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Full text of "Pioneer trails, trials and triumphs [microform] ; personal memoirs of life and work as a pioneer missionary among the Chin tribes of Burma"

Cibc Minivers U^ of Chicago 
Ulibrarics 



GIFT OF 

PUBLISHFP 





REV. ARTHUR E. CARSON 




MRS. LAURA HARDIN CARSON 



PIONEER TRAILS, 
TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS 

PERSONAL MEMOIRS OF LIFE AND WORK 

AS A PIONEER MISSIONARY AMONG THE 

CHIN TRIBES OF BURMA 



by 



LAURA HARDIN CARSON 

\\ 



EXHIBIT ROOM 

PRACTICAL THEOLOGY DEPT. 

UJHVERSITK OF CMISA60 

NOT TO Be RWUVEO fHU! [HIS ROOM 



PUBLISHED BY THE 

BAPTIST BOARD OF EDUCATION 
DEPARTMENT OF MISSIONARY EDUCATION 

276 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY. 

for 

J. H. MERRIAM, Pasadena, California 
(to whom all orders should be addressed) 




-S 



COPYRIGHT, 1927, 

BY 
J. H. MERRIAM 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



Gift Of publish** 



1065047 



To my dear friends 
JOHN AND HELEN DRYDEN 

whose strong purposeful lives have ever been an 
inspiration to courage and best effort ; and who, 
standing within the inner court of my life, have 
at every time of crisis been ready to offer the 
incense of understanding, sympathy and help, so 
delicately tendered, during a never-failing and 
precious friendship extending over more than 
forty years, this book is affectionately dedicated. 



INTRODUCTION 
THE APOSTLES TO THE CHINS 

1883 Laura Hardin was sent to Burma as a mis- 
sionary under appointment by the Women's American 
Baptist Foreign Mission Society of the West, and as- 
signed to work as teacher in the Mission School at 
Bassein. 

Three years later she was married at Bassein to Rev. 
Arthur E. Carson, who had then just arrived from 
America under appointment by the American Baptist 
Missionary Union and designated for work among the 
Chins, being the first missionary sent to that people. 
After substituting for one year in Prome, while the mis- 
sionary regularly assigned to that station was away on 
furlough, Mr. and Mrs. Carson established the first Chin 
Mission at Thayetmyo near the border between lower 
and upper Burma. 

They acquired the language, secured a mission 
compound, erected buildings, established schools and 
churches; did some translating; carried on a persistent 
campaign of evangelism, touring a considerable district 
inhabited by Chins for that purpose. 

This foundation work was continued with good suc- 
cess for ten years without interruption before a mission- 
ary was sent to relieve Mr. Carson for a furlough, long 
overdue. 

After that furlough the Foreign Mission Board in re- 
sponse to the challenge of still more remote tribes of 
Chins, in the depths of paganism and degradation, un- 



vi INTRODUCTION 

reached and untouched by any Christian message or in- 
fluence, authorized the Carsons to advance the frontier 
of Christian work and influence back into the almost 
inaccessible hills of Upper Burma and establish a Mis- 
sion among the semi-savage Chin tribes there. 

This was nearly eighty-five years after Judson began 
his wonderful missionary work in Burma. But the soil 
to be cultivated was virgin soil, and the task not less 
difficult than that undertaken by the great first foreign 
missionary of our American Baptists. Although pagans, 
the Burmese, as Judson found them, at least had a lan- 
guage, a literature, a commerce and a civilization; but 
the remote hill tribes of Chins had none of these. 

After a tour of this remote hill section and consulta- 
tion with representatives of the English Government, 
which had come into control of that part of Burma only 
a few years before, Mr. Carson selected Haka as the 
strategic place in which to establish the new mission. The 
English Government had put a small military out-post 
there, and would not consent to the missionaries going 
to any place in that dangerous territory where there was 
no military post. 

The long and dangerous journey to Haka, the diffi- 
culties of transporting to that remote and almost inac- 
cessible fastness in the mountains, the necessary house- 
hold goods and supplies for a year, the curiosity and 
inquisitiveness of the natives about seeing for the first 
time a white woman, the long efforts to overcome the 
suspicions and prejudices of uncivilized and savage 
tribes, and to acquire their strange unwritten languages 
under those conditions, are all depicted in this book with 
graphic vividness. 

It is the romance of missions to carry civilization to 
uncivilized tribes, to create a written language for them, 



INTRODUCTION vii 

to translate the scriptures into their own dialect, to 
establish schools to educate their children, and hospitals 
to relieve their sufferings, to establish in the midst of 
their sordid and squalid living conditions, a real civilized 
Christian home, and to consecrate all these practical 
means and methods to the paramount purpose of winning 
them to Christ. 

But it is a stupendous task and a long one. Judson 
found it so. Every foreign missionary the world 
around has found it so. The Carsons and their helpers 
(Karens who went with them to the Chin Hills) con- 
tinued their arduous efforts six years before the first con- 
vert in the Haka District was baptized. Mr. Carson only 
lived and labored about three years after that, but he 
had the joy of baptizing the hundredth convert there 
before he was called to his reward in the Glory. At that 
time two dwellings and the hospital had been built on 
the Haka Compound; churches had been organized at 
Haka, Tiddim, and Lomban; schools conducted at Haka, 
Tiddim, Ktlan-Tlang, and Yokwa, one native preacher 
trained and several others in training. 

Translations into Chin of Scripture passages, constitut- 
ing the International Sunday School Lessons, had been 
made from week to week for several years, also Mrs. 
Judson's Catechism and forty-two hymns; and a syste- 
matic translation into Chin of the book of Matthew was 
almost complete. 

It was while Mr. and Mrs. Carson were on a tour 
in a very remote part of the Haka district, ten days' hard 
travel from Haka, that he was stricken. With marvelous 
fortitude and wonderful endurance and vitality, they 
made their way back to Haka, where Dr. East operated 
for appendicitis. But the terrible strain of the long 
rough journey had drawn so heavily upon his splendid 



viii INTRODUCTION 

strength, that he only lived a day or two after the 
operation. 

It was a great comfort to him in his dying hours to 
be assured that his devoted wife had no other thought 
than to carry on the work they had begun together. And 
this she did for twelve years and until her own health 
failed. 

In the meantime Rev. J. Herbert Cope and his wife 
had come, and Mr. Cope had taken charge of the admin- 
istrative work and the evangelistic work; Dr. and Mrs. 
East had been compelled to return to America; and Dr. 
J. G. Woodin and wife had come out to take their places; 
but later they also were compelled to leave the field. 

Mrs. Carson, however, except while on furlough, car* 
ried on the school work, and the translation work, com- 
pleting the book of Matthew and adding the other three 
gospels and the Acts in the Lai Chin language, also many 
gospel hymns; all of which were printed by the Mission 
Press at Rangoon. She prepared a Lai Chin Diction- 
ary; she also maintained her home and as occasion re- 
quired conducted church services, and devotional serv- 
ices, a daily clinic during the absence of the medical 
missionaries, and the administrative work during the 
absence of Mr. Cope, and in a very real sense she has 
been the "Mother" of the Haka Mission; and the na- 
tives, both Christian and pagan, chiefs and common peo- 
ple, alike, so consider her and hold her in warmest love 
and devotion. 

She left the work with deepest regret and her heart 
is still in it. But I am trying to convince her that the 
mission work to which the Lord has now assigned her, 
is to bring vision and inspiration to the home churches, 
so that the slump in missionary giving may be arrested, 
and our churches feel the responsibility and claim the 



INTRODUCTION ix 

privilege, of raising money enough, and sending men 
and women enough, to carry on the great work for which 
the way has been prepared by rare consecration and de- 
votion and by the great sacrifices of the past. 

In fact that is the chief purpose of the publishing of 
this book. When it was written, its primary purpose was 
to preserve for her sons and grandchildren, relatives and 
intimate friends, a record of the main events and inci- 
dents of a somewhat eventful life, as the frank intimacy 
of both the style and the matter indicates. Perhaps for 
that very reason the appeal to the denominational con- 
science will be more effective, because of admitting all 
the Baptist family to that same affectionate intimacy. 

J. H. MEKRIAM. 



PREVIEW 



PART I 
ANTECEDENTS AND BEGINNINGS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I FAMILY, CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS . i 

II CONVERSION AND PIONEER HARDSHIPS . 23 

III COLLEGE AND CALL TO MISSION WORK . 37 

IV FIRST VOYAGE TO BURMA .... 54 
V EARLY EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY . 64 

VI VACATION DAYS AND MISSIONARY TRIALS . 77 

VII SHWE Po AND AUNG BWIN .... 85 

VIII MARRIAGE AND FIRST MISSION TO CHINS . 94 

IX FIRST RETURN TO AMERICA .... 106 

X MA WINE AND MA Fu .... 113 

XI JUNGLE TRIPS . . . . . . . 119 

XII Ko So, Ko MIN AND MAUNG TUN . . 126 

XIII QUEER CUSTOMS AND THRILLING EXPERI- 

ENCES 131 

XIV SECOND RETURN TO AMERICA . . . 139 



PART II 
FOUNDING THE HAKA MISSION 

I BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION . .145 

II LOVING THE UNLOVELY 162 

III WORKING UNDER DIFFICULTIES . . . 166 

IV EMERGENCY RETURN TO AMERICA . . 173 
V A MEDICAL MISSIONARY FOR HAKA . .179 

VI TANG TSIN AND TSONG HKAM . . . 184 

xi 



xii PREVIEW 

CHAPTER PAGE 

VII MR. CARSON'S LAST TOUR .... 190 

VIII CARRYING ON ALONE ..... 200 

IX A LEPER'S FATE AND THE SEQUEL . . 206 

X NEW RECRUITS AND THIRD RETURN . . 211 

XI BACK TO THE FIELD AGAIN .... 216 

XII MEETING NEW PROBLEMS .... 222 

XIII NATIVE INSURRECTION DURING WORLD 

WAR 226 

XIV DEALING WITH FAMINE AND "FLU" . . 238 
XV A GREAT OPPORTUNITY PROVIDENTIALLY 

MET 244 

XVI SEVERING TENDER TIES 248 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

REV. ARTHUR E. CARSON AND MRS. LAURA HARDIN 

CARSON Frontispieces 

FACING PAGE 

GROUP SHOWING DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHINS . 32 

LAURA HARDIN AT TIME OF DEPARTURE FOR 

BURMA 56 

MISSION COMPOUND AND HAKA VILLAGE ... 64 
SHWE Po WIFE AND DAUGHTER .... 88 
A CHIN CHIEF WITH His FLINT-LOCK GUN . 96 

FIRST BAPTISM IN HAKA, BY REV. A. E. CARSON, IN 

LAKE ON COMPOUND 112 

NATIVE CHIN PREACHER AND FAMILY . . .128 
KUTE, FIRST WOMAN CONVERT IN HAKA . .152 
FIRST BAPTISM IN CHIN HILLS, BY DR. E. H. EAST 176 
TSONG HKAM WHO SUFFERED PERSECUTION . 184 

HAKA SCHOOL GROUP, WITH MRS. CARSON AND 

MRS. COPE 192 

GROUP OF WORKERS WITH REV. J. H. COPE . . 208 
EASTER LILY NATIVE OF CHIN HILLS, BURMA . 224 
RE LIEN THE WAIF WHO BECAME A TEACHER . 240 



FOREWORD 

Books like this one speak with authority. They bring 
inspiration, hroaden vision, and strengthen courage. They 
are the living links that relate us to sacrificial service on the 
mission field. We light our torches by these fires and 
press onward in the same quest. 

A more abundant literature of this sort is one of our 
greatest needs, and we welcome this volume, which holds 
within its covers a record of unusual Christian service. 
The story is impressively told in terms of humility and 
intimacy, yet in the strong confidence of the ultimate 
acceptance of the Christian message. 

We recommend to Baptists everywhere the reading of 
this life story and we are listing it in the National Mis- 
sionary Reading Courses for 1927-28. 

WILLIAM A. HILL. 



PART I 
ANTECEDENTS AND BEGINNINGS 



PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS AND 

TRIUMPHS 

CHAPTER I 
FAMILY, CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 

MY FATHER, Evan Taylor Hardin, son of Asa and 
Elizabeth Hardin, was born near Frankfort, Kentucky. 
His father was a slave owner and planter. His mother, 
Elizabeth Taylor, was an own cousin to President Tay- 
lor. Both the Hardins and the Taylors were well-known, 
old aristocratic families of Kentucky. Asa Hardin was 
of the Hardin family, for which Hardin County was 
named, the county in which Abraham Lincoln was born. 

My MOTHER, Lentha Ames Boynton, was born in Wind- 
sor, Vermont. Her father's name was Levi Boynton, and 
her mother's name was Mary Griswold. Both father 
and mother died before she was five years old,, and she 
was taken into the home of Abner Field and brought 
up as his daughter. There were three children in the 
Field family Fred, Walbridge and Isadora but the 
foster child always said that if there was any partiality 
shown in the family, by either father or mother, it 
was shown to her rather than to their own children, as, 
she was frail and delicate and their own children ro- 
bust. Her cousin and foster brother Walbridge became 
Representative to Congress from Massachusetts, and aft- 
erwards was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of 
Massachusetts for many years. Fred represented Spring- 



2 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

field, Vermont, in the legislature twice and was afterwards 
senator from Windsor County. Lentha, though never a 
robust child, was carefully trained and was sent away to 
boarding school in Meridian, New Hampshire, and 
TWAS given more education than was usually accorded to 
; *gir3s at that time. Her brother, Charles S. Boynton, went 
;to try Ms fortune in the middle west, which was pioneer 
-country at the time. He settled on a farm not far from 
v Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County, and after a time 
iwsqte ttp his sister, Lentha, now eighteen, from whom 
%e had been separated since childhood, and asked her to 
come west and keep house for him. This she consented 
to do. Meantime the slavery question was firing the 
hearts of people all over the country. When the agita- 
tion first began, Asa Hardin, one of the largest-hearted 
and most just men in the world, also owner of a large 
plantation and many slaves, decided that slave owning 
was wrong. He, therefore, seconded by his wife who was 
famous for her kindliness and sympathy, freed his slaves, 
thus relinquishing a fortune, sold his plantation and came 
north. He also settled in Sangamon County, Illinois, not 
far from Springfield and near the home of Charles Boyn- 
ton. 

At the time of the great gold excitement in 1849 Evan 
Hardin, son of Asa and Elizabeth Hardin, crossed the 
plains with ox teams to California. He had many hard- 
ships and narrow escapes from death by Indians, wild 
animals, and lack of water in "The Great American 
Desert." His brother was drowned in Feather River, 
and Evan took the remains East for burial going via 
the Isthmus of Panama and overcoming almost insur- 
mountable difficulties. 

He returned to his father's home in Sangamon County, 
Illinois, and it was here that Evan Hardin and Lentha 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 3 

Boynton met and were later married. She was of May- 
flower ancestry and had been brought up in accordance 
with the strictest New England Puritan rules and he with 
the warm-hearted, open-handed hospitality of the South. 
Although he proved to be of a roving disposition and 
found it hard to settle down to anything, he was one of the 
largest-souled men living and the union proved to be a 
very happy one. 

The young couple went from Illinois to Fairfield, Iowa, 
where Mr. Hardin entered into the dry goods business 
with his brother-in-law. It was here that their first child, 
Charles Albert, was born. Mr. Hardin met with heavy 
losses because of his inability to "turn down" a friend. 
He signed a note for a considerable amount which he 
had to pay. As the money had to come out of the busi- 
ness, this angered his brother-in-law and led to their dis- 
solving partnership. 

Mr. Hardin then went to Harrison County (Iowa) to 
a small town north of Council Bluffs, called Calhoun. 
Here he bought property and again engaged in mercantile 
business. It was thought that Calhoun would become the 
large town of this vicinity and he refused to exchange 
lots there for those of equal size in what is now the 
heart of Omaha. But business proved slower than he had 
anticipated and, restless and eager to get on, he moved 
across the Missouri River to the little town of Coming 
City near the present location of Blair. During this resi- 
dence in Calhoun, two sons were born to them Abner 
Field in 1854, and George Nelson in 1856. In Coming 
City, September 28, 1858, I was born. My father had 
long wanted a daughter and was more than delighted to 
welcome me into his rapidly growing family. 

I was given the name of Laurie Lentha. Later, when 
a school girl, I so disliked names ending in "ie" that I 



"4 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

always wrote my name Laura. Then, when I married, 
not wishing to give up the family name of which I was 
unduly proud, I dropped the Lentha (from Lenthal, a sur- 
name in my mother's family) and retained the Hardin, 
and so have been Laura Hardin Carson since my mar- 
riage in 1886. 

We lived in the midst of Winnebago Indians and were 
so annoyed by their begging and thieving that my mother 
was unwilling to remain among them. Accordingly, when 
I was two years old, my parents returned to Calhoun, 
where my father again engaged in the dry goods busi- 
ness. He seems to have prospered for a time for we 
owned and lived in the best house in town, and he carried 
on the leading business of the place. But he became 
interested in an "Iowa Swamp Land Investment Com- 
pany," in which great fortunes were to be made. He 
invested all he had and lost ! He sold his store to meet 
outstanding debts but he did meet them. He had barely 
enough left to buy a small farm of sixty acres about two 
miles out of town. My mother's jewels were traded for 
a small house which was moved to the farm and which 
for several years became my home. 

While living in Calhoun a second daughter was born. 
As she was born on November 5, 1860, the day before 
Abraham Lincoln (who was a well-known and personal 
friend of my father's) was elected president, she was 
named Julia Lincoln. 

Soon after this time came the civil war. My father 
heard the call of his country and was among the first 
to volunteer for service. He belonged to the 2pth Regi- 
ment, Company A, Iowa Volunteers (Infantry). My 
brave, courageous, and patriotic mother, although in frail 
health and with five small children, no money and nothing 
else, except a miserable house of four rooms and sixty 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 5 

acres of land, made no complaint, but encouraged my 
father's volunteering. His brother, John J. Hardin of 
Springfield, Illinois (and long afterwards county treas- 
urer of Sangamon County), whose sympathies were with 
the South, wrote such scathing letters with regard to the 
matter that it led to an estrangement which lasted for 
many years after the war had ended. 

Though less than four years old at the time, I well re- 
member the morning my father left for the war. My 
oldest brother, Charles, was then nine years old. My 
father charged him so tenderly and earnestly with the 
care of my mother that the tears streamed down her 
cheeks, and my heart was filled with wonder as to what 
it all meant, as my father, after kissing the others good-by, 
lifted me from the highchair and pressed me to his 
breast. 

There are a few things indelibly silhouetted against 
the sky of my memory that were impressed upon my 
childish mind during those awful days of war. My 
father always, if possible, wrote to my mother immediately 
before and after a battle. I can remember her, after 
putting us children to bed, walking the floor and wringing 
her hands in anguish. 

I could not understand what it meant then, but I have 
thought since it was times when she was waiting for the 
letter after the battle. Poor Mother ! How bravely she 
fought with poverty, want and anxiety during those years, 
no one will ever know. But she was a good mother. 
Her boys were well trained, strong and obedient and 
were a great help and comfort to her. 

I remember that we were obliged to eat corn bread 
and molasses or go hungry for there was nothing else. 
I was inclined to be delicate as a little child, and the 
corn bread did not agree with me. Because there was 



6 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

nothing else, and I was obliged to eat it, it threw me into 
dysentery and I was very ill. My mother felt that she 
must get me some wheat bread or lose me. There was 
no flour to be had; but there was an old flour mill about 
five miles distant that had not been running for many 
months. One night my mother put the younger children 
to bed, and with the two older boys for company and to 
carry the grain, walked to Hardy's mill on Willow Creek, 
and getting Judge Hardy out of bed, told him her pitiful 
story, beseeching him to grind enough of the wheat, which 
the boys carried, to keep her child from dying. Judge 
Hardy was a kindly man and was deeply touched. He 
said the mill was not in grinding order, but that he would 
try the next day to put it in shape to grind her little 
bit of wheat, and would send her the flour. I do not 
remember whether the flour came or not; but I do re- 
member how she was buoyed up with the hope of getting 
it. I remember also her sending the boys on a five-mile 
tramp to the home of a distant cousin of my father's 
(Rebecca Mathews) to tell her of our need and to ask 
her, if possible, to obtain a loaf of white bread for us. 
I can never forget when the boys came home bringing a 
huge, brown loaf of fresh, white bread. I think nothing 
in all the years since has ever looked quite so good to me 
as that beautiful loaf of white bread which probably 
saved my life. 

Our house was very open and cold snow sifted 
through the cracks upon our beds in winter, and fuel was 
almost unobtainable. My mother did not know how we 
were to get through the winter. Often, month after month 
passed by without her receiving, until long after due, the 
pittance of my father's pay. The struggles with poverty 
during those days were hard, indeed. Finally a kind 
man, Harris Day, who could not get into the army be- 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 7 

cause of lameness, who had a good wife, a large house, and 
no children, learning of my mother's brave struggles, came 
and offered to give us rooms in his house and to furnish 
us with plenty of fuel for the winter, as a small part of his 
duty to his country. My mother shrank from being a 
burden to others, but was finally obliged to accept the kind 
offer. I remember being there during the winter and 
the great kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Day to my mother 
and especially to us children. The boys went to school 
and Mr. Day made prairie-chicken traps for them which 
were placed near a large pile of sugar-cane seed. The 
snow was deep and continuous that winter and the prairie- 
chickens came in large numbers to feed on the cane seed, 
and the boys caught dozens of them for market and for 
food, so the enterprise proved a great blessing to us. 

I do not know just how long we stayed there but one 
little incident which I well remember shows the kind 
consideration of Mr. Day. He had a niece who was a 
school teacher, a Miss Walden, who sometimes came to 
her uncle's for the week-end. She was very fond of little 
children and on the occasions of these visits used to ask 
me to sleep with her. One night, after putting me to bed, 
some company came in, and she left me. The bed was 
near a wall and in tumbling about, I struck my foot 
against the window and broke to atoms a pane of glass. 
I was terrified at what I had done. I knew that my 
mother had no money. What would she say? What 
would she do? Perhaps the glass was not badly broken 
and if only I could get it, perhaps I could fit the pieces 
in. But I could not raise the sash and I could not get 
out of doors to see without going through the room where 
the company was. I spent a half hour of anguish and 
finally decided to go through the room very quietly and 
slip out of doors and examine the broken glass. So, in my 



8 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

nighty, and feeling very guilty, and as if nothing but the 
gallows would do for me if I could not restore the glass, 
I glided quietly through the room, receiving many pleasant 
smiles from the guests as I did so. It was very cold, my 
feet were bare, and the glass was in atoms. I soon slipped 
back to bed, but not to sleep, feeling that my doom was 
near. When the guests were gone, Miss Walden came 
in, noticed the broken window and went out again. Pres- 
ently Mr. Day called me, and feeling myself the most 
awful culprit imaginable, I went out to him. 

He took me in his arms and asked, "Did you break 
the window ? " "Yes, but it is broken all in little pieces, 
and I could not put them back," I said, beginning to cry. 
"Never mind, little girl. Accidents will happen. I will 
forgive you if you won't tell your mother. You must say 
nothing about it to her," he said, kissing me and sending 
me back to bed. Few times in my life can I remember 
ever having felt so great a sense of relief. To be for- 
given and not even have to tell my mother about it! 
It seemed too good to be true. The kind-hearted man 
felt that my mother had troubles enough and did not 
want her worried over the broken glass. 

In the spring we went back to the farm ; for the boys 
must till the land though they had only an ox team with 
which to do it. The place was run down and the fence 
partly gone, but they worked like Trojans, for were they 
not to do the work of men while their father was fighting 
for his country ? 

I do not remember much that transpired during that 
summer the second year of the war but one incident 
seems ineffaceably stamped upon my memory. For sev- 
eral weeks Father had. been lying very ill in the hospital 
at Little Rock, Arkansas. The troops were suddenly 
moved from there. He was too ill to be moved and was 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 9 

left among the dead and dying. One of those angels of 
mercy, an army nurse, came through, found that he was 
still alive and tenderly ministered to him until he was 
able to travel. She then procured a ten days* furlough 
for him and sent him home to his loved ones. 

One evening almost at sunset, we were all standing in 
the yard when Mother, shading her eyes with her hand, 
and looking intently up the road in the direction of the 
glowing sunset, said, "I declare! There comes a man 
who walks like your Father. I do believe . . . Yes! It 
is! It is he! Come on!" and we all fairly flew to the 
arms of the man who was hurrying in our direction. 
What a meeting that was, and what a parting ten days 
later! We had heard that he was very ill from a letter 
written by a comrade before the troops were moved. 
That letter was followed by weeks of silence, and Mother 
had almost given him up for dead and was living in 
anguish, watching hourly for official news of him. 

The furlough was soon over and we were alone again 
with another winter to face. It was that winter, I think, 
that we moved back to Calhoun and lived in "the little 
red house under the hill." Mother could not bear that 
her children should not be in school, and she probably 
moved there so that the younger ones, for whom it was 
too far to walk in winter from the farm, could have the 
advantages of school. The house also was warmer and 
fuel was very scarce and hard to get. In that part of 
the country coal had never yet been used for fuel and 
the able-bodied men all having gone to war, it was next 
to impossible to get sufficient wood hauled from the 
timber. On Saturdays the boys would yoke up the ox 
team in the morning, go to the woods and bring back 
enough wood to last until the next Saturday. This would 
take them practically the whole day; and only by the 



io PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

strictest economy could the wood be made to keep our fire 
going for a week. 

I do not remember many things that transpired during 
that winter. One thing I do remember is that the Winne- 
bago Indians camped near our place and had to pass 
our house when going to and from town. Although, when 
sober, they were friendly and harmless except for thiev- 
ing, when filled with "firewater" they not infrequently 
took advantage of there being no men about, and commit- 
ted such depredations that women and children were in 
terror at sight of them. One afternoon Mother received 
a letter from Father. The letter contained news of Cap- 
tain Danielson, father of the girl that my brother, Fieldj 
afterwards married. Mother cautioned us children not to 
go out of the yard, saying there were drunken Indians in 
town, and that she would be back in a few moments. She 
took the letter to hurry with the news to Mrs. Danielson. 
When she returned a half hour later, the Indians had 
taken possession of the house, one was lying drunk under 
the bed and we children were screaming with terror. 
Fortunately, Mother had with her a dog- of which the 
Indians were greatly afraid. He growled so savagely at 
them that when Mother told them that she would let him 
after them if they did not leave immediately they got 
their drunken companion on his feet and hustled away. 
The absolute terror I experienced on that occasion I 
shall never forget. 

On December 1 3th of that hard winter my brother, 
Evan Shelby, was born, making six children for my poor 
mother to care for. Many times when she was too ill to 
be up and about the house, I can remember her sitting up 
in bed, cutting and making garments for us. It was be- 
fore the days of readymade clothing for children, and 
at that time a sewing machine was a great curiosity. She 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 11 

had none, and every garment for all six children had to be 
made by hand. But the months dragged by and at last 
came news of Lee's surrender. The awful war was over 
and my father came home. We went back to the farm, 
the boys tilled the ground as best they could with our ox 
team, and Father worked at the "cabinet maker's" trade, 
but he was much broken in health and it was all he 
could do to supply us with absolute necessities. The boys 
were good and obedient, with no bad habits, but were still 
but children. Those were hard years while we children 
were growing up, and two more little ones came into the 
family while we were on the farm after my father's re- 
turn from the war Harriet Emily (Emma) and Robert 
Clarence. 

We older children went to the school in Calhoun where 
all grades were taught by one teacher. My older brothers 
were frequently obliged to get work, to help support the 
family. As I grew older there was seldom a week that I 
was not kept at home at least one or two days to help 
Mother, whose health was always delicate. Finally I 
stayed out of school altogether and worked very hard. 
Before I was thirteen I did practically all of the washing 
and ironing for our large family, besides doing a consid- 
erable part of the housework. It took most of Mother's 
time to do the sewing, as we children were older and she 
made all of the suits for the boys as well as clothes for 
herself and us girls. About this time my father bought 
her a sewing machine a "Weed." It was the second one 
I had ever seen. Needless to say, it facilitated the sewing 
greatly especially as my oldest brother learned to oper- 
ate it and was glad to help Mother whenever at leisure to 
do so. 

We children attended Sunday School in the only 
church in the place the Methodist. There was a very 



12 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

small library of old-fashioned Sunday School books. I 
brought one home one day, a Missionary book which had 
pictures of the hideous idols in India and told how the 
people worshiped them instead of the Christ whom we 
knew and loved. I took the book to Mother and asked 
her if the things in it were really true. She said that they 
were, and talked of our duty to those who did not even 
know that God so loved the world that He gave his only- 
begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not 
perish but have everlasting life. The talk and the pic- 
tures made an impression on me that I never forgot 
and were the beginning of my interest in missions. I 
said then, "When I get an education, I would like to 
go and teach them." But my chance for an education 
seemed remote enough though there were influences at 
work of which I knew nothing. 

Joining our farm on the east there was a nursery 
owned by a man who had an only daughter, named Ella, 
who was my closest, most devoted friend and classmate. 
Her parents were fine people. When she was thirteen 
years old (I was six months older), they decided to send 
her to the Magnolia High School, recently founded at 
Magnolia, Iowa, and presided over by an unusually fine 
teacher, Professor J. D. Hornby. Ella besought me to 
try to induce my parents to let me go with her. Though 
I longed to go with an inexpressible longing, I felt that 
the matter was hopeless and refused to mention the 
subject to my people. Finally Mr. and Mrs. Day, Ella's 
parents, came one evening and talked the matter over 
with my father and mother, saying that if I did not go 
then, in all probability I would never go to school any 
more; for when older even if there were opportunity, I 
would probably be ashamed to go into classes with chil- 
dren much younger than myself; then they felt that I 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 13 

was working much too hard for a young girl, which 
it would be very difficult to avoid if I remained at home ; 
and lastly they could not bear to have Ella and me 
separated. They said they had been to Magnolia, had 
made inquiries and had found a place for Ella to board 
where the people would be willing to take me to work 
for my board if my parents would allow me to go. 
They talked the matter over privately for a long time. 
Finally, I was amazed when they told me they had decided 
to let me go. It seemed too good to be true; but my 
joy was tempered by the thought that I ought not to 
leave my mother with burdens of work far beyond what I 
knew she was able to carry. My sister, Julia, two years 
younger than myself, hated housework, but she was willing 
to do any out-door work that she was called upon to do, 
and she loved Mother enough to overcome her dislike 
for housework, and came splendidly to the rescue after I 
was gone. 

In September, 1872, when I was fourteen years old, I 
went with Ella to Magnolia and we entered school to- 
gether. We lived with Mrs. A. N. Oviatt, Ella as a 
boarder and I working for my board, my father paying 
only for my music lessons. He was inordinately fond 
of music and one of his fondest hopes was that his oldest 
daughter should be a musician. Mrs. Oviatt was a fine 
music teacher, and he hoped that this would be my op- 
portunity. But in this he was destined to bitter disap- 
pointment, for I never had a note of music in me that I 
was capable of expressing, though I have sometimes felt 
that like Trilby's manager, there was marvelous music 
in my soul, if only I could find expression for it. But 
I failed to find it in my dear "Aunt Nean's" old piano. 
To my dying day I shall never forget how I watched the 
clock the hours I had to practice. I feel bound to say, 



14 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

however, that I think I could have learned to play a 
little, very mechanically, had not my brothers made so 
much fun of my miserable attempts that I always thought 
that I was doing really worse than I was. Having three 
older brothers, frank as brothers usually are, I was not 
allowed to grow vain along any lines. I well remember 
my brother, George, planting himself in front of me and, 
with head to one side and hands on hips, recounting my 
beauties as follows: "red-headed, freckled-faced, snub- 
nosed, snaggle-toothed, left-handed, big-footed, fat!" 
And the evident disgust with which he enumerated these 
qualities pierced me to the soul. I felt as though it was 
almost a crime to have red hair; and what I suffered 
from being called "Carrots," "Sorrel Top," and so forth, 
no one except a child with a very sensitive nature can 
know. It therefore took actual suffering from my young 
life when Aunt Nean (Mrs. Oviatt) pronounced my hair 
very beautiful, and did the work herself that I should 
have done, in order to brush my red-gold hair around her 
finger into conventional curls, mornings before I went to 
school. Up to this time I believed that I was the embodi- 
ment of all that was ugly and awkward and inefficient. 
Looking back from this distance, I believe that I was 
an ordinary-looking girl with freckled face, fair clear 
complexion, snub-nose and plump body. If I had any 
beauty at all, it was my clear, fair skin and my hair. 
I was only a mediocre student with ordinary ability, but 
I had a great longing always to make something worth- 
while of my life. It was in Magnolia High School that 
I first met Newell Dwight Hillis, who years afterwards 
was a strong factor in making me believe it possible for 
me to prepare for foreign mission service. One of his 
sisters died, and, on the day of her funeral, another sister 
left from the cemetery on her journey as a missionary to 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 15 

Ceylon. This made a profound impression on me and I 
secretly resolved that some day I would go to teach those 
who had not the knowledge of salvation through Jesus 
Christ. 

During my second year in Magnolia, my father decided 
that he must make more effort to provide for his three 
large boys who were rapidly growing into men. There 
was much talk at the time of opportunities opening in 
western Nebraska for farm homesteads. Good farms 
were to be had for living upon and improving them. 
My oldest brother, Charles, was much interested; and 
encouraged by my father, he engaged to go out to Furnas 
County with Mr. George Sayers, a well-to-do Englishman 
who became one of the first settlers on Medicine Creek, 
north of the present town of Cambridge. Charles was 
much pleased with the prospects and filed on a quarter sec- 
tion of land which had an abundance of both wood and 
water. As the nearest railroad was more than fifty miles 
distant, it was impossible to get lumber for building pur- 
poses even if money had been available. Both Mr. Sayers 
and Charles dug rather than built their homes. Excava- 
tions were made into a bank, then walls of sod were built 
up for two or three feet above the ground so that windows 
could be put in. On these walls a framework of poles 
was made for a roof; this framework was covered with 
brush, then a layer of sod was put on and the whole 
covered with earth. It is true these roofs sometimes 
leaked, but not often rain was woefully infrequent! 

I remember, however, hearing my husband tell of two 
Baptist ministers coming out from the East and being 
entertained in his father's "dugout," as these dwellings 
were called. In the middle of the night there came a 
torrential rain and muddy water streamed through the 
roof. He went out to see how the guests were faring 



16 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

and found one of them sitting up in bed wearing his 
silk (stovepipe) hat and holding his umbrella over it 
for protection. Needless to say that on the following 
day he "struck the trail," hat intact, for the East and 
never to return ! 

Charles finished his dugout and found it warm and 
comfortable. He wrote glowing accounts of fine land 
to be secured for the taking and urged my father to sell 
the little farm, put the money into good cows and come 
before the best land had all been taken by others. Ac- 
cordingly, the farm was sold, the cows bought, and all 
of our earthly belongings not otherwise disposed of were 
packed into two covered wagons, one of which was drawn 
by horses and the other by oxen, and the journey from 
Harrison County, Iowa, to Furnas County, Nebraska, was 
begun. Just how long it took us, I do not now remember ; 
but to the younger members of the party, each day was 
full of interest and delight as we plodded along, driving 
our cows or riding in the covered wagons and camping 
nights. Oh, the fragrance of the coffee and bacon over 
those camp fires ! I can smell it yet. 

My sixteenth birthday was celebrated on the trip at 
Lone Tree (now Central City), Nebraska. 

Sometime in October, 1874, we reached the little log 
postoffice and trading post, Medicine Creek, which was 
at that time the only building in the place. The post- 
master kept a few supplies which he freighted across the 
country from Plum Creek now Lexington on the Union 
Pacific Railway. Times were so hard in the vicinity during 
those first years that the Post was dubbed by the settlers 
as "Scratchpot" and by this name it became known all 
over the country, until later, when the railroad came 
through, it was given the more euphonious name of Cam- 
bridge. 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 17 

We settled for the winter in my brother Charles' dug- 
out, while my father began the search for a suitable home 
for us. This he eventually found on the south side of 
the Republican River about three miles from Cambridge. 
He bought a hundred and sixty acres of land with a two- 
room house (hewed log with an upper room or attic 
which was reached by a ladder), a good pump and a few 
other improvements upon it. In payment for this he 
turned in a large percentage of our little herd of cows. 
We were to have possession in the spring. Never shall 
I forget the winter spent in the Medicine Creek dugout. 
My father and brother went to Plum Creek and laid in a 
store of flour, a little sugar, coffee, salt, etc. just barest 
necessities. With our cows, which had the rich buffalo 
grass that covered the ground at that time and made the 
best of winter pasture, we had plenty of milk and but- 
ter. But there were months on end when we had abso- 
lutely nothing to eat but the delicious cream toast which 
my mother was so skillful in making. There were no 
vegetables and no meat just a little dried fruit or dried 
corn at long intervals for an especial treat. My father 
felt that we must have a greater variety of food to retain 
health, so he and my brother joined some buffalo hunters 
men who hunted buffaloes for their robes, which they 
hauled to Plum Creek or some other railroad town and 
exchanged for provisions, ammunition and clothing. The 
plains were covered in those days with great herds of 
buffaloes ; and for years afterwards their bleaching bones 
whitened the plains in every direction. 

It did not take the hunters long to secure and market 
their load of robes; but somehow they missed the herd 
they expected to find on their way home and came in 
without meat. We children were greatly disappointed 
for we were so hungry for meat ! The buffaloes did not 



i8 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

usually come very close to the settlement. But one morn- 
ing a herd- was sighted not far away and my father and 
brother were soon after them. They killed eleven that 
morning before breakfast. A wagon was taken out to 
the hunting ground and a whole load of hams, humps, 
loin roasts, and tongues only the choicest parts were 
brought home. My! How we feasted! A little house 
was made out of brush where the meat could be kept 
frozen and we had no lack of animal food during the 
rest of the winter. 

I remember that winter as one of the most carefree of 
my life. My brother owned a pony team and a spring 
wagon. With only two rooms, without floors, little to 
cook, and nothing to sew, there was little to keep two 
girls full of life and spirit indoors. We learned to ride 
and drive the ponies. Almost daily we either rode or 
drove to the postoffice, three and one-half miles away, 
for the mail. We became so expert at driving, always 
taking turns, that we became very proud of our horse- 
manship. We actually practiced driving around the head 
of a deep ravine to see how near we could drive to the 
edge of the cliff without going over. But one day, when 
the hind wheel did practically go over, we were terrified 
enough to make us stop such foolhardy performances. 
We were not agreed, however, as to which was the better 
driver the one who came closest to the edge without 
going over, or the one who went practically over, yet 
came out of the scrape without accident. All cowboys 
in the country had nice riding ponies, and we girls had 
frequent opportunities to ride them. We were not afraid 
to mount anything that our brothers would permit us 
to mount, and many were the gay rides we had that our 
parents knew nothing about. Riding was the only amuse- 
ment there was at that time for young people except the 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 19 

settlement dances. My parents had never approved of 
dancing, but they hadn't the heart to forbid us attending 
these, cut off as we were from all other social life. The 
settlers were for the most part uneducated and uncouth, 
but almost universally warm-hearted,, honest and kind. 
There were a few who felt keenly the lack of school and 
religious advantages. Some of these got together in the 
spring of 1875 and organized a union Sunday School. 
Mr. S. K. Keyes, as I remember it, was superintendent. 
The Sunday School was held in a little one-room log 
cabin without any floor. Some of the people brought 
chairs and a few planks from their homes and planks 
placed on chairs formed the seats. I was asked to take 
a class of small boys. I took them into one corner and 
taught them most enthusiastically. One small boy, son 
of the superintendent, sat directly in front of me and 
gazed up into my face with apparently rapt interest. 
I was flattered, feeling sure that one boy at least was 
drinking in all I said and would be good all the rest of 
his life. The lesson ended. The room was quiet. 
"Would any boy like to ask a question?" I asked, smil- 
ing into the upturned face before me. Quick as a flash 
"Teacher, what makes your nose kick up so?" came back 
at me from the admiring boy. I giggled. Everybody in 
the room heard and roared, so that it was impossible for 
me to give even my brother George's explanation, that it 
was to hang my dinner pail on when I went to school. 
That was the beginning of my religious work, and I felt 
somewhat chagrined. 

That spring we moved to my father's farm south of the 
river, into the log house to which two sod rooms had been 
added. This was at that time the best house in the entire 
settlement in fact the only one with a shingled roof and 
there were shingles only over the log part of this house. 



20 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

A part of the land had been under cultivation a year 
or two but was still new and rich. More was plowed 
and all was planted. It was a good year and crops 
enormous. Finer corn one would not wish to see than 
grew that year in Republican Valley, and hopes ran 
high. But, alas ! they were not long-lived. Long before 
the fields of splendid corn were mature, there came one 
bright cloudless day a dark shadow over the sun and 
presently there descended upon the earth myriads and 
myriads of grasshoppers or locusts. They attacked every 
living thing in the way of vegetable matter, taking every 
leaf as they went. In three or four hours, there was 
nothing left of the magnificent corn fields except the 
bare stalks about a foot above the ground. 

Every leaf was taken from the trees and everything 
that resembled vegetatiori from the garden. The windows 
were darkened by the pests and on the sides of the house 
they were so thick you could not put down the end of a 
cane without touching one. The following day, when 
everything was gone, they suddenly rose, again darkened 
i&e sun, and traveled on, leaving nothing but desolation 
behind them. This devastation made the winter inde- 
scribably hard for the settlers. Again we were without 
vegetables. We had a fine lot of young hogs, but now 
there would be no corn to feed them. My father and 
brother killed them and cured the meat. Taking ours, 
and buying a load from one of our neighbors, they started 
over the plains to the Black Hills. It was at the time of 
the gold excitement there and they hoped to dispose of 
the meat at a good price. My father also hoped that his 
experience in the early days in California might lead him 
into something good from the mines. But vain were all 
their hopes. They returned after three or four months, 
not having made enough to pay for the meat bought of 



CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL DAYS 21 

the neighbor, and my brother having contracted mountain 
fever from which he never recovered. 

One day, as my seventeenth birthday was drawing 
near, the school director called at our house. He sur- 
prised me by saying, "We want you to teach our school 
this winter." "Why, I don't know enough to teach 
school," I replied. "Well, we have got to have a school 
and you will have to teach it. I guess you have had 
more schooling than any of the rest of the youngsters 
anyhow, and you must do what you can for them," he 
replied. And so it was arranged that I was to teach 
the school the second term ever taught in the district 
*/ / could get a certificate. I had very grave doubts of 
being able to secure one. The County Superintendent 
lived some twenty-five miles distant, and it was arranged 
that my brother Field should take the ponies and spring 
wagon and drive me to his home where I would take 
the examination and return the next day. The long 
drive in the cold, raw wind gave me a raging headache. 
It was evening when we got there. After supper and a 
cup of tea, I took the examination, which I suspect the 
Superintendent made rather easy for me. Anyhow, won- 
der of wonders, I got my certificate! I returned home 
triumphant and happy. 

That winter I shall always remember as one of the 
hardest of my life. My mother was in miserable health. 
My two brothers and two sisters then at home all went 
to school to me. We had to walk more than two miles. 
That winter the snow was very deep and the cold in- 
tense. I arose long before daylight and prepared 
breakfast, while my sister Julia helped with the milking. 
We washed the dishes, put the house in order and put 
up lunch for five of us before starting on our two miles' 
tramp through the snow. 



22 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

There were some grown boys in school older by 
several years than I was. One was a fine mathemati- 
cian. Nobody will ever know how hard I worked to 
keep ahead of him that winter. Mentally it was good 
for me, but with all the physical strain added, I realized 
that I could not keep up the pace another year. My sister 
and I were obliged to do the family washing and ironing 
evenings and Saturdays, and often after washing I sat 
up until far into the night working over the arithmetic 
problems which must be taught the next day. My mother 
realized that it was too hard for me and encouraged 
me to go to Illinois to the home of her brother and 
attend school the following year. Not far from Pleasant 
Plains there was an excellent country school, known as 
Franklin Academy, which my cousins attended. I 
wrote my uncle of my desire to teach and of the need 
of further education. He replied very cordially, inviting 
me to come and spend the winter in his home and go to 
school with his daughter who really needed the company 
of an older girl. 



CHAPTER II 
CONVERSION AND PIONEER HARDSHIPS 

DURING the winter of my first school teaching 1875 
there came an evangelist from our county seat and held 
Revival Meetings in the old sod school house where I 
taught. Practically everybody in the community attended, 
and many were converted. I was a leader among the 
young people. Many watched and waited for me to make 
a start. I was adamant. The preacher talked to me 
about how many I was holding back from the way of sal- 
vation. I made no reply, though the thought of my re- 
sponsibility for others gave me many wakeful nights. My 
brother Charles to whom I was devotedly attached, begged 
me to yield to the pleadings of Christ and seek eternal 
salvation. My mother spoke to me very lovingly and 
tenderly. She said all the rest of the family had chosen 
the better way and it would break her heart if I did not go 
with them. I made no reply, but I was very miserable. 
I had made up my mind that I would never, never ask 
for prayers or say publicly that I wanted to be a Chris- 
tian. The fact was I danced. I was fascinated with 
dancing. Christians thought it was wrong. It was not 
wrong, and I was not going to give it up. I would dance 
as much as I liked. I would also live such a model Chris- 
tian life that people couldn't help seeing that my influ- 
ence was better than that of those who were joining the 
church even though they didn't dance. 

Days and nights went by. Oh, such days, such mis- 
erable days and nights for me. I doubt if ever any- 

23 



24 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

body felt a deeper sense of sin, or a stronger determina- 
tion never to confess it before men. Finally, the night 
before the meetings were to close, when the invitation 
was given, before I realized what I was doing, invol- 
untarily I was on my feet. It seemed as if a power 
I could not control prompted me. I wanted to be dis- 
gusted and ashamed of my weakness, but the sense of re- 
lief was so great I was filled with rejoicing. If I had 
been miserable before, I was blissfully, radiantly happy 
now. The thought of dancing, which had held me back 
for so long, lost all attraction for me. My mind and 
heart were filled with higher, holier things. Oh, there 
was so much to be done in the world to bring the great 
over-mastering joy I had found into the hearts of others ! 
What sacrifice was it to give up dancing? I hated the 
thought of having allowed so insignificant a thing to 
have kept me away from Christ. I sought eagerly for 
worth-while things to do. My mother had a number of 
old-fashioned religious books. They had never had the 
least interest for me before. I now read with avidity 
everything of the kind I could lay hands on and longed 
for more. The wish to be a foreign missionary, long 
dormant (for it would never do for a missionary to 
dance), now revived. However, it would take a thorough 
education to become a missionary and I knew that the only 
hope of an education was to earn it through my own 
work. Up to this time I had spent my earnings, in so far 
as I could, to add a few comforts bare necessities really 
to the home. 

