hamberss Journal



HE is overdue, and ninety per cent. has been paid on her’ The anxiety and suspense which such an announcement brings to those having friends on board the over- due vessel must be left to the im-

agination of the reader, It is the financial side

only of this subject which the present article deals with.

Not within the present generation have so many vessels been announced as overdue as during the opening months of the present year. Commanders of ocean-going steamers and ex- perienced travellers unite in testifying that the February gales in the Atlantic were something quite unprecedented. Ten or more steamers trad- ing between this country and America have never been heard of since sailing, and are now missing vessels, having in all probability been worsted in an unequal contest with the elements; while others, more fortunate, arrived in a bruised and battered condition just when the last ray of hope was disappearing from the hearts of those interested in them.

The two steamers which perhaps excited the greatest interest were the Cunard steamer Pavonia and the Hamburg liner Bulgaria, Both are mag- nificent vessels and regular Atlantic traders, and both were seriously overdue. Indeed, as much as ninety-two pounds per cent. was reported as paid on the Hamburg steamer within an hour of the news reaching Lloyd’s that she had arrived at the Azores ; but the rate on the Cunarder never exceeded twenty-five guineas, The splendid record which the Cunard Company has for safety no doubt accounts for the reluctance which under- writers on their steamer showed in paying the very high rates usually asked to relieve them of their risks on vessels which are seriously overdue.

Gales in the Atlantic do not, however, exhaust themselves there; they create financial gales at Lloyd’s. Not for a long period back has there been such excitement in that venerable institu- tion as was recently seen. There is a room in

No. 87.—Vou. IIL.

RE Pe OS Sa ye


[Adi Rights Reserved. |



Lloyd’s known to the initiated as the ‘Chamber of Horrors,’ in which are posted up from time to time the names of vessels overdue, missing, and wrecked. Of late this list has been terribly heavy. Underwriters eagerly scan the lists as they are posted up, and then as gagerly consult their risk- book to see whether or not they are interested in the casualty announced ; and their faces gene- rally tell the tale whether they have been fortu- nate or the reverse.

Owing to the exceptionally large number of vessels announced as overdue lately, quite an unusual amount of reinsurance has been effected in Lloyd’s. The ‘Doctors’ have been kept very busy. The Doctor’ is the familiar name given to a broker whose special business it is to insure over- due vessels, When an underwriter who has taken a risk on a vessel in the ordinary course sees her noted as overdue, he has only two courses open to him. He may either stick to his risk and trust to the vessel arriving, or he may get rid of his risk by reinsurance. In the latter case he calls in the ‘Doctor’ and tells him to reinsure his line at a certain limit—say forty, sixty, eighty, or even ninety per cent., according as the vessel is looked on as only moderately or seriously overdue. Underwriters can usually be found in Lloyd’s who will accept any kind of risk, provided they are paid what they consider an adequate premium ; and so the ‘Doctor’ soon comes back to his principal, and tells him he has been able to get the risk transferred to another underwriter. The original underwriter then awaits the issue of events. In due time the vessel reinsured as an ‘overdue’ either is lost or arrives. In the former case the original underwriter pays the loss to his assured, and then claims the amount from the underwriter with whom he reinsured his risk. Should the vessel arrive, however, he has lost the amount he paid to reinsure, which amount is a clear gain to the underwriter with whom he reinsured.

The arrival of an overdue vessel is notified at Lloyd’s by the ringing of the ‘Big Bell’ This JULY 29, 1899.



bell has a remarkable history. It belonged to H.M.S. Lutine, which was wrecked just one hun- dred years ago (in 1799). She sailed from Yar- mouth with a large amount of specie on board, and was wrecked on the very night of her sailing, near the Zuider Zee. The specie was insured at Lloyd’s, and the underwriters paid the loss, hoping to recoup themselves to some extent by the recovery of the specie from the wreck. This country was then at war with Holland, and the Dutch Govern- ment claimed the whole as a prize. Subsequently, however, the King of the Netherlands agreed to give up to Lloyd’s the portion of the salvage claimed by him, which was one-half.

