berss Jou



By A. FRASER ROBERTSON, Author of A Commonplace Woman, &c. CHAPTER I.

fIITTLE Mrs Lamington was giving a

fi dinner-party quite a small, in-

formal affair—I, as the governess,

not being much concerned there-

with, except in the matter of table

decoration. On the morning of the

day, however, Mrs Lamington came hurriedly into the schoolroom.

‘I want you to come downstairs to-night, Miss

Ashley, please, she said. ‘Cyril has gone and

asked an extra man.’ '

Nothing seemed to go right with that dinner-

party from. the outset. Half-an-hour before dinner she came to me again—this time flushed and agitated, an open note in her hand.

‘Could anything be more provoking? Dr Grenfell sends an apology at the last moment— “suddenly indisposed ;” and, Mrs Grenfell not even the sense to decline. It spoils the numbers, of course—disorganises the whole’ table. I shall have to take Mr Hooper; and now, whom will Marion Crescent have ?’

‘If I stay out,’ I suggested, ‘that will equalise numbers, and Miss Crescent can have my man.’

But Mrs Lamington impatiently negatived my proposal.

‘Nothing of the sort, she said. ‘That would make it too much of a family party’—Lady Crescent was a second or third cousin of Mrs Lamington’s, and Mr Hooper was connected with her, too, in a similarly distant manner—‘and that almost always falls flat or ends in friction. But if you don’t mind having no partner—and, as you say, Marion can have Mr Crosley.’

She bustled out of the room, leaving me to ad- just a spray of scarlet geranium in the bosom of my black lace gown. I was not to be allowed to escape the ordeal, although I would gladly have relinquished a quarter’s salary to avoid the close contact this impromptu dinner-party involved with Jack’s aunt, the terrible Lady Crescent, and her daughter Marion, both of whom divined my en-

No. 127.—Vou.

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gagement to Jack, and regarded me as some sneak- ing reptile who had wormed herself into his unsus- pecting affections on the strength of a pretty face.

In the back seat befitting the governess of the house, I awaited the guests’ arrival. Mrs Laming- ton had partly got over her vexation, and Mr Lamington would have worn the same unconcerned and genial air had the Prince of Wales or the Prime Minister suddenly elected to dine with him.

Lady Crescent, with her hawk-like features and aggressively insolent bearing, emphasised by a tortoise-shell pince-nez, sailed in first, followed by her daughter, narrow-eyed and sallow—the bride his aunt had selected for my Jack. Mrs Grenfell succeeded, comfortable and good-tempered in the prospect of a good dinner. She in her turn was followed by three nondescript men—a dried-up scientist, a man who looked like a professional diner-out, and the Mr Crosley who had been the late addition to the party.

We paired in to dinner, I partnerless, and re- garded with that uncertain air with which people look upon the governess of the house, not sure whether to treat her as a servant or as a lady, and in the end hitting something of a mean between the two extremes. I found on my right the eminent scientist, on my left a vacant space, and beyond Lady Crescent’s formidable propor- tions. At a safe distance, Marion’s pale eyes scrutinised me across an elaborate arrangement of chrysanthemums and feathery grasses. and silver candelabra. I began to breathe freely. The scientist made an isolated remark to me during soup, in a voice whose depth suggested dungeons of abstruse learning. Then an officious servant, moved by some fiendish impulse, cleared away the things belonging to my partner’s unoccupied place ; and, with an ‘Ah! that is better, Lady Crescent moved her chair a little way nearer mine,

‘I never, never crowd my table,’ Mrs Lamington, whose quick ear had caught the remark, said to me later. ‘I consider it an insult to my guests, May 5, 1900.


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She had heaps of room. She only wanted to torment you—all on account of Jack, of course. I could have cried with vexation when I saw how I had managed things.’

I inwardly trembled as I noted the movement. Her ladyship’s fat hand crumbled bread at my very elbow. Her podgy white fingers were en- crusted with diamonds, and her arm was clasped by a broad opal-and-diamond bracelet. Jewelless, and in my severe black gown, I seemed to shrivel into nothing beside her sparkling magnificence.

During an interval in the courses she levelled her pince-nez at the table.

