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cruisers were fitted with Mar- The story brought back was
coni sets, and there was therefore no difference at all between theirs and those of other merchant shipping.
so peculiar that it was considered advisable to convey the ship at once to Sierra Leone, for a legal investigation either by the Marine Court er Prize Court as might appear the more suitable.
It seems that there was an old nigger, and his name was Uncle Sam - Alfred Charles Sam, to be exact-who had, long years before, emigrated from his Gold Coast home to the U.S.A. There, while comfortably filling his bank eredit account with the fruits of honest labour, he seems also
Once, when we were coming through the Cape de Verde group of islands, we intercepted some rather mangled messages, undoubtedly made by Telefunken, and therefore, as undoubtedly, made by a German ship. They appeared to come from a vessel at no great distance; and we proceeded on our way, keenly interested, but, none the less, with considerable caution. The latter especially, since several warnings had to have filled his soul with reached us that certain points in the island group had been arranged by the enemy as rendezvous for their cruisers.
Thus proceeding, we espied, anchored off one of the most desert-like of the islands, a steamer under British colours, loading salt. We approached her and made, by signal, the "Demand." There was reply, but we saw on her stern a name, Liberia, not given in 'Lloyd's Register of Shipping' (a publication in which appears the name of every vessel afloat). The painting of the name was obviously a recent and amateur effort. Not only that could see that the original name of the ship had, as recently, been plastered over with still shiny black, to form a background for the new version. Deeply suspicious, we dropped anchor near her and sent a boat to visit and inquire concerning her. We were both in "neutral waters," and caution was all the more necessary.
indignation at the treatment of his brudders. The two floods, being mingled, then overflowed in a stream sufficiently deep to permit of the floating on its bosom of 8 trading venture, an argosy manned exclusively by negroes, formed into an association, whose declared intention it was to establish itself as the nucleus of a free and selfgoverning colony in the ancestral African home of the race, and to become a second Liberia. The next step was the conveyance of the Brudderhood, with its fortunes, across the waters between America and Africa. Accordingly Sam, this second Noah (though perhaps a reference to Ham, his black son and co-navigator, would be more suitable), purchased, from a German firm, an ark of such antiquity that it might conceivably have been the original and Biblical article. The mode of propulsion, however, had been brought up to
date forty or fifty years ago, and the craft was now fitted with a wheezy old boiler and arthritic engines, which groaned aloud at every revolution.
Sam paid the price for her -the German price-namely, £14,000, the ship being actually worth, perhaps, the hundredth part of that figure.
These preliminaries accomplished, the expedition embarked at Barbadoes, and set forth across the Atlantic.
Its arrival in the Cape de Verde Islands must remain one of the classic instances of Heaven's reply to prayer, for never did ship make voyage with less assistance from the arts, either of the navigator or the marine engineer. Neither the "captain" nor any of the "officers" possessed "tickets' of any kind, declaring their competence as "master mariner," or even as "mate"; nor did the "chief engineer" hold any official permission to take charge of a ship's engines.
"Me, sah," said the second mate to our boarding officer, "I done teach navigation, sah, in unahvahsaty, sah, for seventeen yeah, sah, but dis my fust 'speriance afloat, sah!"
Said the first mate: "Dis good ship, sah; nothing wrong heah, sah-gawspel all de time!"
So it was! The enterprise was, apparently, not only in pursuit of liberty, based on commerce, but also was largely concerned with religion. Missionaries were carried in the company, black of face, white of wool, who kept themselves in practice, and at the same
time relieved the hot tedium of the voyage, by the most energetic and reviving expositions of holy writ, while the ark pursued her tranquil, fourknot, eastward course.
Large and comfortable old mammies sat round the upper deck in the soaking heat of the tropical afternoon, the open Bible cushioned in each ample lap. But if and when the fervour of the temperature mastered that of the preacher, and the tired brains glided softly down the forty steps of slumber-every step a wink
bearing forward on to the billowing black bosoms, the woolly heads, bandannaswathed,-whack! down descended on them the Written Word, with all the force and energy of missionary zeal and of two old but still brawny arms! Printed in the heaviest type, bound in half-calf, boards, tall quarto, nothing but the African skull could withstand such an onslaught and awakening!
Thus were these interminable stump sermons punctuated, as witnessed by our fortunate Prize Officer on the passage to Sierra Leone.
When he and the "navigating party" went on board, and it was ordered to put steam on the cable-winch in order to heave up the anchor, the steam-pipe leading along the upper deck to the winch from the boiler immediately burst, and thick white columns of steam were to be seen ascending. The chief engineer, with oreditable promptitude, seized a length of "sennit,"
dashed up the engine-room ing Nigger Party-indeed, on ladder, and, as he came out on to the upper deck, caught up the coir door-mat at his feet, which, with a forlorn hopefulness, he bound with the sennit swiftly around the hissing fissure. But not even then could the windlass be induced to revolve; so the cable, quite happily, was out, and the orazy old craft waddled out slowly and fitfully to sea. Mr Heath Robinson alone would be capable of depicting with any certainty the scene. It went much beyond the limits of ordinary fancy.
account of it and of the admirable if innocent camouflage it provided here we had dropped on to a "passer-on of wireless messages between the German cruisers of South America and their Intelligence agents ashore in Africa or in the islands. so the the islands. The Telefunken note would be to them Shibboleth, assuring them of the German source of the intelligence; and also that the news sent by it could not possibly be an enemy deception, but might safely be acted upon.