Soon after my conversion, a Methodist Church and 
Sunday School were organized in my little sod school 
house now "Sunny Hillside." Nearly all of the new 
converts went into these organizations, including my 
brother Charles who became Superintendent of the Sun- 



CONVERSION AND HARDSHIPS 25 

xlay School. I became a teacher in the Sunday School 
and was truly and deeply sorry that I could not become 
a member of the Methodist Church. The Evangelist 
labored with me, urging that I would keep others from 
joining. I told him that if he could prove to me from 
the Bible that infant baptism was taught there, I would 
not hesitate a moment. He said as a matter of fact he 
did not believe much in infant baptism himself, that he 
had never had his own little children baptized, preferring 
to wait until they were old enough to realize what they 
were doing. "And yet you practice it," I said, "prac- 
tice what you don't believe in. I could not do that, 
neither could I say, through the church to the world, 
that I believe in it when in my heart I do not," and there 
the matter dropped. 

In the autumn of that year I went to my uncle's 
(Charles S. Boynton), near Pleasant Plains, Illinois, and 
attended the Franklin School. My cousin Ella and I 
usually rode the same horse, one behind the other. In 
the winter when the mud was thin and deep and the 
horse broke through the ice with every step we some- 
times felt that it was getting an education under difficul- 
ties. But the fact that we were getting an education 
meant much to me. The school was a good one and 
for me it was a wonderful opportunity. My uncle was 
"well-to-do" and highly respected in the community. Both 
he and his wife were very kind to me. They were prom- 
inent members of the Baptist Church in Berlin. My 
uncle was a deacon, greatly beloved, who was always in 
his place in church. I regularly attended church with 
them. We had three or four miles to drive, but no mat- 
ter how bad the roads and often our carriage wheels 
would block full of the thick clay we were always there. 

That winter the church called a new pastor, a young 



26 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

man just fresh from the Seminary Lee M. Goff. This 
was his first pastorate and I was the first person he ever 
baptized. 

I remained at my uncle's until the end of the school 
year, then returned to Nebraska, where I again engaged 
in teaching. I was made Superintendent of the Sunday 
School. Being deeply interested in religious things I 
tried with some degree of success to influence my pupils 
to Christian living. This encouraged me to once more 
seriously consider foreign missions; and I prayed that 
God would help me to know his will in the matter. 

About this time I was visited by a school director from 
Lynden (now Hendley) and was offered a better salary 
than they were able to pay in pur home district. My 
brothers and sisters accused me of being a little hard 
on them in my anxiety not to seem partial. I was there- 
fore glad to try a new district and contracted for the 
school. 

When our own director learned of it he was much dis- 
appointed and immediately made arrangements to send his 
oldest son to the district to which I was going in order 
that he might continue under my instruction. As he was 
a prominent man and represented more money than all 
the rest of the community, at that time, his practical ap- 
proval of me in this way materially added to my reputa- 
tion as a teacher. It was while teaching here in a little 
log house and boarding with a German family in a three- 
roomed dugout that I first met Arthur Carson. 

He had come with his parents to seek a home on the 
western prairies. He was the oldest of three sons. His 
father was partially paralyzed and had to walk with 
crutches, so upon Arthur's young shoulders came the 
responsibilities of the family when he was only eighteen 



CONVERSION AND HARDSHIPS 27 

years old. There were two younger brothers and one 
sister in the family, besides his parents. 

He was graduated from the Morning Sun (Iowa) 
High School before starting for the West and had taught 
.one term of school. He was converted while quite a 
young man and had united with the Baptist Church. 

After coming to Nebraska, the Carsons settled near 
the place I was teaching and Arthur taught in an adjoin- 
ing district. It was during this time that there began a 
friendship between us that culminated in our marriage, 
on the other side of the world, many years later. 

The year of my return from Illinois was fraught with 
incidents not soon to be forgotten. There were continued 
rumors of Indian depredations to the west of us. Finally 
there came authentic news of the raiding of a settlement 
where houses had been looted, cattle and ponies driven 
away, and about thirty settlers had been killed. One 
brave woman, alone in a dugout, with a good rifle and 
plenty of ammunition, had kept them at bay for five 
hours when the approach of some cowboys caused the 
few remaining Indians to flee. The whole settlement 
presented a scene of utter desolation. Houses had been 
pillaged and burned, featherbeds ripped open and their 
contents scattered to the four winds, stock driven away 
and inhabitants killed. 

As this all happened only about thirty or forty miles 
west of us, naturally the people in our settlement felt 
nervous and uneasy. 

One morning a month or so after this news had 
reached us, there came madly riding into our dooryard, 
the foam flying from the sides of his panting pony as 
he rode, a man, who only halted long enough to call 
out, "The Indians are upon us only a few miles away 



28 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

hurry to Medicine Creek (Post) at once for protection,," 
and he rode wildly on to warn other settlers. My father, 
who had had plenty of experience fighting Indians while 
crossing the plains, soon had the boys driving cows, har- 
nessing horses, etc., while he looked after firearms and 
ammunition, and Mother and we girls got together such 
provisions and bedding as we could and loaded them into 
the wagon. We all worked feverishly, and when prepa- 
rations were finished and loads of people with their be- 
longings were hurrying from every direction to the Post, 
my father urged us to hurry and get into the wagon. I 
said very quietly, "Go on, I am not going." 

"You are not going!" said my father, "and why not?" 

"I am not afraid," I said, "and I would rather stay 
here than be in the mob. If the Indians come, they will 
see the place is deserted and I can easily hide." 

Without a word, my father put down his gun and sat 
down. When I urged him to go he said, "What kind of a 
father would I be to leave a young girl here to face 
marauding Indians alone?" 

Without further protest, I climbed into the wagon with 
the others, and started for the Post, but only once in after 
life can I remember ever being compelled to do anything 
that went so against the grain ; and that happened in the 
far-away Chin Hills more than forty years later. 

It was indeed a mob that gathered at the Post. Rapidly 
some organization was made and leaders appointed. All 
ponies, horses and cattle were put together and men in 
relays appointed to herd them day and night, not far from 
camp. Lookouts were appointed and signals agreed upon. 
A stockade was made of the wagons inside of which the 
women and children were to be kept. Beeves were killed 
for food and the meat parceled out to the mothers of 
families who cooked it over camp-fires. Beds were made 



CONVERSION AND HARDSHIPS 29 

under the wagons on the ground. In this stockade and in 
this way we lived for two days and nights. On the 
second day I secretly slipped put to the herd, caught a 
pony, mounted it and rode home, a distance of about 
three miles, alone. I fed and watered the chickens, looked 
about to see that nothing had been disturbed and returned 
to banter the herders for allowing a pony to be taken 
without their knowledge. When my mother learned of 
my escapade she was justly indignant and gave me what 
I deserved in the way of reproof. 

On the third day of our stockade experience, scouts 
returned with the news that the Indians "unmistakably 
seen" had proved to be a band of cowboys taking a small 
bunch of cattle north. Upon receipt of this news, we all 
returned to our homes, but not without some thrilling 
experiences, for there were false alarms a time or two 
which filled the camp with terror and panic. 

Later in the autumn of the same year the whole country 
was devastated by prairie fires. These were supposed 
by many to have been set by Indians, in revenge for the 
depredations made by hunters upon the rapidly disappear- 
ing herds of buffaloes. Be that as it may, I have never 
seen such desolation as reigned in the Republican Valley 
after being swept by these fires. 

One day my father and brother were going to town 
in the spring wagon. My mother and I persuaded them 
to take us about three miles west to the home of a cousin, 
before crossing the river, leave us there for a visit and 
return for us toward evening. The cousin was living 
in a new sod house. He had threshed his grain and there 
were large stacks of straw south of the house, also a large 
pile of wood that had been hauled for the winter. It 
was nearly noon when we arrived, and my father and 
brother were persuaded to stay until after dinner before 



30 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

going on to town. Accordingly they unhitched their 
horses and tied them in the straw-roofed barn while they 
came in to dinner. Shortly before dinner my father called 
our attention to the hazy condition of the atmosphere 
and remarked that there must be a prairie fire not far 
away. My brother went to the door and looked out, re- 
marking that it was getting very smoky and he thought 
he would ride to the top of the "bench" and see if he 
could locate the fire. He soon returned saying that he 
could see nothing of the fire and he thought it must be 
beyond Beaver Creek, more than fifteen miles away. 
Almost immediately we sat down to dinner, father fac- 
ing the window to the south. Before halfway through 
the meal he jumped from his chair, crying, "The fire is 
upon us, come quick!" My cousin and brother followed 
him, running to the barns which were already on fire. 
They drew and opened their knives as they ran, cut the 
halters of the horses in the barn and drove the terrified 
creatures toward plowed ground. They let down the 
sides of the hog pen and tried to save the hogs. My 
father and brother saw it was no use. They were so 
stifled by the heat and smoke that they made a mad 
rush for the house, realizing that it were better to save 
themselves than the pigs. 

In trying to rescue the poor perishing animals, my 
cousin's hands were frightfully burned and his way to 
the house was cut off by the flames. Bethinking himself 
of a new well not yet finished he ran and dropped himself 
into it until the fire had passed. While this was going 
on outside, what of us inside? The house being built 
and covered with new sod, we at first thought ourselves 
perfectly secure from personal danger. But we soon had 
reason to change our minds. The stacks and woodpile 
burning so near made the heat and smoke so intense that 



CONVERSION AND HARDSHIPS 31 

we gasped for breath. The flames shot in about the poles 
that supported the roof and clothing hanging on the walls 
caught fire. The well not yet being finished, water was 
hauled for use from the river. There was a barrelful 
just outside the door. We brought bucketful after 
bucketful and put out the flames as clothing and bedding 
ignited. I had not the least hope of ever escaping from 
that house alive. The glass in the windows was glowing 
red, the smoke and the heat was suffocating. My mother 
said quite calmly that we must prepare for death. She 
prayed for my little eight-year-old brother, who had 
been left to herd the cattle, and for my sister at home 
alone. What would be their fate? Our hearts stood 
still as we thought of them. 

Almost as suddenly as the fire had come upon us, it 
passed over. The wind was terrific and carried it with 
such force that burning bark was blown clear across 
the Republican River and fire caught on the north side. 
With the lessening of the heat and clearing of smoke, my 
father, cousin and brother rushed on to help the neigh- 
bors, many of whom were losing all they had. As soon as 
I dared, I begged mother to allow me to start for home. 
I longed yet dreaded to know the worst. I had not a 
doubt but that everything we had would be in ashes. Oh, 
if only the lives of the dear ones were spared, I would 
ask no more. I flew over the road, frequently stepping 
into fire, my feet burning and my shoes shriveling with 
the heat, and every breath a prayer. 

I tore past homes that were in flames, saw the car- 
casses of domestic animals lying charred on the prairie 
and great piles of roasting, smoldering grain from 
around which the granaries had been burned. But I 
could not stop for anything, for oh, my brother and sis- 
ter! Where were they? What had been their fate? I 



32 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

rushed on as fast as my burning feet would carry me. 
No one could ever put into words the sense of relief that 
came over me when I saw that our house, the only one 
with a shingle roof, floors, and log walls in the neigh- 
borhood, was still standing. I stopped to thank God and 
take breath and then rushed on. I found my sister all 
right and my brother also. It seemed almost too good 
to be true. My sister saw the fire coming and rushed 
the calves and hogs out of the pens into a plowed field. 
The fire came within a short distance from the house 
when the wind suddenly changed and it was saved. My 
little brother saw the fire coming. Fortunately he was 
herding his cattle near the river. He realized the danger, 
young as he was, and rushed his herd into the middle of 
the broad, shallow stream. He said when the heat and 
smoke got so bad he could not stand it he ducked his 
head under water. We were up all that night fight- 
ing fire. Wind swirled sparks into the straw-covered 
sheds and barn and they were partly burned. While 
pumping water to help save them my own clothes caught 
fire at the back and were badly burned when my brother, 
coming for the water I was pumping, caught sight of them 
in time to extinguish the flames before I was aware of 
their burning. We were so surrounded by heat and 
smoke and fire that, as I think of it now, it seems only by 
the mercy of God that any of us escaped with our lives. 

The next morning when the fire was over and the wind 
had abated, the country presented such an aspect of deso- 
lation as I have never witnessed before or since. That 
winter is one long to be remembered by the people who 
lived in that vicinity at that time. 

One evening my father and I went to dinner with 
friends about two and a half miles distant from our 
home. As we left the house, my sister said, "They will 




CJ 



o 



K 

> 
H 

K 



c. 



K 
O 



CONVERSION AND HARDSHIPS 33 

be sure to urge you to stay all night, but don't fail to 
come home." 

"All right," I answered, and we trudged off through 
the snow. After a pleasant evening we started home. 
It was a cold, still and moonless but starlit night. There 
had been a six-inch fall of snow and everything was 
covered with a mantle of white. Even the road was 
obliterated by its soft white covering and there was not 
a fence or a tree as a landmark. We started on over the 
trackless prairie in the direction of home, walking fast, 
for the cold was intense. We had only gone a short 
distance when my father was taken with severe cramps 
and was obliged to sit down. They became so painful 
that he told me to hasten home and send one of the boys 
back with a team for him. I flew over the prairie as 
fast as possible, never doubting, though the road was 
invisible, that I was going straight for home. But I 
finally became almost exhausted with running and it 
seemed as if I ought to be reaching home. I stopped and 
looked about me. There was nothing to be seen in any 
direction but the snow-covered prairie. I traveled on 
but began to be frightened. I knew that I had been trav- 
eling long enough to have reached home. I stopped again 
and considered. Coming to the conclusion that I must 
be going in a wrong direction and must, therefore, be 
lost, I remembered having been told that when one was 
lost on the prairie the thing to do was to find a buffalo trail 
and follow that; for it would always lead to the river 
and from the river one could get his bearings. I searched 
for a buffalo trail, found one and feverishly tried to follow 
it, which was not easy, for it was filled with snow. By 
this time I was thoroughly alarmed, fearing that my 
father would freeze or die of the cramps before I could 



34 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

get any one to the rescue. On and on I stumbled, follow- 
ing the trail. 

Presently I heard men hallooing and guns being fired. 
This terrified me, for I knew that a gang of horse and 
cattle thieves were supposed to have their rendezvous in 
a canyon which perhaps I was nearing. Not stopping 
to realize that shouting and firing guns would be the last 
thing they would do, I turned and fled the other way. 
Then I saw a great bonfire with flames leaping to the sky. 
I stopped again with my heart in my mouth, wondering if 
it could be the fire of an Indian camp. But as I stood 
and watched it the light from the bonfire revealed to 
me the outlines of our own house. Taking a bee line for 
the fire, I was soon at home and great was my relief 
when I saw my father. He had waited a reasonable 
length of time and feeling a little better and fearing the 
cold, he had walked on home expecting all of the time 
to meet some one coming for him. When he entered the 
house my sister said, "Where is Laura? She promised 
to come home." 

"Isn't she here?" asked my father excitedly. 

"No." 

"Well, then, she is lost," he said, and immediately sent 
for neighbors and organized and sent out search parties. 
They were "the horse thieves" and "Indians" I had 
heard, and it was their bonfire that lighted me safely 
home. 

Little did I realize at the time that the experiences of 
this memorable winter were the buffetings that were 
molding me into shape for the life work before me. 
There was not one hard lesson that did not stand me in 
hand in after years. 

One day there was a great tornado which swept over 
the country, leaving death and destruction in its trail. I 



CONVERSION AND HARDSHIPS 35 

happened to be at home alone at the time and just before 
the tornado came, a young man, not a professed Christian, 
called upon me. I had been talking to him about being a 
Christian. Suddenly the storm broke upon us in all its 
fury. The walls of the house rocked, and I ran to the 
window, terrified. The young man came and stood by 
my side and, seeing my perfect agony of fear, he said very 
quietly, "Why, Laura, where is your Christian faith?" 
I was humbled and rebuked, and as I lifted my heart in 
prayer to God, all sense of fear left me. The storm passed 
on and we were safe. But times innumerable during 
succeeding years when in peril on land or sea, the words, 
"Where is your Christian faith?" have come back to me 
with the comforting thought that in the heart of a true 
Christian there is no place for fear. 

That winter I taught school again in the home district 
in the new sod school house. Early during the term 
diphtheria in its worst form visited our settlement. The 
first to die was a beautiful girl from my school. I closed 
school and went about from family to family, where 
need was greatest and helped nurse my pupils. There 
was only one family in the community where at least one 
member was not taken by death from that dread disease. 
That family was our own. My youngest brother, Robert, 
was so ill from it that the nearest doctor, who had come 
fifteen miles to see him, said there was no hope for his 
recovery, and that nothing more could be done. I would 
not give him up, though my mother begged me to "let 
him die in peace." I had done so much nursing that I 
knew all the remedies used, and I worked the whole 
night long using one after another of them and often 
lifting him in my arms and shaking him when the canker 
in his throat seemed to entirely stop his breathing. Just 
at dawn of that long night, large pieces of canker were 



36 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

loosened and removed, his breathing became easy and he 
was saved. 

Death was so frequent in the neighborhood that one 
family buried two of their children in the same grave. 
One poor family buried five of their six children, all 
dying within a few days of one another. I nursed among 
them until smitten by the disease myself. The strain 
and the sympathy and long nights of nursing had told on 
me more than I realized and I was a long time regaining 
my strength. 

Just before Christmas of the same winter my oldest 
brother, Charles, was stricken with typhoid fever. He and 
I had been almost inseparable. After his return from the 
Black Hills, he had been living alone. He was to have been 
married the following spring. He stopped on his way 
to the county seat on business one Wednesday morn- 
ing and was feeling so miserable that I persuaded him to 
give up the trip and lie down. As he grew rapidly worse, 
we sent to Indianola, fifteen miles west, for a doctor. 
At that time the fastest method of travel was on horse- 
back. The messenger returned late Saturday afternoon 
saying that the doctor (there was only one in town) could 
not leave his patients for so long a trip. After Wednes- 
day night I did not leave my brother's bedside for anything 
except to swallow a mouthful of food or a cup of coffee 
when urged to do so. On Sunday morning we sent to 
Arapahoe, fifteen miles to the east of us, with another 
urgent call for a doctor. This time the doctor came, but 
my dear brother had passed on to the other shore before 
his arrival. 



CHAPTER III 
COLLEGE AND CALL TO MISSION WORK 

THIS was my first great sorrow. It brought heaven 
very near to me. It seemed to me for months that I 
could feel the dear presence constantly with me. Soon 
after this I went to the county seat, Beaver City, and 
took the examination for a first-grade certificate. I was 
successful and secured the first first-grade certificate ever 
issued in Furnas County. I was then offered the princi- 
palship of the Beaver City Schools, and taught there for 
a year. One afternoon while there, shortly after I had 
dismissed school, there was a rap at the door and upon 
opening it to my great surprise there stood before me my 
old school friend, Newell Dwight Hillis! It was Fri- 
day afternoon in the early autumn. He said, "Come 
and get into my buggy, and we will drive over to your 
home [seventeen miles] for the week-end and have a 
visit." This we did, and such a visit as we had ! I learned 
that he was State Sunday School Missionary for the Con- 
gregational Church, and that I would probably see him 
frequently. 

He was bubbling over with enthusiasm for his work 
and during the course of our drive he said to me, "Laura, 
what are you going to do with your life?" I told him 
of my longing to be a missionary but ended by saying 
that I supposed there was no use to think about that. 
"That would be splendid," he said. "Of course you are 
going to be a missionary. Nothing could be finer. Why 
do you say there is no use to think about it?" I told 

37 



38 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

him that to be a missionary one must be educated. To 
be educated one must have money, and that on my small 
salary it was all I could do to support myself and help 
the home folks a little. "You have good health, don't 
you?" he asked. 

"Perfect," I replied. "Then," he said, "you are going 
to be a missionary. There is nothing in the world to 
hinder." His enthusiasm was contagious. I have never 
in my life seen any one so capable of inspiring young 
people with high ideals as Newell Dwight Hillis when 
he was himself a young man. He was making his own 
way; he was going to have an education a good one. 
Anybody with good health could have an education if 
he tried hard enough. He told me of many of his own 
experiences and before we separated that week-end he 
had me inspired with a determination to go to school as 
soon as possible and to eventually enter foreign mission 
service. He encouraged me to get into touch with our 
Woman's Board and sent me a catalog of Doane College 
the Congregational College of Crete, Nebraska. 

From the time of that interview I never lost sight of 
my determination to be a missionary. All of my efforts 
were put forth with missions as my ultimate object. 

The County Superintendent of Schools, E. N. Allen, 
lived in Arapahoe. He recommended me to the Board 
for the position of Principal of the Arapahoe Schools. 
I secured the position at an increased salary and boarded 
at his house. He was sent to the State Legislature as 
representative that year and urged me to try for the 
position to succeed him as County Superintendent, prom- 
ising me his unqualified support. This, however, I refused 
to do, knowing better than any one else that my education 
was insufficient to self-respectingly hold such an office 
even if I could get it 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 39 

I had been saving my money and whenever I could 
spare enough to buy a calf I had been investing it in that 
way. These calves my father kept in his own herd and 
cared for without expense to me. It was the only way 
he could help me, and it was really a great help, for they 
rapidly grew in value. 

After a year as Principal of the Arapahoe Schools, I 
decided to go to Doane College, believing that by board- 
ing myself and practicing strictest economy, I could meet 
the expenses of one year in college and by this further 
education be better prepared for higher and more lucra- 
tive positions. A cousin who had been a classmate of mine 
at Franklin Academy in Illinois came West and went with 
me to Crete. We took a room and boarded ourselves, 
doing some close pinching financially. I think I may 
be pardoned for saying that we were in college for work 
and stood well both with the faculty and students. 

My cousin had an uncle living on a farm some twenty 
miles distant. Once or twice during the late autumn he 
came in bringing us a huge basket of luscious tomatoes. 
For days and days these sliced raw with sugar, eaten 
with bread, formed almost our only food. To this day 
I never see raw sliced tomatoes without a mental picture 
of us sitting at our otherwise bare table, each with a 
large dish of tomatoes before her. We liked them, but 
just tomatoes and bread three times a day grew some- 
what monotonous. Then imagine if you can but you 
can't unless you have been a school girl away from home 
and boarding yourself our transports of delight upon 
the arrival of a Thanksgiving box from Clara's sister in 
Illinois. That white fruit cake, jelly, nuts and fruit ! 
Oh, they were glorious ! We danced and capered around 
that box in a way absolutely unbecoming to a decorous 
would-be missionary. How little, insignificant things 



40 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

haunt one and cling to the memory in looking back over 
a life. 

We took an active part in the religious life of the 
college, and it became known that I was preparing for 
foreign mission service. In this I was encouraged by 
President Perry and Professor Fairchilds, both of whom 
I loved devotedly. But I found the study of foreign 
languages hard got better grades in everything else. I 
was speaking of this to the preceptress, Miss Merrill, 
one day when she said to me, "Do you not think, Miss 
Hardin, that you might take this fact as an indication 
that you are not called to foreign service ?" This remark 
troubled me greatly, and filled me with doubt as to my 
calling. But it was God's method of impressing upon 
me the necessity of putting special effort in that branch 
of my education, for I afterwards led my class in Greek, 
though not without rising at four o'clock in the morning 
and putting my very best effort upon it. 

About the time of my going to Doane College in 1880, 
the Nebraska Baptist Seminary was opened at the little 
town of Gibbon, with George W. Read as President. 
Three months before the close of the second semester at 
Doane, my people wrote me that there was smut on the 
corn stocks, which was causing disease and death among 
the cattle, so that I could not count on any more money 
from them that year. This news disturbed me greatly. 
There was no other source of income. Plainly I must 
leave college. It was too late to get a spring school. 
What should I do? Did it mean that I was to give up 
getting an education, that, in truth, I was not called to be 
a missionary when I had felt the call so strong? I went 
to class that morning with my mind and heart turbulent 
with such questions. At the close of the period I went 
back to our empty room and poured out my heart to God. 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 41 

I shall never forget that prayer, nor its answer. I told 
my Father of the straits I was in and begged him to 
make plain to me soon, very soon, so that it would be 
unmistakable whether or not He really wanted me to do 
foreign mission service. And if He did 'to 'open some 
way by which I might go on with my education. I 
prayed as I have seldom prayed before or since, and arose 
,from my knees comforted. Less than a week later when 
I returned to my room late one afternoon, there was a 
letter for me. In the left-hand corner it bore these 
words : "Geo. W. Read, Pres. Nebr. Bapt. Sem., Gibbon, 
Nebr." Before opening it, I said, "There is the 
answer to my prayer." And it was true. With 
a wildly beating heart, for was not God Himself 
speaking to me, I read, as nearly as I can repro- 
duce from memory, these words : "Dear Miss Hardin, No 
doubt you have heard of the new Baptist School recently 
opened at this place. A few days ago my brother, Rev. 
I. W. Read, met on the train a friend of yours, Newell 
Dwight Hillis, who told him of you and said that you 
might be interested in this school. He spoke highly of 
your Christian character and said you were preparing for 
foreign mission service, but that you were about to be 
obliged to leave Doane College because of the condition 
of your finances. 

"Now the fundamental object of this school is to 
develop Christian character ; and its promoters desire 
more than anything else that the influences going out from 
the school be strongly Christian and reach to the ends 
of the earth. 

"I read what Mr. Hillis said of you from my brother's 
letter to Rev. B. Bedell, a trustee of the School, who was 
present at the time, and he said at once 'We must have 
that young lady here. I will myself pay her tuition for 



42 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

the first semester, and once here, there will be no difficulty 
in her making her own way/ He paid me the money on 
the spot, so your tuition for the first semester is already 
paid. I have also made arrangements for your board, 
which I feel sure will be perfectly satisfactory. So take 
this as the leading of the Lord and come to us as soon 
as possible. I will help you in every way I can, and I 
feel perfectly satisfied that you will be able to meet your 
financial problems once you are established in this school. 
Hoping to see you soon, I am very sincerely yours, 

"GEO. W. READ." 

Could anybody doubt that being direct answer to my 
prayer? I did not. And a few weeks later I was in 
Gibbon. This was the spring of 1881. I entered the 
most advanced class, which would graduate in 1883. 
True to his promise, President Read did everything in 
his power to help me. As I had to begin some of my 
work six weeks behind my class, he advised me not 
to try to get work towards paying my board until this 
work was made up, especially as I was hoping at that 
time to go to China as a medical missionary and was 
taking a medical correspondence course from Dr. Anna 
K. Scott of Swatow, China, then in this country on 
furlough, and this took considerable of my time. 

President Read went himself and arranged at a good 
comfortable place for my board and became personally 
responsible for meeting the bills. Then he planned my 
work with me and arranged to give me some teaching to 
do. He usually filled pulpits somewhere in the state 
on Sundays and was absent from his classes on Mon- 
days. He excused me from some of my Monday recita- 
tions and allowed me to teach his classes that he was 
unable to meet, and also gave me some tutoring to do, 
so that I somehow managed to get through that semester. 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 43 

Before returning the next year a dear old deacon in the 
church and trustee of the school who lived about two 
miles out in the country came to me and said that his son 
was not very bright along some lines he was studying 
and had a hard time to make his grades ; and asked if I 
would be willing to come and live in their home and 
help his son and daughter a little evenings for my board. 
This I was delighted to do, and I shall never forget the 
kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Aschael Eddy and their chil- 
dren during that winter. But the weather was cold and 
the snow deep and the long, cold walk threw me out 
of most of the social life of the school. 

At the beginning of this year there came a new student, 
Miss Minnie Buzzell, who afterwards went to China as 
a missionary, who became my classmate and friend. One 
day the lady with whom I boarded the first semester I 
was in the school sent for me. She said that she and 
her husband were going to be absent from their little home 
for several months certainly to the end of the school 
year; that they did not want to rent their house fur- 
nished, neither did they want to pack their goods. She 
said if I would come and care for the house she would 
give me, my rent free and I could use such of her things 
as I needed for boarding myself and could ask any friend 
I chose to come and stay with me, suggesting Miss Buz- 
zell, who was also preparing for mission work and who, 
like myself, was having a hard time to meet expenses. 
We were delighted with the prospect of having that cozy 
little home to ourselves, and promptly moved in. But I 
do not know what would have become of us that winter 
if God had not sent his angels, in human form, to minister 
unto us. For even there we must have fuel, food, and 
clothing. 

We were told by a grocer, who was also a deacon in 



44 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

the church, to come and get anything we wanted. But 
neither of us believed in debt, and we would not go. 
Minnie's father came occasionally and brought us things 
from the farm. Nevertheless we learned what it was to 
go on short rations. People must have suspected how 
we were pinching, for we came home one day to find a fine 
lot of groceries and gingham enough for each of us a 
dress delivered at our door. We thought there had been 
a mistake but were told that instructions had been given 
to leave them there and say they were from a friend. 
There was nothing to do but take them and be thankful 
that God had given us such a friend. 

One day I received through the mail an envelope con- 
taining a five-dollar bill, with nothing to indicate from 
whom it came. It bore the local post mark. Truly the 
ravens were feeding us ! One evening our class came in 
for a surprise party. When they left we found a large 
package addressed to me. It was accompanied by a 
beautiful little note expressing their affection and asking 
me to allow them to do something practical to help me, 
that would remind me of their interest in the work I was 
preparing to do. The package contained a beautiful win- 
ter wrap. I have seldom ever had anything so touch my 
heart for the members of the class were nearly all poor 
and it meant real sacrifice on their part to give it, yet I 
doubt if they did many things while in school that gave 
them more genuine pleasure. No one will ever know 
with what deep joy I wore my beautiful wrap, for was 
it not absolute proof of the sincere confidence and love 
of my classmates ? How wonderfully God was providing 
for me ! 

In March that year I had an opportunity to take the 
principalship of the Shelton Schools to finish out the 
year for a former teacher who had for some reason 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 45 

resigned. I took the position at what was at that time 
considered a good salary. My classmates sent me the 
lessons assigned every morning, and for three months 
I kept up my school work and taught at the same time. 
It meant hard work. 

During the summer vacation of 1882 the school at 
Gibbon built a new ladies' dormitory. I was offered my 
room and board there in compensation for dining-room 
work. This I was glad to do for it made it possible for 
me to use some of the money I had earned for much 
needed clothing. 

In a perfectly wonderful way God provided for me 
right through my school life. During my last term a 
former dearly loved teacher sent me forty-five dollars. 
She said she knew that I would need some money for 
graduating clothes and that I was to use this money for 
that purpose, and that when I got to the mission field 
and had a salary, I might put a like amount into my work 
as a contribution from her. This made it possible for me 
to accept her delicately offered help, and God alone knows 
what it meant to me. But much as I needed the money 
I think I can truthfully say that the evidence of my 
teacher's confidence and love meant far more to me than 
the forty-five dollars possibly could. And most of all I 
was impressed almost awed by God's wonderful provi- 
sion for me, bringing me help in some unexpected way 
every time when there seemed positively no way out of 
my financial difficulties. Early in the spring before our 
graduation in June the Secretary of the Faculty called at 
our door and handed me a paper, while he smilingly 
congratulated me. No one could have been more sur- 
prised than I was when I read the note and learned that 
I was to be valedictorian of my class ! It did not seem 
to me possible and to this day I truly feel that I did not 



46 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

deserve the honor. My classmates were lovely and seemed 
absolutely sincere in their congratulations, and the one 
most joyous over the honor having come to me was the 
one to whom I felt then as I feel now the honor should 
have gone for without his help I could never have 
made the grades that took the valedictory. This person 
was Arthur Carson whom I afterwards married. 

For some time before our graduation we were consid- 
erably concerned about our clothing for that great event. 
There were to be guests from all over the state, as well 
as from adjoining states, present at the graduating exer- 
cises of the first class to go out from our new Baptist 
School. What should we wear ? We decided, after much 
thought and discussion, upon pretty blue wool dresses to 
be made by a local dressmaker. The question of gloves, 
shoes, etc., we talked over with a teacher recently from 
the East. It was just after small hoopskirts and "tilters" 
had come into vogue. We were told that it would never 
do to get up before the expected audience (it was thought 
Governor Garber would be there, as his son or was it a 
nephew? was a student in the school) without hoop- 
skirts and white kid gloves. We wanted hoopskirts 
more than anything else in the world. How we did want 
them! But one of the young men in the class had made 
a remark about the "idiocy" of any girl who would wear a 
hoopskirt, that caused us, rather than disgust him, to 
decide to humiliate ourselves before the audience and 
appear "looking like string beans." Some way, I never 
knew how, the situation became known to the classmate 
who had made the remark. The evening before Com- 
mencement came and there was delivered to each of us 
a small package. As we cut the cords there leaped out 
before each of us, like a jumping jack, a pair of hoop- 
skirts a graduating gift from the young man! White 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 47 

kid gloves, which made us feel very self-conscious, were 
sent us the next morning by the lady teacher who had 
learned that we had none; and so again our wants, not 
needs this time, were miraculously supplied. 

While our class was comparatively large when I entered 
it, only five of us completed the course. It was a re- 
markable class in its Christian interest and influence. 
One became a lawyer in Chicago, but because of the mani- 
fold temptations to shady practice, things not absolutely 
open and straight, he 'abandoned the law and entered 
educational work. He has been for many years, and so 
far as I know still is, an honored and loved deacon in the 
First Baptist Church, Chicago. One became a Congre- 
gational minister. He was known as a man who uncom- 
plainingly tackled the hardest jobs and conquered them. 
One went as a missionary to China and on her return 
thrilled our churches, as few missionaries have been 
able to do, by her wonderful stirring appeals. One (Mr. 
Carson) spent twenty-two years of pioneer work in 
Burma, and the other (his wife) thirty-eight years of 
similar service. 

From the time of my going to Gibbon I had been in cor- 
respondence with Mrs. A. M. Bacon, then Secretary of 
the Woman's Baptist Foreign Mission Society of the West. 
Her frequent letters were full of tender, loving advice, en- 
couragement and inspiration. I feel that to her I owe 
much. I was always proud of being one of her "girls." 

Shortly after my graduation on June 3rd, 1883, sne in- 
vited me to come to Chicago for my examination, with 
a view to appointment for foreign service. 

I went as unsophisticated a country girl as one would 
care to meet. I had never been in a really large city 
and was absolutely unfamiliar with city life. I was taken 
to the home of Mrs. A. J. Howe, then President of the 



48 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

Woman's Baptist Foreign Mission Service, for entertain- 
ment. I was treated with every courtesy and got a vision 
of cultured life that up to that time the hard realities of 
my experiences had rendered impossible. That evening 
Professor Howe with his pleasing voice read aloud to us 
fine passages from Bickersteth's poems and commented 
upon them. I loved good literature and the evening was a 
delight to me. But when I went to my room I could not 
get away from the fact that I was to meet the Woman's 
Board the following morning. Would I fail to pass? 
How ignorant and self-conscious I felt. How humiliated 
and ashamed I would be if they refused to accept me. 
Yet how could they do otherwise? How little I really 
knew. I put in hours of torture when I ought to have 
been asleep. Supposing they should ask me to explain 
this, or this, or this, what would the answer be ; how could 
I make my position clear? Over and over it all I went 
until my brain refused to act and finally I slept. Next 
morning with fear and trembling I met the ladies of the 
Board. Those present so far as I remember were Mrs. 
A. J. Howe, Mrs. A. M. Bacon, Mrs. C. F. Tolman, Mrs. 
J. A. Smith, Mrs. Everingham, Mrs. Wm. Haigh, Mrs. 
Brayman and Mrs. Randall. There were others whose 
names I do not recall. 

They had a long list of carefully selected theological 
questions. To this day I remember, poor, ignorant, 
country girl that I was, how my heart sank as I faced that 
august body of city ladies and saw the long, neatly written 
list of questions. The grilling began and lasted for hours. 
How I ever lived through it I do not know, but I 
know that when the questioning closed, I felt a sense of 
shame and that I had failed ignominiously. 

Friends in Dundee had invited me out there for the 
week-end. The ladies of the Board, after consulting 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 

together for some time after I left the room, called me 
back and asked me to return to Chicago on Monday 
morning and meet the Advisory Board after which the 
question of my appointment would be decided upon. The 
lady who was entertaining me had an engagement and 
could not well go with me down to the city. She asked 
me if I thought I could find my way alone down to our 
"Rooms" on Michigan Avenue. I had been there twice. 
If I was going to the other side of the world alone, I 
might as well begin to find my way here in Chicago ; so 
I bravely told her that I was sure I could, though at the 
same time my heart sank and I thought of all sorts of 
stories I had heard of girls getting lost in great cities. 
I started out with a palpitating heart. I was told that if 
I knew the names of the Presidents in their order I 
would have no difficulty. These I had learned as a child 
and that knowledge encouraged me a little. But when I 
got on the street car and began to say them over, I could 
get to "Madison is the fourth, you know, the fifth one 
on the list, Monroe" but who came after Monroe? Over 
and over it I went until all was hopeless confusion. To 
save my life I could only recall of the perfectly familiar 
rhyme, "Van Buren eighth upon the line and Harrison 
ranks number nine." "But who comes between?" I mur- 
mured and glancing out of the window I saw nothing 
that looked familiar, so left the car at the next stop. I 
wandered up and down but found no street name or any- 
thing to indicate where I was. I began to be very anx- 
ious. I must be at the station by a certain time or miss 
my train to Dundee. Supposing I should miss it? I had 
little more than enough money to pay my fare there and 
back, and I could never in the world go back to the kind 
lady who had entertained me. Just as I was beginning 
to be desperate (it had not occurred to me to ask in- 



50 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

formation of a stranger, as I had been carefully taught 
never to engage in conversation with a stranger in a city), 
a huge policeman loomed up before me. Only a few 
times in my life have I been gladder to see anybody. I 
went Up to him and said, "Will you kindly tell me where 

J am?" 

1 With an amused smile he looked down at me and said, 
""My child, you're lost," and I was, but he soon put me 
-.right. 

The trip to Dundee was filled with misgivings. Why 
&ad I ever supposed that I could pass a theological ex- 
amination? What presumption! And yet, and yet, 
had not God made it very plain to me that He was lead- 
ing me into Christian service? Had He not again and 
again answered prayer almost miraculously in opening 
closed ways before me? Still the ladies had looked very 
dubious and solemn, though sympathetic, when they asked 
me to return on Monday. The visit with Rev. A. W. 
Clark and his wife at Dundee cheered and comforted me 
greatly. 

Monday morning found me again in Chicago. But if it 
had been such torture to face the Woman's Board, what 
would it be to meet the men and be quizzed by them? 
The chairman of the examining committee was Dr. Geo. 
Northrup. Others present whom I remember were Dr. 
Wm. Haigh, Dr. P. S. Henson ; Dr. Geo. C. Lorimer, 
Dr. William Laurence, Dr. C. F. Tolman and Dr, Green 
of Evanston. All my life I have been proud to have had 
such a splendid body of men on my examining board. 
And all my life I have been grateful to dear Dr. Northrup 
for the tactful way with which he conducted my exam- 
ination. He put me at my ease at once so that I W35 
able to answer intelligently the few simple questions 
asked. They kept me less than half an hour, then asked 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 51 

me to go in where the ladies were waiting for me. Al- 
most immediately one of their number f ollowed me into 

the room and said; "It gives me great pleasure to an- 
nounce that the Advisory Board heartily recommends the 
appointment of Miss Hardin for foreign mission service. 
Furthermore, it is especially requested that I say that the 

vote was Unanimous" It Seems, as I learned afterwards, 
that tWO Of the ladies thought that my answers on the 
Office Work Of the Holy Spirit were not sufficiently 
Clear, and recommended my remaining in this country 
for another year Of Study. The sense of relief when my 
appointment Was Confirmed was very great. I lifted my 
heart tO God in a transport of joy and thanksgiving. 

The ladies discussed the relative needs of the various 
fields. From the first, my eyes had been fixed on China, 
and ttly study had been mainly of that country. But 
the ladies said that the most urgent calls at that time came 
from Burma and asked if I would be willing to go there* 
I replied that I was perfectly willing to go where the need 
Was greatest. Both Bassein and Tavoy, Burma, were 
pleading for single lady helpers for school work. Ac- 
cordingly I was appointed for Burma, designation to be 
made later. Two days were spent in Chicago shopping 
for my Outfit, for which a list of necessary articles was 
furnished me. It seemed to me that the list contained 
more articles than I could ever wear out. There were 
tWO print dresses, two white ones, two linen lawns, one 
hlack hunting and a summer silk. It was decided that the; 
dark blue wool dress m which I had graduated and which 
I Wore On the trip to Chicago (a really pretty and becom- 
ing dress) would be suitable and satisfactory for travelingi 

It Was not long after my return to Nebraska in June 
that I learned I had been designated to Bassein to take 
Charge Of their newly organized High School and that 



52 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 
the date of my sailing was fixed for September 29th, the 

day after my twenty-fifth birthday. 

The summer was spent in busy preparation for my 
long voyage. When the day came that I was to Start my 
father was very ill ; but it was my frail, delicate mother 
whom I never expected to see again, and I left with a 
heavy heart, though I tried to cheer them by saying that 
I would probably be back sooner than if I were being 
married and going to California to live, and they WOUld 
not think of considering that in the light of a calamity. 
My father lived less than four years after I left and 
I never saw him again; but my mother lived to the ripe 
age of ninety-two and I had the joy of being with her on 
four different visits to the homeland. It was only on 
my last home-coming that I found her room empty of 
her dear presence, though filled with precious memories. 

The Woman's Board was to be met in Chicago for 
final instructions, and a farewell meeting was given me 
by the Baptist students of the old University. I made a 
^ short address and was presented with a beautiful bouquet. 
The next day at the station I bade farewell to the last 
friends I expected to see for many years, and boarded 
the train for New York where I was to join a party 

of other missionaries. 

Several ladies whom I met in Chicago and elsewhere 
told me how very glad they were that after reaching 
New York I would have the company the rest of the 
long journey of "dear Mrs. Jameson" who was to sail 
on the same ship. Long before I reached New York I 

thought of her as a friend beloved. 

The last night before reaching New York I had no 
sleeper, but sat bolt upright all night long, preferring to 

have the money of the cost of a sleeper go into the Mis- 
sion. That whole long night was a terrible nightmare j 



CALL TO MISSION WORK 53 

for there sat in the seat behind me an insane man whose 
son was taking him to an asylum. He constantly at- 
tempted to leap from the car window and kept me 
in a state of terror. This experience taught me better 
than to sit up nights to save mission money ! 
The relief was great when we arrived in the city and 

I saw the little red flag which was to introduce me to 

the messenger sent by Miss Newton, for many years 

chairman of the Hospitality Committee. I was taken 
to a dear old lady, a Mrs. Williams, who was much 
interested in missions, for entertainment. My own 

mother could not have been kinder. She gave me my 

breakfast, then put me to bed. After lunch she took me 

for a drive through Central Park and took me to Other 
places of interest. 



CHAPTER IV 
FIRST VOYAGE TO BURMA 

THAT night, September 28th, 1883, the night of my 
twenty-fifth birthday, farewell services were held for our 
party in the Berean Baptist Church, Dr. Edward Judson, 
pastor. Aside from the Jamesons I did not know who the 
other members of the party were to be. I did not much 
,care. Had not Mrs. Marsh and others told me what a 
wonderful woman Mrs. Jameson was, and how I would 
love her ? I would love her anyhow, and as for the rest 
it did not much matter. I could hardly wait to meet her 
and place myself in her hands ; for I had been told that 
she would "mother" me, and I was tired, nervous and 
excited, and in great need of being mothered. 

We met in the lecture room of the church, some one 
pointed her out to me. She was an austere woman and 
rather formidable in appearance, but I rushed up to her 
and introduced myself, rather effusively perhaps, for I 
was really delighted to see her. She shook hands with 
me very formally, coolly looked me over from head to 
foot as much as to say, "Well, who are you anyhow?" 
and froze me to the marrow! 

We got through the Farewell Services somehow, I 
scarcely know how. I met the other members of our 
party Dr. and Mrs. Rose, Miss Aseneth Gage, and Miss 
Kathren Evans, all returning after furloughs but the 
one thing that remains indelibly impressed upon my mem- 
ory is my disappointment in Mrs. Jameson. Dr. Judson 
was most gracious and he and many members of his 

54 



FIRST VOYAGE TO BURMA 55 

church arranged to meet us at the steamer next day. 
But how glad, glad I was to get back to my room! I 
threw myself on the bed, buried my face in the pillows 
and sobbed over and over again, "I don't like her! I 
don't like her! I don't like her!", meaning, of course, 
Mrs. Jameson. I can write this now because I have 
long since told her all about it; for there grew up between 
us, though she is twenty years my senior, one of the clos- 
est, sweetest and most precious friendships that I have 
ever known to exist between two women of any age a 
friendship that has stood the test of almost forty years, 
which still exists and is growing more precious with 
added years, and which I confidently believe will continue 
to abide throughout eternity. 

Perhaps the story of the long voyage can best be told 
by inserting here a letter written at the time and sent 
back to the Nebraska Visitor: 

"... We sailed on the beautiful Anchor line steamer, 
Circassia. I stood on the upper deck and watched the 
glistening spires and cupolas of New York slowly fade 
from view. When the last glimpse of my dear native 
land had disappeared beneath the horizon I felt that I had 
indeed separated from my dearest earthly friends. For 
just one moment an unutterable sense of loneliness stole 
over me. 'And yet I will not forget thee/ 'In all 
places where I record My name I will come unto thee and 
I will bless thee/ These words came to me in all their 
pathos and tender sweetness and laden with comfort and 
strength. I remained on deck until the approach of the 
much-dreaded foe, seasickness, compelled me to repair 
to my stateroom where I remained very ill almost the 
entire voyage across the Atlantic. Sometimes I almost 
thought to 



56 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

'Sink beneath the waves with bubbling groan, 
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined and unknown/ 

But toward the end of the voyage, I was better. When 
the properly named 'Emerald Isle* with its lovely green 
fields and pretty white cottages came in view I was able 
to be carried on deck to breathe the fresh, pure sea air 
and enjoy the scenery. I sat, almost all day, bundled up 
on a steamer chair and watched the great waves roll their 
beautiful, white, foamy crests up to the sun, never grow- 
ing weary of their surging, ceaseless motion. The next 
day we passed under the very eaves of the Giant's Cause- 
way and peered among its cliffs and caves. It was a 
very beautiful and interesting sight, though the view 
from the steamer was unsatisfactory. We dropped an- 
chor at Moville, Ireland, and allowed the passengers to 
go ashore. Anchor was cast at Greenoch that night, 
where we waited for the morning tide to bear us up 
the Clyde to Glasgow. About an hour before we reached 
the harbor the steamer Tenasserim, on which our passage 
to Rangoon was engaged, triumphantly passed us on her 
way out to sea. This left us no alternative but to go by 
rail from Glasgow to Liverpool and wait there for the boat. 
This was a journey of about eight hours' duration. The 
Scotland scenery was indescribably beautiful. The great 
heather-covered mountains, clear silvery streams flowing 
over solid rock or dancing and gurgling over pebbles, the 
beautiful skirts of woodland, green fields, thrifty little 
white stone villages nestling at the foot of mountains, 
and last, though not least, the barefooted, bare-armed, 
rosy-cheeked peasant girls, binding up the golden sheaves 
in the ripening oat fields, all served to make the day one 
of unsurpassed interest and pleasure to me. 

