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saved were in most instances converted into firewood. Of course, when all the mischief possible had been done, stringent orders were issued to put a stop to the “ looting;" and when our fellows left off, as in duty bound, the ruffianly Greeks and Maltese set to work on their own account. How well they succeeded may be seen from the fact, that during the whole of the winter pictures have been for sale, evidently taken from the Russian houses. Intrinsically they are of no great value,--the best I have seen was sold for forty-two guineas, being richly encased in silver-gilt, but they are interesting in consequence of their religious (?) character. A saint averages in the market about five shillings; a Bogoroditza about. seven-and-six; while any allegorical picture, with a quantity of figures, will fetch from fifteen to twenty shillings. They are all of a very medieval character, and would gladden the hearts of the pre-Raphaelite brethren, such impossible postures being only known to Byzantine artists. But these Greeks have found other occupations besides picture-dealing; they have recently taken to midnight assassination, and in one week murdered three unhappy wretches. All attempts to discover them have been in vain, and our only remedy is an increased amount of patrolling.
Since the proclamation of peace it is marvellous to notice the number persons who have made their appearance in the streets.
It is currently supposed they have been concealed in cellars during the winter, wisely objecting to expose themselves, after past experiences, to the tender mercies of the Turks. Shops, too, are being gradually opened, and, what is more, are well stocked, though where the articles come from is unknown. But the character of the Russians appears to be concealment. By the word “ shop,” must not be supposed anything like what we see in civilised countries; they are generally gloomy holes, particularly dirty, and guarded by a female Čerberus, with her head bound in a white napkin, and herself 'muffled up in a long black cloak, which appears an heirloom, handed down through many generations. In fact, the only way to describe a Russian logically is as a cloak-wearing being, for they never leave off those garments winter or summer, and are popularly supposed to sleep in them. But the horrible smell in their houses is past bearing; they are filthy in their habits, and do not possess even the commonest articles of civilisation; and this rule is equally true both of great and small. In fact, there is not a pin to choose between Turk and Russian in the matter of dirt, except that when it is a wonderfully fine day the Turk may be seen washing his one shirt; but this I have never witnessed among the Russians.
The Turks, as may be imagined, are in high glee at peace, and the prospect of returning to their beloved Stamboul. Their notions of the future of their country are, to say the least of them, curious. Yesterday I was talking with a Bin-bashi, and he kindly volunteered to tell me the arrangements the padishah had made. He stated that the Turks and English were going to combine to kick the French (whom he remarked parenthetically were " chok fenai”) out of Stamboul : that
, after that, the Turkish army was going to Inghilterra, and the English troops remain in Turkey, and that peace and fraternisation would last between the two nations for ever. How it is the French have rendered themselves so odious to the Turks, I cannot say : but we have derived one advantage from the last war-if advantage it can be called-in making the Turks, as
a body, love us, or our money. The same Bin-bashi told me another curious tale as current among his countrymen; namely, that in London there was a cave of fabulous proportions, brimming full of “liras," and guarded by an old woman of vinegar aspect; and that whenever our sultan wanted a few millions, he applied to the old lady, who accommodated him to any amount. I fancy I have read that this story was also heard in China ; if so, it is curious to trace the tradition. It is utterly impossible, by the way, to convey to the Turks any idea of our being governed by a sovereign lady; if you try to explain it, they evidently mix her up with the aforesaid old woman.
I am afraid my readers will find this article very rambling and desultory, but it has one merit, that of being a faithful transcript of my experiences during a winter at Kertch. I have omitted much which is not of general interest, but I can say that, on the whole, I have been very comfortable in the enemy's country. Of course, there was a good deal of grumbling at first, but it is surprising how soon one gets accustomed to minor privations. Thus I am perfectly contented to eat hare, although gooseberry-jam has to be substituted for currant-jelly; nor do I turn up my nose because I am forced to satisfy myself with a caper-sauce as a succedaneum for lobster with my turbot.
But I should be most ungrateful were I to close my paper without referring to Commissary-General Adams and his staff, and thanking them for the exertions they made on our behalf. Not one single day have we been on short rations, and this was an astonishing feat, when it is borne in mind that for more than three months, off and on, there was no communication seawards, owing to the bay being frozen over. We have confessedly been better fed than the army at Balaklava even at the best period, and we have experienced none of those privations which are generally expected on the organisation of a new force. So far, indeed, were precautions taken, that salt pork was never once served out to the Turks, and when we take into consideration that 16,000 or 17,000 men had to be rationed daily, it showed a wonderful amount of provision on the part of General Adams that all his arrangements were so well carried out.
