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Full text of "The heart of Hyacinth"




HYACINTH 



THE HEART 
OF HYACINTH 

to 

ONOTO WATANNA 



ILLUSTRATED 
DECORATIONS BY 

KIYOKIGHI SANO 




NEW YORK AND LONDON 
HARPER & BROTHERS 
PUBLISHERS M-C-M-I-I-I 







Copyright, 1903, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 

All rights reserved, 
Published September, 1903. 




ILLUSTRATIONS 

HYACINTH Frontispiece 

"KOMA LIFTED HER IN HIS 

ARMS" Facing p. 42 

"'NOW, COME, LITTLE ONE! 
COME, GIVE ME THAT WEL- 
COME HOME " 7O 

" HE KNELT IN A RAPT SILENCE 

BESIDE HER" " 200 

iii 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

I 



THE City of Sendai, on the north- 
-tern coast of Japan, raises its head 
queenly-wise towards the sun, as though 
conscious of its own matchless beauty 
and that which envelops it on all sides. 
Here, where the waters flow into the 
Pacific, the surges are never heard. 
Neptune seems to have forgotten his 
anger in the presence of such peerless 
beauty. 

Near to Sendai there is a bay called 
Matsushima. Here Nature has flung 
out her favors with more than lavish 
hand; for throughout the bay she has 
scattered jewel-like rocks, whose white 
sides rise above the waters, and whos 
i 












THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




surface gives nutrition to the grace- 
ful pine -trees which find their roots 
within the stone. Near to a thousand 
rocks they are said to number, and save 
for the one called Hadakajima, or Naked 
Island, all are crowned with pine-trees. 

The historic temple Zuiganjii is situ- 
ated at the base of a hill a few cho from 
the beach. About the temple are the 
tombs and sepulchres of the great Date 
family, once the feudal lords of Sendai. 
There is a huge image of Date Masamune, 
whose far-seeing mind sent an envoy to 
Rome early in the seventeenth century. 
The sepulchres are, for the most part, 
in the hollowed caves of the range of 
rocky hills behind the temples. Name- 
less flowers, large and brilliant in color, 
bloom about the tombs of these proud, 
slumbering lords. Mount Tomi bends 
its noble head in homage towards the 
glories of a past generation. The air is 
very still and cool. Silence enshrines 
and deifies all. 

The inhabitants of Sendai and the 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

little fishing village on the northern 
shore of the bay were simple, gentle folk. 
As though affected by the slumbrous 
beauty of the hills and mountains 
hedging them in upon all sides, these let 
their life glide by with slow and sweetly 
sleepy tread. Not even the shock of 
the Restoration had brought this re- 
gion's people into that prophetic regard 
for the future which pervaded all other 
parts of the empire. The change-com- 
pelling progress which pressed in upon 
all sides seemed not as yet to have laid 
its withering finger upon fair Mat- 
sushima. Like their home, the inhabi- 
tants clung to their hermit existence. 

When an English ship, having ploughed 
its way through the waters of the Pacific, 
sent out its men in boats to take the 
bay's soundings, the people were not 
alarmed, but greatly mystified. The 
strange white men made their way in 
their smaller boats to the shore. A 
missionary and his wife were landed. 

A little home, on a small hill situated 
3 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

only a short distance from the Temple 
Zuiganjii, they built for themselves. 
Afterwards, native artisans raised for 
them a larger structure, where for many 
years they patiently taught the gospel 
of Jesus Christ. The people gradually 
learned to love and reverence their pale 
teachers. There came a time when the 
little band, which had at first gone 
desultorily and curiously to the mission- 
house, began to see what the strangers 
termed "the light . ' ' Then the Christian 
Church in far-away England enrolled 
a little list of converts to their religion. 

The missionary grew old and white 
and bent. His gentle wife passed away. 
He lingered wistfully, a strangely iso- 
lated, though beloved, figure in the little 
community. 

Then came a second visitation from 
an English vessel. Sailors and officers 
lolled about the town by day and 
rioted by night. Some of them wooed 
the dark-eyed daughters of the town but 
to leave them. One there was, however, 
4 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

who brought a girl, a shrinking, yet 
trustful girl, to the old missionary on the 
hill, and there, in the shabby old mission- 
house, the solemn and beautiful cere- 
mony of the Christian marriage service 
was performed over their heads. 

That was ten years before. At first 
the Englishman had seemingly settled in 
his adopted land, as he loved to call it. 
The place appealed to his artistic per- 
ceptions. The Mecca of all his hopes, 
he called it. Why should he return to 
the world of cold and strife ? Here were 
peace, rest, and love unbounded. But 
before the close of the second year of 
their union an event occurred which 
shook the stranger suddenly into life's 
vivid reality. A great duty thrust 
itself in his track. Not for himself, 
but for another, must he turn his back 
upon the land of love. A son had 
been born to him in the season of Little 
Heat. 

So the Englishman crushed to his 
breast his foreign wife and child, and 
5 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

with reiterated promises of a speedy re- 
turn he left them. 

Letters in those days travelled slow- 
ly from England to Japan. Sometimes 
those addressed to the little town of 
Sendai remained for weeks in the offices 
at the open ports. Sometimes they 
travelled hither and thither from one 
port to another, the stupid indifference 
of officials scarcely troubling itself to 
send them to their proper destination. 
But finally, after many months, the 
little wife and mother in Sendai held 
between her trembling hands an Eng- 
lish letter. It had come in a very large 
envelope, and there were several bulky 
inclosures neatly folded documents 
they were tied with red tape. 'There 
was also another letter, shorter than the 
one she held in her hand, and written in 
a different form. She could not even 
read her letter, though she did not doubt 
from whom it had come. Happy, she 
pressed her precious package to her lips 
and breast. She believed that the 
6 



THE HEART OF 




ACINTH 



strangely printed papers within the en- 
velopes, similar in her eyes to the many 
English papers he had always about him, 
were merely other forms of his epistle of 
love. 

The woman waited with a divine pa- 
tience for the return of the old mis- 
sionary from a little journey inland. 
She watched for him, watched ceaseless- 
ly, constantly. And when he had re- 
turned she dressed the little Komazawa 
in fresh, sweet-smelling garments, and 
carried him with her papers to the mis- 
sion-house. 

Why detail the pain of that inter- 
view? The papers and one of the let- 
ters, it is true, were, indeed, from her 
lord, but they were sent by another, a 
stranger. The Englishman had died 
died in what he termed a foreign coun- 
try, since his home was by her side, 
his last hours he had striven to write 
her and instruct her in the course she 
must take in the years to come when 
could not be by her as her loving guide. 
7 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Madame Aoi meekly followed the 
counsel of the aged missionary. Under 
his guidance, childlike and with unques- 
tioning faith, she studied unceasingly 
the English language and the Christian 
faith. 

If the old missionary had at first mar- 
velled at the calm which settled upon 
her after that one wild outcry when 
first she had heard the dread tidings of 
her husband, he was not long in discover- 
ing that her passiveness was but an outer 
mask to veil the anguish of a broken 
heart, and to give her that strength 
which must overcome the weakness 
which would be the doom of her hopes. 
For Aoi was not left without some hope 
in life. Her lord, in departing, had set 
upon her an injunction, a duty. This 
it was her task to perform. Once that 
was accomplished, perhaps the strain 
might lessen. Meanwhile tirelessly, 
ceaselessly, she studied. 

She had the natural gift of intelli- 
gence, and the advantage of having 
8 



i 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

spent two full years with her husband. 
Hence it was not long before she mas- 
tered the language, and, if she spoke it 
brokenly and even haltingly, she wrote 
and read accurately. 

To the little Komazawa she spoke 
only in English. She kept him jeal- 
ously apart from the villagers, and 
taught his little tongue to shape and 
form the words of his father's language. 

"Some day, liddle one," she would 
say, "you will become great big man. 
Then you will cross those seas. You 
will become great lord also at that Eng- 
land. So! It is the will of thy august 
father." 





II 



IT was the season of Seed Rain. The 
country was green and fragrant and the 
crops thirstily absorbed the rain. The vil- 
lagers sat at their thresholds , some of them 
even indolently lounging in the open, un- 
mindful or perhaps enjoying the seething 
rain, an antidote for the heat, which was 
somewhat sweltering for the season. 

Children were playing in the street, 
nimbly jumping over the puddle ponds, 
or climbing, with the agility of monkeys, 
the trees that lined the streets, and about 
whose boughs they hung in various at- 
titudes of daring delight. 

One small boy had climbed to the very 
tip of a bamboo, and there he clung by 
his feet, swaying with the shakings of 
the slender tree, and the motion of those 
below him far below him. 
10 





THE HEART OF HYACI 



It was not often that the son of 
Madame Aoi was permitted such ab- 
solute freedom. Indeed, it was only 
upon those occasions when Komazawa, 
momentarily blind to the reproach of 
his mother's sad eyes, literally thrust 
away the bonds which seemed to hold 
and chain him to their quiet household 
and burst out and beyond their reach. 
Surely, at the tip of this long, perilous 
bamboo he was quite beyond the reach 
of little Madame Aoi and her old ser- 
vant, Mume. But even in his present 
lofty position Komazawa had kept his 
eyes from the possible glimpse of his 
mother. His feet clung to the tree only 
because his hands were engaged in cover- 
ing his ears. 

Yet, even in the open, Komazawa was 
alone. The neighbors' children played 
in little bodies and groups together, and 
Komazawa from his perch watched them 
with the same ardent wistfulness with 
which he was wont to regard them from 
the door of his little isolated home, 
n 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Old Mum& was angry. Her voice had 
become hoarse, and she was tired of her 
position in the rain, for the bamboo 
gave but scant shelter. She shook the 
tree angrily. 

"Do not so," entreated the gentle Aoi. 
"See how the tree bends. Take care 
lest it become angry with us and vent its 
vengeance upon my son. But, pray you, 
good Mume, return to the home and give 
food and succor to our honorable guest." 

As Mume shuffled off, her heavy clogs 
clicking against the pavement, Aoi called 
up, entreatingly, to the truant: 

"Ah, Koma, Koma, son, do pray come 
down." 

But Komazawa, with head thrown 
backward, was whistling to the clouds. 
He was very well content, and it pleased 
him much to be wet through. How long 
he sat there, whistling softly strange airs 
and imagining wild and fanciful things, 
he could not have told, since the passage 
of time in these days of freedom was a 
thing which he noted little. 

12 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Gradually he became aware that the 
rain was becoming colder and the sky 
had darkened. Komazawa looked down- 
ward. There was nothing but darkness 
beneath him. He shivered and shook 
his little body and head, the hair of 
which was weighted with rain. Koma- 
zawa began to slide downward, feeling 
the way with his feet and hands. It was 
quite a journey down. In the darkness 
he had knocked his little shins against 
out-jutting broken boughs. He landed 
with both feet upon something palpitat- 
ing and soft something that caught its 
breath in a sigh, then inclosed him in its 
arms. 

Komazawa guilty, but not altogether 
tamed, spoke no words to his mother. 
He stood stiffly and quietly still while 
she felt his wetness with her hands. But 
he threw off the cape in which she en- 
deavored to wrap him. He was obliged 
to stand on tiptoe to put it back around 
his mother, and as this was an undigni- 
fied position, his bravado broke down. 
13 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

radually he nestled up against her, and 
strange marvel in Japan! these two 
embraced and kissed each other. 

After a while, as they trudged silently 
down the street homeward, Komazawa 
inquired, in a sharp little voice, as he 
looked up apprehensively at his mother: 

"And the honorable stranger, moth- 
er?" 

Aoi hesitated. The hand about her 
son trembled somewhat. His thin little 
fingers clutched it almost viciously. He 
flushed angrily. 

"Why do you not answer me?" he 
asked, with peevishness. 

" I have not seen the honorable one," 
said Aoi, gently. 

"Pah!" snapped the boy. "No, cer- 
tainly, and we do not wish to see her. 
We do not like such bold intrusion." 

"Nay, son," she reproved, "we must 
not so regard it. Let us remember the 
words of the good master, the august 
missionary." 

"What words?" inquired Koma, tart- 
14 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




ly. " Why, his excellency does not even 
know of the coming of the woman, since 
he is gone three days from Sendai now." 

"Ah, but my son, do you not remem- 
ber that he taught us to treat with kind- 
ness the stranger within our gates?" 

Koma made a sound of disapproval, 
his little, ill-tempered face puckered in 
a frown. After a moment he inquired 
again : 

"But where is the woman, mother?" 

Aoi regarded her small son almost 
apologetically. 

"She is within our humble house," she 
replied. 

Koma pulled his hand from hers with 
a jerk. For a time he walked beside her 
in silence. He was strangely old for his 
years, and already he showed the in- 
heritance of his father's pride. 

"Mother," he said, "we do not wish 
the stranger to disturb our home. My 
father would not have permitted it. We 
are happy alone together. What do we 
want with this woman stranger'" 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

" But, my son, she is very ill." 

"She should have stayed at the honor- 
able tavern. We do not keep a hos- 
telry." 

Aoi sighed. 

"Well," she said, hopefully, "let us 
bear with her for a little while and after- 
wards" 

"We will turn her out," quickly fin- 
ished the boy. 

"We will entreat her to remain," said 
Aoi. "It would be proper for us to do 
so. But the stranger will not be lacking 
in all courtesy. She will not remain." 

They had reached their home. Now 
they paused on the threshold, the mother 
regarding the son somewhat appealingly , 
and he with his sulky head turned from 
her. Aoi pushed the sli ding-doors apart. 
A gust of wind blew inward, flaring up 
the light of the dim andon and then ex- 
tinguishing it. The house was in dark- 
ness. 

Suddenly a voice, a piercing, shrill 
voice, rang out through the silent house. 
16 



TfK 



THE HEART OF 




HYACI 



"The light, the light!" it cried; "oh, 
it is gone, gone!" 

Koma clutched his mother's hand with 
a sudden, tense fear. 

"The light!" he repeated. "Quickly, 
mother; the honorable one fears the 
darkness. Quickly, the light!" 





Ill 



OLD Mum& was busily engaged in the 
kitchen. The milk over the fire had 
begun to bubble. With a large wooden 
stick she stirred it. Then she returned 
to her rice. As she pounded it into flat 
cakes, her old face, with its hundred 
wrinkles, was contorted, and she mut- 
tered and talked to herself as she worked. 
She was like some old witch, breathing 
incantations. 

At the threshold of the room stood 
Koma. His eyes were very wide open 
and his cheeks were flushed. At his side 
his little hands were sharply clinched. 
His whole attitude betokened excite- 
ment and impatience. Suddenly he 
clapped his hands so loudly and sharply 
that the old woman started in fright; 
then catching sight of the little intruder, 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

she hobbled towards him on her heels, 
her tongue in angry operation. 

"Now, who but an evil one would 
frighten an old woman? Shame upon 
you, naughty one!" 

"Oh, Mume, you are so slow the evil 
one will catch you. Just see, the milk 
boils over. Still you do not hasten. 
Yet the illustrious ones are ill, very 
ill." 

"Tsh!" scolded the old woman, as she 
poured the steaming milk into a shallow 
bowl, and broke pieces of the rice-bread 
into it. "What, would you advise old 
Mume about such matters? Would you 
have me burn the honorable babe?" 

She cooled the preparation with her 
hand, fanning it back and forth across 
the bowl. 

Koma watched her a moment with 
smouldering eyes. Suddenly he started, 
his little ears alert and attentive. 

A cry, thin and piping at first, grew 

in volume. Was it possible that so small 

a thing could fill the house with its 

19 








THE HEART OF 



HYACINTH 










noise? Koma strode to the fire, seized 
the bowl with both hands, and, before 
the grumbling old servant could inter- 
fere, he was gone with it from the room, 
and speeding along the hall. 

With his finger-tips on the closed 
shoji of the guest-chamber he tapped 
gently. It was softly pushed aside, and 
Aoi appeared in the opening. Stepping 
into the hall, she closed the sliding 
screens behind her. 

The boy spoke in an eager whisper. 

"Here is the milk the honorable one 
desired." 

"Where did you obtain it, son?" 

"In the village. And see, we have 
warmed it, for it was quite cold. It is 
good goat's milk." 

"Such a good son!" whispered Aoi, 
and stooped to kiss the upraised face ere 
she returned to the sick-chamber. 

Koma crouched down on the floor by 
the door. He could hear within the soft 
glide of his mother's feet across the floor. 
There was a murmuring of indistin- 



20 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

guishable words. Then that voice, with 
its strange accent, which seemed to 
pierce and reach something in the 00 

The voice was weak now, but its ex- 
quisite clearness was hot dulled. Then 
Koma heard the movement of the lifting 
of the babe ; a little cry or two, then little 
gurgling, satisfied gasps. The babe was 
being fed with the milk he had procured. 
It gave Koma a strange satisfaction 
a warm delight. He stretched out his 
little limbs across the floor. He, too, 
was satisfied. All was now well. Grad- 
ually his head drooped backward and 
Komazawa fell into a slumber. 

Within, the stranger was imparting 
bits of her history to the sympathetic 
Aoi. She was hardly conscious of her 
words, which were spoken through her 
semi-delirium. Her feverish eyes, wide 
open, shone up into the bending face of 
Aoi, and held the Japanese woman with 
their piteous appeal. She seemed sooth- 
ed under the gentle touch of Aoi's hand 
on her brow. 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 






"Pray thee to sleep," gently the 
Japanese woman persuaded her. 

She was quiet a moment, only to start 
up the next. 

"Nay," entreated Aoi, "sleep first 
to-morrow speak. Rest, I pray you." 

"It was so long, so long!" cried the 
woman on the bed, clasping her thin 
hands across those on her head. "And, 
oh, the pain, the agony of it all! I was 
so tired o " 

Her body palpitated and quivered 
with the sighing sobs that shook her. 
She sprang up suddenly, pushing away 
from her the hands of Aoi, which gently 
attempted to restrain her. 

' ' It was all wrong quite wrong from 
the first. But what did they care ? They 
had their wedding. Ah, I tell you, they 
are bad, all bad! Ah, it was cruel, 
cruel!" 

"Ah," thought Aoi, sadly; "she, too, 
has been pierced with anguish. Truly, 
my heart breaks in sympathy with 
her." 



22 




. 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



She bent above the quivering woman, 
her pitying face close to hers. 

"Pray thee, dear one, take rest and 
comfort," she said, smoothing softly her 
brow. 

"Ah, you are so good, s^ good," said 
the sick woman. "You are not like 
those others those fearful people." She 
covered her eyes with her thin hands as 
if to shut out a vision of some horror. 
"God will bless you, bless you for your 
goodness to me," she said. 

Exhausted, she lay back among the 
pillows, her eyes closed. How grateful 
to her must have felt that great English 
bed, with its soft coverlets! For how 
many days had she wandered, without 
sight or word of her own people! Her 
thin, fine lips quivered unceasingly, 
while her blue eyes held a constant mist, 
seemingly haunted by some troubled 
spectre that pursued her ceaselessly. 

Once she raised her hands feebly, then 
plucked at the coverlet with long, white 
fingers. 

23 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 










"What a death! oh, what a death!" 
she whispered, faintly. 

After a long silence her voice raised 
itself to the pitch of one delirious. 

"If I could see " Her words came 
slowly and with difficulty, and she re- 
peated them ramblingly. " If I could 
only see a white face a white one of 
my own people. Oh, so long, and, oh 
me! mamma, mamma!" 

"Ah, dear lady," said Aoi, "if you will 
but deign to rest I will go forth and 
endeavor to find some of your people. 
There are white people in the next town. 
It is not far not very far, and perhaps, 
ah, surely, they will come to you." 

"My people," the woman repeated. 
"No, no." Her voice became hoarse. 
She started up in her bed. "You do not 
understand. I must never, never see 
them again. I could not bear it. They 
are cruel, wicked. No! Ah, you shall 
promise me promise me." 