We reached Liverpool on the evening of October nth 




LAURA HARDIN AT TIME OF DEPARTURE FOR 
BURMA 



FIRST VOYAGE TO BURMA 57 

and took lodging until our steamer should sail, on the 
I5th. My impressions of Liverpool were not flattering, 
though the shop windows were the most artistically ar- 
ranged and attractive of any I have seen. However, the 
city seemed very grimy and dingy and oppressive, and I 
was glad to leave it. The English cars, both street and 
railway, are very different from our American cars. 
The street-cars, or trams as they are called, have stair- 
ways running up the outside to seats on top. The last 
day of our stay in Liverpool we took seats on the top of 
one of these cars, and went to see the sights. We had 
a fine view of the city from our lofty position. The 
most interesting place we visited was Princess Park, which 
is nicely kept and is indeed beautiful. In the evening we 
went on board the Tenasserim and slowly sailed out of 
the mouth of the Mersey into the Irish Sea. The sea was 
very rough. The second night we had a hard gale. The 
settees were wrenched from the deck and the compass 
broken. The ship rolled and tossed like an egg shell for 
three or four days. Of the twenty passengers, all but 
one were seasick. For six days I was unable to be on 
deck ; but I did not feel the want of sympathizing friends. 
On the evening of the 2ist we passed in sight of the lights 
of Lisbon. Early the next morning we sailed past Cape 
St. Vincent had a fine view. What we saw in Portugal 
and Spain seemed extremely barren and desolate. I arose 
at half-past three, the following morning, to view Gibraltar 
by moonlight. As I gazed at the great rock standing out 
in all its grandeur against the clear moonlit sky, I was 
filled with astonishment and awe. Is there not enough 
in nature everywhere to lead the mind to God if we will 
but behold it? On the opposite side of the strait could be 
seen the Rock of Centae, Africa. These two giant rocks 
are together called the 'Pillars of Hercules/ 



58 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

The next place of interest was the island of Pantelleria, 
which we passed three days later. It is the island to which 
Italy banishes her criminals. We sailed near enough to 
get a good view of the city, which is built entirely of 
a light cream-colored stone. The island seemed fully 
desolate and lonely enough for the purpose for which it 
is used. The following day we cast anchor at Malta 
the famous island where Paul was shipwrecked. Be- 
fore we got near the shore our ship was literally sur- 
rounded with small boats, and peddlers with all sorts of 
things swarmed the deck. The loveliest laces I ever saw 
were exhibited on all sides, with the greatest persistency 
and determination to sell. Coral, silver and lava jewelry 
of quaint designs, canary birds, cunning, fluffy little lap 
dogs, boat loads of Maltese fruits oranges, pomegran- 
ates, limes and prickly pears of enormous size, were 
urged upon us. It was a funny sight to see the boys dive 
for money dropped by the passengers into the sea. They 
never failed to bring up the coin dropped for them 
either between the toes or the teeth and with a grin 
and bow show it to the company. No sooner had we 
stepped on shore than we were surrounded on all sides 
by beggars, and we were harassed by them during the 
entire day the halt, the lepers, the lame and the blind. 
We took gharries rude wooden carriages and went to 
visit places of interest. It is a strange, strange city. It 
is strongly fortified with stone walls said to be eighty 
feet high. The city is terraced and street after street 
is simply a flight of stairs hewn out of the solid rock 
which seems to comprise the entire island. The houses 
are all built of this light-colored stone. Not a single 
shade of anything else to relieve the glare. First we 
went to the great St. John's Cathedral. It was a grand 
sight. The quaintly carved walls and pillars, the beauti- 



FIRST VOYAGE TO BURMA 59 

fully frescoed ceilings, the marble slabs, covered with 
inscriptions, which formed the floor, the strangely dressed 
people coming in and dropping upon their knees before an 
altar covered with gold, were all objects of the most in- 
tense interest to me. From the cathedral we went to the 
governor's palace. First we went through a lovely garden, 
filled with tropical fruits and flowers. The council cham- 
ber was a place of special interest, the walls being hung 
with tapestry of most extraordinary character. It was 
presented by Louis XIV and cost 80,000 pounds sterling. 
It consists of scenes representing the different continents 
of the globe worked by hand in exquisitely shaded silk. 
We saw a coach said to have been owned by Napoleon the 
Great. We also saw no end of armor which our guide 
told us had been worn by 'the great masters/ Next we 
rode up to the bastion at the top of the terraced hill. I 
shall never forget the scene that met, my eyes as I looked 
out over city and harbor. The whole city looked as if 
it had been chiseled out of a huge block of stone. The 
sea was calm as a sleeping child, and the harbor was 
filled with ships from every nation of the globe, while 
the golden clouds in the sky were reflected from the 
quiet water's surface with no common splendor. Reluc- 
tantly I turned away and followed the guide into the 
catacombs. With a very solemn face he led the way into 
the tombs. Horrible sight ! The mummies were not half 
so well preserved as I had supposed. The eyes" were 
gone, the bones of the noses bare, and the grinning teeth 
exposed. They stood in niches hewn out of the stone, 
without anything to protect them from the dust of suc- 
ceeding ages. Indeed they looked hideous and ghastly 
enough by the dim light of the wax taper carried by the 
guide. I was glad to get out of the horrid place into 
the fresh air again. Still I am glad I went, though I 



60 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

have no desire to repeat the visit at any future time. We 
left Malta that evening and four days later reached 
Port Said, Egypt, where we went on shore for a few 
hours. There was nothing of special interest to see except 
the surrounding desert and the strangely dressed people. 
There were Arabs in turbans and gowns, Turks in f ezzes 
and bloomers and Egyptian women with covered faces, 
only the noses and ears visible and they (noses as well 
as ears) laden with jewels. We realized here that we 
were foreigners. My eyes had actually looked into Egypt ! 
How far, far from home I was! 'And yet will I not 
forget thee.' 'If I take the wings of the morning and 
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall 
thy hand lead me.' Oh, the comfort of it ! 

It seemed a perfect Babel on shore, and we were glad 
to get back to the steamer, which, by the way, had come 
to seem quite like home to us. We had an unusually 
pleasant company and a captain unequaled in kindness. 

In the evening we entered the Suez Canal. I was im- 
pressed with the great amount of labor it has cost. It 
is eighty-seven miles long and all the way through the 
desert. Scarcely a tree or a shrub is to be seen, except 
at the little stations where ships 'tie up' for the night, 
and where the canal dredgers live. Around each of these 
houses are a few palm trees. We stopped at one of these 
little stations over night. The next morning we passed 
the road leading to Jerusalem and saw a caravan crossing 
into the desert, probably on their way to the Holy City. 
Arabs with camels and scrapers were at work along the 
banks of the canal. Two great baskets were hung across 
the camel's back; he knelt while they were being filled, 
and, at his master's bidding, arose and carried them away. 
Half-starved children, almost naked, would run out from 
the station and cry lustily to the passengers for 'biscuits' 



FIRST VOYAGE TO BURMA 61 

and 'backsheesh.' Our steward provided us with ship 
biscuits which we flung to them in generous numbers. 
Just before entering the Bitter Lakes the captain invited 
me, with some others, to go up on the 'lookout bridge* 
where we would have a good view of the little chateau 
which was built for Napoleon and Eugenia that they might 
witness the first vessels that passed through the canal. It 
is a beautiful place, but was occupied by soldiers in the 
late Egyptian war and is now in a state of ruin. That 
night we dropped anchor out in the lakes about one and 
a half miles from the shore at Ismalia, where the palace 
of the khedive of Egypt is located. The captain very 
kindly took some of us ashore in the ship's boat that we 
might see the town and palace by starlight, which was our 
only chance of seeing them at all. Scarcely had we 
stepped on the wharf before we were surrounded by 
young Arabs and their donkeys. We mounted the little 
donkeys, which were not larger than six-months-old colts 
at home, and with an Arab running after each one of us 
punching our donkeys with sharp sticks to keep them 
going, we proceeded on our way to the palace, a distance 
of perhaps two miles. We failed in our endeavors to 
gain admission into the palace on account of the lateness 
of the hour. After admiring the grounds and gathering 
some leaves to press and keep as mementoes we returned 
to our boat. Our row back to the steamer was most en- 
chanting. It was a bright starlight night, the air had that 
mild softness known only to southern climes, and the fric- 
tion of our boat on the phosphorescent water left behind 
us a shining track of glittering stars. 

The next day we reached Suez and sent off mail on 
a tug. On the following day (November 3d) we entered 
the Red Sea, which we found very smooth and quiet. On 
the morning of the seventh we passed the twelve small 



62 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

islands which the sailors call The Twelve Apostles. One 
stands off some distance from the others, which are quite 
close together. This one they call Judas Iscariot. In 
the afternoon we passed the Hanish group along the 
coast of which we saw five wrecked steamers. It is a 
very dangerous place for vessels to pass during the night 
time, or in the dreadful sand storms which are frequent 
there. In the evening of the same day we passed in full 
view of the city of Mocha, Arabia. November loth we 
sailed out of the Gulf of Aden into the Arabian Sea, 
and passed the strange-looking Abdulkoori island, which 
some one suggested as looking as if it were packed in cot- 
ton on account of its base of white granite. In the after- 
noon we passed the 'Two Brothers/ the summits of which 
we could see far above the clouds. We saw several sharks 
near these islands, the first we had seen. Six days later 
we sailed past the beautiful little oriental island, Minikoi. 
It is literally covered with cocoanut palms, and is so low 
that they seem to be growing right up out of the water. 
We could see a lighthouse, in process of erection, and 
several fishermen's huts along the coast. There was 
nothing else of special interest until the i8th, our last 
Sabbath on board, when we passed Point de Gaul, Cey- 
lon. This impressed me as being the most beautiful spot 
upon which my eyes had ever rested. The whole island 
is very beautiful and I do not wonder that the natives 
have a legend that the garden of Eden was situated upon 
it. The scenery is truly oriental, palm trees growing 
to the water's edge; graceful, feathery bamboos; lofty 
mountains towering above the clouds in the distance; and 
glistening white pagodas shining through the trees. As 
we neared its shores the first officer surreptitiously 
sprinkled cinnamon oil on the taffrail in order to hear 



FIRST VOYAGE TO BURMA 63 

the passengers exclaim about the 'spicy breezes' and 
verily he had his reward! 

November 24th, early in the morning, the water changed 
from the beautiful blue to a muddy greenish color. This 
was evidence that we were entering the Rangoon River 
and in a very short time would be at the end of our long 
sea voyage, safely landed in Burma. It is twenty-five 
miles from Elephant Point, at the mouth of the river, up 
to Rangoon. Before we reached the wharf some of our 
Rangoon missionaries came out, in boats, to meet us and 
bid us 'Welcome to Burma/ Others from Rangoon 
and elsewhere were on the wharf to greet us. One or 
two stations sent a telegram, bidding us welcome. Safely 
landed on the wharf among all these kind friends I will 
leave us, reserving until another time my trip up the river 
to Bassein, my new home, my impression of Burma and 
its people. I will only add, for the sake of those who 
are personally interested in me, that I am well and very 
happy. With much love to the people of Nebraska, I 
am respectfully yours, 

LAURA L. HARDIN." 



CHAPTER V 
EARLY EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY 

OUR captain had told me to provide myself with a pith 
hat or "topee" at Port Said and the missionaries, all go- 
ing out after former service, also impressed me with that 
necessity. I got the hat, but it was very stiff, thick,, 
ugly and unbecoming the brim lined with a ghastly 
shade of green. As we neared Rangoon I was eager to 
see the sights, so I finished my last packing early and 
dressed for going on shore. But that hat! Of course, 
I could not wear that thing with my natty black bunting 
so I put on a neat little straw turban, which went well 
with the dress, and sailed on deck. In my eagerness to 
get a good view of the strange looking people on shore and 
of the great Shwedagon pagoda, towering above the city 
and harbor, covered with gold from bottom to 'top and 
bedecked with precious gems sparkling and glittering in 
the sunlight, I ran from side to side of the steamer, as 
she varied her course, not being particular to keep under 
the double awning of canvas that was stretched above the 
deck to protect us from the vertical rays of the tropical 
sun. 

The other missionaries, all familiar with the scenery, 
were still below attending to their last packing. Stand- 
ing by the railing, my head with its thin covering exposed 
to the sun, and absolutely absorbed with the strange sights 
before me, I was suddenly brought to myself by some 
one seizing me by the shoulders and shoving me back. 

64 



EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY 65 

under the canvas, at the same time exclaiming, "Why,, 
Laura, don't you know better than that!" It was Dr. 
Rose, and it was a timely warning that he gave me, for 
I had already been sufficiently affected by the sun so that 
in all my thirty-eight years in the tropics I never fully 
recovered from .the results of those few moments of: 
careless exposure to its fierce rays. 

Before our steamer docked, Mr. Phinney, the superin- 
tendent of our Mission Press, came out in a launch and 
came aboard. He had a package of home letters for 
me, and was the first to welcome us to Burma. All of 
the others of our party had friends, both missionary and 
native, to meet them. 

I think I never felt so far away, so utterly homesick and 
alone as I did those first few moments at the end of that 
long, long voyage with no familiar face to greet me. 

Then dear, beloved Mrs. Ingalls, that queen of women, 
came to the rescue. Panting and with her curls bobbing, 
she rushed up to me with a huge bouquet of red roses, 
saying as she presented them, "I just thought after I got 
started that all the others except you would have friends 
to meet them, and that would make you feel homesick, 
so I hustled back to the bazaar and got these roses for 
you. I had to hurry so I forgot my umbrella and left 
it in the bazaar, but I wanted you to know that somebody 
thought of you." How that little act of kindness touched 
my heart! 

How strange were the sights and sounds when we 
stepped on that distant foreign shore ! Everything seemed 
different, even the telegraph poles were square instead of 
round. 

One little incident always comes back to me as I 
recall those "first impressions." Mr. Phinney called my 
attention to the rich and picturesque costume of an In-. 



66 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

dian gentleman with flowing white tunic over yellow satin 
trousers, the tunic surmounted by a gold-embroidered 
vest of purple velvet and the costume completed with 
jeweled red morocco sandals, turned up at the toes, and 
a gorgeous cap of purple velvet with rich gold and silver 
embroidery. Standing beside him was a coolie wearing 
no clothing except a very narrow loincloth. I was vexed 
with Mr. Phinney for calling my attention to an object 
I could not see without also seeing the practically nude 
figure by his side, and my face burned with indignation. 

Poor little prude! Before we had reached the home 
of Mrs. Packer, where I was to be entertained, we had 
passed scores of groups of "nude figures" and they had 
already ceased to be a novelty. 

After passing our medical examination, and getting 
through the customs, dear Mrs. Binney, with her snow- 
white curls, came down in her phaeton to meet me and 
take me to her niece's home, my place of entertainment, 
Dr. Packer's. 

Mrs. Packer, aptly described as reminding one of the 
most exquisite piece of cut glass, her features so. clear 
cut, her body so fragile, her conversation so sparkling, 
and her expression so pure and spiritual, received me with 
all the graciousness of the perfect lady that she was. 
The dinner was plain, but how good it tasted after the 
long weeks on the boat. It was hard, however, to throw 
off a feeling of discomfort with a solemn-faced, dark- 
skinned, white-turbaned servant standing behind my chair 
watching every mouthful of food and ready to grab my 
plate and rush off for something else the moment I laid 
down my fork. 

Dinner over, my hostess soon ushered me into a very 
large room with the highest ceiling I had ever seen. 
Ceiling, walls, and furniture were of dark, unpainted teak, 



EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY 67 

making the one small kerosene light look like a street 
lamp in a dense, London fog. In the middle of the room 
stood a bed easily wide enough for four people at least as 
wide as two ordinary double beds with a mosquito net 
fastened to the posts which had been extended about six 
feet for that purpose. The other furniture in the room 
consisted of a chair, the small teak table upon which the 
lamp sat, and a large teak almira (wardrobe), or jerusha 
as some one facetiously called it. Mrs. Packer showed 
me the bathroom, and looking about, said, "I think you 
will find everything necessary for your bath, which you 
will quite feel the need of after this hot day." She then 
told me not to be alarmed if I noticed little lizards on 
the wall. They were only geckos and quite harmless. 
Then there were touktoos (larger lizards) which fre- 
quently called out in the night and frightened people 
new to the country. They sometimes dropped from the 
ceiling, but the top of the mosquito net was made of 
muslin and would keep them from falling on the bed; 
After wishing me a restful night and, telling me not to 
get up for chota hazari (little breakfast) unless quite 
rested, she left me. I shall never forget my feelings as I 
took the lamp and looked around that big, bare room 
teak floor with no covering and saw the bright-eyed 
geckos peeking at me from places on the wall where I 
focused the light. I thought it the most desolate place I 
had ever been in in all my life. I thought of the possi- 
bility of a touktoo dropping from the ceiling before I 
got under the mosquito net, and decided to expedite my 
bath. I took the light, went into the bathroom and looked 
about. There was no bathtub! About a yard and a 
half square in the middle of the floor was latticed, and 
beside this square stood a very large stone jar of water. 
The top and bottom of the jar were about the size of a 



68 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

dinner plate ; but it bulged at the sides so it held sufficient 
water for a good bath. But how did Mrs. Packer sup- 
pose that a girl of my size could ever get into that jar? 
I was nonplussed, and went to bed without a bath. Never- 
theless there was a quart tin cup hanging by the jar of 
water and there was nothing to hinder my standing on 
the lattice, taking the cup and dashing the water over 
me, as I soon learned to do in taking one of the most re- 
freshing baths yet known to human beings. 

The following day I was taken around to call on the 
old missionaries. And what a galaxy of notables they 
were ! All my life I have felt that it was an honor to 
know such souls as I met that morning the Braytons, 
Bennetts, Stevenses, Smiths, Vintons, Mrs. Binney and 
Dr. Gushing. We had to wait two or three days for our 
Bassein boat to sail, and I was invited to spend the re- 
mainder of my stay in Rangoon in the home of that prince 
among men, Dr. D. A. W. Smith, a worthy son of the 
author of our national anthem, "My Country, 'Tis of 
Thee,' and at that time our mission treasurer. Mrs. Smith, 
a daughter of Dr. E. A. Stevens, was one of the most 
winsome women I have ever met and I always think of 
her as the most ideal Christian mother I have ever known. 
They had two small daughters in the home, Bessie and 
Emma (the latter now Mrs. H. I. Marshall of Insein, 
Burma) . It was in this home that I received the greatest 
compliment of my life. The little girls and I became 
great friends; and before I left the mother overheard 
one of them say to the other, "If our mother should die, 
do you know who I want for my new mother?" "Oh, 
yes," said the other, clapping her hands, "Miss Hardin." 
"So do I ! So do I !" And Mrs. Smith said in telling me 
of it that she thought they would be quite jubilant at any 
time over her demise ! 



EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY 69 

The joy of the beautiful trip on a small river-steamer 
up the narrow, winding Bassein River to Bassein, was 
only tempered by a night of agony from ptomain poison 
when Mrs. Jameson the unlovable ( ?) worked over me 
the long night through and probably saved my life. 

Upon our arrival in Bassein the night of the second 
day we were met by Mr. C. A. Nichols, now Dr. Nichols, 
and for more than forty years at the head of that won- 
derful work among the Bassein Karens, one of the most 
successful- if not the most successful missions in the 
world. Miss Sarah Higby and Miss Isabel Watson, both 
of whom had gone out to Burma in the days of sailing 
vessels when they were six months en route and before 
the organization of the Woman's Society, also met me. 

Miss Higby was then in charge of Pwo Karen work in 
Bassein and Miss Watson was to be my fellow-worker 
among Sgau Karens. 

While in Rangoon, Miss Elizabeth Lawrence took me 
aside and said, "There are a few things I want to say to 
you in the hope of helping you over some hard places, 
for you are certainly coming to some hard places, and 
they will come from the source least expected. People 
are wont to think of missionaries as superhuman. But, 
although you will find among them the very finest people 
in the world, they are only human after all. It takes 
people of strong purpose and will power to break all 
home ties and come to the ends of the earth to submerge 
themselves and sacrifice their own lives in the effort to 
uplift a more needy people. 

"Practically all of the missionaries certainly all of 
the best of them are people of very strong wills. When 
two very strong wills come together, nothing but the 
grace of God can prevent friction. Friction causes lack 
of harmony and great unhappiness. Besides, we are here 



70 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

to be examples to our people, and love and harmony 
should always prevail among our workers. Just pray 
for grace and try to see the truly good motives when 
things seem beyond human endurance." She did not men- 
tion a name and I tossed and tumbled in bed that night 
wondering what she could mean. 

Thousands of times afterwards I had occasion to recall 
those words and bless her for them. Miss Watson was 
a tiny little woman weighing less than a hundred pounds. 
She was of Scotch descent and had a will of iron; but 
though blunt in speech and brusque in manner, never in 
my life have I known a woman of kinder heart or one 
more ready to sacrifice herself for others. However, 
things must go her way. So when we saw things from a 
different angle and failed to agree and I saw the unen- 
durable approaching, I would grab her up in my big 
strong arms, take her across my knee and take off a 
slipper or call for a shingle. I invariably got her to 
laughing, after which she was ready to talk things over 
from my viewpoint, or after prayer over the matter to- 
gether, consent to go with me to talk things over with 
Mr. and Mrs. Nichols and be guided by their judgment, 
which was usually excellent. 

During the three years of my stay in Bassein we worked 
together in the greatest harmony. She stood up with me 
at my wedding, and I have rarely if ever seen a woman 
for whom I had higher esteem. But for Miss Law- 
rence's wise and timely warning, we might have been 
very unhappy together. 

When we reached the mission compound on the night 
of my arrival it was after dusk; but the girls were all 
eager to see "the new mamma," so Miss Watson took me 
over to their building. Of course I could do nothing 
but smile at them as none of the girls at that time knew 



EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY 71 

English. The answer to their first question was a dis- 
appointment. Did the new mamma sing and play ? Was 
she musical, they eagerly asked. How my thoughts 
leaped back over the years to Aunt Nean's old piano and 
my brother George's ludicrously exaggerated character- 
ization, for the amusement of neighbors and friends, 
of my efforts to sing and play. My cheeks burned as 
I had to confess to those music-worshiping people that 
I could do neither. After a short visit with the girls, 
with Miss Watson as interpreter, I was taken to my room, 
a room first occupied by Miss A. L. Stevens, who was 
the first woman sent out by the Society of the West and 
who was the last to say good-by and bid me Godspeed 
when I took the train at Chicago. 

This room was not quite so large and was a little less 
gloomy, as the ceiling had been painted white, than the 
one in which I spent my first night in Rangoon. My 
bathroom was similar, but by this time I had learned to 
take a bath and enjoy it, in the real oriental fashion. 

Older missionaries were convulsed when one said py- 
jamas, when she meant chota hazari, but how could one 
be expected to remember how to use all the Indian words 
she knew when she had been in the country less than a 
week? 

Well, after chota hazari, and pyjamas too, for that 
matter, we went over to the great Kotha-byu Hall 
where teachers and students were congregated eagerly 
waiting to see the new "mamma" and to sing a hymn of 
welcome which had been prepared for the occasion. There 
were about three hundred boys and between forty and 
fifty girls, as I remember, and how they did sing! 

Quite a number of the jungle Christians had come 
in to help in the welcoming of the new missionary. Most 
of these sat on the floor in the aisles, as they found the 



72 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

seats uncomfortable. Many of them had worn jackets, 
as a special mark of respect, but as the music went on 
and the heat of the day increased, one after another be- 
gan hauling them off until I think nobody except students 
and teachers were clad above the waist. This was per- 
fectly excusable, for the heat was intense and "nude 
figures" had already become the envy of my soul. 

Nevertheless, dear old Christian hymns sung by that 
large company of strange people in quaint dress and un- 
dress but in the sweetest of voices, though an unfamiliar 
tongue, thrilled me and lifted my soul in rapture; and I 
thanked God for the opportunity of giving some of my 
life to their betterment. 

After breakfast a teacher was brought to help me 
with the language a soft-voiced, sweet-faced girl armed 
with a spelling book. 

I shall never forget that first day's experience. Po Po 
sat on the floor at my feet, went over the first line in 
the spelling book (I had learned the characters from 
Mrs. Rose on the voyage) then looked sweetly up into 
my face as much as to say, "Now you do that." But I 
didn't. I tried, but she shook her head in the negative and 
went over it again. Again I tried. Again she shook 
her head; she knew no English. Over and over it we 
went, she frowning a little but very patient. Finally 
exasperated, I said: "Well, what is the matter? I say 
it exactly as you do, yet you say it is not right. There 
is no use going on this way." She did not understand 
what I said, but we went to hunt Mamma Watson and find 
out what the trouble was. She laughed and soon had us 
straightened out. It was all in the tone. Each vowel 
sound had six tones and each variation of tone gave a 
different meaning. She illustrated by saying that one of 
my predecessors had thought she was telling one of the 



EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY 73 

girls to bring her handkerchief which was lying on the 
bed. What she really did tell her was to bring her little 
husband who was lying on the bed. As the lady was of 
uncertain age and unmarried the girl was greatly amused. 
The difficulty was all in giving the wrong tone to the 
word wall. 

For at least three hours every day I struggled with 
the language. I was to have charge of the newly organ- 
ized high school, teach mathematics three hours a day and 
have the care of the sick boys. I soon learned to love the 
boys and girls devotedly and delighted in being among 
them. 

When I had been studying the language for about six 
months, Miss Watson electrified me one evening by 
calling upon me to lead in prayer at the girls' prayer 
meeting. I struggled through it somehow, but the prayer 
was short. I was conscious all the time of having asked 
a Karen girl if it were true that a former "mamma" had 
been able to pray in Karen after studying the language 
only three months. She replied, "Yes, she did. I hope 
God understood her. We Karens couldn't." 

I was slow at the language. My unmusical ear was 
not quick to distinguish the variation in tones. It was a 
full year before I dared undertake teaching a Sunday 
School class ; and even then I had to make careful prepa- 
ration and then go over it all thoroughly with my lan- 
guage teacher before appearing before my class. 

During this season of language study, however, I had 
the opportunity of teaching in an Anglo-Indian Sunday 
School, conducted by the Jamesons in the Burman Mis- 
sion Compound. This Sunday School was in session 
from seven to eight o'clock in the morning. I greatly en- 
joyed the early Sunday morning walk, and being able to 
teach in my own tongue. One or two from that Sunday 



74 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

School class went to England to study and afterward be- 
came quite prominent men among their own people, not- 
withstanding the fact that when I asked one of them to 
tell me about Simon the Sorcerer, he replied, "Why, 
he and Paul tried to play tricks on a girl!" 

Before the long, hot-season vacation came the annual 
Government examination of the schools. As the time 
drew near, it was interesting and sometimes amusing to 
note at the prayer meetings how earnestly boys and girls 
prayed that they might pass. We felt that if they ap- 
plied themselves as earnestly to their books that there 
would be no failures, and really there were few. 

The girls trembled with subdued excitement the morning 
the Inspector, an Englishman, arrived. He kept them for 
two whole hours in that state of agony before beginning 
his work. But in the main although too frightened and 
shy to speak, the girls did very creditably, especially in 
music and needlework. They were very winsome with 
their sweet, shy ways and one could not fail to be 
charmed by their clear birdlike voices, when they sang. 
Their needlework was exquisite. 

In examining a class of boys in Geography, the Inspec- 
tor asked a bright boy to give proofs that the earth is 
round, a fact that Burmans discredit. The boy glibly 
gave the well-known proofs. "Do you believe that?" 
asked the Inspector. "No, sir!" promptly replied the 
boy. 

There was a large jungle school a few miles out from 
town which also had to be inspected and Mr. Nichols 
invited me to take my first jungle trip in company with 
himself and the Inspector. I was particularly anxious 
to go, as there was to be a Karen wedding solemnized by 
Mr. Nichols while there. 

We started before sunrise, riding small Burman ponies 



EXPERIENCES AS A MISSIONARY 75 

through narrow, winding jungle paths, the boughs, dew- 
laden, often brushing our faces. We found the ride ex- 
hilarating and ourselves, upon our arrival, with ravenous 
appetites. 

This was well, for watching the women cook our 
breakfast over an open fire by the side of the house, in 
vessels encrusted on the outside by the accumulation of 
ages, one found it natural to wonder as to the condition 
of the inside when our food was put in. I felt while 
the cooking was going on that I could not eat food that 
came out of those vessels, but I did and enjoyed it. 
The rice was as white as snow and deliriously cooked. 
I saw them boiling eggs and my spirits rose. Here would 
be something that I could eat without qualms. But alas ! 
They carefully removed the shells with hands none too 
clean and served the eggs, spotted with fingermarks, in 
a dish the outside of which had not been washed for a 
generation. 

They went out and milked the buffaloes in order to 
furnish us with fresh milk. This the Inspector enjoyed 
and recommended ; but the cocoanut dipper had been used 
too often to be attractive. Besides, the milk looked bluer 
than the heart of an iris and neither Mr. Nichols nor I 
got up courage to sample it. 

That was forty years ago. There are people in that 
village now who could serve as clean and dainty a meal 
as one could wish. 

After breakfast came the examinations. The Inspector 
put a native man in charge of the work, and being quite an 
artist proceeded to amuse himself and us by drawing pic- 
tures of interesting sights presented; One was of a young 
mother, her dress beginning at the point of her hips (even 
a trifle lower than those worn by the American "flapper" 
in 1922), smoking a huge cigar and carrying a child on 



76 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

her hip, who was clad in a pair of bright-colored yarn 
earrings. This was a Burman Buddhist mother and child, 
not a Madonna. 

Examinations over, then came the wedding. When 
everything was ready the bride, being shy, ran up stairs 
and no amount of persuasion would induce her to come 
down. Her friends giggled and plead with her, but to no 
purpose. Finally several of them literally dragged her 
down the stairs and to the place in the yard where the cer- 
emony was to be performed. She promptly turned her 
back on the preacher. Her friends turned her around and 
held her. The preacher took hold of her hand to place it 
in that of the groom. She savagely jerked it away and 
put it behind her. Finally, however, the groom got hold 
of it. Again she jerked it away, but after a struggle he 
got it again and the ceremony was completed. The bride 
immediately rushed up stairs again and the groom trudged 
off over the rice fields to his home without her. However, 
he no doubt returned after we left and "ate rice" with 
her in the presence of the village elders which would be a 
satisfactory conclusion of ceremonies to both parties con- 
cerned. 

About sunset we rode back to the mission after a de- 
lightfully interesting day. 



CHAPTER VI 
VACATION DAYS AND MISSIONARY TRIALS 

As my first hot-season vacation approached, Mr. and 
Mrs. Nichols planned to go to Chaungtha, a small island 
off the coast in the Bay of Bengal, where they owned 
the only house on the island. They invited me to take my 
language teacher and accompany them and Miss Watson 
to that delightful spot where there were always fresh 
sea breezes, and where sea bathing was ideal. 

We had to ride elephants over the mountains to the 
coast. That first day's experience in elephant riding is 
long to be remembered. A mother elephant that had a 
baby and was considered exceptionally gentle was brought 
for us three women and little Harry Nichols and his 
nurse. 

Quilts and cushions were arranged in the huge howdah, 
which was securely strapped on the great beast's back; 
then the immense, ponderous creature got down on her 
knees for us to mount. This we did by stepping on her 
knee, reaching a hand to the driver a Karen man who 
sat on her head and climbing. With the driver's assist- 
ance, we managed to reach her "ridgepole" in safety and 
then, gingerly balancing ourselves, make our way back 
to the howdah and get in. 

The sensation when she started off, with her long lum- 
bering steps, made us feel that we would surely go over 
her head and was worse than seasickness. But we soon 
became accustomed to it and delighted ourselves with 
watching our wonderful animal. 

77 



78 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

She was guided by the driver punching her behind the 
ears with his bare toes. But she needed little guiding. 
Never in my life have I seen such human intelligence 
displayed by a dumb animal. She watched every small 
tree or branch along the narrow path that was likely 
to strike the occupants of her howdahj and either broke 
it off with her trunk or crushed it to the earth with her 
powerful foot. Furthermore, she was as solicitous for 
her baby as any human mother over her child. She care- 
fully kept it in the path before her and whenever it would 
turn off into the jungle she would reach out and tenderly 
draw it back. When we came to short, steep places in 
the path, she would either boost it along with her head 
or lift it gently over the step too steep for the short legs. 

When we reached the coast Mr. Nichols procured a 
small row boat and with his comforting admonition to 
part our hair exactly in the middle and hold our breaths, 
we set out for the island which we reached in safety and 
found a most charming spot. 

The following day we went over to the mainland to 
look about. Some friendly people met us and, not often 
seeing white people in their vicinity, wanted to pay us 
some attention. They presented us with some green 
cocoanuts the water of which we drank and found most 
refreshing after our hot walk on the beach. Then a woman 
smilingly invited us to come into her house out of the 
fierce sun and rest. We felt flattered and gladly accepted 
her invitation. After chatting with her for some time 
and in accordance with oriental . etiquette, asking about 
the members of her family, she replied that her husband 
was very ill. When we asked if he were away from 
home, "Oh, no," she replied, "he is here," pointing to a 
heap at the end of the veranda, on which we sat, on bam- 
boo mats on the floor. Mr. Nichols politely got up and 



VACATION DAYS 79 

went over to speak to him. The poor man was just one 
writhing mass of smallpox. Since we did not have any 
of the medicine of which a Burman doctor once told my 
husband, we did not make our stay longer than necessi- 
tated by common politeness. 

The doctor referred to was living in a large Burman 
village. My husband visited him, and while they were 
chatting a man rushed in and asked for medicine, saying 
he feared his wife was dying. The doctor without saying 
a word leisurely arose, took a large package from the 
thatch overhead, measured out a huge dose and gave it 
to the man, without asking a question, and sat down again 
to resume the conversation. Being somewhat curious, 
my husband asked what was the malady of the woman for 
whom he had just prescribed. "I don't know," the doctor 
replied. "You don't know?" said my husband in aston- 
ishment. "Then how can you prescribe for her without 
seeing her ?" 

"Well, you see it is like this/' he said. "I have studied 
all of the ninety-six diseases and I have found a cure 
for every one of them. I mix the medicines, 'so no matter 
what the disease is, the patient gets the medicine that is 
good for him. So you see," he said cheerfully, "it is 
not necessary for me to see my patients." 

"And do they all get well?" asked my husband. 

"Oh, no," he confessed. "Most of them die." 

After spending a delightful three weeks at Chaungtha 
we returned to Bassein. When Mrs. Carpenter returned 
to America, she packed her household linen in a camphor- 
wood chest and left it in Miss Watson's care, intending 
at that time to return to Burma after a short furlough. 
Having more of this world's goods than most mission- 
aries, she had unusually beautiful table linen and a large 
supply of it. Miss Watson's last care before leaving for 



8o PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

Chaungtha had been to fill little chatties (bowls) with 
"earth oil" (crude kerosene) and set the legs of the stand 
on which the chest sat in them to prevent possible depre- 
dations from white ants, though it was supposed camphor 
wood was immune. The chest was in a porch inclosed 
with lattice, covered with creepers. 

The next morning after our arrival from Chaungtha 
Miss Watson called out in a most distressed voice, "Miss 
Hardin ! Miss Hardin ! Do come here !" I went to dis- 
cover that the leaves had blown in and settled on the 
earth oil, which is death to white ants, and the ubiquitous 
little pests had seized their opportunity, built their little 
secret trail over the leaves and entered the precious 
chest. Upon opening it only a mass of dust and a few 
hems were to be seen. I do not think there were two 
square inches of unchewed linen in the whole great 
chest. Poor Miss Watson, always so faithful to any 
trust, how terribly she felt ! 

Soon after our return from vacation the rainy season 
began, and so did the measles. Miss Watson had charge 
of the sick girls, I of the sick boys. The boys were scat- 
tered in fifteen different houses,- one dormitory and 
fourteen cottages, as I remember. All of these buildings 
were up from the ground and all the boys slept on mats 
spread on the floor. There were thirty-five boys down 
with measles at one time, some in each house. This in- 
volved going up fifteen flights of steps, not very long 
ones, and kneeling down on the floor to take temperatures 
and give medicine at least thirty-five times every time 
the rounds were made, which was not many times a 
day for the days were not long enough. The greatest 
trouble I had was with diet. Friends would come from 
their jungle homes to see the sick boys and would persist 
in giving them, on the sly, raw cucumbers, ngapi (putrid 



VACATION DAYS 81 

fish), dried fish, chillies, or any other delicacies they hap- 
pened to crave that were obtainable. I felt well repaid 
for all my hard experience and lame knees, for not 
one boy who remained in my care died, though several 
who were taken home did. Measles, a disease which will 
not brook dampness and exposure, is almost as greatly 
feared by the Karens as cholera, and when in their own 
homes almost as liable to be fatal. 

Shortly before my second hot season in the country, 
there arose a disturbance among our people over a matter 
of discipline. Mr. Nichols was severely criticized by some 
native teachers who had studied in America and who 
felt that they should be put on an equal basis and an equal 
salary with American missionaries, though their method 
of living required less than a fourth as much expense. 

They used this matter of discipline to stir up discontent 
among the patrons of the school. Finally some of the 
leaders came and suggested that the management of this 
most important mission school in Burma be turned over 
to the Karens themselves. 

When Mr. Nichols told me about it, "That is exactly 
what I think we ought to do," I said. "What, do you 
think they can manage this big school themselves ?" he ex- 
claimed. "Not for a minute," I said. "But they think they 
can; and they will never be satisfied until they have had 
the trial. Besides if they can do it, they ought to do it 
and thus relieve you for evangelistic work and give you 
more time for the superintendency of the Press. If they 
cannot manage it, they have got to learn it for themselves 
by actual trial," I replied. After thinking a little, he 
said, "I believe you are right," and we went and talked 
the matter over with Mrs. Nichols and Miss Watson and 
very soon, after earnest prayer, decided to turn the school 
over immediately. 



82 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

The Karens had built the good teak buildings with 
their own money and, barring the salaries of the mis- 
sionaries, the school was supported entirely by the Karens 
themselves; so they had a right to run it if they wished 
and could. Mr. Nichols called the trustees and leading 
men together and told them of our decision. That they 
might feel perfectly free to try out their own plans and 
not feel that they were being watched and criticized by 
the missionaries, it was thought best for Miss Watson 
and me to go elsewhere. Mr. Nichols would look after 
the Press and Book Bindery but spend most of his time 
traveling among the villages preaching the Gospel. 

This was shortly before the last Burmese war and the 
taking of Upper Burma,, and the country was in a state 
of suppressed excitement and agitation. Bands of da- 
coits were rising up all over the country and committing 
all kinds of depredations. Mr. W. F. Thomas of Hen- 
zada had become greatly interested in the Chins of 
Arracan who had never had any mission work done 
among them. He wanted to make a tour among them 
and learn more of their numbers, accessibility and needs. 
He therefore invited me to come to Henzada and stay 
with his wife during his absence with a view to working 
among the Chin people should he succeed in inducing 
the Board to open up work among them. 

Dacoit bands were becoming more and more bold, 
spreading terror all over the country. The day I left 
Bassein for Henzada the Deputy Commissioner (British) 
who had been out after them was brought in, a corpse. 
It was vacation time and Mrs. Thomas and I stayed 
alone in the large Karen Mission House. 

The Superintendent of Police told us that dacoits had 
threatened to burn the town and advised us not to stay 
there alone nights. Accordingly we went every night to 



VACATION DAYS 83 

the Burman Mission House, occupied by the Hascalls, 
to sleep. After going over one night after dark a Karen 
came in great excitement showing us rags soaked in 
kerosene which he had found placed under our house and 
other buildings on the Karen compound and which had 
without doubt been placed there with the intention of 
burning the buildings. Mr. Hascall hurried with the news 
to the District Superintendent of Police. He immedi- 
ately ordered us all into the courthouse, which he had 
strongly guarded, and ordered another guard to patrol 
the mission property all night. Rumors had gone abroad 
that the town was to be looted and burned that night and 
the courthouse was already full of terrified natives. Mrs. 
Hascall and Mrs. Thomas both being in delicate health, 
we finally got the reluctant consent of the District Super- 
intendent of Police to remain in the Mission House. 
But he came personally several times before morning to 
make sure that we were safe. 

Shortly after daybreak we heard a peculiar sound like 
"the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." 
The dhoby (washerman) came running in and threw 
his great bundle of clothing from his head to the middle 
of the floor. Some of the clothes were washed and ironed, 
some were soaking wet, and some were still unwashed. 
"They are burning the town! They are burning the 
town !" he screamed as he ran toward the courthouse for 
protection. We rushed to the window. Sure enough, we 
could see smoke ! People were rushing here and there in 
wildest panic and terror. Fire had been started in the 
outskirts of town, but the District Superintendent of 
Police, a fine officer, was on his job and soon had things 
quieted. But the excitement and anxiety of that season, 
during which time a little boy was born into the Hascall 



84 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

home, and shortly afterwards another to the Thomases, 
were experiences long to be remembered. 

If my memory serves me right, the Karens ran the 
school for three months. Then came the long vacation. 
They were unable to manage the finances or to keep things 
up to anything like their former standard. They had 
their lesson, and discovered that they were not yet ready 
to assume large responsibilities. 

They came back and begged us to resume the respon- 
sibility of the school, promising to work with us in 
harmony in the future. This we cheerfully did. That 
was thirty-nine years ago. Mr. Nichols has been with 
them ever since and the world-renowned achievements 
of that splendid Mission is proof of his wise leadership 
and the earnest and consecrated efforts of that wonderful 
people. 



CHAPTER VII 
SHWE PO AND AUNG BWIN 

ON my return to Bassein there came to me one morning 
a bright-faced, dirty, ragged young urchin, saying that 
he was an orphan, that he wanted to go to our Mission 
school and had come to see if I would help him get 
work to pay his expenses. After making some inquiries 
I told him to come and I would give him work out of 
school hours. 

He made fine progress and after leaving Bassein I 
continued to help him for a time. He finished his High 
School course and I heard he had secured a position under 
the Government. After that I lost track of him. To 
finish his story here, and at the same time reveal one 
of the most precious compensations of a missionary's 
life, let me turn aside from the regular chronological 
order of my story. Many years after, when coming 
down the Chin Hills on my way home on furlough, shortly 
before we were to start down the mountains we heard 
that a British general, with his retinue, was on his way 
up the Hills on inspection duty. As the tiny bungalows 
at the end of each day's march on the Government 
Road were only accessible to us by the kind courtesy of 
the Government, having been built for the use of officials 
and furnished with cots, chairs and tables, and as these 
bungalows were too small to accommodate both the gen- 
eral's company and mine, we decided in conversation with 
Mr. Fischer, Assistant Superintendent of the Chin Hills, 
to take a much less frequented trail on which two of the 

85 



86 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

bungalows had been destroyed, and which would involve 
an extra day's travel in a rowboat. The Assistant Super- 
intendent most kindly offered to send men ahead to build 
grass huts where bungalows had been destroyed so we 
would have a safe place in which to sleep each night. This 
he did. Dr. Woodin, new to the country and unfamiliar 
with the language^ was to accompany me. Neither of us 
had ever traveled the road before, so we started out on 
our long trail veritable babes in the woods. We sent boys 
ahead with a cooked dinner, telling them to stop at the 
first village and await our arrival. But the village hap- 
pened to be off the main trail and we passed it by, riding 
on for miles without coming to any village. As it began 
to grow dark and as we were surrounded on all sides by 
dense jungles, we decided to retrace our steps. After 
riding for miles we finally saw a light and soon heard 
voices. The boys, after waiting till night-fall, suspected 
what had happened and were out on our trail. We went 
back to the village, had our dinner and remained over 
night. The next few days were passed pleasantly enough. 
The little grass huts that had been built for us looked 
like dolls' houses. They were fresh and clean, with a 
partition through the middle, and the men had put a pile 
of grass on one side in each room for a bed, and had 
driven posts in the ground and made us a table about 
eighteen inches square, in front of the house. It was 
like living in Fairy Land! But when we reached the 
foot of the mountains, our bungalow was in the midst of a 
great, sizzling, dusty paddy (rice) plain and was sur- 
rounded by herds of water buffaloes. 

Dr. Woodin made an arrangement with a boatman to 
take us all the way to Kalemyo in order to save unloading 
and reloading the goods, though it was not customary for 
one set of boatmen to go farther than one day's trip, which 



SHWE PO AND AUNG BWIN 87 

would be to Indin. Not knowing whether or not I would 
ever return to Burma, I was taking home some of my hus- 
band's most treasured books, curios, household linen, etc. 
Furthermore, I had some of the beautiful hand-woven 
silk for my prospective daughter-in-law's trousseau, to 
say nothing of a box of dainty garments which friends 
had sent me from America in order that I need not 
appear in last century's costumes upon arrival in civiliza- 
tion. Altogether there were several trunks and boxes. 

