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The Yarkand Manner
SIR LULWORTH QUAYNE was making a leisurely progress through the Zoological
Society's Gardens in company with his nephew, recently returned from Mexico. The
latter was interested in comparing and contrasting allied types of animals occurring in the
North American and Old World fauna.
"One of the most remarkable things in the wanderings of species," he observed, "is the
sudden impulse to trek and migrate that breaks out now and again, for no apparent
reason, in communities of hitherto stay-at-home animals."
"In human affairs the same phenomenon is occasionally noticeable," said Sir Lulworth;
"perhaps the most striking instance of it occurred in this country while you were away in
the wilds of Mexico. I mean the wander fever which suddenly displayed itself in the
managing and editorial staffs of certain London newspapers. It began with the stampede
of the entire staff of one of our most brilliant and enterprising weeklies to the banks of
the Seine and the heights of Montmartre. The migration was a brief one, but it heralded
an era of restlessness in the Press world which lent quite a new meaning to the phrase
'newspaper circulation.' Other editorial staffs were not slow to imitate the example that
had been set them. Paris soon dropped out of fashion as being too near home; Nurnberg,
Seville, and Salonica became more favoured as planting- out grounds for the personnel of
not only weekly but daily papers as well. The localities were perhaps not always well
chosen; the fact of a leading organ of Evangelical thought being edited for two successive
fortnights from Trouville and Monte Carlo was generally admitted to have been a
mistake. And even when enterprising and adventurous editors took themselves and their
staffs further afield there were some unavoidable clashings. For instance, the
Khartoum for the same week. It was, perhaps, a desire to out-distance all possible
competition that influenced the management of the DAILY INTELLIGENCER, one of
the most solid and respected organs of Liberal opinion, in its decision to transfer its
offices for three or four weeks from Fleet Street to Eastern Turkestan, allowing, of
course, a necessary margin of time for the journey there and back. This was, in many
respects, the most remarkable of all the Press stampedes that were experienced at this
time. There was no make-believe about the undertaking; proprietor, manager, editor, sub-
editors, leader-writers, principal reporters, and so forth, all took part in what was
popularly alluded to as the DRANG NACH OSTEN; an intelligent and efficient office-
boy was all that was left in the deserted hive of editorial industry."
"That was doing things rather thoroughly, wasn't it?" said the nephew.
"Well, you see," said Sir Lulworth, "the migration idea was falling somewhat into
disrepute from the half- hearted manner in which it was occasionally carried out. You
were not impressed by the information that such and such a paper was being edited and
brought out at Lisbon or Innsbruck if you chanced to see the principal leader- writer or