« AnteriorContinuar »
science by calling this war. It only means, he says, killing the enemy garrison-policemen, soldiers, and magistrates. Any attempt at defence on the part of the victim is much resented. If the hated soldiery or police were to treat his assemblies and gatherings as a combatant enemy, the outeries of all classes of Nationalists would cleave the heavens.
This one-sided war is highly popular. It is a case of "Tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantum." There is practically no danger. The enemy can be sniped from behind-in the streets of the capital, or at fairs and public gatherings in the country.
There must be many wit nesses of these occurrences, but there is not the smallest chance that anybody will give evidence. Large rewards are offered in vain. The majority of the people have a kind of perverted sympathy with the orime; the residue are made dumb by terror.
If the beaten Confederate States of America had adopted this method against the Federal troops after the Civil War, or if the Germans had tried it against the armies of occupation, drastic things would have happened, and a very sudden stoppage would have been put to this kind of war.
But in the case of Ireland the Englishman can hardly ever bring himself to do any thing drastio. Ireland is for ever shrieking over her wrongs and woes, and her shrieking has got on England's nerves. In the Rebellion of 1916 many hundreds of British soldiers
and loyal citizens were shot down in the Dublin streets. In return, fourteen or fifteen of the chief rebels were tried by court-martial and shot.
This has now come to be looked upon as a kind of outrage to be added to the long list of English wrongs. Aocordingly the one-sided war goes on, and no strong step is taken to check it. But it is quite ineffective. Nothing comes of it all except the sorrow of the wives and children of the murdered men. The moral of the police and military remains unshaken. Nobody seems to realise the disgrace that will affect the country for generations.
The Irishman, who used to be popular in Great Britain, in the United States, and in the Dominions, now gets the cold shoulder. Nobody will employ him who can get any other for the work.
Coercive measures cannot be relaxed while systematic erime prevails. If the crime were to cease, coercion would cease at once, and the ordinary administration of the law would be resumed.
It was at one time thought that Ulster could be brought over to the rest of Ireland by a process of conciliation.
Nobody ventures to make such a suggestion now.
The Unionist part of Ulster contemplates the organised crime that is practically eneouraged by the attitude of the majority in the South and West with inexpressible loathing and horror.
They repeat what they have
asserted from the beginning- salvation or damnation as the
that every scheme of Home Rule is nothing but camouflage; that it was only a half-way house to an independent and hostile republic; that the Irish Nationalist would treacherously rise and strike England in the back at the critical moment when engaged in war with some strong foreign power. All this has happened, they say, and it has proved their views to be well founded. They declare more resolutely than ever that they will die to the last man before they will allow themselves and their children to come under the control of an Irish Parliament. The Sinn Feiner, on the other hand, says that no compromise is possible—that in the blessed newly-applied word "self-determination" is involved the foreible inclusion of Ulster in the Irish Republic.
It is in vain you assure him that no conceivable British Government could for a moment entertain the proposal to tolerate an Irish Republic at its door. He persists that nothing else will suffice, implying that the policy of assassination will go on until the required concession is given. That is the situation, and a more hopeless deadlock has never occurred in human affairs. At this stage the Prime Minister appears with his Bill, the result of much discussion and anxious thought. The central idea of it is that part of Ulster must be saved from destruction, and that the rest of Ireland is to be abandoned to work out its own
case may be. The police, who have been engaged in their long struggle with crime, are after three years to be handed over to their enemies, and a like fate overtakes the loyalists outside the part of Ulster so reserved. Nobody who knows the situation can have any hope that this experiment will be successful. However well meant, it has no friends in Ireland who will take it up and work it honestly. Can anybody suggest anything better? Nobody. It is idle to talk of the bankruptcy of statesmanship or to reiterate that a settlement must be found. There are some puzzles that admit of no solution. If the Irish situation were produced in a Greek play, now would be the time for the Divinity to descend. By his godlike power he could compose all discords and lead all the parties to unite in a happy consummation.
In the absence of a deus ex machina is everything at an end?
denly appear and do a great man's work. He may come from the Catholic Church, or he may even come from Ulster. A new age has dawned upon the world. The nations that look forward with confidence will enter into its blessings; those that will only look back must sink into the pit of destruction. Ever vainly brooding over the wrongs of the past, the Ireland of the ma
jority is to-day hopeless and without a future. But the coming of the man man of inspiration may effect a great change. A voice may be heard that will appeal to all that is best in her heart, and in answer she may take her place with her sister peoples in the march of progress and walk with them into the light of day.
