Four Correspondents Dine the General, the Governor, and Rudyard Kipling, and Produce THE FRIEND as well.

"Alles zal recht komen" were the words of the late President Brand, true friend of the English, which were graven on the pedestal of his statue before the doors of the Residency. We repeated them in new "tabs" beside the heading of our paper on March 28th, with an amended English translation facing them: "All has come right."

"All shall come right," we said, in our editorial, "was the motto of the late Orange Free State. What a prophet was he who conceived it, and how quickly has come the fruition of his prophecy! All has come right."

We published an appreciative editorial upon Sir Alfred Milner, who had come on the previous day upon a visit to Lord Roberts. It was written by Mr. Landon. Mr. Kipling contributed more "Kopje-Book Maxims," and bore a heavy hand in the production of an amusing column, entitled, "The Military Letter Writer."

This was the way that column came into being. Mr. Landon, Mr. Kipling, and I were in the poet's bedroom when Mr. Landon produced a model letter-writer which he had found somewhere. I take great credit for the phrase "found somewhere"; it might, with any other man than Mr. Landon, be so full and rich in meaning. The book professed to be a sober guide to the young and the ignorant in the paths of epistolary literature; therefore it was bound to be supremely funny. We screamed over what Landon read to us out of it.

Said Mr. Kipling: "Let's write some model military letters," and, as was his wont, he seized a pencil and paper and began to write No. 1, reading as he wrote. He urged us both to contribute, and Mr. Landon tried with much good intent, while I wished to do so, but could not begin to keep pace with the poet. Instant collaboration is almost always impossible, especially where the inspiration comes to one man who is seized by it, and begins to give it expression before his companions can match their minds with his. Therefore Mr. Kipling went on and on, and Mr. Landon took the block and pencil and wrote as Mr. Kipling talked. Thus were produced letter No. 1 and the italicised introduction to No. 2; the rest Mr. Landon arranged and edited out of his book.

The column was pieced out at the end with No. 3 of Mr. Kipling's "Fables for the Staff," which was, therefore, hidden in a bottom corner of the page--a stroke of genius on the part of those whom we anathematised collectively in the singular number as "The Dutch Compositor."

Mr. Buxton had been called away to Capetown just after Mr. Kipling's arrival, and my associates, hag-ridden by the confusion and annoyances consequent upon the lack of a practised head to the little institution, had thrust upon me the honour and hard work of what may be called the managing editor's place. Thenceforth it was my duty to deal with the gnomes in the dust hall, the retiring and reticent cashier in another building, and the inmates of the Home for Boer Compositors, otherwise known as the office of the late unlamented Express. When I saw the genius of the Master thrust to the bottom corner of the paper, or made grotesque by mis-spelling and exhibitions of "pi," I felt that I alone was to blame, and hid myself and vowed to produce better results if I had to set up the type myself.

From an able major of Engineers we received for this number a confident and well-studied reply to Mr. Gwynne's articles on the effects of the war upon military science.


[Illustration: The Dinner of the 28th of March 1900 At Bloemfontein.

1st page of Menu.]


[Illustration: 2nd page of Menu.]


[Illustration: MENU.


Tomato Soup.

Boiled Salmon.
Parsley Sauce.

Fricassee of Chicken.
Braized Ox Tail.

Roast Sirloin of Beef.

Roast Turkey.

French Beans.

Cabinet Pudding.
Blanc Mange.

Anges a Cheral.

Cheese. Coffee.

3rd page of Menu.]

[Illustration: Alles zal recht komen.



This was the day upon which Mr. Landon, Mr. Gwynne, Mr. James Barnes, and myself were to entertain at dinner Sir Alfred Milner, Lord Roberts, and Rudyard Kipling. The menus had been printed under the eye of Mr. Landon, and were very distinguished examples of plain typography. As twenty-four were to be used, we gave twelve each to Mr. W. B. Wollen, R.I., and to Mr. Lester Ralph, war artists with the army, requesting these able friends to do their best to produce on each guest's menu a picture illustrative of some exploit or leading characteristic of the recipient. A very notable series of drawings resulted--so notable that the Field-Marshal, whose own card showed him in the act of receiving the Keys of Bloemfontein, asked to see them all. When, toward the end of the repast, each man wrote his name on every menu, you may be certain those bits of pasteboard bearing the simple words, "The Dinner of the 28th of March, Bloemfontein, 1900," leaped high in value, and in the jealous pride of every man who had one.