Some fifty years ago specie to the value of fifty thousand pounds was recovered from the Lutine, and further amounts at later dates. The ship’s bell was part of the salvage, and now occupies a prominent position in the underwriters’ room at Lloyd’s, and is used, as already stated, to announce the arrival of overdue vessels. The ringing of the

‘Big Bell, as it is called, is a moment of keen excitement in Lloyd’s, All ears are open, and all eyes turned to the end of the room, where in 4 kind of pulpit stands the crier, resplendent in red gown, who, having rung the bell, announces in stentorian tones the arrival of the ‘overdue, Meantime, the underwriters who have stuck to their lines and not reinsured are very happy; others who had given her up for lost and paid perhaps ninety per cent. to reinsure their amounts may be excused if they are not so jubilant. The ringing of the ‘Big Bell’ has brought home to them the fact that they have paid what is within a few pounds of a total loss on a vessel which has arrived. In a few moments the arrival of the ‘overdue’ is flashed all over the country, and it is pleasant to come away from Lloyd’s, where, as we have seen, the intelligence produces some- what mixed feelings, and to picture to ourselves the many homes in which the news will be received as ‘tidings of great joy.’



aS, AE. é people the Young Chevalier: there could be no doubt that the man before me was that unfortunate prince.

In truth, I had none. Had confirmation been needed, I had it in the scene in which he had taken part at the Dower-house, and which forbade the idea that I might be misled by a chance resemblance. So great was the shock of recogni- tion, however, that a minute or two had passed before I ventured another look. Now he was talking earnestly to my cousin, who listened with downcast eyes; le was well in my view as he leaned against the rail of the little bridge; and you may believe that I missed no detail of his appearance. But, above all, ’twas his face that held me.

More than once, in London and in Yorkshire, I had sat at the tables of Tory relations who had been ‘out’ in the ’45; and there, when the wine had routed discretion, I had seen the tears welling to the eyes of these hardened old rebels as they described the gallant youth who had led them in fight, and marched joyously at their head through the privations of a winter campaign, And from all I had heard the one testimony : that Charles Edward was the most handsome and gracious prince of his kingly line.

Now I looked upon the same countenance with my own eyes, Yet ’twas not quite the same. The features were there, but the setting was

fuller and less delicate ; and misfortune and care —perhaps other causes not so reputable—had left their marks in deeply-drawn lines. Nevertheless, the face had still a certain stamp of nobility— dignity it could never lack—and one could imagine the charm that had once inspired an army with a love and devotion which flouted death itself. I was a Whig, and a servant of King George, and for a minute even I could not behold him unmoved.

But only for a minute, Then, as the signifi- cance of his presence oi English ground forced itself upon me, my brain became clear. I had suspected a conspiracy: had I stumbled upon the kernel of it?

In any event, my present duty seemed plain. I did not move. Screened by the friendly holly- bush, I could watch the scene without much fear of discovery. I offer no excuse for so doing, and, indeed, I learnt nothing more. The pair conversed together for some ten minutes, the talking, for the most part, being apparently on the side of the Chevalier. And, in the meantime, my ideas were taking shape.

I must mention one fleeting thought (not alto- gether to my credit, it might be) that had already crossed my mind. ‘Trying to guess 4 reason for the meeting of the two, I had a sus picion that brought the blood to my face. The Prince’s character was a byword; he was, if all accounts were true, a master in the arts of intrigue; and he had an ancestral example how best to relieve the tedium of an enforced con- cealment. But the suspicion rose merely to be

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dismissed. My momentary doubt did not concern Kitty. It concerned Charles alone ; and, from my observation, his demeanour was of the most respectful,

The interview, whatever its object, was not prolonged beyond the ten minutes. Charles held my cousin’s hand for an instant, bowed deeply, and so turned away; and she, on her part, remained standing on the bridge until he had climbed the opposite bank, At the top he doffed his hat again, and then disappeared among the trees in the direction of the Hall.