Nor have we been overtroubled with red-tape, that usual curse of armies : it is true that a few instances have happened, but the dispensers of tape were so heartily laughed at, that they were only too glad to fall into the customs of the rest. An excellent esprit de corps has been maintained, and I may safely say that the Turkish Contingent, both under General Vivian and his successor, General Mitchell, has been rendered a most efficient force. Whether it will yet have an opportunity to display that efficiency, rests with folk at home; I can only wish that a commission might be sent out to inspect us, and I should not have the slightest apprehension about our permanent establishment.
THE PHYSICIAN'S HOME.
I. The cold winter, long and sharp that year, had given place to spring; but the mornings and evenings were dreary, and the east wind, which prevailed, penetrated to the very warmest house in Wexborough-a fashionable town for invalids, noted all over England for its salubrity. That east wind had struck inflammation to the chest of a lovely child, and was quickly carrying it away. It lay on its mother's knee before the fire. She, the mother, was young and very pretty, but delicate and careworn. Her whole heart was wound up in this child, and she would not believe but what it was recovering: “ Don't you
think it looks a little better than it did this morning?” she anxiously asked, raising her eyes to her husband, who had come in, and was standing near.
He made an evasive reply, for he was a physician, and he knew that the child was dying. At that moment there was a knock at the front door, and they heard the maid show the visitor into the consulting-room. Their only servant, for they were very poor, the physician trying to struggle into practice.
“ It's Mr. Fairfax, sir,” she said, entering the room.
Now Mr. Fairfax was Dr. Elliot's landlord, and the physician, for certain reasons, would rather have had a visit from any man, living or dead, than from him. He broke out into an impatient word, and demanded sharply of the girl why she admitted him. She was beginning an explanation, but he would not stop to hear it. “Well
, doctor," began Mr. Fairfas, who owned no end of property in Wexborough, “ I am not come upon my usual visit, and that I told your girl, for I saw she was preparing the old answer. You know that house of mine in the Crescent, which was to be let furnished ?"
“Well, it is let, and the people have arrived to-day. A lady and gentleman and several servants ---plenty of money there seems to be, there. The gentleman is in bad health, and they asked me to recommend them a physician. So I mentioned you.”
“I am very much obliged to you,” said Dr. Elliot, with animation.
“ Yes, but, doctor, we don't do nothing for nothing, in this world. I shall expect part of the fees you'll get to be handed to me—for back rent. Without my
recommendation you would never have got in there, for I need not remind you that there are physicians in Wexborough older established and more popular than you. Is it a bargain ?"
“ It is," answered Dr. Elliot. “Honour bright.”
“ Then put on your hat, and go up at once. They want to see you to-night. Number nine.”
Dr. Elliot soon reached the Crescent. His patient was seated in a room alone. One leg, cased in flannel, was raised on a foot-rest. Glasses and dessert were on the table, though more from custom than for use, just now. Dr. Elliot's card had preceded him, and the servant placed a chair.
“ They have brought me here for change of air,” he said to Dr. Elliot, after speaking of his illness,“ but I have little faith, myself, in any change being beneficial. Such a complication of disorders? And now this attack of gout, worse than any I have ever had. I am a young man for gout, doctor; but it is hereditary in our family."
When Dr. Elliot was writing the prescription, it occurred to him that Mr. Fairfax had not mentioned the name, so he asked it now. Turnberry, he thought was the reply, but his patient was taken with a fit of coughing at the moment. He wrote it “— Turnberry, Esquire.” As he was leaving the house a servant came up, and said his mistress wished to see him.
The lady stood in the drawing-room when Dr. Elliot entered, the rays of the chandelier falling on her. He was struck with amazement at her beauty. A tall, stately woman of eight-and-twenty, her eyes haughty, her complexion brilliant, her features of rare contour.