That was a dinner! An affair as unique and as singular an episode of war as--as, let us say, THE FRIEND itself. Beside the great General, the High Commissioner, and the Poet of the Empire, we had with us General Pretyman, Military Governor of the town; General Forestier-Walker, the courtly commander of the Lines of Communication; the gallant, debonair Pole-Carew; the redoubtable flashing-eyed Hector Macdonald; the polished Sir Henry Colvile; Colonel Otter, the leader of the men with the maple-leaf; Lord Stanley, diplomat and censor; Lord Kerry; Colonel Girourd, binder of new Empire-fractions with threads of steel; Colonel Hanbury Williams, the High Commissioner's right hand; Colonel Neville Chamberlain, veteran at Empire building--and then our comrade-historians of the pen and pencil, W. B. Wollen, R.I., Lester Ralph, H. F. P. Battersby, A. B. Paterson, H. C. Shelley, and W. Blelock. We had invited Lord Kitchener, but he was away at Prieska. On his return he expressed his regret that he had not participated in this historic gathering. Excepting Lord Kitchener, whose field of endeavour was so ably represented, only Mr. Chamberlain, of all the great empire builders of the day, was missing.

We dined at the railway station, because it had the largest room and best cook in the new colony.

I hear the band outside. I see a carriage roll up, and Sir Alfred Milner springs out, spare-framed and visaged like an eagle. The Field-Marshal follows him, precise in movement, gentle of mien but erect and firm as steel, with long usage of command resting as light and firm upon him as if he was born with it. I see the two leaders halt and urge one another to take the lead, but Lord Roberts is the firmer and will not go first. Again at the door of the dining-hall the two great men halt and dispute with pantomimic gestures, each anxious to honour the other. When the toasts came, and Mr. Landon told Sir Alfred Milner that he was to be toasted first, the High Commissioner exclaimed, "It's absolutely wrong." Mr. Landon replied, "I am under orders. I must obey Lord Roberts," for the Field-Marshal had already been consulted. All the others are in the room, under the flaming flag and the huge paper roses. We dine--better than at the Residency--upon several courses and with good wine a-plenty.

I see my handsome and gifted colleague, Mr. Landon, rise to toast the High Commissioner. What's this we hear? He is welcoming the Viceroy as a brother in journalism, a newspaper man like ourselves. Up rises the man who lives in the heart of care and the furnace of dissension--pale, grave, concentrated, like one who thinks of but one thing and has but one thing to do--and that a thing gigantic. He replies that it is true that he was once a writer like ourselves; that he enjoyed those days; that he made delightful friends and spent glad hours in them; that he has had much to do with the gentlemen of the Press in Capetown, and that his relations with all have been without a flaw. After that he speaks but little of the heart of care where his official bed is laid, or of the furnace blasts of treason and of discord round his chair at the Cape, but, with unassumed modesty, calls our attention to the military magician across the table and to what he has done.

It is Mr. Gwynne who rises next--one of the very best-equipped war correspondents with the British forces, both as a campaigner and a critic of war, and high among the best as a writer. It is fitting that he should introduce the Field-Marshal, for he is liked and trusted by his distinguished guest, who has discovered, I fancy, that under the correspondent's khaki beats the heart of the soldier.

Lord Roberts replied that he was very proud to be the guest of the war correspondents. He liked to have them with him, and he was glad when they criticised whatever was amiss, for he profited by reading what they said. Turning to us, the Field-Marshal remarked, "You share all our hardships and exposure. All the troops do not engage in every battle, but you go to all, so that you experience even more danger than most of us. May I call you 'comrades'?"

I remember that he spoke earnestly of the work Sir Alfred Milner was doing, and credited that statesman with the most difficult task of any man who served the Empire. One other bit of his address I recall--a mere phrase, but a remarkable one: "The gentlemen I command--my gentlemanly army."

It was my good fortune to introduce Rudyard Kipling--a delicate as well as a proud task, because I knew that fulsome praise, or even the most honest appreciation, would make him uncomfortable. I remember that I spoke of the narrow compass of Shakspere's renown in his day, and the world-wide fame of a man like Kipling in these days of multitudinous newspapers and telegraphs and cables.

