The main gate of Engaku-ji, in a print done by Shiro Katamatsu in 1953. The Sanmon is not the physical entrance to the temple, but the symbolic one. The open concept lower level evokes emptiness, formlessness, and inaction, all good things in a Zen Buddhist context. The present structure was built in 1785 and is the only building in the temple to pre-date the 1923 earthquake.
The Old Greenock Prison stood on Bank Street where the train tracks now run.
Hibs visit Cappielow to make up the game that was postponed December 5th due to flooding on East Hamilton Street. So this is only the second meeting of the two clubs this season, and here it is February. Hibs won the first match 1 - 0 at Easter Road. Hibs want a win tonight to stay within shouting distance of Rangers. Morton want one to keep in touch with Raith and Queen of the South in the race for fourth place. Morton have not won a league match since November 14th.
The last year Morton and Hibs played together in the same league, the 1998-99 First Division, Hibs took all the points.
Attendance at Cappielow this season is running at an average of 3,463 per match. That's almost exactly double last season's 1,728. How many spectators can Hibernian draw on a Tuesday night? [2,696.] [Hibs win 0 - 1.] [Match report.]
Morton are pencilled in for six matches this month. The last time they played six in February was the snow year of 2010-11.
On February 2nd, 1895, Morton beat Port Glasgow 4 - 3 at Cappielow.
How do the Championship clubs rank according to all-time record against Morton?
Rangers 122W 32D 18L +104W
Hibs 75W 35D 47L +28W
Falkirk 85W 42D 60L +25W
St Mirren 81W 46D 68L +13W
QoS 35W 21D 40L -5W
Livingston 20W 16D 29L -9W
Raith 47W 35D 61L -14W
Alloa 26W 19D 58L -32W
Dumbarton 41W 31D 90L -49W
Which SPFL club has the most even record with Morton? Annan Athletic is dead even. Inverness CT is -1W. Hamilton Academical is -2W.
The Second Preliminary Round of the AFC Champions League was played today: Shandong Luneng Taishan of the Chinese Super League [6 - 0] Mohun Bagan. [Mohun Bagan are out of the tournament.]
Returning from the factory in Billancourt with our replacement part, we wondered if this little doodad would really be able to start the car. Lemboîté, who is full of such wisdom, said that the best way to find out was to try. He took off his formal jacket and put on a work coat, and he set to work like he knew all about it, without wasting a minute or lifting his nose. He wasn't long at installing the new part in the motor. Then he put some gas in the tank, and put his hand on the crank. He said, "Open your eyes and ears. This is it, the moment of truth!"
"Don't turn it, m'sieur Lemboîté," I said. "This is something that the chief should see." I went to find him in the office. He came out, and Carmencita with him, which we could have just as easily done without. We surrounded the car, and, believe me if you please, there was a feeling as if this worthless jalopy were the secret weapon to end the war. The chief had a trembling voice when he ordered, "Crank it, I pray you, Monsieur Lemboîté." Lemboîté cranked it, but just a half-rotation ending with a flick of the wrist. But that was enough. The engine gave out a roar. I shouted, "It runs!" The others repeated, "It runs!"
The chief added, "A car of the Ralep that runs! On my life, I really believed I'd never see it." You could tell he was happy, but his wife was even happier yet. She stamped her feet for joy, capered and threw her arms in the air like a dancer. She yelled, "Bravo, car! Bravo Señor Lemboîté!" She even cried, "Bravo Bécassine!" And this began to reconcile me to her. I had the thought that deep down she wasn't a malicious woman, but only fierce and a little foolish. When she had finiched her gesticulations, she declared that it was time to celebrate, glass in hand, the grand success of the Ralep. She escorted us up to the dining room, where we drank a toast, and with champagne, too! That polished off the last of my grudge against the colonel.
She was full of smiles. Satisfaction made her almost pretty. Seeing her so changed, now completely amiable and kind, I said to myself that the Ralep had become a true paradise. I had no notion of the catastrophe hanging over us. As the saying goes: It's always at the moment of eating that the hair falls in the soup. You'll excuse me for citing that proverb, perhaps not the most distinguished. It was Maria, who cooks for Madame de Grand-Air, who told it to me. She says it all the time.
