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GOSSIP FROM HOME., Issue 10448, 19 October 1897
GOSSIP FROM HOME.
[From Odb Special Correspondent.)
London, September 4. AFTER THIRTY-ONE YEARS. A correspondent of the ' Daily News' has furnished a mild sensation by sending an account of the discovery of the remainq of Captain Henry' Arkwright, of the 84th Regiment, who, together with one of his guides and both his porters, perished by the fall of an avalanche on the Grand Plateau whilst attempting the ascentof Mont Blanc on Ootober 13, 1866. The oorpse of the gallant captain—or rather the. major part of it was taken from its icy tomb a fortnight ago. It appears that Alfred Payot and bis son, both well-known guides, were on a Saturday pfternoon planting a flag in the lower part of the Glacier des Bossons, some 9,000 ft below the soene of the accident. They noticed somethings partly buried in the ioe, and a closer investigation disclosed the something co be human remains. As was very threatening and the OOUpse partly uncovered, the Payots decided to toarry it down to a crevasse close to the Pavilion on the left Moraine for shelter, without waiting for the usual formal-visit of the gendarmes to the scene of their ghastly discovery* . All except the head and feet were brought to light; " but," says the correspondent, "details aro too painful to relate. He tells, however, that "the right hand, which had once so firmly grasped the iron-plated pine pole that oven after thirty-one years they were found close together, was marvellously lifelike ; the ics had even preserved In it the red tint of the blood." The question of identity was soon settled, for in the pocket of the grey waistcoat was found a white pocket handkerchief with a plain blue border, strong and sound as when new, and in one corner were the words "H Arkwright, 84th Regiment, 12," as plain as though the marking ink had been applied the day before. In the collar of what had been a white linen shirt was a small gold stud with a brilliant, and in the front was a larger one set with diamonds in blue enamel. In the pocket of the trousers were the remains of what might have been a cigarette case, and on tho previous day a gold watch-chain had been picked u'd in the vicinity, but the watch could not be found. The hazardous Ancien Passage where Captain Arkwright met his death is not used nowadays, but, as a matter of fact, if good guides are omployed, the only risk to mountaineers is that of bid weather. Captain Arkwright's second and guide on the fatal day, Silvain Contel, alone escaped to tell the story of the " awful avalanche " which overwhelmed his companions. He still lives—if a very old paralytic can be deemed to live—at Chamounix.
' THE EMPEROR'S BLACK EYE. We are still waiting for an elucidation of the mystery surrounding the Emperor of Germany's black eye. Kaiser Wilhelm, it will be remembered, sustained an injury to his eye on board his yacht the HohcnzoKern some three weeks ago. It was said to have been caused by the fall of a rope from a mast. Many paragraphs went the round of the Press as to the accident, giving circumstantial details a3 to how it harjpened, aud on the day after a further paragraph the details of a fatal accident which "had befallen Lieutenant Von Hahnke, one of the officers on board the yacht, which was then lying off Odde, in Norwav. The young lieutenant (so the telegraph told us) landed from the yacht to go cycling on the morning of the" "day following that upon which the German Emperor hud received his black eve, and "on an abrupt declivity leading down to the Sandvon Lake lost control of his machine and went straight into the sea," where he was drowned. In to-day's 'Truth' Mr Labouchere says : My paragraph a fortnight ago -respecting the black eye of the German Emperor, ucfortunatelv received during his yachting cruise, and the death next day of Lieutenant Von Hahnke, seems to have excited a good deal of interest, but so far I have had no satisfactory response to my request for information. One correspondent of miui has been m communication with the editor of a wellknown German newspaper. This gentleman whose name I am obviously unable to divulge dpes.not deny, nor does he admit, the truth of certain statements which were put before him but in his letter he pointedly calls attention to the beienty of the German Press laws, and add" that he cannot supply any information likely to cost him sis, months or more." What is the mystery underlying the Emperor's black eye, aud was the , ?, J , ur3 7 ;o vJ e Imperial °P«c in any Wa y responK«hni£s *fc e d^ th u of v yo H n e Lieutenant Von Hahnke? If not, why should the details of the affair, if published, be likely to coat an editor sjs months or more* ?
