Puslapio vaizdai


The dead tiger is a splendid and in a few minutes they arrive beast-obviously over ten feet reassured - the forest - guard long, and deeply coated for the with my spare rifle, Phaganu time of year. My lucky shot and Chaitu, a syce bringing had got him in the middle of one of the horses, and a couple the forehead. I let off three of odd men to help. The tiger rounds in quick succession is trussed up and slung on a the preconcerted sign that all pole, and so start for is well, and that no wounded camp. animal is left skulking near to It is 8 o'clock when we attack the passer-by. The fol. arrive there. I have been lowers will be some time in having a fairly strenuous time arriving. So I sit down and since 4 o'clock of the previous rest. A few level rays of sun- morning. But the delight of light are filtering through the the servants as we arrive, leaves. The sāl trees stand added to the prospect of toast motionless, bright in their at- and lots of hot tea, banishes tire. In these forests, even in fatigue. Besides, the skinning the hot weather, there is some of the tiger must be superfreshness at the coming of day, intended-a delicate operation. The wind has not yet risen. It At midday, however, I retire is very quiet. The two dead to my tent, and get three hours' bodies before me are silent, sleep in a temperature apalmost incredible, witnesses of proaching 120°. Then, as it is the fierce life which that peace- the last day, I go out to look ful scene conceals. Then I hear for a chetel—and get him. the men calling. I call back; But that is another story.



A HOLIDAY is measured by hedgerows, with purposeless the amount of change you get timber growing at random on into it, and since mine had to the fences and in the very be of the shortest, it was a pasture-fields—trees left there good piece of advice that sent to stand till some night's storm me to Montreuil-sur-Mer. Forty or the mere decay of time hours; thirty of them across should bring them to the fire. the water, and all but three or That countryside was only a four of that thirty spent in a perfected example of what we quaint, beautiful, character- are used to anywhere along the istic, and little-known corner eastern Irish coast : you must of France. Little known, for cross the Channel to see the I rule out the war. Nothing wholly different scenery which could be less characteristic of means a different cultureitself than a French town in another way of ordering life. British occupation, and the Boulogne gave one time to many thousands of English- lunch pleasantly; but which speaking folk who must have of us in Boulogne can get seen Montreuil while it was away from crude memories ? General Headquarters (from Those quays will be always 1916 on) can, with all respect haunted by a phantom jostle to them, know very little about of tired men in khaki hauling the place as it is—can never their heavy kit to the leavehave felt its atmosphere. What boat, or-less tired but less made my holiday so good, and cheerful—from it : and next 80 long, was a complete and door to where I ate my meal delightful change of atmos- used to be the officers' club. phere. Kent was enchanting Too many memories there, of that Easter Sunday, and to an friends one crossed, coming or Irishman's eyes almost as for- going, and did not see again. eign as France, with the perfect When the train started, spacing of exquisitely cared-for France presented at first the and lime-washed orchards, the spectacle of Cockney vulgarities aligned hop-gardens, the odd in building worse than any attractive oasthouse chimneys. which England perpetrates. Yet neither Kent nor any place The French have a way of in England could have given using ironwork about villas me the quickening strangeness so that it resembles the frilling which I found at Montreuil. in some picture - paper's deEven in Kent one saw the lineation of a cocotte's underwhole country broken up by clothes. Then came Etaples and the abomination of desola- courtyard full of tables, on tion along those sand dunes which guests had left such a with disused munition-makers' profusion of bottles and glasses huts : they cannot all be con- as gave good promise of hosverted into hen-houses, I sup- pitality. I got a room for pose, but one was,-a blessed rather fewer francs than you transformation. It was good, would pay shillings in Engalso, to see at a foundry near land, left my pack, and went Boulogne vast heaps of rusty out upon the ramparts-ansbarbed-wire in rolls, poisonous ious chiefly to find the sea. stuff on its way to become some Not a sign of it. The nearest clean useful piece of metal. salt water is now at Paris

Beyond Etaples we seemed Plage, ten kilometres as the to be traverging ordinary un- crow flies ; and in that sunny dulating country, for only a haze of north-easterly weather quick eye would detect an nothing was clear. But what ancient tideway in the valley filled one's eye was the fortress : of the Canche, up which the complete, and almost modern : line to Arras runs from Etaples to-day no doubt no better than junction; and Montreuil-sur- a shell - trap, but even in Mer came on me as a surprise Crimean times an awkward in the middle of tillage. Also, place to tackle. How did it I had not expected to see a get there? What was it for! fortress. From the station à Even admitting that the Oanche broad flight of steps cut across was once a sea-way, Montreuil a steep zigzag of the main was never a port of landing road; then at the next turning when such works as these were a gateway tunnelled through constructed. Putting General the huge brick wall of rampart, Headquarters there was like and instantly there came the quartering Lord Jellicoe in one shock of delight at seeing an of Nelson's three-deckers, an old, old, little street climbing odd mixture of fitness and unstraight up, with houses whose fitness. But I had to wait lines are all bulged and budged for my answer till next day, by time. That also crossed a and then got it basking in the zigzag, and from the top of it sun on the ramparts, while I the Grande Rue led on through read in a local guide-book what the town, between houses, many I now set down. of them old and all of them When France really began pleasant. Then on the left to be France, and not a mere was a little mall, with trees huddle of disputed princibreaking into green, and be- palities, Montreuil was its northyond it, what I had been