Kitty had begun to retrace her steps, and was coming slowly towards me before I was reminded of my own position. Hitherto I had not con- sidered what my course should be. Now, think- ing swiftly, I perceived that there was but one. The new situation must be faced sooner or later. Better, then, that it should be faced at once.

Yet ’twas with no light heart that I stepped forth from my hiding-place. She was within a few yards; and I cannot describe—still less can I ever forget—the look that leaped into her eyes as they fell upon me.

‘You—here ?’ she cried.

‘Yes,’ I returned simply. I could say no more ; it never struck me to explain or to justify my presence. Somehow it seemed needless.

‘Oh!’ For a moment she stood silent, and then: ‘You have seen—everything ?’

And again I assented,

‘You recognised the—you recognised him ?’

The question scarce required an answer, for she must have gathered from my countenance that I had done so—and more. Shuddering a little, as if she were cold, she walked on.

‘We cannot talk here,’ said she. back to the house.’

Not a word was spoken betwixt us as we crossed the garden; but, stealing a glance, I saw that her brows were drawn in thought, and her little mouth set in a manner that reminded me curiously of Sir Charles. My own brain was not idle. Fate had brought me to the cross-roads, and in the next minute IT must choose my path. Perhaps I should not have hesitated. The safety of the State came first; all other considerations must give way to that; and, knowing what I did —who lay hidden at Langbridge Hall, and what that fact meant—I could doubt no longer that a plot more dangerous and matured than I had suspected was in existence. And, knowing that, I still wavered. The struggle was keen for Kitty was beside me—but it was soon over. Before we reached the house I had made up my mind,

She led me into an empty room opposite to that in which I had left Mrs Herbert, and closed the door, Then she came straight to the point.

‘Let us go

‘Well, what are youre going to do?’ she asked


‘There is only one thing, said I in the same tone. ‘I am deeply sorry, cousin, but—I fear I must ask you to direct me to the nearest inn.’

‘The nearest inn! But’

‘I must get a horse to carry me to Bath to- night.’

‘To Bath?’ Her voice grew harder. ‘Then you mean to betray the Prince, Mr Holroyd—and us 2’

‘Not that!’ I cried. ‘I wasn’t even thinking of the Prince—only that some deep scheme is afoot, and I should fail in my duty if I did not give warning. I can never repay my debt to Sir Charles and you all; and you will believe me that nothing’

But here her enforced calmness broke down. ‘Yet you would not scruple to betray us to my Lord Kynaston?’ she interrupted me. ‘Is this your honour, cousin? Oh! I am not speaking of our claims on your gratitude. But your promises to me—surely they are not so distant that you have forgotten them ?’

‘Not so, and you may rest content that I will keep them,’ I hastened to say, with more eagerness than discretion.

‘In the letter—only to break them in the spirit! “Twill be a notable service !’

‘Your father need not appear in this affair at all’——

‘And leave his comrades and the Prince to the tender mercies of—my Lord Kynaston? I am afraid he has already settled that questiom He might prefer even the worst to the protection of his good cousin—under these circumstances,’ Then her tone changed again. ‘But must you go?’ she asked, pleading with her eyes. ‘After all, we have treated you not ill. Think, cousin! It means the undoing of brave men— perhaps their capture and death Is there no other way ?”

‘Would to Heaven there were!’ I cried, with all my heart; for truly her scorn was easier to bear than this. But I could see no other way for me.

‘Then you will go?’

‘I am the king’s servant; and ’twould be the blackest treason to do otherwise—to hide what I have learnt to-day.’

‘So there is no more to be said?’ she asked, turning hopelessly away. ‘I am only a weak girl, and cannot keep you here against your will. For the rest—well, it may be you are in the right And you have to remember your own advance- ment.