THE FASCINATION OF THE POLE. Humanity seems just at present to be Buffering f rom'a severe attack of Polar mania. No less than four expeditions in quest of tbe North Pole are on the (apis at this moment, but only one is likely to come to anyihiug—namely, the project brought forward by Mr Walter Wellman, an American journalist, who made some sorb of a namefor'hirr.se!£ as the leader of the Yankee expedition in tbo Polar ice to the North of Spitsbergen three Undismayed by Nanaen's failure (wolch, however, was a grand commercial 3UUCS3B for tha doctor) and the comparative failure of tho magnificantly equipped Jack-son-Harmsworth expedition, Mr Wellman is arranging the details of a further attempt to topmost spot of our little Bphere. His plan isto sail from Bergen, Norway, in June next in a steamer constructed on the lines of the Fram, with nine other venturesome souls, American and Norwegian. At Cape Flora, in latitude SOdeg, where Mr Jackson made his headquarters, Mr Wellman intends to establish a supply station. This will bo left in charge of a couple of men, and the remainder of the party will push on with sledges, dogs, and small boats as far north as possible before the winter sets in. The head of the expedition hopes to be able to winter in the neighborhood of Cape Fligely, the furthest point touched by Payer five-and-twenty years ago. Early in 1599, spring being the best time for travel in the Arctic regions, five or six of them will continuo the journey northward accompanied by sixty dogs and provisioned for over 100 days. From Cape Fligely to the Pole is a distance of about 550 miles; and, as Mr Wellman anticipates being able to accomplish ten miles a day, he is hopeful of reaching the Pole and making the return to Cape Fligely before the summer sunshine causes the°ice to break up and renders travelling both extremely perilous and slow. Wellman, it seems, has the advantage of having consulted with Nansen, and the latter apparently thinks the American's chances of reaching the goal of Arctic exploration are fairly rosy. Mr Wellman's expedition will certainly be much better equipped than was Nansen'e, and his party will have fixed stations to fall back on, which the Norwegian had not.
WILLIAM SYKES, ESQ. The spread of education is making itself felt even in the haunts of Bill Syke3. The burglar of our childhood's fancy was a ruffian of the roughest exterior, who came upon us in the middle of night armed with a dark lantern and from one to half a dozen murderous-looking pistols, which he would not hesitate to use upon stubborn householders. But the days of Bill Sykes are over, apparently, and the era of William Sykes, Esq.,. has arrived when, instead of pistols and life preservers, the burplarwill arm himself with politeness and kindly consideration for those whose domiciles he is forced by circumstance to enter without invitation. At least, a little affair conducted by a syndicate of three a few days ago in the peaceful little village of Caterham points to this conclusion. The syndicate chose for their operations a house called "The Mardens," occupied by a venerable lady of eighty and, her brother, who also boasts an existence of several years beyond the allotted span of the psalmist. About 4 a.m. was the time fixed for the predatory visit. Leaving a pony and cart in a shady lane near by the house, the three gentlemen of the jemmy effected an entrance into the billiard room on the ground floor. They were evidently unacquainted with the premises, and had to apply the centre-bit a second time, which they need not have done had tjiey known the ropes. The three men then entered the ladj '„ bedroom. The chief wearing a crape musk, said : " Do not be alarmed, lady ; we don't mean to hurt you But where are your keys ?" Miss Creigfitou did not Bhow the least alarm, but replied sharply: "If you used your eyes you would see them in front of you on that table." It was light by this time. On the same stable lay. a watoh and chain. It was promptly annexed by the chief, whereupon his hostess exclaimed; »« You
musn't take that watch. It belonged to my.gpoor dead brother, and I-prize it very highly." To her astonishment the appeal was complied with; the chief naively asking: "Did the chain belong to him, too!" On being assured to the contrary, he detached the chain from the watoh and left the latter on the table. A quid.pro quo Was, however, necessary, and Miss Creighton had to disclose the whereabouts of her valuables. These happened to be in some drawers in the room. They were promptly ransacked,, and the oOntonts transferred to the pockets of the burglars. Then they made their way to Mr Creighton's room. He, poor old gentleman, was sound asleep, and on being awakened explained to the chief's demand for information that he was *'rather hardof heariDg." Thiß seemed to tickle the leader,' and he mentioned in a louder tone that he need not be alarmed. Meantime his aged sister happened to see that the gaDg in their search of the drawers had overlooked a very valuable-watch belonging to-her brother, which was lying beneath some paper. She bravely popped out of bed, seiiad the watch and plaoed it under her pillow. Immediately afterwards one of the men returned to her room for a final look round and espied the watch, the claim upon which the leader had promised to waive. He was about to take it up when Miss Creighton reminded him of hia chief's promise. This was quite enough. The trio, after politely wishing both occupants "good morning,'* left the house, first taking the precaution to lock both bedrooms. Miss Creighton managed to attract the attention of a gardener, who was early astir, the servants not having been disturbed, and he went for the police. A little after five three men in a pony cart, preceded" by a man on a bicycle, were seen going through the village in route for London. They had the hardihood to water their horse at the public trough in the main thoroughfare. But they have not been seen since.
GOSSIP FROM HOME., Issue 10448, 19 October 1897
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