FOLLOW THE LITTLE PICTURES!
BY ALAN GRAHAM.
I RETURNED to Hopeton, aecompanied a good part of the way by Betty, who was eager to hear Morgan's story. told it to her as we walked, and we made our first effort to solve the mystery of the cipher while we rested upon the dyke of the old Roman road.
It was a lovely evening in June, but we were too deep in our puzzle to take notice at the time of the wonderful panorama spread beneath us. For my own part, I must admit that though the scenery had no charms for me, I was not so wrapt up in the solution of the cipher but that I was conscious of the charm of my companion. The soft strands of her glorious hair swept my cheek 88 we bent together over the paper, and my fingers touched hers-more or less accidentally as we drew one another's attention to the peculiarities of the "little pictures." It is small wonder that I did not concentrate the whole of my attention upon the problem before us.
"I have never seen a real cipher before," said Betty gleefully. "I don't suppose we shall solve it straight away if all Mr Morgan's experts have failed. Still, let's have a try."
It was easy to say "have a
"I expect even Morgan has guessed that, as he wears it in a ring on his finger," I replied. "It is repeated at the bottom, so I expect it means no more than that Hamish set his seal to the paper."
"You're not very encouraging, you know," know," remarked Betty, turning her brown eyes on me comically. "I have a good mind to let you solve the cipher for yourself."
"Don't do that," I begged earnestly, placing my hand over hers upon the paper. "I'm sure we shall get on better together than apart.
But Betty only laughed and oarelessly took her hand away from mine.
"Don't be silly, Bob," she said, and turned again to the paper.
I sighed and strove to give the little pietures my full attention, but I knew that it was impossible whilst Betty was by.
"What I should like to know is if these things mean the things they look like, or if they are only symbols for something else," my companion went on merrily.
Copyrighted in the United States of America by Messrs Little, Brown, & Co.
"If you were anybody but the most gorgeous and delectable young woman on earth, I should be compelled to tell you that you are talking rot," I replied lazily.
"Without admitting your adjectives, which are absurd, I insist that I am not talking rot. This is what I mean. Here is a thing like an anchor. Does it really mean an anchor, or is it only a symbol? It might be a symbol for the sea, or a ship, or even for hope. Do you understand me now, fathead?"
"I see what you are driving at, but I have no ideas on the subject at all.”
In truth my eyes were more on Betty than on the paper. The solution of cryptograms had lost all charm for me at the moment. To watch Betty knit her fair brows and purse her pretty lips interested me to the exclusion of all thought of such a mundane affair as treasure.
"If only we had some idea of the system on which the thing was made!" exclaimed Betty.
I chuckled contentedly.
"What does it matter to us?" I said. "Let the Tanishes worry it out among themselves. It is they who will profit by it if ever the treasure is found. We don't stand to gain a sou!" "Who ever hunted treasure for the sake of the mere filthy luore?" demanded Betty in mook anger. "I am as keen as if it were all to be mine. I must have a copy of the little pictures. Mr Morgan won't mind. Let's make it now. need only be very rough."
So I pulled out an old envelope and made a sketch of the diagrams on the back of it for her.
"By the way," I said as I handed it to her, "why is Morgan so open and talkative about all this? It is the sort of thing that one keeps to oneself."
"That is easily explained. Mr Morgan is a good judge of character. He knows perfectly well that his secret is safe with us. Neither of us is in the least likely to let it go any further. As for wanting to give each of the Tanishes a copy of this
that is only his sporting instinot. Your Mr Morgan is a real good sport!"
'Perhaps you are right, Betty," I agreed. "The same reason, namely, that it is not likely to go any further, compels me to tell you something that I have kept to myself so far."
"Go ahead," said Betty. "I shan't give you away."
"It is something that I can't understand. When I told you how I had found Roy's wife wounded in the wood, I did not mention the fact that at the time corresponding to the shot I heard in the darkness, the Laird was out with a shotgun. I found that out frem Marigold. When he came in he was very irritable, as you know, because it was then that he turned your father out of the house."
"And you think it was the Laird who shot Marie ?" asked Betty, her eyes wide with surprise.
"I must admit that, until