I was annoyed with Maria the other day, because she quoted that proverb as we were crossing the court of the chateau, just beside the statue of Louis XIV. I thought it wasn't the sort of thing to say within earshot of a great king. But luckily he and his horse are made of bronze, so there was no bad effect.
But rather than blather on about that, I'll get back to the catastrophe. During our celebration before, I noticed that Maubec was agitated and restless. He frequently looked out the window, seemingly watching out for someone or something. One time he muttered, "Here is my vengeance," so low that I was the only one who heard him. He left suddenly, and a few minutes later he returned, holding a letter. He handed it to the chief and said it was pressing and important, and that if there were any questions, the man who had brought it could answer them. The chief read it. His expression changed. You could tell he was taken aback, chagrined. Then his wife approached, and read over his shoulder. And then ...
Have you ever seen a tigress whose young ones have been snatched away? Probably you've never seen that. I haven't either, to get down to it. They say it's a terrible sight. But I don't think it can be any worse than the state Carmencita immediately entered. She roared, she foamed, she cried, "They drive me out! They force me to leave! It's an infamy! It's shameful! When he comes in, the man who wants to chase me away, I'll shoot!" Poor Agénor tried in vain to calm her. Me, I felt a little death in my veins. Maubec, however, had regained his calm. He even appeared satisfied, in a way I found uncharitable. He said, in his manner of laughing inside, "I'll go fetch the man, if Madame la Colonelle so desires."
Two minutes later, the man entered. It was the vagabond I've told you about before. It was strange to see a person so badly put together intervening in this affair. Ah well, regardless, I listened closely. I don't just have a flair, I also get presentiments.
He addressed the chief and Carmencita very properly. He told them, "I am sorry to have to report on a finding that will be disagreeable to you." I was struck by the contrast between his words and manners, which were those of the upper strata, and his shabby clothes.
He continued, "No doubt we should speak confidentially." I understood that Maubec and I were too many. I hastened to leave with my colleague, and I was happy to do so, because scenes of violence are not good for my nerves, they spoil my appetite, and trouble my sleep. And one one only had to see the bearing of the colonel to figure out that she wasn't going to trade pleasantries with the mystery vagabond.
I wanted to go downstairs to the office, but Maubec pretended that they were going to need us. So we stayed in the antechamber next to the dining room. We could barely hear anything through the door but outbursts of argument in the voice of the colonel, which went on for some time. Then a calm fell, followed by the sound of sobbing. My heart was so upset that I nearly burst into tears.
Abruptly the door opened. Carmencita appeared, a Carmencita unrecognizable: dishevelled, eyes swollen with tears, despondent, pitiful. She cried, "Come! I must make my confession to you. I am a great culprit."
We entered the room. She was like a madwoman. She beat her breast. She threw herself at the feet of Agénor and begged his pardon. Then, suddenly, she seized a burnt log from the fireplace and ran it through her hair, saying, "I will cover my head in cinders, as we do in my country, as a sign of penitence." This was so bizarre that, despite my feelings, I found it hard not to laugh. But the desire to laugh ended when I saw Agénor. He was overwhelmed, the poor dear man. He squeezed the hands of his wife, and said, "Be calm. You are not guilty of anything more than a little exageration. That's not a crime. You'll return to out home in Piton-le-Causse. I'll hand in my notice and rejoin you soon." She cried, "Thank you! I misjudged you, generous man!"
And she dissolved into tears. I had not expected to do the same. But I had better explain to you the motive behind all that scene. The letter delivered by Maubec was simply the notification of a new rule forbidding women of foreign birth from living in areas where war work was going on. In consequence, Carmencita would have to leave the Ralep. Instead of bowing, she went into a rage. She insulted the man who had brought the note. He, in turn, became angry.
He being, as I later found out, an agent of the secret police concerned with inquiries about foreigners, he knew the whole story of our chiefess and her first husband, and he recounted it. It seems that the famous colonel was a colonel of the light cavalry for all of two hours, appointed by the leaders of a revolution that had broken out in Patagonia. After two hours another revolution triumphed and Gonzalès returned to what he had been before: a waiter in a restaurant. It was this revelation that put his widow to shame.