But this was more than I could stand. ‘As God is my judge, I have not thought of myself for a moment!’ I burst out. ‘You may think hardly of me, cousin Kitty —you cannot think that I would betray my friends to benefit myself. It is no question of persons. You would do much for your cause?’




‘I would willingly die for it, said she softly.

‘There is no sacrifice you wouldn’t make for it” I continued. ‘Well, my cause is not less dear to me, and how can I desert it when a great danger may threaten it—a danger known to me alone? ’Tis bitter hard for both of us—for me, perhaps you cannot understand how hard. But I dare not stand aside. In honour I must go on,’

Kitty’s eyes dropped as I proceeded, and I perceived that my appeal was not in vain.

‘Forgive me, cousin George,’ she said. ‘I should not have spoken in that way; but it was all so difficult ; and—oh !’ she cried, her voice breaking, ‘there is nobody to tell me if I am doing right. If only my father were here!’

Frankly, I could not echo the wish; for the meaning of past events was now clearer to me, and I was beginning to suspect that Sir Charles had laid and baited a pretty trap to detain me at the Dower-house as long as it might suit his purposes. And for other reasons, which you may guess, I was not too anxious to meet him just then.

‘At the least, will you not await his return ?’ Kitty went on. ‘He cannot be long, and surely an hour or two matters little.’

I shook my head, albeit most reluctantly, and she said no more. The consciousness of her failure showed itself in a pathetic droop of her mouth, and I hastily averted my eyes. Never had I been so hateful to myself, and I felt doubly so when I heard a little sob, and, looking again, saw the tears glistening on her lashes. For a moment, as she strove bravely to control her emotion, her sweet face came betwixt me and my duty, and I had a mad impulse to throw honour aside and choose the easier path. Then I took her hands in mine.

‘Kitty, believe that I would give the world to save you this pain!’ I cried.

‘I am very foolish, she said, trying to smile. ‘But I was thinking of my father—and the others. They have no warning, and what will happen’

‘I was just about to speak of that, I said ; and, indeed, I had not intended to depart until I had made some arrangement to ensure the safety of my friends. ‘Whatever befalls, your father must not come to grief through me.’

She withdrew her hands, but the colour stole back to her cheek as I spoke, and there was a new light in her eyes. After a minute she glanced at me shyly.

*T have a plan—if I durst ask the favour,’

‘I am trying to find one,’ said I.

‘I can scarce expect you to grant it,’ she continued quickly—‘to take a letter to Bath for me, and promise to deliver it before you see Lord Kynaston, More, to say or do nothing in this matter until to-morrow. Is it too much, cousin? I cannot tell what my father will

do; but at the worst ‘twill give us time to run away.’

Considering, I convinced myself that the request was not unreasonable—that, at least, not much further mischief could be accomplished in a few hours. By our inclinations agreeing, the result was not long in doubt. So:

‘I will do it, Kitty—for your sake,’ I pro- mised,

She reddened a little. ‘Be sure I can never forget your kindness, cousin,’ she replied, and then ran on: ‘Now you will want a horse, and if you can wait—I have the call of Mr Kennett’s stables, and will send to the Hall for one at once. Twill be quicker—the nearest inn is three miles away. Meanwhile, you have your excuses to make to Mrs Herbert.’

Then she went off; and, the die being cast, I crossed the hall and woke Mrs Herbert to hear my news. My pretext was that I felt much better, and so had prevailed upon Miss Kitty to borrow a horse to take me to Bath. The interval was pleasantly spent in combating the good lady’s endeavours to change my purpose.

At last, after nearly half-an-hour, the summons came. My cousin had been as good as her word : an excellent animal was waiting outside, under charge of a grinning hostler. At the door she handed me the letter. It had this address: ‘To Thomas Kennett, Esquire of Langbridge, at the Pelican Inn, Bath.’

‘I cannot be so certain of finding my father,’ she explained, as if divining my thoughts.

‘You may trust me to see it safe, cousin,’ said I.