‘Your handiwork?’ she asked abruptly.

‘Do you mean the table?’ I asked. ‘Yes, I did it.

‘Humph !’ she remarked ; ‘some girls make it a profession nowadays, I believe, during the season, they make quite a respectable income.’

‘So I have heard,’ I said.

‘Opportunities for girls obliged to earn a living are greatly increased in these days, she went on, helping herself largely to a quenelle entrée as she spoke. ‘It relieves the congested state of the governess market.’

I said nothing. I was quite alive to the improved condition of the market as regarded woman’s work ; but her ladyship’s remarks struck me as in doubtful taste.

‘You have never thought of striking out some more enterprising line?’ she asked, determined, I thought, to make me speak.

‘Never,’ I said coolly. ‘I am very happy.’

‘Ah!’ she said, ‘you are fortunate in your berth, and don’t like the idea of change. Of course change is a bad thing. By the way, isn’t there a society that gives rewards and medals and such things for long periods of service—just as domestic servants have—pensions for old age, and so on? Very good things, too. They act as a check upon those horrid registers and that rest- lessness and love of change that are the crying evils of the day. Don’t you think so?’

‘I really don’t know,’ I said. ‘I have not studied the subject. I do not think, however,’ I added, deliberately dealing a stab to my opponent with great relish, ‘many girls look forward to being governesses to the end of their lives.’ She turned her bead-like eyes quickly on me, She quite understood my insinuation. Lady Crescent’s réle was a persistent ignoring of my engagement to her nephew, as if her refusal to admit it would alter the fact.

Suddenly she swept her arm along the table to reach some salted almonds in a bonbonniére in my vicinity. In drawing it back she brushed my elbow, and her bracelet caught momentarily in the lace of my sleeve.

She disengaged it with an impatient movement.

‘The clasp is not too secure,’ she remarked, examining it without apologising, ‘So like a man, she went on, speaking half to herself,

although the words were intended for me; ‘and, most of all, like my nephew. He gives nothing trifling. His presents are all massive and’ hand- some.” She regarded her ornament with great satisfaction. ‘He and Marion chose it together, she added in a pensive aside,

My heart beat at the mention of Jack’s name, but I made no remark. So he had been the donor of the handsome bracelet! It was perhaps, after all, a little hard on Lady Crescent that a penniless governess, however pretty, should have stepped in and wrested the prize that would so well have suited her daughter.

She turned to Mr Lamington, and my quick ear caught the words:

‘He hopes this native disturbance will soon be over, and then we. expect him home. Marion heard from him the other day. The wretched climate of the place makes us anxious.’

I smiled to myself. I had later news of him than Marion,

Then Mrs Lamington made a move, and the ladies rustled out of the dining-room; Lady Crescent, with a white marabout feather waving aloft, like a ship in full sail.

When we reached the drawing-room Marion ensconced herself in a distant corner, with a book of photographs on her knee, a distinct intimation that she preferred her own society to that of any one else. Mrs Grenfell engaged Mrs Lamington in close conversation regarding the symptoms of her husband’s sudden indisposition, and again Lady Crescent was left to me—or, rather, I was left to her—with very much the sensations of a helpless mouse left to the tortures of a cat.

‘Marion, love,’ she said, looking over at her daughter, ‘you are in a draught, There is always a certain amount of draught between a window and a fire, and you know how delicate your throat is.’

‘I shall do very well, mother, said that young lady shortly, without budging. She always ignored my presence when possible.

I made an attempt to escape upstairs, but Lady Crescent pinned me down with:

‘By the by, Miss Ashley, Mrs Lamington pro- mised you would show me the sofa-blanket you have done for her. She said I might have it for Marion to copy.’

‘Now?’ I asked reluctantly.

‘There is no time like the present—is there?’ she asked, with a disagreeable smile.

I rose and reached forward Mrs Lamington’s standing work-basket, and unfolded the blanket.

‘It looks very elaborate, she said, raising her tortoise-shell pince-nez and examining it; ‘but I dare say Marion could manage it. You could come along for a few afternoons and set her going. You could do a corner. I shall let you know what afternoons we are disengaged when I consult my engagement slate.’