She fell back, exhausted from her 
transport of passion. Aoi knelt beside 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

her and took her hands within her 
own. 

"I will promise you whatever you 
wish, dear lady. Only speak your desires 
to me. I will humbly try to carry them 
out." 

The sick woman's voice was so weak 
that she scarce could raise it above a 
whisper, but her words were plain. 

"Promise me that you will not give 
them my little one when I am gone. 
You are good, and will be kind to her. 
Oh, will you not? I would not be 
happy, I could not rest in peace if she 
were sent to to him." Her words 
rambled off again. "I left him," she 
said, "ran away far away, far away, 
and the country was all strange to me, ^ 
and I could not find my way. Every 
one stared at me; it must have been 
because I had gone mad, you know, 
quite mad. All women do. I wanted 
to put a great distance between us, to 
get beyond his sight beyond the sound 
of his voice, beyond " 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Ah, do not speak more," entreated 
Aoi, now in tears. 

"Why, you are crying!" said the sick 
woman, looking wistfully into Aoi's face. 
She began to weep, weakly, impotently, 
herself. 

After a time she became quieter. She 
started once again, when Aoi had snuff- 
ed a few of the lights, seeming to dread 
the darkness, but when the Japanese 
woman's hands reassured her, she was 
again silent. And as she slept she still 
clung spasmodically to the hands of 
Aoi. 








MORNING dawned with a haggard 
light. Ceaselessly the rain drizzled down. 
The torpid heat of the previous day had 
given place to a clammy chilliness. The 
weather oppressed the sick one. Her 
restlessness was gone, but passive quiet 
was more ominous. Her white face 
seemed to have shrunken through the 
night so white and still it was that 
she seemed scarcely to breathe. 

Too weak to bear the burden of her 
child against her, the mother permitted 
the little one to be cared for in an in- 
terior room lest its cries might disturb 
her. All through the day she spoke no 
word. Wearily, the heavy lids of her 
eyes were closed. 

As the day began to wane, Aoi, 
thoroughly alarmed, summoned the vil- 
27 












THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

lage doctor ; a very old and learned man 
he was considered. He felt the wom- 
an's hands, listened to her breathing with 
his ear against her lips. Very cold her 
hands were, but her breathing was reg- 
ular, though faint. 

The doctor looked grave, solemn, and 
wise. He shook his bald head omi- 
nously. 

"How long has the honorable one 
been thus?" 

"Since early morn, sir doctor. She 
awoke from her night sleep only to fall 
into this condition." 

"The woman has but a short space of 
life left to her," said the doctor, solemnly. 

Aoi trembled. 

"Her people ' she began, falter- 
ingly. "Oh, good sir doctor, it is very, 
very sad. So young! Ah, so beau- 
tiful!" 

Seeming not to share or understand 
Aoi's sympathy, the doctor gathered 
up his instruments and simples slowly, 
meanwhile glancing uneasily towards 
28 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 







the face of the sick woman, 
suddenly to Aoi. 

"Madame," he said, "the village 
sympathizes with you at the infliction 
placed upon you by this enforced guest, 
but" 

"You do not finish, sir doctor?" 

"The woman became a nuisance 
the tavern. The people there were not 
Kirishitans (Christians), and were more- 
over in ignorance of the woman's speech. 
They could only comprehend that she 
wished to be taken to some one of her 
own people so, madame, you " 

"I, being of her people," said Aoi, with 
simple dignity, "she was brought to me. 
That was right. I thank my neighbors 
for their kindness. I am honored, in- 
deed, with such a guest. She is wel- 
come." 

The doctor moved towards the door. 

"And the child? It is well, and will 
not accompany the mother on her last 
journey. What will become of it?" 

Aoi did not reply. 
29 















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

" If it is desired by you, Madame Aoi," 
said the doctor, endeavoring to be kind, 
"I will immediately despatch word to 
the city to send notification to the near- 
est open port. There, surely, must be 
some consul, or representative of the 
woman's country. To them the child 
should go." 

Aoi spoke swiftly. 

"The poor one's people were unkind 
to her and cruel. How can we tell but 
that they might also abuse the child?" 

"That is the affair of the child, Ma- 
dame Aoi. Pray accept my counsel. 
Send the child" 

Interrupted by the sudden entrance 
of little Komazawa, he did not finish. 
The boy had evidently heard all, through 
the thin partition doors, against which 
he had leaned, listening intently. He 
thrust himself now before the doctor, 
with eyes purpled by excitement. His 
tense little body quivered. 

"Sir doctor," he said, in a voice new 
even to his mother, it was so strong 
30 















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

and haughty, "you make mistake. The 
child is already among its own people. 
Here, in my father's house, all people are 
Engleesh. So! The child belongs to us, 
smce~"tHe mother did present it to us. 
It is a gift of the good God!" 

Smiling and frowning together the lit- 
tle doctor bowed ironically to the little 
fellow facing him. 

"And will the august one enlighten 
me as to whether he will make an effort 
to find the child's legal guardians?" 

"That is our affair, sir doctor, but I 
will answer. We will ask advice of the 
good excellency when he returns. He 
is in Sendai even now. He will be in our 
village to-night." 

The doctor bowed himself out, and 
Koma turned to his mother, a question 
in his eyes. Aoi nodded sadly. The 
poor white woman would die, had said 
the sir doctor. 

Komazawa approached the bed softly, 
until he stood by the woman's side. 
looking down fixedly upon her. Ho*,v 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

white was the still face, how beautiful 
the long lashes that swept the cheeks, 
how wonderful and sunlike the silken 
hair enveloping her head like a halo. 
Could she be real, this beautiful, still 
creature? Never had Komazawa seen 
anything like her. She seemed a spirit 
.of the lingering twilight. 

Suddenly he bent over her and softly 
touched the small hand that lay outside 
the coverlet. But soft as was his touch 
it acted like an electric shock upon the 
woman. She started and quivered, as 
her heavy lids lifted. At the little face 
bending above her she stared. A strange 
expression came into her face. Her 
voice was like that of one murmuring 
in a dream. 

"A little white boy," she said. "A 
little white" 

Her lips were stilled, but a breath, a 
sigh passed from her as Koma, with a 
sudden instinctive motion, put his face 
down to hers. When Aoi gently drew 
the boy up she found the still, white 
32 












/^K^^ 

THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

face softly smiling in the twilight, as 
though ere she slept she had seen a 
vision. 

But Komazawa knelt by the bedside, 
weeping passionately. 





NEAR the Temple Zuiganjii there is 
one huge rock, where the Date lords in 
the feudal days were wont to gather 
yearly, attended by musicians, and seek- 
ing recreation in gay amusements. It 
is of enormous size, and when the sun's 
rays beat upon its white surface it 
shines like white, polished glass. Flat, 
embedded in the soil, there is, however, 
a part of the rock which rises many feet 
above the level, its out - jutting point 
resembling the head of some giant sea- 
monster. Under this jutting head a 
natural cave has been formed. 

Here, on a summer day, two children 
were playing together. Far below them 
the Bay of Matsushima spread out its 
insistent beauty. Moored to the beach, 
a few cho below them, was their minia- 
34 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

ture raft-sampan, an old weather-beaten 
boat, in which they had made their 
^pilgrimage from the village. Behind 
them were the tombs and the eastern 
hills. The sunlight slanting upon them 
was no less golden than these summer 
foot-hills of the mountains beyond. 

Bareheaded and barelegged the chil- 
dren were, the sandals upon their feet 
wet, showing how they had paddled in 
the bay. The boy, a lad of possibly 
fifteen years, was stretched full length 
under the shadow of the rock, only his 
sandalled feet projecting into the sun- 
light, which he hoped would dry them. 
His elbows were in the sand, his chin 
resting upon one arm. He was reading 
from a very much worn and ragged 
book, the leaves of which he turned with 
the utmost care and tenderness. 

The little girl had gradually come from 
the rock's shadow, and now squatted at 
his feet. The sun fell upon her. She 
was a diminutive, odd little mite. Her 
hair, a dark shining brown, had been 
35 




^ 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

carefully knotted up into a little chignon 
at the top of her head, but, being way- 
ward by nature, it had escaped the most 
persistent brushing and the severe pins 
which held it. It clung around her ears 
and little neck in soft, damp curls. Her 
face and hands were russet, sunburned 
and freckled. Her eyes were large and 
gray, shading towards blue. She wore 
but one garment, a little red, ragged 
kimono, very much frayed at the ends 
and soaked from her late paddling. Un- 
like the average Japanese child, the lit- 
tle girl was restless and lacked all sense 
of repose, an inherent instinct with Jap- 
anese children. 

Though the boy had constituted her 
his audience and was reading aloud to 
her, she apparently had heard no word 
of what he had been reading. Having 
wriggled her way beyond the reach of his 
hand, she now looked about her for new 
means of engaging her active little mind. 
This she discovered in some stalks of 
grass . H a ving selected the strff est blade 
36 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

she could find, she stealthily crept back 
to the feet of the boy, and first tickled, 
then pricked his feet with the grass. The 
natural result followed. The boy's dron- 
ing, monotonous voice in reading chang- 
ed to a sudden, sharp grunt, and he threw 
up his heels, whereat the little girl burst 
into a wild, elfish peal of laughter. At 
the same time she renewed her jabs at 
the boy's protesting feet. 

Komazawa, still agitating his heels, 
closed the book with care, placed it in 
safety in the sleeve of his hakama, and 
swung upward, drawing his heels under 
him beyond the reach of his naughty 
tormentor. 

With assumed gravity he regarded the 
small rogue before him. 

"Something bitten you, yes?" she in- 
quired, keeping her distance from him 
and hugging her knees up to her chin. 

Koma nodded, silently. 

"What?" she inquired. "What was 
that bitten you, Koma?" 

"Gnat!" said the boy, briefly. 
37 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Gnat?" She crept a few paces near- 
er to him, and peered up into his face. 

"Yes gnat," he repeated, "bad devil 
gnat." 

The expression on the little girl's face 
was involved. How was it possible for 
any one ever to know just what Koma- 
zawa meant when his face was so grave 
and smileless. She had an odd little 
trick of glancing up at one sideways 
under her eyelashes. She peeped up at 
Koma now for some time in this man- 
ner. Her mirth had changed to a matter 
of speculation. Did or did not Koma 
know what had bitten him? He had 
said it was a gnat. Her intelligence was 
not sufficiently developed to include the 
possibility that he might have meant her 
for the gnat. She ventured: 

"Did you see that gnat bite you?" 

"Yes, twice." 

Her eyes became wide. 

"Where is it gone?" she inquired, 
breathlessly. 

"Still there," was his reply. 
38 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Where ?" She started, actually 
frightened. Koma's voice and air of 
mystery began to work upon her active 
imagination. What was a gnat, any- 
way? And if one had actually bitten 
Komazawa, might it not also bite her? 
By this time she had entirely forgotten 
her own attacks with the grass blade. 
She was close to Koma now, her hands 
upon his arm, her upraised eyes search- 
ing his face. 

"What is a gnat, Komazawa?" 

"Bad little insect." 

"Oh! Does it bite?" 

"Yes." 

"Did it also bite you?" 

"Three times." 

"Oh!" A palpitating pause. Then: 

"Will it bite me, too?" 

"Maybe." 

She crept completely into his arms, 
shielding herself with his sleeves. 

"Where is it that bad gnat?" 

"Here." He pointed at her with 
index-finger. 

39 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 





"Here!" She gave a little scream. 
"On my face!" 

She was a small bundle of pricked 
nerves, frightened at a shadow of her 
own making. Komazawa relented, and 
pressed her little, fluttering face against 
his own. 

"There foolish one! No; there is 
nothing on your face. You are the gnat 
I meant." 

"Me!" She drew back a pace. "But 
I am not an insect!" 

"Little bit like one," said Koma, a 
smile of sunshine replacing his affected 
gravity a moment since. 

His small companion sat up stiffly, 
half indignant, half curious. 

"How'm I like unto an insect gnat?" 

"Gnat jumps this way, that, every 
way. So you do so. Can't sit still, 
listen to beautiful stories." 

" I don't like those kind stories. Like 
better stories about ghosts and " 

"Oh, you always get afraid of such 
stories, screaming like sea-gull." 
40 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



"Yes, but all same, I like to do that 
like to hear such stories like also get 
frightened and scream." 

"Gnat also bites bites foot, same as 
you do." 

"That don't hurt," she said, her eyes 
askance. Then, repeating her words, 
questioningly, "That don't hurt?" 

"Oh yes, it does, certainly. What do 
you suppose I got to keep my feet under 
me now for?" 

Her little bosom heaved. 

" Let me see those foots, Komazawa." 

"Too sore." 

"Oh, Komazawa!" 

Her eyes were beginning to fill. He 
thrust his two feet out quickly. 

"No, no; they are all right." 
" Her face was aglow again in an in- 
stant. 

"Oh, I love you, my Koma," she said. 
" I only pretend hurt your honorable 
foots." 

"That's right. Now, you fix your 
hands so." He illustrated, doubling his 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

own hands into fists, then doubling hers 
also. 

"That's right. Make hand good and 
hard. So! Now you hit hard against 
those feet. So!" 

He brought her little, closed fist down 
hard with his own hand on his offending 
foot. The little girl became pale. Her 
lips quivered. She began to sob. 

Koma lifted her in his arms, jumped 
her on his shoulder, and carried her 
down to the beach, soothing her as he 
walked. 

"That's just little punishment for me; 
punishment for teasing little sister," said 
Koma, laughing quietly. " That don't 
hurt. You going to laugh soon? You 
just little gnat! That's so? You bite 
just little bit. I am big dog. I bite 
big." 

He set her in the boat. 

"Such a foolish little gnat," he said, 
"always cry always laugh. Like these 
waters sometimes jump sometimes lie 
still." 

42 











MA I.I FT I- I) II KK IN 111 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Standing in the boat he pushed it out 
into the bay with the large pole which 
served as a sort of paddling oar. 

He smiled back over his shoulder at 
her. "Ah, the wind go blowing us home 
so quick. Now you smile once more. 
Good! Sun come up again!" 

He had been speaking to her in Eng- 
lish, idiomatic, but clear. Now he 
broke into Japanese song. His voice 
was round and large, full and sweet for 
one so young. It seemed to ring out 
across the bay, and float back to them 
from the echoing hills. 










VI 



"ALAS!" said Madame Aoi, as she 
brushed, with long hopeless strokes, the 
rippling hair of little Hyacinth. "Alas! 
no use try to keep you nice. Look at 
those hands so brown like little boy's 
and that neck and face!" 

Hyacinth sat upon the weekly chair of 
torture. Her little russet face had been 
scrubbed till it shone. Her hair was 
being brushed uncomfortably smooth 
with water, to prepare it for being twist- 
ed up in a pyramid on her head. Had 
she been a properly regulated Japanese 
child, one such hair - dressing a month 
would have sufficed. But, as a rule, she 
had scarcely escaped from under the 
painstaking hands of Aoi before she 
managed to shakeclown, or at least 

>" 






iNTH 



THE HEART OF HYACIN 

loosen, the beautiful glossy coiffure upon 
her head. 

Cleaning - day, Hyacinth dreaded. 
Though Koma had taught her to swim 
in the bay like a veritable little duck, it 
is sad to relate that the little girl despised 
water which was thrown upon her for 
the purpose of removing that dirt, the 
inevitable portion of a child who plays 
continually in the open and burrows in 
beach sand. 

So now, restless, rebellious, and mis- I 
erable, anything but the usual passive \ 
little Japanese girl, she squirmed under \ 
the hands of Aoi. 

The day was Sunday, a red-letter day 
for Aoi. The mission-house on the hill 
opened its doors to its tiny congregation 
upon this day. Hence Aoi prepared her 
little family against this weekly event, 
and poor Hyacinth was the chief subject 
of torture. Koma's hair grew in a short, 
smooth mass, which required no brush- 
ing or twisting. Also, he had reached 
an age when he had, wholly graduated 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

from his mother's hands and was com- 
petent to effect his own toilet. But he 
was forced to sit in the chamber of 
horrors during the time that his sister 
was undergoing the weekly operation, 
since, were his presence removed, it 
would have been impossible to manage 
or control the restless child. 

"There!" exclaimed Aoi, as she placed 
the last pin in the child's head. " Now, 
that is fine. Been good child to-day." 

Hyacinth slid down from the small 
stool, lingered in discontent on the floor 
a moment, then, with an expression of 
childish resignation, rose to her feet and 
stood silently awaiting further opera- 
tions upon her. 

Aoi lightly wafted a little powder tow- 
ards her face and neck; then removed 
it with a soft cloth. The tanned skin 
appeared whitened and softened. Then 
she dressed her little charge in a fresh 
cre"pe kimono a red-flowered kimono it 
was tied a purple obi about it with a 
huge bow behind, placed a flower orna- 
46 

;T 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 







ment in the side of her hair, and Hya- 
cinth's toilet was completed. 

Her appearance did credit to the labor 
of Aoi. She seemed such a bewitching, 
quaint little figure her face, piquantly 
pretty, her hair shining, the red flower 
ornament matching her little red cheeks 
and lips. A moment later, too, the 
discontent and restlessness had quite 
fled from her face, for Koma had seized 
her the instant of her release and given 
her an enormous hug, to the palpitating 
anxiety of Aoi, who besought him to be 
careful not to disturb the elegance of her 
hair and gown. 

"Now," she told them, "go sit at the 
door like good children. Keep very still. 
Soon your mother will also be ready." 

Aoi expended less pains upon her own 
person. Her hair erection needed no 
re -dressing. She changed her cotton 
kimono for a very elegant silken one, 
powdered her face lightly in a trice, and 
a moment later was at the door, anxious- 
looking about for the children. 
47 






B5& 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




She was still a young woman, so 
pretty that it was hard to believe her 
the mother of a boy of sixteen. Her fig- 
ure was slight and girlish, her face un- 
marked by any trace of age, save that 
the eyes were sad and anxious and the 
lips had a tendency to quiver patheti- 
cally. She fluttered down the little gar- 
den-path, looking right and left for the 
truants. 

She discovered them bending over the 
great well in the garden. 

"See," said little Hyacinth. "There's 
big cherry - tree in well, and little girl 
under it, also." 

Aoi looked at the reflection, lingered a 
moment, smiling pensively at the three 
faces in the water, then drew them away. 

"Come," she said. "Listen; those 
temple bells already are beginning to 
ring. We shall be late and disgrace his 
excellency." 

She opened a large paper parasol, and 
with Koma holding her sleeve on one 
side and Hyacinth on the ether, they 
48 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



tripped up the hill to the little mission 
church. 

They were late, as usual, to the ex- 
treme humiliation of Aoi, who shrank 
to the most obscure corner possible in 
the church. She gave one anxious, 
fluttering glance about her, shook her 
head at the restless Hyacinth, then very 
simply and naturally lifted her little, 
thin voice in singing with the rest of this 
strange congregation. 

The old missionary at his stand, who 
had seen her entrance, beamed benign- 
ly upon her from over his spectacles. 
Though so old, his voice could be heard 
loud and clear, leading his little flock in 
their hymn of invocation. 

The service was exceedingly simple. 
A reading from a Japanese translation 
of the Bible, a few announcements by 
the old pastor, then an address by a thin, 
curious-looking stranger, the new assist- 
ant of the missionary. After that fol- 
lowed the offerings, to which every one 
in the church contributed, even the chil- 






THE HEART OF 



dren, then a sweet hymn, a solemn word 
of benediction, and church was over. 

How strangely like the church in his 
own home in far-away England was this 
little mission-house to the old minister! 
These gentle people had labored to erect 
this house on the plan he had described 
to them. They lifted up the same voices 
in melodious hymns of praise to the 
same Creator. Their eyes looked up to 
their leader with the same profound de- 
votion. Yes, surely, he had done right 
in the desertion of that small pastorate 
in England, which a hundred ministers 
could fill. Here lay his true work the 
fruits of his labors. This had become 
his home. 