Then our farewells were spoken, That she did not offer me her cheek as we parted was doubt- less due to her father’s absence, and I had no fancy to claim it as a cousinly right.

‘And the direction?’ I asked, having mounted.

‘Hold to the left after leaving the avenue, and a quarter of a mile will bring you to the Bath road. Good-bye, cousin! Perhaps we may meet again some time—when the fates are kinder !’

As I rode away I vowed that it should not be my blame if we did not, and at no distant date.

Six o’clock had struck and ’twas long dark when I pulled up in the courtyard of the Pelican Inn at Bath, after an uneventful but most tiring ride. Mr Kennett was not within, but had been there lately ; mine host opined that he might be found at the Pump-room. Now my chief desire was to get the disagreeable part of my task over as speedily as might be ; and so, having delivered the horse to the landlord’s care and attended to my toilet, I betook myself forthwith, under the guidance of a link-boy, to the famous meeting- place of the Bath quality.

There a new difficulty hindered me. The ' ushers, looking askance at my riding-costume,


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were reluctant to admit me; and not until I had exhausted argument, and (as the last resource) mentioned my office, was I permitted to pass those jealously guarded portals. Entering, I was taken in charge by one with the manner of a grand-duke.

‘This way, if you please,’ said he. ‘You would wish my Lord Kynaston to be informed, sir? His lordship has just come, and as you are not in dress, perhaps you would prefer to await him in an anteroom ?’

Doubtless he believed that my business con- cerned the State, and I could do nought but curse him for an officious fool, and follow. But now my good luck was to have a turn; for, crossing the vestibule, the first man on whom I clapped eyes was Kennett himself, walking towards the door with every mark of haste and perturbation in his demeanour. Seeing me, he stopped as if shot.

‘You?’ he cried.

‘I have been looking for you, sir) said I. ‘I am just arrived from Langbridge, and have a message for you.’

‘From Langbridge?’ he repeated, with a glance that (to my mind) was not free of apprehension. ‘] am in some hurry’

‘It need not detain’ you a minute.’

He turned with me at once, but spoke not another word until the usher had shown us into an empty room and there left us alone. For a moment the only sound was the music of a minuet that came faintly to our ears. Then:

‘Well, what the devil is it?’ he demanded.

I had cause to resent this tone, but I saw that, for some reason (which I hoped was the miscarriage of his plans), he was in the vilest temper, and so contented myself with pulling out Kitty’s letter. He seized upon it without ceremony.

‘Ah! poor Kitty Hollingworth,’ cried he, tear- ing it open,

I watched him narrowly as he scanned the contents ; and although they seemed to be of the briefest, he must have read them over five or six times. From his face—and be sure I missed not a shade of expression—the news was far from pleasing. At length, with a gesture of anger, he crushed the paper in his palm.

‘This too!’ he muttered, having apparently


LD is found sporadically over the greater part of all Siberia in larger or smaller quantities. East of the Urals gold is worked along the basins of the Obi, the Yenisei, and the Angara Rivers—all west of

East of that lake the principal

Lake Baikal. gold-workings are at Merchinsk on the Amur


forgotten me. ‘Good God! what will Sir Charles

say to it? If I can only catch him before that confounded’ Then he recollected himself, and his hand

wandered to his sword-hilt as his eyes caught mine,

‘Sir, you have my compliments,’ said he. ‘A nice bit of work, faith! May I ask what you intend now ?’

‘Your pardon, but that is my affair, I returned, bowing.

‘And not hard to guess. You will seek out Kynaston—and, Gad! he is to be congratulated on an apt pupil !’

‘Oh! you have still a few hours,’ said I, nettled by his gibes. ‘Mistress Hollingworth has my word that I shall say nothing of your little plan until to-morrow.’

‘And then?’

‘That you may also guess,’

He took a step towards me, still gripping his hilt. ‘So you really expect us to depend upon

| your word, sir?’ he asked.

I bowed again.