‘I am afraid that would be quite impossible,

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Lady Crescent, I said coldly. ‘My afternoons are very fully taken up. I certainly could not dispose of them as you propose,’

‘Some people are very disobliging,’ she re- marked, with a tart laugh.

‘I had rather be disobliging than dishonourable,’ I said, with heightened colour. ‘My afternoons, please to remember, are not my own to give away.’

Lady Crescent muttered something about ‘nice sense of honour’ and ‘hair-splitting distinctions,’ with a little sneer,

‘I presume you will hardly combat Mrs Lamington’s decision if I speak to her on the subject?’ she said, with hardly-suppressed wrath.

‘I shall certainly combat it, I said, extremely nettled, ‘if it includes my giving lessons in needlework to strangers’ I was quite in the mood to do battle and to enjoy it. I do not know what would have been the upshot of our contest had not the drawing-room door suddenly opened and a small, white-robed figure, with bare feet and wide-open staring blue eyes, ushered itself in upon the company.

Mrs Grenfell stifled an exclamation of alarm. Mrs Lamington, instinctively grasping the situa- tion, breathed a soft ‘Hush!’ The rest of us were silent, while Sid, unconscious and open-eyed, came towards the sofa where Lady Crescent and I were sitting. I laid my hand softly on the child’s, unwilling to wake him suddenly. Now and then, at long intervals, he walked in his sleep. In- voluntarily I drew the blanket I was exhibiting round his shoulders, when suddenly Lady Crescent made a dive at the unconscious figure.

‘Good gracious !’ she exclaimed in astonishment, ‘you don’t say the child’s asleep. It’s positively uncanny. I declare it‘thas given me quite a turn. I hope he doesn’t do this often, Evelyn.’

Thus rudely awakened, the dreaming eyes took on a confused expression of fear and apprehension that grew into positive alarm as they lighted on Lady Crescent’s huge nose, thus suddenly thrust before his eyes, and was accentuated by an abrupt attempt on her part to draw him to her. He shrank frightened into the folds of the blanket from her enforced embrace. The large nose, the waving white marabout erected on coils of false hair, produced only horror in the bewildered mind of the child. The brilliant lights, the strange faces, the unexpected scene, all seemed to him like a bad dream. He shuddered and began to cry.

‘Let me have him, I demanded, trying to draw him from Lady Crescent’s tentative grasp.

‘Nothing of the sort,’ she said, retaining her hold from pure contradiction.

‘You are only frightening him,’ I said, ‘He should never have been waked. It is the worst possible thing for a sleep-walker.’

‘You are the only authority on the subject, I suppose,’ she sneered, ‘Poor little dear, his nerves must be quieted.’

Meantime the ‘poor little dear’ struggled. I appealed to Mrs Lamington, who was looking flushed and distressed on the edge of the group. Here Sid burst into a wail, and from the depths of Lady Crescent’s voluminous embrace held out his arms to me.

‘Better let him away before the gentlemen come in” put in Mrs Grenfell; and I managed to extricate and carry him off.

It was not to be the only diversion of that ill- fated evening. After soothing Sid I was just in the excited state when I would fain have crossed lances with Lady Crescent again. I no longer trembled. My blood was stirred. When I came back to the drawing-room I found that the gentlemen had joined the ladies, and that all were concentrated in a group round my enemy. She herself was standing erect, her headgear quivering excitedly. My first impression was that her dress had caught fire; my second, that some objectionable insect had lodged in the front breadth of her dress, which she was shaking so violently as to display a considerable length of ankle and white petticoat,

‘Had it! Of course I had it, she was pro- testing excitedly, in answer to a suggestion of Mrs Lamington’s. ‘I never have missed wearing it in the evenings since Jack gave it to me. Marion clasped it for me.—Didn’t you, my love ?’

Marion nodded, Don’t excite yourself, mother,’ she said, ‘It can’t be far off’

But Lady Crescent made no attempt to repress her feelings. It might have been Billingsgate, instead of a highly respectable abode in Kensing- ton, to judge from the anxiety she manifested as to the safety of her property.

‘I have a presentiment I shall never see my bracelet again,’ she broke out at last excitedly.