We got a boat large enough to hold them all and started 
gayly down the river. About the middle of the forenoon 
I noticed water slopping about my feet. I told Dr. 
Woodin and we both began to bail. The water gained on 
us, however, and we were obliged to land. We had three 
boatmen. They went cheerfully to work, calking the cracks 
in the boat, while our cook gathered sticks, made a fire 
on a sand bar and cooked our breakfast. Breakfast over 
and the boat reloaded, we journeyed on, but we had only 
traveled an hour or two when I saw a stream of water 
the size of my little finger spurting up at my feet like 
the water in a drinking fountain. Again we had to land 
and unload, and this time turn the boat over to do the 
calking. We were long delayed and instead of reaching 
Indin in the early evening, it was about nine o'clock at 
night when we got there. The boatmen being unfamiliar 
with the river at that place landed us on the opposite side 
from the bungalow where we expected to spend the night. 
As we wanted a safer boat for the remainder of the trip, 
and as the thugyi or headman to whom we must apply 
lived on the side where we had landed, we hunted up his 
house, got him out of bed and asked him to furnish us 
with a boat to take us across the river that night to the 
bungalow and on to Kalemyo the following day. He was 
very affable, gave us seats and told us just to wait and 



88 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

he would have a boat ready for us very soon. We waited 
long for his return. Finally he came, saying our boat 
was ready. We went down a long steep bank and 
found the same old leaky boat in which we had come! 
My trunks and boxes were sitting in several inches of 
water! "Why, this is the same boat," we said. "Yes," 
said the thugyi. "I could not get my men together to 
get you another boat to-night, but this will get you across 
the river all right and I will send you a good one in 
the morning." There was nothing else for it. They 
had brought the boat farther down the stream than where 
we had landed and it stood in shallow water some dis- 
tance from the shore. We had to take off our shoes 
and stockings and wade out to it. I had just dressed 
my feet again and was starting to enter the "paung" 
or part covered to protect one from the sun, when Dr. 
Woodin said, "Why do you go back in there? Why not 
stay out here where it is cool." I returned and sat on 
the end of a box by his side. If I had not done so I 
would probably have been drowned, for only a few 
moments later our boat struck a rock and with a great 
crash turned over, throwing us and all its contents into 
the water. It was by almost superhuman effort that the 
Doctor kept the boat from closing down over us, as it 
certainly would have over me, had I been inside. As he 
kicked the boat away, with wonderful presence of mind, 
he threw his hand under my head to keep me from sinking 
as we were thrown backwards into the water. Our only 
light was a kerosine lantern and this of course went out 
with the capsizing of the boat. We floundered about in 
the water in the dark until somehow the Doctor succeeded 
in getting me ashore. Then the work of saving the goods 
began. The boatmen worked like beavers, and it was 
not long until most of the things were rescued. I saw the 




SHWE PO WIFE AND DAUGHTER 



SHWE PO AND AUNG BWIN 89 

suitcase in which I had some precious translations on 
which I had worked for months, and the Doctor's big 
pith hat sail by and I waded out and saved the suitcase. 
So far as I know to the contrary, the hat is "going on for- 
ever." The Doctor had to travel nights on his return, 
not because his "deeds were evil," but because he had no 
hat to protect him from the fierce and dangerous rays of 
the sun. The water was cold; it was late at night; we 
were on the wrong side of the river; our boat was a 
wreck, our clothes were soaking wet and we had had no 
dinner. Our food was in the bottom of the stream. What 
were we to do? One of the boatmen knew of a small 
empty bamboo house where Englishmen stopped when 
they came that way. We told them to take the bed 
bundles and, leaving the other things piled together, lead 
the way to the empty house. With our shoes full of 
cold water and our clothes dripping, we dragged our- 
selves up a steep bank of pure sand which clung to our 
clothing and weighted our feet. The road to that bamboo 
house seemed endless, though in reality the distance was 
probably less than a mile and a half. Our lantern had 
gone down with the boat and our matches were all wet. 
We had to send a man to get people out of bed to 
borrow matches before we could get a light. The house 
had one small room and a tiny bath room no furniture. 
Dr. Woodin generously allotted the larger room to me, 
taking the bathroom, in which he could not straighten out 
full length, for himself. We opened our bed bundles, 
which were wrapped in supposedly water-proof canvas, 
hoping to find something dry for we were shivering with 
cold. "Are any of your things dry?" asked the Doctor. 
"Not a blessed thing! Even the pillow in the middle of 
the bundle is soaked," I answered with despair in my 
voice. "Never mind. I have a bath towel and a suit of 



90 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

pyjamas that are only damp a little. You may take 
your choice," cheerfully offered the Doctor. "I'll take 
the bath towel," I said. "Well, give yourself a very thor- 
ough rub with it until you feel warm," he said, "for I 
shall be surprised if we do not have a fine case or two 
of pneumonia here by morning." I did as he recom- 
mended, then wrung the water out of my clothes and the 
wet bedding, spread the quilts on the floor and with a 
raincoat for covering, went supperless to bed. Long be- 
fore daylight I got up, dressed in the raincoat, pulled 
some bark off the rail fence, made a fire and piece by 
piece dried my clothes and put them on. They were 
streaked and blackened with smoke, but I felt like a 
Million Dollars when I got them on after the expe- 
riences of that awful night. When clothed and in my 
right mind once more, I sent a man to get some rice. This 
we cooked and ate and then proceeded to make prepara- 
tions to continue our journey, for we could lose no time or 
I would miss my boat to Rangoon. When we went back 
to the river bank we found that the trunks and boxes 
had been submerged so many times in the rescuing that 
the contents were soaked. We also found it impossible 
to get a boat big enough to take all the goods. We had 
no time to open boxes and dry the contents. We simply 
had to go, taking such things as we could and leaving the 
others sitting on the bank to soak. I did not see them 
again until ten days later. When I heard the swish-swash 
of water in the trunks we had with us and opened them 
only to find my Mandalay silk and other treasures soaked, 
streaked and stained, I was utterly heartsick. How 
could I go on to America with every article of finery 
ruined ? I took my box of millinery and pitched it over- 
board. My wedding fan followed it ; then a treasured fan 
of great beauty given to me by the niece of a former 



SHWE PO AND AUNG BWIN 91 

i 

Premier of Belgium went to keep them company. Treas- 
ure after treasure followed suit. 

It was a dilapidated-looking missionary, and a decid- 
edly disheartened and "blue" one, that set foot on the bank 
at Kalewa the second evening after the wreck. But as we 
climbed the bank there came towards us a fine-looking 
native gentleman, handsomely dressed in the picturesque 
Burmese costume and carrying a package of letters in 
his hand. "Why, Mamma Carson," he said, "don't you 
know me? I was your boy in Bassein twenty-five years 
ago. I heard you were coming and I got your mail and 
came down to meet you. Let me know your wishes and 
I will do anything I can for you." When asked how 
he came to be there he said, "Oh, I am myook [mayor] 
of Kalewa now." He paid our boatmen and coolies, 
sent fresh bread, milk, fish, cocqanuts, and many other 
things, to the bungalow for our comfort, and when the 
steamer came in he saw my things on board and insisted 
on paying my steamer fare to Monywa whence I would 
go by rail. Had I been his own mother he could not have 
seemed more glad to see me, nor treated me with greater 
kindness. My little ragged orphan boy, whom I had 
helped so long ago! God bless him! What a fine man 
he was. 

Two days later I reached Monywa and before we 
docked a Karen man with beaming face came on board 
saying, "Mamma Carson, I am so glad to see you. I heard 
you would be on this steamer and I came to meet you. I 
used to be one of your High School boys twenty-five 
years ago. I am now Havildar [captain] of the Military 
Police stationed here." 

That night I was entertained in the English Wesleyan 
Mission. Mr. Winston said to me "That Karen Hav- 
ildar of yours who is here is a wonderful man. I don't 



92 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

know how we would get along without him. He leads 
our choir [there is no Baptist mission at Monywa] ; 
he teaches in our Sunday School ; he is always at prayer 
meeting and helps in every possible way in our Christian 
work. Then that Baptist Christian Burman, S. D. O. 
[Sub-Divisional Officer] who has headquarters here, 
he is one of the choicest men I have ever seen. If your 
whole Baptist mission had done nothing more than to 
develop such a character, it would be well worth all it 
has cost. Whenever he is here on the Sabbath he goes 
about and gathers up a lot of the most influential men in 
the place because of his high position any of them are 
proud to be seen in his company and brings them to 
church. Frequently I ask him to preach. He never 
refuses, and he gives them some of the finest talks to 
which I have ever listened. I only wish I could do 
half as well myself. He is one of the finest characters 
I have ever known white or black." 

My train left at four o'clock the next morning and 
when I reached the station there was that splendid Bur- 
man Christian official up and out at that time in the morn- 
ing to see me off and wish me Godspeed! 

As I traveled down country and had time to think 
things over I said to myself with an overflowing heart, 
"What do I care for ruined finery the spoiling of my 
goods! Things do not matter. It is human lives that 
count ! What splendid compensation for all the trials of 
past years to have the evidence that God has given me 
during these past three days to carry home with me 
evidence that our Christians are making good. Evidence 
that God has so honored me as to give me some little part 
in helping to uplift a nation." 

Before I came home the last time 1920 I received 
a beautiful letter from my orphan boy saying he had 



SHWE PO AND AUNG BWIN 93 

heard that I was going home to retire ; that he had tried 
to get leave from the Government to come to Rangoon 
to see me off hut had failed. He wanted to thank me 
for what I had done to help him to make something of 
his life, etc., etc. He was then Station Magistrate and 
Treasury Officer in the seaport city of Maulmain ; a man 
looked up to and loved by British officials and natives, 
heathen and Christian alike, because of his splendid ster- 
ling Christian character. He has been three times honored 
by the British Government and has a right to write six 
letters after his name. 



CHAPTER VIII 
MARRIAGE AND FIRST MISSION TO CHINS 

BUT to take up the thread of my story about the 
time of my return to Bassein in the spring of 1886 Rev. 
Arthur E. Carson was appointed by our Board for service 
in Burma to open up work among the Chins a people 
who had never had a missionary of any denomination, but 
among whom some work had been done by Rev. E. O. 
Stevens, the elder Mrs. Thomas and Rev. and Mrs. W. 
F. Thomas. 

Mr. Carson, to whom I was engaged before leaving 
America, but who remained behind to pursue his theo- 
logical studies, was to sail in September. We were to 
be married immediately upon his arrival. While in Hen- 
zada with the Thomases I had engaged a native man to 
weave by hand the material for my wedding gown. It 
was white silk woven on a hand loom on the ground 
under a bamboo hut. I furnished cloth to keep it cov- 
ered and went down frequently to make sure it was 
not being soiled. That spring Dr. and Mrs. Nichols 
went home on furlough and I sent the silk to New York 
by Mrs. Nichols to be made up and sent back by Mr. 
Carson. It was a beautiful dress. 

During the absence of Mr. and Mrs. Nichols, Miss 
Watson and I carried on alone. Mr. and Mrs. Price 
were coming with the September party to take over the 
work until the return of the Nicholses. Those few months 
of the interim were strenuous indeed. It looked as though 
there would be no time whatever to prepare for my wed- 
ding. 

Finally one morning Dr. and Mrs. Jameson came up 

94 



FIRST MISSION TO CHINS 95 

and Dr. Jameson said, "Your Auntie," meaning Mrs. 
Jameson, the unlovable (?), "and I have talked things 
over and we have decided that we are not quite ready 
to let you kill yourself. So we are coming up here and 
I am going to take over the Mission Accounts" (with 
scores of jungle schools, churches and Evangelists this 
was no sinecure) "and your Auntie will take over the 
housekeeping and thus relieve you a little and give you 
an opportunity to get ready to be married." In addition 
to his own work Dr. Jameson voluntarily assumed this 
added burden and Mrs. Jameson cheerfully left her own 
home in order to make a home for Miss Watson and 
me. What their coming just at that time meant to me, 
no words of mine can express. 

I remember that during this period, shortly before 
Mr. Carson was due in Rangoon, a young Englishman 
called me out of the service one Sunday morning and 
told me that his stepmother was very ill and was constantly 
calling for me. I said I would go to her at once. 

He hesitated a little and then said: "I think I should 
tell you that she has cholera. And if you are afraid or 
feel the least nervous I think you had better not go." 
Assuring him that I was not in the least afraid, I accom- 
panied him to the home of his father, who was a sea 
captain who had recently married for his second wife a 
beautiful young English girl. She had only been a few 
months out from England. On Friday evening we had 
taken a long walk together and she was in abounding 
health and the gayest of spirits. She had only been sick 
a few hours, yet when I entered the room I would not 
have known her, so terrible are the ravages of that dread 
disease. She had not been told the nature of her disease, 
and when I came up to her bed she reached up, put her 
arms about my neck and drew me down to "kiss me 



96 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

for coming." The exertion caused her to vomit and it 
covered the front of my dress. From that moment I 
knew that I was liable to be a corpse any time within the 
next three or four days. I lifted a silent prayer for the 
bridegroom then approaching Calcutta. 

After washing the stains from my dress I went back 
to the bedside of the sick woman and ministered to her 
until she died a few hours later. All night long I stayed 
with the corpse and helped prepare the beautiful body for 
burial. Returning to the Mission next morning, weary 
with the night's vigil and grieved for the loss of the sweet 
young life so far from her home and loved ones, in all 
probability I would soon have followed her had not Mrs. 
Jameson taken me immediately in hand. She went with 
me to my room, had me drop all of the clothing I had 
worn into a tub of boiling water which she had placed 
out of doors under my window, then gave me a hot bath 
with disinfectant, washed my hair, darkened my room, 
and put me to bed admonishing me not to get up until I 
was thoroughly rested and could sleep no longer. "For 
it would be a sad experience for a young missionary to 
come all the way from America and find no bride." 

When the "young missionary" reached Calcutta he dis- 
covered that the trunk containing his wedding suit, and 
the wedding cake made by my dear mother's hands, had 
been left in England! It turned up some two or three 
months after we were married. Fortunately my dress 
was in another trunk and the party was detained in Cal- 
cutta long enough for Mr. Carson to have another suit 
made. 

The bridegroom had expressed a desire to have a very 
quiet wedding. This also suited my wishes, but when I 
told the missionaries my plans they said it would never 




A CHIX CHIKF WITH ft IS F LI XT-LOCK GUN 



FIRST MISSION TO CHINS 97 

do, that the Karen Christians would feel terribly hurt i 
their "Mamma" should be married and they were not per- 
mitted to be present at the ceremony. So it transpired 
on the eventful morning of December 18, 1886, that 
Karen Christians flocked in from every direction and that 
instead of the quiet little wedding we had hoped for there 
were more than two thousand people present, fourteen 
of whom (including bride and groom) were white ! The 
ceremony took place in the splendid Ko-tha-byu Hall, 
named for the first Karen Christian and built by the 
Karens themselves. Two native teachers who had been 
educated in America took charge of the decorating and 
with a large committee of students they converted the 
entire great hall into a bower of beauty. The great pil- 
lars were wound with garlands of green, and festoons of 
the beautiful Tha-bu-baw were caught from the center of 
the ceiling to the pillars at the sides. Loveliest ferns and 
crotons were artistically clumped on the broad rostrum, 
and dozens of pots of purest white lilies with their glossy 
green leaves, were arranged along the front. It seemed 
to me that no bride ever had a lovelier setting. The 
Mission House was connected with the Hall by a covered 
walk and this walk was spread with mats for the bridal 
party. 

Mr. F. D. Phinney, for so many years Superintendent 
of our great Mission Press in Rangoon, was best man 
and Miss Watson was bridesmaid. Dr. Jameson, whom 
I think of as the most saintly man I ever knew, oh, so 
beautifully and tenderly performed the ceremony. The 
Karens sweetly sang an original hymn prepared for the 
occasion by the Karen pastor of the church Saw Tay 
Naw another saintly character of truly wonderful 
ability. , 

Under a beautiful arch in the Mission House congratu- 



98 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

lations were received, every Karen feeling in duty bound 
to shake hands with the bride. With that tremendous 
crowd it was a time-consuming performance, though 
facilitated by the crowd passing orderly in at one door and 
out at an opposite one. Long before the finish my white 
gloves were black, and my arm was lame for days after- 
wards. 

This ceremony over, the white people passed into the 
"banquet hall," which Mrs. Jameson's dear hands and 
good taste had made very lovely. Small tables were laid, 
and beautifully decorated, for the guests. A large Amer- 
ican flag, made by Mrs. Jameson and the bride, and a 
Union Jack were crossed at the head of the table pre- 
pared for the bridal party. The luncheon was daintily 
served and delicious. The Karen guests were furnished, 
by the bride, with a large beef, and I dp not remember 
how many hogs they did the rest! They had a fine 
feast of rice and curry and went home happy. 

The day after the wedding was spent in packing our 
goods and getting them on board a steamer for Henzada, 
where we were to relieve the Thomases so they could 
take charge of the Zigon Burman Mission, as Mr. George's 
health made it imperative that they leave at once for 
America. This was only a temporary measure. Other 
arrangements were to be made as soon as possible so 
we might open up work among the Chins. We were to 
be with the elder Mrs. Thomas in Henzada. She was 
deeply interested in the Chins and with her Karen helpers 
had worked so effectually among them that the first Sun- 
day we were in Henzada she had them called in from the 
jungle and Mr. Carson had the joy of baptizing thirteen 
adult converts. 

The Thomases remained in Henzada just long enough 
to attend the Karen Association which was held in a 



FIRST MISSION TO CHINS 99 

near-by village. Sending bedding, clothing, food, dishes, 
curtains, hymn books, medicine, tracts and countless other 
things out on an ox cart the day before, we missionaries 
rode ponies out the next morning. The meetings were 
held under a great straw-covered shed prepared for the 
purpose and there were hundreds of people presents. 
2?he entire day was taken up with meetings and eating ! 
and the night with singing. How they did sing ! And 
they kept it up until two o'clock in the morning. But, 
frivolous as it may seem, the thing I remember best of 
that whole four days of meetings was the effect caused 
by Polly, a dear Karen girl in the Henzada School. 
Her father, known in the Mission as Chaucer (Chaw 
Ser) lived in the village where the Association was held. 
Polly wanted her father to be dressed up for the great 
occasion so she bought and took out to him a pair of 
cotton trousers. Now Chaucer had never worn trousers 
before and to Polly's discomfort and the amusement of 
the missionaries he appeared before the crowd, proud as 
a peacock, with his trousers on hind side before! 

During our stay in Henzada, and both before and after 
the taking of Upper Burma by the British, the whole coun- 
try was harassed by bands of dacoits, burning, looting 
and sacking villages. The Karens and Chins, almost to a 
man, were loyal to the British and consequently incurred 
the hatred of the Burmans. One morning as I sat in the 
Mission House a Chin woman with a hideous tattooed 
face staggered into the room, fell at my feet on the floor, 
dropped her head in my lap and sobbed pitifully. She 
was so utterly exhausted it was a long time before she 
could tell us her story. Then she told me her name was 
Ma Ba. She was a Christian and the little band of Chris- 
tians in her village had met on Sunday morning to wor- 
ship. While absent, their homes had been entered and 



ioo PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

looted and then set on fire. Seeing their homes burning 
they fled in terror into the jungle and had been wandering 
about for four days without food and a part of the time 
suffering agonies for water, trying to find their way to the 
Mission. They had little children with them who had to 
be carried; parties got separated while searching for 
water and they were in constant terror of being over- 
taken by the cruel dacoits and treated as one poor Karen 
woman was bound to a tree, her clothes saturated with 
kerosene and burned alive. When finally they reached the 

Mission and safety the reaction was almost more than 
they could bear. 

We remained in Henzada only three months, but how 
we learned to love dear old black-faced Ma Ba, who had, 
through such terrible suffering, led the little band of 
Christians to safety! 

In the spring of 1887 Mr. Thomas (who knew more 
about the habitat of the Chins than any one else and 
who was deeply interested in their evangelization), Mr. 
Carson and myself were authorized by the Board to go 
up the country and search out the best place for estab- 
lishing the new Mission. Accordingly we went up the 
Irrawaddy River, stopping at various places and making 
inquiries of officials and natives and gathering such data 
as was possible. In Thayetmyo there were a few Burman 
Christians and a small chapel where outstation work was 
carried on by Rev. E. O. Stevens of Prome. Further- 
more, there were Chin villages on the opposite side of 
the river as well as along the foothills extending both 
north into unexplored regions and south to villages in 
which some religious work had been done. We there- 
fore unanimously agreed upon Thayetmyo as the most 
strategic place for establishing the new Mission, and an 



FIRST MISSION TO CHINS 101 

application was sent in to the British Government for a 
grant of land for that purpose. 

In company with the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Car- 
son carefully looked over all the available sites in or near 
the city and finally decided upon one just outside of the 
municipality. The Deputy Commissioner was amazed at 
his choice, exclaiming, "Why, that is nothing but a dump 
heap." But Mr. Carson saw the possibilities of the place 
and the- beautiful compound evolved from the jungle 
"dump heap" proved the wisdom of his choice beautiful 
"Jungle Lodge!" 

As Dr. Stevens was obliged to go home on furlough we 
were asked to take charge of his work at Prome until a 
new man could be sent out. Prome being only a half 
day's trip by steamer from Thayetmyo, it was thought that 
we could oversee the work there while getting things 
started for the new Mission at Thayetmyo. This we un- 
dertook to do. We found everything in splendid condi- 
tion in Prome so far as all details of the work were 
concerned. We had planned to put in every available 
hour while there upon the language of our Chins. But 
there was a large Burmese school which we had to super- 
intend ; and the pupils were so quarrelsome that we found 
it impossible, without any knowledge of their language, 
to discipline them with justice. We therefore gave our- 
selves with considerable determination to the study of 
Burmese. While we did not exactly rejoice over the 
number of quarrels we had to settle, we did feel thankful 
many times afterwards that something compelled us to 
familiarize ourselves with the dominant language of the 
country. 

Some of the Prome Christians were among the finest 
characters I have known in Burma. Let me tell the 
story of one girl's life which has taught me many a use- 



102 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

f ul lesson. A bright, clean young girl from a Christian 
family was lured away by the English captain of a river 
steamer and became his mistress. She had been forbidden 
to come on the Mission compound when we went to 
Prome, as we had some unusually attractive young ladies 
there and it was feared that others might be enticed into 
following her example. I sent for the girl to come and 
see me. In response to the summons she came, beautifully 
dressed and bejeweled, but a little shy as if uncertain 
how she would be received. I received her kindly but 
had a long plain talk with her. At first she resented it 
and was stubborn and angry. Then she said that the 
man was good and kind to her and gave her many beau- 
tiful presents; that she loved him and could not give 
him up. I did not ask her to give him up, but talked of 
what a terrible thing it was to bring reproach upon the 
name "Christian" where so few knew the matchless 
Christ the One to whom all must look for salvation. 
Praying for guidance, I talked tenderly and sympatheti- 
cally, not blaming her, but telling her how Christ had 
forgiven the woman taken in sin, saying that He did not 
condemn her, but for her to go and sin no more. 

Suddenly she flung herself at my feet, buried her head 
in my lap and sobbed. I smoothed her hair with my 
hand, but said nothing. Presently she jumped up, rushed 
from the house and was gone. I did not see her again for 
weeks. But one afternoon she came again to my room, 
flung herself at my feet, hid her face in my lap and 
wept. She said she had been very unhappy since she 
left me and that she could not get away from a sense 
of her sin it haunted her day and night. At last she 
had decided to give up the life she was leading and do 
what she knew to be right at whatever cost. She could 
not stay there where she was known. Would I help her 



FIRST MISSION TO CHINS 103 

to go to some other place where she could redeem her 
character? She was willing to do anything, anything 
if only she could get away from that awful sense of sin 
and shame. I wrote a letter to a missionary in Mandalay, 
told her the girl's story, said that I believed she was truly 
repentant and asked her to give her a chance to redeem 
herself, requesting that although she was unusually com- 
petent, not to put her forward, but to keep her in the 
background until she had proved her sincerity. She went 
to Mandalay. A great-hearted missionary dealt with her 
wisely and lovingly and she became one of the most effi- 
cient and best loved of all the Bible women I have known 
in Burma ; she is still at her work going about from day 
to day among people in need of help, carrying sunshine 
and sympathy and hope and love into every house she 
enters a marvelously beautiful character. 

After she went to Mandalay I did not see her until 
she had been one of dear Miss Fredricksen's most 
loved and trusted helpers for years. When she saw me 
enter the room she rushed up to me, dropped her head on 
my shoulder and sobbed. When told of the joy it had 
given me to hear of the splendid life she was leading she 
said : "Yes, dear Mamma, I cannot thank you enough for 
helping me. I am very happy in my work but, oh, 
Mamma, I cannot forget. It is just like spilling ink on a 
white injie [jacket] you can wash and wash and wash, 
but you can never get quite all the stain out." "No/' I 
said, "it is not like that for the blood of Jesus Christ 
cleanseth from all sin. Though your sins be as scarlet, 
they shall be as white as snow." 

We waited long weary months before we were able to 
get the grant for our land, but finally it came and work 
was begun on clearing and making it fit for human habita- 



104 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

tipn. In the meantime a little son, whom we named Carl 
Hardin, was born to us, and Rev. and Mrs. H. H. Tilbe 
were sent out to take charge of the work in Prome. 

Accordingly in the summer of 1888 we moved to Thay- 
etmyo and the first Chin Mission was established. Mr. 
Carson built a dear little (temporary) bamboo house with 
mat walls and thatch roof in which we lived while build- 
ing a more permanent dwelling. It was clean, cool and 
delightful, but very small. An English officer's wife who 
came to call said it was "like a veritable bit of fairy land" 
and in comparison with their big dark teak houses it was. 
We took with us four young men and two girls, all 
Chin Christians, to help us in both our temporal and 
spiritual work and to form the nucleus for a school which 
we hoped to open. The boys built a little bamboo house 
for themselves, but the girls were obliged to sleep in one 
of our three little rooms. In the largest room all of our 
meetings were held. We got on all right until the heavy 
rains came on, when the girls were obliged to stay in the 
house all of the time and when the excessive dampness 
ruined our clothing, spoiled our food, depressed our 
spirits and injured our health. While in Prome I had 
had Asiatic cholera and nearly lost my life. Here I 
had a very hard attack of pleurisy which gave my hus- 
band great anxiety and he wrought with almost super- 
human effort to complete the building of a house suitable 
to protect the health of his family. We were building it 
of brick. He besought, begged, even bribed the con- 
tractor to make haste, but to no avail. Every few days 
every workman would be off his job on account of some 
feast, funeral, unlucky day or whatnot. Month after 
month dragged on. Finally the roof was put on. The 
timbers proved too heavy and crushed the walls so that 
practically the whole thing had to be done over again. 



FIRST MISSION TO CHINS 105 

What my poor husband suffered during the building 
of that house would, it seemed to me, have made Job him- 
self acknowledge defeat. But at last it was completed 
and occupied and soon after March 3Oth, 1889, a sec- 
ond son, Max Howard, was born to us. No physician was 
in the place at that time, the Civil Surgeon having been 
transferred and the man to take his place having not 
yet arrived. Dr. Marie Cote, then of our Mission, had 
agreed to be with us at that time, but being offered charge 
of the Lady Dufferin Hospital in Rangoon just before 
she was to have come to us, and accepting, made it im- 
possible for her to come. We were alone. 



CHAPTER IX 
FIRST RETURN TO AMERICA 

NOT long afterwards it was very evident to us that if I 
ever had any health it would be necessary for me to 
return to America for treatment. The Jamesons with 
whom I had come to Burma six years before, were both 
greatly broken in health and were to return to America 
in October. Arrangements were made for me to accom- 
pany them, leaving Mr. Carson to care for the new work 
alone. 

In miserable health, in the company of two missionaries 
both sick, and with two babies, one twenty months and 
the other six months old, the long voyage ahead of me 
did not foster the hope of an ideal pleasure trip. Nor 
was it. We could only procure passage from Rangoon 
as far as Singapore. We went on board our steamer late 
at night as we were to sail when the tide favored very 
early the next morning. As we went through the dining 
room and past the pantry on the way to our cabins we saw 
the Indian servants washing up the dinner dishes. They 
sat on the floor with their feet stretched out. One had a 
dish pan in front of him and the other a cocoanut fiber 
door mat. There were stacks and stacks of dishes all 
about them. Some had been washed and some had not. 
It was hot and the men were perspiring furiously. A 
large pile of dishes had been washed and put to drain on 
the door mat and the men were wiping them on a very 
dirty table cloth, dragging it back and forth over their 
naked perspiring legs. The whole lot of dishes, washed 
and unwashed, were swarming with huge slimy cock- 

106 



FIRST RETURN TO AMERICA 107 

roaches the kind that leave a gooey trail behind them! 
Ugh! What an appetizer for the beginning of a sea 
voyage ! 

We went to our cabin and put the babies to bed. The 
mosquitoes were so thick and hungry that they drove 
us frantic. My husband remained on board most of 
the night helping me to keep mosquitoes and cockroaches 
off the babies so they could sleep. Of course when we 
got out to sea the mosquitoes vanished. Not so the cock- 
roaches I 

There were only two berths in my cabin one above 
the other. When the second night came (I had sat up 
the first night fighting mosquitoes) I was nonplussed 
as to what to do about sleeping arrangements. I dared 
not put the babies in the upper berth lest they tumble 
out; nor did my state of health warrant my climbing 
up and down a number of times during the night to care 
for the children. Consequently, the first night my steamer 
rug was folded and spread on the floor for my bed; but 
the room was so small that, with trunks under the berth, 
it was impossible to straighten my limbs and I got up the 
next morning so stiff and lame from lying in a cramped 
position on the hard floor that some other arrangement 
seemed necessary. So the following night a steamer 
trunk was turned about, a rug put on top of it and 
there with my head sharing the pillow of the baby in 
the nearest end of the berth, I slept or tried to for 
six nights. 

When we reached Singapore we found that a Blue 
Funnel freighter would be leaving for Manila via Hong- 
kong within a few hours. If we waited for a passenger 
boat there was no telling how long it would be before we 
could get away. The freighter was designed to carry a 
very few passengers and there was just room for our 



io8 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

party, so without even landing we took passage on her 
for Hongkong, transferring from one ship to the other. 
There were five or six English passengers and the serv- 
ice was English everything in cabins and dining room 
was spotless. How good it was to have food that we felt 
was clean. During the eight preceding days I had not 
seen food without a mental vision of perspiring legs 
and swarming cockroaches. The only trouble about the 
new environment was that there was no passengers' deck 
and that the steamer had some sort of a patent arrange- 
ment for fanning the fire which blew the soot and cinders 
all over the little passages that answered for a deck and 
obliged us to stay inside the dining room. If by any 
chance the babies got beyond the threshold for a moment 
they looked like pickaninnies and required an immediate 
bath. As our course took us across the Equator the 
heat was intense and we found it hard to stay cooped up 
in a room so small that we could not move about and 
so hot that we fairly gasped for breath. After turning 
north it was better and there were only six days of it 
anyhow. 

When we arrived in the harbor of Hongkong Dr. 
Jameson went ashore at once, leaving us behind, to see 
what the prospect was for getting out of Hongkong for 
San Francisco. He found that the White-Star liner 
Oceanic would sail early the next morning and by trans- 
ferring that night we would be able to get passage on her. 
This we arranged to do; but there was trouble about 
getting baggage from the hold and transference from one 
ship to the other so that it was two o'clock in the morning 
before we were able to get the babies to bed. When 
finally there was a place ready for them they could not 
sleep and that night is one long to be remembered. But 
the new cabin in this fine steamer! After the cramped 



FIRST RETURN TO AMERICA 109 

quarters up to this stage of our voyage I wondered if 
Heaven could ever seem more glorious to me than did 
this large roomy cabin with an easy chair and a double 
bed. I simply reveled in it. When the babies finally got 
off to sleep near morning they slept on and I asked the 
stewardess to keep near the cabin while I took a bath 
and freed myself of the soot from the other boat. We 
were just passing out of the harbor into the open sea and 
encountered a squall. As I was stepping out of the bath- 
tub the ship gave a lurch and I fell across the edge of the 
tub, fracturing two ribs. It was well for me that I had 
a large cabin and a double bed. Mrs. Jameson was con- 
fined to her bed with acute suffering. Dr. Jameson was 
almost as bad. There was a company of New York "so- 
ciety people" returning from the Paris Exposition whose 
wants were legion so that the stewardess could not give 
me much time with the children. Consequently day after 
day was spent in that blessed double bed with both chil- 
dren crawling over me and sitting upon me, while every 
breath was like the cut of a knife. But God "tempered 
the wind to the shorn lamb" for we were going with the 
wind made a record trip between Hongkong and San 
Francisco and, the only time in all the many sea voyages 
I have taken, / was not seasick. 

Only once during that fourteen days' voyage was I 
on deck and that was the night before landing and after 
the babies were in bed and asleep. 

The thing that particularly presents itself when I think 
of the night and day in San Francisco is the fact that 
when we got ready to leave for the train the bunch of 
keys to suit-cases and trunks could not be found. We 
searched everywhere, and it was nearing time to leave. 
What should we do? Every pocket was turned inside 
out, every suit-case searched, but no keys. "Let us ask 



no PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

the Lord to help us find them," said Mrs. Jameson. We 
all knelt and Dr. Jameson in his trusting childlike way 
told the Lord of our trouble and asked him for help. 
As we arose from our knees we saw the bunch of keys 
on the top of a wardrobe where they had been placed to 
be out of the reach of the babies, and then forgotten. 

When we left San Francisco this was November 
vegetation was still green and beautiful. When we looked 
out of the car window in the morning, snow was falling 
and everything was covered with a mantle of ermine. 
The two little boys had never seen anything like it before, 
and with eyes filled with shining delight the older one 
cried out, "See! Mamma, see! Sugar, sugar!" When 
we got further on the "sugar" was so deep that we were 
greatly delayed and found upon our arrival in Denver that 
the train with which we hoped to connect had been gone 
for two hours. So near home after all those years of 
absence and yet obliged to stay in Denver until morning ! 

We were told that the hotel to which we had been 
recommended was "quite near" to the station, so though 
it was after dark, we started out on foot to find it. I 
carried one baby and led the other, with a traveling bag 
and various wraps on my arm, and we trudged through 
"sugared" streets until it seemed that I must certainly 
give up and sink down upon the street in exhaustion. Dr. 
Jameson, laden with grips, was forging on ahead expect- 
ing every moment to see the hotel. Mrs. Jameson, really 
too sick to be on her feet at all and equally heavy laden, 
was making desperate efforts to keep up with him. We 
brought up the rear, reminding one of immigrants ar- 
riving at Ellis Island. It must have been more than a 
mile that we traveled before reaching our hotel. It 
seemed like ten. Next morning we took a bus and made 
the trip with less difficulty. All day long the baby 



FIRST RETURN TO AMERICA in 

was carsick. He lay in my lap, white as a ghost, 
moaning pitifully. A sympathetic man who sat near me 
insisted every time the train stopped on my turning the 
baby over to him and going in search of soothing syrup. 
My refusing to do so branded me as a heartless mother 
and dried up all his springs of human kindness. He con- 
tinually talked to other passengers of how the poor little 
fellow suffered, how easy it would be to comfort him and 
how persistently his mother refused to give him soothing 
syrup. How my fingers ached to chuck him out of the 
car window so absolutely human are some missionaries. 

We were to reach home that night and an hour or two 
before we were due, as our train stopped at a division, my 
brother and sister came aboard, having come to meet us. 
Oh, the relief of it ! Time does not obliterate the feeling. 
I draw a sigh of satisfaction every time I think of it. 

During this visit to the homeland I remained in Amer- 
ica just ten months. People everywhere treated me with 
the utmost kindness. I got the necessary medical and 
surgical treatment and regained my health. Leaving the 
babies with my sister, I attended the National Anniver- 
saries in Chicago, where I met a number of other mission- 
aries and thoroughly enjoyed the meetings. Not being 
on the program I had not expected to speak, but as the 
one to represent Burma failed to appear I was called upon 
at the last moment to take her place. 

In the autumn (1890) in company with a party of 
new missionaries I returned with my two little ones via 
England and Calcutta to Burma. Seasick every day and 
the children needing constant amusement and attention, 
the entire voyage recurs to me as one endless nightmare, 
only made endurable by the kind thoughtfulness of some 
of our party and the amusing pranks of the little ones. 
Carl insisted on walking the deck with "Auntie Gertie" 



ii2 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

and calmly invited "Gimmore" (Gilmore who after- 
wards married "Auntie Gertie") to walk with some one 
else. Max would wake up in the middle of the night 
and cry because he "wanted Uncle Mosier/' who had been 
so kind in entertaining him when I went to meals. 

One day there was a very heated argument among the 
men; the tension was high and nearing a break, when 
Carl came running across the deck. One of the men 
turned and said, "Well, Carl, what do you know about 
it?" Carl paused, tilted his head to one side and said, 
"Know beanth," [beans] and ran on. They all laughed, 
the tension was eased, and the day saved. 




FIRST BAPTISM IN HAKA, BY REV. A. E. CARSON, IN LAKE ON 

COMPOUND 



CHAPTER X 
MA WINE AND MA PU 

DURING my absence Mr. Carson had built a Boys' 
Dormitory and gathered a nice little school of boys; but 
there being no lady missionary no effort had been made 
to get girl pupils. A fine Karen Christian young man 
from Henzada was put in charge of the school. On my 
return we built a small Girls' Dormitory and made a spe- 
cial effort to get girls into the school. 

As the people had no way of computing time, except 
the Robinson Crusoe method, before opening a term of 
school, preachers and teachers were sent out to the various 
villages to gather in the pupils. On one such occasion a 
preacher went to a village from which we had never had 
a pupil and of which not one of the inhabitants could read 
or write. He spent the night in the home of the village 
chief and in the evening talked to the assembled family 
of the mission and the wonderful things taught there 
taught even to girls! The daughter of the chief, a twelve- 
year-old girl, listened with eager shining eyes. When the 
preacher ceased talking, "I am going to that school," she 
said. "You are not going'' her mother replied ; "the first 
thing we would hear would be that you were worshiping 
the foreign God/' "Those who go are not compelled to 
worship Him," the preacher assured them. "Then I am 
going," said the girl. "Why not let her go?" said the 
father, who was an unusually intelligent man. "No one in 
this village can read and write and sing." The preacher 
seeing his advantage used his most persuasive powers, 

"3 



ii4 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

but the mother bitterly opposed. The girl, with the father 
on her side, was jubilant and kept saying, "I am going, 
I am going." Finally the mother said, "Well, if you go, 
remember you are not to worship the foreign God." With 
this Ma Wine felt that the battle was won and the next 
morning in company with the preacher she started for the 
Mission. She proved a very bright and lovable girl and 
made fine progress in school. She had her daily Bible 
lesson with the others and attended services regularly. 
Early in the second year of her stay with us she was 
brightly and beautifully converted, and oh, how she prayed 
for her parents! She could not write and tell them of 
her new-found joy because there was no one in her village 
who could read. But some people passing through her 
village told her parents that Ma Wine had become a 
Christian. .They were very angry and sent her word that 
if it were true she need never return home for they 
would not receive her. 

She felt bad and prayed harder but we had no hap- 
pier student in all our school. As the long vacation ap- 
proached I called her and said : "What shall you do, Ma 
Wine ? You know your parents have sent word that you 
cannot come home. Do you want to remain at the Mis- 
sion during the vacation?" "Oh, no," said she, "I am 
going to my father's village, even if I can't go home, and 
I am going to stay there and preach until my father be- 
comes a Christian." Her mother had been so bitter that 
her faith was not strong enough to dare hope for her. 

She did return to her father's village and went to the 
home of a friend. She was an unusually bright and at- 
tractive girl and had a very sweet voice. She had learned 
to read and to sing and had taken books, hymns and 
tracts home with her. These she used in entertaining her 
friends until her wonderful accomplishments became the 



MA WINE AND MA PU 115 

talk of the village, and people came from all the near-by 
villages to hear her read and sing and tell marvelous 
stories she had learned at the Mission. Finally her father 
could stand it no longer. He came and said, "Ma Wine, 
you had better come home." This filled her heart with 
joy. Her father was so proud of her accomplishments 
that whenever a chief came from another village he called 
her out and had her read and sing for him. A girl who 
could read! And how beautifully she sang! 

The upshot of it all was that before the end of the 
vacation Ma Wine brought both her father and mother 
to the Mission to be baptized. Her father, besides being 
village chief, was a man of great influence and before 
long, through his efforts, a school and church were built 
up in his village where formerly there had never lived a 
Christian and where no one in the village could either 
read or write. 

On another occasion when the children were brought 
in for the opening of school there were so many that all 
could not be provided for. Among them there was a 
new girl who presented an unusually repulsive appear- 
ance. She was very dirty, wore almost no clothing, her 
hair was matted to her head and alive with vermin. 
Furthermore, she had a very large ugly scar on one side 
of her face which made her repellent. 

My husband came in after the arriving of the last lot 
of prospective pupils and said that it would be simply 
impossible to care for them all in our cramped quarters 
and that some of them must be sent back to their jungle 
homes. He said that we must try to keep at least one 
from each village represented so as to create an interest 
in as many villages as possible. I immediately replied: 
"Well, then send that hideous-looking girl back to Than- 
oogin we have others from that village." "Do you mean 



n6 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

the girl with the scar on her face?" asked my husband. 
"Yes, if you have to send anybody back for pity's sake 
let her be one of them. I hate to have to see her around," 
I heartlessly answered. Carl was playing in the room 
and heard the conversation; he looked up quickly and 
said, "Oh, that is Ma Pu! Please, Papa, don't send her 
away. I like Ma Pu." "But, Carl, we can't keep all who 
come and surely she is not a very promising-looking speci- 
men," his father answered. "Oh, Papa, please don't send 
her away. / think she will come out. Please, please, 
let her stay," he begged. The child was so insistent that 
it was finally arranged for her to stay. After a good 
soap bath probably the first in her ten years of life 
her hair soaked in kerosene to kill the vermin, well washed 
and neatly combed, and fresh clean clothing on she looked 
like a different person. She started in to school and 
proved to have a very sweet voice and an unusually 
bright mind. She made remarkable progress and being 
very sunny and sweet of disposition she won her way 
into all hearts. Carl's loyalty and love for her never 
abated, and she frequently accompanied the children in 
their walks. Their father had got for the little boys a 
little red "express wagon" from America. Ma Pu was 
called to admire it and take them for a ride. They passed 
a cow with a young calf. She charged them, but Ma Pu 
threw; herself between the children and the cow. She was 
tossed again and again on the horns of the infuriated 
animal, always managing to protect the children until some 
men with bamboo poles rushed to the rescue. The poor 
girl was terribly bruised and battered and bleeding and 
her clothes torn to shreds, but the children were unin- 
jured. We felt that she had heroically and unselfishly 
saved their lives and we took her into our own home. 
Here she remained until she finished school. She made 



MA WINE AND MA PU 

her grades each year and passed the Government exami- 
nations in music, needlework, weaving and lace making, 
besides the regular branches taught. After finishing 
school we kept her on to help with the work and she be- 
came engaged to a fine Christian young man. 

Several years later I was compelled to take little 
Max to America in order to save his life, and we were 
at our wits' ends to know what provision could be made 
for some one to do the work I had been doing. 

Although it was and is the policy of our Mission 
Boards that unmarried women should have charge of 
the station-school work, we had never had a single lady 
assistant in our work for the Chins. We had gathered 
a goodly number of girls and had built a dormitory for 
them. Somebody must have them in charge during my 
absence. We had discussed the matter over and over 
again, but could see no solution to the problem. 

One evening Ma Pu came in and with a little embar- 
rassed laugh said, "I came to offer my services. I don't 
want you to suppose that I think I could ever take 
Mamma's place. I know I could not. But I know how 
she likes to have things done and I am willing to do my 
best until some one else can be sent from America or until 
Mamma's return." "But, Ma Pu, you are to be married. 
What would Maung Taung say ?" said my husband. "He 
can wait," she said. "Please try me. I will do my best." 
And so that also was settled. Ma Pu stayed by the work 
until my return, looking after the buying of food for the 
girls, having charge of their dormitory and superintending 
the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning and sewing, and 
changing of the different groups of girls each week so all 
would learn the different kinds of work. This she did so 
efficiently that Mr. Carson said he did not know how he 
ever could have carried on the work without her. After 



Ii8 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

my return she was married and she and her Christian 
husband went to a distant village and opened up a school 
among the untaught and unevangelized of their race. 
They have done a great work, winning the confidence and 
love of the entire community and leading many to the 
feet of the. Master. We felt that Ma Pu did indeed 
"come out" and amply justified Carl's faith in her and his 
pleading on her behalf. 



CHAPTER XI 
JUNGLE TRIPS 

JUNGLE travel in an oxcart with solid wheels and no 
springs was so hard for a woman and children that my 
husband got a spring wagon out from America, hoping in 
this way to be able to take me and the children with him 
to visit the villages in the foothills with something less 
of discomfort. We tried making a trip with the spring 
wagon and ponies but found the road so rough it was 
terrible. Dr. Tilbe made the trip with us on horseback. 
We had an oxcart for our bedding, dishes, food box, 
books, medicines, camp chairs, clothing, horse feed, etc. 
We came to a stream that must be forded. Dr. Tilbe 
crossed first to see if it would be safe to attempt driving 
through. The water came up to his pony's sides but he 
called back that it was all right. We drove down a steep 
bank into deep water, the wheel struck a rock, and Mr. 
Carson and the two boys on the front seat were pitched 
headlong into the water. The lines caught on the axle, 
wound around and pulled the ponies to a standstill in mid- 
stream. We on the back seat were not thrown out. 
Never have I felt so utterly helpless. All three of my 
dear ones went to the bottom but soon came up again. 
Carl somehow reached shallow water and scrambled out, 
saying as he did so, "Mamma, my sooz (shoes) are all 
muddy!" as if that were the only matter of particular 
interest. When I saw Max's yellow curls sink tie second 
time I was on the point of leaping in, but his father, who 
had struck a stone and was somewhat stunned, was, 

119 



120 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

nevertheless, instantly to the rescue and soon had both 
boys safely in the wagon. Unwinding the reins from the 
axle was not an easy matter but was finally accomplished 
and we drove on to the village with gratitude welling up 
in our hearts because the accident had not been even more 
serious. 

Dr. Tilbe, not dreaming of any trouble, had ridden on 
to find a suitable place for us to camp. He was surprised 
enough when he saw the three soaked members of our 
party and was told of our experiences. I had taken a 
quilt, a large bath towel, cushions and some crackers, 
knowing that we would get in ahead of the cart and 
thinking to give the children a bath, the crackers and a 
nap before the cart came with our things. It was well 
that we had these things for, taking the wet clothing off 
the children, I had not a dry thing to put on them had 
to make them lie down on the quilt on the floor of the 
zayat and let me cover them with the towel while their 
clothes dried in the sun. 

This accident happened about ten o'clock in the morn- 
ing and we waited until after dark for the cart to come 
with our food, clothing, bedding, etc. The cartman had 
followed our trail, tried to cross the stream at the same 
place, struck the same rock and his whole load had been 
pitched into the stream. They were hours rescuing things 
and when they finally came, books, bedding, clothing, 
sugar, flour, bread, everything was soaking wet. We had 
been all day without food and were ravenously hungry. 
We satisfied ourselves as best we could on condensed 
milk and canned fruit and went to bed on the one dry 
quilt, for four of us, spread on the bamboo floor. We 
had planned to move on early the next morning, but 
were obliged to camp a day in order to dry our things. 
Arriving at home, we were busy for several days pre- 



JUNGLE TRIPS 121 

paring for another trip to our Association. This time 
we made the first part of the journey by river steamer, 
traveling a day's journey down the Irrawaddy on a cargo 
boat to Myanaung. Here we camped over night and early 
in the morning engaged an oxcart to take us out to Than- 
oogin where the meetings were to be held. We made a 
shade over the cart with a quilt which we tied to bamboos 
which we had bound with knees (strips of bamboo) to 
the four corners of the cart. Putting the children in the 
cart we ourselves walked for several hours. During the 
hottest part of the day we rested under some trees and 
ate our lunch. The school boys who were with us clam- 
bered like monkeys up some cocoanut trees and soon 
brought us fresh cocoanut water to drink, which we found 
both refreshing and delicious. 