To finish off her story, because I well believe I won't get another chance to talk to you about it, a letter from her maid informed me that, once back in Piton-le-Causse, she lived there in tears and repentance. Surely, that's no wicked woman. The maid added that Carmencita continued to heap cinders on her head, constantly obliging her to sweep up the floor behind her. That is an exageration which, as a domestic, from the point of view of propriety and household management, I cannot approve.
A few days after the departure of his wife, the chief paid us his adieus in turn. His resignation had been accepted and, what's more, the Ralep was abolished. It had finally dawned on the ministry that it didn't actually do anything. Over the course of one year of operation, it had repaired only one auto. That's a pretty expensive motorization.
After all these events, I found myself without a job. I wrote a nice letter to Monsieur Bile, to see if he could find me something somewhere. I wrote another to my friend Zidore, in hope that he might come up with an idea. He's good at that.
But, while waiting, I had nothing to do but accompany my good mistress on walks through the park, which have become quite sad, since, for fear of airplanes, they packed the beautiful statues in bales of wood. The idleness and lack of adventure weighed on me.
One day, as I was bringing Madame her tea, I found her in conversation with, can you guess who? With my vagabond. I was very surprised to see my mistress, who knows nothing but the beau monde, engaged in friendly conversation with this ragged man. At my entrance, he said, "Here is our young girl!" He came over to me and asked, "Do you not recognize me? Nevertheless, you have seen me often, and you have frequently spoken of me, in Bécassine Pendant le Guerre, and Bécassine Chez les Allies. Think back: the man you took to Paris in August 1914; the fellow whom you sent to England last year, and who adopted your dog." "Monsieur Proey-Minans!" And at once I removed my lace cap so that he could examine the prominences on my head, as he used to do. He stopped me, and gently helped me to put it back on, at the same time explaining, "I no longer practice phrenology. I do secret police work, surveillance of foreigners and suspects, research into spies. That is why you see me in this unattractive garb. My missions are fascinating, and you can assist me." Then, turning to Madame, he said, "Consent, dear friend, that Bécassine become my secretary. She has a flair, and a flair is everything in police work."
Madame was hesitant. I was, too. At that moment Maria came calling me because the postman had brought two letters for me on which were written: very important. I read them. They were the responses of Monsieur Bile and Zidore. They said, the one, that he had a lead on a job for me, and the other, that he had some good ideas and, coming on leave in a few days, he would would speak to me about them then. So I returned to the salon and asked Monsieur Proey-Minans for a small delay to think about it.
What will I do? Again I don't know. But I'm certain I won't be short of things to do, and my presentiments guarantee that I will have lots of stories and adventures to tell you. We will be apart for a while, mes bonnes petites chéries, but I don't say adieu to you, I say au revoir.
Statue of James Clerk Maxwell, electrical engineer, and his wee dug, on George Street, Edinburgh.
It's the semi-finals of the League Cup. Today: Hibs [2 - 1] St Johnstone. Tomorrow: Ross County [3 - 1] Celtic. Celtic have won the cup 15 times, Hibs 3, St Johnstone and Ross County 0. Hibs and St Johnstone last met in league play in 2013-14, when they were both in the Premiership. They played to a win, a lose, and a draw. Celtic and Ross County have played twice so far this season, Celtic winning both times. Ross County and Celtic are the only clubs left with a shot at the Scottish treble. [No treble for Celtic.]
Owing to Hibernian's cup commitment, Morton's regularly scheduled league match against them is postponed. [But elsewhere Rangers beat Falkirk and St Mirren beat Alloa, meaning that Rangers evade automatic relegation, and Alloa cannot win the Championship.]
The SPFL or Cove Rangers -- Which Is Greater? SPFL clubs have played a total of 18 games against Cove Rangers of the Highland League, and have taken 13 wins, against 4 wins for Cove Rangers, and one draw. The SPFL is greater. Clubs beaten by Cove Rangers: Cowdenbeath, Peterhead, Annan, and Montrose.