So down the aisle he went, followed 
by his new assistant with a word and a 
smile, and a hearty grip of the hand for 
each and all of his little band. 

Aoi stood in the little pew, her face 
turned towards him, wistfully expectant. 
Even the restless Hyacinth peered at 
him with sombre, quieted gaze. 

50 

5** I 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Ah," he said, "Mrs. Montrose and 
Koma. How is my little girl?" and he 
patted Hyacinth upon the head. 

The new minister stared with some 
surprise at the two children, then looked 
questioningly at the old missionary. He 
was listening attentively and with old- 
fashioned courtesy to the words of the 
anxious Aoi. 

"Is it not yet time, excellency? The 
boy is growing beyond me. What is 
to be done ? I have taught him all 
the words I myself know of the Eng- 
lish language, but, alas! I am very 
ignorant, and my tongue trips and 
halts."- 

The missionary glanced gravely and 
thoughtfully at Koma, who was engaged 
in whispering to the inquisitive Hya- 
cinth. The latter was intently engross- 
ed in regarding the pale and anaemic 
face of the new minister. 

" He seems such a boy such a child," 
said the old missionary, "I think y 
have done well by him, and it certainly 
5' 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

was wise to keep him from the schools in 
Sendai." 

"Ah, excellency," said Aoi, "he mere- 
ly looks like a child. He is, indeed, 
much older than he appears. Was he 
not always old for his age? It is merely 
his constant association with the tiny 
one which causes him to appear so 
young." 

"Well," said the missionary, "we 
must think about it. I will talk it over 
with Mr. Blount." He indicated his as- 
sistant, who bowed quietly. 

Aoi appeared troubled. 

"Excellency," she said, "it was the 
will of his august father that he should 
see something of the world when he 
should have attained to years of man- 
hood." 

The missionary nodded thoughtfully. 

"I will give you my opinion to-mor- 
row to-morrow evening," he said. 
" The matter requires serious reflec- 
tion." 

"Thank you," she murmured, grate- 
5 2 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

fully. "You are so good the gods will 
bless you." 

Thus, even within the house of the new 
religion, poor Aoi let slip from her lips 
that almost unconscious faith in the gods 
of her childhood. 
















TWILIGHT falls slowly and tenderly in 
Matsushima. The trees, which spread 
out their arms over the waters, seem but 
to deepen their shadows and gradual- 
ly become part of the creeping silver 
shadow of night. For night is scarcely 
dark here in the summer. The noon- 
rays are perpetual. The stars shine 
with an unusual lustre. Earth reflects 
the light of the moon and the stars upon 
its shimmering waters, its deep blue 
fields, its blossom - decked trees. The 
pebbles on the shore become whiter, and 
the whiteness of the sands deepens the 
green of the pines. Night is but one 
long twilight, slumberous and peaceful 
in fair Matsushima. 

When the numerous candles are light- 
ed in the temples on the hills, slanting 
54 







I 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

out their glimmer upon the bewilder- 
ed waters, one might almost wonder 
whether the stars have changed their 
place and descended like spirits to render 
more fairy-like this Princess of Bays. 

An oddly assorted group of five people 
occupied a secluded spot on the shore. 
The influence of the night was upon 
them as they gazed out with seeing eyes 
that reflected the beauty of the scene 
and the emotions that tore at their 
hearts. A mother and two children 
one, whose boy soul had only begun to 
open into a graver manhood, the other 
a child of seven. But seven years old 
was Hyacinth, yet in the child's little 
face shone the restless, passionate nature 
of one old enough to feel an infinity of 
suffering. She it was who helplessly 
sobbed as they stood there by the bay 
sobbed with an effort at strangulation, 
and who gazed not alone at the magic 
of the scene, but upward into the face of 
Komazawa. 

One of the ministers broke the 
55 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



silence. An eager, odd, and somewhat 
nervous young man he appeared. 

"Dear friend," he said, addressing the 
boy Koma, "it will be much for the 
best. Our good friend here agrees with 
me in believing that it is your duty to 
follow the wishes of your father." 

Koma did not reply, but little Hy- 
acinth raised a face of turbulent scorn 
towards the speaker. She did not speak, 
but contented herself with clasping the 
hand of Koma the tighter, pressing her 
face close against it. 

"Possibly it might be as well to put 
off for a year " began the elder mission- 
ary, hesitatingly. Aoi interrupted: 

"Nay, excellency, the humble one 
agrees with the illustrious one. My 
lord's son has come to manhood. It 
is time now that he should leave us," 
her voice faltered "for a season," she 
added, softly. 

The Reverend Mr. Blount bowed 
gravely. 

"I am glad, madame," he said, "to 

56 





K 





EART O 

find that your views coincide with mine. 
Your son is er first of all more Eng- 
lish than Japanese." 

Koma stirred uneasily. He opened 
his lips as though about to speak, then 
closed them and turned his face towards 
the speaker. 

"He is, in fact, one of us," continued 
the minister. " He has the physical ap- 
pearance, somewhat of the training, and, 
let us hope, the natural instincts of the 
Caucasian. It would be not only ludi- 
crous but wicked for him to continue 
here in this isolated spot, where he is, 
may we say, an alien, and particularly 
when it is his duty to follow the wishes 
of his father as regards his English es- 
tate. Certainly this is not where Ko- 
mazawa belongs." 

" I do not agree with you, excellency," 
said Koma, with a queer accent. "This 
is, indeed, my home. Do not, I beg 
you, be deceived in that matter. It is 
true that I am also Engleesh, but, ah, 
I am not so base to deny my other blood. 
57 




v&rt*tm 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Is it not so good, excellency? Could I 
despise this land of my birth, my honor- 
able, dear home?" 

"Nay, son," interposed the agitated 
Aoi, "his excellency meant no reflection 
upon our Japan. But, oh, my son, you 
would not rebel against the will of your 
father?" 

" No," said Koma, clinching his hands 
at his side, "I would not." 

"Then you will go to this England, 
like a good son. The time has come." 

Koma remained plunged in gloomy 
thought. 

After a moment he lifted his head and 
looked at the elder missionary. 

1 ' How do we know the time has come ? ' ' 

"Because, my son, you have arrived 
at the years of manhood." 

"I am but sixteen years." 

The younger minister answered, 
quickly : 

"It will require four or five years, at 
least, in England to learn the language 
and ways of your people thoroughly." 
5* 





iwfl 

THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

" I already speak that language," said 
Koma, flushing darkly. "Do I not, sir 
excellency?" 

44 No and yes. You have been brought | 
up to speak the language. It is in- i 
telligible, but queer wrong, somehow. 
You speak your father's language like a 
foreigner." 

"Very well," agreed Koma, bitterly. 
"Let us admit that. But may I in- 
quire whether it will be necessary for me 
to go all the way to England to learn 
that language?" 

"Well, yes. Four years in an Eng- 
lish school will do much for you." 

"Four years; and when those four 
years are ended I still will lack one year 
from my majority." 

"That's right," said the missionary. 
" In England one attains one's majority 
at twenty-one. So you would have a 
year in which to return, if you wish it, to 
Japan, previous to settling in England." 
I do not know if I shall ever do that," 
said the boy, sadly. 



59 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

" It was the wish of your father," said 
Aoi, pathetically. 

"Yes, it was his wish," repeated 
Koma. "Yet I will come back each 
year." 

"That is right," said the old minister, 
patting him on the shoulder. 

"Your father never came back," said 
Aoi, sighing wistfully. 

"It would be entirely out of the 
question for you to return each year. 
Be advised by me, Komazawa; I have 
your interest at heart," said the young 
minister, earnestly. "Stay in England 
four years, then return and visit your 
mother and sister." 

"Let the good excellency decide for 
us," said Aoi, glancing appealingly at 
her old friend. He drew his brows to- 
gether. 

"Wait till the time comes to decide 
that," he concluded. " If the boy is old 
enough to leave home, he is of an age, 
also, to choose what he shall do. Let us 
not attempt to curb him." 
60 









THE new missionary assumed that 
Hyacinth was the sister of Komazawa. 
His interest in her was less than in 
Komazawa, since the boy was his 
father's heir. Possibly, too, this might 
have been because of the natural an- 
tagonism with which the little girl had 
from the first met his overtures to her. 
From the moment when she became 
acutely aware that the new minister was 
practically responsible for the departure 
of her beloved Koma, the child conceived 
a violent dislike for him. 

When the old minister, worn with his 
years of labor, quietly resigned his 
pastorate into the hands of his succes- 
sor, and the new minister had taken up 
the management of the little church, 
Hyacinth refused henceforth even to 
6l 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

, enter the mission -house. All the en- 
treaties and threats of Aoi were in vain, 
and, with Koma gone, she soon realized 
the fruitlessness of attempting to force 
her to do anything against her will. 
Comprehending the turbulent nature of 
the child, she knew that Hyacinth would 
only disgrace them both if she were 
forced into the church. So the de- 
parture of Komazawa meant at least 
the Sunday freedom of Hyacinth. 

Nor was this the only result. The 
child, whose strange, independent nature 
had never been controlled by any one 
save by Koma, now that he was gone 
broke all restraints. She wandered at will 
about the bay, hiding in hollows in the 
rocks among the tombs when they sought 
to find her. Her little vagabond exist- 
ence was not unlike that which Koma 
himself had led in his early childhood, 
save that she was not so easily restrained 
by the reproaches of Aoi. Like him, at 
this time, she scorned the companionship 
of other children. Like him she 
62 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

dered away from her home in fits and 
starts, passive for an interval, and then 
bursting all bounds and disappearing 
sometimes for the space of an entire day 
or night, to return ragged and raven- 
ously hungry. 

But when the winter came, and the 
snow and icicles crested the trees and 
whitened the hills, poor Hyacinth was 
like a little, languishing, caged bird. 
Her face grew wistful and mournful. 
She would remain for hours with her 
face pressed against the street shoji, 
staring out into the white, cold world 
that bounded the horizon on all sides. 
If you had asked her what she was wait- 
ing for, she would have replied: 

" I am waiting for the summer, for the 
summer brings Koma. He has prom- 
ised." 

Yet when the summer came no Koma 
returned with the flowers and the sun. 

Little Hyacinth grew accustomed to 
her solitude. The following year she 
came under the new edict of education, 

63 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



compulsory everywhere in Japan, and, 
in spite of her protests, was forced into 
school with a half -score of Japanese 
children of her own age. 

At first she regarded with a fierce de- 
testation the school and all connected 
with it. Did not the sensei (teacher), on 
the very first day, perch his spectacles 
upon his nose, and, drawing her by the 
sleeve to one side, examine her with the 
curiosity he would have bestowed upon 
some small animal. The children eyed 
her askance. One or two of the larger 
ones pointed at her hair, and, laugh- 
ing shrilly, called her a strange name. 
If familiarity breeds contempt it also 
breeds toleration with the young. Hya- 
cinth in the beginning had merely ex- 
cited the curiosity, not the antipathy, of 
the Japanese teacher and his scholars. 
But as time passed they became accus- 
tomed to the difference between her and 
themselves. Gradually she slipped into 
being regarded and treated as one of 
them. 

64 







THE HEART OF 



Then Hyacinth's small, lonesome soul 
expanded to stretch out timid though 
passionate glad hands of comradeship to 
all the world. She became a favorite, 
the very life and soul of the school. 
Japanese children are painfully docile 
and passive. Never were such strange 
spirits infused into a Japanese class be- 
fore. 

So the years passed, not unhappily, 
for Hyacinth. Koma at the end of the 
second year was a mere memory, at the 
end of the third he was forgotten 
wholly forgotten. Such is the fickle 
mind of a child of the nature of Hyacinth. 

The fourth year brought him back to 
Matsushima. He had become very tall, 
taller than any of the inhabitants of 
Sendai he seemed, quite a head over 
them. He wore strange and unpleasant- 
looking clothes, such as those worn by 
the Reverend Mr. Blount, who was dis- 
liked as heartily as his predecessor had 
been beloved. 

Koma was now an object of the 
65 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

est curiosity to Hyacinth. At first his 
strange appearance in the house fright- 
ened her into speechlessness. Never had 
she seen in all her minute experience 
such a strange-apparelled being, save, of 
course, the "abominable Blount." In 
concert with the small children of the 
neighborhood, and in spite of the re- 
monstrances of Aoi, Hyacinth would 
shout strange names whenever the gaunt 
figure of the white missionary appeared. 
"Forn debbil! Clistian!" such were the 
names this little Caucasian bestowed 
upon the representative of her race. 

She had become the most utter little 
backslider, if she could ever have been 
considered a member of the church. Re- 
spect and awe for the teachings of a care- 
ful and pious Shinto teacher, and as- 
sociation with a score of Shinto children, 
had had their due effect upon Hyacinth, 
and the influence of Aoi waned with the 
years. Little if anything of the ethics 
of the two religions did she understand, 
but to her the gods were bright, beaute- 
66 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

ous beings, whose temples were glittering 
gold, and whose priests kept them fra- 
grant with incense and beaming lights 
by night. The mission-house was empty, 
ugly, dark, and damp so it seemed to 
her and an odious man, with terrible, 
long hairs falling from his chin, shouted 
and gesticulated to a congregation which 
often wept and groaned in unison. 

The small children shouted derisively 
and often threw stones at the " abomi- 
nable Blount " when in little groups to- 
gether. But when one of their number 
met the minister alone, he would run 
from him in a sheer agony of fright. 

So when Komazawa returned to Sen- 
dai, clad in the garments worn by the 
missionary, Hyacinth regarded him with 
mingled feelings of terror and fascina- 
tion. 

Though he made ceaseless efforts to 
speak to her, she could not be brought 
to utter one word in response. His 
every movement mystified her. She 
would sit on the floor through an entire 

6? 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

meal watching him with wide eyes while 
he ate in a fashion she had never seen or 
heard of before. 

Koma had discarded the chop-sticks, 
and now used, to the extreme joy and 
agitation of Aoi, great silver knives and 
forks, which she brought forth from a 
mysterious recess, which even the in- 
quisitive Hyacinth had never discovered 
before. 

Koma, distressed over the change in 
his little playmate, sought to win her 
friendship with presents purchased in 
England, boxes of strange sweetmeats 
at least he told her they were sweet- 
meats. But they were coated with a 
black-brown covering which the little 
girl regarded suspiciously. She pushed 
almost fearfully from her the harmless 
chocolate drops. The sugar-coated bis- 
cuits tempted her to touch one with the 
tip of her tongue, but she retreated the 
next moment when she found the red 
coloring upon her fingers. 

Koma regarded the girl with an ex- 
68 




'^TfW 
"A, 

W' 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

pression half whimsical, half tragical, 
and, turning to his mother, said: 

"Why, the little one is even more 
Japanese than I." 

Aoi nodded her head, smiling tenderly 
at the flushing face of Hyacinth. 

"Will you not even speak to Koma 
zawa?" she inquired, reproachfully 
"Why, that is not kind. Do you 
love your august brother?" 

As Hyacinth made no response, Koma 
held out his hands to her. 

"Come here, little one," he said, bend- 
ing to her till his face was quite close to 
hers. 

Her fascinated eyes wandered from 
his strange apparel to his face. His 
eyes held hers with their strong, tender, 
reassuring expression. Half unconscious- 
ly she went closer to him. 

" Do you not remember me, then?" he 
queried, in a soft voice, whose reproach- 
ful tones thrilled the girl. 

Wistfully she approached him still 
closer, only to retreat in panic the next 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

moment. She was like a little wild bird, 
shy and fearful, yet half anxious to make 
friends with a strange being. 

Suddenly she began to cry, drawing 
her sleeve across her eyes and turning 
her face to the wall. She could not have 
told why she wept. Was it fear, childish 
conscience, or a slow recognition of her 
old, beloved Koma, whose name had be- 
come but a word to her? 

If she remembered Koma at all, the 
memory bore no resemblance to this tall 
man-boy who had returned so suddenly 
to their home. To her he seemed a 
stranger, a fearful intruder. 

Hurt to the quick, Madame Aoi whis- 
pered to her son. He arose without a 
word and disappeared into his room. 
Fifteen minutes later, Hyacinth, playing 
with a regiment of Japanese doll soldiers 
on the floor, having forgotten all her 
tears of a few minutes since, leaped to 
her feet suddenly, with a strange, little 
cry. 

There in the middle of the room she 
70 




Ml . i;tYK Ml- THAT V 
HOI 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



stood, holding tightly in her hand her 
doll, and staring, as if fascinated by the 
smiling figure on the threshold. It was 
the same stranger surely, yet, ah, not the 
same. A few minutes had wrought such 
a change in his appearance. He had 
discarded the heavy, dark, mysterious 
clothes. He appeared like any other 
Japanese youth, save that he was much 
taller, and his face smiled down upon the 
little girl with an expression whose pow- 
er she had been unable to resist even 
when he had worn those outlandish gar- 
ments. He called to her, softly. 

41 Now, come, little one; come, give me 
that welcome home." 

Her hand unclinched, the doll dropped 
to the floor. With a sudden impulse 
she ran blindly towards him, and he 
caught her in his arms with a great hug, 
which was as familiar to her as life it- 
self. 






IX 



IT was late in December, the time of 
Great Snow. Komazawa was still in 
Sendai, and Hyacinth had been taken 
from the school. She was now twelve 
years of age, still undeveloped in body 
and childish in mind. 

Hyacinth, like most impressionable 
children, had quickly succumbed to the 
influence of the school-teacher. In his 
hands she had yielded like plaster to the 
sculptor. Out of crude, almost wild, ma- 
terial had been developed what seemed 
on the surface an admirable example of 
a Japanese child. 

Komazawa, fresh from four years of 
training at an English school and inti- 
mate association with English students 
and professors, now set about the task 









HEART 



of undermining all that the sensei had 
taught Hyacinth. 

This was no light task. Hyacinth 
could not unlearn in a few months that 
which had practically become ingrained. 
Quite useless it was, therefore, for Koma- 
zawa to seek to turn the child's mind to 
a new and alien point of view, when, too, 
this view-point was, in a measure, an ac- 
quired thing with Koma himself. Yet he 
was patient, and labored unceasingly. 

No; the people in the West were not 
all savages and barbarians. 

" Did they not look like the Reverend 
Blount?" would inquire his small pupil. 

"Yes, somewhat like him." 

then, they perhaps were not 
but they certainly were mon- 



"Ah, 
savages 
sters." 

41 No; they are very fine peopl 
great." 

"But only monsters and evil spirits 
have hair growing from the chin and 
awful, blue-glass eyes," protested Hya- 
cinth. 



high. 




s& 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Whereupon Koma quietly brought a 
small mirror from his room, held it be- 
fore her face, and bade her look within. 

She stared curiously and somewhat 
timorously. 

"What do you see?" he inquired, 
quietly. 

"Little girl," she said, in a faint 
voice. 

"Yes, and what color are her eyes?" 

The eyes within the glass became en- 
larged with excitement. The lips part- 
ed. Hyacinth put her face close to the 
glass. 

" They are blue, also," she said, shrink- 
ing. 

"Very well, then. You, also, have blue 
eyes, Hyacinth." 

"Me!" She stared up at him, aghast. 

"Certainly. Is not the little girl in 
the glass you?" 

"No!" Her dilated eyes strained at 

the glass, then looked behind it and 

about her. She could see no other little 

girl in the room. There was only that 

74 





THE HEART 



face in the shining glass, with its blue, 
shiny eyes. With spasmodic working 
of features, she regarded it. 

"This is you certainly," repeated 
Koma, pointing to the reflection. 

An uncanny fear took possession of 
the little girl. Suddenly she raised 
hand, knocking the glass from that o 
Koma. 

"That's not me. No! That's lie. 
am here here! That's not me." 

She burst into a passion of tears. 

Raising the glass, Koma put it aside. 
He sought his mother immediately, 
and, with concern and perplexity in his 
face, told her of the incident of the 
mirror. 