At a suggestion from his wife, Mr Lamington rushed off to the dining-room and searched that apartment thoroughly. Lady Crescent declared she remembered to have seen it since coming to the drawing-room. The eminent scientist went down on his knees and delved his long thin fingers into the recesses of the sofa-sides with an eagerness that could hardly have been exceeded had there existed the possibility of geological or botanical ‘specimens.’ Mr Crosley adjusted his single eye- glass and walked round Lady Crescent, examining her as if he expected to find the lost article sus- pended from her back hair. The diner-out seized the fur hearth-rug and shook it so violently that the dust rose in clouds from the ash-pan. Sud- denly Lady Crescent’s distracted looks fastened themselves on me.

‘Miss Ashley, she cried, ‘you saw it. You remember we were talking about it at dinner. I told you it was a present from my nephew, Captain Vernon, You remember it caught on the lace of your sleeve at dinner?’

‘I certainly remember the bracelet,’ I said, suddenly constituted a centre of observation, and

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reddening furiously because of Jack’s name and the consciousness of Marion’s furtively scrutinising eyes, Lady Crescent’s remark about it catching in my sleeve seemed to impart a fresh impetus and a new direction to the search.

Mr Crosley took a turn round me instead of Lady Crescent, specially focussing his eye-glass on my elbow, as if he fully expected to find the bracelet still dangling from my sleeve. The pro- fessional diner-out reshook the rug and blew fresh clouds of ash from the fireplace. Mr Lamington lighted a candle and examined the fender, while the rest of us awaited the result of the scientist’s operations. They were all in vain.

‘You say it was a diamond bracelet set in gold,’ remarked Mr Crosley reflectively, as if the search had issued in the discovery of several bracelets, none of which exactly answered the description of the lost one.

‘I did not say anything of the kind, snapped Lady Crescent irritably. ‘1 said it was a broad gold band set in opals and diamonds.’

‘Oh, opal!’ murmured Mrs Grenfell, turning to me. ‘Such an unlucky stone!’—as if this cir- cumstance accounted sufficiently for the mishap.

Lady Crescent, arrived at a stage beyond con- cealing her anxiety, turned sharply on the speaker.

‘Excuse me,’ she said; ‘that’s a common mis- take. In certain circumstances it is lucky rather than otherwise ; for instance, when it happens to be the stone of your month. My birthday is in October.’

This effectually put the matter beyond a doubt, and silenced Mrs Grenfell.

‘Let us go to the dining-room and search there again. Lady Crescent may have made a mistake about seeing it afterwards in the drawing-room.’

And we repaired in a body to the scene of our late festivity. Clark (the butler) and the table- maid, both servants of long standing in the Lamington family, had apparently been conducting the search under the table, and now came up breathless but unsuccessful. The table-napkins

of the entire table were shaken out without result, and my decorations ruthlessly picked to pieces, as if the bracelet might have lurked in one of the chrysanthemums.

Lady Crescent’s agitation knew no bounds by this time. Mrs Lamington’s distress and _ the guests’ discomfort equalled it in intensity.

‘I would not have lost Jack’s gift for worlds; she kept repeating.

The guests murmured ‘Most extraordinary !’ at intervals, or ‘Quite inexplicable!’ or ‘Very mysterious!’ And every few seconds, till I was vaguely exasperated, Lady Crescent reiterated :

‘You saw it, Miss Ashley. You can vouch for my having worn it,’ with special stress on the pronoun. And on each of these occasions Marion fixed me with her narrow green eyes.

Our search was fruitless. The rings of the im- patient cabmen who had come to convey away the guests bore the fact in upon us at last. The bracelet had disappeared as completely as if it had been spirited away or vanished into thin air.

The guests gradually melted away, completely baffled, at their wits’-end; and, I venture to think, with more material for discussion than is generally afforded by an ordinary dinner-party.

‘Most extraordinary!’ Mrs Lamington ejacu- lated, reiterating the threadbare remark when her guests had dispersed. ‘I shan’t know a moment's

peace till the old hag’s bracelet is found. I should

not wonder if she thought one of us had taken it.’ Her eye wandered round the room, and by chance lighted on me as she concluded. Then she laughed. ‘My dear Miss Ashley,’ she continued, ‘you looked guilty enough to have been the thief twice over when you heard that it was a present from Captain Vernon. You should really learn to control your blushes.’

