Favourite Letters to The Editor

February 18th, 1922

A rhinoceros as a pet

Sir,-I send you a photograph of a young rhinoceros about six months of age which was caught last September on Kajaba Plains in East Africa. He weighs 10 stone, and is very strong for his size. He fought gallantly before being captured, and it took three natives to bring him into camp. Once he was there, however, he became perfectly tame and affectionate and ran loose about the camp. Later he was taken to a coffee plantation, when he continued to be a most engaging pet.
M. Ursula Middleditch

August 23rd, 1919

To outwit flies and midges

Sir,-As the fly season is near, not to mention the midge, I think that fishermen and ‘guns’ may care to know of the ‘Simpsonette’, an effectual net patented by Mrs Simpson. Perhaps I may add that I have no interest whatever in the net, except to disappoint the insects which seek my blood and spoil my temper. The nets can be got at Hardy Brothers’, Pall Mall; Army and Navy Stores; and Burberrys, Haymarket. Large numbers have been used during the war. Knutsford We do not usually publish letters in praise of specific inventions, but so many people are now being tormented as Lord Knutsford describes that we are glad to make this exception.-Ed.]

May 19th, 1928

A reformed character

Sir,-In view of incidents which have led to certain aspersions being made upon my character, I venture to let you know that I have decided to turn over a new leaf. I enclose a photograph of myself in my new situation.

May 19th, 1923

A vanishing trade

Sir,-The crow-scarer is a vanishing character of the countryside. His familiar and joyous shout of ‘Carr whoo’ and the rattle of his ‘clappers’ to frighten the birds off the cornfields is now rarely heard. And change has overtaken him where he still flourishes. Are there not military puttees, relics of the Great War, to be seen on the young gentleman of the trade whose photograph I am sending to you?
A. L. Bonas

October 8th, 1927

Safety first in Peru

Sir,-Beside the main road between Callao and Lima there stands on a pedestal a wrecked Ford car minus its engine, with its front wheels attached to the chassis by chains. The inscription ‘Despacio se va lejos’ means ‘Slowly one goes far’. It has been put there as a warning to passing motor-
ists, since there have been many accidents in the neighbourhood.
C. Uchter Knox

August 17th, 1935

A police station in a tree

Sir,-In the small town of Gif-horn in North Germany there is a tree, eight hundred years old and perfectly hollow inside. The tree serves as a police station, which gives good shade in the summertime. From it the eye of justice watches everything that happens in the neighbourhood. The entrance to the ‘station’ bears the inscription ‘Dienstraum fuer Ortspolizei’ (Office for local police). H. S.

December 12th, 1914

Letters from a subaltern, R.F.A.

A reader of Country Life, to whom our best thanks are due, allows us to publish the accompanying letters from his son now serving at the Front in the Royal Field Artillery.

October 25th

We are in action as I write, and every few minutes we loose off a few rounds just to keep the Deutsches from getting blasé. There is a battle of sorts going on, but even if I were allowed to tell just what is happening I could not, as I have not the remotest idea.

One hears a terrific amount of noise, and sees absolutely nothing except shells and aero-
planes of all shapes and denominations. I had a somewhat closer view than this the other day, when I was sent with a message to the infantry trenches. There was a lot of firing going on, and we had to cross several places that were being quite plentifully sprinkled with shrapnel-in fact, one might call it quite a ‘death ride’. This is an impression of what I must have looked like if my appearance corresponded with my feelings.

On the way back I stalked a sitting pheasant with my revolver, but he saw my hand shaking, and much warfare having trained him to a high degree in taking cover, he slipped away before
I could open fire.

November 8th

I have just returned from another turn in the trenches. I am going to send you half a pair of field-glasses which have done me a great service. I was standing up in a trench-a little over-confident-watching the result of our shooting through the glasses, when ‘Biff!’ and I received a terrific bang in the eye. Of course it knocked me down, and I wondered for a minute or two why on earth I was still alive. I distinctly heard one of the men say: ‘Pore devil. ‘E’s got it in the ‘ead.’ A bullet had hit the lens of the glasses and been deflected by the prism, passing out at the side as you will see.

I found half the glasses one side of the trench and half the other; the right half is still quite serviceable, so behold your son with a beautiful black eye. I only wish I could send you the bullet too, but it went the way of all bullets. I am back with the battery now-rather glad to get rid of a rather nerve-trying job, though it was a great experience and well worth the black eye.

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