Bottom-place teams of the SPFL:
East Stirlingshire (L2) -- 19 pts
Brechin City (L1) -- 16 pts
Dundee United (Pr) -- 13 pts
Alloa Athletic (Ch) -- 11 pts
Each of these clubs is worrying about relegation, but East Stirlingshire face a day of reckoning. The pyramid playoffs were introduced more or less to drop East Stirlingshire into the Lowland League. League Two is very tight though, and the Shire have time to climb the table. Plus, if they end up facing Brora Rangers, Brora may throw the game.
Wednesday was the first preliminary round of the 2016 AFC Champions League, so summer is now officially on. There was only one match in this round: Mohun Bagan of the Hero I-League 3 - 1 Tampines Rovers of Singapore's S-League.
Ah well! The ministries made us wait a lot less than I expected. We had a reply in eight days. And I wasn't put in front of the firing squad. Carmencita didn't renew her persecutions. She even spoke to me amiably. I came into this sweetness, I think, because one day I had said in front of her that Lemboîté had managed the affair. "Lemboîté," she had asked. "Is that the military man from the Troupes Vaillantes?" Then, turning to the portrait of Gonzalès, she had added, "A brave military man like you, colonel. You also were of the Troupes Vaillantes!"
Then, one day, the postman delivered a letter covered with I don't know how many rubber stamps, authorizing us to get our replacement part from a factory in Billancourt. Maubec, after he had read it, told me, "It's frightful the way things work in the Administration. I know for a fact that it would be simplest for us to get the part for 10fr. 50 in Versailles where there's a depot. But there's also one in Perpignan. The Administration is just as likely to send us to the Pyrenees as Baillancourt for it! But it doesn't do to say they're complicating things." I thought he made a good case, even though I'm not one for complaining and criticizing, which are signs of a bad heart.
We waited until Lemboîté's next day off to make our journey, and, one fine morning, the three of us took the tram, Lemboîté, Maubec, and myself. Lemboîté was very astonished and a little embarrassed to be on the tram without anything to do. He said, "There you go. I'm a layabout. I'm the landed gentry." He was used to being at the front end, and, out of habit, he kept an eye on what was happening up there. And then , as there were some departures that were too brusque and some hills where the car struggled for lack of momentum, he began to grumble. She had the air of an apprentice, our driver, very nice, but too young and timid. She ought to have stayed home to make soup for her husband and her offspring whose picture she had in a brooch, and that would have been better value for everyone including the tramway. No longer able to hold back, Lemboîté opened the door and cried, "Firmly on the handle, easy on the brake!" As this advice did nothing but confound the young woman more, he added, "I'll show you how!" It was he who drove us to Billancourt, and pretty well. The passengers remarked, "That's no apprentice, that's the real thing, that one. He knows his work." Myself, I was proud of my old friend as if I were his fare-collector again, and he, content, repeated, "My rail, for me, is to work. I was out of my rail, but now I'm on track."
It was hardly more than a five minute walk from the tram station to the factory, an enormous factory, with I don't know how many thousand workers and how many miles of workshops. To get our replacement part it was necessary to bring out the ministerial paperwork and add on about a dozen signatures. And when our chief paid the 10fr. 50, it started off another round of formalities. Once all that was over, Maubec asked about a tour of the factory. The employee with whom we were dealing said that it was not generally done, but, given our status as mobilized staff, he could make an exception for us. Father Lemboîté was thrown in for good measure.
No, truly, just like when I was a little girl reading fairy stories, I could never have imagined seeing the things I saw on that visit. Picture these scenes from the underworld: roaring ovens big enough to roast an ox in; melted metal cooling in channels like rivers of fire; and then, a little further on, peaceful workshops, conpletely silent, tidy, as polished as a salon. The workers at their tables had only to push a button for their machines to do the job. If I had a set-up like that for my sewing machine, instead of pedalling like a cyclist going uphill, maybe I'd have more of a taste for couture.
After that, we looked around the metalworking shops. There, very smoothly, without any sense of difficulty, they planed the huge metal rods, making metal shavings as pretty as anything, all shiny and curled up. I picked one up, and was inclining toward putting it in my pocket as a souvenir, when the foreman came over with an air, ah! an extraordinary air.