I laughed and blushed again. Mrs Lamington privately enjoyed the Crescents’ disgust that Captain Vernon had been ‘hooked’ by a penniless governess. She had come in, too, for the odium of having ‘encouraged’ his attentions to me.

HOW INSECTS RECOGNISE THEIR FRIENDS AND WARN THEIR ENEMIES. By Professor A. 8S. PACKARD. [Copyright in the United States and Canada by Perry Mason & Co., 1900.]

E recognise our friends by their per- sonal appearance, by their features, voice, and dress. This is because, with us, no two individuals are alike. We share, though in a more marked way, that quality of

individuality which is common to all animals.

Within very slight limits the individuals of each

kind of insect differ from each other in colour,

markings, size, &c.

Ants and honey-bees are very modestly coloured ; and yet our best observers agree that the individual differences between ants and bees are well marked. So close and good an observer as Sir John Lubbock (now Lord Avebury), speaking of the individual differences existing between ants, tells us that they also differ in moral character ; ‘that there are priests and. Levites and Good Samaritans among them, as among men.’

Lubbock does not question the general opinion

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that ants recognise their friends, the members of their own colony or nest. He threw a number of ants into water, and let them get half-drowned and become insensible ; but even then they were recognised by their friends. He gives strong proof that a strange ant is never tolerated in a

-community ; and this he claims, as a matter of

course, implies that all the members of a colony have the power of recognising one another—‘a most surprising fact when we consider the short- ness of their life and their immense numbers ;’ for in the large nest of the European field-ant there are probably nearly half-a-million indi- viduals; and in other cases, he adds, even that number is exceeded.

Huber gives an instance where ants recognised each other after an interval of four months. So apt an observer as Forel, another Swiss naturalist, thinks that ants will recognise each other after a separation of several months.

Now, the question arises) How do ants and bees recognise their friends ?

The question is difficult to answer. Some have even supposed that the members of each nest have a sign or password; but Lubbock has dis- proved this by experiment, and, on the face of it, it does not seem probable. Others have thought that these insects recognise one another by their odour or smell. This really seems the safest conclusion or explanation. Lubbock seems unwilling to accept this view; he regards it as ‘certainly unfavourable to the theory that any- thing like an intelligent social sentiment exists among the ants. The recognition of their fellows is reduced to a mere matter of physical sensation or “smell.”’ He does not think this view is con- clusively established.

It seems probable, however, in the light of Bethe’s researches, that in this matter we shall have to fall back on the sense of smell, and suppose that in the case of ants and bees—which are dull-coloured—a common scent pervades each colony, and that all the individuals are infected with it, and are thus mutually and to the same degree recognisable. We do know that moths recognise their mates by scent. The assembling of silkworm-moths is due to the fact that the males can smell the females when miles away.

That ants can distinguish each other by some peculiarity of form or dress or markings of any sort is extremely doubtful. We know but little about the eyesight of insects—how well they see; but experiments made on certain species show that they do not see well, and that they are very near-sighted. Probably most insects only perceive other objects or even insects when in motion, when flying towards or from or past them.

It cannot be denied that some insects, as butterflies and bees, have the colour-sense. Even ants have been shown by Lubbock to have this sense of distinguishing colours; they are very

sensitive to violet, but not so to ultra-red rays. He has also shown that bees have certain colour- preferences; with them blue and pink are the most attractive colours, while they seem less in- clined to fancy yellow and red.