‘After our former meeting—and your declara- tion? And now, after all, you have proved your- self the spy and informer! Sir, I will ask to be excused,’

Plainly he was bent on forcing a quarrel, but had overlooked one small circumstance. Other- wise, to be honest, his task would not have been difficult. Even as it was, I could scarce control myself to reply calmly :

‘There is but one way to answer a lie such as that, sir. Unluckily, as you are aware, my sword-arm is useless for the moment.’

‘I beg you to believe that I had forgotten it, he said, reddening somewhat. ‘Nevertheless, I am ready to repeat the words whenever it may suit your convenience.’

‘And I, not less ready to meet them. while’

Here, warned by a noise at the door, I glanced round, to see, standing just within it, the dapper figure of Lord Kynaston! There was a twinkle in his keen eyes as they travelled from one to other of us, and I wondered how much of our conversation he had heard,

(T'o be continued.)



River, or far away to the north along the beds of the streams that water the territory between the Amur and the Lena Rivers.

The whole industry of gold-getting is care- fully watched and regulated by the Russian Government, and no gold produced can be legally disposed of but to the Government. Ac- cording to the present regulations, the gold

a a ee amet oe SA Ae A NR NN RENEE NORCENT ET



recovered is sent to one of the Government proof- offices, where it is assayed and purchased at a fixed rate, a certain percentage being withheld to cover the cost of manipulation. For Eastern Siberia the chief centre is now Irkutsk; but it is intended shortly to establish proof-offices at more convenient centres for the gold brought from the Maritime Province—probably at Blago- vestchensk and Khabarovsk, which will save the great cost of carriage to such a distant town as Irkutsk.

The gold found in these districts is all alluvial, and, in spite of the most primitive means of washing, returns a very fair yield. The want of enterprise which the Russian shows in most under- takings is very conspicuous here. Though gold has been worked for years within a couple of days’ journey of the port of Nikolaevsk, at the mouth of the Amur River, there are still practi- cally no roads of any kind to the gold-workings ; and the cost of supplies of all kinds—for the country is a desert—is, of course, exceedingly high. The want of communications also prevents the importation of the newest machinery, although the Russian Government recently passed a law to allow gold-working machinery to be admitted duty-free into all parts of the empire. ‘This privilege has given a slight impulse already to the workings on the Obi and Yenisei; but in the Far East matters continue the same. In fact, unless gold can be found very near to the banks of a navigable stream, it does not at present pay to work it in the Maritime Province of Siberia. Some idea of the easy-going system of working and the inadequate supervision over the work- men may be formed from the fact that although nuggets of anything up to half a pound troy- weight are by uo means infrequent finds, yet they never come into the hands of the owners of the workings unless by the merest chance, and in valuing a mine are left out of account even when known to occur.

The workmen available are all either Buriats, a Mongolian race native to that part of Asia; Coreans, who are found in large numbers all over the Russian Far East; or, best of all, Chinese, These labourers are all very cheap in regard to the question of wages; but, for the reason stated above, their maintenance is a large item in the cost of working. Of genuine Russians there appear to be hardly any employed in the gold- mines of the Far East, chiefly, no doubt, because the only ones available are either time-expired convicts or criminals sent to the far-distant parts of Siberia for residence. The lack of energy of the Russian, and above all his affection for frequent high holidays and the accompanying big drink, which is almost obligatory for all Russians below the level of the educated classes—a very small exception, this—make him a very un- profitable hand, apart from the suspicion of his honesty and the fear lest his antecedents may

not have taught him more than is desirable as to gold.