"Gentlemen," said the poet, "you remember the story of the artist Whistler in Paris. An admirer came to him and said: 'Master, you and Velasquez are the greatest exponents of the art of painting.' 'True, true,' said Mr. Whistler, 'but why drag in Velasquez?' (A pause.) In all sincerity I ask you why need you drag in Shakspere? There is not a name in all literature more disheartening to those who try to do a bit of earnest work at writing. There is not a thought, an emotion, a picture, a bit of description that has not been written before--and written much better than we can write it--by William. We found a volume of his works in the office of THE FRIEND. Take war. In 'Henry V.' you will find all that can be written--all the glory and all the shame, all the valour and the sordidness, the excitement and the pomp--you will find it all in 'Henry V.' better than any one can write it now. In all sincerity, then, I ask you, why drag in Shakspere?

"I propose to you to-night, gentlemen, the health of the man who has taught the British Empire its responsibilities, and the rest of the world its power, who has filled the seas with transports, and the earth with the tramp of armed men, who has made Cape Town see in Table Bay such a sight as she never saw before and, please God, will never see again; who has turned the loafer of the London streets into a man, and called out him who led our fathers to Kandahar, and who knew not what he did; who has made the Uitlander of South Africa stand shoulder to shoulder with the boundary rider of New Zealand, and taught the men of New South Wales to pick up the wounded men who wear the maple leaf--and all in support of the mother-country. Gentlemen, I give you the name of the Empire-builder--Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger."

After the great guests went home a dozen or fifteen of us remained and enjoyed an impromptu little sing-song, when this to me touching and singular incident occurred. General Pole-Carew came to me and said, "Your son Lester should go home and to bed. He is in a high fever. I know what it means, for I have had it six times. Look after him well." My son was then in the thirteenth day of an attack of enteric, about which he had said not a word to any one. In that condition he had drawn the pictures on the menus of Lord Roberts, General Pole-Carew, General French (who could not come), Lord Stanley, General Colvile, Colonel Otter, Mr. Kipling, and others. Lester, on hearing what the General had said, declared it was no news to him and, after thanking the General, went home and to bed. There, until we could get him to a hospital, Mr. Kipling nursed him with consummate skill and the gentleness of a woman; interesting and, to me, precious memories of a world in which some of us find too few of such suggestions of the better world to come.

In this "Free State Hospital," with the ministrations of the matron, Miss Young, and her devoted lady nurses, the same strong essence of unselfishness made the siege of sickness a period of pleasure. Generals, colonels, correspondents and all of the salt of the army went there often to cheer the patients--one of whom was Mr. Oppenheim of the Daily News.

We four private men, who gave this dinner in our own name to our own friends, have been a great deal criticised, but it is a noticeable fact that the only critics are the men who were not invited to the feast.



(Edited by the War Correspondents with Lord Roberts' Force.)

No. 10] BLOEMFONTEIN, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 1900. [Price One Penny.


Notice is hereby given that, communication with the Cape Colony having been restored, the Laws and Regulations of the Customs Convention have been put into force by virture of the proclamation of Field-Marshal Lord Roberts, dated the 20th instant, and that from and after this date Government Notice, No. 106, published in the "Gouvernements Courant" of the 27th October, 1899, by which the Customs dues on provisions and merchandise were temporarily suspended will be considered null and void, in so far as those portions of the State now occupied by Her Majesty's troops are concerned.

By order
J. H. MEIRING, Collector of Customs.
Customs' House, Bloemfontein, 24th March, 1900.



Whereas it is necessary that all State and private property in the South African Republic and the Orange Free State shall be protected from wanton destruction and damage,


I, FREDERICK SLEIGH BARON ROBERTS OF KHANDAHAR, K.P., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., V.C., Field Marshal, Commanding-in-Chief the British Forces in South Africa, do hereby give notice that all persons who, within the territories of the South African Republic or the Orange Free State shall authorise or be guilty of the wanton destruction or damage or the counselling, aiding, or assisting in the wanton destruction or damage of public or private property (such destruction or damage not being justified by the usages and customs of civilised warfare), will be held responsible in their persons and property for all such wanton destruction and damage.