"Hyacinth was frightened yes, ac- 
tually afraid of the mirror. What can 
be the matter?" 

"That is only natural," said Aoi. 
"And I am much distressed that you 
should have frightened her with the 
glass." 

"But why should it affright her?" 

75 






THE HEART OF HYACI 



NTH 






"Because she has never seen one be- 
fore." 

"Never seen a mirror before?" 

"No. It is only of late years that 
they have come to Sendai, my son." 

"Why, the mirror is as old as the 
nation." 

"Oh, son, but not for general use. Un- 
til recent years they were regarded as 
things of mystery, and were very pre- 
cious and priceless." 

"Yet as a child I had often seen my 
father's mirror. Our house contains one, 
does it not?" 

"True; but it is locked away in our 
secret panel." 

"But why?" 

Aoi hesitated. 

" It was, perhaps, a useless custom, my 
son. But in my younger days maidens 
were not permitted to see their own 
faces. The mirror was for the married 
woman only. Thus, a maiden was saved 
from being vain of her beauty." 

Koma frowned impatiently. 









son 



"A useless and foolish custom, truly. 
And now, here in these enlightened times, 
you put it into practice with Hyacinth. 
Why, you are prolonging the customs of 
the ancients here in this house, whic 
should be an example of the new 
enlightened age." 

Meekly Aoi bowed her head. 

"You are honorably right, my 
yet there was another reason why the 
mirror was kept from the sight of the 
little one." 

"Yes?" 

" How could I blast the little one's life 
by letting her know of of her peculiar 
physical misfortunes?" 

' ' Physical misfortunes ! What do you 
mean?" 

"Why, the hair, eyes, skin how 
strange, how unnatural!" 

Koma threw back his head and laugh- 
ed with an angry note. 

"Oh, my mother, you are growing 
backward. You are seeing all things 
from a narrowing point of view. Be- 
77 













THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

cause Hyacinth is not like other Japan- 
ese children, she is not ugly. Why, the 
little one is beautiful, quite so, in her 
own way." 

Aoi appeared troubled. 

" You did not consider my father ugly, 
did you?" 

"Ah no." 

"Well, but was he not fair of face?" 

"It is true," she admitted ; then, sigh- 
ing, added, "But I fear the little one 
would not agree with us in the matter. 
It might terrify her to see her own face 
so different from that of her play- 
mates. In heart and nature she is all 
Japanese." 

"Nay; her natural parts have had no 
opportunities. She, like you, has seen 
only one side of life and the world. Now, 
is it not time to educate her real self?" 

With an unconscious motion of dis- 
tress, Aoi wrung her hands. 

"The task is beyond me, my son. How 
can I effect it? Alas! as you say, I am 
in the same condition, for am I not 
78 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

all Japanese? My lord is gone these 
many years. I cannot keep step with 
the passage of time. Yes, son, I slip 
backward into the old mode of life and 
thought. When you were by my side, 
you were the prop that kept me awake, 
alive. But you were gone so long. Ah! 
it seemed as if time would never end." 

"Oh, my mother," he cried, "I will 
never leave you again. It is I who am 
all wrong, wrong I who am the rene- 
gade. But we will remain here to- 
gether, and you, dear mother, will teach 
me all over again the precepts of my 
childhood. For these four years I have 
been studying, acquiring a new method 
of thought and life, yet I fell into it 
naturally. My father's blood was strong 
in me. Yet, dear mother, now I feel I 
have been wrong in leaving you, and I 
will not return." 

"Oh, son," she said, with trembling 
lips, "you are all Engleesh all your 
father. And it is right. Do not speak 
of remaining here with us. A mother's 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



eyes can see deep beyond the shallows 
into her child's soul. I know your rest- 
less heart cries for the other world. It 
is there, indeed, you belong. And you 
must return to this England and the 
college." 

"But I shall not remain," he said, 
throwing his arm about her shoulder. 
"No; I shall come back when I am 
through college, for you and Hya- 
cinth." 

Aoi did not speak. Her poor little 
hands trembled against his arms. 

Fluttering to the door came Hyacinth. 
The tear-stains were gone from her face. 
In her hand she carried the small Eng- 
lish mirror. Evidently she had over- 
come her repugnance and fear of it, and 
now regarded it as some strange and 
active possession. 

Aoi looked up at her son with ques- 
tioning eyes. 

"The little one's new education must 
commence at once," he said, slowly. 

He went to the child and took the 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



mirror from her hand and again held it 
before her face. 

"This is the beginning," he said. 
"Let her become acquainted with her- 
self as she is. This will force a new 
trend of thought." 

Then to the child: 

"Who is this within?" he asked. 

"It is I," she said, simply. 

She had discovered the secret of the 
mirror, and somehow it had lost all 
terror for her nay, it held her with a 
strange delight and fascination. 

"Little one," said Komazawa, kneel- 
ing beside her, "look very often into 
the honorable mirror every day. There 
you will see your own image. You will 
not be ignorant of yourself. You will 
learn much which the sensei cannot 
teach you. Also, go each day to the 
mission-house. No; do not shake your 
head so. But every day you must go 
to the school class. Then very soon, 
maybe in three years, I will return and 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



Hyacinth looked timidly up into his 
earnest face a moment. Then she sud- 
denly smiled and dimpled. 

"Very well," she said, in English, in 
a tone whose note expressed as words 
could not her perplexed emotion. 

A smile overspread Koma's face. 

"Ah," he said, with a glance back at 
his mother, "the little one has not for- 
gotten." 

"Yet," said Aoi, "she has not spoken 
it, son, since you left Sendai five years 
ago." 







THE Reverend Mr. Blount knocked 
sharply at the door of Madame Aoi's 
house. There was no response at first 
to his summons, beyond a slight stir and 
bustle at the rear. After a pause the 
sliding doors were pushed aside and the 
fat face of Mum& appeared for a moment, 
to disappear the next. She was heard 
chattering, in a grumbling voice, to some 
one within. 

The visitor, grown impatient, rapped 
hard upon the panelling. A moment 
later there was the light patter of feet 
along the hall and Aoi appeared. She 
hastened towards the visitor with an 
apologetic expression. 

Would the honorable one pardon her 
great discourtesy ? She had been taking 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



her noonday siesta and had not heard the 
visitor's knock. She would immediate- 
ly reprove her insignificantly rude and 
ignorant servant for not having shown 
the illustrious one welcome and hos- 
pitality. 

"I want to see Hyacinth," said the 
caller, entering the guest-room and slow- 
ly removing his kid gloves. 

Hyacinth, Aoi informed her visitor, 
was also taking her noon sleep. Would 
the honorable one deign to excuse her, 
or should she disturb the little one? 

"Asleep?" he repeated, disapproving- 
ly. " How can that be, madame, since I 
only just saw her at the window?" 

" She must have awakened, then," 
said Aoi, simply. 

The other nodded curtly. " No 
doubt," he said. He seated himself 
stiffly in the only chair in the room, and 
when Aoi had quietly seated herself on 
a mat some distance from him, he clasp- 
ed his hands together and leaned for- 
ward towards her. 

84 







te 

J'M 



w 

i 












THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Madame Aoi," he said, "I have just 
heard the most improbable, ridiculous 
tale about Hyacinth." 

Madame Aoi elevated her eyes in 
gentle question. 

"That she is, in fact er engaged 
that is, affianced you know what I 
mean." 

Aoi smiled beamingly. Yes, she ad- 
mitted, her daughter was, indeed, be- 
trothed to Yamashiro Yoshida, "son of 
our most illustrious and respected and 
honorable friend in Sendai, Yamashiro 
Shawtaro." 

"But," said the visitor, after a mo- 
ment of speechless surprise, "this is the 
most preposterous, impossible of things. 
Why this this Yamashiro Shawtaro, 
the father of the boy, is one of the most 
rabid Buddhists, and, besides, it is bar- 
baric, an unheard - of thing, to think 
of marrying a girl of her age to any 
one." 

"The betrothal," said Aoi, with a 
slight smile, "was all arranged by the 
85 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Yamashiro family. The boy is the 
father's salt of life. He cast eyes of 
desire upon the little one, and as he is 
the richest, noblest, and proudest youth 
in Sendai, we have accepted him. All 
the town envies us, excellency." 

"Does her brother know about this?" 
demanded Mr. Blount, severely. 

"Oh yes, surely." 

"And what does he say? He is Eng- 
lish enough to perceive the utter im- 
possibility of such a marriage." 

"We have not heard from my son yet 
in the matter," said Aoi, simply. 

"Well," said the other, "I can assure 
you that when he knows the truth he 
will refuse to countenance it." 

"But, illustrious master, how can he 
do so? He has not that right." 

"He has not the right! Why, even 
your Japanese law makes him her right- 
ful guardian. He is still a citizen of 
Japan. A brother, in Japan, is his sis- 
ter's legal guardian. I know this to be 
a fact." 

86 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Ah, but, honored sir, you do not 
know everything." 

Mr. Blount looked over his gold-rim- 
med spectacles sharply, endeavoring to 
pierce beneath the softness of her tone. 
Japanese women were all guile was his 
inner comment. 

"Well, now, suppose you explain to me 
why your son is not his sister's guardian ?" 

"Because, august minister, he is not 
the little one's actual brother." 

Mr. Blount started so that he actually 
bounded from his seat. 

"What do you mean?" he jerked out 
to Aoi. 

"The little one is only my adopted 
child," said Aoi, smiling serenely. 

The minister could scarcely believe he 
heard aright. The Japanese woman con- 
tinued to smile in a manner whose guile- 
less, impenetrable innocence of expres- 
sion had the effect of irritating him 
excessively. 

"If Hyacinth is not your child, Ma- 
dame Aoi, who are her parents?" 
87 












THB HEART OF HYACINTH 

"The gods forsaken little Hyacinth. 
She has no true parents." 

In his acute interest in the niatter, the 
minister actually overlooked the slip of 
Aoi when she alluded to the "gods." 
What he said, with his eyes fixed very 
sternly upon her face, was: 

"You are deceiving me, Madame Aoi. 
You are hiding the truth from me." 

The slightest frown pa'ssed over Aoi's 
face. Her color deepened, then faded, 
leaving her inscrutable and impassive 

tonce more. 
The honorable one was augustly mis- 
taken, for the humble one had nothing 
to hide. Since the affairs of her adopted 
child concerned only her foster-parent, 
it was impossible to deceive the honor- 
able minister. 

It was the visitor's turn to flush, and 
I he did so angrily. Plainly this Japan- 
ese woman was attempting to conceal, 
with the prevarication and guile of her 
people, some mystery concerning Hya- 
cinth. If the girl was not the daughter 
88, 










. 








EART 

her English husband, who then 
was she? She certainly was not pure 
Japanese. Could it be that she was not 
even in part Japanese? The possibility 
staggered the missionary. 

"Madame Aoi, you are taking a most 
unusual attitude towards me to-day." 

Aoi inclined her head in a motion that 
might have meant either assent or ne- 
gation. 

" Hitherto," continued the other, "you 
have not hesitated to accept my advice " 

"In matters concerning that religion, 
yes," interposed Aoi, softly. 

"Which surely concerns all other mat- 
ters connected with your welfare and 
that of Hyacinth. No one knows better 
than you do that the lives of our parish- 
ioners, our children, are our particular 
care and charge. I take the interest of a 
parent in our little band. So you would 
not withhold your confidence from a 
parent?" 

"What is it the honorable sir would 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"The history of Hyacinth who she 
is, how you came by her, her people's 
name all information about her." 

"There is nothing to confide," said 
Aoi, slowly, as though she chose her 
words carefully before replying. "The 
old excellency knew the history of the 
child. It was under his advice that 
the humble one adopted the little 
one." 

"Under Mr. Radcliffe's advice!" 

"Yes." 

"What did he know of Hyacinth?" 

"The excellency deigned to make ef- 
fort to discover the little one's parents." 

"But you don't mean to tell me that 
you did not know her parents?" 

1 ' Only the mother, and she lived but 
a day after the coming of the child." 

"Did Mr. Radcliffe fail to find her 
father?" 

Nervously Aoi clasped her hands to- 
gether. She did not answer. 

" Did he find her father?" repeated Mr. 
Blount. 

90 







THE HEART O 







Aoi looked at him with a gleam of 
stubbornness in her glance. 

"If the excellency did not make con- 
fidant of you before he died, why should 
I do so, also?" 

"It is your duty, madame." 

She shook her head slowly. 

"Certainly, it is your duty. It is per- 
fectly plain that Hyacinth is a white 
that she's not pure Japanese, at all 
events." 

Aoi moved uneasily. Then she looked 
up very earnestly at her interlocutor. 

"The little one knows nothing of her 
parentage, save that she is an orphan 
confided to my care. It would distress 
her to be told that that she is not 
Japanese." 

"Then you admit that?" 

"No; I do not so admit. I but 
begged the honorable one to put no 
such notion into her mind, so sorely 
would it distress her." 

"I wouldn't think of keeping her in 
ignorance," exclaimed the other, with 

9' 
V 



i 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

some indignation. "She ought to have 
been told the truth long ago. I shall 
certainly tell her." 

"What can you tell her?" 

Aoi had risen and was regarding the 
missionary with a strange expression. 

"That I suspect she is not Japanese 
not all Japanese." 

"She would not believe you," said 
Aoi, thoughtfully. 

" I will see her at once, if you will allow 
me," said Mr. Blount, also rising. He 
was somewhat startled at the attitude 
and the reply of Aoi. She had placed 
herself before the door, as if to prevent 
the passage of any one desiring to enter. 

"My daughter will not see visitors to- 
day," she said. "You will excuse her." 

The next moment she had clapped her 
hands loudly. In answer to her sum- 
mons, Mume came shuffling into the 
room, hastily wiping her hands upon her 
sleeves, and looking inquiringly towards 
her mistress. 

"The illustrious one," said Aoi, with 
92 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




intense sweetness, "wishes to return 
home. Pray, conduct him to the street." 

She bowed with profound grace to the 
missionary, and stepped aside to permit 
him to pass. 

He hesitated a moment, and then said, 
slowly and succinctly: 

" Madame Aoi, I have only this to say. 
I shall immediately take it upon myself 
to unravel this mystery. I will com- 
municate with the nearest open port at 
once, and find out whether my prede- 
cessor had correspondence with any one 
on this subject. Good-day." He bow- 
ed stiffly. 










G\ 









XI 



MEANWHILE Hyacinth lay stretched 
upon the matted floor of her chamber, 
her chin in one hand, the other holding 
an ancient oval mirror. She was study- 
ing her face closely, critically, and also 
wistfully. 

The head was quaintly Japanese, yet 
the face was oddly at variance. For the 
hair was dressed in the prevailing mode 
of the Japanese maid of beauty and 
fashion in Sendai. It was a very elab- 
orate coiffure, spread out on either side 
in the shape of the wings of a butterfly. 
Upon both sides of the little mountain 
at top projected long, dagger-like pins; 
gold they were and jewelled the gift of 
Yoshida. 

Hyacinth no longer fretted under the 
hands of a hair-dresser, since it was her 
94 






7 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




pride and delight to have her hair dress- 
ed in this becoming and striking mode. 
If the hair-dresser, who came once a 
fortnight, puckered her face and shook 
her head when the beautiful, soft, brown 
locks twisted about her fingers, and di 
not follow the usual plastic method 
used upon the hair of most Japanese 
maids, Hyacinth cared little. When the 
operation was completed, her hair, dark, 
shining, and smooth, appeared little dif- 
ferent from that of other girls in the 
village. 

It was the face beneath the coiffure 
that distressed the girl. The eyes were 
undoubtedly gray-blue. They were large, 
too, and wore an expression of wistful 
questioning which had only come there, 
perhaps, since the girl had begun to look 
into the mirror and to discover the secret 
of those strange, unnatural eyes. 

The whiteness of her skin pleased her. 
What girl of her acquaintance would not 
be glad of such a complexion ? She had 
small use for the powder-pot, into which 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




her friends must dip so freely. Her 
mouth was rosy, the teeth within white 
and sparkling. Her chin was dimpled 
at the side and tipped with the same rose 
that dwelt in her rounded cheeks. The 
little nose was thin and delicate, piquant 
in shape and expression. 

Why should such a face have dis- 
tressed her? She would not admit to 
herself that she was homely. Perfume, 
Dewdrop, Spring what did their judg- 
ment amount to? They were rude, un- 
couth even to have hinted at her "de- 
formities." They were one-eyed, seeing 
but one type of beauty. There must be 
another kind, for she was surely, surely 
beautiful. Then she fell into a reverie 
in which she speculated upon the pos- 
sible existence of another people whose 
maidens' hair and eyes were not like the 
night, but reflected the day. 

Yet Yoshida, the son of Yamashiro 
Shawtaro, had actually suggested to her 
once, with a shamefaced expression, that 
if she stood in the sun-rays the goddess 





THE HEART OF 



might darken her skin and eyes! Also, 
he had brought her, all the way from 
Tokyo, a little box of oil with which to 
shade her hair! 

The oil had disappeared in the bay, 
though the pretty box in which it had 
come had been placed with the other 
gifts of Yoshida. As for the sun-god- 
dess those at the mission - house had 
insisted that there was no such being. 
Great and wise were the mission-house 
people, since they had come from the 
land of Komazawa. 

Komazawa represented to her all that 
was fine and great and good. He was 
the beloved of Aoi, and the good God 
had given him to her for a brother and a 
hero. He wrote to her every week from 
the other end of the world, never for- 
getting. His letters were the sun and 
light of Aoi's life, and Hyacinth shared 
with her something of the joy of re- 
ceiving them. These two talked of him 
always. They watched for his letters, 
and devoured them with eager little 
97 







ML* 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

outcries to each other when they 
rived. 

He was in London. College was done 
for the year. He was going to Cheshire, 
though apprehensive of the welcome he 
would receive from his father's people. 
But the lawsuit had been won, with 
scarcely any struggle. His claim, his 
papers, withstood the closest of legal 
scrutiny. Yes; he was now an English- 
man, almost entirely. Yet, ah, how he 
longed for home for his mother and for 
little Hyacinth. The estate was very 
large, his lawyers told him, so large that 
he could not live there alone. Soon he 
was coming to take back with him the 
little mother and sister. Yes; it would 
be strange at first, but they would soon 
become accustomed to it. It was a cold 
country, and the milk of human kind- 
ness ran not freely, but it satisfied the 
desires of an ambitious one. 

So ran his last letter. 

Hyacinth wondered, vaguely, what he 
would say when he. returned to Japan 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

and found that she could not accom- 
pany him. By that time she would be 
married married to Yamashiro Yoshida, 
who was rich and owned large stores in 
Tokyo, and who sometimes wore an 
English hat, the envy and marvel of all 
the gilded youth of Sendai. 

Upon her cogitations came Aoi, trem- 
bling and anxious. She hovered a mo- 
ment over the girl, hesitation and worry 
depicted in her countenance. 

In surprise, Hyacinth looked up at 
her, then, carefully slipping the mirror 
into her sleeve, raised herself erect. 

"What is troubling you, mother? 
Why, your hands tremble. I will hold 
them. You have news from Koma? 
What is it?" 

"No, little one; it is not of Koma I 
speak." 

"Of whom, then?" 

"Of you." 

"Then smile instantly. I am an in- 
significant subject for mirth, not tears." 

"Little one, if the right of freedom 
99 













THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

were given you, would you leave the 
humble one?" 

" No; not in ten million years. What 
sort of freedom would that be?" 

"Yet the learned ones at the mission- 
house will surely persuade you to take 
some such step." 

Hyacinth laughed scornfully. 

"One cannot persuade a humming- 
bird to come to one's hand. No; nor 
can these ones of the mission - house 
persuade me to do aught against my 
will." 

"But they of the mission-house Mr. 
Blount insinuated that we have not the 
right to possess you." 