ern outpost. You still enter told to look for the Hotel de from the station from ,

the France. It was not a hotel north through the Porte de at all, however, but an old- Boulogne : but near where the fashioned inn built about a Hôtel de France keeps a mem

ory of its name, you issued for a sense be said to begin with merly southwards through the the invention of artillery, since Porte de France. That was the that put an end to the day of way into France from Pon- petty rulers, each impregnably thieu and the Boulonnais-ensconced in his castle. War always debatable land between became a luxury for great the rulers of France and the monarchs, and nations instead rulers of Flanders, whether of tribes or principalities went they happened to be Bur- at each other. When the Emgundian, Austrian, or Spanish. peror Charles the Fifth, a man It was Vauban himself who of the newer type, wanted to gave Montreuil its final shape, push outwards from Artois and and the mould of his plan re- take in all Picardy, Montreuil mains intact, except where the stood a siege of six weeks Porte de France has been de- valiantly. That was in 1522. molished--a regrettable con- But in 1537 the Imperial troops cession to convenience. You came again, under Egmont, can follow the patrol's track Count de Buren, thirty thouall round the rampart : and sand strong, and having artilthe town has on it the char- lery. In half an hour walls acter which nothing can give built only to stand batteringbut this age-long seclusion be- ram or catapult had a breach hind a material barrier. In in them. The garrison got the middle ages town and leave to march out with the country did not merge into one honours of war, but when another gradually, as now: they had departed the place they were sharply separated : was sacked, burnt, and beand Montreuil preserves better came a desert. Francis the than any place in Great Britain First had to bribe people to the character of a mediæval reinhabit it, behind new fortitown. Others in France re- fications, on which four thousemble it. But where, as in sand men were at work when Vézelay, the mediæval type war broke out afresh in 1542. remains complete, all is dark, Two years later de Buren was narrow, and intricate. In Mon- before it again with forty thoutreuil I met a spacious dis- sand men, but the new works position of streets and houses -very largely those which you which added to its charm in now seo-had been designed the spring sun. Three thousand to meet gunnery, and for three people have large elbow-room months the place prolonged its there. Once it boasted of resistance till peace relieved it. thirty thousand, but in those From that day on Montreuil days it was a town built of was never directly engaged in wood. That older Montreuil war: though in 1689 Vauban, came to a savage ending, when making a chain of works to it ceased to be mediæval. defend the territory which

Modern civilisation may in France had acquired in Flan

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ders from the Spaniards, thought architecture might easily be it worth while to bring this worse employed. Her name fortress up-to-date as a part has something practical and of his second defence line. housewifely about it : I picture What remains of it to-day is her in the image of a certain used much as are the hulks solid capable Mother Superior, for naval cadets. Where a who, in addition to running a bridge crosses the wide deep hospital, an orphanage, a school, fosse to what was the citadel, a and other subsidiary appliances, notice forbids entrance. I im- used to provide officers during agined a magazine : but here the war with excellent meals was only the abode for officials and hot baths, just away from of the Ecole Militaire-a big the line. She indeed was Belbarrack devoted to educating gian, by a matter of two enfants de troupe, children born miles : but Belgian or Picard, while their parents are on the what is the racial difference ! strength of some regiment, and That Low Country type has trained with a view to becom- contributed a good deal to the ing professional non-commis- amalgam which we call France. sioned officers.

Montreuil is not quintessential Montreuil has also its civil French, like Tours or Angers, Ecole Supérieure, and is a a but French it is—a French considerable centre for educa- town, full of the life of little tion. A good many buildings rentiers, retired officers, huisthat were ecclesiastical have siers, school teachers, and other been annexed for the pur- simple people, terribly anxious pose. Others were destroyed about the dwindling franc: in the Revolution, for the looking out from its walls place went Red, and wanted across vast undulating stretches to get rid of its name. Mon- of tillage, where nothing but a treuil, or Monstrueil, is Monas- road here and there breaks the teriolum, and recalls that a leisurely curves of ground, on little monastery, founded by which heavy lumbering horses Salvius, or St Saulve, in the drag plough and harrow for seventh century, was the first slow-moving phlegmatic Picard settlement on

this hillock;

hillock; farmers. The day to know whereas in 1793 they desired Montreuil would be a Saturday, to show their approval of the when it is the market-place for Montagnards by becoming Mon- that rich district. tagne-sur-Mer. However, Saint But merely to see it, EasterSaulve won, and his church still time was good

was good enough for dominates the town. But St me. Sun streamed down upon Austreberthe's chapel is now a the ramparts, and the townsclub or common - room for people were out there taking secondary teachers. I hope their pleasure : black - robed the lady feels that this scroll- women, somehow very mediatopped piece of squat Picard val and appropriate ; wise de

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