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The French refugees of last March, the old men, white-haired and grey-bearded, the women and children who fled from the menace of the invading Gorilla are coming back to the places they knew and loved. Every road, shell-riven and battered by the hurricane of war, knows their steps, the timid steps of youth and the faltering steps of old age. They are coming back, the pioneers who are willing to set the foundations of a happier France. Already many are at work, mending roofs of shattered homesteads, repairing the damage for which the Gorilla was responsible, turning the waste into a garden and the village street into some semblance of its ancient order. For many of their homes are no more, but the land which they tilled a short time ago is waiting for them, and the corn which was planted last spring has grown up into gold, and is now ready for the scythe of the harvester. Grandpere, who lived all his life in the village, but who had to leave it for a spell when the Boche was in occupation, is back again and out in the field with his curved scythe and his whetstone, mowing. A woman follows him, lifting the fallen corn from the stubble, binding it in sheaves, and placing these in a row behind her on the field. And she works hard, for bread is needed for herself and her children, for the boys and girls who are playing at the corner of the field indifferent to everything in the world except their games. And thus amidst the ruin of war, on the ripe cornfield where the innocent children frolic, the returned refugees are busy laying the foundation of the France of the future.
England’s richest woman
Miss Emily Charlotte Talbot, of Margam Park, Port Talbot, who died at her London residence, 3 Cavendish square, aged 78, was described by the Evening News as the richest woman in England. She was the eldest daughter and co-heir of the late Mr Christopher R. Mansel Talbot, who sat in Parliament as one of the old Liberals for Glamorganshire for an unbroken period of 60 years, and was the Father of the House of Commons. Her nephew, Mr A. M. Talbot Fletcher, will, it is understood, now inherit the estates. Mr Talbot’s fortune was estimated at between £5 million and £8 million and Miss Talbot became the owner of real estate worth £1.5 million and the beneficiary from trust funds of several millions. The Margam Estate extends to 31,500 acres, and besides this Miss Talbot owned 13,600 acres in the Gower Peninsula, Swansea, with another seat, Penrice Castle. The property includes the whole of the Rhondda Valley, and there are immensely valuable colliery properties. A few years ago it was stated that she had lost £90,000 by keeping a colliery going in order to provide work for miners.
White kiwi killed
Something in the nature of a rarity — a white kiwi — has (says the Stratford Post) been discovered at Tahora. The bird was run down and killed by dogs at the rear of Mr J. Robson’s mill. At first it was thought to be a fowl, but investigation proved it to be a kiwi. The skin was removed and shown to several Maoris in Hawera, and all stated that it was the first white kiwi they had seen. The specimen will be forwarded to Professor Drummond, Wellington. The Hawera Natives were very enthusiastic over the find, and offered £10 for the skin, which was declined. — ODT, 20.01.1919
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