She began to speak; he began to speak; but neither finished. Both stood, awed to silence, for they had recognised each other, and to neither was the recognition palatable, at that first moment. It was Mrs. Turnbull
, not Turnberry, and Dr. Elliot saw in her the elder sister of his wife, whom he had stolen away from her home and married clandestinely, when the friends on both sides, his and hers, opposed their union. She saw in him the handsome, harem-scarem young medical student, whom she had admired, if not loved, before she knew his heart was given to her sister. That was eight years ago,
and no communication had been held between the families since. Dr. Elliot's friends had helped him, while he finished his studies and obtained his diploma. Since then he had set up at Wexborough, and had been living on, he hardly knew how, waiting for practice: his wife would have said struggling on.
Dr. Elliot held out his hand to Mrs. Turnbull. “May I hope that the lapse of time has softened your feelings towards me?" he said, in a low, persuasive tone—and none knew how to speak more persuasively than he. “ Now that we have been brought together in this strange way, let me implore a reconciliation for Louisa's sake.”
Mrs. Turnbull, after a moment's hesitation, put her hand into his. “For Louisa's sake,” she repeated. “Are you living in Wexborough? Have you a flourishing practice ?”
“Not flourishing. Practice comes slowly to beginners.” “ How is Louisa ? Is she much altered ?."
“ Very much, I think. The loss of her children has had a great effect upon
her." “Ah! you have children then!" An old jealous feeling of bygone days came over Mrs. Turnbull. She had had none.
“ Yes, we have been unfortunate in them all, save the eldest. I have left one at home now, in Louisa's arms, dying."
Mrs. Turnbull was shocked, and a better feeling returned to her. “I should like to see Louisa," she exclaimed. Suppose I go now?”
“ Now!” cried Dr. Elliot, in a dismayed tone, as he thought of the inward signs of poverty in his house, and its disordered appearance just then. “But we are all at sixes and sevens to-night, with this dying child.”
“Oh, I can allow for that: I know what illness is. I have seen
enough of it since I married Squire Turnbull. Wait one moment, and I will go with you." She
had possessed a will of her own as Clara Freer, and she had not parted with it as Mrs. Turnbull. She called for her bonnet and cloak, and then went into the dining-room to her husband. He looked surprised, as well he might, to see her going out, at the dusk of evening, in a strange town.
“ Did you recognise him?" she said, leaning over her husband's chair.
“Recognise him!" repeated Squire Turnbull, not understanding. “ He is a clever man, I think; seems to know what he is about. His name is”—running his eyes over the card on the table—“Elliot. Dr. Elliot."
“ He is metamorphosed into Doctor now. He was Tom Elliot when he ran away with Louisa.”
“By-jingo! it's never that Tom Elliot!" uttered the astonished squire. “Is he Louisa's husband? Well, it did strike me that I had seen his face before."
“He is Louisa's husband, and she is in trouble, he says. A child of theirs is dying-now-to-night-as I understand. I fancy, too, they are in poverty,” she added: "which of course was only to be expected, actiug as they did. But he asked me to let bygones be bygones, for Louisa's sake, and I am going to see her."
"Bygones! of course, let them be bygones,” cried the warm-hearted squire, “why not? I have always blamed your father for holding out about it. It was done, and couldn't be helped ; and the only remedy left was to make the best of it. A dying child! poverty! I say, Clara, don't forget that we have abundance of everything, money included. Let
your hand be open, wife, if it's wanted. Poor Loo !" She went out, leaving the squire to his reflections. They carried him back, naturally, to that old time, eight years ago. He had admired Louisa Freer then, and wished to marry her, but Mr. Tom Elliot forestalled him. He had then, after some delay, transferred his proposals to the elder sister, and they were accepted. To be mistress of Turnbull Park, and two thousand a year, was a position any lawyer's daughter might covet. Clara did, and gained it.
It was a strange meeting, the two sisters coming together, in that unexpected manner, after so many years of estrangement. Oh! the contrast between them! Mrs. Elliot pale, haggard, unhappy, her gown a faded merino, and her hair little cared for: Clara, who had thrown off her mantle, in an evening dress of black velvet, its low body and sleeves trimmed with rich white lace, and gold ornaments decorating her neck, her arms, and her luxuriant hair: more beautiful, more beautiful she was, altogether, than of yore.
There arose now, from a stool at his mother's feet, a lovely boy of seven years old, tall, healthy, and straight as a dart, fixing his large brown eyes on the stranger's face. But he was not dressed very well, and Dr. Elliot, muttering something about “William's bedtime,” took him out of the room.
“What a noble boy!" involuntarily exclaimed Mrs. Turnbull, gazing