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ter, came to the conclusion that the ring had not been stolen, but had either been dropped in the drawing-room, or replaced in one of the other cases; but since he had searched the room and the remaining cases, his theory so far received no support. I accompanied him to Eaton Square to the residence of Lady Middlesex, Lady Dorothy's mother.

I

While we were engaged in searching the drawing-room, Lestrade uttered a cry of triumph and produced the ring from the lining of the arm-chair. told him he might enjoy the triumph, but that the matter was not quite so simple as he seemed to think. A glance at the ring had shown me not only that the stones were false, but that the false ring had been made in a hurry. To deduce the name of its maker was of course child's play. Lestrade or any pupil of Scotland Yard would have taken for granted it was the same jeweller who had made the real ring. I asked for the bridegroom's present, and in a short time I was interviewing the jeweller who had provided it. As I thought, he had a ring, with imitation stones, made of the dust of real stones, a week ago, for a young lady. She had given no name and had fetched and paid for it herself. deduced the obvious fact that Lady Dorothy had lost the the real ring, her uncle's gift, and, not daring to say so, had an imitation ring made. I returned to the house, where I found Lestrade, who had called to make arrangements for watching the presents during their exhibition.

I

I asked for Lady Dorothy, who at once said to me:

"The ring was found yesterday by Mr. Lestrade."

"I know," I answered, "but which ring?"

She could not repress a slight twitch of the eyelids as she said: "There was only one ring."

I told her of my discovery and of my investigations.

"This is a very odd coincidence, Mr. Holmes," she said. "Some one else must have ordered an imitation. But you shall examine my ring for yourself." Whereupon she fetched the ring, and I saw it was no imitation. She had of course in the meantime found the real ring.

But to my intense annoyance she took it to Lestrade and said to him: "Isn't this the ring you found yesterday, Mr. Lestrade?"

Lestrade examined it and said, “Of course it is absolutely identical in every respect."

"And do you think it is an imitation?" asked this most provoking young lady.

"Certainly not," said Lestrade, and turning to me he added: "Ah! Holmes, that is where theory leads one. At the Yard we go in for facts."

I could say nothing; but as I said good-bye to Lady Dorothy, I congratulated her on having found the real ring. The incident, although it proved the correctness of my reasoning, was vexing as it gave that ignorant blunderer an opportunity of crowing over

me.

January 10. A man called just as Watson and I were having breakfast. He didn't give his name. He asked me if I knew who he was. I said, "Beyond seeing that you are unmarried, that you have travelled up this morning from Sussex, that you have served in the French Army, that you write for reviews, and are especially interested in the battles of the Middle Ages, that you give lectures, that you are a Roman Catholic, and that you have once been to Japan, I don't know who you are."

The man replied that he was unmarried, but that he lived in Manchester, that he had never been to Sussex or Japan, that he had never written a line

in his life, that he had never served in any army save the English Territorial force, that so far from being a Roman Catholic he was a Freemason, and that he was by trade an electrical engineer -I suspected him of lying; and I asked him why his boots were covered with the clayey and chalk-mixture peculiar to Hasham; why his boots were French Army service boots, elastic-sided, and bought probably at Valmy; why the second half of a return ticket was emerging from his ticket-pocket; why he wore the medal of St. Anthony on his watch-chain: why he smoked Caporal cigarettes; why the proofs of an article on the Battle of Crecy were protruding from his breast-pocket, together with a copy of the Tablet; why he carried in his hand a parcel which, owing to the untidy way in which it had been made (an untidiness which, in harmony with the rest of his clothes, showed that he could not be married) revealed the fact that it contained photographic magic lantern slides; and why he was tattooed on the left wrist with a Japanese fish.

"The reason I have come to consult you will explain some of these things," he answered.

"I was staying last night at the Windsor Hotel, and this morning when I woke up I found an entirely different set of clothes from my own. I called the waiter and pointed this out, but neither the waiter nor any of the other servants, after making full inquiries, were able to account for the change. None of the other occupants of the hotel had complained of anything being wrong with their own clothes.

"Two gentlemen had gone out early from the hotel at 7.30. One of them The Eye-Witness.

had left for good, the other was expected to return.

"All the belongings I am wearing, including this parcel, which contains slides, belong to some one else.

"My own things contained nothing valuable, and consisted of clothes and boots very similar to these; my coat was also stuffed with papers. As to the tattoo, it was done at a Turkish bath by a shampooer, who learnt the trick in the Navy."