Given under my hand at Bloemfontein, this Twenty-sixth day of March, 1900.


ROBERTS, Field Marshal,
Commanding-in-Chief Her Majesty's Forces in South Africa.




The High Commissioner of South Africa left Bloemfontein after the mercifully abortive conference on June 6th of last year. Yesterday he re-entered the town. The interval has been for some a time of hard fighting, for all a time of anxiety, and amid the enthusiasm of his welcome to the capital, his strong confidence during the darker days, his unswerving fidelity to the high ideal of his Imperial work, must be in the minds of all.

His entry into Bloemfontein, the capital of one of the two colonies destined to fall into line with the progress of United South Africa, is an occasion that will be recognised by the historian of this war as closing one "swelling act of the Imperial theme."

Half--perhaps more than half--of Lord Roberts' work has been done; the greater part of Sir Alfred Milner's task lies still before him. In welcoming him within its walls Bloemfontein does not forget that long after the transports have sailed with the last of the troops of the expedition, the High Commissioner will still be confronted with a gigantic work, requiring alike foresight, tact, and strength of will. And Bloemfontein, like the rest of the Empire, is well content to leave in the hands of Sir Alfred Milner the solution of the problem upon the right interpretation of which the fortunes of this enormous federation must depend.



Sing they who will of the Yeomen Imperial,
Gillies, Scouts, "Tigers," and bold C.I.V.;
Others may hold to more usual material,
Horse, Foot, and Rifles, and Artillerie.
But there's a corps with its name writ in History--
Bold they as lions and steadfast as rocks--
Gaily we'll troll our song,
Slow as we stroll along--
Trickle and roll along-- Driving the Ox!

But when the war-cloud frowns thicker and lowereth,
When the quick-moving battalions are met;
Not where the soft-hissing bullet most showereth,
Not in the forefront our places are set.
Still drive we on, though a day's march in rear we be,
O'er veldt and vlei, with the mud to our hocks--
Still will we push along,
Nor sadly hush our song,
Though we don't rush along,
Driving the Ox!

Fill, then, a cup to the Beeves of Her Majesty,
Long in the rear may their colours be seen!
Heavy their loads, but their hearts light as anything,
Doing strong work for their country and Queen.
What though they jeer who sweep by with the mounted troops?
Treat we as nought all their jibes and their mocks.
Though ne'er a fight we'll see,
Cheerful and bright we'll be,
We're a grand sight to see,
Driving the Ox!




[Footnote 7: Copyrighted in England and America. Used here by permission.]




A Field-Artillerist passing a newly-imported Pom-pom overwhelmed it with Contumely, saying, "What has a Gunner to do with an Unqualified Sewing-machine?"

To this the virtuous Mechanism returned no answer, but communicated these Atrocious Sentiments to a fellow Pom-pom in the Opposing Army which, later, catching the Field-battery crossing a Donga, gave it Ten-a-penny for two Minutes to the Confusion of all concerned.

"Alas!" said the Field-artillerist as he watched his Leg disassociate itself from the Remainder of his Anatomy, "Who would have thought that an Implement officially rejected by the War Office and what is more, damned by Myself, could have done so neat a Trick?"

MORAL. Do not condemn the Unofficial. It hits hard.





No. I.

(From a General of Division unshaven for eight days who lost his horse, which he had lately commandeered from a subaltern of transport, after having dined not wisely but too well at a Cavalry Camp, five miles from his own tent, to which he was conducted through a rain-storm by an inebriated signaller, to Captain Vanderbyl of the Ninety-Third Field Hospital, given by voluntary subscriptions, of which the larger part remain to this day unpaid, so that the hospital is without bandages, lint or beds, whom he suspects of being accessory to the animal's disappearance.)


It is with deep pain that I take my pen in hand to trespass on your valuable time, but the imperative needs of the case must be my justification.

Twelve happy hours ago I was the proud, and I may add, the lawful possessor of a bay mare, off fore foot white, white blaze and snip, near hind pastern marked by heel rope, unshod in front and ear nicked, which I think I left with a man with two heads but that may have been on account of the sherry and bitters and she was tied up to the railings because my boy forgot the blanket and I borrowed one from the hospital but anyhow I know that when I came out she was a lousy mule and the saddle cost £6 10s. at the Army and Navy Stores and I may as well tell you at once if you have tried to dispose of it that they are marked all over with my name and rank. Therefore, Augustus Burstem, General of Division presents his compliments to Captain Vanderbyl and everybody in the camp knows the mule is yours and besides your boy was seen grooming her at the back of your tent this morning. I want it back by bearer.