"He is foolish. He has blue eyes," 
said she of the blue eyes, disdainfully. 

"Yet it is true that we have no legal 
right to you," said Aoi, sadly. 

"No? And why have you not?" 

"Because I am not your real mother, 
and the time may come when others 
may claim you." 

"Since my own mother is gone, has 
roo 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

not my foster-mother all right over 
me?" 

"I do not know the law as to that," 
said Aoi. "Oh, if the old, good ex- 
cellency were but still alive to enlighten 
and advise us." 

"Mother," said Hyacinth, looking up 
with questioning, wistful eyes at Aoi, 
"I have never asked a question of you 
concerning my own mother. You were 
always enough for me. I needed no 
other parent, dear, dear one. Yet now 
I would ask, can you tell me aught con- 
cerning my people?" 

"No, little one. The sick one gave 
to me no information of her people. 
The good excellency made effort to find 
them, but failed." 

"My mother was a stranger to Sen- 
dai?" 

"Yes, a stranger." 

"And she left nothing nothing for 
me?" 

Aoi hesitated a moment, then, cross- 
ing the room, slipped her hand deftly 
101 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

along the wall and pushed aside a small 
panel. Hyacinth arose slowly. Her eyes 
were apprehensive, her lips apart. She 
had grown white with expectation. 

"Here, in your own chamber, little 
one, is all that the august one left. I 
would have given you them on your 
wedding-day." 

Fearfully the girl touched the things 
in the little cupboard. How long had 
they lain there untouched ? There were 
a woman's strange dress, white under- 
wear, a queer, basket-shaped thing with 
dark feathers upon it, a pair of black 
Suede gloves, small shoes, and then, in a 
little heap, three rings a plain gold 
band, one with a large diamond, another 
with a ruby set between two smaller 
diamonds. Also a little chamois-skin 
bag containing a little roll of green bills 
and some strange coin. 

Upon her knees Hyacinth fell beside 
the little shelf, and she stretched her 
arms out over it, burying her face in her 
sleeves. 

102 



m 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

For a long time neither of the two 
uttered a word. When the girl raised 
her face, after a long interval, it was 
very white, and tears streamed down her 
cheeks. She put out a little, groping 
hand to Aoi. 

"Oh, you were good to her, were you 
not were you not?" she whisperingly 
cried. 

Aoi could not speak. 

After a time the girl arose and rev- 
erently pushed the panel into place. 

"The things are Engleesh," she said, 
slowly. "Is it not strange?" 

"Yes," said Aoi, brokenly. 

Yet even then she did not tell the girl 
the truth. Why she had hidden this 
fact always from Hyacinth she could 
hardly have explained even to herself 
She thought she had but waited for th 
girl to come to years of understandin 
Afterwards, when the proud Yamashi 
family condescended to seek alliance 
with her, Aoi, faintheartedly fearful lest 
they should refuse to permit the mar- 
103 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




riage if they knew the truth, had care- 
fully guarded the secret even from the 
girl. She knew that only a few people 
in the little village of Matsushima had 
heard of the history of the girl. It was 
only recently that they had moved to 
the City of Sendai. This match with the 
Yamashiro family was a thing so splen- 
did as to be regarded with awe by Aoi. 
It could not be possible that such a 
chance would ever come again to her 
adopted daughter. 

Now she said to the girl, placing both 
her hands upon her shoulders: 

"Promise me, then, that you will re- 
fuse to discuss this subject with the 
mission-house people." 

"I will not even see them," said 
the girl, stooping to kiss the anxious 
face. 

"For if you should do so," said Aoi, 
sadly, " they might persuade you to aban- 
don us." 

"Ah, no; never, mother. No one 
could ever do so." 

104 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Save Yamashiro Yoshida," said Aoi, 
quickly. 

A cloud stole for an instant over the 
girl's face. She sighed as she repeated, 
half under her breath: 

"Save Yoshida perhaps " 




XII 

ABOUT a fortnight later the honorable 
Yamashiro family condescended to pay 
a visit to the house of Aoi. Although 
they lived but a field's length away, 
they came in their carriages, very ele- 
gant jinrikishas, drawn by liveried run- 
ners. 

The father was imperious and lordly. 
A man of samurai birth, he had been one 
of the first to take advantage of the 
change in government and go imme- 
diately into trade, thus placing behind 
him all the traditions of caste. In 
Tokyo he had acquired an enormous 
fortune. He had a partnership there 
in a European store. He had purchased 
much of the land in the region of Sendai, 
and the townspeople looked with some 
apprehensions upon his steady advance, 
106 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



knowing that wherever he set his heel 
the land was despoiled of beauty. 

Sendai in these latter years had be- 
come quite a bustling commercial city, 
and all because of Yamashiro's enter- 
prise. In ten years he had altered the 
little coast town's exclusive policy. Thus 
the townspeople came to believe that 
Sendai could no longer remain a seclud- 
ed place of abode, but would become 
an ugly, commercial centre, a stamping- 
ground for tradespeople, and in time an 
open port for the barbarians. In the 
face of the dissatisfaction of his towns- 
people Yamashiro steadily kept to his 
march of progress. Realizing that he 
could never have the affection of his 
neighbors, he openly tried to play the 
despot over them. 

A plastic little pupil was his wife, the 
typical Japanese matron, who, bowing 
to the will of her lord in all things, 
scarcely ever spoke save to echo his 
words, and who lived but for his pleasure 
and comfort. 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

The boy Yoshida was like his father, 
save that he spent his restlessness upon 
the pleasures of youth. Having no oc- 
casion to work, and being provided with 
an unlimited supply of money, Yoshida 
frittered his way through life with the 
idle and rich young men of Sendai, lei- 
surely inventing amusements for them- 
selves, seeking and chasing every butter- 
fly. Not a geisha of Sendai but knew 
the gallant Yoshida. 

Then, mothlike, with a daintier and 
as gay a fluttering of wings as the 
geishas, Hyacinth had crossed his path. 
Aoi had moved her home about this 
time from the little village on the shore 
of the bay to the city proper. This oc- 
curred after Komazawa's English lawsuit 
had been settled, so that the family were 
now living in more affluent circum- 
stances. 

Actually abandoning his geishas, Yo- 
shida, to the envy of the town's young 
belles and beauties, offered himself to 
the daughter of Madame Aoi, the girl 
108 










THE HEART OF 



whose eyes did not slant in shape, and 
yet which had a trick of closing half-way 
and then glancing out sideways. It 
was as if Hyacinth, with her wide eyes, 
had unconsciously fallen into the habit 
of copying nature, where all eyes about 
her were narrow and seemingly half 

d. 

On this day Yoshida and his parents 
rought gifts for Aoi and her daughter ; 
gorgeous gifts they were and very costly. 
The girl, quite forgetful of the presence 
of the watchful parents of her lover, 
threw all her manners to the winds 
when she beheld the exquisite obi her 
father-in-law-elect had brought her from 
Tokyo. Out c f the room she slipped, to 
return in the space of a few minutes, 
fluttering in through the sliding-doors 
like a bird of gay plumage, her eyes 
brighter, her cheeks and lips rosier than 
the red gold obi twisted so entrancingly 
about her slender waist. 

Yet in her brief absence the Yama- 
shiro family had exchanged significant 
109 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

glances and commented upon her rude 
actions. 

"Your worthy daughter, Madame 
Aoi," said Yamashiro, the elder, "should 
be placed under the care of a severe 
governess." 

Aoi looked appealingly from the dis- 
pleased face of Yamashiro to his wife. 
The latter sat still as an image, her small 
vermilion-tipped lips closely sealed to- 
gether like those of a doll. 

"You would not delay the marriage, 
excellent Yamashiro?" inquired Aoi, 
faintly, the match-making vanities of a 
mother stirring within her. 

"It might be well," said Yamashiro, 
stiffly. Languidly the boy interposed: 

"Ah, well, she will have time to learn 
when she has the father and mother-in- 
law to teach and command her." 

"True," said his father, and "True" 
echoed his mother, stonily, scarce part- 
ing her lips to enunciate the word. 

Then Hyacinth fluttered in gay ly, and 
the light of her smile fell upon them 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




like a shaft of sunlight, to be dissipated, 
a moment later, by the enshrouding mist. 
She paused in her tripping pilgrimage 
of pride across the room, glanced flur- 
riedly at the guests, then sat down has- 
tily beside Madame Aoi. The next 
moment she was as quiet and still as 
Madame Yamashiro herself. Her eyes 
were cast down, as became her age, but 
even when cast down they gazed in girl- 
ish pleasure on the splendor of the new 
sash. 

"Madame Aoi," said Yamashiro, the 
elder, ' ' we come to-day not upon a visit 
of pleasure, but for a purpose." 

Madame Aoi inclined her head atten- 
vely. 

You may not, perhaps, have heard 
the latest news of the town. We are to 
have an invasion of the barbarians 
Western people, in fact." 

"Ah, indeed!" Aoi's eyebrows were 
raised in surprise. " No, I have not heard 
the report." 

Yamashiro breathed heavil; 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 







"Well, this matter brings us to the 
object of our visit. It has been brought 
to my knowledge that such an invasion 
will be sure to affect the townspeople, 
particularly those who have hitherto 
mingled with these people." 

Aoi flushed faintly. 

"You allude to the mission people?" 
she asked. 

"Yes, madame." 

Aoi bowed. Hyacinth elevated her 
head ever so slightly. She leaned for- 
ward, and her eyes, the lids downcast, 
Were glancing upward sidewise beneath 
them. 

"Such of our people," continued 
Yamashiro, "as have chosen to affiliate 
with the foreigners already permitted 
here are likely to be intimately associ- 
ated with the new arrivals, especially 
those who have married among them." 

He paused, and coughed in his hand. 

"You perceive that the bad effect of 
such association must be felt by those 
of us who will not deign to give them 

112 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

our friendship. Therefore, madame, 
knowing that your honorable daughter 
has spent much time with these people, 
we desire that hereafter she shall de- 
cline all such intimacy." 

Aoi bowed her head almost to the 




"It shall be as your excellency de- 
sires," she said. 

Then, raising her head, she asked; 

"When do the honorable ones come, 
and why do they come?" 

"They may be here already," replied 
Yamashiro, "and the reason why they 
come is because some witless members 
of our community have advertised in 
the open ports the unusual beauty of 
Sendai as a summer resort. The foreign- 
ers come out of curiosity. It is very 
unpleasant." 

"Yet, excellency," said the girl, with 
her candid gaze upon him, "were you 
net the pioneer in Sendai of those who 
induced intercourse with these barba- 

18?" 



wm 

/ k 





K 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"The wares of Sendai," replied the 
other, coldly, "were placed in Tokyo for 
the foreigner to purchase. We did not 
invite the foreigner to our city." 

"Sendai is not an open port," inter- 
posed Aoi, speaking so that her daughter 
might cease with grace. " How can the 
foreigners, then, invade it?" 

"They have no legal rights, but their 
consuls, always rapacious, have power 
with his Imperial Majesty. They have 
obtained his sanction just as did these 
missionaries." 

"Too bad," said Aoi. 

Hyacinth fidgeted. After a moment, 
looking fully at Yoshida, she asked: 

"Are their women beautiful?" 

"No, abominably ugly," he returned, 
frowning contemptuously. 

A small, roguish smile dimpled the 
girl's lips. 

"Perhaps," said she, "I am also like 
unto them." 

"Never!" said Yoshida, angrily. 

were," said his father, "you 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



would never be wife to a Yamashiro. 
No Yamashiro would marry a white 
barbarian." 

The Yamashiro family believed Hy- 
acinth half English. This fact galled 
them, but they ignored it. 

Hastily, nervously, Aoi moved closer 
to her daughter, laying her hand upon 
the little ones in the girl's lap. 

"Please, little one," she said, "bring 
for the august ones the pipes and the 
tobacco-bon." 

Outside the closed shoji the girl paused 
and drew from her sleeve the little hand 
mirror. She looked deeply into it, her 
eyes wide open now. 

"Perhaps," she said, "I am like unto 
them. They are not abominably ugly, 
if they look like me. No, for Komazawa 
is also of their blood, and I and those 
clothes were Engleesh." 



















XIII 

Two strangers to Sendai, tall and un- 
couth-appearing foreigners, came down 
the main street, walking in the swift, 
swinging fashion peculiar to the West- 
erner, so totally unlike the shuffling 
slide of the native. 

They seemed both amused and irri- 
tated at the sensation they were creat- 
ing, for a veritable little procession fol- 
lowed at their heels. Small, solemn, 
and mystified Japanese boys they were 
for the most part, who regarded them 
with the same awesome curiosity they 
would have bestowed on a wild beast. 
A round -eyed, startled little boy of 
twelve had followed them all the way 
from the station, through which they 
had entered the city. Others had quick- 
ly joined him, until gradually the follow- 
116 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



ing had increased uncomfortably for the 
foreigners, since these astonished and cu- 
rious Japanese ran sometimes ahead of 
them, to stand in their track and gaze 
up at their faces. 

Annoyed, the strangers quickened 
their speed to a rapid gait, which forced 
the sandal-wearers into a run in order 
to keep pace with them. 

It was noonday and very warm. No 
jinrikishas were in sight. The strangers 
would have welcomed the piping cries of 
the numerous jinrikisha men of Tokyo, 
who had pestered and swarmed about 
them there like flies. Here in the City 
of Sendai there appeared to be no public 
jinrikisha stand as yet, and the "tavern " 
to which they had been directed had not 
as yet dawned upon their vision. 

"We seem to be on the chief street," 
said one of them. "Better turn here." 

They turned swiftly down a cross- 
street which seemed rather a long road, 
on the sides of which tall bamboos 
sprang upward to a great height, bend- 
117 













THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



ing at the top into an arch which cast 
its shade below. The houses were set 
back some distance from the road, 
though garden walls, in which were small 
bamboo gates, isolated each dwelling. 

The foreigners had now slackened their 
speed. Their following had diminished 
considerably, and those who remained 
were now keeping at a respectful dis- 
tance from the heavy cane which one 
of the two swung back and forth in 
his hand with apparent carelessness. 
There was a hideous head on the knob 
of this stick. Was it possible that this 
might be a fiend whose touch would 
kill any little boy venturing too near? 
So the strangers, less troubled by their 
dwindled following, began to look about 
them with some interest. 

The street upon which they found 
themselves appeared cool and refreshing 
because of its shadowing trees. There 
was an atmosphere of refinement and 
aestheticism about it that delighted the 
appreciative foreigners. 
118 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Do you see where it leads?" said the 
one of the cane, pointing with his stick 
down the thoroughfare. 

"Straight down to the water. What 
a wonderful sight!" 

At a point where the street curved up- 
ward to a slight elevation, Matsushima, 
still at a good distance from them, burst 
upon their view. The visitors stood as 
if entranced. One of them lifted a pair 
of field-glasses to his eyes. After a full 
minute's use of the glasses, he passed 
them silently to his companion. The 
other regarded the scene with equal ad- 
miration. 

"We must go up there to-morrow 
without fail," he said, waving his hand 
towards the heights on the opposite 
shore. 

"Yes," assented the other; "I under- 
stand there's quite a party coming along 
to-morrow." 

"Yes, some Tokyo priest is escorting 

them. Well, a tourist might well visit. 

the cemetery of his household." 

119 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 







The other regarded him with some be- 
wilderment. 

"The cemetery of his household?" he 
repeated. 

"This is the place where, three hun- 
dred years ago, a Japanese feudal lord, 
named Date, I believe, sent an envoy 
to Rome acknowledging the Catholic su- 
premacy. This is practically the birth- 
place of Catholicism in Japan." 

"Well, this is all very interesting, I 
must say. Yet I understand the only 
mission here, at present, is Presbyte- 
rian." 

" Exactly. Catholicism has been prac- 
tically stamped out. There was a hor- 
rible massacre of the Jesuits here at one 
time, I believe. This visit by the priest 
and the party may do something for the 
place." 

They resumed their walk in silence. 

"I don't fancy," said the elder one, 
"that it will be possible for us to shake 
off this little herd behind us. The thing 
for us to do is to find that will-o'-the-wisp 
1 20 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



of a tavern or the mission-house. Where 
do you suppose the place is?" 

"The mission-house, rest assured, is 
elevated on some hill. Suppose we turn 
upward and " 

He broke off, at the same time stop- 
ping abruptly in his walk. 

They were before a little garden com- 
posed of white stones and fantastic- 
spreading trees, seeming to bend their 
boughs over the miniature lake as if to 
regard their own reflected beauty. But 
it was not the distinction of the gar- 
den which attracted and startled the 
strangers, but the little figure which 
leaned over the gate. 

Filtering through the tree-top by the 
gate, the sun slanted full upon the head 
of the girlish form, bronzing the hair 
almost to the color of deep gold. The 
girl's eyes were wide open as if with faint 
surprise, her lips were apart, and she 
was plainly flushed with some unwonted 
excitement. She wore a plum-colored 



kimono, 



About 




-*$^ 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

her waist was an old-gold obi, and there 
was a flower ornament in her hair. The 
wings of her sleeves fell backward, dis- 
closing arms of perfect whiteness and 
little hands which clung in tremulous 
excitement to the bamboo railing of the 
gate. 

The tourists had been some months in 
Japan. One of them was an attache* to 
an American consulate. Well acquaint- 
ed as they were with the soft - eyed, 
cherry -lipped beauty of young Japan- 
ese girls, they stood speechless, startled, 
before the picture that Hyacinth pre- 
sented, as she in her turn gazed in wide- 
eyed astonishment at them. The mis- 
sion-house folk were the only Westerners 
she had ever seen. These strangers did 
not at all resemble the Reverend Blount 
or his friends who came at different 
times to visit him. Even their clothes 
had a different cut, and their pleasant 
faces, in spite of their light eyes, to 
which she could never become accus- 
tomed, were shaven smooth and clean. 



122 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

No devils, thought Hyacinth quickly, 
would have such countenances. A mis- 
take had been made in the popular im- 
pression. Nevertheless, the strangers 
were certainly odd curiosities. 

She blushed all rosy red, even her 
little ears and neck tingling with pink, 
as they paused before her. Half un- 
consciously she bent her head and made 
a timid little motion of greeting to them. 

The younger man, the one with the 
huge stick, said, in an undertone, "I'm 
going to speak to her," and he went a 
pace nearer. 

"Can you tell me where the Dewdrop 
Tavern is?" he asked, in atrocious Jap- 
anese. 

For a moment she hesitated. Then 
the faintest smile lurked at the corners 
of her mouth and a dimple peeped out in 
her chin. Her voice was sweet and 
low. 

"The humble one cannot understand 
such language," she said, pretending ig- 
norance of his words, and secretly hoping 












THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

that she might provoke further speech 
from these strange men. 

Before the stranger could frame his 
question in plainer language, Aoi ap- 
peared in the path, hastening down 
anxiously to the gate. She was over- 
whelmed with distress, she declared, 
that the august ones were followed so 
rudely by the children of the community. 
Would not the excellencies condescend 
to pardon the little ones? They must 
appreciate how strange they appeared 
to them. But as for her, Madame Aoi, 
she was well acquainted with their peo- 
ple, since her own lord had been Eng- 
lish also. 

The two men looked at each other and 
then at the young girl, as though under- 
standing now her strange beauty. 

"What," asked Aoi, "is it the ex- 
cellencies desire that they have deigned 
to halt before our insignificant abode?" 

"We wish to be directed to some 
tavern some place where we can secure 
accommodation. ' ' 

124 









THE HEART 

"Ah, yes, exactly. In the village on 
the shore of Matsushima there is the 
Dewdrop Tavern, but that is some dis- 
tance away. If the excellencies will fol- 
low the street for a little while longer 
they will come to the Snowdrop Hos- 
telry. There the honorable ones would 
be welcomed with august hospitality." 

The strangers lingered a moment, 
watching the two figures at the gate, now 
courtesying very deeply. Then they 
turned slowly and resumed their walk. 