The case did not present any features of the slightest interest. I merely advised the man to return to the hotel and await the real owner of the clothes, who was evidently the man who had gone out at 7.30.

This is a case of my reasoning being, with one partial exception, perfectly correct. Everything I had deduced would no doubt have fitted the real owner of the clothes.

Watson asked rather irrelevantly why I had not noticed that the clothes were not the man's own clothes.

A stupid question, as the clothes were reach-me-downs which fitted him as well as such clothes ever do fit, and he was probably of the same build as their rightful owner.

January 12. Found a carbuncle of unusual size in the plum-pudding. Suspected the makings of an interesting case. But luckily, before I had stated any hypothesis to Watson-who was greatly excited-Mrs. Turner came in and noticed it and said her naughty nephew Bill had been at his tricks again, and that the red stone had come from a Christmas tree. Of course, I had not examined the stone with my lens.

Maurice Baring.

THE SOCIALIST DANGER.

Our observant contemporary, the Standard, has devoted a most valuable series of articles to the Red Peril, which examine in turn the various aspects of the teaching addressed to our working classes by the vast numbers of propagandists of all sorts enlisted under the banners of the social revolution. It is perhaps curious that a subject of such gravity appears to receive attention so much below its intrinsic significance and menace. There is too much truth in Lord Selborne's testimony that "Unionists and Liberals alike have failed to appreciate the importance of the movement in favor of revolutionary Socialism or the grim earnestness of those who preach that doctrine." Perhaps it may be the case that the Liberals at all events have not so much "failed" to understand what Socialism implies and endangers as deliberately avoided seeing, because recognition might involve most unpleasant consequences for the party vote, or at all events for the voting strength of the coalition of parties which now simulates the external appearance of a British Government. We might as readily imagine Mr. Asquith drawing attention to one of Mr. Redmond's finest flights of anti-English oratory at a dollar-fishing convention in Chicago as quoting or denouncing even the hottest of Mr. Kier Hardie's or Mr. Belfort Bax's expositions of the advantage of doing away with everything. "Après moi le déluge" appears to be the maxim of the Liberal leadership. If the Socialists will only keep voting for Mr. Asquith's plans during Mr. Asquith's tenure of office, the extent of the ravages wrought by the anti-social and antipatriotic propaganda among the working classes of the nation will be sedulously ignored by the Liberal Whips

and their employers. As for the difficulties which may have led Unionists to underestimate in times past the serious character of the sap-and-mine processes by which Socialism has spread its views among the present descendants of those English workmen who used to be famous for their obstinate individualism and sturdy and intractable self-opinion, that is a matter which has certainly escaped needful consideration until a very recent period. Perhaps the proud confidence of the old Conservative Party that Englishmen, whatever their misdemeanors, would be English even in their errors, had a good deal to do with the lack of adequate seriousness with which the subject was often treated or more usually ignored altogether. Fourierism and Saint Simonism and Marxism were so conspicuously and malodorously foreign exhibits, that they were believed to be as unassimilable by the British popular intelligence as the fabled diet of "frogs for beefsteak" was felt to be unacceptable to the British kitchen.

The racial cosmopolitanism, as well as the characteristic broad-mindedness of Lord Beaconsfield, enabled him to realize the approach of levelling doctrines more clearly than most of the statesmen of his generation; and it would be easy to compose a selection from his works which would leave few of the modern aberrations of Socialism and Internationalism without an adequate refutation. But it must be borne in mind that the combat which Unionism has had to wage for a generation against the developments of Mr. Gladstone's alliance with Mr. Parnell has played a preponderating part among the causes which have diverted Conservative Englishmen from the study and detection of evils that were

spreading among the masses of the English population. While elementary principles of Imperial unity occupied the minds and the anxieties of statesmen and constituencies, the very foundations of the social order were being undermined by crafty and unscrupulous opponents. Perhaps we owe to the over-confidence produced in all the mass of malcontents with the existing order of society by the first enthusiasm attending the production of Mr. Lloyd George's "panacea" of compulsory insurance the somewhat premature revelation of the extent to which subversive theories have been accepted by the rank and file of the Liberal Party and its attendant coalition. The attempted dictation addressed to the medical profession to become slaves of the omnipotent State on the State's own miserly terms, the related attempt to convert masters and servants into mutual spies and reciprocal tax-gatherers, the threats to punish protestation by "making it worse next time"; the whole of these violent interferences with the traditional liberty of the subject in England acted as an encouraging appeal to the coal-miner, the railwayman, the universal striker, to proclaim the right of confiscation and the duty of anarchy. In the books and journals of the revolutionaries the Commune of Paris and the Republic of Robespierre are habitually held up as the chosen periods in the history of humanity when the highest ideals of the Catilinas were achieved by the violence dear to the red proletariat. The Commune was an attempt to assassinate France in the darkest moment of the German invasion and the national overthrow. The Republic of Robespierre had its symbol, its crown, and its termination in the guillotine.