Yours sincerely,

No. II.

(From a saddle-chafed officer of the Staff with Evangelical convictions and a rooted distaste for Scouting, who has just come off a 10 days' march on quarter rations and has lost half his transport and 7 men by advancing in close order upon the white flag to his General, who has a taste for horse-racing and profanity and a good seat across country, seventeen and a half hours after his return to camp, and seventeen and one quarter hours after the General had expressed his (the General's) opinion upon his (the Captain's) facial peculiarities, mental attainments, moral rectitude, birth, parentage, and probable future.)


I have been much perplexed for some days, in consequence of a growing conviction--which has indeed been deepening for some weeks--that we are each of us conscious that we have made a mistake in becoming engaged. I believe you have this conviction, as I am obliged to confess I have. Now it is infinitely better that we face it at once. I would gladly be convinced that we have not been mistaken; and if I am wrong in believing that this thought has been in your mind as well as my own, pray forgive me for having misjudged you. How else can I account for the depression which seems to rule you when in my company, and for the apparent relief which parting seems to bring you? Now, will you do yourself and me the justice to ask yourself seriously whether or no (I) have at all correctly gauged your feeling? If so, I would wish to release you, for your own sake as well as for mine. It really seems that we have each discovered that our ideals are not to be found in each other. If so we shall respect each other none the less in future years that we had the courage to confess to each other that we have been mistaken. Kindly write when you are sure of the answer which you are sending.

Faithfully yours,

It is interesting to note that this and the following letter are taken literally word for word from a well-known "Letter-writer." Thus we see the adaptability of these invaluable helps to the epistolary art. It will not be necessary to suggest the original suggested circumstances of this correspondence.

No. 3.


DEAR WALTER,--I have taken a few days to sift my thoughts on the subject of your last. The conclusion that I have come to is practically the same as yours. I have no blame to lay on you; on the contrary, you have been most kind and considerate in all things. No doubt, without intending it, we have been both mistaken; and although we have honestly tried to be all to each other, yet that mysterious something which is perhaps best expressed by the word "affinity" has been lacking. So, without in the least losing my respect for you--rather it has increased--I accept the proposal contained in your last, viz., that our engagement should cease.

Sincerely yours,
B. I. TUMEN, Genl.




Who are these hasting with speed o'er the ocean,
Meeting together in one common cause,
Proving by deeds and a whole-souled devotion,
Their love for our Flag and contempt for the Boers?

These are the oversea sons of one mother,
Some bred in sunshine and some bred in snow;
Meeting together as brother with brother,
One common kindred 'gainst one common foe.

Bright sunny land in the far-off Pacific,
Fit habitation for men such as these,
Proving their birthright in battle terrific,
Sons of the Mother though bred overseas.

Grand snow-clad land on the stormy Atlantic,
Home of our brothers who fight with us here--
Proving by deeds most high-souled and romantic
Their love for their country we all hold so dear.

This be our comfort and this be our beacon--
Blood that was shed has but bound us together,
No power can conquer, no quarrels shall weaken
The Rose and the Maple, the Wattle and Heather!



[Footnote 8: "Ten-a-Penny" was a soldiers' nickname for the Pom-pom. "The ----y Doorknocker" it was christened in the Highland Brigade. The word "Pom-pom" came first into use immediately after the battle of Modder River.]

A certain General has breathed vengeance against two of the Editors of THE FRIEND, threatening to put them in his guard-room if he finds them within his lines. They are not afraid of him, but prefer to admire him as of old. They scorn his threats but will welcome an invitation to lunch.


A linesman describing the arrival of the Guards Brigade at Bloemfontein after they had covered 41 miles in 22 hours: "An' they come in the last mile like a lot o' bloomin' Park hacks, steppin' 'igh an' dressin' most particular."


A French waiter at a Parisian café recently heard the news of Kimberley's relief, and observed joyously: "Bon! Fashoda finds itself avenged. Behold, ze English again in the consommée, for ze French are in Kimberley!"