In spite of the most stringent laws on the sub. ject, there is an enormous business done all over Siberia in gold, both dust and, especially, nuggets stolen from the workings. It is a criminal offence to be found in possession of gold; but as so large a proportion of the population of Siberia consists of those sent there for punishment, and the only further punishment they have to fear is deporta- tion to some yet more distant region of the same barren and joyless land, the deterrent is by no means so formidable as a mere perusal of the awful menaces of the statutes at first sight seems to convey. Moreover, the successful dealer in stolen gold rarely fails to escape the penalties of his offences, even when caught red-handed. The Russian official even in Russia proper is seldom altogether unreasonable ; and in Siberia, where the pregnant saying of the dishonest chinovnik, ‘It’s a long way to Peter’—that is, St Petersburg—is especially significant, the official is ‘good-natured’ in the extreme; and a substitute can always be bought to accept unpleasant responsibilities. A great part of this gold is conveyed over thie Chinese frontier—that is, across the river Amur, which is the sole defence of the frontier against smuggling from both sides—and finds a ready sale at ruinous sacrifices in exchange for a certain fiery Chinese vodka. The valuable properties of this spirit, much esteemed by Russian and native alike, are that it gives the consumer the beatitude of intoxication one day, and on the next he can attain the same exalted state by the cheap ex- pedient of drinking water.

The Russian Government has always shown itself very jealous in the matter of admitting the foreigner to undertakings which its own sub- jects have never proved equal to working as they would be worked by any other people in the world. The laws forbid the foreigner to hold real property in all those parts of Russia where the foreigner alone would be likely to covet such a privilege ; and it is only by making exceptions in favour of individuals that such undertakings as the English exploitation of the Baku naphtha- wells are made possible, and then only with many safeguarding clauses, one of which leaves the Government the right to stop everything at a blow without warning or reason given; the matter of compensation is left to be fought out. In the Far East the same strict rules ayainst the foreigner apply ; but some three years ago a special clause was added to the law permitting foreign subjects to petition the Department of Agriculture and State Domains for leave to pur- chase land and work coal, gold, or other minerals. The explanation given officially for this addition to the law is highly instructive; it is that ‘Russians have not shown themselves able in the past to work the mineral wealth of this country,

the means of disposing of- contraband |


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and there is no hope of their doing so in the future’ Permission, therefore, may be obtained by persons not Russian subjects, of whom the Government approves, to own land and work gold, &e. The old law, which even prevented the for- mation of Russian joint-stock companies in which any foreigner held shares, has thus relaxed much of its stringency ; and advantage is already being taken of the opportunities afforded to the non- Russian subject.

In prospecting for gold the regulations ordain that the finder shall at once plant a post on the spot chosen by him, and inform the Government Inspector, who proceeds to the spot and surveys it, marking out the finder’s claim to a limited extent on each side of his post. In the case of the banks of a river, both sides may be secured by one finder; but no other claim is allowed to him within so many versts up or down the river on

either side of his first find. The latter difficulty is got over, of course, by entering the second claim in the name of a friend or even a wife; so important to the Russian is the mere letter of the law. In this manner it is possible for one owner to secure actually, though not nominally, any number of miles of gold-bearing stream, his rights extending back for, in the first instance, some half-mile from the banks; the limit of length for each separate claim being five versts, or over three miles. These are liberal figures ; and, added to the other considerations mentioned above, sufficiently serve to show in whose hands the gold-workings of Eastern Siberia are. There is no such thing in Russia as the ‘gold-diggings fever ;? and even on the money market com- paratively little is done in gold-mining shares, unless it be in the case of companies which have originated outside Russia.


T a time when collisions and other accidents to ships are far more

ex numerous than they should be, the x Ave § invention by Mr J. E. Liardet of a ated helm-recorder—which, actuated by

the rudder, gives a history of the course steered, and the various deviations from that course—will meet with the attention which it de- serves, The record is made by a pencil on a paper band which moves on a drum actuated by clockwork, and it will not only be useful in clearing up dis- puted points in case of collision, but it will also afford evidence of the competency of the man at the wheel. Some steersmen will keep to a straight course far better than others, and this means a saving of time and—in the case of a steamship— of fuel. The new apparatus will enable a captain to pick out the best men for work at the wheel.