Tired, dusty, hot and hungry, we reached Thanoogin 
in the early evening and were most cordially welcomed 
by the Christians. They had built a little bamboo house 
for our accommodation. And though it had no furni- 
ture and we had to sit and sleep on the floor, it was fresh 
and clean and made us a very comfortable abiding place 
for the week of our stay. We had fine meetings, settled 
several quarrels and baptized quite a number of converts. 
The meetings over we started shortly before sunset on 
our homeward trip, intending to travel to the first camp- 
ing place while cool, and go on to Myanaung in the morn- 
ing. Putting the children into the cart, we started it on 
ahead, we following on foot with a large number of Chris- 
tians who escorted us outside the village and for a mile 
or two on our way. 

Soon after we had said good-by to them, and as it 
was growing dusk, we noticed that the cart had stopped, 
and we heard altercations and threats. Hurrying forward, 
we saw a cart halted immediately in front of ours. Three 



122 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS," TRIUMPHS 

drunken Burmans were in the cart, one flourishing a large 
knife and ordering our cartman to give the road. The 
unwritten law, known to all the natives, was that carts 
going towards the river, usually loaded, had the right 
of way; and that carts returning, usually empty, should 
always turn out for them. Our cartman was arguing his 
rights while the drunken Burmans, flourishing knives, were 
calling down all sorts of maledictions upon his head. As 
we rushed up from behind our cart it startled the oxen 
facing us and they bolted into the jungle taking the in- 
furiated Burmans with them. The oxen ran astride a 
tree, jerked free from the cart and fled wildly into the 
depths of the jungle. The men were in a perfect frenzy 
of anger. They threatened us with the most horrible 
death and screamed and swore in a way to make one's 
blood turn cold. My husband said very quietly, "You 
are too drunk to realize what you are saying. You would 
better rescue your oxen or they will get so far into the 
jungle you will not be able to find them." Realizing the 
danger of this, they started off as fast as their wabbly 
legs would take them, calling back invectives as long as 
we could hear them and saying that they would overtake 
us and burn us alive before morning. Our cartman was 
terrified lest they carry out their threat and suggested that 
we leave the main road and make a detour which would 
probably throw them off our track. This we did, driving 
over a rough unknown road until late into the night. 
About eleven o'clock we came to a little zayat floor with 
a roof over it and stopped to rest our oxen and get a 
little sleep if possible. We gave the children some 
crackers and condensed milk, spread our quilts on the 
floor and lay down to rest until two o'clock. My hus- 
band, not knowing what might happen, dared not sleep 
at all, but kept watch in order that I might be able to 



JUNGLE TRIPS 123 

throw off anxiety and get some rest. From sheer ex- 
haustion I soon slept soundly. At two o'clock we got 
the children up and were soon on the road again. We 
hoped by starting so early to reach Myanaung before the 
sun was dangerously hot. We were off the main road 
and wandered about for hours in the general direction 
we wanted to go vainly trying to find it. At last we 
reached a road which the cart man assured us he knew 
to be the right one. Once on this road Mr. Carson said 
he would hasten on ahead, find a place for us to stop and 
have some breakfast ready on our arrival. 

He had not been gone more than a half hour when 
"Max Galay" [Little Max], sitting by the driver, reached 
forward to prod the oxen with a sharpened bamboo as 
he had seen the cartman do, and pitched headlong just in 
front of the heavy wheel, which ran over him. We were 
traveling over a road where the dust was well-nigh a foot 
deep and this fact doubtless saved the child's life, as it 
pressed him down into the dust instead of crushing his 
tender little body. As soon as I saw him fall I leaped 
from the side of the cart, my dress caught on the pickets 
and I was jerked out on my head so that I saw stars 
and my dress was torn into ribbons. Max was strangling 
and choking with the dust which filled his eyes, nose, 
mouth, throat and ears. I could not tell how badly he 
was hurt and was in agony lest he were dying. No water 
was near but I saw a little hut in the middle of a rice 
field about a quarter of a mile away, where children were 
jerking strings which had leaves tied at intervals, and 
were fastened to posts in the corners of the field, to 
frighten the birds from the ripening rice. I rightly 
judged the children would have a chattie of drinking 
water and sent the cartman in all haste to bring it. While 
he was gone I wiped the dust as best I could from the 



124 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

poor little eyes and throat and undressed and examined 
the little body to see if I could tell how badly it was 
hurt. The mark of the wheel was plainly visible across 
the back of his shoulders just below the neck. He seemed 
stunned and scarcely cried at all just moaned pitifully. 
Would he die before I could reach Myanaung? Oh, 
the agony of that day and how I prayed ! 

Finally the man came with water and I gave the little 
boy a drink and washed the dust from his eyes, ears and 
throat. This revived him greatly and after fixing an 
awning with a quilt over the top of the cart, I made him 
as comfortable as I could and got in the cart by his side 
to watch him, for I was not sure how serious the accident 
might prove to be. We had been delayed so long that 
it was growing late and the heat was becoming intense. 
The dust was deep and the oxen traveled slower and 
slower. First I had the native preacher get out to lighten 
the load and help the cartman urge the oxen on. But 
finally they stopped altogether and the cartman said they 
were tired and wanted water and we would have to 
camp till evening. I told him that we must go on, that 
it was dangerous to our lives to be so long out in the 
sun; furthermore I did not know how badly the little 
boy was hurt and must get him to a doctor. I got out 
of the cart and had the nurse girl do likewise to further 
lighten the load, and we started on again. But soon 
the oxen slowed down and almost stopped and I sum- 
moned the preacher and the nurse and all three of us 
waded through the dust and pushed on the back of the 
cart in order to keep it going, for miles. Finally the 
cartman called out, "There comes the Saya!" and sure 
enough beyond the cloud of dust we were making we 
saw the white man's topee (big pith hat) looming near. 
Blessed sight! I rushed forward to meet him, the strips 



JUNGLE TRIPS 125 

of my torn skirt fluttering, my whole being gray with 
dust, and streams of perspiration chasing one another 
through the dirt on my face. I dropped my head into 
its rightful place of refuge a place that had never failed 
to bring comfort and peace and sobbed and sobbed be- 
fore I was able to tell what had befallen us and why 
we were so late. Mr. Carson had reached Myanaung, 
found a zayat for us to occupy and prepared breakfast, 
but still we did not come. He grew uneasy as the sun got 
higher and hotter and walked out several miles to meet 
us. Seeing nothing of us he returned, thinking we must 
have come another road and expecting to find us on his 
return. When we were not there he was truly alarmed 
and hastened back by the other road which was much 
longer and which of course we had taken. He met us 
about two miles from the town and soon had us com- 
fortably settled in the zayat to await our steamer. When 
we showed the "blue print" on our little man's shoulders 
the doctor said if the wheel had struck him one-half inch 
higher up it would certainly have killed him. So in our 
gratitude that he was not seriously injured we forgot 
the hard experiences in grateful thanksgiving and reached 
home in safety two days later. 



CHAPTER XII 
KO SO, KO MIN AND MAUNG TUN 

ONE morning Ko So, a hard-drinking Chin man, who 
was the father of a large family, a man to whom the 
gospel had often been preached and who had been urged 
without any apparent response to put his children into 
the Mission School, came to the Mission House. He 
stood about, carrying something under his blanket, for 
some time before making his errand known. Finally he 
opened his blanket and took out an alabaster idol about 
eighteen inches long, very heavy and very white, and 
held it out to the Missionary saying, "I want to give this 
to you. I have no further use for it." "Why, what do 
you mean?" asked the missionary. "Well, it's like this," 
he said. "For many years I have had this god in the 
forks of a tree, and I have gone out just at dawn every 
morning and prostrated myself before it in worship, but 
it has brought me no peace. You have told me of another 
God who gives help and comfort and salvation, but he 
wants his followers to be sober and honest and truthful. 
I thought for a long time I could not give up liquor. But 
at last I have decided to worship the God of whom you 
have told me. I am drunk most of the time, I have no 
peace of heart, and my children are all going wrong. I 
want to put them into school. I want to be a Christian. 
In proof of my sincerity I have brought you the god I 
have worshiped all my life. It has brought me neither 
help nor comfort. Take it and do with it as you please." 
That idol was used for a door stop in the Thayetmyo 

126 



KO SO, KO MIN AND MAUNG TUN 127 

Mission until we overheard some one say, "See, they 
worship Buddha too ! There is his image." After which 
it was no longer in evidence. 

The man straightened up, quit drinking, put his chil- 
dren into school and before long was baptized. He could 
read Burmese, having lived among the Burmans, and 
day after day he put in his spare time on the study of the 
Bible. He, after a time, became a preacher among his 
people. He was a faithful and valued worker all his life, 
but to show the difficulty in eliminating false ideas let 
me relate an incident which I happen to remember. 

A Burman was greatly in need of a little money. He 
came to the Missionary wishing to borrow, and told his 
troubles. The Missionary, having made a rule not to 
loan money to the natives, finally agreed to advance the 
money if he would haul him two loads of wood by a cer- 
tain date. The Burman received the price of the two 
loads of wood and went away happy. The date for the 
delivery of the wood came, but no wood. After waiting 
for a long time and being in need of the wood, Ko So 
was sent to see about it. It was promised but not brought. 
Again and again he went with the same result. Finally 
one day he came with his face beaming and said, "Well, 
Samo, this time I got it. The wood is coming !" "Good ! 
How did you manage it, Ko So ?" said the Teacher. He 
chuckled and said: "He had to raise more money and 
I told him you would pay cash for it" "But I won't. 
I have already paid for it long ago as you know. Why 
did you tell him I would?" "Of course you won't pay 
for it," he said smilingly. "I knew you wouldn't, but I 
couldn't get it any other way and he owed it to you." 
"But you lied to him, Ko So. Here you have been a 
preacher for years teaching that it is wrong to lie and 
now you have been lying yourself. I would not have 



128 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

believed it," said the Missionary. "Was that lying 
when he owed you the wood? I couldn't get it any other 
way/' he said, "but I didn't mean to lie." And the poor 
old fellow actually shed tears. "Shall we do evil that 
good may come ? God forbid !" quoted the Missionary. 

Two of this man's sons became preachers and three 
others became teachers in Mission schools. His only 
daughter went to Rangoon to the Lady Dufferin Hospital 
and trained as a nurse and returned to minister to the 
suffering sisters of her race women who because of their 
ignorance of hygiene and medicine, believing all pain and 
suffering to be caused by angry spirits, go through abso- 
lutely unnecessary suffering beyond the power of my 
pen to portray. 

Ko Min was an old priest who presided at heathen feasts 
and led in incantations. He was usually maudlin with 
drink, but when sober was a man of unusual intelligence. 
He heard the gospel, believed, and was baptized. He 
was a man of great influence among the people and he 
traveled without salary year in and year out through sun 
and through rain, with the Missionary, admonishing the 
people to accept the Word of Life. He gave up drink 
and developed into one of the most lovable Christian 
characters I have ever known. He was the Missionary's 
constant companion and friend and when he was stricken 
by the disease that proved fatal we took him into our own 
home and ministered to him as to a brother beloved 
which he truly was. 

One morning he said to my husband: "Samo, I think 
Jesus is calling." "Yes," said Mr. Carson. "I think he 
is, and if you have anything to attend to, any messages 
to leave, you had better attend to it now while your mind 
is clear." "I am going to Jesus. It is all right. I would 
like to talk to the school boys," he said. We called them 




/- <* 



NATIVE CHIN PREACHER AND FAMILY 



KO SO, KO MIN AND MAUNG TUN 129 

in until they filled the room. Never have I heard a more 
beautiful talk than he gave them. He begged them to 
be true to Christ that they might have the joy that was 
his when death came. Begged them to meet him in heaven. 
Then he said to the Missionary : "Samo, pray." My hus- 
band prayed, oh, so tenderly. Then Ko Min said, "Let's 
sing, <Oh, Think of the Home Over There/" With 
choking voices and streaming eyes we tried to sing, the 
dear old man joining in the chorus. When we had fin- 
ished he said : "I am tired now. I want to sleep." The 
boys passed quietly out and a little later Ko Min was 
in "The Home Over There," where I confidently expect 
him to be among the first to greet me when I reach the 
heavenly shore. 

On one occasion when Mr. Carson and Dr. Tilbe made 
a preaching tour together they went to a village which 
neither of them had ever visited before. They were 
treated with great rudeness. A large crowd gathered to 
hear them, but they were so noisy and created so much 
disturbance that they were obliged after repeated trials 
to give up long before they had completed their message, 
and return to the bamboo house where they were to 
spend the night. The crowd followed them and stoned 
the house and hooted insults after they had entered. 
During the night the house was broken into and their 
suitcases were stolen and burned. They found the charred 
remains not far from the house the next morning. Writ- 
ing me the next day Mr. Carson told me of the treatment 
they had received and said they were shaking the dust of 
the place from their feet and hoped never to return. 

The following year he was out one day mending a 
fence and called one of the school boys to help him. As 
they worked and chatted he said to the boy : "Maung Tun, 
where did you first hear the Gospel? I don't believe I 



130 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

ever heard you say." "Do you remember the time you 
and teacher Tilbe were stoned by Burmans and had your 
suitcases stolen and burned?" he asked. "Yes, I am not 
likely to forget that experience," Mr. Carson replied. 
"Well, it was that night that I first heard about Christ," 
he replied. "After the crowd dispersed I lay all night 
long looking up at the stars wondering if what you told 
us could be true. I could not sleep. Could it be possible, 
I wondered, that the white people's God really cared for 
the Chins and wanted them to love him? I thought and 
thought and thought. I could not get away from it. 
The next day I heard of some of my own race who were 
Christians and decided to go and see them. They lived 
two or three days' distant, but I went to their village de- 
termined to find out what they knew about this strange 
new religion. They told me all they could, but advised 
me to go to the Mission where they would explain things 
more fully. I was an orphan, there was nothing to hinder 
and so I came and entered school and found Christ." 
That boy became a very effective preacher of the gospel 
and led many people into the kingdom of God. What a 
lesson this incident was to us! A time when earnest 
seed sowing seemed absolutely wasted, yet overruled by 
God to bear most precious fruit. "My word shall not 
return unto me void." "In due season ye shall reap if 
ye faint not." 



CHAPTER XIII 

QUEER CUSTOMS AND THRILLING 
EXPERIENCES 

IT was the custom of our southern Chins to cremate 
the dead. Building up a pile of wood in the jungle, the 
body was placed upon it and the fire started. As soon 
as it began to burn the people returned, wailing, to their 
homes. The following day the friends of the deceased 
went to the place of burning, gathered up the ashes and 
any remaining unburned portions of the body that might 
have escaped the dogs and wild animals, and putting them 
into a chattle (burnt clay jar) they went with chanting 
and ceremony and buried the jar with its contents under 
a sacred tree. Seeing one of the processions one day 
I asked one of the Christian women who had died. 
"Oh, they are just deceiving the gods," she replied. 
"How can they do that?" I asked. She explained that 
often when one became very sick they would make a 
mud image of him, give it his name, say that he was 
dead and go through all the funeral rites even to the 
burying of the ashes. The sick man was given a new 
name and nobody must ever call him by the old one. 
Thus the evil spirits would think that he was dead and, 
ceasing to trouble him, he would of course recover. Or 
if he failed to do so it was because some one had inad- 
vertently called him by his old name and the spirits had 
learned they were being deceived and had therefore caused 
his death. 

On our Thayetmyo field the climate was very hot, and 

131 



132 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

troublesome insects and reptiles were abundant. At the 
beginning of the rains the heavy warm showers brought 
them out in large numbers. The flying white ants would 
rise from the ground in clouds; and during the first 
few evenings of their coming out we would have to go 
to bed, or get under our mosquito nets, to get away from 
them, for they would swarm about the lights in myriads 
and, losing their wings, drop to the floor. I noticed the 
girls coming-in and placing pans of water under the 
lamps and in this way catching quarts of the insects. 
In reply to my inquiry as to what they were doing with 
them, "Oh, we parch them and eat them," they said. 
"They are delicious." 

One hot day an Indian woman was cutting grass on 
our compound. She was bitten by a cobra and her blood 
being very hot she died within a few moments. Not 
long after we were all standing in the back yard playing 
with a little pet monkey when a cobra darted across the 
well-swept yard. Mr. Carson glanced about but seeing 
no weapon, and fearing to lose the chance of ridding the 
place of so dangerous a guest, rushed after it, took good 
aim and crushed its head with his heel. Not long after- 
wards the nurse was out walking with the little boys. 
Seeing a cobra in the road, Carl started after it in hot 
pursuit. The nurse had barely time to grab his clothing 
and jerk him back exclaiming as she did so, "Why, Carl, 
don't you know that is a cobra? What are you doing?" 
"I was going to kill it the way Papa did," he answered. 
"Now you've let it go and it will bite somebody and he 
will die," he said reproachfully. 

Being in the dry belt, our house was not built high up 
from the ground like most houses of the country, but 
the lower rooms at the back were near the ground level. 
One evening after a heavy rain we killed four centipedes 



QUEER CUSTOMS 133 

and two scorpions in the house! But strange as it may 
seem in all the ten years and more that we were there 
none of us was ever injured by these poisonous creatures, 
except that I was once stung by a scorpion. 

On one occasion while returning to Burma, going 
through the Suez Canal we had a fine view of Mt. 
Sinai usually lost in haze and I called the children 
to me and pointed it out, telling them that it was the 
mountain on which God had given the Ten Command- 
ments, written on stone, to Moses, and that the Com- 
mandments had afterwards been printed in Bibles just 
as we had them printed at the Mission Press; and that 
they must always remember they had seen the mountain 
where God gave the tables of stone. 

Carl was very much impressed by the fact that he had 
seen the mountain where God gave the tables of stone 
to Moses. Later, in talking with a Hindu gentleman, 
he delivered quite a sermon about his religion and told 
the Hindu it was the true religion. The Hindu said: 
"How do you know your religion is true?" "Why, it is 
in the Bible," said Carl. "But you don't know where 
your Bible came from," replied the Hindu. "Yes, I do," 
said Carl. "My Mamma showed me the very mountain 
where God gave it to Moses, written on stone, and Moses 
gave it to Mr. Phinney [our Mission Press Superin- 
tendent] and Mr. Phinney printed it into books." 

Once while in the jungle my husband went out for 
an early Sunday morning walk. The path led to an 
almost perpendicular cliff of great height, but flat on the 
top. There was a path detouring around it, but he de- 
cided to attempt to climb it to get the view. With great 
difficulty he clambered up its side until, hot and perspir- 
ing but triumphant, he grasped the top layer of stone and 
drew himself up. His blood curdled as he saw a huge 



134 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

cobra little more than a foot from his hand basking in 
the morning sun. What should he do ? To go on meant 
certain death. To loose his hold and drop on the stones 
below also meant death or what in that isolated place 
would be worse than death broken bones and mangled 
body. Scarcely daring to breathe, he lowered his head 
below the surface of the stone and prayed for help. Care- 
fully drawing himself up again, he saw the cobra gliding 
down the opposite side of the cliff. Quickly gaining the 
top and standing, tremblingly, where the thing of death 
had been only a moment before, he praised God for an- 
swered prayer. 

While on a long jungle trip where exposure and hard- 
ships were encountered to an unusual degree I was taken 
with a fever, and running rather a high temperature, my 
husband was very anxious to get me home, where I could 
have a doctor. In his anxiety for me he started traveling 
in the afternoon before the sun was low enough to be 
really safe for the children. The result was that when 
we reached home six-year-old Carl had a fever caused 
by the sun on his back, which was much worse than 
mine. He went into terrible convulsions and not daring 
to wait for the doctor's arrival I had him put into a hot 
bath which for that kind of fever was just the wrong 
thing to do. When the doctor came he looked very 
serious saying that it was ice and not hot water that was 
needed. Mr. Carson went to the British Officers' Club, 
where they sometimes got ice at great expense by rail 
and boat from Rangoon. Fortunately they had some for 
an intended dinner party and generously gave it all. The 
doctor stayed and worked over the little man all night, 
keeping his head in an ice pack. But the next day the 
convulsions returned and we began to lose hope. Dr. 
Tilbe, our nearest missionary neighbor, who lived a half 



QUEER CUSTOMS 135 

day's travel distant by steamer from us, was telegraphed 
for and came by the first boat. I was too ill myself to 
remember how many days the little fellow lay so terribly 
ill, but I know the day came when they laid him on the bed 
by my side that I might look upon the dear face again 
before the soul took flight. The forehead, arms and legs 
were cold and damp. The kind and fine English doctor 
stood by the side of the bed and with eyes full of tears 
said, "I have done all I could, Mrs. Carson. I loved 
the little chap and would give my own life to save his if 
I could." He rallied a little after that, but the doctor 
told Mr. Carson and Dr. Tilbe that if his temperature 
came up again nothing could save him, and that he ex- 
pected him to pass away about midnight. Dr. Tilbe in- 
sisted on Mr. Carson going out for a little fresh air as 
he was very weary from loss of sleep, constant nursing 
and heart-wringing anxiety. He begged him to stay away 
from the sick room for at least an hour saying that he 
needed to "get hold of himself" in order to meet bravely 
what must come during the night. Reluctantly he went 
out. The child's temperature was taken every half hour. 
When Dr. Tilbe took it, it had begun to rise. With its 
going up our hopes went down. In about an hour Mr. 
Carson returned. He came in with radiant face. I shall 
never forget the expression of it or my wonder at it. 
He came straight to my bed and without any questions 
about the child he said, "Laura, he is going to live. God 
has given him back to us." This he said in an exultant 
voice and without a suspicion of doubt. "Oh, Arthur, 
don't, don't deceive yourself. You do not know his 
temperature is going up again! And you know what the 
doctor said," I replied, fearing this renewed hope would 
make it all the harder for him to meet that which I felt 
must come. 



136 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

There was a little white unused pagoda at the top of 
the hill back of our house. "Never mind," he said. "I 
never before went to a pagoda to pray, but I went this 
time and I prayed as I never prayed before and God 
has given me perfect assurance that our little boy will 
live. I know he has given him back to us," he said. He 
then went and took the temperature again. "Still rising," 
he said to my inquiring look, "but he is going to live. I 
feel perfectly certain of it," and the glow never left his 
face. A half hour later the temperature was taken again. 
"Dropped half a degree," he exclaimed exultantly. An- 
other half hour and "Gone down a whole degree," was 
the report brought to my bed. And so it went on through 
the night gradually going lower and lower until by morn- 
ing he was subnormal and very, very weak, but he dropped 
off into a natural sleep and slept restf ully until the doctor 
came. "Why, what does this mean ?" said the doctor go- 
ing up to the bed. "Nothing but a miracle could have 
kept the child alive through the night. I did not expect 
for a moment to find him alive." "God answers prayer. 
He has given him back to us," said Mr. Carson rever- 
ently. 

Gradually Carl recovered and was his happy self again, 
but he was years in America before the fever was en- 
tirely out of his system. 

The following year Max was taken with typhoid 
fever. He was very, very ill. We watched over him 
day and night distraught between hope and fear for 
thirty-one days. Again we wired the Tilbes of our 
trouble and this time they both came, Mrs. Tilbe taking 
charge of the housekeeping and Dr. Tilbe looking after 
the work, thus freeing us to give our whole time to the 
care of our little one. We had a kind and efficient doc- 
tor. Indeed, I cannot say enough in praise of the Eng- 



QUEER CUSTOMS 137 

lish doctors in Burma. In all the serious illnesses in our 
family during the many years of our stay in that land 
not one of pure British blood would ever take one far- 
thing for his service to the Mission, and he served us 
native Christians and all to the very best of his ability. 
After thirty-one days, when the fever broke, our good 
doctor said that as soon as he got strength enough to be 
moved we must take our little boy to America. Mr. 
Carson suggested that I, who also needed a change, take 
him to Darjeeling or some of the hill stations in India. 
But the doctor said that he felt nothing but the long sea 
voyage and complete change would save his life and that 
I, also, needed a change to the homeland. Mr. Carson's 
furlough was long overdue, he having been nine years in 
the country without change except for one vacation of 
three weeks at the seashore. We planned and prayed and 
wrote letters and sent telegrams, but there seemed to be 
no possible provision to be made for our work so we 
could all go home together. It was finally decided that 
Mr. Carson would "stay by the stuff" until some one for 
the work could be sent out from America, and that I 
must take Max Galay and go without him. But what 
about Carl? With my own health so poor and with 
Max so ill and needing my constant care, Mr. Carson 
felt that I ought not to have the extra care that taking 
him would entail. At first we had had no thought but 
that he would go and had talked freely in his presence 
of the trip. He was greatly elated and talked continually 
about going to "The 'Merica." And "The 'Merica" to 
them was a synonym for Heaven. We talked the matter 
over one night after the children were asleep and Mr. 
Carson decided that he would broach the subject of Carl's 
staying behind with him the following morning. Accord- 
ingly at breakfast he said, "Well, Carl, it is going to be 



138 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

very lonely for me when you are all gone and very hard 
for Mamma when Max is so sick, to take care of two 
little boys. What would you think of staying with me ?" 
"And not go to the 'Merica?" he asked, with a look of 
unutterable disappointment in his face. "Not now, dear, 
but later when Papa can go, you could go with him. 
Without Mamma and Max it will be, oh, so lonely here. 
And not to have anybody but well, I suppose I could 
stand it. But with Mamma always seasick and with Max 
to care for, I dread for her to have the extra care of 
looking after your clothing, your baths, your food and 
all of those things. I fear it is going to be a very hard 
trip for her anyhow. What do you think, my boy?" 

Choking and swallowing and with two big tears rolling 
down his cheeks, he looked up and said, "I think I had 
better stay with you, Papa. I will look after you." And 
so it was settled. No words can express how it touched 
his father's heart or the tenderness that always existed 
between them after the experiences of that year together, 
cut off as they were from all other loved ones. 



CHAPTER XIV 
SECOND RETURN TO AMERICA 

WHEN we went on board our Irrawaddy Flotilla Com- 
pany's steamer en route for Rangoon we found a long 
rattan chair fitted up with cushions and rug and placed 
there for our comfort on the voyage by our good doctor. 
And what a comfort it proved to be ! Max could lie in it, 
stretched out, all day on deck, and being light, it could 
easily be moved about to catch the breeze, making it so 
much more comfortable for him than having to be shut 
up in the hot cabin. He stood the trip down the river 
well but was, oh, so thin and weak. When we carried 
him on board our steamer in Rangoon he was as pitiful- 
looking a little object as one could possibly imagine. His 
fever had been so high that they had shaved his head 
of its mass of golden curls, his large blue eyes were 
sunken in their sockets, and he was so thin that he looked 
like a skeleton. When his father and Carl told us good-by 
and left the steamer, passengers turned away with tears 
in their eyes; for, as they told me afterwards, they felt 
perfectly sure that he had seen his father and brother 
for the last time, and that I would have to bury my little 
boy at sea within a week. But the doctor was right ! The 
sea voyage was just what he needed. He began to gain 
immediately and within a week was walking a little about 
the deck. By the time we reached Marseilles little soft 
rings of gold had begun to cover his shaven head and he 
once more took on the appearance of a human being. 
It was interesting to watch his wonder and hear his ques- 

139 



I 4 o PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

tions as he came into a country of civilized life for the 
first time. What were those funny things on the houses? 
Meaning the chimneys. How did they paint all those 
flowers on the wall? He had never before seen wall- 
paper. When the maid at the hotel asked if the little boy 
would have cream on his porridge "Mamma, what is 
cream?" he asked, much to the amusement of the maid. 
In the torrid plains of Burma little or no cream rises on 
the milk and the word was not in his vocabulary. The 
passengers to England talked much of the places they 
wanted to visit when they reached the homeland. There 
were English planters from Ceylon with their children 
and Government officers with theirs. All had been told 
of the wonders they would see when they reached the 
land of enchantment, England. One day I said, "Well, 
Max, my son, where do you want to go when we reach 
England?" "Well, Mamma," he said, "if I don't go any- 
where else I want to go to the Theological Garden 
[Zoological Garden] and the the what is it, Mamma? 
the Piaster Paris?" [Crystal Palace.] You may be sure 
that he was taken to both of these places, at the former 
of which he had the joy of riding a dromedary and an 
elephant and of seeing the huge python, more than twenty- 
two feet long, which was caught by Dr. Vinton of Burma 
and presented through Sir Charles Bernard to the Lon- 
don Zoo. 

On the trip across the Atlantic we encountered a storm. 
I had put Max to bed and gone to my dinner when the 
ship began to roll in a frightful way. Fearing my little 
boy would be thrown from his berth, I rushed back to 
my cabin. I shall never forget the look of terror on his 
face as I opened the door. He was grasping the side of 
his berth, his eyes were wide with fear and he said in a 
terrified voice, "Oh, Mamma, Mamma, the ship is going 



SECOND RETURN TO AMERICA 141 

down I know it is!" "Why, Max," I said, "who is it 
that takes care of us?" "Jesus," he said, in an almost 
inaudible voice. "Do you remember His ever having been 
in a storm at sea?" I asked. "Yes, Mamma, and He just 
said 'Peace Be Still' and it all stopped, didn't it? And 
none of the 'sciples were drowned." "Well, do you not 
think He can take care of us just as well as He could of 
His other disciples ? Just lie down and go to sleep Jesus 
will take care of us," I said, and he was asleep in three 
minutes, though I braced myself and for hours it took 
all of my strength to keep him from being thrown from 
the berth. My muscles were lame for many days after. 
It was a terrible storm. The settees were wrenched from 
the deck and the compass was broken. Two ladies were 
thrown from their berths and severely injured. One lady 
went mad from terror and was obliged to return to Eng- 
land by the same steamer as insane persons were not 
allowed to land in New York. I was told the next day 
after the storm that while I was quieting my little boy, 
panic prevailed among the passengers. Children cried 
and women screamed with terror, while both men and 
women called upon God for help. The first person upon 
his knees to cry for mercy was a diamond-bedecked prize- 
fighter from Texas. 

We had reached England in the heart of winter Janu- 
ary and the damp penetrating cold after the torrid 
heat of Burma was most trying. I took a severe cold 
and traveling two or three days in dense fog my cold de- 
veloped into a first-class case of pneumonia. The ship's 
doctor was very kind and attentive, but nevertheless I was 
a very sick woman when we reached New York, where 
I was met by Miss Newton, who was at the head of the 
Hospitality Committee. She had me taken at once to 
the home of Dr. Doukont, an efficient physician who had 



142 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

a "Prophet's Chamber" or Missionary's room where many 
a Missionary has been tenderly cared for and nursed back 
to life and health. In that room I stayed, receiving every 
possible care and comfort until able to travel on to my 
home in the Middle West. 

The following year Mr. Carson and Carl came home. 
Being a very active and energetic man, nothing could be 
harder for Mr. Carson than doing nothing. Accordingly 
we took charge of the Kearney (Nebraska) Church dur- 
ing his furlough, and greatly enjoyed the work. The fel- 
lowship of Christians of our own kind was very precious 
and our people became greatly endeared to us. 

At times the temptation to remain with them was strong. 
They loved us and we loved them. Then our little boys 
could not be taken back to the awful conditions that pre- 
vailed at that time in Burma. We were face to face 
with the supreme sacrifice in the Missionary's life 
separation from children. Cotdd we leave them ? British 
officers and their wives did it for money. Could not we 
do it for Christ? When we thought of the unnumbered 
multitudes who did not even know that there was a plan 
of salvation from sin and of how much our years of 
experience would mean to the work, we felt that we could 
trust our precious boys, dearer to us than life itself, in 
God's hands with a perfect assurance that he would care 
for them. We placed them in the Home for Mission- 
ary's Children at Morgan Park, Illinois, just out of Chi- 
cago, and felt that they would have every possible care. 
We stayed there with them for a few days until they be- 
came a little acquainted, before setting out again for 
Burma. 



PART II 
FOUNDING THE HAKA MISSION 



CHAPTER I 
BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 

WE were summoned to meet the Board in Boston, 
where plans were discussed for opening up a new station 
in the heart of the Chin Hills, where no missionary work 
had ever been done by any denomination. It was the 
plan of the Board to form a chain of missions working 
both ways from the new station which we were to open 
up connecting with our lower Burma Missions in the 
Southeast and with those of Assam to the Northwest. 
My husband was greatly elated over this opportunity for 
he had long had the evangelization of these wholly neg- 
lected people on his heart. 

We arrived in our old station of Thayetmyo, now in 
the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin, in the autumn of 
1898. All of the Christians and school children were 
congregated on the bank of the river to welcome us. Our 
hearts were touched by our old Roman Catholic Tamil 
cook being among the first to greet us. He was compe- 
tent and had a good place with a British officer who was 
paying him almost double what we could afford. He 
said to Mr. Carson: "I want to come back and work 
for you, sir." "But, Francis," Mr. Carson said to him, 
"though I would love to have you, we are going away 
up in the Chin Hills, where there are none of your people 
and I fear you would be very lonely." "No matter, sahib, 
I go wherever you go and I stay till I die," he said. 
Little any of us dreamed at the time how soon that would 
be. We were rejoiced to have our dear old servant back. 



146 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

While I remained in the Thayetmyo mission visiting 
and helping as much as I could with the work Mr. Carson 
made a long tour of exploration up through the Chin 
Hills visiting all of the military posts and gathering 
all the information possible from the British officers in 
various places. The Superintendent of the Hills was 
most kind and courteous and helped in every way in pro- 
viding information, but steadfastly refused to permit us 
to settle anywhere except where there was a British Post, 
saying that he would feel responsible for our safety and 
that he could not protect us elsewhere. Mr. Carson there- 
fore decided upon Haka as the best place to establish 
our Mission, and put in an application to the Govern- 
ment for the beautiful thirty acres of land which now 
holds our Mission plant. 

I think I cannot do better than insert here the descrip- 
tion of the trip from Thayetmyo to Haka, written at the 
time and printed a few months later in the Missionary 
Magazine. 

OPENING A FRONTIER STATION 

On February 2, 1899, we left Thayetmyo, the scene 
of nine years of our missionary effort, with all our 
earthly possessions, en route for the Chin Hills, there to 
open work among a large tribe of Chins for whom, as 
yet, no mission work had ever been done. In order to 
save to the Union the expensive trip by regular pas- 
senger steamer we embarked on a cargo boat, the "Kar- 
anee." This steamer towed two flats, one on either side, 
each of which was loaded with ngapi (putrid fish) which 
is largely used as food by the people of this country. The 
night was hot and the fumes from the fish made me very 
sick all night so that I could not sleep. 



BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 147 

Our cabin was so crowded that we had to slide one 
of the cot-beds out of the door in the morning in order 
to have standing room for dressing. Even then we had 
to dress one at a time. We were glad to get on the upper 
deck in the morning, where we found things clean and 
comfortable and a little removed from the stifling, sick- 
ening, indescribable smell of the ngapi. 

The scenery along the Irrawaddy is beautiful. We 
glided slowly along, passing many large Burman row- 
boats; also raft after raft of fine teak logs or bamboos 
lashed together, upon which were tiny grass huts in 
which live women and children for weeks together, as 
the rafts are being floated down the river in order to find 
a market for the logs and bamboos. 

On account of innumerable shallows and sandbanks 
it is impossible to run at night, and our steamer dropped 
anchor the first night in midstream opposite Fort Minhla, 
where the British met the strongest resistance during the 
last Burmese war. In an idol house near the fort, more 
than twelve years ago, Mr. Thomas, my husband and I, 
held some rousing gospel meetings with the British sol- 
diers then stationed in that place. 

Our first stop the following day was at Minbu, where 
our mission has an outstation established by Mr. Tilbe 
years ago, where there are some Burman Christians 
greatly in need of a shepherd. 

The steamer company's agent came on board, and I 
found him to be a young Anglo-Indian man who had 
been in my Sunday-school class in Bassein fifteen years 
ago. Sunday was a hot, quiet day. We anchored for 
the night at Yeanangyoung, where there are extensive oil 
wells, owned by an English company, but operated en- 
tirely by Americans. These are, with two exceptions, I 



148 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

think, the only Americans in Burma, aside from the Bap- 
tist and Methodist missionaries. 

Monday morning not a little excitement was created 
by a Burman canoe trying to cross our bows and very 
nearly being run over by the steamer. Fortunately the 
canoe caught on one of the fiats, and by the steamer's 
backing off, the man was saved. Nothing else of special 
note occurred during the long, hot day. 

In the evening we stopped at Sale Myo and went on 
shore for a walk in this strange old place. The whole 
country round about looked bare and desolate, and one 
could but wonder where the people got the means of 
existence. The people seemed "thrifty" and well-to-do, 
however, and we learned that most of them are engaged 
in weaving, by hand, cotton blankets which they sell to 
passengers on the steamers. Women came aboard our 
boat with great bundles of them on their heads and many 
good bargains were made. 

On the 7th we passed the old capital, Pagan. For- 
merly, it was a large and influential city ; but now it looks 
comparatively deserted and in ruins. It is built on bare, 
rugged hills overlooking the river and pagodas are every- 
where thick almost as shocks of grain in an oat field 
after a bountiful harvest! As we stood on an eminence 
overlooking a broad stretch of country, we could have 
counted hundreds of them. Indeed, the people say that 
they have nine hundred and ninety-nine, but they cannot 
have a thousand because every time they build a new 
one, before it is completed an old one tumbles down! 
After leaving Pagan our next stop was at Pakokku the 
end of our journey by the Irrawaddy River. We found 
we must wait three days before we could get a steamer 
up the Chindwin River. 

We were not far from Myingyan, the home of our 



BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 149 

faithful missionaries, the Cases, so we took passage on 
the daily ferry and went to spend our waiting time with 
them. We arrived at the landing-place at four o'clock 
P.M. The heat was intense. We climbed up a very high, 
almost perpendicular bank of pure sand, after which, with 
the perspiration making roads through the dust and sand 
on my face, I was helped into the back of a two-wheeled 
oxcart, where I was protected somewhat from the fierce 
rays of the sun by a bamboo mat fastened over the cart 
in the shape of a woman's old-fashioned shaker bonnet 
my umbrella doing service as the crown. For over two 
miles, sitting flat on the bottom of the cart, I rode 
through dust, without any exaggeration, a foot deep. 
Sometimes the wind would swirl it inside our "shaker" 
until it would almost suffocate us. My husband and Mr. 
Case walked, or rather waded, through the dust, except 
where we had to cross some large mud-holes, when they 
too clambered into the cart. Very dusty and warm, and 
very much cramped from sitting so long, flat on the bot- 
tom of the cart, we finally reached the house, where we 
were cordially welcomed by Mrs. Case and the boys, and 
where we had a delightful visit. The following morning, 
taking the little organ and our hymn books and Bibles, 
we all went under some fine old trees near the bazaar 
and commenced singing. It was "big bazaar day," and 
soon we were surrounded by a large crowd of people 
to whom my husband and Mr. Case very earnestly pro- 
claimed the words of life. Very attentively and respect- 
fully the people listened to what purpose God knows. 
On the morning of the nth we started back to Pakokku, 
leaving the house just at dawn. In the freshness of the 
morning, with the "shaker" top removed from the cart, 
the ride, notwithstanding ruts and bumps and dust, was 
almost enjoyable. We took passage on a tiny launch, 



i 5 o PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

and arrived in Pakokku about noon. Next morning, 
aboard a small stern-wheel steamer, we started up the 
Chindwm River. In the afternoon we met with a terrible 
Wind and sand Storm. In vain the captain tried to make 
way against it. We made no progress, and finally we had 
to drop anchor, both at the prow and astern, to keep from 
being driven upon the sands. The captain told me after- 
wards that he greatly feared the steamer would be blown 
over on her side, as the water was shallow and the 
steamer not drawing many inches of water. At ten 
o'clock the next day we arrived at Monywa where I saw 
the last white woman I have seen for more than four 
months, The following day we passed some very beau- 
tiful scenery, and the captain very kindly asked us on the 
bridge that we might the better enjoy it. The great 
cliffs were most picturesque, and the trees were alive 
with monkeys some little gray fellows and some large 
and black with white throats, We anchored in the eve- 
ning at Okma, and went up the steep sandbanks into a 
large village, but we were so beset by hundreds of howl- 
ing pariah dogs, and surrounded by vicious-looking buf- 
faloes, that I was glad to return to the safety of the 
steamer, where I amused myself by watching SCantily- 
clad Burman women carrying great loads Of COrdwOOd 

on their heads, down the steep bank) for the fueling of 

our steamer. 

The next day we stopped at two places to allow the 
people to come on board to barter with the Burman 
traders, who had rented portions of the deck for their 
goods, and had come all the way from Pakokku for the 
purpose. For the half -hour the steamer stopped it was a 
veritable bedlam. Crowds of people jammed and pushed 
and jostled each other in their mad haste to make their 
purchases before the steamer should leave. There was 



BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 151 

a large trade in tobacco, betel, onions, garlic, parched 
beans, dried fish and ngapi. 

On the i6th we arrived in Kalewa, and took our things 
to an empty bamboo bungalow where we remained until 
the 2ist, working hard repacking and weighing our goods, 
and sewing them up in bagging, into sixty-pound loads, so 
that they could be carried by coolies up the mountains. 
On Sunday we had a prayer meeting with our native 
helpers. Four prayers were offered, each in a different 
language. On our last day at this place, an English 
officer came in from the district and came to have dinner 
with us. A clean but much -worn sheet was improvised 
for a tablecloth, and "with three-tined forks and iron plates 
we dined our English guest in fine style ! 

On the morning of the 2ist we packed our things, -with 
infinite difficulty, into four Burman rowboats, and with 
three men to each boat, we finally got started up the 
narrow tortuous stream, to be taken each day farther 
and farther from civilization. Going upstream our boats 
were propelled by means of bamboo poles. One man on 
either side, standing at the prow, would place one end 
of the bamboo firmly in the bottom of the stream, and the 
other against his bare shoulder; then bending his hody 
almost double with the effort, he would run the whole 
length of the boat, pushing with all his might, thus slowly 
driving the boat forward against the swiftly flowing cur- 
rent. This poling is so hard that great callous lumps, 
as large as one's double fist, form on the shoulders of 
regular boatmen. Packed into as small space as we could 
possibly occupy, with a bamboo mat bent like the cover* 
of an emigrant wagon to protect us from the sun, we 
proceeded on our way until late in the afternoon. As 
our boatmen got hot and tired some of them discarded 
every vestige of clothing which seemed to us meager 



152 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

enough to begin with! Finally we reached rapids in the 

stream where everything had to be unloaded from the 
boats and carried for half a mile upstream, the boatmen 

finding it all they could do to work the empty boats, one 
at a time through the rapids. It was night by the time 

we got all our things beyond the rapids, so we cooked 
our dinners over little camp fires, here and there on the 
sand, and ate them in the bright moonlight with our 
plates in our laps. We spread some quilts on the "cor- 
duroy" floor of a little grass hut and slept as best we 
could until about five o'clock in the morning, when we 
were up and soon on our way. During the day we 
several times encountered shallows where the boatmen, 
stripped of clothing, jumped into the stream and by des- 
perate pulling and pushing worked the boats into deeper 

water. Once a boatman, when poling where the water 

was quite deep, slipped and tumbled headlong into the 

stream. He smiled grimly when asked if that was the 

way he always took a bath. Long after dark we reached 

Kalemyo, and after great difficulty found the landing 

opposite a bungalow built by the English Government 

for the accommodation of officers on tour. 

We took possession for the night, for it contained 

bedstead, chairs and table, and we were able to make our- 

selves quite comfortable. Next morning we received a 

message from the superintendent of the Chin Hills, telling 

us to discontinue our journey by boat, as the water had 

fallen above and we would not be able to proceed with 

boats more than a short distance above where we were. 

He said he was sending ten pack mules to help with our 

goods, and would send as many coolies as we wanted. 

We found an English officer in the town who was look- 
ing after the rationing of the Sepoys stationed in the Chin 

Hills. He also advised us to dismiss our boats, telling 




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BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 153 

us he could furnish us with pack cattle, so that we need 
not wait for coolies to come down from Falam. 

As nothing can be taken into the Hills during the six 
months of rain, and as little necessary to the existence and 
comfort of an European can be had there, we had not only 
the furniture for our own house, but provisions of all 
kinds for six months, for ourselves and for the five native 
helpers who accompanied us. So, as one bullock or mule 
is supposed to carry only one hundred and twenty pounds 
and a coolie sixty pounds, the question of transportation 
was rather a momentous one. We sent word to the super- 
intendent that we were coming with pack cattle and to 
send only a few coolies to carry dishes, lamps and such 
things as we dare not trust to pack cattle. The owner 
of the pack cattle came around to load up our goods; 
but after looking at them he decided that there were only 
a few of the smallest and most unimportant of the loads 
that he could take on his cattle ; besides, his charges were 
so exorbitant that employing him was quite out of the 
question. With very heavy hearts we sent him away, 
not knowing what to do. The rationing officer had, to 
his great delight, obtained the use of an elephant and 
gone off on a tiger hunt, so we were unable to get any 
assistance from him. We found it impossible to get food 
for love or money; we also found it impossible to pro- 
cure transport of any kind to go into the Hills. We 
succeeded in buying a few potatoes about the size and 
shape of marbles, from some Chins who had brought 
them down from the Hills to trade for tobacco. We 
dined that night and breakfasted next morning on potato 
curry. In the evening, while going through the bazaar 
in the vain search for something to eat, we noticed an old 
man sitting in front of his shop reading a book which 
looked like a Burmese Bible. We approached and asked 



154 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

what book he was reading. Sure enough, it was a Bible, 
and he was a Christian ! We were mutually surprised and 
delighted for he had no more expected to see mission- 
aries there than we had hoped to find a Christian. We 
soon enlisted his services in trying to obtain food for us. 
He promised to bring rice, eggs and chickens the next day. 
The superintendent at Falam was out of the station 
and we could not reach him with a message. At least 
message after message was sent to him for transport 
coolies, but brought us no response. Finally we helio- 
graphed the Subhadar Major of the Sepoys there, and 
after long waiting received a reply that the coolies would 
be sent in due time. They must first be collected from 
the different villages, which would require some time, 
and it would take at least three days for them to reach 
us after they were collected. We tried to "possess our 
souls in patience." The next day, according to promise, 
the old Christian came bringing what had been a dozen 
eggs. These he had tied up in his handkerchief and had 
had the misfortune to let them fall, breaking all but 
three or four. With a most woebegone look he ap- 
proached us, with the chicken under one arm and in his 
hand carrying the eggs dripping through the dirty hand- 
kerchief. Nevertheless, he was a most welcome sight to 
our hungry eyes. He persistently refused to receive any 
compensation for these things, though we learned he had 
walked two miles through the blistering sun to another 
village to procure them for us. One, two more days 
passed and still no news of coolies. Sunday came and 
with it the old Christian and quite a number of heathen, 
to whom my husband preached and explained the Way 
of Salvation. In the evening two English government 
officers came in from a long trip on tour. We were 
obliged to share the house with them; they were tired 



BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 155 

and hungry; I knew I ought to ask them to dinner, but 
what was I to give them? Half of the chicken which 
we had kept for Sunday still remained, but "what was 
that among so many?" That very morning I had read, 
during our Bible study, "given to hospitality" and so 
I decided to ask them, and do the best I could. The 
Lord provided that dinner! After we had asked them, 
and they had eagerly accepted, and I was cudgeling my 
brain to know how to make the best of the little I had, 
the servants of the officers came in bringing a fine large 
deer, a generous piece of which was immediately sent 
to us. This made a delicious soup and a fine roast, and 
I am sure to those tired, hungry men that dinner was a 
success! They left early next morning. All that night 
and the next day my husband had fever. I shall never 
forget the anxiety of that day. In a place where no food 
except rice was to be had at any price, my husband ill 
and no help accessible from any civilized human being, 
and so far as I could see, no hope of ever getting away, 
the outlook indeed seemed dark, but toward evening my 
husband's fever passed off, the rationing officer returned, 
and things began to brighten. We decided to start next 
morning in government boats, which were placed at our 
disposal, two days' journey farther up the stream, to a 
village where we would be able to get food and there 
await our coolies. After coming to this decision we went 
to bed with lighter hearts; but when morning came we 
found it impossible to get boatmen in time to get our 
goods off that day, so there was another day of weary 
waiting. 