Hyacinth turned to Aoi in great ex- 
citement. 

"I am going to follow them also, 
mother. I wish to hear them speak 
again. What strange, deep voices! It 
was enough to make a maiden jump 
ten feet with fright. And how the gods 
have blasted their countenances! Did 
you notice, mother, how their skins were 
bleached like white linen?" 

She shuddered. 

Aoi smiled indulgently. 

"When one becomes accustomed to 
125 







f 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

the white skin, little one, it appears ve 
beautiful." 

"Ah, not on a man!" said the girl, with 
immeasurable disgust. "But perhaps 
it is a custom of their country. Who 
knows! They are barbarians, are they 
not? Perhaps these men whiten or 
chalk their skins like the priestesses at 
the temple." 

"Nay, it is all natural." 

But Hyacinth shook her head, still 
uncertain. Such beings were unnatural, 
more so even than the Reverend Blount 
or the mission men. Curiosity stirred 
within her. She must know if the 
strangers acted as the human beings she 
knew. Quickly she formed a plan. She 
would follow them at a distance and slip 
in at the back entrance of the Snowdrop 
Hostelry. Then surely her friend, Miss 
Perfume, the daughter of the proprietor 
of the tavern, would permit her to listen 
behind the shoji, and to watch these 
curious strangers, unperceived, through 
peep-holes in the wall. 
126 







XIV 

THE Snowdrop Hostelry was as quaint 
and refreshing as its name. Here the 
low -voiced, shy -faced mistress over- 
whelmed the strangers with expressions 
of welcome, while her maidens vied with 
one another in caring for their comfort. 

The strangers were accustomed to the 
eccentricities of the country, and so with 
resignation they seated themselves upon 
the floor, where or* little, brightly polish- 
ed lacquer trays the waiting-maids set 
out for them an inviting and delightful 
repast. Upon one tray was fresh and 
fragrant tea; egg, fish, rice, and soup on 
another; fruit persimmons and plums 
on a third; and on a fourth slender, 
long-stemmed pipes and huge tobacco- 
bons. 

"Now," said the younger of the two, 
127 












THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"we can talk with some degree of com- 
fort and privacy." 

At his companion's slight glance of 
uneasiness towards the waiting -maids, 
the other assured him they could not 
understand English. 

"Let us go over the entire matter 
from the beginning, then," said the other 
man. "Mr. Matheson, our consul, as- 
sured me that you would give me all the 
assistance and information you could." 

"Oh, certainly; but you must remem- 
ber, Mr. Knowles, that I am entirely in 
ignorance as to what information you 
desire. Mr. Matheson gave me a num- 
ber of papers in the Lorrimer affair, and 
I presume this case is in some way con- 
nected with yours." 

"Exactly. I am Mr. Lorrimer's at- 
torney, and have been four months in 
Japan looking up this matter." 

"Yes?" 

"You already know the circum- 
stances?" 

"No, not at all. Except that a letter 
128 








_ 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



from some missionary started Mr. 
Matheson on an investigation which 
brought to light a letter written about 
seventeen years ago to the Nagasaki 
consul. He was an awful fool the 
consul, you know let everything take 
care of itself; so this matter was clean 
forgotten, or rather ignored. It seems 
his successor was a brighter fellow, and 
nt the correspondence from Sendai 
Nagasaki on to Tokyo." 

"Yes, and I believe the letters you 
hold will supply the missing links. Let 
me tell you the facts of the case that 
is so far as I know them. About 
eighteen years ago, Mr. Lorrimer was 
married to a Miss Barbara Woodward, 
a Boston girl. The marriage was one of 
those unfortunate, hasty, society affairs 
in which the parents play the leading 
parts." 

"I understand," the other nodded. 

" They were mismated," continued the 
narrator ' ' unsuited to each other in 
every way. Their temperaments con- 
















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

stantly jarred; they had few interests in 
common. Life became a burden to 
them. Time, however, did much to 
heal the breach, and finally Mrs. Lor- 
rimer expected to become a mother. 
They were in Japan at the time, and 
she had a fancy that the child should be 
born here. In spite of her happy ex- 
pectations, she became excessively mor- 
bid and pessimistic. She began to have 
hallucinations, to suspect my client of 
impossible things infidelity and so forth 
and hence acted as only a thoroughly 
unreasonable woman would. She con- 
ceived an unreasoning dislike for a Miss 
Farrell, and, I understand, accused her 
husband of being in love with the lady. 
Doubtless, fancying she was wronged, 
the poor, misguided thing left her hus- 
band in short, ran away from him. 
Mr. Lorrimer took steps to ascertain 
her whereabouts, but was unsuccessful. 
Under the circumstances he returned to 
Boston, secured a divorce, and ah 
married Miss Farrell." 
130 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

The younger man frowned and cleared 
his throat slightly. 

"Ugly affair," he simply essayed, 
quietly. 

"Yes, it was. Average woman a fool. 
But now I come to my point. There 
was a child." 

The young man whistled softly. 

"I see. And the father wants it?" 

"Naturally." 

"And the law gives it to him?" 

"Certainly. But we have reason, 
fortunately, to believe that in this case 
the power of the law will not be nec- 
essary. The mother, we believe, is 
dead." 

"Ah!" 

"Now I come to the papers in your 
hand." 

"Oh yes; here they are. I haven't 
even looked at them." 

"Ah!" The sheet trembled in the 
lawyer's hand. Adjusting his glasses, 
he read the paper carefully, and then 
struck it sharply with his hand. 







f 



nv*l 









< 0-^^*4 ^^vS/l 

THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"This is exactly what we want," he 
said; "it is enough in itself." 

"Yes," said the other, laconically. 

"It gives us the subsequent history 
of the wife and practically the where- 
abouts of the child at that time. Good!" 

"I can't see why it is necessary for 
me to come. It's devilish hot," said the 

her, mopping his brow complainingly. 
My good fellow, you are lent to me by 
our consul. I believe you can assist me 
in the work of finding the child. It- 
she is here in Sendai, it seems or 
she was. Let's see what the other mis- 
sionary writes." 

He unfolded the letter and read: 

"American Consul, Tokyo: 

"I take the liberty of addressing this letter 
to the various English, American, and German 
consuls in Japan. I wish to advise you that 
there is a white child in Sendai, the adopted 
daughter of a Japanese woman, concerning 
whose parentage there appears to be some 
mystery. The child has been brought up 
entirely as a Japanese girl, and does not know 
as yet of her true nationality. She is soon 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

to be married to a Japanese youth, a Buddhist 
by religion. As she is a minor, and I con- 
sider this an outrage, I am of the opinion 
that steps should be taken to ascertain the 
parentage of this young white girl. 
"I am, with respect, 

"(Rev.) JAMES BLOUNT." 

4 ' Whew !" said the younger man . ' ' We 
must be hot on the girl's trail. It would 
be a coincidence, wouldn't it, though, if 
she proved to be the same." 

"The former missionary also wrote 
from Sendai," said the lawyer. "There 
is not the smallest doubt in my mind 
that the child is the same." 

There was a slight stir behind the 
paper shoji beside them, causing the two 
men to glance towards it quickly. Then, 
with slight frowns, they nodded com- 
prehendingly to each other. 

"One of the unpleasant things of this 
country," said the younger man, "is 
that privacy is an unknown quantity. 
As you perceive, we have had not only 
watchers but auditors." 
133 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



He indicated with a nod of his head 
a few little holes in the shoji, through 
one of which a little rosy-tipped finger 
protruded, as it carefully and cautiously 
widened the opening. The next mo- 
ment the finger withdrew, and an eye, 
withdrawn from a smaller hole above, 
was applied to the larger hole. And the 
eye was blue! 

"Christmas!" cried the attorney, 
springing to his feet indignantly. "Our 
listeners are not merely Japanese, it 
seems." 

In vexation he strode to the shoji, 
shook it angrily, and then savagely 
pushed it aside. 

There was a great fluttering from 
within. The sliding - doors were now 
pushed wide apart, showing the inner 
apartment in its entirety. A bright- 
hued kimono was disappearing around 
an angle which led to a long hall, and 
close upon its heels a girl in a plum- 
colored kimono tripped and fell to the 
floor in a heap. Over to her strode the 








THE HEART OF 



ACINTH 



two men. She put her head to the mats 
and crouched in speechless fear and 
shame. 

"What do you want?" the elder one 
demanded; "and what do you mean by 
listening at the door like this?" 

She spoke with her head still bent to 
the floor. 

"The insignificant one wished only to 
listen to the voices of the excellencies." 

The peculiar quality of her voice 
struck the men with a familiar tone. 
It was a voice they had heard but a lit- 
tle time since but where ? 

"But some white somebody with 
blue eyes was here, too somebody not 
Japanese." 

"Excellency is augustly mistaken." 

Excellency was not augustly mistaken, 
and if she did not explain immediately, 
excellency said he would raise the roof. 

Whereat she got to her feet very 
slowly, and lifted her face in strangely 
tremulous appeal to them. They rec- 
ognized her instantly. 
135 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



"Those abominable blue eyes," she 
said, "alas, belong unto me." She bow- 
ed in humble deprecation. 

"What were you doing?" 

"Pray, pardon the foolish one. I did 
follow you to gaze upon you," she said. 

Flattered against their will, and fasci- 
nated by the girl's peculiar beauty, the 
men smiled upon her. 

' ' And why did you wish to gaze upon 
us?" 

"Because, excellencies, the humble 
one wanted to satisfy herself whether 
the illustrious ones were gods or 

She retreated from them ever so 
slightly. 

" or," the younger man repeated 

or what?" 

"Devils," she said, in a whisper. 

They burst into laughter. All their 
good-nature was restored in a moment. 

"And what are we?" inquired the 
elder man. 

"Neither," she said, looking at their 
136 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

faces very earnestly. "You only just 
plain men just like me same thing." 

"How is it you could not understand 
our Japanese before, yet you answer us 
now?" 

" My ears were stupid then. They are 
brighter now," was her paradoxical re- 
sponse. 

The elder man turned to the other. 

"I've an idea; let's question her. 
She's a half-caste, apparently, and may 
be able to help us in the search for the 
Lorrimer child." 

"Good idea?*_ 

"Give me the first letter. Better 
make sure of the woman's name. Ah, 
here it is Madame A peculiar, unpro- 
nounceable name." 

"'Hollyhock' in English," said the 
younger, looking over his shoulder. 

The girl suddenly turned to the 
strangers. 

" Excellencies, I also understand liddle 
bit Engleesh," she said. 



"You do?" 



'37 






:/w 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Yes. And I also listen to that con- 
versation." 

"Which was a very wrong thing to 
do" 

She seemed serious and regarded them 
with an appealing expression in her 
eyes. 

" Is there really liddle Engleesh girl at 
Sendai?" 

"Yes. Do you know her?" 

She shook her head. 

"But," she said, "I extremely sorry 
for her." 

"Why?" 

"Soach a wicked f adder!" 

"Oh no. He's a very fine man." 

She continued to shake her head. 

"He's got nudder wife now?" she 
suddenly asked. 

"Yes." 

"Then he don' also wan' his liddle 
girl?" 

"Oh, but he does. He has no other 
children and is crazy to find this one." 

Hyacinth sighed. 

138 



















THE HEART O 

"Well, I think I go home, 
lencies will pardon me." 

"One minute. Do you know some- 
body a woman named how in the 
deuce is this pronounced, Madame 
A o " 

"Madame A-o," she repeated, softly. 
"No, I do not know such name but 
but my mother, her august name is 
liddle like that Madame A-o-i." 

The two men started, the same idea 
occurring in a flash to each. 

"Jove!" said the younger, "our search 
is ended." 

The girl stared at them with puzzled 
eyes. The elder man went a step nearer 
to her, bent down, and looked very 
closely at her face. 

"Do you know," he said, slowly, "I 
have a strong suspicion that you you 
are the child we are looking for?" 

"Me!" she stammered. 

With sudden fright her lips parted. 
She became snow-white, the color ebbing 
out from her face under their very eyes. 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Her little hand was placed almost un- 
consciously over her heart. 

"Me!" she repeated, faintly, "that 
that liddle Engleesh child! Excel- 
lencies make august mistake. You ex- 
cuse yourselves, if you please! You " 

Trembling she turned from them and 
moved towards the exit rear. As they 
followed her she turned her head, look- 
ing back at them over her shoulder, 
fright in her eyes. 

Suddenly she made a quick dash for- 
ward and plunged blindly into the dark 
inner corridor. Her footfalls were so 
light they scarce could hear them, even 
with their ears strained, but, hastening 
to the window, they saw her fleeing up 
the street. 









XV 



HYACINTH did not slacken her pace 
ntil she was before her home. Then, 

ith trembling fingers, she undid the 
ate, sped up the little adobe path, and 
urst breathlessly into the guest-cham- 

r, where Aoi was quietly and pensively 
arranging blossoms in a vase. 

Aoi turned with mild surprise at the 
girl's entry, but when she saw her face 
the mother hastened towards her. 

"Why, something has affrighted the 
little one. Are* moshi, moshi. Well, 
she should not have followed the 
strangers. There, tell it all to the 
mother." 

She drew the trembling girl to the 

soft -padded floor and placed her arm 

reassuringly about her. But Hyacinth 

seieed both her foster-mother's hands 

141 














THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

and held them in a spasmodic, almost 
fierce, clasp. 

"They going to come for me! Oh 
yes, yes. They will take me away. Oh, 
what can I do ? What They tell me 
Oh-h " 

She broke down utterly, her throat 
choked with her sobs. 

"Why, what does the little one 
mean?" 

She could not respond. She clung 
to Aoi fearfully. 

There were heavy, quick steps coming 
up the garden-path. Then a pause be- 
fore the door. The next moment loud 
raps. 

The young girl's trembling fear com- 
municated itself to Aoi, and the two now 
clung together fearfully, listening, with 
strained ears, to every sound. They 
heard the shuffling sound of Mume's feet 
in the hall, then the gruff, deep voices of 
the callers, and a few moments later 
the men were ushered into the guest* 
chamber of Madame Aoi. 
142 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




Their mission was soon explained. 
They understood that seventeen years 
ago an American lady had died in her 
home, which was then in a village on the 
shore of the bay. She, Madame Aoi, 
they understood, had adopted the child, 
having failed to find the father. He, on 
his part, had only just succeeded in 
tracing the child's whereabouts. It was 
believed that she, Madame Aoi, was still 
in possession of her. 

Although Aoi made no denial, she 
made no admission. She looked at the 
girl she had brought up as her own child 
with dry eyes and quivering lips. The 
young girl looked back at her with 
piteous, imploring eyes. Aoi closed her 
lips and refused even to answer the 
strangers. But after a space the girl 
herself stepped towards them and, rais- 
ing Her face defiantly, said: 

" Foreigners, you make ridiculous mis- 
take. Yet, supposing you do not make 
mistake, what will you do?" 

"Send immediately for the father." 
143 












THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"And then?" 

"He is your legal and natural guar- 
dian. You, of course, would have to go 
with him." 

The lawyer did not hesitate to pro- 
nounce her the one for whom they had 
sought. 

"Leave Japan?" she asked, her 
bosom heaving. 

"You are not Japanese. You see, I 
take it for granted you are the girl in 
question." 

"Yes," she said, "I am that girl in 
question. My mother's clothes they 
are Engleesh. Excellencies do not 
make mistake. I I foolish to deny 
that. But but what he that fa- 
ther going to do if I will not go with 
him?" 

"You are under age," said the lawyer. 
"He can force you." 

"Force me to leave my home?" she 
said, softly. ' ' Force me to leave Japan ? 
No!" 

' ' You belong to his home. It is some 
144 



, 










THE HEART OF 

fatal and horrible msa 

that has cast your destiny among this 

alien people." 

"Not alien!" she said, fiercely. 
"My people my She broke off, 
and almost staggered towards Aoi, 
against whom she leaned, as if for sup- 
port. 

"Go away, go!" she cried to them. 
"Excuse our rudeness, but but, alas, 
' we are in sorrow." 

She sank to the ground, burying her 
face and sobbing piteously. 

Aoi stepped falteringly towards them. 

"Good -bye, excellencies. Pray you 
e to-morrow instead. We will be in 
good health then. Good-bye." 

Silently the two men left the house. 
They were quite far down the street be- 
fore either spoke again. Then: 

"Good Heavens! It is grotesque, im- 
possible, horrible," said the younger 
man. 

"She is more Japanese than anything 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"But her face it by George! I 
haven't words to express myself. I 
thought to render a splendid service to 
the little girl, yet now well I feel like 
a criminal." 




XVI 



AFTER the departure of the strangers, 
Aoi and Hyacinth, clinging to each other, 
had gone to the young girl's chamber, 
where they had shut themselves in 
alone. The suddenness of the blow had 
robbed them of the power of even talk- 
ing it over. The tension of the strain 
might have been relieved had they done 
so. But they sat in silence together 
throughout the night. Aoi appeared to 
be dazed, stunned, while the feelings of 
the giri were mixed. The phantoms of 
her ever-active mind were tangled, but 
painful. She was to be torn by force 
from her home to be taken away from 
all she loved she would never see Aoi 
again Aoi, her mother, whom she loved 
deeply, devotedly. 

She would be carried away to a 
147 














THE 



OF HYACINTH 




country where the people lived like 
barbarians and beasts a country barren 
of beauty cold, cruel. All this the 
misguided sensei had told her more than 
once. She felt sure she would languish 
and become mortally sick there, if she 
ever reached that distant country. But 
how would she cross the great, horrible 
ocean that lay between? Yes, she was 
quite sure she would die before she 
reached that America; and she did not 
want to die. Life had been very sweet 
for her, and she was so young. 

Slow tears of self-pity slipped from 
her eyes and dropped upon her little, 
clasped hands. She looked across at 
the immovable figure of Aoi sitting in 
the dusky room before her like a statue. 
She wondered vaguely what Aoi was 
thinking about. How she did love that 
dear, small mother. She moved a pace 
closer to her. Aoi parted her lips as if 
to speak, then closed them, as though 
words failed her. Hyacinth covered her 
face with her hands. 

" 

148 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

How long they sat thus together she 
could not have told. Her thoughts had 
become blurred and distant. 

Later, whet* Aoi roused herself from 
her own painful self-communings, she 
perceived that the young girl had fallen 
asleep. Her little head rested uncer- 
tainly against the wall - panelling, and 
Aoi saw the undried tears still upon the 
white, childish face. She gently placed 
a pillow beneath the girl's head, and 
softly threw over her the slumber-robe. 
Then she extinguished the one andon 
which had dimly lighted the room. She 
did not, however, retire to her own 
chamber that night, but lay down be- 
side the girl, creeping under the same 
robe which covered her. 

The following morning brought one of 
the unwelcome strangers again to the 
house of Madame Aoi. He was the 
younger one of the two, and had stood 
by silently while his companion explain- 
ed the motive of their call. 

Mume had seen him lingering and 
149 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



hesitating at the gate of the garden for 
some time before he suddenly pushed 
it open and walked a few paces swiftly 
up the path, paused in thought a mo- 
ment, and then continued to the house. 
He had evidently expected at least a 
polite reception, and was much discon- 
certed when the scowling face of the 
now hostile Mume confronted him at the 
threshold. This Oriental virago deigned 
at first no word of question as to the 
desire of the caller, but when he had 
stammeringly stated in uncertain Japan- 
ese that the object of his visit was to see 
Madame Aoi, she broke out into vigor- 
ous and violent Japanese abuse. 

What did this devil of a barbarian 
want ? How dared he soil the threshold 
of her august mistress's house. All the 
fiends of Hades were pestering them 
lately, it seemed, but she, Mume, was not 
to be frightened by any such fiends as 
he. He had scared the little one and her 
mother quite speechless. She, Mume, 
would defend them from further violence 
150 





HYACINTH 



at his hands, and he had better begone 
at once, or she would set the whole com- 
munity upon him and have him stoned 
and beaten. 