Now, brightly-coloured bees, such as_ the humble-bees, which are yellow and black, pro- bably recognise their fellow-citizens not only by the odour peculiar to their species, but alsé by their colour-markings. It is a curious fact that the yaily-marked, banded, and hairy humble-bees are mimicked by certain big, hairy flies, species of Volucella, of their own size, which, though they have but two wings and differ in other most important respects, yet would, probably, be at first mistaken by many of my readers for humble- bees. Under this disguise the Volucella enters the nests of the bees and deposits its eggs with- out apparently awakening their suspicions; and there they live on, hatching as parasites, feeding at the expense of their involuntary hosts by devouring their young. In this case it would seem that the bees recognise one another by their colours and gay trappings, and that the Volucellas take advantage of their disguise to deceive their hosts. -

Such styles of colouration as in humble and other bees, as well as other insects, have been called by Mr Wallace ‘recognition marks,’ and they are the main reliance of naturalists in re- cognising species, while they enable the insects possessing them to recognise individuals of their own kind. They occur in many insects such as wasps and butterflies; but they are most notice- able in those birds which assemble in flocks or which migrate in company. Morgan, in his in- teresting book entitled Animal Life and Intelligence, thinks that in such birds there is what he calls ‘preferential mating’ between individuals possess- ing special recognition marks.

It seems probable, then, that insects in general recognise others of their own kind by scent, while some at least distinguish their fellows by their colours.

I turn now to a subject on which it is easier to form a decided opinion. We certainly know that many insects hang out danger-signals and warn their enemies, and thus save their own lives. The most familiar example, among animals, is that of the skunk. It is easy to see this creature in the night because of the broad, con- spicuous white stripes on its black body. Thanks to this danger-signal, many of us take warning and give the creature a wide berth; and, on the other hand, the creature’s enemies hesitate at least before attacking an animal so well armed. Another very clear case is that of a Nicaraguan frog, ‘which hops about in the daytime dressed in a bright livery of red and blue.’ Its immunity from harm is due to the fact that ducks and fowls cannot be induced to eat it, owing to» its unpleasant taste.

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Such danger-signals among insects are displayed by many caterpillars, which are gaily ornamented with bright spots and stripes, but are distasteful to birds. For example, the currant measuring- worm—unlike others of its group, green or gray and protectively marked and coloured, which are greedily snapped up by birds—is severely left alone because of its bad taste. It is bright yellow, spotted with black. Its flaring, con- spicuous style of colouration warns off birds, which know well that it is useless to spend any time on them.

Few experiments have been made with the American currant-worm ; but an allied European species has been fed by different naturalists to several kinds of birds, lizards, frogs, and spiders, all of which almost invariably refused to touch the caterpillars when offered to them. Yet birds have been known to swallow currant-worms— perhaps in a half-hearted way. Mr Beddard relates in his attractive book on Animal Colowra- tion that a specimen was eaten by the green lizard, and several birds were seen to peck at them, and one bird swallowed a worm. Monkeys, he says, are well known to be great eaters of insects. He experimented with four of them. A marmoset monkey ate insects quite greedily, while two Cebus monkeys sucked at caterpillars and threw away the skins after the contents had been entirely extracted; they paused now and again to sniff suspiciously at the caterpillars, but nevertheless they steadily persevered in munching them.

Mr Beddard also made further experiments in the London Zoological Gardens, which are de- scribed in his book. A drone fly, which is of the same colour and bears a remarkable resemblance to the honey-bee, was seized, but quickly dropped, by a thrush. It was then tasted and refused, as if unpalatable, by an Australian plover; a third specimen was entirely disregarded by a rose- coloured pastor. A cautious Australian crow was offered one, which it seized, but carefully pinched with the tip of its bill before eating it, as if it had formerly experienced unpleasantness with a bee. Marmosets seemed afraid of the fly; but in some cases they soon found out the decep- tion, and greedily ate the insect. A blue jay consumed an Eristalis ‘without making any fuss about it ;’ and these flies, which so closely copy the form and colour of the honey-bee, were seized without hesitation and eaten with relish by a chameleon, green lizard, and sand- skink. Toads will, of course, he says, eat this fly, for they will eat wasps, bees, and the most gaudy of caterpillars, being no respecters of persons.

One often sees on apple-trees large clusters of the Datana caterpillars, which are black and conspicuously marked with longitudinal yellow stripes. No experiments have been made in offer- ing them to birds; but it is quite evident that

their colours are of a warning nature, otherwise they would be devoured.

Experiments on English caterpillars show that they are not regarded by the birds as particu- larly desirable. One was offered to a great spotted- woodpecker, and partially eaten, though after some delay and much pecking. The worm was eaten by marmosets, though they found it to be very tough. One was well tasted, but rejected, by a duck; but these worms were not noticed by fowls. These experiments show that caterpillars with warning colours may at times be eaten, if the bird is hungry enough.