But the points about the ship which really interested us much more than any mere illegalities of the navigating and engineering officers were -first, the Telefunken wireless "get" with which she was fitted; and secondly, the man who worked it.
The apparatus itself was undoubtedly German (the vessel herself having so recently been in German ownership); and its operator, who was the only only white man in the ship, while proclaiming himself to be a citizen of the United States, bore the unpleasing name of Schneider. He had no "certificate" enabling him to operate on board ship; but that was a trifle light as air by comparison with the suspicious character of the whole galère.
It was this "Telefunken" whose voice we had heard in startling propinquity the day before; and it seemed likely that, in spite of the envelop
On our arrival at Sierra Leone we handed the Liberia over, with the necessary documents, to the authorities. We then almost immediately reseived orders to leave for other scenes. This was unfortunate; for, so far as we could learn later, no inquiries were made as to the bona fides of Mr Sohneider, and nothing was done either to ship, officers, or passengers, save to prevent the latter from establishing the the Free Colony of their dreams. This idea was, indeed, not welcomed in Sierra Leone. The existing Black Republic of Liberia, their next-door neighbour-now a sanctuary for every known variety of blackguard considered amply sufficient for the present, thank you, without starting a similar show having similar future possibilities, even though it was to be inaugurated by saints.
As regards the undoubted illegal status of the ship as a merchant vessel, and the irreg
ular "olearance" she had re- have not been taught to ceived at Barbadoes, it was fight, and have no desire to apparently considered inadvis- learn. able by the officials at Sierra Leone to make too drastic an investigation into the affair. Sierra Leone and Barbadoes are, each of them, Crown colonies. Dog will not eat dog. Perhaps the other dog could bite too!
As to the "wireless" considerations, including the status of Schneider, these were as usual outside the shore-going brain capacity, not only for comprehension but for taking any action. "There was no precedent "—and that was all about it! In the next war the sailor, warned by this as by many another instance, will set for himself, and will not be so hopeful of assistance from those whose whose
Had we seized, without reference to the courts, that Telefunken set and installed it in our own ship, what fun might we not have had with it, using it as a decoy for the German oruisers! It might have produced wonderful results. This notion, though advocated, simple as it sounds, could not, however, penetrate (owing possibly to the depth of the wig) to the legal brain.
So the budding negro republic wilted and fell to the ground untimely. As little trace must by now remain of it, as of the rusty old box of trioks which carried its fortunes across the broad Atlantic. And Schneider, where is fingers he? Quien sabe?
(To be continued.)
FOLLOW THE LITTLE PICTURES!
BY ALAN GRAHAM.
My fortnight in London passed very agreeably. I saw all the sights, visited most of the theatres, and dined at many of the more expensive Sightseeing, however, soon grows wearisome, and I was not sorry when the time arrived for me to journey north.
I travelled from St Pancras, by Mr Tanish's instructions, as the Midland is the only line which touches Kilmarnock, my junction for Kilbrennan, This last part of the journey, after leaving the express, was a gorgeous revelation to me. The local train followed the Ayrshire coast-line along the Firth of Clyde, and I looked out of the carriage window at the grandeur of the Arran hills with the April sun low behind the northern end of the island. Farther south towards the open sea, I could distinguish the solitary outline of Ailsa Craig hazily in the evening mist, posted there like some stern guardian of the great waterway. And all before me stretched the Firth, its waters of a depth and purity of blue that I had believed was only to be seen in the Mediterranean.
It was about half-past six when I alighted on the plat
form at the little station of Kilbrennan. I had not warned the Tanishes of my arrival, for it had struck me that as I was going to Hopeton in the capacity of tutor, it might be well not to presume upon the reception accorded to a guest. I had expected that I would be able to get a cab at the station, that would carry both me and my belongings to my destination.
But the solitary porter was struck garrulous at the idea of a cab being at the station merely on speculation.
"Cab? Ha'e ye orrderred the cab, for if ye did it's no' here?"
I explained meekly that I had not ordered a cab, but expected to find one, if not several, in waiting.
"It's easy seen ye're no' used tae this pairish, or ye wudna expec' to fin' Rab Wulson yokin' his auld mare on spec. Whaur wis ye wantin' tae gang?"
I should explain that, to judge from his rough harsh speech, one would have thought this porter had a most violent grudge against me. It only dawned upon me slowly that he was, according to his lights, quite civil and helpful, though he ob
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