In the midst of this harangue she 
was interrupted by the interposition of 
Hyacinth, who had arrived upon the 
scene and had stood silently in the 
background for some time quietly lis- 
tening to the fluent Mume. Then she 
stepped forward and spoke a few, low 
words in Japanese to Mume. The young 
man could not have told from the ex- 
pression of her face whether she had 
reproved the servant or not. When the 
angry Mume, muttering and scowling 
at every retreating step, had disappear- 
ed, the girl turned questioningly to the 
caller. She did not invite him to enter, 
and though her words were courteous, 
he thought her eyes antagonistic. He 
noticed, too, that there were shadows 
beneath the eyes, and that she was very 
pale. As he continued to gaze at her 
face she slowly and unwillingly flushed. 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



"Your business, honorable sir; what 
is it you desire?" 

"You'll excuse me, I'm sure, but I 
came over er I came over by request 
of Mr. Knowles. You remember Mr. 
Knowles?" 

He paused to gain time, still hoping 
she would bid him enter. But the ex- 
pression of her face was coldly forbid- 
ding, and at his question she merely 
inclined her head with the faintest, most 
frigid smile on her lips. It seemed to 
the anxious young man that she must 
see through his flimsy ruse. As a mat- 
ter of fact, all she thought was that here 
again was that odious stranger. Were 
the gods going to pester her forever with 
their company ? The thought nauseated 
and embittered her. 

"You see Miss er if you will al- 
low me a moment of your time," the 
young man stammered, " I can easily 
explain." 

Again she inclined her head without 
speaking, as though she conceded the 
152 








THE HEART OF HYACINT 



moment of time, but had no intention 
that it should be granted anywhere else. 
He marvelled that the deliciously blush- 
ing and ingenuously coquettish girl of 
the previous day could have changed to 
this cold and impassive little stiff figure 
with the dignity of a woman. 

"Mr. Knowles, you see, being a great 
friend of your father and mine we 
naturally feel that er we both wish 
to express our our respects for his 
daughter." 

"Thangs," she said, laconically. 

"And if you would do me the honor," 
he added, taking courage from the one 
word she had allowed herself, " we would 
like very much to have you and of 
course your Madame A -ah " he 
floundered, hopelessly. 

' ' Madame Aoi," said the girl, distantly. 

He could not have told how he had 
happened to invite them to dinner. Cer- 
tainly it wouldn't do to have them come 
at once. There was the attorney to 
considered Mr. Knowles who kn 

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7 IV 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

nothing of his visit, and might, after all, 
disapprove of it. 

"We'll send you word just when to 
come," he concluded, lamely. 

He saw her lip curl disdainfully, and 
guessed aright that she was thinking him 
atrociously uncouth and rude in deliv- 
ering so ambiguous an invitation. She 
said: 

"We are ten million times grateful 
but we don' can come " 

She paused ominously a moment, then 
slightly moving backward into the hall, 
she said: 

"That's all your business yes?" 

"Yes," he said, confounded. 

She closed the sliding-doors between 
and left him standing there facing it 
without. 










XVII 



MELANCHOLY now took up its morbid 
abode in the house of Madame Aoi. 
Even Mume felt the pall of its heavy 
weight, and went about her work no lon- 
ger complaining loudly, but muttering to 
herself shuddering at the silence and 
shadow that had fallen upon the house. 
For Aoi, to keep out unwelcome callers, 
kept the shutters and shoji closed at all 
times, and the house assumed the aspect 
of one wherein was illness or sorrow. 

But Hyacinth sought solace among her 
flowers. She kept sedulously to the 
back of the house, where she knew 
she would be safe from intrusion. Along 
the little, white - pebbled paths, which 
she and Aoi had so cunningly planned 
among the flower-beds, between the 
twisted and fantastic trees affected by 

155 













9- 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Japanese - garden lovers, she aimlessly 
wandered. 

Meanwhile, the young American at- 
tache' fairly haunted the vicinity of 
Madame Aoi's house. He would spend 
sometimes an entire morning strolling 
up and down the street before the house. 
Indeed, so familiar had his figure be- 
come to the neighborhood children that 
he no longer was molested by them. 
He had told Mr. Knowles that he was 
enchanted by the view of the bay 
Matsushima, but since it was too ener- 
vating to walk in the heat such a dis- 
tance, he preferred watching it afar 
from the Pinetree Street, whence he ob- 
tained the best view possible. The 
attorney, deep in the preparation of a 
report and opinion to follow his cable to 
Mr. Lorrimer, had merely looked up 
him keenly a moment, and, marking 
the ingenuous coloring that flooded the 
face of the boy, stuck his tongue in his 
cheek and softly winked. Mr. Knowles 
was very well satisfied, since young 

156 



: to 

at 
mg 

thf 






Saunders would cease to complain 
against his enforced stay in this little 
inland town, so far away from the gay 
metropolis. 

For a week Saunders patiently waited 
and watched for a glimpse of Hyacinth. 
But though, in his repeated pilgrimages 
up and down the street, his pace fell to 
almost a crawl when he would pass her 
home, and though he did not, after the 
first day, hesitate to crane his neck eager- 
ly, and try to see beyond the bushes and 
trees in the front garden to the portioi 
behind, no glimpse, as yet, had he ob- 
tained of the object of his desire. The 
house, indeed, seemed closed, and but 
for the fact that once or twice he had 
seen the fat form of Mum& issue forth 
on apparent shopping errands, he would 
have thought the house deserted. Once 
he had attempted to speak to Mume, but 
she had indignantly opened an aggres- 
sive parasol squarely in his face, the 
points of which he had barely escaped. 

Saunders became desperate. He told 
157 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 




himself that he had no intention what- 
ever of allowing a fat little servant to 
stand in his way, nor was he to be 
abashed by the haughty dignity of one 
so completely bewitching as was this 
Httle Hyacinth. 

Hence, one morning in June, Mr. 
Saunders came down the Pinetree Street 
with a much swifter and more dogged 
step than usual. Reaching Madame Aoi's 
house, he did not even linger, but, push- 
ing the gate aside, intrepidly entered the 
hostile country. He was cautious, how- 
ever, and, mindful of his previous visit, he 
turned aside from the path which led to 
the front threshold, and made his way 
softly around the side of the house. 
His bravery was usually short-lived, and, 
though possibly he would not have ad- 
mitted it, his heart was thumping, and 
he bore the aspect of a thief, as, creep- 
ing stealthily in the shadow of the trees, 
he plunged ahead. He had had a pur- 
pose in mind when he started the brave 
one of penetrating the back of the house. 

158 







m 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 










Experience had taught him that the 
Japanese practically lived in this part 
of their house, and that the garden, un- 
seen from the front, was where they were 
likely to be found. Yet he had the nat- 
ural contempt of the Japanese idea of 
privacy. He could not accept the fact 
that in most personal matters of life 
they appeared to be almost ignorant of 
the word privacy. 

His surmises were correct. He came 
upon a member of the family almost as 
soon as he reached the back garden. 
Hyacinth was sitting on the moss- 
grown shelf of an old well and looking 
at the reflection of her face listlessly, 
perhaps unseeingly, in the dark water 
beneath. She made a pretty picture, 
as, startled by the sudden appearance 
of the young man, she slipped to the 
ground and faced him. Her eyes were 
wide, half with fright, half with growing 
anger, and from being pale she flushed 
vividly red. Her voice was harsh and 
strained when , after a moment , she spoke . 
'59 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



"What do you want?" 

This time she did not even give him 
the title of "honorable sir." 

" I wanted to see you," he said, truth- 
fully. 

"You come like a thief," she said. 
" Is that the custom of the barba- 
rian?" 

"I beg your pardon, but really the 
fact is I hoped this way to avoid an 
encounter with your servant." 

She made a scornful movement tow- 
ards the house, but he sprang before her 
and barred her passage. 

"See here Miss Lorrimer I hope 
you will listen to me. I know I seem 
to have acted atrociously, but really " 

" Have you some business to speak to 
my honorable mother?" she inquired, 
boldly. 

"No I confess I have not but I 
wanted to become acquainted with 
you." 

After that an uncomfortable pause 
ensued. The girl appeared to be turn- 
160 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

ing the matter over in her mind. Then 
she said: 

"Why do you wish make acquaint- 
ance with me?" 

Simple as her question was, it appear- 
ed to have glowing possibilities to the 
eager Saunders. 

" Because," he said, " you are so lovely. 
Do you know " 

She interrupted him. 

"Is that the manner in which your 
country people address maidens?" she 
asked, with more curiosity than offence. 

"Yes that is, sometimes when they 
mean it, and the girl is lovely, as you 
are." 

"But," she said, "it is augustly rude 
to tell me so." 

"Oh no; you wouldn't think so if you 
understood." 

"I understand," she said. 

" I mean, if you understood our point 
of view." 

"Understand it," she repeated, "but 
I <k jiight pause, 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

very earnestly: "I am a Japanese; we 
are not so uncouth and rude in our in- 
tercourse with strangers." 

" I wish you would not regard me as a 
stranger." 

She looked puzzled. 

"Not regard you as a stranger!" she 
repeated. 

" No. I wish you'd look upon me as a 
friend ; one who admires you and wants 
to to do something for you." 

"But you are not my friend," she 
said. Then, catching her breath a mo- 
ment, she added, "You are an enemy." 

"I!" He was very much pained. He 
an enemy to this charming young girl! 

"Yes, yes," she said, with some ve- 
hemence. "You come here into our 
peaceful home and in one day one 
minute you break it all up, bring dis- 
tress and pain upon us. You have no 
fine sense; you cannot even be insulted. 
You come again, again, perhaps again, 
though your presence we do not de- 
\\lt2Sf7 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

She stopped short suddenly ; her un- 
derlip quivered, and she bit it nervously 
with little, white teeth. She turned her 
back half towards young Saunders, and 
he could see from her trembling that 
she was on the verge of tears. He could 
only falter very earnestly : 

" I am very sorry very sorry." 

She did not speak again, and for some 
time they stood in silence, she with her 
head drooping away from him and he 
watching her eagerly. He knew she was 
waiting for him to go, and he was wait- 
ing for her to turn to him again. He 
wanted to see her eyes, those eyes which 
had flashed at him so wrathfully and 
then had become so suddenly misty and 
iteous. 

"Will you not at least tell me," he 
said, "that you will pardon forgive me 
for for my intrusion " 

"I am very unhappy," she said, still 
with her face turned from him. " I am 
not in condition to see any one friends 
strangers any one. You have made 

"* 























THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

me so miserable I I pray to the gods 
sometimes that I might die." 

She slipped to the ground and buried 
her face in her arms on the little stone 
shelf of the well. 

Now, the young attache* was really a 
good -hearted boy, in spite of his fri- 
volity; and the sight of the little, sob- 
bing figure touched him. He stood in 
a confusion of discomfort and remorse, 
while strange little waves and thrills of 
tender emotion swept over him and 
rendered him still more helpless. 

He was too stupid to comprehend the 
cause of the girl's wretchedness, and he 
was very young. Consequently, he act- 
ually experienced a thrill of vague pleas- 
ure at the thought that in some way his 
attractive personality was responsible for 
Hyacinth's distress. 

But while he stood hesitating and 
perspiring from sheer excitement, he 
became suddenly conscious of the fact 
that some one was coming from the 
hbus'e towards them. Aoi came hur- 
164 




i 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



riedly across the grass. She paused a 
moment, startled at the sight of the 
young foreigner in their private gar- 
dens. Then she saw the crouching girl, 
and in a moment comprehended the sit- 
uation. 

Poor, simple, amiable Aoi! Possibly 
never in all her life before had such vio- 
lent feelings assailed her. She turned 
upon the intruder with flashing eyes. 

"You come here! You make my 
daughter weep ! You are bad lot. Leave 
my grounds or I will have you arrested!" 

"Madame Aoi," he protested," I assure 
you that I meant no offence, but " 

Hyacinth had slowly risen to her feet. 
She put her arm gently about Aoi's 
shoulder. 

"Do not speak the words to 
mother," she said, in Japanese, 
did not mean to make me weep." 

Aoi was quieted in an instant, 
still looked uncertainly, however, at the 
stranger. 

A sudden idea seemed to come to her 

165 




him, 
"He 

She 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

/ fl rJ Itr 

mind. She went a hesitating step 

er to Saunders and raised her face to his, 
while her eyes searched his face. She 
said: 

"You come to see me, august sir, or 
or my daughter?" 

"Your that is" 

He flushed uncomfortably, but indi- 
cated, with a slight nod of his head, the 
young girl. 

Aoi's eyes narrowed curiously. Her 
trembling lips compressed themselves 
into a stiff, rigid line. When she spoke 
her voice was quite hoarse. 

"In Japan," she said, "a young man 
does not visit a maiden unless he is her 
lover." 

Saunders swung his stick uneasily. 

" I am an American," he said, lamely. 

"Yes," said Aoi. "You are American, 
and because that is so your visit to my 
daughter is an insult." 

"No, I protest," he said, warmly. 

"You came for business?" 

"No but " 

166 






RT OF HYACINTH 



"You came to make that love to her 
yes it is so?" 

" Yes but er " 

Aoi stretched out her slim arm and 
pointed to the path leading to the front 
of the house. The gesture could have 
but one meaning. Young Saunders 
flushed angrily. 

"This is a deuce of a way to take a 
fellow's attentions," he said, half to him- 
self. "Why, I declare, I meant no 
harm." 

Aoi smiled incredulously. 

"I am old," she said, slowly; and at 
her flushed, almost youthful, face the 
young man smiled involuntarily. But 
she repeated her words: " I am old with 
experience, Mister sir and because I 
was the wife of an Englishman, I know 
from him the evil meant by such atten- 
tion as yours to a maiden of Japan." 

"But she is not Japanese," he burst 
out; "I never for a moment thought of 
her as such." 

His words staggered Aoi. In her zeal 
167 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

to protect the girl from the overtures of 
this foreigner she had forgotten the 
facts of the girl's birth. She became 
agitated. Her hands fell helplessly to 
her knees as she bent brokenly forward. 
With her head bowed, she spoke in a 
plaintive voice: 

"The humble one craves the pardon 
of the illustrious sir. But will he not 
condescend to depart?" 

Somewhat irritated and provoked, 
rather sulkily he turned towards the 
path and slowly, unwillingly, left the 
garden. 








XVIII 

A MONTH and a half had gone by since 
the American attorney had cabled to his 
client in Europe of the success of his 
mission. Richard Lorrimer's immediate 
response had been that he was leaving 
at once for Japan. Any day now he 
might arrive in Sendai. 

In the meanwhile, Aoi sought to 
comfort and strengthen the despairing 
Hyacinth. She contrived to break up 
their retirement, and sought to divert 
her mind by taking her out each day. 
The girl had acquired a peculiar loath- 
ing and horror for the "white people," 
of whom the little town of Sendai had 
now quite a plague. 

The women went about in hideous 
garments, with what appeared to be 
heavy flower-baskets upon their heads. 

383s 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

The men gazed at her and made in- 
sinuating efforts to speak to her. 
Hyacinth was sure all these foreigners 
carried knives, because they were con- 
stantly chipping off pieces of the tombs 
and the temples. They were sacrilegious 
beasts, she thought, who had not rever- 
ence even for the dead. Everywhere in 
the city she found them. Sometimes 
they were even on the heights of Mat- 
sushima, where they laughed and talked 
in loud voices to one another under the 
very shadows of the holy temples. She 
hated them all, she told herself. Most 
of all she loathed this man who was said 
to be her father, who had broken her 
mother's heart and married a woman her 
mother despised, and who now sought to 
drag her by force from those she loved. 
Yet the visiting foreigners in Sendai 
possessed a more friendly spirit towards 
her than she knew. Knowing her his- 
tory, they were prompted by pity and 
curiosity to seek an acquaintance, which 
was always met by the darkest and 
170 





THE HEART OF 



CINTH 



haughtiest of frowns and disdainful 
glances. When they addressed her, she 
stared stonily before her. Once, when 
a too-curious woman persisted in annoy- 
ing her with numerous questions, Hya- 
cinth had raised her voice suddenly and 
shrieked to a score of little urchins play- 
ing in the street. In an instant they 
had rushed into the road, whence they 
threw sticks and mud at the indignant 
foreigner. Whereat Hyacinth had burst 
into a wild peal of shrill, defiant laughter. 
Then she had rushed headlong into the 
house, where she flung herself on the 
floor, giving vent to a tempest of tears. 
In these days she could not bear Aoi 
out of her sight, and even old Mum& re- 
ceived an unusual share of affection. The 
thought of leaving them caused her deep 
sorrow. The passage of the days added 
not one whit to her resignation. If she 
must go, she would go battling at every 
step. But, before the time should come, 
maybe the gods would intervene, and she 
might die. 









* 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Strangely enough, in these days she 
forgot, or refused to remember, all she 
had learned at the mission-house. In- 
stead, she would climb wearily the long 
way to one of the temples on the hill, 
where she sought the old priest who kept 
the fire of the gods perpetually burning, 
and bitterly she poured out at his feet 
all the anguish of her heart. 

She was a Japanese girl, she asserted 
Japanese in thought, in feeling, in heart, 
in soul. How could she leave her be- 
loved home and people to go away with 
these cold, white ones, whom she could 
never, never learn to know or under- 
stand. 

And the priest promised to give her 
counsel and help when the time should 
come. From day to day he would 
admonish : 

' ' A little longer wait ! The gods will 
find a way." 

But the days passed with more than 
natural speed of time. Then came a 
telegram to Sendai. The lawyer, Mr. 
172 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Knowles, brought it to Aoi's house. It 
was from Mr. Lorrimer. He had ar- 
rived in Tokyo. He would start at once 
for Sendai. 

Then desperation seized upon Hya- 
cinth. Unmindful of the pleadings of 
Aoi, she besought the Yamashiro family 
for help. 

Now, the Yamashiro family had al- 
been ashamed of the fact tha 
Hyacinth was half English. They had 
more than once declared that if she had 
been wholly so a union with their son 
would have been an impossible thing. 
Consequently, Madame Yamashiro re- 
ceived the young girl frigidly. She 
considered it both hoydenish and rude 
for a girl to pay a visit to her be- 
trothed's parents alone. But the mo- 
ment Hyacinth began to speak, Madame 
Yamashiro became so frightened that 
she trembled. 

The girl, in a breath, told her of the 
discovery of her true parentage. She 
implored Madame Yamsashiro to hasten 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



her marriage with Yoshida, so that s 
might not be forced to leave Japan. For 
could this foreign father then tear her 
from her husband? No, all the laws o 
Japan would prevent him. 

So rapid was her utterance that one 
word tripped against another. 

In her agitation, Madame Yamashiro 
thought the girl insane. She clapped 
her hands so loudly that half a dozen 
maidens came to answer at once. 

"The master!" she cried; and never 
had the Yamashiro servants seen their 
mistress so perturbed. 

Not a word did she speak to Hyacinth 
after that until her husband and son 
entered the room; then faithfully she 
repeated the words of the girl. 

Like a little stupid animal the boy's 
round face became vacant. He stared 
at the girl out of a pair of small, amazed 
eyes. She tapped her foot impatiently 
upon the floor, and then turned to the 
father, her two little hands outstretched. 

"Oh, good Yamashiro, will you not 







r 
















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

hasten this marriage? I am ready, will- 
ing, to wed at once to-day this 
minute." 

"If it be true," said Yamashiro, 
heavily, "that you are an Engleesh, it is 
quite impossible. My son could not 
marry with such." 

"But we are betrothed," she cried, 
piteously. " Yamashiro Yoshida is my 
affianced. Oh, you will not cast me 
off!" 

She turned pitifully from one to the 
other. They were all quite silent. 
Then she spoke to Yoshida. Her voice 
was clear and hard. 