Next morning at half past ten, after endless vexations, 
we got the boats started. We, ourselves, had been invited 
by the officer to have breakfast with him, and in the aft- 
ernoon, on a pony which he would provide, and a mule 



156 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

which had been sent down for me, we were to ride up and 
overtake our boats where they would anchor for the night. 
At four o'clock, I on a gay and festive government mule, 
and my husband on a sleek little pony, we started on our 
nine-mile ride. We found that we must cross the river 
on a raft. This raft was made by placing a platform with 
a railing around it across two long, narrow boats. With 
a deal of trouble we succeeded in getting our animals and 
ourselves on board, and crossing the deepest of the water ; 
but long before we neared the farther bank we found 
the water so shallow that we could proceed no further 
with our raft. The mule did not enjoy the idea of getting 
out into the water and we had a terrible time with her. 
When finally we did succeed in getting her off, I feared 
we should never get her to stand close enough to the 
raft for me to mount. After vainly persuading her for 
a long time and being nearly jerked off into the water 
several times, I made a desperate leap and fortunately 
landed across the saddle the mule starting on through 
the water without waiting for me to adjust myself. I 
barely had time to put myself to rights before we came 
to a very high bank almost perpendicular, up which we 
had to climb. After gaining the top of the bank we rode 
for miles through dense elephant, or kine, grass fifteen 
or twenty feet high, which towered high above our heads. 
We knew that this grass made an excellent place for 
tigers to hide, and that there were many in the vicinity. 
I, at least, kept a keen lookout, but was not rewarded with 
the sight of a tiger. After a time our path broadened 
and we came out into a beautiful bamboo jungle; the 
graceful, willowy trees met in arches over our heads; 
now and again we startled jungle fowl which seemed but 
little frightened at our approach. We saw squirrels 
leaping about in the trees, heard a "barking" deer in the 



BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 157 

distance, and pheasants drumming in the forest. Once 
a huge wildcat scurried across the road in front of us. 
On we rode through two small clearings where there 
were rice fields and villages, and finally, just at dark, we 
rode up to the zayat, the place our boats were anchored. 

The zayat consisted of a very rough floor, high off 
the ground, with a roof over it. The wind was sweeping 
a perfect gale through it. To get up on the floor we 
had to climb a notched pole, in lieu of a ladder, which 
proved for the stout member of our party rather a diffi- 
cult feat ! However, it was accomplished, and there with 
our plates in our laps, and the wind fairly tearing the 
hair from our heads, we ate our dinner, after which we 
spread some quilts on the floor and tried to sleep but 
with indifferent success. Next morning we were up and 
off in our boats before daylight. We anchored about 
10:30 by a broad sandbank, where our breakfasts were 
cooked and eaten. Each set of boatmen and our own 
people were squatted here and there around separate fires, 
and soon ricepots were steaming in every direction. 

After a hearty breakfast and a good rest for the boat- 
men, we proceeded very comfortably, for the day was 
cloudy and cool. We reached Indin, the end of our 
journey by boat, about 4:30, and here also we occupied 
a government bungalow. We settled down to wait as 
patiently as possible the coming of our coolies. Here at 
least we could get food. Fortunately we stored all of 
our goods under the house, for in the night there came 
up a terrible storm. Furies were in the wind, and the 
rain came down in torrents. We feared all of our goods 
would be ruined> but nothing was seriously injured. 
Here we again unpacked and repacked, throwing out all 
broken dishes, etc., which were not a few, and putting 
everything in the smallest possible compass. On the 



158 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

eve of March 6th our coolies arrived. My heart almost 
quailed when I thought of trusting ourselves and all that 
we had to the hands of such fierce, savage-looking crea- 
tures. They were carrying spears and guns, they were 
almost naked and their bodies were encrusted with filth 
which had been accumulating for years. We could not 
speak one word that they could understand ; nevertheless, 
we got off next morning with less trouble than we had 
anticipated. We were indeed a motley crew as we wended 
our way up the mountains, but, oh, how glad we were to 
get started! First came the coolies with their promiscu- 
ous loads of boxes, barrels, beds, chairs, etc. Next came 
the only white male member of our party, on foot, with 
a gun on his shoulder and carrying a canteen of water. 
Next came a stout white woman mounted on a yellow 
mule, followed by two mounted Sepoy guards sent for 
our protection by the Superintendent of the Hills. Next 
came a Karen preacher, an Indian cook with his Burmese 
wife, and two Christian Chin girls. Bringing up the rear 
were ten tiny sore-backed pack mules driven by two 
Chinamen. 

We marched up the narrow mountain path, a gradual 
ascent for eight miles, when we stopped at a rest-house 
by a beautiful mountain stream. We had started before 
breakfast thinking to get to this place in time to have 
breakfast about half-past ten or eleven o'clock, but our 
coolies were in no hurry and did not arrive with the things 
until two o'clock. We breakfasted at two forty-five. 
After an eight-mile ride, all the way up hill, we were quite 
ready for our breakfast by the time we got it. We were 
up next morning at four o'clock and this time had break- 
fast before we started. We got off just at daybreak 
and traveled thirteen miles, up one mountain side and 
down another, sometimes on steep mountain sides by 



BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 159 

narrow footpaths, with clear mountain streams dashing 
in rapids and cascades hundreds of feet below. This 
march, though very wearying, was most interesting. 

We passed through pine forests the first pines I had 
seen in the country. Sparkling springs leaped from shady 
hillsides where the banks were covered with loveliest 
ferns. Blue and yellow Convolvulus smiled at us from 
every turn in the road, and stately Rhododendrons bowed 
their flaming flower-crowned heads at us as we passed. 
Monkeys screamed and chattered in the trees. We 
camped in a little pine bungalow beside a dashing moun- 
tain stream. In the evening our Chin coolies favored 
us with a concert, and I found they were using my band- 
box, which contained all the millinery I possessed in the 
world, for a drum! They had carried the box during 
the day, and seemed delighted that they had discovered 
its use. 

We were up in the morning and off again at daybreak. 
Up, up, up! The road was so steep that I sat doubled 
up in my saddle and was so cramped that I could hardly 
endure it. 

We encountered a fierce mountain storm. The wind 
lashed the trees, which swayed and creaked until I was 
in an agony of fear lest they should break and crash 
down upon us. Presently a cold rain came on and pelted 
us in our faces until we could hardly see the road. We 
were drenched to the skin. Twice we met trains of pack 
cattle on the narrow shelf of a mountain side. The path 
was so narrow that we had to hug the side of the moun- 
tain, standing perfectly still until the cattle got by, rub- 
bing against us as they passed. I hardly know which 
I feared the more, being crowded over the precipice or 
being crushed by the passing animals. 

When we reached camp we were wet and cold and 



160 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

had to wait for hours for our coolies to come with dry- 
clothing and food. At this camp we met an English 
lieutenant on his way to England on sick leave. He had 
been affected by exposure to the sun, and was partially 
paralyzed. He was the first white man we had seen 
since leaving Indin. The following day our journey was 
a gradual descent. I walked five miles in the morning 
and enjoyed it; but when, towards the end of our march 
my mule's back got sore so I had to get down and walk 
another mile and a half, I found myself so stiff and lame 
that dragging myself into camp was anything but pleas- 
ure. On this march we passed many wild peach trees 
loaded with blossoms. We camped near a suspension 
bridge built by the English Government across the Mani- 
pur River, which flowed through a great mountain gulch. 

After the coolies came up with our goods we showed 
them the sewing machine, concerning the use of which 
they had speculated a good deal. They had never seen 
a piece of machinery before and were greatly interested 
and delighted. Some of them were women, their only 
dress being skirts not more than eighteen inches long, 
and huge brass hairpins, thrust through knots of thick 
black hair at the nape of the neck. Some of these hairpins 
actually weigh as much as five pounds each ! I gave each 
of the women a needle and a safety-pin, after explaining 
their use. They were perfectly delighted. They patted 
my cheek and stroked my shoulder (a Chin method of 
showing gratitude and affection) and some of them even 
came up and put their arms around me. 

The following day we had an abrupt ascent, steeper 
than anything preceding. We got so high, the side of 
the mountain was so steep and the path so narrow, that 
I grew dizzy and dared not for a moment look down. 
"Underneath are the everlasting arms" was my constant 



BEYOND THE PALE OF CIVILIZATION 161 

comfort. After a long and weary march we reached 
Falam, a military post, and the home of the Superin- 
tendent of the Hills, in whose house we put up over Sun- 
day, and who showed us many kindnesses. 

After a good rest and good food we were greatly re- 
freshed and made the three days' journey from Falam 
to Haka with comparative comfort. 

We arrived in Haka March 15, six weeks after setting 
out from Thayetmyo. We rented a little two-roomed 
house of Government and soon had our things in it and 
were settled down for work. 

Haka is situated on the side of a great mountain. It is 
a military post where are stationed sixty Sepoys with 
three English officers. Chin villages abound on the neigh- 
boring hillsides. Many thousands of people are accessible 
from this place, not one of whom is a Christian and not 
one can read and write in any language. Their only re- 
ligion is the sacrificing of animals to evil spirits; it is 
also their only system of medicine. To these poor people 
we hope to introduce the elevating, uplifting influence 
of the gospel of Christ and teach them the Way of 
Salvation. 



CHAPTER II 
LOVING THE UNLOVELY 

SHOULD I live to be a hundred years old I shall never 
forget the experiences of our first night in Haka. I had 
comforted myself on the way with the thought that our 
coolies were the lowest class of people and that when we 
reached Haka and the higher classes we would find them 
cleaner and far less repulsive in appearance. The news 
had gone ahead of us that a white man was coming and 
bringing his wife. They had never seen a white woman, 
and people flocked in from all the neighboring villages 
to see the elephant! I was on exhibition for weeks! 
People from all over the Hills came to see me. I had one 
gold-encased tooth holding a bridge. They had never 
seen anything of the kind and evidently it was an object 
of great speculation and interest to them, for one of their 
first requests to me was this: "Will the Boinu open her 
mouth and let us see her brass tooth ?" 

But as the crowds flocked about us on the evening of 
our arrival, I looked about in vain for the cleaner, less 
repulsive, higher-class people. My heart sank, for I could 
not tell the chiefs from the coolies. All were dirty and 
filthy beyond description. A British Assistant Super- 
intendent of the Hills was stationed at Haka, but he had 
been absent for more than two months. He had heard we 
were coming and sent a kind note of welcome and told us 
to go into his house and make ourselves as comfortable 
as we could until we could make other arrangements. 

At Falam the Superintendent had not only furnished 

162 



LOVING THE UNLOVELY 163 

his house cozily and comfortably, but he had sent to 
England for flower seeds and had all of the sweet home 
flowers which do not grow in the hot Burma plains 
blossoming in profusion in the yard. I was delighted, 
and had visions of something similar upon our arrival 
in Haka. But the Assistant Superintendent having been 
absent so long, the whole station was overgrown with 
weeds and not one single flower was in evidence. When 
we entered his little two-roomed stone and mud hut, with 
no floor and the ground under our feet worn into hills 
and valleys, we found in the way of furniture only a 
small rickety pine table and a canvas deck chair noth- 
ing more. Neither of us said a word for a long time. 
My husband felt my disappointment. Our things were 
brought in and I began spreading the quilts on the bumpy 
dirt floor for our bed. Finally, sitting there Turk fashion 
on the hard ground, I broke out with, "Arthur, I can't do 
it! I simply can't do it!" 

"Can't do what ?" he asked, his voice full of sympathy. 
"I can't stand it to shut ourselves out from the world 
and shut ourselves in with such people as these and in a 
place like this and never see or know anything else. I 
thought I could go with you anywhere that God called 
and stay there and work with you. But I have been 
weighed in the balance and found wanting. Oh, Arthur, 
I can't, I can't stay on and live out my life in this awful 
place, among these loathsome people." And I wept bit- 
terly not more because of my disappointment in the place 
and the people than for my own inability to meet the sit- 
uation bravely. "Never mind," my husband said. "Don't 
think any more about it to-night. Just try to go to 
sleep. You don't have to stay here if you don't want to. 
There are plenty of other places to work and we can go 
back to the plains. I never dreamed you would feel like 



164 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

this. But just go to sleep with the thought that you do 
not have to stay unless you want to. I would not keep 
you up here for the world and have you feel like this/' 
he said very tenderly. "Weighed in the balance and found 
wanting," I sobbed out again in a heart-breaking, despair- 
ing wail. 

The next morning we got up early and looked about 
us. Our coolies came to be paid off. Some were women 
and some were men. One girl about eighteen was un- 
usually attractive. I had tried, though we knew not a 
word in common, to make friends with her on the way 
up the Hills. Her perfect figure was clad in a skirt not 
more than eighteen inches long that was all. With a 
beaming face she came to say good-by, patting my face 
with a very grimy hand and smiling into my eyes. As I 
looked into her bright face I realized that Drummond 
was right when he said, "Love is the greatest thing in 
the world." It is. I saw beyond the grime and filth on 
that perfectly formed and almost nude body. I saw the 
need of the soul. I saw the possibilities of that fresh, 
young life, and thousands more like her. What could 
not a consecrated Christian woman do for her and those 
of her kind if she would ? What a matchless opportunity 
had been given me ! What more could one ask for than 
to spend her life striving to better the conditions of such 
as she? Turn away from a people because they were 
the most needy of any I had ever seen? Go back to the 
plains? God forbid! "You coward, you coward," I 
said over and over again to myself. 

In all my twenty-one years in those Hills I never had 
another really homesick day. Lonely ones there have 
been. For ten long months at a time I have not seen 
the face of another white woman and rarely any one to 
whom I could speak in my own tongue. The days were 



LOVING THE UNLOVELY 165 

not really lonely either. They were too full with school 
work, medical work, entertaining native visitors and 
translation work, to leave any time for loneliness. It 
was the evenings when superstitions keep the native peo- 
ple from going out, evenings when the rain was pouring 
down in torrents and everything was damp, chilly and 
moldy, evenings when you knew none of your kind was 
within days' travel of you such evenings it was that 
sometimes became unbearable and drove one almost to 
madness. 



CHAPTER III 
WORKING UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

WE rented from the Government (British) a little 
two-roomed stone and mud house, without any floor, very 
similar to the one so kindly placed at our disposal by 
the Assistant Superintendent upon our arrival. With the 
furniture which we brought with us we made ourselves 
fairly comfortable and immediately began work. Ob- 
viously the first things to do were to get a place of our 
own and to learn the language of our people. 

We found it difficult to get a teacher. The people 
were suspicious of us. Before the English occupation of 
their Hills they had been wont to raid the Burman vil- 
lages of the foothills and carry away the children as 
slaves. They told us long afterwards that they believed 
we were placed there by the Government (British) to 
somehow work up some secret scheme to get hold of their 
children and send them to the British for slaves. They 
could not believe it possible that we were there solely 
for their good. 

We finally succeeded in hiring a man to come and talk 
to us for two or three hours every day in order that we 
might get some insight into the language. We had not 
one thing to help us, Hot even an alphabet, for the lan- 
guage was not yet reduced to writing. It was an uphill 
job. We soon learned to get nouns without difficulty, and 
wrote one down as soon as we were sure of it. But 
verbs! When we wanted such verbs as to drink, to 
run, to eat, we could usually succeed by giving a demon- 

166 



WORKING UNDER DIFFICULTIES 167 

stration. But consider the difficulty in getting such words 
as to learn, to love, to worship, to act, etc. 

Imagine one's chagrin when after wrinkling his fore- 
head, scratching his head, and looking wise trying to get 
the word to think, he finds when he comes to use it, he 
has the word to scratch; or when he wants the word to 
perspire he gets to rain; or when he thinks he is saying, 
"Come and eat" he really says, "Come and chew." Then 
another difficulty was that the idea itself was so often 
wanting. My husband was trying to get the word to 
forgive. He said to the leading chief, "Shwe Lien, your 
brother Koke Hnin and Tat Hmone are great friends; 
supposing they should quarrel and both become very an- 
gry and Tat Hmone should bite off Koke Hnin's ear 
a not unusual performance between Chin men when 
exasperated beyond endurance and afterwards he would 
be very sorry he had done it and would go to Koke Hnin 
and say how sorry he was and he wanted him to forget 
what had happened wanted their friendship to be as 
before what word would he use ?" "We would not need 
any word for that, Boipa, for we would never do it" re- 
plied the old chief. 

It was several months before we got the Government's 
sanction to our application for land for our mission com- 
pound. But at last it came, a grant of thirty acres of the 
most beautiful land in the vicinity. One big chief, Lien 
Mo, had a claim on part of it, which we bought for forty- 
five rupees. Though it was covered with pine forest this 
was all he asked, and all that our beautiful compound 
cost. The next thing was to build a house. But how was 
this to be done? There was not a brick nor a board to 
be had. Mr. Carson succeeded in borrowing some 
Goorkha sawyers from the Government. He hired Chins 
to cut down trees on the mountain sides which these saw- 



i68 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

yers converted by hand into boards and timbers for 
building. They were carried on men's shoulders for miles 
to the mission site. 

Five times the wage received in the plains was offered 
carpenters to come up to do the building; but nothing 
would induce them. Neither, at that time, could Chinese 
carpenters be persuaded to come. All were afraid of the 
wild, savage Chins who, until stopped by their British 
conquerors, decorated their houses with human skulls. 

In speaking of his failure to get carpenters, Mr. Car- 
son said, "Well, I know what I can do. I can build the 
house myself." "How can you build it ?" I said. "You're 
not a carpenter." "No, but a man can do anything that 
he has to," he said, "and you know my motto *I can 
do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.'" 
And he did build it. First there must be bricks for 
foundation and chimneys. He searched until he found 
clay that would make bricks. Then he made molds and 
molded, dried and burned the bricks. Now there must 
be mortar to hold them together. He searched until he 
found sandstone. This he hired pounded and sifted and 
carried in bags to the place of building. Limestone he 
also found and taught a man to burn it. This also was 
carried in on men's backs. Every brick he laid himself. 
Every board and timber was sawed and planed and put 
into place by his own hands. Sashes, doors and steel 
roofing were ordered from America; beaver board, for 
ceiling and partitions, from England ; the paint was from 
Germany, the glass from China, and the furnishings from 
India. Who shall say it was not a cosmopolitan house? 
Was any house ever erected more loved and appreciated, 
I wonder. When we told the natives about Heaven they 
would ask if it were nicer than our house. 

But long before this house was completed, I was 



WORKING UNDER DIFFICULTIES 169 

obliged to return to America to make other arrangements 
for our children. That sentence may not seem to mean 
much, but it involved days of mental agony, nights of 
planning, praying and suffering. It meant leaving my 
husband alone with those wild, uncivilized people for 
years. 

The faithful family servant who had said he would go 
anywhere with his master and stay till he died had liter- 
ally done so. Only two months after reaching Haka he 
died very suddenly, the altitude proving too high for his 
heart. Besides feeling his loss very keenly, his death left 
us in desperate straits for a servant. We had no stove; 
it was the rainy season and we had difficulty in getting 
wood that was dry enough to burn. I would go out to 
our little cookhouse and try to cook over an open fire 
with wet wood. The smoke would nearly put my eyes 
out. My husband would send me into the house and try 
his hand at it and succeed better. But it was uphill work 
and interfered with other things we wished to do. 

Sympathetic officers in Falam sent us an old Indian 
man to try. Though he spoke no English and was un- 
trained they hoped he would be some help. His name 
was Anthony, but my husband called him Anti "Short 
for Antifat" which is significant. Finally a kind officer 
loaned us his cook to train a Chin. We found one willing 
and teachable and with my help soon got on nicely, but 
it was hard for Mr. Carson to be left with poorly trained 
Chin service and without the companionship and efficient 
help of his devoted Francis who had so delighted in 
serving him. 

For Mr. Carson, my going home meant study of the 
language, translation work, school work, evangelistic 
work, and medical work to say nothing of mason and 
carpenter work. All this without one sympathizing heart 



170 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

to help him. The country was still very unsettled which 
made it much harder for me to leave him alone. Only 
a short time before we knew this separation must come 
there had been an insurrection. 

The Chins had been getting hold of so many guns that 
the British who had only been administering the Hills 
for a short time feared there might be trouble and or- 
dered all guns brought in and registered and only a cer- 
tain small number, according to the population of the 
various villages, returned to the Ghins. 

One day while all British officers of the three "Posts" 
Falam, Tiddim and Haka were collecting these guns, 
the leading chief, who spoke Burmese fairly well and 
with whom my husband had made friends, came in look- 
ing greatly excited and shut the door. 

Standing with his back against it, he asked if there 
was any one else in the house besides ourselves. When 
assured there was not he said that he had something very 
important to tell us; that no one must ever know that 
he had told or it would cost him his head. 

He shook with excitement as he told us that the people 
did not propose to give up their guns. He said Chins 
loved their guns better than anything else in the world; 
that it would be easier to give up wives and children, be- 
cause they could get plenty more wives and children, but 
couldn't get guns! 

He said that the chiefs had "eaten mud" (taken the 
sacred oath by mingling their blood, taken from their 
legs, with earth and eating it) that they would not re- 
linquish their guns but would kill off the British officers, 
take their guns, and take back the administration of their 
own Hills. 

All were to be killed except the Superintendent who 



WORKING UNDER DIFFICULTIES 171 

was to be held for ransom in order to make terms with 
the Government. 

Shwe Lien said, "You are my friends, you have been 
kind to me, I do not want you to be killed. That is why 
I have risked my life to tell you that to-night Chins all 
over the Hills will rise up and kill off the white people 
and sepoys. None of my people will kill you. I will 
stand by your side, and if you die I will die first. Don't 
be afraid, you have been my friends. But don't let any 
one know that I have been here to warn you," and with 
this he was gone. 

We looked blankly at each other, wondering just how 
much it meant. Then we began discussing plans to pro- 
tect ourselves and the three Christians who were with us. 

An hour or two later we received a heliograph mes- 
sage from the Superintendent, who was on tour, telling 
us that he had just received authentic information that 
there was to be an uprising that night and that all white 
people were to be killed. He advised us to take any val- 
uable papers and money that we might have and go into 
the police lines for protection. 

He told my husband to consult with the Havildar, 
(sepoy officer) telling him everything and with his as- 
sistance to make ourselves as secure as possible. He said 
he would have a British officer on the spot at the earliest 
possible moment. 

We decided we could protect ourselves better in our 
own house than in the police lines and the guards were 
arranged accordingly. 

My husband had presented me with a beautiful little 
rifle which he had purposely taught me to use in the pres- 
ence of the people, feeling that my having a rifle and 
knowing how to use it would be a protection to me when 
he was absent, as was often necessary. That night he 



172 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

oiled and cleaned both rifles, putting them in perfect 
condition. Handing mine to me, he said, "Now, Laura, 
you must be prepared to use this to-night." 

"Why, Arthur," I said, "I would rather die than shoot 
anybody !" 

"If they shoot at us, or enter our house with swords 
and knives and threaten us, you must shoot, and shoot to 
hit but aim at their feet. Of course, we would not shoot 
to kill," he replied. 

We lay down, fully dressed, each with a hand on a 
rifle. But morning came and there was no disturbance. 
However, it was not all a farce. Just before the Super- 
intendent had sent the heliograph message to us a faithful 
Chin servant, who loved his master, revealed the plot to 
him much as Shwe Lien had revealed it to us. 

The plan was to attack the Superintendent's camp first 
and thus frighten others into easy submission. Being 
forewarned, the Superintendent was on the alert with his 
sepoys in readiness, and just as the Chins were ready to 
attack his camp the sepoys attacked them. They scat- 
tered in every direction. The sepoys pursued and took 
many captives. Another band of Chins attacked an In- 
dian cow-keeper's village, killed some of the inhabitants 
and looted the village. A British officer came upon them 
as they were dividing the spoil. The leaders were cap- 
tured. After trial, twelve of the ringleaders in the in- 
surrection were transported and three were hanged. These 
drastic measures quieted things in the Hills for several 
years. 



CHAPTER IV 
EMERGENCY RETURN TO AMERICA 

MY passage was engaged for America and arrange- 
ments were made for me to take three children of other 
missionaries who must be sent home to school. These 
children were Carroll Roach and Mabel and Gladys 
Bushell. Shortly before time to leave Haka there came 
a terrible cloudburst which completely wrecked the sus- 
pension bridge over the Manipur River. The planks were 
all torn off and the cable on one side was broken. 
At that time of the year the only way to get down the 
mountains was by way of that bridge. 

Government had two planks each about ten inches 
wide put side by side across the middle on the timbers 
below, which were mostly intact, in order that coolies 
might cross with the mails. Orders were given that only 
one person must attempt crossing at a time. 

The bridge was suspended from towers high above the 
swiftly flowing, roaring and tumbling mountain stream. 
Walking on the narrow planks, unable to touch anything 
with the hands to steady oneself, one cable down so the 
bridge swayed and tilted with every step, even the thought 
of crossing was nerve-racking in the extreme. 

A British major, upon hearing we were going to cross, 
exclaimed, "Why, Mrs. Carson, all the gold o'n the Klon- 
dike would not induce me to attempt it." But I was not 
after gold. I was going to my children, who needed me, 
and I assured my husband that I was not afraid. Why, 
coolies crossed frequently with bags of mail on their 

173 



174 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

backs. Why should I fear? He cautioned me not to 
look down but to keep my eyes fixed on the opposite 
bank, then he bravely started out ahead. My heart stood 
still as I watched him balancing himself on the long sway- 
ing bridge over the tumbling waters far below. He 
reached the other side in safety and gayly waved to me. 
But the strain of seeing him cross had been so great that 
had he not Tbeen on the other shore I would surely have 
backed out. Summoning all my courage, I started trem- 
blingly forth. Midway across, the roaring of the water 
was so furious I could not resist the temptation to glance 
down. It was my undoing. I could not take another 
step. I started to get down on my hands and knees. 
"Stop that ! Get up, look straight at me and come here !" 
called my husband in a commanding voice. He had 
never before spoken to me in such a tone and I did 
exactly what he told me to ! But the nervous strain had 
been so great that when I reached him my strength was 
all gone and I dropped my head on his shoulder and we 
both sobbed. 

We reached Rangoon in time for the steamer and 
with the three children in my care I sailed in company 
with Mrs. Tilbe and her four little ones via England for 
the homeland. With seven lively youngsters to care for 
and amuse we had little time to brood over leaving our 
husbands behind. 

Upon our arrival in New York we were met by Dr. 
Rhodes and shown every possible kindness. Mrs. Tilbe 
was very sick on the day of our arrival, and that night 
got aboard her Pullman with her little flock and went 
straight through to her home in St. Louis. But I took 
my little girls to Newton Center, Massachusetts, and left 
them and Carroll with dear Mrs. West while I went up 
into Maine to visit another Missionary's children and re- 



EMERGENCY RETURN TO AMERICA 175 

port upon their condition. On my return I took Carroll 
and turned him over to his grandfather somewhere in 
Illinois, and then went on to my own little boys who at 
that time were with my sisters in Nebraska. 

Going to Grand Island where our Baptist college is 
located, I rented and furnished a house, made a home 
for my boys and put them in the public school. My 
husband's mother at that time lived in Aurora (Ne- 
braska). After going down and nursing her through a 
hard siege of pneumonia I brought her back with me and 
she afterwards made her home with us. Her little home 
in Aurora was sold and another one was bought in Grand 
Island, into which we moved and there lived for four 
years while Mr. Carson wrought on, alone, in the Chin 
Hills. 

Mr. Carson's mother being more than willing to help 
with the work at home, I was enabled to engage in out- 
side interests. 

Dr. E. F. Jorden, well known in Baptist circles, was 
at that time pastor of the First Baptist Church at Grand 
Island, and I became his assistant. I also taught Biblical 
Literature two days a week at the College. Dr. George 
Sutherland was then President. To him and to Dr. Jor- 
den I owe more than could ever be put into words for 
kindnesses and help through those hard, but in many 
ways, delightful years. No work that I have ever done 
in America I think has yielded me greater satisfaction and 
pleasure than that with my Bible class of college students 
and teachers, numbering above eighty, in the Grand Island 
Baptist Church. In later years, I have met them every- 
where, leading such splendid purposeful lives that I am 
proud to have known them and to have been associated 
with them. 

Upon Mr. Carson's return in 1903 we were imme- 



i;6 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

diately recalled to the Kearney Church, then in search of 
a pastor. It was a delight to be back with old friends 
among a people we loved, and an unspeakable joy to 
have a little home life with father, mother, sons, and 
grandmother all present. We remained with this church 
until our boys graduated from Kearney High School (in 
the same class), June, .1905. Their father preached the 
baccalaureate sermon. 

That summer, after making arrangements for our boys 
to enter Grand Island College in the autumn, we spent 
with them making farewell visits among relatives and 
friends. When visiting my sister in Idaho she and her 
husband gave us what I recall as one of the greatest treats 
of my life. With a farm wagon for our camping outfit, 
an Idaho "white-top" (broad-seated spring wagon with 
white canvas cover) and two or three saddle ponies, they 
took us on an enchanting three-weeks' camping trip 
through Yellowstone Park. We then visited my mother, 
brothers and sister in Southern California, after which 
we did deputation work up and down the Pacific Coast 
visiting many churches in the interest of Missions in Cali- 
fornia, Washington, and Oregon. On September i6th 
we assisted in the farewell services of Mr. Rhodes, under 
appointment to Burma, at the Centralia, Washington, 
Church, where Rev. H. S. Black, a beloved old college 
chum of Mr. Carson's, was pastor. Here the following 
morning we knelt together and committed our dear boys to 
our Father's care before seeing them off for college. 
That was the last time the boys ever saw their almost 
idolized father. 

On the 2ist we sailed on the 5". S. Dakota for Hong- 
kong en route for Burma. We were delayed three weeks 
in Yokohama for the unloading and reloading of our 
steamer, which gave us an opportunity to see the work 



EMERGENCY RETURN TO AMERICA 177 

of some of our splendid missions in Japan and also to 
visit our old school friend and devoted fellow missionary, 
Miss Annie Buzzell, at Sendai. 

While lying in port in Yokohama, President Taft and 
his party, including Miss Alice Roosevelt, Nicholas Long- 
worth, Mary Ellen Foster, and others arrived from the 
Philippines. Mrs. Foster, appointed by President Roose- 
velt to study conditions of Filipino women and children, 
had separated from the party and was a very delightful 
fellow-passenger with us from Singapore to Rangoon on 
her world's tour of Missions. 

We left Yokohama October I4th, called at Kobe, Na- 
gasaki, Shanghai, and reached Hongkong on the 26th of 
November. From there we sailed on a French steamer 
for Singapore, where we were detained for ten days and 
where we were delightfully entertained in the American 
Methodist Mission. They took us across the Straits to 
visit the Sultan's palace in the capital of the little inde- 
pendent state of Jahore. We were shown through the 
palace and saw many interesting things including the 
golden throne and a wonderful massive dinner set in 
solid gold. We visited the Mosque, where the Sultan 
worships, and went also to see the tigers, which, we were 
told, the Sultan was interested in procuring for commer- 
cial purposes. One huge creature had just been cap- 
tured and brought in from the jungle. He had banged 
his head with such force against the iron bars of his 
cage that it was bruised and bleeding. Going a little 
too near, he turned my blood cold by striking fiercely at 
me through the bars and coming within a hair's breadth 
of laying me low ! 

A few days later found us aboard a British India 
steamer bound for Rangoon, where we arrived in due 
time, bought, packed into 6opound loads, and shipped 



i;8 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

stores enough to do us for a year, and were soon on our 
way up country. We left Rangoon on December ist 
and reached Haka, December 23rd, having traveled by 
rail, by river steamer, by native rowboat, by pony and on 
foot. The Easts and the natives gave us a cordial wel- 
come. 



CHAPTER Y 
A MEDICAL MISSIONARY FOR HAKA 

DR. H. H. TILBE had relieved Mr. Carson for the first 
year of his furlough, during which time he prepared the 
little Grammar of the language still in use. Dr. E. H. 
East came out to Mr. Carson for medical work during 
the second year of my absence from Haka. He was 
large hearted, efficient and sympathetic and was rapidly 
winning a large place in the hearts of the people. But 
just two months after his arrival he was taken with ap- 
pendicitis and it became necessary to get him away as 
it would be perilous for him to remain where an opera- 
tion would be impossible. Mr. Carson therefore took our 
bed springs, cut them in two and made a comfortable 
stretcher, over which he fixed a canopy of waterproof 
canvas, as it was the heart of the rainy season, and hiring 
coolies to carry him, started on the lugubrious fourteen 
days' march through pouring rain down the mountains 
to the river. It would be hard to picture Mr. Carson's 
feelings as he saw Dr. East, who had brought him such 
cheer and help, start back so soon to America. And 
who can know the heartache as he turned his face once 
more to his little home in the hills where the loneliness 
would only be augmented because of the two months of 
companionship ? 

The next time these two men met was in Chicago. Mr. 
Carson was on his way home and Dr. East preparing to 
return to Haka. He took with him, this time, a splendid 
addition to the mission in the person of his fine young 

179 



i8o PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

wife. And there was a third one to greet us upon our 
arrival for they had a darling baby boy. 

During our absence in America, through Dr. East's 
efforts, two fine men and their wives at Tiddim had be- 
come Christians and been baptized the first fruits of our 
work in the Chin Hills. One, Tuam Hang, was a remark- 
able man, heir to a tribal chieftainship. Recognizing the 
fact that as a Christian he could not lead his people in 
their heathen ceremonies, nor follow their drunken cus- 
toms, he relinquished his right to the chieftainship which 
would have made him a rich man, and became and still 
is a humble preacher of the Gospel on the munificent 
salary of six dollars a month ! 

The following is a letter from a native Karen preacher 
telling Dr. East of the first convert in the Chin Hills. 

"July 25, 1904, Koset Village, 
SIR: 

Your letter came to me and tell about the school which 
you spoke with Mr. Fowler. We little three here [mean- 
ing his family] were very glad. The time when we ar- 
rived here in Koset till this time, we try as well as we 
can for preaching, so that one man name Paung Shwin, 
his among three chiefs which you had been seeing, he 
believes Jesus can save him from his sin into life. He 
gave up all the bad things and come to us for worship 
God together every time with his wife and mother. He's 
very earnest in preach to other. Some men spoke to him 
and make him afraid, but he do not care what was the 
people said to him. As he knew more about Christ he 
preach more and more to other people. The time when 
you come to Koset he will [be] Baptist at once. As well 
as my master can, come soon. 

Now we little here glad every time to preach. We 



MEDICAL MISSIONARY FOR HAKA 181 

hope our master and mamma and Sya San Win and his 
wife will glad with us in prayer. I cannot write English 
well ; if I can write you will glad more than this. 

One man name's Turn Harm ; he is a chief among the 
three chiefs. Now he begin to believe Jesus. This night 
he come up to me for prayer God. Dear master, please 
remember for Turn Harm in your prayer. O my dear 
master if you arrive here this time, how you will be very 
glad for Christ. 

As to school the people begin to build the school now. 
They got some post to the school place ; in a few days I 
think school will finish. Some time I wrote about to stop 
school until the school [house] finish, and you tell I 
must stop; but I think in my heart it is better to learn 
every day so that I have school in my house. 

Remember Paung Shwin and his household your prayer. 
As well as I can I try in write English. Please know 
what I mean as well as you can. 

Your obedient servant, 

SHWE ZAN." 

Up to the time of our return not one among the Haka 
people had been baptized; but Shia Kaw, a boy working 
in the East home had, through their teaching, become con- 
vinced of the truth of Christianity and about the time 
of our arrival asked for baptism. He showed every evi- 
dence of true conversion and on January i, 1906, Mr. 
Carson baptized him in the lovely little lake on the Mission 
Compound in the presence of a large company of inter- 
ested people. 

From this time on, the work made marked progress, 
Mr. Carson and Dr. East working together harmoniously 
and enthusiastically. We all lived together while Dr. 
East built the second Mission house. Although he was 



i82 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

able by this time to get Chinese carpenters he met and 
overcame many difficulties. I remember that he decided 
to plaster the walls of his house and in order to get the 
necessary hair to make the plaster stick, he bought de- 
fective gunny (rationing) bags from the Military Police 
and chopped them up, thus making a very good substitute 
for hair. 

While in America Dr. East had raised money for a 
hospital and this he also built, a good building with ac- 
commodations for twenty patients besides a nice oper- 
ating room and office. While Dr. East gave his time to 
the building and medical work, Mr. Carson devoted him- 
self to language work and evangelistic endeavor while I 
took charge of the school work. 

We tried not only to educate and christianize the peo- 
ple but put forth every effort to provide some means by 
which they would be able to support a higher civilization. 
Through the help and generosity of a British officer my 
husband got a fine pair of stock cattle shipped out from 
Scotland. Unfortunately one died en route. Dr. East, 
with better success, brought out a splendid pair of pigs, 
which has improved the breed and added materially to 
the wealth of the people. We found that one of the 
principal articles of food for the people was Indian corn 
and that the corn grown in the Hills was of a very small 
and inferior variety of the flint kind. While in America, 
therefore, Mr. Carson went to a first-class farmer and 
had him select seed corn of the choicest variety for us. 
This we shelled and put in Mason jars packed in barrels 
and took with us. We called the people and gave out 
a little to each family cautioning them to save the first 
year's crop for seed. This they did and now the good 
corn is practically universal all over the Hills and is a 
great blessing, furnishing them a many times larger yield 



MEDICAL MISSIONARY FOR HAKA 183 

to the acre than the old variety and a much better 
quality of corn. Finding wild peaches indigenous to the 
country, we got seeds of finest varieties from Illinois 
and California and have successfully raised very choice 
peaches, from which the Chins are getting starts. Many 
other things we have introduced in the same way, making 
life a little less hard not for the Christians only, but for 
all the people in the Hills. 

For a long time our schools were uphill work. Children 
accustomed to roving the jungle at leisure with bows and 
arrows or pellets and slings found the confinement of 
school intolerable. After sitting on the floor for an hour 
or so with book or slate a boy could stand it no longer 
and would hop up and be off to his jungle haunts and we 
would probably not see him again for a week. The little 
girls were greatly handicapped in that each one who came 
to school had to carry a baby on her back. She would 
sit and sway back and forth to keep her baby quiet as 
she learned her lesson, every now and then having to 
jump up and run home to the mother that the baby might 
be fed. 

But gradually conditions improved, we gained the good 
will of the people, more children were sent to school 
and more people became Christians as they learned more 
of the truth. 



CHAPTER VI 
TANG TSIN AND TSONG HKAM 

AN unusually promising young married man living 
more than fifty miles from Haka became an enthusiastic 
convert. I shall never forget the day he was baptized. 
With a glowing face he came to me to say good-by. 
"When I tell my people about Christ and how happy I 
am, I believe the whole village will become Christian/' 
he said, and he started joyfully back with that hope in 
his heart. But the news that he had become a Christian 
got home ahead of him and he was promptly called be- 
fore the chief to give an account of himself. "They tell 
me you are worshiping the foreign God. You cannot do 
that and live in this village/' said the chief. "Oh, but 
let me tell you what a wonderful God he is a God who 
loves us and helps us and saves us from our sin," begged 
Tang Tsin. "You need not tell me anything about this 
God, and you cannot worship Him and live in this village. 
You know that if you do our own gods will be angry, 
our crops will fail, our cattle will not reproduce, our 
children will die and all kinds of trouble will come upon 
us. You have either got to renounce this foreign religion 
or be driven from the village," reiterated the chief. 

In vain Tang Tsin pleaded with him. When he saw 
that it was hopeless, he went to the highest British officer 
in the Hills and asked him if because he had accepted 
the Christian faith the chief, under British law, could 
expel him from the village. He said that if it concerned 

184 




TSONG-HKAH \VHO SUFFERED PERSECUTION 



TANG TSIN AND TSONG HKAM 185 

himself only it would not matter, but that he had a wife 
and two children of his own, two children of a dead 
brother and a mother to support. They were not yet 
Christians, he could not go away and leave them, and it 
would be the same in any village to which he might go 
and take them. 

After talking to him awhile the Superintendent said, 
"Well, Tang Tsin, go back to your village and as long 
as you live in accordance with the teaching of the mis- 
sionaries, doing nothing wrong to anger the people, the 
British Government will stand behind you. The chief 
cannot drive you out of your village simply because you 
worship the Christian God," and an order to this effect 
was sent to the chief. 

Tang Tsin went home with a light heart and set him- 
self to the task of winning his people. He went where 
there was sickness and death and trouble of all kinds 
trying to follow his Master in going about doing good. 

But the wily chief had thought out a plan whereby he 
hoped to checkmate the British officer. The land is owned 
by the chiefs and is parceled out to families and passed 
down from father to son; a certain per cent of the crop 
always going to the chief. But, for any grave and suffi- 
cient reason, according to their custom, the chief with 
the approval of his elders can take the land back and 
give it to another. He therefore called Tang Tsin and 
told him that they had decided, unless he abandoned the 
worship of the foreign God, the land which he culti- 
vated and which had been in the family for generations 
would be taken from him. Tang Tsin said that he was 
trying to do only good among the people and begged him 
to spare to his family the land of his fathers. The chief 
finally said in derision, "If you want land to cultivate 
you may farm the sacred field." Now, the "Sacred Field" 



186 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

is land dedicated to the evil spirits; and the people be- 
lieved as much as they believed in their own existence 
that any one planting a seed in that sacred ground would 
drop dead on the spot. 

"Do you mean that?" eagerly asked Tang Tsin, "do 
you really mean that I may farm the sacred field?" 
"Yes," said the chief, "if you dare to, you may." The 
next morning found Tang Tsin, bright and early, digging 
up the sacred field. People stood about in open-mouthed 
wonder expecting every moment to see him die. But he 
didn't die. He is living yet and preaching the gospel to 
every one with whom he comes in contact. 

At the end of the season he came over to the mission 
and told us about farming the sacred field. He said, 
"Why, my corn was more than twice as tall as theirs 
[the land was rich, never having been tilled] and my 
pumpkins were huge, while theirs were not bigger than 
my double fists. The people tell me secretly that my God 
is greater than theirs because He gives me so much better 
crops than they get." He said that many were coming 
to believe in the God he worshiped but dared not confess 
it because of the persecution. 

He said he could not read very well and he wanted us 
to tell him exactly what the Bible taught just the things 
he could do and the things he couldn't do so he would 
know how to order his life. We had him learn the Ten 
Commandments and the great commandments of the New 
Testament. The great truths of the plan of salvation he 
already knew. He went about to the neighboring vil- 
lages and preached to all who would listen to him. 

After a time a man named Tsong Hkam, in a near-by 
village, got up courage to publicly confess his faith in 
God. 

His chief was greatly exercised over the matter and 



TANG TSIN AND TSONG HKAM 187 

sent for the big tribal chief to decide what should be done 
with him. He came and Tsong Hkam was summoned 
before him. Knowing of Tang Tsin's case, he began in 
a very conciliatory way saying, "We don't want to have 
any trouble over this matter. We don't want to go up to 
the English Government about it; but you know if you 
worship the foreign God, all kinds of calamity will come 
upon our village. Just drop this foreign religion and I 
will give you thirty rupees." (About ten dollars.) 

"But you do not understand/' said Tsong Hkam. "I 
believe the Christian religion is true. I am a Christian 
and shall always be one." For some time the chief con- 
tinued trying to bribe, offering more and more ; but when 
he found it was useless he became angry and said: "I 
have never in my life humiliated myself as I have in 
dealing with you to-day. You will either take what I 
have offered and give up the worship of this foreign God 
or you will take the worst beating any man ever had." 
"Then I will take the beating," Tsong Hkam replied. 
"Bare your back," the chief commanded. Tsong Hkam 
threw off his blanket. "Put your hands on your knees," 
was the next order, and down went his hands to his 
knees. 

Then the chief called up three brutal men armed with 
bamboos and told them to give him fifteen strokes each, 
and to lay them on hard. The first man finished his 
fiendish task and the second began when Tsong Hkam 
fell to the earth. Raising his hand, he said, "Wait a 
moment," and, lifting his eyes to heaven, he prayed. He 
asked for strength to bear the torture then added (like 
Stephen of old), "Count it not against them, Father, for 
they don't understand they don't understand." 

Then he said, resuming his position with his hands on 
his knees, "Come on, I am ready now. There is one to 



188 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

beat me still." Filled with superstitious awe, the old 
chief slunk away and no man dared to strike again. 

Tang Tsin lifted the poor man up, helped him to his 
own home and washed his terribly bruised and bleeding 
back. For five days he was unable to walk. When he 
got better they decided the best thing for him to do was 
to go home and go quietly about his work and await 
developments. This he did; and going out in his field to 
work one morning, he was met by a delegation, and the 
spokesman said, "What are you doing here ? Unless you 
are going to renounce the foreign religion, this is no longer 
your farm." "Then it is no longer my farm," said Tsong 
Hkam. He gathered a load of firewood and went home. 
As he threw down the wood in the yard, some more men 
came saying, "You need not be bringing wood here. 
This is no longer your home. The chief has already given 
it to another family. He has taken your wife for a slave, 
and unless you give up worshiping the foreign God you 
will have to be his slave, too. "Then I will be his slave," 
said Tsong Hkam, and he actually went and served him 
for several months. He was so obedient and faithful that 
he won the confidence of the chief. 

As the time for the Association at Haka drew near 
Tsong Hkam went to the chief and said, "I have tried 
to do my work well. I have never asked for a day's 
leave. The Christians are going to have a big meeting 
at Haka and I very much want to go. Will you give me 
permission?" Permission was given, and when at the 
meetings a list of names of people applying for baptism 
and church membership was read the name of Tsong 
Hkam was on the list. When the question was asked if 
anybody knew any reason why he should not be received, 
Tang Tsin arose and very graphically told the story that 
I have told here, closing with this remark : "I think when 



TANG TSIN AND TSONG HKAM 189 

a man has given up his farm, his home, his wife and his 
liberty for Christ's sake, he ought to be baptized and 
numbered with the Christians." We thought so, too ! He 
was received and baptized and, needless to say, is now one 
of the staunchest Christians in all our hills. 

