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Abd-el-Krim's Stronghold in the Riff.


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it is required. The staff work seems very efficient, though a great deal is left to commanders on the spot, and the functions of "A A " and "Q" are of a rudimentary nature. They enjoy the advantage of interior lines of communication, and their columns are moved swiftly in file from one threatened point to another. It is said that five thousand Riffi, under the personal leadership of Sidi Mhâmed, have in this way kept at bay an army of one hundred thousand men. Finally, it is improbable that the occupation of any one town or position in the Riff would be more than inconvenient to the administration; and any attempt to hold the grain - producing lowland long enough to starve the tribes into submission would be inordinately costly in life to the invading force.

But to assume that such an army as this, admirably fitted as it undoubtedly is for its special purpose, could be employed as a striking force in unfriendly country is absurd. Those alarmists who represent Mohammed ibn Abd-el-Krîm as an oppressor, imposing his yoke upon reluctant neighbours, are raising the merest bogey. As liberators alone the Riffi have

their tribal lands, and the submissions of neighbouring chiefs have been given willingly to the man who has showed them how the invader may be thrown back. It is possible that the bribes of European Powers have in the past sometimes deflected natural inclination, and fears of reprisal deterred tribes of the Jabala, by nature fickle, from taking a definite stand; but there is nothing here of tyranny and extortion. In a double journey through Jabala and Riff, one has had ample opportunity to estimate the true state of opinion. Though the western tribes are always ready to profit by an occasion, there can be no reasonable doubt where their sympathies lie; while from Wad Lau eastward to the open valley of Wad Moulouya are territories to whose inhabitants patriotism is second nature.

The vital clause in a proposition for peace put forward by the Riffi delegates at an unproductive conference held two years ago in Paris is known to the Governments concerned, for the meetings were attended by a representative of the Spanish Embassy. It concerns only the internal and economic liberty of Riff and Jabala.

(To be concluded.)



formances of a fly on


"No," replied Barkly, "I wouldn't if I were you. Since I have acquired discretion and a circumference I have had to relinquish the more violent forms of exercise and leave the futtock rigging to the upper yardmen and to little boys who cultivate a waist and a habitual disrespect for their elders. Don't you know, you exiguous epitome, that the 'lubber's hole' is reserved for those who have attained the respectable age of forty?

"I'm getting sick of this," declared Barkly, First Lieutenant of the Menelaus. Here we've been lying for nearly a fortnight doing nothing, and those wretched forts ashore there nobly following our example. I don't believe there is a soul there except that old chap in a green turban and a dirty nightshirt who comes up every morning and evening on to the ramparts and says his prayers so ostentatiously. Ship's grub for a fortnight. I ask you! And all the other ships round at Alexandria and Port Said and Ismailia living on the fat of the land-a land flowing with milk and honey-or ashore playing at soldiers and spoiling the Egyptians. Look here, can't we do something? Get up a Exactly. And that is why regatta, or a seining party- I now offer myself as umpire that beach looks as if there ought to be lots of fish to be caught. Or 'Follow my Leader' aloft

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"Why, Number One, you couldn't get through the lubber's hole," interpolated the Commander. "There isn't room for that circumference of yours."


in a race over the main topmast head between you and the Paymaster. He's older than you, but he's skinnier. Who'll back the Commander against Old Pay?"

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"I wouldn't back you at that, Number One, though I'd give a fiver to see you going "Mister Old Pay, please," over the futtock rigging," retorted the Paymaster with laughed the junior Lieutenant, dignity. When a man has Johnson by name, irreverently. passed the age of forty-five he The First Lieutenant was dis- is entitled to the prefix. Do tinctly not one of Pharaoh's you really imagine, First Lieulean kine. (It should, perhaps, tenant, that I am going to be explained that in "going risk life and limb by going the futtock rigging aloft? After thirty years at one has to emulate the per- sea I have more sense."


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"I thought I'd get a draw superfluous spirits in serving from one of you," laughed the Egyptians. "What about you,

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The Commander gave no
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"Done along o' you," replied Barkly. 'Splendid idea. But I must have some one with me to pull me ashore in the skiff. It would be wanting in dignity for a man of my perimeter to man the oars. I'm very good at the tiller, but I find that pulling anything but the foreand-aft oar detracts from my imposing presence. Besides, as British representative on a foreign shore, I must have a staff and retinue with me."

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If I were quite sure Number One wouldn't come back, I'd get up a petition to the skipper begging him to send them all on duty," said Jones, the Second Lieutenant, who thought he was getting too senior for watch-keeping, and wanted the First Lieutenant's job.

