but a broken


The wire blinds, which excluded the glare of the midsummer sun (for the Republic of San Martin lies south of the Line), showed, mirror-fashion, the legend "Banco de A. Mackenzie y Cia." Behind the banker's silver head as he sat, and so arranged that he might look through it by drawing aside a curtain, was a glass panel, giving upon the main floor of the bank, where, as he knew without needing to verify, a hundred picked clerks drove their quills the more furiously, and the tellers at the long counter handled the gold eagles and broad silver dollars with an enhanced alacrity, for fear of his possible glance. It struck Don Alejandro that they would have been easier in their minds

if they had known how he felt that morning. He wished Julio were back from Europe. He was a comfort, Julio-a good son, and a good banker, too, or Don Alejandro did not know a banker when he saw one. It would have been good to have him by his side at a time like this, when he was feeling, all of a sudden, so-so elderly. Yes, that was it. He was feeling old.

A clerk came in with some papers, and he roused himself to sign. His keen aquiline face, the colour of old ivory, bent over the script as usual (he was a little near-sighted, and would not wear glasses), and he wrote his firm clear signature without speaking. The clerk noticed nothing amiss. When Don Alejandro asked questions, he wanted to know, and when he knew, he asked no questions. But on this occasion Don Alejandro, for the first time in forty years, signed a business document without first mastering the contents. The clerk dexterously blotted off the wet ink, and disappeared without noise through the swing doors.

Old! Well, he was old, though he had never thought much about it before-been too busy to be old. Born in 1809- why, he would be seventy-five this coming April


of 1884. And it seemed only shrewd a judge of the politics the other day that he had of the province and of the started business, in the little doings of the Junta Militar general agency and importing at the capital-un caballero house of his father's old friend preparadissimo! Good days, Saunders, dead now thirty, and good home-comings to the forty-heavens, how many red tiles and gorgeous patios of years ago! He had not thought his father's house, and to the of old Saunders in many years; pride of his parents at their he still automatically called old friend's eulogies of their him old Saunders, though he - good days, with the had been greatly junior to his winged sandals of youth on own present age when he died. one's feet. It seemed like Those who were old when we yesterday. And his father, Alec were young are the only genuine Mackenzie, the Scotch ship's old people. But he thought of doctor, who had landed one him now, and could almost day and seen a pretty face, see his red face again, amongst and had never gone on board the shovels and samples of again, had died in 1840; and Manchester goods in the little his South American mother, sale-room, and hear his snore whose face of the young from the back office after Madonna he could recall so almuerzo. Incredible that it well-his grand-daughter was should be so long ago. very like her,-had followed in 1853. The very house itself had vanished in the earthquake of 1845, and there was a conventillo-a tenement house

Old Saunders had been rich before his end. He, Alejandro Mackenzie, had done that, and it had only been the first of the many things that he had accomplished, the first widening of that tiny stream of money which was to become such a broad river. First, he had been a salesman, travelling on ox- carts and on mules through the remote back-lands of the new republic in the days when the soldiers of the Army of Liberation were scarce back at their ploughs. Good days those, with the sun and sky above one, and the spreading vineyards of one's own land on either side, and every hospitable hacienda glad to see the young Alejandrito, so intelligent beyond his years, so

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hillsides, where the one-man shafts of those days were punily scratching at the treasure which lay beneath; judicious purchase and resale, little amalgamations, the gradual conversion of Saunders & Company from merchanting to mine development, with the doubting Saunders counting each of the new dollars in his pocket before venturing them afresh; the painstaking adaptation of his own Scotch canniness and his quick Spanish wits to the study of silver ores, so that he saw what others missed, in this village, or that river-bed, or the other old abandoned Spanish working, and foresaw what was to come; the safe full of options worth their weight in diamonds, with which the silver boom of the 'forties found the house of Saunders; such had been the logical sequence.

That had made them, and it had finished Saunders, who, always possessed of a convivial turn, celebrated himself out of existence at the accession of his good fortune; but he left his young partner his interest in the business, less certain yearly payments to shadowy relatives in Scotland. And with the going of Saunders came the real beginning of Alejandro Mackenzie.

He had disposed of his silver holdings in the very heyday of the boom, and had turned his back for ever on Tranquilidad and its queer blend of mining camp and cathedral town. Well, that was something to be proud of. Not one

man in a hundred would have done it-an old man would have lacked the courage, a young one the brains, to have launched out into a new enterprise as he had done, abandoning the old like a worn-out shoe. But as he had seen the silver boom coming, he saw it going; that is, before any one else. It warmed his old heart to think of that longforgotten stroke of genius, even on this day of distress. had turned his attention to banking, and the small front office with its three clerks, which had first borne the sign

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Banco de A. Mackenzie y Cia.," had expanded in forty years, with the sureness of destiny, to his present organisation, with its twenty branches in the republic, its London agency, and its connections in every country of importance in the world-the only private bank left of those which had existed in San Martin at its inception.

He had worked hard and lived hard, and been hard as iron in the accomplishment of this. No wonder men called him stony-hearted. His marriage and family, his private life, seemed mere incidents to look back upon. He had been ruthless, too, and had come down with the force of ruin upon the client whose difficulties must, as his shrewd eye foresaw, in the end be overwhelming. Sooner or later, what did it matter, and Don Alejandro would inexorably cut off financial aid; he would

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