Seeing the expression on his face, I came to a complete standstill with the metal shaving in my hand. He looked the situation over, then gave a great sigh and said, "The inspecter is not here. That's fortunate for you, otherwise you would not be able to avoid a court martial." At first I thought it was a joke, considering that, since we arrived, he hadn't stopped dropping witticisms and writhing in laughter along with Maubec and Lemboîté, whom he had made his friends immediately, and who would slap him on the back and call him a devilish wag. He saw what I was thinking, and said, "I'm not joking. I'm going to prove it." He pointed me to a notice posted on the wall. You should understand that when I read it my hair stood up like a porcupine's quills. It said that the factory was property of the army, and that to take the least thing from it was not just theft, but treason, and that according to articles such and such of the penal code and the military code, it exposes you to all sorts of troubles, each one more terrifying than the rest. No sooner had I read this than a dread came over me. I ran to the corner of the workshop where I had picked up the shaving and put it back in precisely the same spot, and I made sure the nearby workers saw it. "See," I told them, "I put it back. Please tell the inspecter, if you're talking to him." They seemed a bit surprised.
By the time that was done, my companions had left. When I rejoined them it seemed as if they were cutting short a conversation that involved me in some way. All three were enjoying a laugh. Lemboîté and Maubec were slapping the foreman's back even more than before. "I'm on the right side of the law," I said. "I returned the shaving, and I'll cut off my hands before I take anything else, even if it's worth a hundredth of a hundredth of a cent." I said this, standing beside a big heap of coal in which there was, like all coal these days, more coaldust than good big lumps. Just as I was saying these words, there was a gust of wind that lifted up a flurry of coaldust. I felt something land inside my eyelid, which started me dabbing and rubbing at my eye.
"Is it bad?" asked Maubec. "Not too," I replied. "It's not serious. It's not anything to bother about." But immediately I had a panicky thought. I cried, "But, yes, it is something to bother about. It could be serious!" Then, pulling my eyelids apart with my fingers I asked my companions to look in my eye, to try to see what was there, whether it was coaldust or a speck of coal. Lemboîté said, "I don't have my spectacles. I don't see anything."
"It's gray," said Maubec. "A bit of coaldust." "It's black," disagreed the foreman. "Coal." They debated a while, and then Maubec looked again and came around to the view that it was a piece of coal. "Ah! My God!" I cried. "Coal! We have to remove it very carefully, so that nothing falls out and gets lost." They tried their best, but, lady, they didn't have a nurse's hands. They couldn't get it out, which made me unhappy, but my preoccupation tormented me more. I repeated, "Coal! Ah! My God! What a catastrophe! It's heartrending!" Without realizing it, I had raised my voice. I groaned, I nearly cried. Some of the workers gathered around and said I should go to the factory infirmary, and so they led me there.
By rubbing my sore eye I had inflamed the other. I had to grope my way along like a blind person. I guessed at, rather than saw, the presence of the doctor. "Monsieur," I said, "I beg you, don't lose my piece of coal. Save it for me." He had me sit down. I didn't feel the water that the kind nurse squirted on my eye to wash it out. Beside her, the doctor, smiling, held a paper with a black dot the size of the head of a pin on it. "Here is the precious coal." "Oh! Yes, monsieur," I replied. "Very precious. It could land me in jail. I thank you with all my heart for what you have done, and I will say your name in my prayers." Without leaving them time for questions, I ran back to the coal heap, and returned the little black speck of coal. Then I gave an ooph of relief.
Just then Lemboîté, Maubec, and the foreman rejoined me. "Truthfully," said Lemboîté, "you made some faces. It was good comedy." That made me mad. "But, unhappily, what I had in my eye was State-owned coal belonging to the army. If they had not been able to remove it, I would have taken it out with me, and been worse than a thief. Then, a tribunal, prison. And that is what you call a comedy!" I stopped, a little ashamed to have spoken in that tone, telling myself that I was going to make them angry. Not at all. He and the others laughed like the blessed. I looked on in surprise, when, out of nowhere, a received a slap on the back that almost knocked me to the ground. It was the foreman, calling me a devilish wag. I still don't know why.