The Royal Institution of Great Britain has been celebrating its centenary by a banquet and by com- memoration lectures. This noble institution was founded by Benjamin ‘Thompson, afterwards Count Rumford, its scheme being much after the pattern of that pursued by the present Society of Arts— that is, an endeavour to bring science and art into closer contact. With the advent of Davy as manager in 1802 the original programme was dropped, and the Institution became what it is now, a place where lectures are delivered, and where experimental researches in pure science are conducted. It was in the theatre here that Davy first showed the electric light between points of carbon. It was here, in 1812, that Faraday, a young bookseller’s apprentice, attended some of



Davy’s lectures and afterwards ventured to send his notes of them to the great man. Davy took a fancy to the lad, and offered him the post of assistant in the laboratory. What great things Faraday did for science most people know. It was here that he discovered: that close connection between a magnet and an electric current which was the germ which finally gave us the modern dynamo and all its wonders. Tyndall, who fol- lowed Davy, kept up the reputation of the Insti- tution by his lectures and scientific researches ; and he has been worthily followed by Lord Rayleigh, Professor Dewar, Professor Ray Lan- kester, and others who are now at the helm of this wonderful ship of science in Albemarle Street, London.


Experiments recently conducted by the Balloon Department at Aldershot point to the possibility of a new horror being added to modern warfare. The idea is to drop from balloons heavy charges of high explosives into fortified works beneath them, so as to annihilate the garrison and dislodge the guns at one fearful operation. ‘The suggestion does not seem to be altogether new, for it has been foreshadowed in some of those lurid novels now so much in vogue, in which scientific marvels of the future are dealt with as if they were realities of the present. The accounts of the experiments in question are somewhat vague— perhaps they are purposely so; but what we gather from them is that it is found possible to send up small balloons carrying explosive charges, and that these charges can be released from a distant point by a modified application of Marconi’s wireless telegraphy apparatus, It is stated that the explosives can be so dropped with


wonderful precision, into a space of little over an acre in area, from great distances. We are glad to note that at the Hague conference this method of warfare has been forbidden, at least, for five years.


Although the new process to be described has been called ‘an improvement in lithography,’ we hesitate to adopt such a title, because it does not employ a stone, but a zinc plate. But the method is lithographic in its nature, seeing that the parts of the metal upon which the ink is not required to act are rendered antagonistic by a chemical application just in the same way that water is made to resist the action of the greasy ink in the usual lithographic process. The nature of the chemical used is at present a secret; but it was discovered by one of those fortunate accidents which have so often come to the aid of observant men. The invention is that of Mr G. R. Hild- yard ; it can be carried out on an ordinary fast- running letterpress machine ; and, as colour-work can be effectively dealt with by the new method, it promises to be of great value. Such a process, in which neither water, gum, nor acid is employed, to say nothing of the saving of labour involved in preparing the stones for the press, appears to offer many advantages.


A fare-meter that claims to possess several improvements upon the taxameter, which has already been noticed in our columns, has been recently introduced. The apparatus has two dials which are inside the vehicle, one of which shows the distance run in miles and yards, and the

other the time which has elapsed since the hiring | of the cab, both starting from zero when the | hirer enters the vehicle. In addition, there are

secret registers by which the proprietor can tell the exact distance run by the cab during the day, so as to check the driver's accounts. The connection between the wheel and the mechanism is by a steel wire which receives a ‘to-and-fro’ motion from a cam on the hub, and works a ratchet-wheel in the fare-meter.


We have recently had an opportunity of seeing at the works of Brin’s Oxygen Company, West- minster, the apparatus invented by Dr Hampson for the production of liquid air. The small bulk of the apparatus at once excites surprise, for it occupies only two square feet of floor room, so compact is it in its arrangements. Its principal part is a coiled mass of thin copper tubing, through which the air to be liquefied, after being robbed of its moisture and carbonic acid, circulates under pressure from an attached pump; or the air may be driven direct through the apparatus after having been compressed in a portable