Somebody had given him a large hunk of bread, which he had put within the lining of his tunic; it bulged out in front like a paunch. An officer stopped to question him, and while the cross- examination was proceeding a curio-hunting soldier came up behind and cut a button off the tunic. We learnt that the lad was twenty-one years of age, and that he had been called up in December 1914.
Here again we are confronted by the old temptation of curio-hunting, which, the nobility deemed indecent in so "new" a man as Glabrio; the evidence of Cato the only testimony which proved dangerous did not establish the charge that money due to the State had been intercepted by a Roman consul.
Everybody was alive for fragments of the dead missiles; curio-hunting was a craze, and hundreds of people were ever ready to pounce upon the projectiles that wasted their sweetness on the desert air. The tiniest crumb of metal was treasured as a valuable memento. The shells fell and broke as would a tea-pot, a brick, or an egg of the Stone Age.
Melrose had gone off on one of his curio-hunting tours; and the new agent ruled. A whole countryside, or what was left of it in August, settled down to watch. High on the moors of Ross-shire, Lady Tatham too watched. The lodge filled up with guests, and one charming girl succeeded another, by Victoria's careful contrivance.
Unfortunately all that are in the least degree visible have long ago been rifled, and in recent years those pests, the curio-hunting tourists, have done incalculable harm by stimulating the native tomb-robber and dealer.