A case in point is that of the American tent- caterpillars. They appear on apple-trees when the leaves bud out, and early in June attain maturity. They feed in a very open manner, spinning their large, conspicuous tents in the crotches of the trees, and the birds never seem to eat them, as they refuse hairy caterpillars. During the summer before last, at the end of June, in a farmer’s orchard which was overrun by a large number of hens, these caterpillars abounded everywhere, on or near the ground and on the stone wall; but the hens never seemed to eat them. I threw a number to the owls, but they paid no attention. These caterpillars are hairy and gorgeously coloured, being gray, spotted with bright blue, and vari- ously marked. Their bright colours seem to signal the birds that they are inedible; and the industrious insect-eaters take note of the warning and confine their attention to the less gaily- decked worms swarming among the leaves and in the buds. Never before have these tent-cater- pillars been more numerous and destructive in the New England States, where immense damage was done by them to forest trees of different kinds. Their abundance was evidently due to their inedibility, and they flaunted their gay colours to good purpose, so far as their own existence was concerned.

The trees in Boston Common and other parks are in some seasons sorely afflicted by the tussock caterpillar, which is a very beautiful yellowish hairy worm, with tufts and long pencils of black hair. It feeds in conspicuous positions, and is evidently unharmed by birds. We know of no experiments on the American species, but Mr Beddard says that lizards either eat or reject the English one.

On the whole, though there may be exceptions, it seems that some, and probably many, brightly- marked and hairy caterpillars which feed con- spicuously, seeking no concealment, as most caterpillars do, are passed over by birds and other animals, and allowed to live, their bright mark- ings serving as danger-signals,

Mr Poulton has also pointed out how very ‘im- portant it is that an inedible caterpillar should

‘be at once recognised and avoided: ‘Owing to

the thinness of the skin which encloses the blood

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under considerable pressure, the slightest injury may prove fatal; for the blood will escape in considerable amount quite incommensurate with the size of the wound, or the pressure of the blood may force out the viscera; hence the means of protection are chiefly passive, depending upon concealment or advertisement by warning colours.’

What makes the caterpillars, at least such as the currant-worms, distasteful has been supposed by Dr Eisig to be the colouring matter in the skin. It has also been proved that this nauseous pigment material is formed from the excretions of the animal, being the waste products of the blood, which are retained in the skin instead of being thrown off.

Now, geologically speaking, the insects appeared before the birds, and in early times there may have been as highly-coloured caterpillars as now, and the warning colours may have existed with- out reference to insectivorous birds. Hence Beddard thinks that the brilliant colours have caused the inedibility of the species ‘rather than that the inedibility has necessitated the produc- tion of bright colour as an advertisement.’

Another group of insects with warning colours are the wasps, so gaily painted in black with bright-yellow trappings. Though toads and bee- eaters readily devour them, they are not as a rule molested by birds in general. A young bird which has innocently tried to swallow a wasp and been stung in the attempt will not make the mistake a second time, we may be sure, so easily are wasps recognised by their bright markings. It is apparently owing to this immunity of wasps from the attacks of most birds that certain flies painted like wasps are not eaten by birds.

Once, while in the woods of northern Maine, my attention was attracted by an insect I had never before seen, and which I thought was a wasp. I instinctively drew my hand back, but afterwards captured it with a sweep of my net. On examination I found it was a harmless wasp- like fly, but with a rounder body and more truly wasp-like in its yellow trappings than most

Syrphus flies. If I was thus deceived, why should not a bird be mistaken? These black and yellow Syrphus flies are very common in America, hover- ing near or alighting upon flowers to feed upon the pollen. They apparently have no fear, and escape the attacks of birds, and thus owe their immunity from danger to their resemblance to other insects which hang out danger-signals saying very plainly, ‘Touch me not.’

After all, as has been stated by Mr Poulton in his Colours of Animals, warning colours can only be safely adopted by a small proportion of insects in any country. The means of defence is so simple that we should expect more instances of it. We do see that honey-bees, with their modest Quaker-like garb, are not thus protected, their sting being their sole means of defence; but yet there are many beautifully-coloured bees, especially in the tropics, which may be said to possess warning colours.