The brutal intolerance towards minorities and individuals which has covered the industrial firmament of Lan

cashire with a pall of gloom and desperation is nothing but the spirit of Socialism as it has been stimulated and encouraged by the immunity of union funds from liability, the promotion of intimidation and picketing, and the rest of the bids for the anarchical vote which have marked the return to office of a Liberal Ministry. So long as a single workman has the courage and constancy to work as a free man, disposing freely of his own labor and his own skill, so long are the Socialistic trade unions of Lancashire prepared to stop the business of their employers, to cripple the industry of the population, to hamper the whole country in the competition of the world. Every pretence of "liberty of combination" is flung aside. It is the despotism of combination which defiantly takes its place. Bands of "bosses," the managers and ringleaders of a confederacy of trade combinations, issue an ultimatum to every man and woman who dares to use the human right of labor for daily bread. "Obey or starve." There is the literal and revolting fact. To the employers the ukase is equally plain and equally lawless and brutal. "Cast into the street the free workman, the free workwoman, or we close your mills, your factories, the sources of the population's subsistence and the whole country's prosperity and power." The naked domination of the Socialist principle, the tyranny of the brute majority over free will and free endeavor, is the accepted rule of increasing multitudes of British workpeople, who only the other day would have resented such a domination as the last and worst infringement of human dignity and life itself. There never was anything more outrageously lawless and ludicrous together than the way in which the very idea of a trade-union has been burlesqued and subverted by the application of the Socialist spirit.

Read this definition of trade-unionism as it was still a dozen years ago: "In their essential character trade-unions are voluntary associations of workmen for mutual protection and assistance." Voluntary they must be of obvious necessity, for the freedom to combine implies also the freedom not to combine. Briefly stated, the position is this: Neither employer nor workman has the right to compel another person to do, or abstain from doing, that which he deems best for his own adThe Outlook.

vantage. But the Socialist trade-union of our day makes the basis of its position the claim to prevent every and any person from laboring or doing anything whatsoever, except by the command and permission of the Socialist trade-union. To the worker the union says "Obey or starve." To the employer it says "Obey or cease to manufacture." To the whole nation the Socialist union proclaims: "Obedience or revolution." That is the situation.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS.

There is rollicking fun in the little book of "Vegetable Verselets" written by Margaret G. Hays with pictures in colors by Grace G. Wiederseim. (J. B. Lippincott Co.) Mrs. I. Wrish Potato, the noble Cabbage Heads, the Mushroom Aristocracee, the Spanish Onion Minstrel, Master Radish, pretty Mistress Spinach and the rest of the heroes and heroines of these gay verselets and comical pictures make a kind of up-todate and grown-up Mother Goose.

Miss Jeannette Marks, whose charming stories of Welsh life have enjoyed a wide and deserved popularity, is the author of a little volume entitled "A Girl's Student Days and After," which is full of helpful suggestions for college girls and graduates. It is the fruit of some years of experience as a professor at Mt. Holyoke college, and its sound and sensible counsel is admirably adapted to the needs of all sorts of girls, the ambitious and the careless, the physically strong and the physically weak. Broad in its outlook, hopeful in its spirit, and practical in its suggestions it cannot fail to be a useful mentor to those to whom it is addressed. President Woolley fur

nishes the introduction. The Fleming H. Revell Co.

"Panama," by Albert Edwards, contains almost everything about that interesting country which the average person would care to know. Not only is the history of the building of the Canal given, but the history of Panama itself, from the days of the early explorers until the present time. With scholarly accuracy is combined an easy, conversational, entertaining style, which lures one from chapter to chapter, and creates a vital interest in the place and the great throng of people and of races who have passed through Panama. The author's attitude is always colored, though never disproportionately, with unfailing huinor and sharpness of wit. It is a book of sound information, but is as pleasing in its method as a work of fiction. There are numerous illustrations. Macmillan Company.

Henry Williams's "The United States Navy" (Henry Holt & Co.) is an extremely compact and comprehensive handbook, which supplies all necessary information concerning the organ

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