His case was taken up to the Government by the mis- 
sionaries and the chief, who ordered him beaten, was 
fined, and Tsong Hkam's property, liberty and wife were 
restored. 



CHAPTER VII 
MR. CARSON'S LAST TOUR 

MR. CARSON translated the International Sunday School 
lessons every week. He also translated Mrs. Judson's 
catechism and forty-two hymns and a spelling book which 
were typewritten and mimeographed by Mrs. East. 

Besides the translation work, Mr. Carson made long 
preaching tours on foot to the jungle villages. This 
work he dearly loved carrying the Word of Life into 
the regions where it had never been heard. Coming home 
from one of these trips ill, we discovered that he had 
appendicitis. It became chronic. Dr. East strongly ad- 
vised his going to America for an operation. But it was 
only two years since we returned from America and the 
expense of the trip would be great. Another one of 
our missionaries had been operated on for the same 
trouble in the hot climate of Rangoon with fatal results. 
What ought we to do ? Mr. Carson was greatly opposed 
to returning to America just as the work was beginning 
to move forward with such splendid strides. He recov- 
ered from a severe attack in January and hoped with 
care that he might not have another one. Meantime the 
date for our Annual Association drew near. Mrs. East 
was in delicate health and the Doctor dared not leave 
her. It was imperative that a missionary be at the Asso- 
ciation to direct the work as important questions were 
to be discussed. Dr. East thought that if he traveled 
slowly and was careful the trip would do Mr. Carson 

190 



MR. CARSON'S LAST TOUR 191 

good. The English civil surgeon for the Hills was con- 
sulted and was of the same opinion. 

Accordingly we started on a nine days' trip to a dis- 
tant jungle village to attend the Association. But un- 
foreseen and unexpected difficulties had to be met. In 
one place there was a landslide. The whole side of a 
shale mountain had slid down over the trail and was still 
sliding. This we crossed at our peril and with great 
difficulty. Further on as we crossed the ridge of the 
mountain we were struck by a hurricane. The natives 
who were with us dropped flat on the ground to keep 
from being blown over the ridge. We were forced to 
dismount and the ponies became frightened and unman- 
ageable. When the fury of the wind had subsided a 
little we had to walk down a path for five miles which 
was so steep and stony that we had difficulty in getting 
the ponies to follow us. But at last we reached the vil- 
lage and were joyfully welcomed by the Christians. 

The meetings were excellent and Mr. Carson presided 
at all of them. He was kept busy every day from day- 
light until far into the night. On the last day I saw that 
he was growing very weary. On that day the one hun- 
dredth convert in the Chin Hills was baptized. 

That night after the meetings were over the old malady, 
from which he never recovered, returned with manifold 
severity. But God was merciful and permitted us to 
reach home before the end came. Those nine days' travel- 
ing beside the stretcher, were they not a thousand years ? 
Scores and scores of people came out to meet us miles 
before we reached Haka. Dr. Tilbe, Mr. Carson's closest, 
best-loved friend since college days, made forced marches 
and was with us at the last. Dr. East did everything that 
love and skill could suggest. But on April ist, 1908, the 
great heart was stilled and I was alone. Alone! 



192 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

Even after the lapse of more than fifteen years I can- 
not write the details of those awful and heartwringing 
days. Some things are too deep, too sacred for words. 

In the May number of the Burma News appeared the 
following beautiful and just tribute, written by one who, 
of all men, knew Mr. Carson best : 



"ENTERED INTO REST 
REVEREND ARTHUR E. CARSON, 

Born, August 6, 1860. Died, April i, 1908, 
at Haka, Chin Hills, Burma 

'BUT NOW ABEDETH FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, THESE THREE: 
BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE* 



The saddest pleasure that ever comes to one is that of 
writing an obituary notice of his dearest friend a notice 
in which he seeks to give others little glimpses into those 
inner chambers where he himself has so long dwelt in 
delightful familiarity. 

In all my life I have had only one very close friend. 
He is gone. And I realize that never again in this 
world shall I have another so close and dear as he has 
been for the last twenty-five years. We were chums in 
college and graduated together from the same class in 
theology. For two years in those old student days we 
kept house together, living in three little rooms, doing 
our own cooking and housework, eating and sleeping 
together. He had a prominent part in the services at 
my ordination and was officiating clergyman at my wed- 
ding. For over twenty years we have been missionaries 
together in Burma, the first six months living together in 
the same house and then for the next five years nearest 



'Ml^^ 



IP S& t 

! "' ' !*&',:/ 




MR. CARSON'S LAST TOUR 193 

missionary neighbors. During that first term we traveled 
and worked together a great deal on our over-lapping 
fields and very frequently went to each other's aid in 
hours of especial need. Our anniversaries of joy were 
celebrated together and we were with each other in help 
and sympathy in all hours of difficulty and sorrow. For 
many years we have kept up a regular correspondence 
with bi-weekly letters on each side. Probably no other 
two men in the Burma Mission have ever for so long a 
time known so much about each other's life and work. 

Arthur E. Carson was born in Columbus City, Iowa, 
August 6, 1860. His parents were Americans of Irish 
descent and belonged to the well-to-do upper laboring 
class. He was taught the dignity and necessity of manual 
labor with actual experience therein from earliest child- 
hood. He was ever proud of his ability to do things with 
his own hands and it is doubtful whether there has ever 
been a missionary in Burma more practically independent 
and self-helpful in those features of mission work that 
depend on manual labor. 

His earlier education was in the American public 
schools the most democratic institution on the face of 
the earth. He remained in school till fifteen years old, 
when he graduated from the High School in Morning 
Sun, Iowa. 

In his sixteenth year the burden of the support of his 
father's family fell on him, his father having failed in 
both property and health at that time. Moving to the 
southwestern part of Nebraska, a homestead was taken, 
in the father's name and young Arthur supported the 
family by farming in summer and teaching country school 
through the winters. 

At the age of twenty-two he entered the Gibbon (Ne- 
braska) Seminary for college preparatory work and two 



194 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

years later went to Shurtleff College, Upper Alton, .Illi- 
nois, for college and seminary work. Here he doubled up 
work, making good grades in all his classes, while, at the 
same time earning by outside work his entire support in 
school and the aid he regularly sent his parents. In June, 
1886, he graduated from the Theological Department with 
the degree of B.D. 

In the fall of 1886 he came to Burma, where he has 
wrought for God ever since with the exception of two 
furloughs (1896-7 and 1903-05) spent in America. 

In December of this same year, 1886, he was married 
to Miss Laura Hardin, of the Sgaw Karen Mission, 
Bassein. They had been classmates in Gibbon Seminary 
and she, as affianced bride, had preceded him to Burma 
by three years. They have had two children, Carl Hardin 
Carson and Max Howard Carson both now studying in 
Brown -University, Providence, R. I. 

Mr. and Mrs. Carson were the first regularly appointed 
missionaries to the Chins, tribes of Hill peoples in whom 
the Thomases had become interested in connection with 
Karen work at Henzada. For these tribes the Carsons 
have established and built up two pioneer stations in their 
twenty-two years of service. 

It was more than a year after his arrival before a loca- 
tion was decided on and was ready for opening the new 
work. Meantime the Carsons, in the absence of other 
missionaries, looked after first the Henzada Karen work 
and afterwards the Prome Burman work. Thayetmyo 
was selected for the first station in the Chin Mission 
and here f rbm 1888 till 1896 Mr. and Mrs. Carson slowly 
but steadily and solidly built up a magnificent work and 
got ready an adequate plant for its conduct. Their work 
was among the Chins of the lower hills and foothills of 
the Western Yomas, stretching through the Minbu, 



MR. CARSON'S LAST TOUR 195 

Thayetmyo and Henzada Districts on the west of the 
Irrawaddy with some villages in the Prome District on 
the east. In these eight years there were several hun- 
dreds of baptisms; the school grew from four Chin 
boarders to eighty-six Chin boarders, besides a number 
of Burman and other day pupils; and every Chin that 
had been in the school as long as six months had been 
converted. A number of young men had been given such 
training as was possible and were doing excellent work as 
evangelists while others were being given a better train- 
ing in the Burman Seminary and in the Baptist College 
for more efficient service later on. 

Almost from the beginning of his work in Thayetmyo, 
Mr. Carson became intensely interested in the then wild 
Chins in the higher and more northerly hills of the West- 
ern Yomas. It soon became an ambition that quickly 
grew into a determined purpose to plant a Mission in 
the Chin Hills, in the very midst of the untouched Chin 
masses of which those for whom he was working were 
but the Burmanized fringe. 

This purpose was realized when, in March, 1899, Mr. 
and Mrs. Carson settled in Haka and began, first with 
interpreters but soon in native Chin, tb proclaim the love 
of God and salvation through faith in Christ to a people 
who had no real idea of God, no adequate notion of sin, 
no worship whatever but individual, family or village 
offerings to evil spirits that they feared. 

Soon Mrs. Carson was compelled to return to America 
and for over three years he stayed on absolutely alone, 
pushing the pioneer work, winning the confidence and 
good will of the Chins, only recently conquered and sub- 
dued by the white foreigners, acquiring a wonderful pro- 
ficiency in their language, and building with his own 
hands, at an enormous saving to the Missionary Union's 



196 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

Treasury, an adequate mission plant Mission dwelling 
house, school house, preacher's house, with all necessary 
outhouses. 

In 1903, he turned the Haka Mission over to me (I 
held it for a year until Dr. East's return in 1904) and 
went to America for his second furlough. He had spent 
four years of the hardest work he had ever done in his 
life, most of the time in utter loneliness, without seeing 
any visible results or even any encouragement whatever 
among the people. It was not till his return from fur- 
lough nearly three years later, full seven years after the 
first occupation of Haka, that he baptized the first Haka 
convert and saw the school work begin to be appreciated 
by the Haka people. 

Yet, through all those discouraging and lonely years, 
he never once lost heart or ever for a moment entertained 
a doubt as to success in his work here. And God hon- 
ored his faith. 

There had been four baptisms in other parts of the 
field previous to the first baptism at Haka, and the good 
results kept coming in with a steadily increasing ratio until 
he saw the one hundredth Chin convert here in the Chin 
Hills baptized just fifteen days before his death sixty- 
four of the converts having been baptized within the last 
Associational year in answer to prayer for fifty baptisms. 
And everywhere in the field there is an interest in Chris- 
tianity and a keen desire for education and other blessings 
introduced by the missionaries, that promises continued 
satisfactory success. 

During the more than two years since his return from 
furlough, Mr. Carson, having no building operations on 
hand and relieved by his wife of all care and responsibility 
in the school work, has vigorously pushed evangelistic 
work. Undoubtedly his disease which had been in prog- 



MR. CARSON'S LAST TOUR 197 

ress for a number of years was greatly aggravated and 
probably his death hastened by some recent difficult moun- 
tain travel in the prosecution of this evangelistic work. 
Meantime he had been diligently working out the begin- 
nings of a literature in the dialect used by the Haka 
Chins. Part of this literary work he had submitted to 
Government for approval and since his death sanction has 
come from the Lieutenant-Governor for its introduction 
in the schools here, the alphabet being approved as he 
submitted it with a single suggested change. 

An important feature of his life work that ought to be 
noticed is the work he did while at home on furlough. 
Few men have equaled him in loving to preach. It 
was one of the sacrifices of his life that he had so little 
opportunity to preach in his own native tongue. So both 
times when he went home on furlough he took pastorates 
of weak churches that satisfied his own two strongest 
desires to do real mission work and to have the oppor- 
tunity to regularly preach the gospel in English. At the 
same time he relieved the Missionary Union of the 
greater part of his home salary, though both he and his 
wife did a large amount of most valuable work for the 
Union among the churches and at associations, conven- 
tions and other denominational gatherings. 

Mr. Carson was a many-sided man with many strong 
elements of character. 

I think the most prominent feature of the man was 
virility. This it was that first and most powerfully 
struck strangers and ever remained prominent in his in- 
tercourse with friends. Sturdy, intrepid, forceful, he 
was one of the most manly men I have ever known: a 
born leader, always devotedly loved by his adherents and 
thoroughly respected by his opponents. 

Scarcely less noticeable a feature of his character was 



198 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

positiveness. Doubts he may sometimes have had in the 
privacy of his own experiences ; but never in the presence 
of others. Before he spoke he decided. He knew what 
he believed and why he believed it; and had absolute con- 
fidence in the processes by which he had arrived at his 
conclusions. It was undoubtedly the strongest element 
both in his preaching and in his ordinary conversation. 
After all, the world is never interested in doubts; never 
attracted by guesses, however brilliant; never moved by 
hesitant theories; but it is always impressed and swayed 
by positive convictions. No one ever heard my friend 
speak either in drawing-room or from the platform with- 
out feeling attracted and swayed by the positiveness of 
his convictions and the tense force of their expression. 

He had, too, an active, capable intellect He did his 
own thinking. He read much and rather widely but no 
one ever recognized in his work matter taken from an- 
other everything he gave out was stamped with his own 
individuality. He had had less training in language work 
than many other missionaries but few have equaled him 
in practical linguistic accomplishment in mission work. 
He not only mastered two widely different Chin lan- 
guages so as to use them fluently and effectively in 
preaching and in difficult pioneer literary work but he 
used the Burmese, in which he never had to work directly, 
with more readiness and fluency than many Burman mis- 
sionaries who have wrought for years in Burmese alone. 

He was a man of strong faith. He believed God and 
relied absolutely, in every experience of life and service, 
on God's promises as found in the Bible. His was the 
old-fashioned faith that believed the Bible to be the very 
word of God without error of any kind except such minor 
and unimportant inaccuracies as still remain in man's 
work of handing down and translating the original manu- 



\ 



MR. CARSON'S LAST TOUR 199 

scripts. He asked great things of God; he attempted 
great things for God: and he never wavered in his faith 
that his petitions would be granted, his work established. 
God honored his faith, too, though sometimes only after 
long and severe testing. 

But to those of us who know him best the charac- 
teristic feature of his life was love. How strong, how 
abiding, that love was! It was a passion that almost 
scorched. Yet how gentle and tender! Virile, positive, 
combative as he was, his gentle sympathy and tender, 
clinging love were almost girlish he had the heart and 
the touch of a young mother. No sacrifice was ever 
enough to try his love: no test of constancy could strain 
it. Never was a truer friend ! Unable himself to admit 
a fault in one he loved, a criticism of his friend by an- 
other hurt him like a stab and at once put him on a stub- 
born defense. Love was, too, the most powerful force 
in his religious work. He got and held the hearts of his 
people. He literally loved into the Kingdom of God large 
numbers many of whom were utterly unlovely in them- 
selves. But he had a way of finding something good and 
lovable in all and then hanging on to it and trusting it 
till he won out on it. All classes trusted him and believed 
in his friendship and he won the devotion of all from 
the highest officials with whom he was brought in con- 
tact to the lowest, most uncouth savage among these Chins 
for whom he worked. 

'But now abideth faith, hope, love, there three (and 
he had all in large measure) ; but the greatest of these 
is love/ 

H. H. TILBE." 



CHAPTER VIII 
CARRYING ON ALONE 

How could I take up the work his work and carry 
it on without him? How many times he had put his 
hands on my shoulders and said, "My dear, we can do 
anything we have to. I can do all things through Christ, 
who strengtheneth me." I had worked with him on the 
translations, but he was a student and a scholar and 
I was neither, and I had depended upon him for every 
decision where scholarship was involved. We had 
worked out the alphabet of the language together and 
about a week after his home going the sanction of the 
Government for this alphabet was received. 

New books must be made and printed. Dr. East's 
hands were more than full and this work fell to me. 
During the summer, Mrs. East developed trouble and 
it became apparent that she must go to America for 
, operation. Accordingly in October they left for Ran- 
goon, Dr. East intending when they left Haka to accom- 
pany his family to America. 

Rev. and Mrs. J. H. Cope had been appointed to open 
up the work in Tiddim, near which place most of our 
Christians were located, and were on their way to Burma. 
Mrs. East stood the trip to Rangoon so well that it was 
decided after reaching there to send a nurse with her 
and her three little ones to America and for Dr. East to 
return to the Chin Hills with the Copes, who would not 
be able to do much with the work until they acquired some 
knowledge of the. language. They came directly to Haka 

200 



CARRYING ON ALONE 201 

and lived with me while studying the language. During 
the months that I was alone, my hands were very full 
mercifully so, for it gave little time to think of my 
loneliness. There was the school to superintend, some 
teaching to do, my sewing class, the Sunday school lessons 
to translate, woman's meetings, daily interviews with vis- 
itors, quarrels to settle, and the medical work to look 
after, besides two hours of daily translation work on the 
gospels, and the housekeeping. These things so occupied 
my mind and heart during the day that I had little thought 
for anything else. But when night came it was different. 

Because of their superstitions, believing that evil spirits 
are rampant at night, the Chins rarely go out after dark. 
Having no method of lighting their houses save by pine 
torches, they usually "go to bed with the chickens," and 
that is literal, for they keep their chickens in the house. 

These custom's were a mercy to me, for they gave me 
evenings usually free from interruptions for reading and 
writing. I had no fear, but sometimes when the rain 
was heaviest such a sense of loneliness would overpower 
me that I could not read and I dare not write lest my 
letters should reveal this temporary mood which I wished 
to conceal from my friends. 

On one such night as this when the rain was coming 
down in torrents, weary with the day's work, I sat listless 
and brooding, when about 9:30 there came a rap at my 
door and the Indian Telegraph operator came in with an 
urgent message. It was from Dr. East. On his way 
down country he had found a missionary with a very bad 
hand. He wanted certain medicine from a little medicine 
room in the top of the hospital and he wanted me not to 
fail in getting it off in the mail that left at daylight. This 
involved going to the cook house, getting the cook's 
smoky lantern (he had gone home), going through a veri- 



202 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

table deluge of rain to the locked and dark hospital two* 
blocks distant, climbing a very steep and long ladder to 
the top of the building, unlocking the medicine room and 
by the dim light of my dirty lantern searching for the 
medicine until I found it ; returning to the house, search- 
ing through my storeroom for a suitable box in which 
to safely pack the medicine, going to the work shop for 
hammer and nails, packing, nailing up and addressing the 
box and then through the continued downpour climbing 
the very steep hill a quarter of a mile to the postoffice, 
arousing the Postmaster and making him promise to get 
the box off in the morning mail. I got home at eleven- 
thirty, my lonely mood gone lost in service. 

On another occasion just as I was preparing to retire 
late at night two huge torches glared in at my window 
from the dark night outside revealing two dusky faces 
peering in and the glitter of spears and guns. This 
startled me but proved to be nothing more serious than 
a letter sent in by the Superintendent and ordered to be 
delivered to me immediately upon arrival. 

When the Assistant Superintendent was away on tour 
the people often came to me to settle their differences. 
On one such occasion two of the principal chiefs who 
had a long standing quarrel decided to come to me with 
it and promised each other to abide by my decision. I 
was able to settle the matter amicably so that both seemed 
satisfied. Upon hearing about it the Assistant Superin- 
tendent wrote me a very nice letter thanking me for 
being a "Peacemaker" among the people and at the same 
time saving him "a prodigious amount of work." 

The leading Haka chief died and his youngest brother, 
according to Chin custom, succeeded to the chieftainship. 
He was only a boy and was in our school. We were 
trying hard to make him feel the responsibility of his 



CARRYING ON ALONE 203 

position and try to make something of himself. A case 
came up in court in which he was interested. It went 
against him, he was impudent to the Assistant Superin- 
tendent and was promptly sent to jail. Knowing that if 
a case for insubordination came to trial against him it 
would be a serious matter, I rushed to the jail imme- 
diately upon hearing of it to see if there was anything I 
could do for the young man. The door was guarded by 
two huge Sikh soldiers with rifles. I told them I wanted 
to see Lien Tsum. They promptly opened the door and 
admitted me into his cell. He was lying on his face on 
the ground, frightened and weeping. I shall never forget 
the look on his face when he saw me in his cell. I showed 
him the seriousness of his offense and told him how wrong 
it was, even admitting the decision to have been unjust, 
to show disrespect to a higher official. He promised a 
humble apology and great care in the future. 

I started to see the Assistant Superintendent to inter- 
cede for him before the case should be entered and this 
made impossible. When I left the jail the boy followed 
me out. The Sikh guard made no objections for was 
not this the Boinu ! I could not ask them if it were per- 
missible, for I knew no language that they did, so I took 
the chance and we marched through the town, I in front, 
the young chief next, and the two big Sikhs with their 
guns bringing up the rear. When the Assistant Superin- 
tendent saw us he came out, Lien Tsum made a most 
humble and appropriate apology, and to my great relief 
was forgiven and allowed to go home with the under- 
standing that a second offense would have very grave 
results. 

When the military officer who had charge of the jail 
learned that I had taken a prisoner out, he was greatly 
wrought up over the matter and said that if he had been 



204 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

there he would have had me arrested but he wasn't there. 
To the day of his death, which occurred some two or three 
years later, Lien Tsum was my most loyal friend. 

One day an old servant who had been in our employ 
for years came to me and said, "Boinu, I am in trouble. 
I don't know what to do." "What is it?" I said. "Can I 
help you?" "Well, a man has come from a distant vil- 
lage," he said, "and is demanding the price of my wife 
and I do not think it is just." "Why, Trum Harr," I 
answered in astonishment, "can it be that you have been 
working in the mission all these years and have not yet 
paid for your wife?" 

He looked very sheepish as he dropped his eyes and 
said, "Why, don't you know, Boinu, how I got my wife?" 
"No," I said, "I have never heard anything about it." 
"Well, it was like this," he explained, still looking at his 
feet. "My wife was an orphan and lived at her uncle's 
and while she was only a young girl, people said she had 
the evil eye and bewitched folks. So they drove her out 
of the village to die. She wandered about the jungle and 
finally came to Haka. After being here for a short time, 
some people came from her village and saw her. 'Don't 
you know that girl has the evil eye and bewitches people ? 
She can keep your crops from growing, your stock from 
reproducing and cause death and destruction among your 
people. We drove her from our village,' they said. 
When the chiefs heard this they called a council and 
decided the girl must die. She slipped away secretly 
and came to me and begged me to save her. I was a poor 
man and had no money to buy a wife ; besides, I felt very 
sorry for her, so I hid her away and she became my wife. 

"Then I got work at the mission and had some money 
and after a long time my wife began to go out among 
people and nobody said anything, and finally the chiefs 



CARRYING ON ALONE 205 

had another council and decided she no longer had the 
evil eye (they wanted to borrow my money) and since 
then we have been very happy and you know we have 
three children. But her uncle heard that she was still 
living, that the chiefs said she no longer had the evil eye, 
and that I had money so he has come and demands that 
I pay the price of a girl of her station. He drove her 
out to die. I saved her life, and have supported her ever 
since. I don't think I ought to have to pay for her," he 
said with a very troubled face. I did not think so either, 
and they finally settled it by his giving her people a feast. 



CHAPTER IX 
A LEPER'S FATE AND THE SEQUEL 

ONE morning a sturdy little woman appeared at the 
Mission Hospital bearing on her back her leper husband. 
She had carried him over the mountains in this way for 
more than fifty miles! She would stagger along for a 
little way, then rest and go on again, camping out nights 
wherever dark overtook her. 

Dr. East received her with great kindness, but told her 
that her husband must be segregated or he would en- 
danger others; that he could be helped but not cured. 
The doctor had a cozy little grass hut built for the poor 
man, furnished him with nourishing food and did every- 
thing possible for his comfort. The poor wife trudged 
back over the mountains to her home. 

For a time the man seemed happy and cheerful, for he 
had more comforts than ever before in his life and he 
rapidly improved in health. But after a time, not being 
allowed to mingle with others, he became very lonely and 
begged to be allowed to return home. 

Dr. East made a trip to a neighboring village and dur- 
ing his absence the leper heard that a man and boy were 
going to his village. He secretly left and started with 
them. We missed him but could get no clew to his where- 
abouts until the mail coolies coming in from Falam the 
next morning reported that they had seen a dead man 
by the roadside seme ten or twelve miles from Haka. 
We at once surmised it was the leper Christian, and Mr. 

206 



A LEPER'S FATE AND THE SEQUEL 207 

Cope started at once to ride out and see. A few hours 
later a note came in from him saying that it was indeed 
the leper, that it would be late before he would be able 
to get the body carried in and for me to make such prep- 
arations as I could for the funeral. 

In the loft of the school house there were some good 
pine boards which my husband had had sawed and put 
away for just such an emergency. I had some taken 
down and carried to the workshop, then told the boys 
who had helped me that the leper Christian was dead and 
for them to call the only Chin man who knew how to 
handle a saw, to come and help make a coffin for him; 
also to send two other men who did odd jobs for the 
mission, to dig a grave. 

I waited and called but no one came. I went to the 
school house and found that all of the older pupils had 
mysteriously disappeared. I went back to the workshop 
and began to measure and cut boards myself. While 
thus engaged the only Burmese man in Haka, a Bud- 
dhist of more or less education, who had a position under 
Government, came along and seeing me at work with 
my saw, stopped to inquire what I was doing. I told him 
of the death of the leper who was soon to be brought in 
for burial, and of my inability to find any one to help me. 

He said, "There are many beliefs about lepers. That 
is why the people will not come to help you. If I were 
among my own people, I could not help you either, but 
I cannot see you, a white lady, do this hard work alone. 
I know it is not your custom. I will help you." And 
he did. While we were working on the coffin, I talked of 
our religious beliefs and he seemed very much inter- 
ested. I asked him if I would give him some literature 
in his own language telling him more about it if he 
would read it. He said he would be delighted to do so. 



208 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

I selected some of the best tracts we had and gave him 
several. 

About dusk the body of the leper was brought in, being 
carried on a stretcher by coolies. Dr. East returned about 
the same time. Not a Chin was in evidence anywhere: 
Dr. East and Mr. Cope, Aung Dwe (our Christian Karen 
teacher who said the Chins were all afraid to come near) 
and Shwe Bwin, the Burman had to go and dig the grave, 
which, in the very hard, stony soil, was no small job. 

By the light of lanterns they carried the poor leperous 
remains of a freed soul to the grave and buried it. 

The next morning the man for whom I had sent to 
help me make the coffin came and I asked him why he 
had refused to come when I sent for him the day before. 
"Boinu, [an honorific title given to the wives of big chiefs] 
I have worked for you for thirteen years, haven't I? 
And I have never refused to do a thing you asked me 
before, have I? Boinu, you do not understand how we 
feel about lepers. We cannot go near a leper corpse 
nor have a thing to do with burying one. If we did, our 
feet would swell and burst, and we would leave tracks 
of blood wherever we went. Why, those men who carried 
that man in yesterday would have died rather than carry 
him if they had known he was a leper." 

"But, Sun Hkwa," I said, "there is a leper down in the 
village. What will you do when he dies ? Leave him to lie 
and rot where he dies?" "No, our custom is like this," 
he said. "When he dies his wife will have to go to the 
forks of a stream and dig a grave and then come back and 
get her dead husband, carry him on her back to the grave, 
put him in, then take off all her clothes and bury them 
with him. Some of her friends will meet her on the 
way home with a blanket. The priest will go to her 
house and sacrifice a hog in it and then she can go back 




I 



H-. 

(=2 

K 

E- 
j * 



H 



I 




o 



A LEPER'S FATE AND THE SEQUEL 209 

there to live, but nobody must go near the house until 
the sacrifice has been made." "Well," I said, "suppose 
the wife dies before he does, then what would you do ?" 
"In that case," he said, "the whole village would con- 
tribute to hire an idiot or half-witted person to carry 
the body to the forks of a stream and bury it. I am sorry 
I could not do what you asked, Boinu. There is nothing 
else I would refuse to do; but I would die rather than 
help bury a leper." And yet they mingle with them in 
closest relations while living, absolutely without fear. 

A few days after the leper's funeral Shwe Bwin, the 
Burman, came saying that he had read the tracts with 
great interest and would like some more. I had a nice 
talk with him, gave him more tracts, got a Burmese New 
Testament, marked passages in it, gave that to him also 
and asked him to come to our Sunday services. This he 
promised to do, though I had little hope of his coming, 
for the Burmans consider themselves far superior to the 
other races of the country. 

When Sunday came, however, Shwe Bwin was there 
and he came regularly afterwards and finally asked for 
baptism. His wife, he said, refused to cook a morsel o 
food for him on Sundays, and felt deeply humiliated and 
disgraced because of his association with "the dirty 
Chins." 

Shwe Bwin read his Bible with great interest and 
often came to talk to our Karen teacher and to me of 
what he read. Dr. East and Mr. Cope knew no Bur- 
mese and he knew no English, so they were unable to 
help him. Nevertheless I have rarely seen any one more 
interested in anything than that man became in his Bible. 
His youngest son became very ill and he sent for me. 
I saw that the child was very sick and remained for 
the night, doing what I could for his comfort. But the 



210 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

time came when we all thought he was dying. The 
mother held him on her knees. With a look of agony, 
she said, "I have sacrificed and sacrificed, and it did no 
good. Pray, oh, pray to your God and if he lets my child 
live, I will worship him till I die !" Shwe Bwin and I 
both knelt and prayed asking God, if it could be his will, 
to show his power over death and strengthen the mother's 
awakening faith. When we arose from our knees the 

child had dropped into a natural sleep and from that time 
on continued to improve until strong and well. 

Was that answer to prayer? Or did the crisis just 
happen to come at that hour? Anyhow, the woman be- 
lieved it was answer to prayer. She never afterwards 
refused to cook her husband's food but came with him 
to church, and a few months later was baptized. Shwe 
Bwin himself gave up his Government job and went back 
to the plains to preach the Gospel among his. own people. 
The missionary who employed him told me that he be- 
came one of the most effective evangelists that ever 
worked on his field. 



CHAPTER X 
NEW RECRUITS AND THIRD RETURN 

SHORTLY after the arrival of the Copes, an English lady 
tourist who prided herself in finding her way into the 
most remote and out-of-the-way places in the world, put 
in an appearance at our mission. It was a great event 
to see somebody from the outside world. But on the 
very day of her arrival, a man wearing a great, black 
plume in his hair, carrying a gun and looking wild-eyed 

and frightened appeared at my door. The plume was 
evidence that he had killed somebody ; for no one except 
a human slayer was permitted to wear the great, black 
plumes prized beyond any other earthly possession 
except a gun. The man asked to speak to me privately. 
I took him into my study and shut the door. His first 
words were, "I have killed my wife. You have influence 
with the English Government. I want you to save my 
life. You can if you will. You are just like a god." 
"But how did this happen?" I asked. "Well, I got drunk 
and we quarreled and I threw a stick of wood at her and 
killed her. I did not intend to hit her. I meant only to 

frighten her ; but it struck her and killed her and now 

I want you to save me. I will do anything you tell me 
to do," he said. I talked to him trying to make him 

realize what an awful thing he had done and advised 
him to turn himself over to the authorities and to tell 
tnem the exact truth in the matter. He said he would do 
whatever I advised, so I wrote a note to the British 
Officer who soon came down with a guard and took him 

211 



212 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

in charge. The lady tourist was not sure but that she 
had got farther from the "beaten tracks" than she had 
counted on especially as some men came in shortly 
after carrying the stuffed skin of a huge panther which 
they had recently killed. 

During the rains that season (1909) Dr. East had 
serious heart trouble and became convinced that he could 
not remain long at that high altitude. Mr. Cope was 
preparing to make his headquarters at Tiddim in the 
northern part of our field, where by far the largest num- 
ber of our Christians were located. 

Day after day Dr. East was obliged to keep to his bed 
while teaching his preachers' training class. Finally Dr. 
and Mrs. Woodin were appointed to take up the medical 
work and Dr. East was relieved to go home. The Copes 
went to Tiddim. With these four young people fresh 
from America and full of enthusiasm for the work, we 

hoped for great results. Mrs. Cope worked with the 
children and interested herself in young mothers with 
babies, giving them many a useful lesson, and in her 
quiet way ministering to their needs and incidentally 
winning her way into every heart. Mrs. Woodin with 
her sweet voice, musical talent and aptness in acquiring 
the language soon had a large place in the affections of 
the people. Both men worked hard and conscientiously 
and great good was accomplished. Progress in the work 
at Tiddim was especially gratifying as the people, a dif- 
ferent tribe, were more intelligent, less drunken, and 
were eager for education and progress. The Woodins 
were greatly handicapped in that Mrs. Woodin never had 
a well day after reaching Haka. I stood with the doctor 
beside her bed when it seemed only a miracle could save 

her. God gave her back to us, in answer to prayer, and 
she worked bravely on, though never well. 



NEW RECRUITS THIRD RETURN 213 

In the spring of 1912, I returned to America on fur- 
lough in company with Mrs. E. B. Roach and her little 
five-year-old daughter, Evelyn. Ralph Henderson, then 
a lad in knee breeches, was entrusted to my care for the 
home trip, being sent to be with his sister in that won- 
derful home in Newton Center, presided over by "Mother 
West." His intelligent interest in the wonderful sights 

we saw added much to the pleasure of the trip for me. 

But I remember his coming to me one day with a very 
crestfallen look on his face and asking me if I thought 
I could mend his best trousers, saying that he had been 
scuffling with a boy and had split them "from Maine to 
Texas," and so he had. 

We went from Rangoon to Colombo where we spent 
a week on the matchless island of Ceylon, then took ship 
for Naples and from Naples went directly across to New 
York. When we reached Naples the children were so 
delighted to get on shore that as soon as possible we took 
them out for a walk. At the entrance of the Public 
Garden not far from our hotel there was a statue of 
Victor Emmanuel. When little Evelyn saw it she ex- 
claimed, "Oh, Mamma, see that big idol with truly 
trousers on!" All the many idols she had seen before 
were of Gautama Boodha, and therefore not of the kind 
that wore trousers. While waiting for our steamer we 
went to Pompeii and spent an entrancing day among its 
buried wonders. We also went to the top of Vesuvius 
and peered into her smoking crater. 

One never-to-be-forgotten week we spent in Rome, fill- 
ing each day to overflowing with sight-seeing. While 
drinking in the beauty of a marvelous collection of statu- 
ary in the Vatican little Evelyn broke the spell of our 

rapture by saying, "Let's go home. I'm sick of all these 
old idols." 



214 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

We drove out on the Appian Way to the Three Taverns 
and imagined we could see Paul meeting with the 
brethren. We went into the catacombs and tried to real- 
ize what the early Christians endured for a faith more 
precious than life. We stopped for a day at Palermo 
on the island of Sicily and drove through lemon groves 
several miles out into the country to a famous old cathe- 
dral. Here also we visited the catacombs where, up to 
within twenty years before, they had placed their dead. 
Bodies were put in a large tank of chemicals and kept 
for two months, then taken out and, dressed as in life, 
were placed in little niches, with glass doors, along the 
passageways. The vision of a bride in all her wedding 
finery haunts me yet as I recall that day! It seemed to 
me a peculiar people that could make an exhibition of 
the sacred bodies of their dead. It seemed sacrilege to 
be there, and we hurried away. We saw many quaint and 
thrilling objects during that eventful day. 

Upon my arrival in New York, I was met by both of 
my sons, now men doing for themselves. After grad- 
uating at Brown University, Carl went to Paris for a 
year for the study of International Law at the Sar- 
bonne, and was now teaching in Port Washington, New 
York. Max, though not yet through with his technical 
education, was working with the engineers on the great 
Lackawanna Bridge at Nicholson, Pennsylvania. What 
a visit I had with them! I left them as lads. I found 
them taking their places as men in the work of the world. 

During the summer I went to Nebraska and Idaho to 
visit relatives; then to Southern California to spend the 
greater part of my furlough with my brothers and sisters 
and my dear old mother, then past ninety years of age. 
Carl applied for and secured a position in Pasadena. 
He was married to Miss Gertrude O'Neill of Yonkers, 



NEW RECRUITS THIRD RETURN 215 

New York, the following summer and came to California 
to live. We persuaded Max to come to Throop College 
of Technology, Pasadena, for his technical work, so we 
might all be together during the remainder of my fur- 
lough. Though both mother and sister were very criti- 
cally ill during this time, I had the satisfaction of being 
permitted to nurse them and both were restored to rea- 
sonable health ; so it seemed that my furlough was oppor- 
tune and we were all so happy to be together. It was 
rather a unique experience, making the acquaintance of 
my own sons, but it proved to be a very delightful one. 

During the terrible scourge of influenza following the 
great war Carl's wife, Gertrude, became a victim of that 
dread disease and died in New York City after a brief 
illness. Carl afterwards married Miss Mary Agnes 
Dempsey, of Philadelphia, who is the proud mother of 
his two beautiful children. 

Max graduated from the course in Civil Engineering 
at Throop School of Technology, Pasadena, California, 
in 1916, and was that same year married to Miss Lillian 
Jane Sutherland, youngest daughter of Dr. George Suth- 
erland, for many years President of Grand Island College 
(Nebraska). Later he entered the Federal service and 
was sent to Honolulu, which I found rather a good place 
to visit on my final return to America, 



CHAPTER XI 
BACK TO THE FIELD AGAIN 

IN the autumn of 1914, in company with Rev. and 
Mrs. Davenport of Maulmain, I turned my face once 
more towards the Chin Hills. Just before leaving, my 
church people (the First Church, Pasadena) gave me a 
reception and shower. Besides many useful and beau- 
tiful gifts one of the members at parting put into my 
hand fifty dollars "for personal comforts on the voyage" 
and a dear member of the Calvary Church sent me an- 
other fifty dollars "for the work." Little did the givers 
think at the time that their gifts would save from in- 
tense suffering from hunger the lives of so many of our 
Christians. But this will appear later. 

We sailed by the Pacific route calling at Yokohama, 
Kobe, Nagasaki, Shanghai, Manila, Hongkong, Saigon, 
and Singapore. Being in the early days of the war this 
route was considered safer than crossing the Atlantic. 
In mid-ocean we heard by wireless of the destruction 
of the German cruiser Emden which had last been heard 
of in Pacific waters and which already had to her credit 
the sinking of seventy-five thousand tons of British ship- 
ping. For three nights we had run without lights and 
it was a great relief to know that we had nothing further 
to fear from her. 

Upon our arrival in Yokohama, we were invited by 
the Japanese President of the Steamship Company to tea 
in his magnificent palace in Tokyo the following after- 
noon. We eagerly accepted and were furnished with 

216 



BACK TO THE FIELD AGAIN 217 

dainty badges which were to be worn on that occasion. 
Arriving at the station, we were met by private jinrikisha 
men who recognized the guests by the badges and soon 
had us seated in luxurious jinrikishas and on the way 
.to the palace. 

At the door we were met by servants who had us sit 
while they drew cloth stockings over our shoes for no 
unprotected shoes must enter that wonderful palace which 
is built of the most exquisite polished wood and without 
a nail in the entire building. The owner of the palace 
knew no English, but he and his wife received us with 
many bows and smiles. A young Japanese woman who 
had spent several years in New York was summoned 
and took us in charge. First we were taken upstairs 
and served tea in Japanese fashion, being instructed by 
the young lady that the handleless cups were to be held 
with both hands and that only three sips were to be taken 
at a time. This rather painful performance over, we were 
given souvenirs of dainty-colored candies which, it was 
explained, wished us friendship, prosperity and long life. 

We were then taken to an upper veranda from which 
we had a charming view, then through the palace into a 
museum where there was a remarkable collection of all 
things Japanese, many of them said to be thousands of 
years old and many of entrancing beauty. There were 
tapestries, carvings, inlaid work, paintings, exquisite 
china, rare old vases of cloisonne and satsuma centuries 
old and thousands of other things that beggar description. 

We were finally taken to a very large drawing room 
richly furnished in English style, and here on inlaid 
tables with priceless china we were served a sumptuous 
English "high tea" while we listened to a Japanese prima 
donna and enjoyed the very clever feats of a Japanese 
past master in legerdemain. As we passed out of the 



218 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

door, our host, smiling and bowing, presented us with 
souvenirs of our visit in the form of photographs of the 
palace. It was a wonderful day like a dream of fairy- 
land. 

We dined with the Dearings and had tea with Miss Con- 
verse in Yokohama, lunched with the Thompsons in Kobe, 
spent Sunday and visited the Methodist mission in Naga- 
saki, and upon our arrival in Manila we docked along- 
side of the German cruiser Geier, which we afterwards 
learned was out after the very steamer we were on when 
her boilers became disabled and she was forced to put 
into Manila for repairs. 

Two days later we received a wireless message that 
the Geier had been interned by the United States Govern- 
ment as the Japanese had learned that she was there and 
had two warships watching the port so she was unable to 
get away by the allotted time. Our (Japanese) steamer 
was delayed by provisioning the warships which watched 
the harbor. 

From Manila we went to Hongkong, in the same 
steamer in which we sailed from San Francisco and which 
was convoyed across the Pacific by two Japanese war- 
ships. We had, as fellow passengers, the retiring Gov- 
ernor of the Philippines and his wife. 

Hongkong was under martial law at that time and we 
had to go to the Provost Marshal, produce our passports 
and get his permission before we could leave the city. 
We took passage on a French steamer for Singapore and 
stopped for a day and a half at Saigon (Cochin China), 
where the American Consul called upon us and invited 
us to the Consulate to tea, and did much to make our 
short visit a pleasure. I had the pleasure of meeting 
the same man a few years later, then our Consul in Ran- 
goon, Burma Mr. Laurence Briggs. 

It was at Saigon that we first began to fully realize 



BACK TO THE FIELD AGAIN 219 

the awful grief and suffering caused by the war. Here 
we took on French soldiers 'and officers going to the 
front. The scene was a deeply pathetic one. There were 
women in deepest mourning, to see them off, wringing 
their hands and weeping; and brave French officers 
kissed one another and shed tears at parting. Well they 
knew that few were likely to return. 

In Singapore, because of the war, they would give 
us no shipping information whatever, but advised us to 
go to Penang by rail from which place it might be pos- 
sible to get to Rangoon by local coast steamer. The trip 
across from Singapore to Penang took us through ex- 
tensive tin mines and large rubber plantations. Some of 
the scenery was very beautiful and the whole of the trip 
was full of interest. In Penang we put up at a hotel 
in plain view of the spars of the Russian cruiser and 
French destroyer sunk only a short time before by the 
German cruiser Emden, which, disguised by an extra 
smokestack and flying the Japanese flag boldly steamed 
into the harbor past British guns one morning and tor- 
pedoed both of these vessels and got away before any- 
body knew what was happening. 

We were detained a whole week in Penang, and were 
unable to get one word of shipping information. Mr. 
Davenport cabled Mr. Phinney, our mission treasurer, 
as to what route to take if any were obtainable. Regular 
steamers were running between Calcutta and Rangoon. 
He therefore replied, "Take Calcutta then Rangoon." 
Less than a half hour after this cable message was re- 
ceived we were all three called before the chief of police 
that he might inquire into the matter as to who were going 
to "take Calcutta and Rangoon !" Eventually a shipping 
agent came and told us to come at once and he would 
get us aboard a small coast steamer which would sail 
almost immediately. We had to pay a third more than 



220 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

the usual fare and although the little craft was greatly 
overcrowded and uncomfortable (men slept both on and 
under the dining-room table) we were thankful enough 
to get away without "taking" Calcutta! 

We reached Rangoon December i8th, 1914, and were 
warmly welcomed by the missionaries. We learned that 
we must leave our photographs with the American Consul, 
have a similar one put upon our passports, and then get 
special passports for traveling in Burma from the Com- 
missioner of Police before we would be allowed to leave 
Rangoon. Several busy days were spent in Rangoon 
buying and packing stores, but finally, on January 6th, I 
got off for the Chin Hills, thankful enough to be on the 
last lap of the journey begun ten long weeks before. 

As I crossed on the ferry at Amarapoora Shore for 
Sagaing, I counted without changing my seat seventy- 
nine pagoda spires in sight at the same time. 

Mr. and Mrs. Grigg met me in Sagaing and we crossed 
the river to Ava.and viewed the spot where the noble 
"Ann of Ava" and her martyr husband, Dr. Judson, had 
suffered beyond measure for the cause they loved. A 
memorial tablet to the Christian hero and martyr had re- 
cently been placed there. 

Mr. Cope met me at Kalewa. As he had only one 
pony, we had to "ride and tie" on the trip up the moun- 
tains, though he would gladly have walked all the way if 
I had allowed it. The first stage was sixteen miles, seven 
of which I walked. The shortest stage on the whole trip 
to Tiddim was eight miles. The longest one a double 
stage was twenty-nine miles. I got pretty tired when 
the road was very steep, but on the whole enjoyed it. 
The entire journey was full of interest. 

At Kalemyo we were told that a tiger had a few days 
before killed two bullocks of a pack train and so fright- 
ened the others that two more were rushed over a cliff 



BACK TO THE FIELD AGAIN 221 

and killed. At the next station, called No. 3, we were 
told that a man had recently been killed by a tiger and a 
few days later two men, one of whom was carrying a 
bag of millet, were attacked. While one man freed him- 
self from the bag of millet, the other man beat the tiger 
over the head with a club. The tiger absconded with 
the bag of millet and both men got away! At the next 
station we were told of a man who shot a bear and 
wounded it. The bear started for him; he dropped on 
the ground, covered his head with his blanket, and lay 
as if dead. The bear clawed him dreadfully, tearing 
out one of his eyes, but finally left him. 

All the way up the mountains, we were frequently 
greeted by little bands of Siyin Christians. How good 
it seemed to be among them again! 

The Woodins met us at Fort White and we all went 
on together to attend the Association at Tiddim. After 
excellent meetings and the joyful greeting of many Chris- 
tians, the Woodins and I wended our way on to Haka. 
Because of Mrs. Woodin's sensitiveness to the sun, we 
were obliged to get up at two or three o'clock mornings 
and make our marches before the sun was high. In the 
freshness of the morning, these early rides through 
wooded hills were delightful. On one occasion our ponies 
stopped stock-still and refused to be urged forward. 
They trembled with fear. Mrs. Woodin riding in front 
called back to her husband. At the sound- of her voice 
a huge animal leaped across our path into the dense 
jungle. We got only a shadowy view of it in the pale 
moonlight, but we had vivid mental pictures of the man- 
eating tiger of which we had heard in that vicinity only 
a few days before. Two miles out from Haka, we were 
met by the entire school and many of the Christians, who 
gave me a welcome that warmed my heart. 



CHAPTER XII 
MEETING NEW PROBLEMS 

WITH my return the Woodins, in correspondence with 
the Reference Committee because of Mrs. Woodin's con- 
tinued ill health and being loath to give up the work and 
return to America, decided to try another station ; and as 
soon as they could pack up after my arrival they trans- 
ferred to Bhamo. Mr. Cope came back, with his family, 
to Haka for headquarters while he took charge of the 
entire Chin Hills field. Mrs. Cope took charge of the 
Hospital and housekeeping and superintended the schools 
in the Tiddim district while I managed the schools in the 
Haka district, looked after the work among the women 
and gave as much time as possible to the translation of 
the gospels and again took up the weekly translation of 
the Sunday School lessons. 