"Look here! You get away from this antheap. This is my antheap. There are plenty around, and you find one for yourself." The hail of Mauser bullets from the kopje was pretty heavy, and the nearest antheap at least fifty yards away, so the other Grahamstown man disputed the uitlander theory of his comrade, and insisted on staying. "Confound you, get away I tell you; your big feet are drawing the fire; if you don't I'll break your neck." "You shut up," said the other, "this antheap is as much mine as yours, besides if you talk of breaking necks, well----" There appeared to be no further conversation, but the officer observed the two men suddenly arise and a hot set-to followed. The fire was too hot for immediate inquiry, but after a prolonged round one man was knocked down, the other drew him behind the disputed shelter, and resumed patient firing at the enemy.

Later a request was made for orders regarding the possession of antheaps by irregulars.


A well-known scout returning from Kimberley last week was taken prisoner at Modder River by a party of eight Boers. He was sent in charge of two burghers to the Boer camp near Brandfort. On the way the Boers off-saddled and their horses strayed. Leaving their prisoner alone with their guns and ammunition, which they had laid down, they went after the horses. Here was an excellent opportunity. Both Boers were at his mercy, but it looked too much like murder, so awaiting their return, the scout, who could speak the Taal, appealed to them to let him go, telling them that he could easily have shot them, but the war was nearly over, and he would not take men's lives in that way; further, that it would greatly inconvenience him to be taken North, and he might be able to put in a good word for them soon, if their farms should be in danger. After an hour's palaver they agreed to give him a show, and told him he could go. They then escorted him to the river and showed him the road to Bloemfontein.



This is the story of two men who, unarmed, and without a guard brought £25,000 in bullion from Capetown to Bloemfontein, through a country still seething with dangers of war. The men were L. L. Michell, general manager of the Standard Bank of South Africa, and W. Munro du Preez, formerly of the National Bank of Harrismith, now teller of the Standard Bank's new Bloemfontein branch, which opened to-day in the building on Market Square, formerly occupied by the Café Royal and later by the Military Post Office.

They left Capetown on Thursday a week ago, with twelve boxes of specie, each one of which weighed eighty pounds. For six days they lived, ate, and slept on those boxes. Their only holiday was at Naauwpoort, when they paid a high compliment to six A. and S. Highlanders by putting the boxes in their charge and going out to stretch their legs. For hundreds of miles the train ran through desolate karoo in which a band of train robbers would have stood a fair chance of success. At Colesberg the twelve heavy boxes were piled out again on the platform and into the ladies' waiting-room and the weary bankers stretched out on them, for the night.

There was to have been a military guard for the gold at Norval's Pont, but somehow the guard did not connect. The bank men found themselves stalled at a broken bridge, with the choice of trusting their bullion to a thin wire rope slung across the broken spans, or putting it on a pont that formed a rope ferry across the river. They chose the pont.

The train from Capetown reached Orange River at 2 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon. The train on the north side of the river had to wait until 7 o'clock for the gold.

The transfer across the river was the most interesting part of the journey. Messrs. Michell and du Preez deny that their interest had anything of anxiety in it. They trusted the twelve sweating volunteers who wandered wide from the train to the pont with its 960 pounds avoirdupois and 25,000 pounds sterling. Du Preez walked at the head of the volunteers and Michell at the tail. The volunteers seemed to be walking all over the country.

So the twelve boxes were finally slammed into the guard's van on the north side of the river, and the bank manager and his teller clambered in on top of them. If there was a military guard on the train they didn't have the comfort of knowing it. They had been told that all the Boers were giving in their arms and that the country through which they rode was thoroughly pacified, but then, as du Preez said, "when you are travelling with twelve boxes of bullion you can't be dead sure of anything."

When the train reached Bloemfontein on Wednesday, the boxes were taken at once to the vaults of the National Bank of the Orange Free State, and the two men, wearied by their six days' vigil, went at once to bed, and to sleep.

Mr. Michell, who manages the Standard Bank affairs in all parts of South Africa, is only temporarily in Bloemfontein. Mr. D. Savory, formerly of the branch bank at Oudtshoorn, will be manager of the Bloemfontein branch. Mr. A. S. D. Robertson, formerly in the branch bank at Ceres, will be accountant, and Mr. du Preez will be teller.

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