"My dear Barkly," said the Commander testily," you really are not contemplating such a mad project, are you? "


"And why not?" retorted Barkly. "Anything to do away with this monotony. But seriously, sir, I'll come with you to your cabin and argue the point with you." They both rose from the table and made for the wardroom door. They daren't touch us, you see; they know well enough that our guns could knock their rotten forts to smithereens in ten minutes, and we know there are none of the black artillerymen here; they were all put demanded out of action at Alexandria last month. And besidesThe door closed behind his portly figure.

I'll come," shouted Johnson and the junior Doctor in chorus.

66 What's that? the Commander.

Barkly says he wants to go ashore and wash himself-his tub on board is not big enough for his imposing presence," interjected the Fleet Surgeon. "And my mate and the 'Worm want to go with him and sand and canvas him under the Gippy forts. Better let them go, Commander. We can spare them all. They're so full of energy that they make me tired. Let the Gippies catch them and make them work off their

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"Number One's going to win that fiver of yours, Soldier," jeered the "Worm. "He always manages to get round the bugs. Do you want to hedge? I can't afford any fivers, but I'll bet you ten bob we all get back all right and have a jolly good bathe into the bargain.'

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"I don't see the use of that to me," replied the Marine

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dolefully. "If you win, you'll get your ten bob all right; but if you lose, I'll have to whistle for mine, for you'll be languishing in Arabi's pet gaol with a bow-string round your neck, or something equally encouraging." "All right, I'll leave it to you in my will," declared Johnson. And then there was a general move from the mess to the smoking circle on deck, where Barkly shortly joined them, meditatively filling his pipe.

"Well, what about it, Number One?" asked the Marine. "Oh, it's all right," anright," answered the First Lieutenant. "We go in the skiff after evening quarters. The skipper thinks it rather a sound notion, but he says you ought to come too."

"Oh, if that's so I'm quite willing to go, though I'm not much of a swimmer," said the unsuspecting Sea-Soldier, with an air of condescension. But why does he pitch on me?

"Because your ugly face would frighten Arabi himself," replied the irrepressible joker.

The Menelaus was lying in Aboukir Bay, whither she had been sent after the strategical move from Alexandria to Port Said had been made in August 1882, in order to take Arabi Pasha's army in the rear. She was to

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watch the Aboukir forts until they surrendered, and in the meantime to contain "them. But hitherto there had been no signs on their part of surrender or of any other action. Indeed, the forts

appeared to be deserted, and the Captain of the Menelaus rather welcomed this insane expedition, in the hope that it would force the garrison to show themselves. But he gave orders that the skiff was to be closely watched, that one battery of heavy guns was to be ready to open fire if necessary, and a machine-gun (Gardner) also prepared to fire upon any armed party which should appear and show signs of aggression.

Jones volunteered to take charge of the latter weapon, in order to see what sort of execution it could make, for he was scornfully hostile to machineguns-the Gardner had only just been brought into the Service-and declared that they were sure to jam before they had fired a dozen rounds.

Barkly raised another laugh by declaring that what Jones really wanted to do was to create a vacancy for himself by mistaking the skiff for a party of the enemy, and opening fire on it,

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to knock the forts to bits in a suddenly exclaimed, Hulloa! very short time. Who are those beggars coming along the beach ?

The boat made for the nearest point of the shore, where a nice clean strip of sand, about 30 to 40 yards wide, showed between the frowning walls of the fort and the water's edge. Not a man was to be seen in the forts. Barkly carefully scanned the battlements and the sallyport some 300 to 400 yards to the westward, but all was quiet, deserted. There was nothing to prevent their landing.

They beached the boat, hauled her up on the sand, and proceeded to undress. Still not a sign from the forts. Johnson was the first to don his birthday suit, and he lost no time in dashing into the water, which he pronounced to be just right, neither too cold nor too hot. The Doctor followed him immediately, and together the two splashed and swam out into deep water. Barkly, more deliberate in his movements, took some minutes longer before he joined them, but then he, too, swam away from the beach, but more slowly, until he was some 200 yards out.

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They looked at the shore, and there, having obviously just emerged from the sallyport, was a party of men, about ten in number, marching towards the skiff in military formation, with an officer in charge of them.

"They're after the boat!" yelled Johnson.

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'And our clothes," added the doctor.

"Dig out, you cripples," puffed Barkly. Let's see if we can't get there before them."

Their game of leap-frog had brought them closer to the shore, and they were but little more than 100 yards from the beach, while the others, who were stumbling over the loose sand and making slow progress, had at least 350 yards to go. The Navy might do it. Away went the two young men, neck and neck. They were both fast swimmers, and they both intended to save their clothes, at least, if not the boat also, from the clutches of the Gippies. Barkly, though a good, was but a slow swimmer at his best, and just now he was rather breathless and pumped from the exertion of the constant diving called for in water leapfrog, so he was left hopelessly in the rear.

Johnson and the doctor reached the boat while the squad was still 40 yards away, and, without waiting to use their towels, they proceeded to huddle on their clothes with

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