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insane tempest within. He smiled slightly. That was all.

As for Canon Walke, his feelings were varied. His face flickered with them in rapid alternation. He was quite conscious of the lack of life, fire, and conviction in what he himself had said. His own windy commonplaces shrank to nothingness and failure before the witnessing of the undistinguished priest. Before the two hostile intellects, the man and the woman, he had left the burden of the fight to this nobody. He was quick and jealous to mark the strength of Wilson's words, and his own failure had put him in an entirely false position. And yet a shrewd blow had been struck at Schaube and Mrs. Armstrong; there was consolation in the fact.

Father Wilson, when he had finished what he had to say, rose from his seat without more ado.

“ I will say a grace,” he said. He made the sign of the Cross, muttered a short Latin thanksgiving, and strode from the room.

A fanatic,” said Mrs. Armstrong. Neither Walke nor Schuabe replied.

It was getting late in the morning. The sun had risen higher and flooded the level wastes of snow without. The little party finished their meal in silence.

In the chapel Wilson knelt on the chancel step, praying that help and light might come to men and the imminent darkness pass away.

13

CHAPTER V

DEUS, DEUS MEUS, QUARE DERELIQUISTI!

THE

HE Prime Minister was a man deeply interested

in all philosophic thought, and especially in the Christian system of philosophy. He had written two most important books, weighty, brilliant contributions to the mass of thought by which his school laboured to make theism increasingly credible to the modern mind.

He had proved that science, ethics, and theology are all open to the same kind of metaphysical difficulties, and that, therefore, to reject theology in the name of science was impossible. It was fortunate that, at this juncture, such a one should be at the head of affairs.

The vast network of cables and telegraph wires, those tentacles which may be called the nerves of the world's brain, throbbed unceasingly after the tremendous announcement for which Ommaney had undertaken the responsibility.

A battalion of special correspondents from every European and American paper of importance followed hot upon Harold Spence's trail.

Nevertheless, for the first two or three days the world at large hardly realised the importance of what was happening. Nothing was certain. The whole statement depended upon two men. To the mass of people these two names-Hands, Schmöulder-conveyed no meaning whatever. Nine tenths of the population of England knew nothing of the work of archæologists in Palestine, had never even heard of the Exploring Society.

Had Consols fallen a point or two the effect would have been far greater, the fact would have made more stir.

The great dailies of equal standing with the Wire were making every private preparation for a supply of news and a consensus of opinion. But all this activity went on behind the scenes, and nothing of it was yet allowed to transpire generally. The article in the Wire was quoted from, but opinions upon it were printed with the greatest caution and reserve. Indeed, the general apathy of England at large was a source of extreme wonder to the unthinking, fearing minority.

The mass of the clergy, at any rate in public, affected to ignore, or did really honestly dismiss as impossible, the whole question. A few words of earnest exhortation and indignant denial were all they permitted themselves.

But beneath the surface, and among the real influencers of public opinion, great anxiety was felt.

The Patriarch of the Greek Church called a council of Bishops, and Dr. Procopides, an ephor of antiquities from Athens, was sent immediately to Palestine.

The following paragraph, in substance, appeared in the leader page of all the English papers. It was disseminated by the Press Association:

We are in a position to state, that in order to allay the feeling of uneasiness produced among the churches by a recent article in the Daily Wire making extraordinary statements as to a discovery in Jerusalem, a conference was held yesterday at Lambeth. Their Graces the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of Manchester, Gloucester, Durham, Lincoln, and London were present. Other well-known Churchmen consisted of Sir Michael Manichoe, Lord Robert Verulam, Canons Baragwaneth and Walke, the Dean of Christchurch and the Master of Trinity Hall. The Prime Minister was not present, but was represented by Mr. Alured King. Mr. Ommaney, the editor of the Daily Wire, was included in the conference. Although, from the names mentioned, it will be seen that the conference is considered to be of great importance, nothing has been allowed to transpire as to the result of its deliberations."

This paragraph appeared on the morning of the third day after the initial article. It began to attract great attention throughout the United Kingdom during the early part of the day.

The Westminster Gazette in its third edition then pub- . lished a further statement. The public learned:

“ Professor Clermont-Ganneau, the Professor of Bibli. cal Antiquities at the French University of La Sorbonne, arrived in London yesterday night. He drove straight to the house of Sir Robert Llwellyn, the famous archæologist. Early this morning both gentlemen drove to Downing Street, where they remained closeted with the Prime Minister for an hour. While there, they were joined by Dr. Grier, the learned Bishop of Leeds, and Dr. Carr, the Warden of Wyckham College, Oxford. The four gentlemen were later driven to Charing Cross Station in a brougham. On the platform from which the Paris train starts they were met by Major-General Adams, the Vice-President of the Palestine Exploring Society, and Sir Michael Manichoe. The distinguished party entered a reserved saloon and left, en route for Paris, at mid-day. We are able to state on undeniable authority that the party, which represents all that is most authoritative in historical research and archæological

knowledge, are a committee from a recent conference at Lambeth, and are proceeding to Jerusalem to investigate the alleged discovery in the Holy City.'

This was the prominent announcement, made on the afternoon of the third day, which began to quicken interest and excite the minds of people in England.

All that evening countless families discussed the information with curious unrest and foreboding. In all the towns the churches were exceptionally full at evensong. One fact was more discussed than any other, more particularly in London.

Although the six men who had left England so suddenly, almost furtively, were obviously on a mission of the highest importance, no reputable paper published more than the bare fact of their departure. Comment upon it, more detailed explanation of it, was sought in the columns of all the journals in vain.

The next morning was big with shadow and gloom. A shudder passed over the country. Certain telegrams appeared in all the papers which struck a chill of fear to the very heart of all who read them, Christian and indifferent alike.

It was as though a great and ominous bell had begun to toll over the world.

The faces of people in the streets were universally pale.

It was remarked that the noises of London, the traffic, the movement of crowds engaged upon their daily business, lost half their noise.

The shops were full of Christmas gifts, but no one seemed to enter them.

In addition to the telegrams a single leading article appeared in the Daily Wire, which burnt itself, as the ex. tremest cold burns, into the brains of Englishmen.

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