The males of insects play quite a less important réle than the male of the human species, in their own sphere; they are not the lords of creation. Male wasps and also bees of highly-coloured kinds, as humble-bees, are marked in nearly the same way as the workers or females; but they have no sting. It will be readily seen, then, that the warning colours of this sex are all- important. Certainly most people would fear to pick up a male wasp, though an entomologist can recognise them by the different shape and colour of the front of the head. But there is little doubt that birds confound them with the females, and let them alone.

It may be stated, finally, that the matter of warning colours is not fanciful, but apparently well founded; for there are clear cases of the kind in animals. Very striking examples occur among snakes, frogs, and salamanders ; also, while some animals possess warning colours, it has been pretty well established that others have alluring colours ; but space forbids our entering upon this subject. Meanwhile we would commend such attractive themes to our young and rising naturalists.



| LOWLY I retraced my steps towards | the winding sun-lit river, stumbling on utterly heedless of where I went. Through a full hour I had remained with my love, holding her hand and trying to comfort her; but, emailed by a weight of secret sorrow, she only sobbed upon my breast. The

world, she said, was against her, and her dream of happiness with me could never be realised. I strove to induce her to look upon the bright side of life, but she had only mournfully shaken her head, saying, ‘For me, it is all finished finished.’

As I went along, dull and dispirited, I turned and glanced back at the frowning pile standing

t - n y a y : if n n r; e n of d | l- | e | l- d | i


out black and forbidding against the mellow sun- light. High up, at one of those narrow windows, the Princess was undoubtedly watching me; and as I stood at the last bend of the road from which I could see the Castle I tried to decide which was the window of the room where our interview had taken place. Upon my lips was the impress of her fond, passionate, final kiss, and in my ears rang her parting words of love and despair. Then, with a sigh, I took a farewell look of the ancient fortress of the Hapsburgs and dragged myself wearily forward ; her sweet face— the sweetest God ever gave to woman—rising before me, full of fine sympathy and irresistible charm.

As I had followed the servant across the old courtyard Judith was standing at a window, watching my departure. In her eyes I discerned a dastardly evil glint, by which I knew that she suspected that I had told the truth; yet I cared not now for her vengeance or her allegations.

I had given the Princess timely warning of Judith’s identity ; but the result of my visit had only been to increase the mystery which seemed to surround her actions, and to add to our un- happiness.

One day, nearly a week afterwards, when I was back in Brussels again, my man brought in a letter, the envelope of which bore the Hapsburg coronet and cipher. My heart gave a bound ; for Mélanie seldom wrote to me. I tore the letter open and read it eagerly. Full of expressions of trust and tenderness, it also contained a strange request—namely, that, in order to fulfil my pro- mised offer of assistance, I should proceed to London on the following day, and call at nine o'clock in the evening at a certain house in Por- chester Terrace, Bayswater, but for what purpose was not stated.

‘If you love me, Philip, you will not hesitate to serve me in this,’ the letter concluded. ‘I rely on you to redeem your promise to assist a helpless and friendless woman who is in gravest peril. Adieu !’

I pondered over the strange letter long and earnestly ; then, finding that it had been ap- parently delayed for a day in delivery by post, and that I had only half-an-hour in which to catch the morning mail to England by way of Ostend, I scribbled a note to Sir John Drummond explaining my absence, and then set forth upon my journey.

I arrived in London about five o’clock, dined at the club, and later took a hansom up to Bays- water. The house at which I alighted was a large and comfortable-looking one, which bore on its exterior evidences of prosperity in the shape of sun-blinds and a small well-kept garden. A few stunted, smoke-blackened trees overhung the wall which shut the place in from the gaze of passers-by ; and as, in the evening light, I passed up the gravelled walk I fancied I detected a dark

figure disappear from one of the ground-floor windows.

The moment I ascended the steps and rung the bell the ludicrousness of the position flashed upon me: I did not know for whom to ask. Therefore, when the elderly man-servant opened the door I lamely said, ‘I believe I am expected here,’ and handed him a card.

‘Yes, sir,’ answered the smart and