My house was sadly out of repair on my return. The 
roof was off and the beaver board ceiling and partitions 
had been taken down for preservation. I think Dr. 
Woodin got the corrugated iron roof on before he left. 
I know that I got a Chin man to help me tack on the 
beaver board, then to prevent the swelling and shrinking 
and so cracking the beautiful new wall paper I had 
brought from America I pasted strips of cheese cloth 
around every one of the yard square boards in the five 
rooms of that house including ceilings. Then I cut 
and put on every strip of paper. It was a hard job for 
a woman of elephantine proportions, but when it was all 

222 



MEETING NEW PROBLEMS 223 

done and the pretty new curtains, given me by the ladies 
of the First Church of Santa Ana, California, were up, 
I had a home of which I was prouder than any queen in 
her royal palace. 

But before many months the little son of the Copes' 
was taken ill. He did not seem to recover as he should, 
their furlough was due and they decided, if any arrange- 
ment could be made for the work, to go home on short 
leave. Miss Agnes Whitehead, a capable and successful 
self-supporting missionary of Maulmain, feeling the ur- 
gency of the need, generously offered to come and stay 
with me during their absence. We gladly accepted her 
offer and Mr. Cope went down the mountains to meet 
her. While he was gone little Harry grew worse. The 
day they were expected to arrive his condition grew so 
serious that we sent a messenger out to meet them, urging 
Mr. Cope to make all possible haste. We had tele- 
graphed to Falam thirty-five miles over steep mountain 
roads, for the only doctor in the Chin Hills. He had ar- 
rived that morning and said that pneumonia had set in and 
that the end was near. He had come too late ! Mr. Cope 
left Miss Whitehead to come on with the natives and 
he hastened home with all speed, getting there only an 
hour or so before the precious little life went out. A 
pine coffin was made by a Chinaman and Miss White- 
head and I padded, lined and covered it. Mr. Cope him- 
self conducted the brief and tender service in the language 
of our people, and we laid our darling to rest under the 
shadow of the pines. Five days later Mr. and Mrs. 
Cope and their remaining son started on the long voyage 
to America. Miss Whitehead and I were alone until the 
return of Mr. Cope, without his wife, ten months later. 

One incident that occurred during this time is worthy 
of mention. Our Postmaster was a Hindu with a fairly 



224 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

good knowledge of English. One evening I received a 
note from him saying that he was "very much confused 
in regard to religious matters" and asked me to lend him 
the best book I had on Christianity. I sent him a New 
Testament with marked passages and chapters and asked 
him to come down and have a talk with us, stating a 
time when we could see him. His note closed with this 
sentence : "If I can get help I will very much thank you 
and God." 

He came at the appointed time and we (Miss White- 
head and I) had a long talk with him. He said he was 
tired of a "man-made religion with its millions of gods 
and senseless caste system" and seemed open to the truth. 
We asked if we might pray for him and he said "Yes," 
so we all three knelt and both Miss Whitehead and I 
prayed that he might find the truth with its accompanying 
peace of mind and heart. The next morning early he 
came back saying he had been reading the little book I 
gave him (the New Testament) and found where a rich 
young man had come to Christ and asked what he must 
do to be saved; and that Christ had said, "Sell all you 
have and give to the poor and come and follow Me." 
"I am not rich," he said, "but I do not want to be like 
that young man. I have brought a hundred rupees which 
I want to give Mamma for Christian work." I explained 
to him that he must not think he could buy salvation, but 
he seemed to understand that. When I took the money 
and thanked him for it, "No, no !" he said. "Do not thank 
me thank God." 

A few days later he came with a beaming face. He 
said that he believed Christ was the son of God and that 
the Christian religion was true! But a shadow came 
over his face when he said that being baptized into the 
Christian church would mean giving up all his people 




EASTER LILY NATIVE OF CHIN HILLS, BURMA 

The Easter Lily, emblem of the resurrection, is a native 
of the Chin Hills of Burma. As it has lifted its head of 
beauty and fragrance out of darkness and filth, so the 
human natives of these same hills are being lifted by the 
power of our risen Lord to lives of purity and beauty. 



MEETING NEW PROBLEMS 225 

all that was dear to him in the world and that he could 
never enter his own village again. 

Before he left we prayed with him again, after which 
he stepped to the door and produced a huge bundle which 
proved to be twenty new blankets which he wanted to 
donate to our Boys* Dormitory, saying again that he did 
not want to be like "the rich young man." Only two 
or three days later I got a note from him saying he had 
been transferred with the Expeditionary Force to Meso- 
potamia. I wrote to him there and the following is a 
quotation from his reply. "Rest assured I want to hear 
from you more earnestly about the work and teaching of 
Christ the most holy and true God and Saviour of man- 
kind. True Mamma to say how gracious and kind our 
Lord. Happy are they who are blessed to kiss the dust 
of his feet the true God of love, light and perfect sal- 
vation. Yours fondly " 

I never saw him again, but believe he had found the 
"peace that passeth understanding." 

As Mrs. Cope did not return with her husband Miss 
Whitehead consented to stay another year. She was 
greatly handicapped by not knowing the language of our 
people and felt that she was accomplishing but little, yet 
I dp not know how we would have survived that year 
without her cheery presence and help. 



CHAPTER XIII 

NATIVE INSURRECTION DURING 
WORLD WAR 

As a baby boy had been born to Mrs. Cope she decided 
to remain in America another year before undertaking 
the long voyage alone with her baby. Miss Whitehead, 
feeling that she could not remain a third year, returned 
to her work in Maulmain. Before Mr. Cope returned 
from taking her down the mountains word came that the 
Government was going to attempt to raise "a coolie corps" 
from among our people, for service in France. This 
caused great excitement. One corps had already been 
raised among the Siyins in Tiddim and efforts were be- 
ing made to raise another in the Falam subdivision. Haka 
would be next! All military British officers and sepoys 
who could be spared had been withdrawn from the Hills 
and had gone to France. Civil officers were sent to lower 
Burma for military training. Haka was therefore left 
without a British officer and with only a handful of se- 
poys, most of whom were mere boys, no one dreaming 
that the Haka Chins would make any serious trouble. 
But there was an undercurrent of tense excitement. One 
could feel it in the air. There were only three English- 
speaking people in Haka at the time, two Anglo-Indian 
men and myself. There was a rumor of trouble and at- 
tempted revolt in Falam and our Haka civil officer was 
hastily recalled from lower Burma, and the sepoy guard 
for Haka was increased from twenty-six to fifty men. 

Upon his return the Assistant Superintendent called 

226 



NATIVE INSURRECTION 227 

upon me", told me of the trouble they were having in 
Falam, but said that he did not anticipate any trouble 
in Haka. He called in his chiefs from the various vil- 
lages, told them of the need of their services to Britain 
and of the generous terms offered, and then told each 
chief, according to the number of villages, he "ate" (or 
governed), the number of men he must furnish. The 
Government orders were that no coercion was to be used ; 
but the chiefs did not understand that. An order to bring 
in the men meant that they must bring them. Chief after 
chief came to me and asked what he should do. They 
said that their people absolutely refused to go to France ; 
that they said they had no quarrel with Germany and 
why should they go and fight the Germans? They said 
they would commit suicide rather than go. 

One evening Shia Kaw, our first Haka Christian con- 
vert, who was teaching school in the large village of 
Sakta, twenty miles distant, appeared at the Mission 
closely followed by two Sakta Chins. He made me un- 
derstand that he wanted to speak to me in private. The 
men were watching his every move. After casually talk- 
ing to him for a few moments I stepped into my store- 
room and called to him to come and get some rice I had 
for him. Understanding the ruse he came quickly saying 
as he took the rice, "I will come to-night. I have some- 
thing to tell you" and hastened back, meeting the two 
Sakta men following into the store-room. It was very 
evident they did not intend he should have any private 
conversation with me. After the Chins had gone to bed 
Shia Kaw slipped softly in at my back door, saw that the 
blinds were closely drawn and then shaking with ex- 
citement said that if the Sakta Chins knew what he was 
going to tell me they would certainly kill him. He said 
that thirteen villages had united, taking the sacred oath 



228 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

that they would attack Haka, kill the sepoys, take their 
guns and with them clear the Hills of the British and 
resume their own government. He said that the men of 
Sakta had secreted their women and children in the 
jungle and carried out six months' provision for them, 
and that they were spending their time day and night 
making ammunition; that two days before six hundred 
armed men had congregated less than three miles from 
Haka with plans all made for an attack ; but that he and 
Maung Lun, a Karen preacher in the employ of the Mis- 
sion, had told them of the strength of the British and of 
their own certain ultimate defeat and had persuaded them 
to disband and return to their villages. But upon their 
return they were so derided by their friends over the 
outcome of the wonderful things they had boasted they 
would do that they were planning to gather in larger 
members and to be met in the North by an equally large 
force. "And if they do, God pity us, for we will every 
one be killed," he said, tragically striking his breast with 
both hands. Maung Lun was not permitted to come to 
Haka lest he give information. About this time an exo- 
dus of our school boys began all the boys from a certain 
village would suddenly disappear from school during the 
night. The next night another group would disappear. 
This had never occurred before and I knew that only a 
matter of serious nature would induce them to leave with- 
out my knowledge or permission. Our school dwindled to 
a mere handful and there was suppressed excitement 
everywhere. The Assistant Superintendent sent out or- 
ders for the school children to return but without re- 
sponse. 

Mr. Cope, to my great relief, returned from Rangoon. 
I told him all I knew of conditions and he went up to 
have a conference with the Assistant Superintendent. He 



NATIVE INSURRECTION 229 

felt that my fears were ungrounded; said that he had 
made investigation and found that the things Shia Kaw 
told were untrue ; that the Sakta people were loyal to the 
Government and that he had received a list of ninety 
names of Sakta men who were keen to go to France. 
The next afternoon Shia Kaw came in again saying 
that forces were collecting again, both north and south 
of us, and that Haka was to be attacked within the next 
three or four days. I told him that the Assistant Super- 
intendent said he had investigated and found conditions 
in Sakta normal; that women and children had not been 
taken away; that the people were loyal and that at least 
ninety were ready to go to France, and that there would 
be no insurrection. He was greatly excited and dis- 
tressed and begged us to heed the warning which he had 
risked his life to bring. That night the Christians asked 
permission to sleep in the Mission Hospital and Mr. 
Cope and the teachers patrolled the Mission property all 
night but there was no disturbance. 

The following evening they were afraid even to sleep 
in the Hospital, fearing it would be burned, and asked 
to sleep in the cellars of the two Mission houses. Here 
and in my study they huddled frightened and shivering. 
In the early evening Tsan Dwe, a Christian young man 
who belonged to an important chief's family, came and 
told us that there was no doubt but that an attack would 
be made, for his brother had seen a large force congre- 
gated that evening only about three miles from Haka. 
Mr. Cope immediately informed the Assistant Superin- 
tendent but he was still incredulous. He said that Shia 
Kaw was an alarmist and had got the people so stirred 
up that they were imagining all sorts of things. How- 
ever, he would investigate. Mr. Cope came home and 
again patrolled the Mission property. Just at dawn he 



230 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

received a note from the Assistant Superintendent saying 
he had made investigation and had learned that all Shia 
Kaw had told us was true ; that the Saktas had deceived 
him and that -forces were gathered both north and south 
of us and that doubtless an attack would soon be made. 
Mr. Cope came and told me and we sat down to an early 
breakfast while talking things over. During the night, 
amid the mob of men, women and children in his cellar, 
a little child was born to the wife of one of our teachers. 
He is called Ral Zam (Fleeing from the Enemy). 

Before we had half finished breakfast there came a 
messenger from the Assistant Superintendent saying that 
we must hasten into the Police Lines; that an army of 
5,000 were advancing and would reach Haka within an 
hour or two. Mr. Cope immediately hastened from the 
table to look after the Christians. He had barely gone 
when a second messenger came saying that it was the 
order of the Assistant Superintendent that "The Boinu" 
(I am the Boinu) "hasten into the Police Lines." What 
was I to do? The poor woman with the two hours' old 
baby could not be left. Her husband had gone to their 
home on some errand, and there seemed to be no help 
available. All was confusion and excitement. A third 
messenger came with peremptory orders. "The Boinu 
must go to the Police lines immediately!" My cook 
came around at last, a big, strong man. He put his 
hands on his knees and, well wrapped in a blanket, we 
got the new mother on his back and started up the hill. 
I called a passing school boy, wrapped little Ral Zam in 
another blanket, gave him to the boy and sent him to 
follow the mother. Then I went to my store room and 
collected such food as we could carry. Mr. Cope, having 
done all that he could for the Christians, came and we 
slowly climbed the steep hill, hearing several shots fired 



NATIVE INSURRECTION 231 

as we went. The "Police Lines" meant a few govern- 
ment buildings with a trench around them. In this trench 
were placed our sepoys with their guns. They were so 
few in number that our Karen teachers and a few Chris- 
tian Chins who had guns joined them. The best build- 
ing in the Lines was the station Hospital a brick build- 
ing with a small office room, a tiny medicine room and 
two fair-sized wards. One of these wards was taken 
for the white population of Haka, consisting of the 
Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Cope, Major Newland 
(a retired army officer), his grown son, and myself. The 
other was reserved for the sick and wounded. In that 
room we lived, ate, and slept, for twenty-two days and 
nights. The first two or three nights there were twenty- 
two of us who slept in that one room. But after that the 
Assistant Superintendent succeeded in getting the native 
Christians who were with us into other quarters. There 
was no means of privacy and for six nights I did not 
even have my shoes off; but after that the Assistant 
Superintendent very kindly had the little closet-like 
medicine room cleared for me and a cot put in it. I 
think I have never been more grateful for anything in 
my life. The place was so small that I could barely 
crowd in, in front of the cot, and there was an opening 
in the wall into the fireplace in the ward where cooking 
was constantly going on, so that the room was dense with- 
smoke which nearly blinded me ; yet no woman was ever 
more thankful for a marble palace than was I for that 
little room which gave me a bit of privacy. 

No attack was made that first day. The next morning 
fifteen mounted sepoys were sent out to reconnoiter, fol- 
lowed by the Assistant Superintendent and a few foot 
soldiers. They were fired upon by ambushed men to the 
number of about fifty. The Chins, having only muzzle- 



232 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

loading guns, after firing, immediately disappeared into the 
dense jungle where the mounted men could not follow. 
The Assistant Superintendent was recalled hy a messenger 
madly riding up to say that a force of 5,000 men was 
advancing from the opposite direction. He hastily re- 
turned to protect the station, but no further advance was 
made during the day. In the early evening there was 
furious firing for a few moments from the surrounding 
jungles which was returned by the men in the trenches, 
then all was quiet for the remainder of the night. 

The next morning we were told to go, under a strong 
guard, back to the Mission and gather up a few valuables, 
some clothing and such food as we could get and a quan- 
tity of firewood, and have our school boys carry the 
things within the Lines. While getting the things to- 
gether we heard two gun shots quite near and Chins ran 
wildly into our compound, waving green branches above 
their heads which was evidently a signal of loyalty to the 
attacking force. Presently there was a sharp firing from 
the Lines and we hastened up the hill. We were met at 
the top by the Assistant Superintendent, who said, "For 
God's sake hurry, Mrs. Carson. The sergeant's wife has 
been shot and killed and his daughter has also been shot 
and is in a dying condition. She is calling for you with 
every breath." I hurried to her. She was a fine Chris- 
tian girl of seventeen who had been staying with me 
nights. "Oh, my dear Boinu," she said, "I shall never go 
to school any more, but God will receive my spirit." She 
then begged her Buddhist father to become a Christian 
and meet her in Heaven, and asked me to pray for her. I 
held her head in my arms until God released her spirit. 

The next day we arranged to give her a Christian 
burial, but scarcely had we got outside the Lines on the 
way to the cemetery before we were separated from those 



NATIVE INSURRECTION 233 

who were carrying the body by shots being fired be- 
tween them and us, and we were hurried by the guard 
back into the Lines. Not even the father was permitted 
to follow the corpse which was taken possession of and 
buried by people outside the Lines. 

While no organized attack was made during the whole 
of our twenty-two days inside the Police Lines we knew 
perfectly well that they could wipe us off the face of the 
earth at any moment if only they had the courage to 
boldly close in on us and make the attempt. This they 
did not do; but day after day there was firing into the 
Lines from the surrounding jungles, usually at too great 
a distance to do much harm. Finally we got a helio mes- 
sage that there was a Relief Column on the way up the 
Mountains and for us to keep up good courage. The 
telegraph line had been cut and miles of the wire pounded 
up into bullets to shoot us with. I ought not to say "us" 
for several of the leading chiefs sent me word that I 
need not fear, that I had always been their friend and 
they would not harm me. And I really believe that they 
would not have intentionally done so. 

The weather was so foggy that it was seldom a helio 
message could be put through; besides, the helio station 
was constantly watched by snipers and men had to crawl 
on their stomachs all the way up the mountain at greatest 
risk to themselves, and watch their chances to receive 
messages. But finally a message came telling us that the 
Relief Column would probably arrive the following day. 
This was a great comfort, for our provisions were ex- 
hausted, there only being short rations for one day when 
this message reached us! The Assistant Superintendent 
took all the sepoys he dared to withdraw from the station, 
leaving our Karen teachers and Chin Christians and a 
few sepoys in the trenches and started out to clear the 



234 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

way for the Relief Column. They had to fight their way 
through obstructions and snipers and were thirteen hours 
making twelve miles. One of their men was killed and 
three wounded when they met the Relief Column which 
had sustained a similar number of casualties. Major 
Burne, in charge of this column, made an unprecedented 
march, traveling day and night, without food, through 
difficult and dangerous mountain passes, and for some 
distance fighting his way to get there. For this splendid 
and heroic service he was decorated by his Government. 
When we saw 350 well-armed and -trained sepoys, accom- 
panied by five British officers, including our Superin- 
tendent, come marching into Haka Well, "it looked 
good" to us! They brought provisions and we had a 
hilarious evening. During the next few days they were 
busy clearing the surrounding country and opening the 
roads which had been strongly barricaded. They had 
some thirty or forty casualties and one British captain 
got a bullet in his arm. What those days meant to me, 
the only white woman in all that excited mob, is beyond 
description. I spent the time going among the wives of 
the sepoys and the sick and wounded men trying to cheer 
them up and give what courage and comfort I could. 
Several wounded sepoys died in the room next to us. 

The Superintendent told me that as soon as the roads 
were cleared I must leave the Hills until things were in a 
more settled condition. I protested, saying that my people 
had never needed me so much as at that time, that I was 
not afraid and that I would feel like a deserter to leave 
them. But it was no use. He was obdurate. He said 
he had not a sufficient force to protect me and at the same 
time settle the surrounding country ; that if anything hap- 
pened to me he would be responsible to the Government 
of both my country and his and that he asked as a per- 



NATIVE INSURRECTION 235 

sonal favor that I go without further protest. There was 
nothing else to do. Accordingly a few days later in the 
company of the captain with a bullet in his arm, who was 
going to a place where he could have it located and re- 
moved, and with a mounted guard of thirty armed men I 
rode out of Haka with no idea of when I would be allowed 
to return. We had only traveled about seven miles when, 
turning a bend in the road, we ran onto a company of 
about thirty men evidently trying to make their way to 
the main army. They were armed with knives, bows 
and arrows, spears and one or two guns. Our guard 
surrounded them and they begged for mercy. Neither 
captain nor sepoys could speak their language so I had 
to act as interpreter while they were being disarmed and 
sent by a small but well-armed guard to Haka. 

When we reached the camp at the end of the first 
march we found the bungalow in ashes where the Chinese 
caretaker had been killed. We rode on six miles further 
and camped by the Pao River. It was bitterly cold and 
we had to sleep on the ground, which was very stony. 

I traveled in company with Captain Adams for five 
days. We were then past the danger zone and I went 
on alone with one Chin Christian and one mounted sepoy 
guard. Nine days later I reached Rangoon in safety 
a little weary to be sure, but still "going strong." I re- 
mained in Lower Burma for three months and while 
there put a new Hymn Book and my translation of the 
Acts of the Apostles through the Press. Up to fhis time 
we had only a small Hymn Book of forty-two hymns 
translated by Mr. Carson, but during the Woodins' regime 
Mrs. Woodin, a sweet singer, had roughly translated a 
large number which she had not been able to finish and 
put in condition for printing before she left. These I 
carefully went over and typed for printing and added 



236 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

sixteen of my own translation. We had sung the hymns 
in the old book so many times that it was a great joy 
to the Christians to have a new book of more than one 
hundred and twenty-five hymns. 

My sojourn in the plains also gave me an opportunity 
to visit Miss Whitehead in Maulmain and see something 
of the splendid work carried on there by our Mission 
the Morton Lane Girls' School, the English-speaking 
Girls' School, the great Pwo Karen School, the Burmese 
Boys' School, the Tamil and Telugu School, the Orphan- 
age and the beautiful Ellen Mitchell Hospital. My heart 
swelled with pride and thanksgiving to God when I 
saw the fine buildings and the hundreds of earnest, in- 
terested students all of whom were coming daily under 
beautiful Christian influences. What a mighty power 
toward the uplift of the nation our Mission Plant in 
that one city ! Then I had also an opportunity to revisit 
Bassein, the scene of my first Missionary endeavor and 
contrast present conditions with those of more than 
thirty years before. It was wonderful! I attended the 
Associational meetings where the delegates numbered into 
thousands clean, cultured, well-dressed Christian people 
met to discuss and plan for the things of the Kingdom 
of God ! The order, the intelligence, the beautiful music, 
the generous giving ! Oh, it was wonderful, wonderful ! 
And how my heart was touched when Yaba, who had 
been educated at Colgate and was a teacher when I was 
in Bassein thirty years before, now an old man, came to 
the platform and said he wanted to sing once more for 
"Mamma Hardin" (Carson). His sweet sympathetic 
tenor voice was clear as a bird's and brought the tears to 
my eyes. Again my heart was melted when a successful 
pastor came and with a husky voice and warm handclasp 
said that but for the help I had given him, many years 



NATIVE INSURRECTION 237 

before, he would never have been able to carry on the 
Lord's work. Hardships in Mission Work? Yes, but 
oh, the compensations! 

Mr. Cope was not required to leave the Hills and he 
held things together better than I had dared to hope was 
possible. I left in December and returned in March. 
I superintended the school, did some teaching, translated 
the Sunday School lessons but devoted myself mainly to 
the revision of the gospels and the preparation of a dic- 
tionary. 



CHAPTER XIV 
DEALING WITH FAMINE AND "FLU" 

WHILE trying to gather up the broken threads we sud- 
denly realized that a famine was imminent. In settling 
the country after the insurrection, several villages had 
been burned with large quantities of food. The villages 
that turned against the Government at the time of its 
greatest need had to be punished. They were put at 
making roads and making an artificial lake. When they 
should have been in their fields they were making am- 
munition or later doing this forced labor. The result was 
a terrible shortage of food. For a time there seemed 
to be no food anywhere at any price. One of the leading 
chiefs told me that for two months he had not had any 
food whatever except "banhtaw" which is the boiled 
sprouts of the banana tree. He said there were thou- 
sands in the same condition. We feared for our Chris- 
tians. There was simply no food and no money to buy it 
with. While shut up in the "Police Lines" I had written 
a letter to the Calvary church, Pasadena, which was in- 
terested in our work. I had not asked for money, but 
in their great-hearted way, in order to show their sym- 
pathy and have a part in the work, a lady sent me fifty 
dollars to use at my own discretion. The Church and 
Sunday School added to it. It reached me at the time 
of our greatest need. I still had the money given to me 
by members of the First Church, Pasadena, "for com- 
forts on the voyage." I had put it in the P. O. Savings 
Bank as an emergency fund. With this and what other 

238 



FAMINE AND "FLU" 239 

money I could scrape together I sent men down to the 
plains to buy rice. People were so weakened from insuffi- 
cient food that I found it difficult to find men able to go 
so far and carry loads back; but finally we got them 
started, one hundred and fifty strong, as I remember it, 
and one man to do the buying and superintending. They 
traveled down the mountains for three days, spent one 
day resting and buying, then each with a gunny bag of 
seventy pounds of rice on his back, they made their way 
back up the steep mountains making the trip, loaded, 
in five days. There was great excitement when they ar- 
rived ; people crowding around, hollow-cheeked and hun- 
gry-eyed, in the hopes of getting something. I parceled 
out the rice, giving first to the sick and to those who had 
little children. I gave to widows and orphans, but made 
those pay who could afford to do so. When the men 
had rested and had a few nourishing meals I sent them 
back for more; and so the hunger was arrested among 
our Christians. 

When news began coming in from the jungle villages 
of deaths from starvation, the Government made every 
effort to get food up the mountains as quickly as possible 
and made loans of money to the people with which to 
buy it. But the influenza came before people had re- 
gained their normal strength. 

Mr. Cope started down the mountains to meet his wife 
and baby boy on their way out from America. When he 
reached Falam he learned that the influenza had broken 
out among the sepoys. He was asked to remain a few 
days. Every precaution was taken, but they felt that 
some of the few British there might be taken at any 
moment and that it would be terrible not to have some 
one there who could give a Christian burial. While 
waiting in Falarn several cases appeared among the 



240 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

sepoys in Haka. I was there alone and Mr. Cope, upon 
hearing of it, immediately returned. The first one to 
die in Haka was the only source of medical help an 
Indian Babu in charge of the Government Dispensary. 
He was very ill and the natives were afraid to go near 
him. Mr. Cope went again and again with food, medicine 
and disinfectants but not being able to give him sufficient 
care when so far away, he brought him down to the 
Mission Hospital. Every care was given him, but he 
soon passed away. By this time the disease had reached 
the Chins. In their weakened condition they had no 
power of resistance and many died, including Haka's 
biggest chief. Mr. Cope and I both went among the 
people doing what we could to relieve their suffering, tak- 
ing them milk, soup, tea and medicines and ministering to 
them in every way we could. Finally, after three weeks 
of this, the crest of the wave seemed past and Mr. Cope 
started the second time to Rangoon to meet his wife and 
baby. He had not been gone long when cold rains set in 
and the wave returned with increased strength and swept 
away hundreds of victims. It was terrible. There were 
as high as ten deaths a day in our village. No one was 
coffined though that was not unusual but there were 
not well people enough to decently bury the dead. I kept 
my cook busy making broth, soup and tea, and I went 
daily from one hut to another taking things to them and 
caring for them as best I could. In many houses I 
would find people lying about on the floor they have no 
beds in various stages of the disease, sick, dead and 
dying, and not one able to so much as give a drink of 
water to the others. 

There was one pathetic picture that will always remain 
with me. The Prospect Avenue Church of Buffalo, New 




RE LIEN THE WAIF WHO BECAME A TEACHER 



FAMINE AND "FLU" 241 

York, had sent us a Christmas box. Besides the many 
other beautiful and useful things sent, there were some 
little, bright toy parasols about the size of a dinner plate. 
I do not suppose any gift of any price ever carried greater 
joy to the hearts of those who received them than those 
little parasols carried to the hearts of my little brown 
girls. 

I went into a house where I heard there was sickness 
and found the father, mother, and three children lying 
on the floor too ill to raise their heads, and a little five- 
year-old girl sitting on the ground just outside holding on 
her knees her dying baby brother over whose head she 
was holding her most precious treasure her little bright 
parasol. 

Notwithstanding the many people who died and the 
fact that there were thirteen houses in Haka left empty 
by the ravages of influenza, there was not one Haka 
Christian who died during this epidemic. This made a 
profound impression on Christians and non-Christians 
alike. The fact that during the famine, thanks to Pasa- 
dena Christians, though no family had sufficient food all 
Christians had some that was nourishing and that having 
taken the hogs from under their houses the sanitary con- 
ditions were better, and that they had superior care dur- 
ing their sickness, added to the fact that God answers 
prayer, explains to my mind how they so wonderfully 
escaped death when others were dying all about them. 

When the second wave had passed and the people, 
wan and miserable, were beginning to get about again, I 
took the influenza myself. I was alone not another 
white person in the station at the time. I ran a high 
temperature for three days and all the people in the 
place were frightened and anxious. They crowded into 



242 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

my room by scores and the first question was always the 
same: "Boinu, do you think you will die?" "It will be 
hard if you die. We will not know what to do if you 
die." My cook, a man, would come with solemn face to 
the door every few moments and say "Boinu, shall I make 
you some tea or some 'shoop* [soup] ?" I wanted 
nothing in the world but to be left alone. I could not 
keep the people from filling my room. This got so on 
my nerves that I was simply obliged to get up and be 
well. And this is what I did. I telegraphed the Copes 
that I had "flu" and that they had better delay bringing 
the baby until danger of taking it was over. But instead 
of delaying they made every effort to reach me at the 
earliest possible moment. Mrs. Cope again relieved me 
of the housekeeping and superintending the hospital, 
where, though we had no doctor, we had a daily clinic 
with the help of Tsan Dwe, a Chin Christian who had 
been carefully trained in first aid and simple remedies 
under Dr. Woodin. We worked hard that year and with 
almost unbelievable success, considering the disintegrat- 
ing influences of the insurrection, the famine and the 
influenza which followed so closely upon the heels of 
one another. 

The strain of all these things, and being alone so much 
of the time while they were going on, had told upon me 
and I was planning to come home when my furlough 
would be due the following year. But one day a little 
less than a year after her arrival a cable message came 
to Mrs. Cope that her mother was seriously ill and re- 
quested her to come home. Mrs. Cope was an only 
daughter and had promised her mother that if the time 
came when her coming was really necessary a cable mes- 
sage would bring her. She had left her little boy, the 
oldest one, with the mother, now so ill. She felt obliged 



FAMINE AND "FLU" 243 

to go at once and did so. Her mother was gone when 
she arrived and conditions at home made it necessary for 
her to remain. Her husband has been and still is 
laboring on alone during the four years that have in- 
tervened. 



CHAPTER XV 

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY PROVIDENTIALLY 

MET 

WHEN Mrs. Cope left I felt that I must put my fur- 
lough a year or two ahead and confidently hoped to round 
out a full forty years of service. But it seemed that 
was not to be. After the insurrection and the difficulty in 
settling the country the Chin Hills were visited by the 
Commissioner the highest British officer under the Lieu- 
tenant Governor. He called on me and said during his 
visit, "Mrs. Carson, I have a proposition to make to you. 
[I was in charge of the school work.] Our Government 
has been administering these Hills for thirty years and I 
find that only one of the many Haka chiefs can write his 
own name. This one was one of your school boys and, 
by-the-way, is one of the most promising chiefs we have. 
Now what I want to propose is this : That we build a 
dormitory to accommodate twenty of the succeeding sons 
of the leading chiefs, with quarters for a teacher, we 
furnish food and a cook for them and put these boys into 
your school. Would you take them on those conditions, 
if we would furnish the salary of the extra teacher 
required ?" 

I replied that our work was primarily religious, that 
the chiefs objected to having their children become Chris- 
tians and that I would not consent to anything that would 
hamper the teaching of Christianity in the school. "Oh, 
teach them all the Christianity you want to. I don't sup- 
pose it will hurt them any," he said. "Good," I replied, 

244 



A GREAT OPPORTUNITY 245 

"but there is another consideration. In your Govern- 
ment schools you have Buddhist teachers. I would not 
put a Buddhist teacher in my Christian school." "Well, 
that is easily arranged," he said. "I will allow you to 
appoint the teacher yourself, and I will confirm whatever 
appointment you make provided only that the teacher is 
qualified for his job." 

What more could I ask? Twenty of the succeeding 
sons of the leading chiefs in our Mission school under 
daily Bible instruction and constant Christian influence. 
What a wonderful opportunity for uplifting the race! 
But how came we to have a teacher with normal training, 
making it possible to fulfill the one condition insisted 
upon by the Commissioner? This is the story: 



THE STORY OF RE LEIN, THE WAIF WHO BECAME A 

TEACHER 

One of the awful scourges of diseases that so often 
comes to oriental villages came to a large village not far 
from Falam, the Government headquarters of the Chin 
Hills. Many people died and in one family only one little 
boy about four years old was left. The Superintendent 
went to investigate conditions after the plague and was 
told of this little child with no one to care for him. They 
had just opened the first Government scKool in the Chin 
Hills at Falam at that time and the Superintendent said he 
would take the little boy and put him into the School (it 
was a boarding school) and that he would personally be 
responsible for his food and clothing. He did as he 
promised and all went well for a time. But after a few 
months the Superintendent went to England on leave and 
there was no one interested in the child. He was a bright, 
mischievous little fellow and no doubt annoyed the cruel 



246 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

Burman teacher. Anyhow one evening an Indian sepoy 
Havildar was riding from Falam to Haka. On the road 
several miles distant from any house he found a little 
bunch of humanity lying with face to the ground sob- 
bing his heart out. He picked the little fellow up and 
asked where his home was. "I haven't any home/' was 
the reply. "Then where are your father and mother?" 
asked the Havildar. "I haven't any father and mother," 
said the child, weeping afresh. "Well, where do you 
stay?" persisted the Havildar. "The Boipa put me in 
the school but the teacher beat me and I ran away and 
I'll never go back. Look at my back," he said, with 
flashing eyes. "I'll never, never go back." The Havildar 
found his back marked with red welts showing that he 
had been cruelly whipped. He took the little fellow up 
on the pony in front of him and brought him to Haka. 
Having no beds nor any place to lay a little baby down, 
it is always tied to somebody's back. The little boy Re 
Lien became the baby carrier for the wife of the Havil- 
dar. A few months later, however, the Havildar was 
transferred to the plains. As he could not take the poor 
little Chin orphan with him he brought him to me, told 
his story and asked if I would take him. I took him, 
clothed him, fitted up a little room at the end of my cook 
house for him and put him into school. He was a bright 
little chap and I became very fond of him. I did my 
writing and reading evenings. He would come in and 
stand on the opposite side of my writing desk and chat- 
ter like a magpie. One evening I said, "Re Lien, you 
must keep quiet. I have a report to write and you bother 
me." With a very grieved look he said, "Boinu, I 
thought you would be so lonesome here alone. That is 
why I came." I told him then that I liked to have him 
there but that there were times when I could not talk to 



A GREAT OPPORTUNITY 247 

him, at other times we would have some fine visits and 
I would tell him stories. He went home happy, but after 
that he would always ask, "May I talk to-night?" and 
it was good to see the little face brighten when I said, 
"Yes." He would ask me to tell him about Joseph or 
Moses or the Rich Man and Lazarus or the Ten Virgins. 
He was entranced with these stories in particular, and 
would often be heard telling them to the other children. 
There were prizes offered in school to those who passed 
highest in their Bible examination. Re Lien took first 
prize for three succeeding years. He went on to school 
until he passed the highest standard we taught, then I 
sent him to Falam and had him board with the Karen 
Evangelist while he attended the Government School for 
a year. I then sent him to Mandalay, had him board 
at our Baptist Mission School and take training in the 
Government Normal School. He finished the course and 
got his certificate before he was old enough to teach 
(eighteen) according to the law. Then with financial 
help from dear friends in Los Angeles I sent him to 
Rangoon to our Theological Seminary. He was very 
ill and spent long, weary weeks in the hospital and 
finally had to return to the Hills on account of his health 
before he finished the course. He had only reached Haka 
a short time before the Commissioner's visit. So there 
was the man the only northern Chin man in the world 
with Normal training, ready to fulfill the Commissioner's 
condition. I appointed him and the appointment was con- 
firmed, the arrangements to be completed in time for the 
next school year. 



CHAPTER XVI 
SEVERING TENDER TIES 

MAJOR BROWNE, the Battalion Commandant of the 
military forces in the Chin Hills, came to Haka with the 
Commissioner. He told me that I had been through so 
many hard things that I simply must get away from Haka 
for the vacation as soon as school closed. He asked me 
to come and spend the vacation in Falam with his wife, 
saying that if I did not come he would surely come and 
bring me. And that is what he actually did. Mr. Cope 
was touring among the villages and I was in the station 
alone. Major Browne came over bringing a pony for me 
to ride, pack mules to carry my kit and a man to care 
for them. There was nothing to do but to go, and go I 
did. The pleasant ride and delightful companionship, the 
beautiful home, the lovely flowers, the winsome little 
daughter and charming wife how I reveled in it all! 
How good to be free, for a few days, from all responsibili- 
ties, away from sordid surroundings where it was not nec- 
essary to listen continually to tales of trouble and sorrow 
and suffering! How restful and delightful it all was! 
But it was too good to last. I had been there just a week 
when I became very ill. The wife of the Superintendent 
took me into her own home where there was more room 
and I could have better care. My own people could not 
have been kinder. Every possible comfort was provided 
and every conceivable loving service rendered. The doc- 
tor said when I was better and felt that I must return 
to Haka, that I must be carried on a stretcher and that 

248 



SEVERING TENDER TIES 249 

as soon as the rains were over I must return to America 
with no thought of ever returning to the Chin Hills. This 
was heartbreaking. I had so hoped to finish out forty 
years of service and to complete the translation of the 
New Testament. I could not, however, fail to be thank- 
ful to God and to my good English friends that I was 
in Falam where I could have every care when this illness 
overtook me, instead of being in Haka alone with nobody 
to do a thing for me except my kind-hearted cook, who 
would urge me every few moments to let him make me 
some "snoop." 

Mr. Cope felt very strongly that I ought not to remain 
a day after it was possible to get away lest I stay too long 
and not be able to get away at all. When it became known 
among the natives that I must go to America, leaving 
the Chin Hills probably never to return, people came in 
from all directions and began "to weep and to break my 
heart." 

The day before I left, two Hindu men, who had no in- 
terest in Christianity, but whose little boys had been in 
our school, came to say good-by. One of them said I 
had been both father and mother to his children and he 
wanted to make me a little gift and thereupon presented 
me with five rupees. The other one, with tears in his 
eyes, actually kneeled down and kissed my feet. 

The Christians and school children, all unknown to, 
me, collected money for a parting gift. They went to 
Mr. Cope and with his advice and help, notwithstanding 
unbelievable poverty, procured for me a gift that cost 
more than a hundred dollars a beautiful leather dress- 
ing case with silver-mounted fittings. How these ex- 
pressions of loving appreciation touched my heart it is 
impossible to put into words. 

Oh, how hard it was to leave the poor people among 



250 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

whom I had lived and labored for so many years. How 
hard to leave Mr. Cope to carry on alone without a kin- 
dred soul in sympathy with the work so dear to him. How 
hard to leave the little red-roofed cottage on the hillside 
every nook and corner of which was filled with precious 
memories. And, oh, how unspeakably hard to look for 
the last time upon the little sacred spot under the pines 
the last resting place of the one who had so gladly given 
his life for the people. 

The last day came, and very early in the morning peo- 
ple began gathering to see me off, many of the women 
weeping and with their blankets over their heads 
indicative of mourning. When I rode up the hill at the 
back of my house, I found the chiefs gathered to say 
good-by. There were men among them who in earlier 
days had done all they dared to retard our work. It 
was one of these who stepped forward and said, "Boinu, 
this is a sad day for the Chins. We do not want you to 
leave us. You have been our mother for many years. 
When you are gone, we will be like orphans. We are 
very sad." "Yes," said another. "When the Boinu has 
gone, we will be just like a flock of little chickens when 
a jungle cat has caught the hen." Scores of people fol- 
lowed me for miles. I implored them to return, but it was 
only when it began to rain that they turned their tear- 
stained faces homeward. 

The rain increased so that we were soaked to the skin 
before we reached the little bungalow where we were to 
camp for the night. But we had sent food and clothing 
on ahead and were soon dry and comfortable. 

The next day we rode through thick fog and heavy 
mist all day. That night "the windows of heaven were 
opened . . . and the waters prevailed and were increased 
greatly upon the earth." It was still coming down in 



SEVERING TENDER TIES 251 

torrents when we mounted our ponies in the morning, 
and though I wore a raincoat every thread of my clothing 
was soaked before I had been a half hour in the saddle. 
I had loaned my umbrella to some schoolgirls who were 
traveling with us on their way home. We had been in- 
vited to put up at Major Browne's and remain over Sun- 
day in Falam. When within four miles of that place 
we encountered a landslide. 

The whole side of the mountain seemed to have slid 
down over the road and the heavy rain had softened it 
to thick mud. There was no way of getting around it and 
we stopped and deliberated for some time. Finally Mr. 
Cope said, "I will see if I can get through and if I suc- 
ceed I will come back and lead your pony." With fright- 
ened floundering, the mud coming to his pony's body, he 
somehow struggled through. I called to him not to come 
back, that he would be submerged in the mud, and 
hastened to "enter the fray" before he had time to tie his 
horse and wade in. My pony went in a little too far 
down, sank in the soft mud to his sides, became fright- 
ened and began to rear and plunge. Mr. Cope called to 
me to "Roll off, roll off !" Glancing up to learn what he 
was saying, I rolled off without any effort on my part, and 
now it was my turn to flounder in the mud which seemed 
bottomless. When I pulled out one foot, the other sank 
deeper. With my hands I tried to find some spot where 
the earth was firm enough to hold my weight, but only 
succeeded in running my arms their full length in the 
mud. 

Eventually as I crawled to ground upon which I could 
stand, Mr. Cope called out, "Are you hurt?" "No, I am 
not hurt," I replied with considerable acidity in my voice. 
He put his hands on his hips, threw his head back and 
laughed till the tears came, saying as he did so, "My 



252 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

kingdom for a kodak! my kingdom for a kodak! You 
look just like a water buffalo !" 

After this mud bath without any opportunity to wash 
or even scrape the mud from my plastered garments, I 
was obliged to mount and ride in that shocking condition 
into Falam. We had only ridden a short distance when 
we came to a second landslide. This time we dismounted 
and waded. As there were occasional stones to step on 
and saplings to grasp, although the sharp stones in the 
mud bruised and cut us, we got through with less diffi- 
culty. Can you imagine the picture of the two mission- 
aries as they rode into the beautiful grounds of the home 
of the Commandant? 

Fortunately Mrs. Browne was a large woman. She 
soon had dry clothing of her own and a warm bath ready 
for me. Thirty men were sent out to help our men with 
the pack mules through the landslides before we could 
have dry clothing of our own. 

We rested over Sunday in Falam. On Saturday night 
I was given a farewell dinner to which all the white 
people in the station, numbering six, were invited. Mr. 
Daun, whom I had entertained on his own venison when 
on the way up the Hills more than twenty years before, 
claimed the privilege of giving the dinner. He had known 
me longer than the others. It was a wonderful dinner 
for the Chin Hills and was both a happy and a sad 
occasion. 

As I write these lines there comes to me a letter from 
Major Browne in which he calls me his "second mother." 

On Sunday Mr. Cope conducted a religious service in 
Major Browne's drawing room at which all English- 
speaking people in the place were present. 

The nine miles between Falam and the Manipur River 
is very steep and we walked all the way, walking down 



SEVERING TENDER TIES 253 

four miles in the evening to the village where we stayed 
for the night. Next morning when we started out it was 
pouring rain ; but this time I had a raincoat and umbrella 
and hoped to avoid a soaking before riding into the high 
altitude on the other side of the river. When we had 
only traveled about two miles, however, we met a bullock 
train of eighty pack animals on the narrow shelf of a 
mountain. Although I hugged the bank the packs struck 
me twice. 

In trying to dodge a third one, I fell and smashed my 
umbrella into smithereens. Tossing it into the jungle I 
went on taking the downpour without protection and was 
soon soaked to the last thread of my clothing. Arriving 
at the river, we were obliged to mount in our soaked con- 
dition and ride for fourteen miles zigzagging all the way 
up higher and higher mountains until we reached the cold 
atmosphere of Lamban, where we had to wait for about 
four hours, without fire, before our dry clothing reached 
us. But we were near a Christian village and many of 
the people came to see us, bringing fruit, fowls, and 
vegetables and we had a nice though sad visit with them. 
Two Christian young men whom I had never seen before 
each slipped a rupee into my hand "to help buy food on 
the journey." 

After this we traveled with good roads and little dis- 
comfort until the day we reached the plains. Leaving 
Fort White, at an altitude of about nine thousand feet, 
we rode down a gradual descent for six miles, then as 
the descent became steep for riding and hard on the 
ponies, we dismounted and walked the remaining ten 
miles to Camp No. 2. The road was very stony, and 
coming to lower and lower level, the heat increased until 
it became almost intolerable. 

I knew that there was a Christian village to be passed 



254 PIONEER TRAILS, TRIALS, TRIUMPHS 

some distance off the road and I tried to forestall having 
to go to it by saying, "Now, Herbert Cope, don't you dare 
suggest going out to the Christian village. I am perspir- 
ing at every pore, and my feet are frightfully blistered. 
I simply cannot stand it." "All right," he said, "but I 
am afraid the people will be badly disappointed." Miles 
before we reached where the jungle trail turned off to 
the village, in groups of twos and threes the Christians 
began to meet us. 

When we reached the trail, I did not even suggest that 
I ever had any other thought than to go to the village. 
I would not have failed to do so for anything. When 
we got there, all of the people in the village except three 
or four who were sick, were congregated in their little 
zayat, or worship place awaiting us. We had a tender 
little farewell service with them, weeping and praying 
together. Then they began to bring me gifts of bananas, 
cucumbers, sweet potatoes, eggs and chickens. When 
one woman placed forty-two eggs at my feet, I said, 
"Oh, please don't bring so many things. You need these, 
and I don't. I know you love me. Just give me two 
chickens and a few eggs and take the other things back. 
We cannot carry them anyhow." 

"Oh, Boinu, please take them all. We want to give 
you something and we haven't anything else to give," 
they said. "But we cannot possibly carry them all," I 
said. "Never mind. We will never see your face again 
and we all want to give you something. We will send 
somebody to carry them for you," they answered. And 
that is what they did. Practically the whole village fol- 
lowed us for a long distance, and we had difficulty in per- 
suading them to return. "We will never see the Boinu's 
face again. Let us go a little farther," they said again 
and again. 



SEVERING TENDER TIES 255 

The next day we reached the last bungalow before 
taking boats to go down the Myittha River, which would 
connect us with the outside world. Here we rested over 
Sunday, and here I wrote the last word in a Chin dic- 
tionary of over nine hundred pages. Though very im- 
perfect and badly done, I trust and believe that it will 
be of value to those who come after me. May they be 
permitted to lead the people to far higher, holier ground 
than they have yet been able to attain. 

Are there sacrifices and hardships in missions? Yes, 
many and very real ones. But what sacrifice can counter- 
balance the joy of giving to a people the Word of Life 
in their own language? Or the touching of darkened 
lives to uplift and ennoble? There are hardships and 
sacrifices in every strong, purposeful, worth-while life and 
there are equalizing compensations. 



THE END 



2- 



urir 

48 438 977