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The dominant, horrific figure stood away from the mantelpiece and took up his sword.

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The last iron truck of the day started off on the Decauville Track that snaked down the mountainside to the crusher and separator. A whistle blew and the workers shouldered their clumsy picks and moved lazily down towards the high-wired group of Quonset huts that was their compound. Tomorrow, on the other side of the mountain, the monthly ship would be coming in to the deep-water quay they had helped to build ten years before, but which, since then, they had never seen. That would mean fresh stores and fresh goods and cheap jewellery at the canteen. It would be a holiday. There would be rum and dancing and a few fights. Life was good.

That nought but Modesty is in Excess;* * * “That’s the benefit of being a naked, sweating animal,” David Carrier explains. “As long as wekeep sweating, we can keep going.” A team of Harvard scientists had once verified exactly thatpoint by sticking a rectal thermometer in a cheetah and getting it to run on a treadmill. Once itstemperature hit 105 degrees, the cheetah shut down and refused to run. That’s the natural responsefor all running mammals; when they build up more heat in their bodies than they can puff out theirmouths, they have to stop or die. There were five ayahs on board, and she soon struck up an acquaintance with one of them,鈥攁 Christian ayah,鈥攔eading aloud her Hindustani Bible, and delighted to find that the ayah could understand what was read. 鈥業 am bribing one to teach me,鈥 she wrote. 鈥楾he ayahs ought to be glad to help; for they, at least two or three of them, seem to regard me as a kind of supplementary nurse, and if they want to go to work make over the baby to me.鈥 In the same letter she states: 鈥榃e have a strong Missionary force on board; two Scotchmen, the wife of one of them, and six Missionary ladies. We have not quarrelled at all; but then, most of us have been sea-sick!鈥欌€攁gain a little glimmer of fun. 鈥榃e lady Missionaries get on very well together,鈥 she says in another letter. 鈥榁ery gentle and modest are the Misses A., 鈥測our pretty girls,鈥 as Lady I. called them to-day.鈥

‘At the invitation of another lady I went on deck, where I was able better to watch the strange scene before me. Out of the ice-tract, indeed! Why, we were in the very midst of thousands upon thousands of masses of floating ice, through which the vessel very, very cautiously as it were felt her way, sometimes stopping altogether. Strange to say, even when I heard the keel grate over ice, it was very, very slowly that I received the impression of danger. The night was exquisitely lovely, the stars shining gloriously. I could hardly have supposed that any star would have cast such a reflection on the smoothest water as Mars threw on the still ocean.

The movement in the black cave was now definite. A black arm with a black glove had reached out and under the stock.

Thus ended the Second Russian Empire, the evil offspring of man’s first great though ill-starred attempt to organize society for the well-being of the many rather than for the power of the few. Some of the former Russian provinces hastily made peace, others declared their independence of both empires, only to be speedily crushed. America alone resisted for two years, but was finally overcome and treated to a very special punishment for its contumacy. The whole child population was transported to various parts of the world as slaves.