"You Yoshida, you would not cast 
me off? You swore you adored me. 
It is not my fault I am Engleesh. I am 
Japanese here." 

She placed her hands over her heart. 

"If you will marry me," she said, "I 
will be Japanese altogether." 

"My son," said Yamashiro the elder, 
"will obey his father's august will in all 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



The girl spoke slowly, scornfully. 

"I make a fool of myself to come to 
you with such a request. I would not 
marry you, Yoshida no, not though the 
white people killed me." 

Drawing the doors sharply behind her, 
Hyacinth left the house unattended to 
the gate. 

"Ah, what an escape we have had!" 
burst from Madame Yamashiro. 

Her husband scowled. 

Yoshida slowly moved to the shoji 
and stared out dimly at the little figure 
hurrying down the path. 







XIX 






" YAMASHIRO YOSHIDA will not marry 
me. He has cast me off," Hyacinth 
told Aoi. 

"And to-night," said Aoi, helplessly, 
"the father will arrive." 

The girl pressed her hands tightly to- 
gether. Aoi laid a timid, comforting 
hand upon her shoulder. 

"Little one," she said, in a pleading 
voice, "pray thee to take cheer. It is 
your duty to go to your father. You 
have not forgotten all I have taught 
you. Filial submission to the parent is 
the most important of all." 

"And have I not always shown such 
respect and devotion to you, dear 
mother?" 

"To me? Ah, yes, little one, and I 





THE HEART OF 



would that I were, indeed, your own 
mother." 

"You are, you are," cried the girl, 
crushing down the sob that rose in her 
throat, and then dashing her hand 
against her eyes. "Ah," she cried, 
"this is not time to weep. We must 
think must think of some way. Yama- 
shiro has failed us. Ah! Who could 
have expected else? They were always 
despicable." 

"Try and follow my counsel," said 
Aoi ; ' ' accept the inevitable. The father 
is coming; he is your rightful guardian. 
Bow to his will and give him what 
affection you can." 

4 ' I can give him not one grain of af- 
fection," said the girl, bitterly. "Did 
he not cast off my mother for that other 
woman ? Ah, I have heard all the story. 
What I could not understand that first 
day I have learned since, and you also. 
Did you not tell me that my mother died 
shuddering at his memory?" 

Aoi sighed helplessly. The girl threw 
178 

^yr 

n 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

herself down on the floor, and, resting 
her chin upon her hand, stared out be- 
fore her at the street without. There 
had been a little rain, and the bamboo 
trees across the street were shining with 
the drops which had not yet dried upon 
them. 

Looking down the street, she could see 
the dim outline of the country beyond, 
the cloud-shaped mountains, the sheen 
of the water beneath. She turned back 
to Aoi, who had silently seated herself 
beside her. 

" Mother," she said, " I am going away 
alone." 

"Alone! Ah, you make my heart 
stand still with fear." 

"Listen. All Matsushima is known 
to me, and the priests at the temple are 
kind and love me. If I need food they 
will give it to me. Do they not feed 
even the birds which alight upon their 
temples?" 

"Oh, child, I cannot think what it is 
you contemplate." 

179 

















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

" I will not leave our Japan," she cried, 
passionately. "It is the only home I 
have known." 

"But what can you do?" 

"I will hide," said the girl. 

"Ah, alas, you could not, for these 
foreigners are everywhere here. They 
would find you." 

"Yet there are places among the 
tombs of Date of wh.ch they know 
naught. Koma and I alone knew of 
them, and the good priest of the temple 
Zuiganjii. There is one place but I 
will not tell even you." 

Aoi wrung her hands. 

"Oh, daughter, they will seek every- 
where for you till they find you. You 
do not know the stubborn nature of 
these people." 

"Ah, but I do, my mother, for that 
nature is in me, too. If they seek 
stubbornly, I, too, can hide as well." 

Arising, she stood c. moment, looking 
down thoughtfully upon Aoi. 

"To-night," she said, "they will come. 
1 80 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

There is little time to lose. When 
they ask for me, you will say, 'She fear- 
ed to gaze upon the augustness of her 
parent, and so fled.' When they ask 
you, 'Where fled?' you will say, 'Only 
the gods know whither." 1 















xx I I 

THE great red sun had finished its day 
of travel and had dropped deep into the 
waters far off in the gilded western sky. 
How very still were the approaching 
shadows, how phantom-like they seem- 
ed to creep, spreading, though they 
scarcely stirred. The glow of the sun 
was still upon the land, reflecting the 
light on the dew-damped trees and the 
upturned faces of the nameless flowers, 
which seemed to raise their heads, 
hungry, as though loath to part with the 
light. 

Not a sound was heard on Mat- 
sushima. The birds were voiceless, the 
waters moved with a soundless motion, 
licking rather than beating against the 
rocks, stirring lazily, as if in slumber. 

Upon the silence there tenderly stole 
182 











THE 



HYACINTH 



the gentle, mellow pealing of a temple 
bell. Its even-song was soft and sweetly 
muffled, so that one would have thought 
it came from afar off. 

Hyacinth, heartsick and footsore, was 
weary when she reached the bay. With 
a little cry she caught her breath, as 
for the first time she looked about her, 
awakened from her apathy by the sud- 
den tone of the bell. 

The light of day was disappearing. Al- 
ready the hills up which she must climb 
looked dark and in ghostly contrast to 
the still light and shining bay. Yet 
the girl lingered on the shfcre, her hand 
shading her eyes, watching yearningly 
the sunset. The beauty of the passing 
day hurt her. She was in a condition 
to feel acutely. The temple bell 
ceased its song. With the departure of 
the sun, the silence seemed more op- 
pressive. 

Shuddering now, she looked up fear- 
fully at the hills. Not since she was a 
very little child had she visited these 
183 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

particular hills at night, and even then 
she had not been alone. 

Yet in those days she could have 
found her way blindfolded among the 
rocks, stupendously projecting and fac- 
ing the silent bay. She had assured 
Aoi that she knew every inch of the 
land hereabouts. Yet now, as she turn- 
ed from the shore of the bay and began 
to climb upward, she stumbled uncer- 
tainly. Her hands, outstretched before 
her, revealed the fact that she was 
blindly feeling her way, and wandering 
along paths she did not know. 

"It will be all right soon," she kept 
repeating to herself. "I am not lost; 
only a little dazed, and I am tired 
tired. Wait, I will find the great rock 
soon, and then all will be well with me." 

She wandered about hither and thither 
the darkness. Gigantic rocks were 
about her on all sides, now shutting out 
the light of the bay. Behind her the 
hills loomed up into enormous moun- 
tains, steep and impenetrable. 



M 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

The darkness about her, accentuated 
by the shadows of the rocks, awed and 
terrified her. She raised her face ap- 
pealingly to the sky. Only one star 
shone out in its firmanent, bright, soft, 
and luminous. 

"It is becoming lighter," she said. 
"Ah, will the moon never arise?" 

And, as she spoke, the lazy moon crept 
upward beyond the black mountains, a 
train of stars following in her wake. 
Her light was bright, and reflected in a 
silver gleam upon the upturned face of 
Hyacinth. 

Light was all about her. The black 
shadows had evaporated like the mist, 
and clean cut about her the familiar 
cliffs and rocks outjutted, and the 
white tombs of the great feudal lords 
of Sendai shone out like strange, un- 
earthly mirrors. She stood in their 
midst, close by the deserted Zuiganjii. 
And the rock against which she leaned 
grew suddenly white and dazzling. 
Gazing with awed, wondering eyes upon 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

it, she thought that some kindly goddess 
had guided her wandering footsteps in 
the dark to the very refuge she sought. 

Yet she did not enter the cavern be- 
neath, though she was weary. She was 
watching, with reverential emotion, one 
of the phenomena of nature. As she 
looked upward she knew that this sight 
would bring that evening to Mat- 
sushima's shore hundreds of banquet- 
ers, for the Japanese never fail to 
celebrate the Milky Way. They call it 
the Heavenly River, in which goddesses 
wash their robes in the month of 
August. 

Mechanically, and almost unconscious- 
ly, she climbed to the surface of the rock. 
From her height she now looked down 
upon the bay. Across the waters on 
the other shore the temples were illumi- 
nated. The white sails of some fishing- 
boats were floating like white birds gen- 
tly swimming. 

For a time she stood quietly on the 
great rock. The silence and stillness 
186 





THE HEART O 

of the night possessed her, and she be- 
came drowsy. She stooped and touch- 
ed the surface of the rock, and found 
that it was covered with some soft moss. 

"It is so dark inside," she said, plain- 
tively, "and I am so weary. The gods 
will give me sleep without." 

In a little while her tired little body 
had relaxed its tension. She lay there 
on the rock, upon her back, her arms 
stretched far out on either side, like the 
wings of a bird, her face upturned to the 
white-flecked sky. 

Thus, among the tombs of the ancient 
lords of Sendai, upon the very rock 
where the Date lords met to raise their 
voices in allegiance to the religion of her 
ancestors, this little Caucasian maiden 
slept alone. 












XI 



MADAME Aoi was fluttering from room 
to room, her face anxious, her whole 
being disturbed and agitated. Although 
she knew that the expected guests might 
arrive at any minute, she could not 
remain still a moment. 

In and out of Hyacinth's chamber 
she wandered, distracted, and with the 
yearning pain of a mother wringing her 
heart. The little room, with its dainty, 
pretty mattings, its exquisite panellings, 
seemed to reflect the personality of the 
loved one who had left her to bitter 
loneliness. Even the sunlight seemed 
less golden now that she was gone, and 
the dressing-table, with its mirror, 
propped up by a lacquer stick behind it, 
had a forlorn appearance. 

Everything about the chamber, about 
188 







(V 



THE HEART OF HYACIN 



the whole house, bore a deserted aspect. 
Aoi was not one given to the indulgence 
of tears, but her quiet pain was all the 
more acute. Her appealing face was 
drawn and devoid of all color. The 
anguish of her heart was manifest in her 
eyes and in her quivering lips. 

Once she opened the panelling and 
looked for a moment within at the 
clothes of the dead mother. She drew 
back the panel almost sharply. The 
sight of those dumb, silent articles 
struck her with a nameless horror. 
Woman-like, she recalled the face of the 
one to whom they had belonged. Then 
she began to conjure up fancies of 
what this mother would have desired 
her to do with her child. And the face 
which returned to her memory seemed, 
somehow, to reproach her with its sad 
and melancholy eyes. 

For the first time since she had adopt- 
ed Hyacinth, poor, childish Aoi began 
to doubt whether she had done right. 
Did not the little one, after all, belong to 
189 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



these people? Was it not, therefore, 
wrong to have kept her in ignorance of 
them, and permitted her to grow to 
maidenhood after the fashion of a 
Japanese girl? This emotional arraign- 
ment caused Aoi anguish. 

Time now hung heavily upon her; the 
minutes seemed to creep. She stared 
out at the graying sky, and wondered 
where the little one was now. At that 
moment Hyacinth had halted in her 
pilgrimage on the shore of the bay to 
gaze upon the same sunset, wistfully, 
yearningly. 

The sight of the fading day aroused a 
fear in the breast of the watching Aoi. 
She sprang to her feet, smoothed her 
gown with hasty, trembling hands, and 
moved towards the street door. 

She would go to the mission-house 
people and tell her story. They might 
assist her, advise her what course to 
pursue. They had always taken deep 
interest in the little one. Perhaps they, 
too, loved her. Oh, if anything should 
190 




] 





















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

happen to her, out there in the dark- 
ness of the hills! 

Aoi had hardly reached the foot of the 
little spiral stairs when there were sharp 
rappings upon the door. With her hand 
pressed tight to her fluttering heart, she 
hastened forward. Without waiting for 
the slow Mum& to answer the summons, 
she pushed the door aside. 

Then she stood still, dumbly, on the 
threshold. The next instant Komaza- 
wa had seized her in his arms and was 
covering her face with kisses. Against 
her son's breast she began to sob in a 
helpless, hopeless fashion, piteous to 
see. 

He, with his arm close about her, com- 
forted softly, and then turning to the 
strangers who were with him, he said, 
quietly : 

"You see my unexpected arrival has 
upset my mother. You must excuse 
the welcome. But, come, let us en- 
ter." 

The man and woman, exchanging 
191 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

glances, followed the young man and his 
mother into the guest-room. 

The woman was tall and had once 
been pretty. She was faded now, and 
her blond hair was dull and streaked, 
showing the effects of having once been 
bleached. The man was well preserved, 
but bore the evidence of rich living in 
the somewhat reddened and bloated ap- 
pearance of eyes and cheeks. His hair 
was gray and he wore a short imperial. 
Just now his expression was one of 
extreme uneasiness. His lips twitched 
nervously, and his brow was drawn. 
He had long, slender, white hands, the 
fingers nicotine stained. He had a 
straight, military figure, and was dress- 
ed in a rather outr manner. 

Aoi regarded him with undisguised 
fearfulness. She had no notion who 
these strangers could be, yet there was 
something in the man's restless attitude 
that aroused her apprehensions. She 
turned anxiously to her son. He was 
grave and pale. 

192 











THE HEART OF HYACI 

"Mother," he said, "this is 
Mrs. Lorrimer. You have been expect- 
ing them, I believe." 

Aoi was so moved that she could only 
bow feebly to her visitors. 

Her son's voice was low and, to her 
agitated fancy, strained. 

"Mother," he said, "why was I not 
informed of the claims made by Mr. 
Lorrimer?" 

"Oh, son, I feared to tell you," she 
replied, tremulously; "the little one be- 
sought me not to do so." 

"It was only by accident," he said, 

that I learned the facts. We happened 
to cross on the same steamer, and, some- 
how, Mr. Lorrimer confided in me." 

Aoi clung to her son's hand, but she 
did not speak. Her face was raised to 
his as though she listened eagerly to ev- 
ery word he uttered. 

" I came back to Japan," he said, " for 
another purpose to prevent, if I could, 
Hyacinth's marriage. It was entirely 
approval. I Consider her 







*-. 







. 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

little more than a child. However, I 
shortly discovered that I had no right 
to dictate to her even in this matter. 
Her father " He indicated, slightly, 
Mr. Lorrimer, who seized the opportu- 
nity to step forward. 

He spoke jerkily and somewhat im- 
patiently. 

' ' It seems to me that we are wasting 
time. You will, I am sure, perceive my 
intense anxiety to see my er daugh- 
ter." 

" I beg your pardon for detaining you. 
It was very stupid of me." Komazawa 
turned back to Aoi. 

"Where is she, mother?" he asked, 
simply. 

Silently Aoi shook her drooped head. 
She could not speak. 

"Where is she?" repeated Koma, now 
with a slight thrill of apprehension in his 
voice. 

Still that silent, drooping little figure, 
with its bowed fread and lips that re- 
fused to speak. 

194 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 






The shadows deepened in the room, 
and without the skies were darkening. 

Aoi raised her head, shivered, and 
looked about her dazedly. Then sud- 
denly she clapped her hands mechani- 
cally. 

She was sending for the girl, thought 
the other three, as they waited in tense 
silence for a response to her summons. 
But when Mume thrust in her fat, 
reddened face, Aoi only mechanically 
said : 

"Lights, honorable maid." 

Koma placed his hand heavily on her 
shoulder. 

" Mother," he said, "you do not make 
me answer. Where is Hyacinth?" 

"Gone," said Aoi, faintly. 

4 ' Gone ! What do you mean ? ' ' 

"Ah, excellencies," she cried, turning 
to the visitors and speaking in broken 
English, "the liddle one's heart broke at 
thought of leaving her home. She is 
still but a child, and she had a child's 
fear of meeting of meeting strangers. 
195 

















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

and so and so she went, excellencies, 
she " 

" Ran away," said the woman. "Well, 
what do you think of that?" She turn- 
ed her lip ever so slightly, pushing the 
point of her parasol into Aoi's immac- 
ulate matting. "Runs in the family, 
apparently," she said. 

Ignoring her utterly, Mr. Lorrimer ad- 
dressed Aoi in a hoarse voice: 

"When did she go, and where? You 
must know." 

" She went, illustrious excellency, only 
a little while ago." 

"Where? You know?" 

"Nay, I do not know, save that she 
has gone to the hills. But, oh, excel- 
lency, there are so many hills, so large, 
so dense! Can we find the one ant by 
searching in its hill? Who can find the 
little one among the monstrous hills?" 

"I can," said Komazawa, stepping 
forward suddenly. 

Aoi rushed to him frantically. 

"Oh, son," she cried, in Japanese, "do 
196 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

not assist these strangers. Do not track 
the little one to give her to them. You 
will not take part with them against 
us?" 

"Mother," he answered, in Japanese, 
"you do wrong in speaking thus. You 
misjudge me. It is not to assist these 
people I would search for her. No, 
though they had a thousand claims on 
her. But I must go to save her from 
herself. The cliffs on the hills are 
perilous, and the night would frighten 
the little one. It is for that reason I 
would seek her." 

He caught up his hat and made to 
leave the room, but again his mother 
stayed him. 

"Oh, son, in such a garb you would 
frighten the little one." 

He paused in thought a moment, then 
turned in the opposite direction. 

" It is true. My room it is as ever?" 

"As ever, son. Always awaiting thy 
return." 

He vanished through the folding- 
197 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

doors. They heard him speeding rapid- 
ly up the stairs. 

"Where has he gone?" asked Mrs. 
Lorrimer, sharply. 

"To arrange his dress," the Japanese 
woman answered, without raising her 
head. 

"Oh, such folly!" she cried, angrily. 
"There is no time to be lost. He 
should start at once. What shall we 
do?" 

This last question she shot at her 
husband, who was staring miserably be- 
fore him. 

" I don't know, I'm sure," he said, de- 
jectedly. "I declare, I'm quite quite 
done up." 

"Well, I know what to do," she said. 
"We must look up those mission-house 
people and have a search-party sent out 
at once. We can get no satisfaction 
from these people.. Come." 




XXII 



IT was nearly midnight when Koma- 
zawa passed along the shore of Mat- 
sushima and began to climb towards 
the tombs. He knew every inch of the 
land. Unlike poor, wandering Hyacinth, 
he passed steadily ahead without the 
slightest hesitation. He had reached 
the small cliff path which led to the 
great Date-rock cavern. Now he was 
before the rock itself. 

Without pausing an instant, holding 
the lighted lantern he carried above 
his head, he entered the cavern beneath 
the rock. Every inch of the ground 
within he examined, feeling about with 
his hands in the darkened corners where 
his lantern could not penetrate. Over 
and over the same ground he went, fear 
urging him forward. When the certain- 
199 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



ty that she was not within the cavern 
forced itself upon him his shaking frame 
testified to his agitation. 

He had been so certain that the girl 
would come here. This was the great 
secret cave he himself had shown to her, 
where they had spent their childhood 
together in defiance of the mild re- 
monstrance of the temple priests. 

Very slowly now Koma crawled from 
out the cavern. The lantern he set 
upon the ground at the mouth of the 
cave. Then he stood still, uncertain 
what to do, a great despair coming upon 
him. 

Only a few paces away, he knew, were 
other tombs and caverns, but these were 
built in the slanting cliffs, down which 
no maiden could have gone in safety. 
Of them he would not think. He dared 
not look at them, lest he become dizzy 
with horror. And so Komazawa raised 
'his face upward to the sky, just as 
Hyacinth had done. 

Then he saw, far up above his head, 
200 








"HI. KNKLT IN A KAI'T MI INK 




mr 

THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

something dark and still outstretched 
upon the surface of the rock. He caught 
his breath, then covered his mouth with 
his hands lest a cry escape him. Slowly 
and carefully he climbed up to the 
surface of the rock. A moment, on its 
edge, he paused irresolute, then crept 
on his knees towards the sleeping girl. 

For a long time he knelt in a rapt 
silence beside her, his eyes fixed, en- 
tranced, upon her face. 

She was slumbering as calmly as 
a child, and her upturned face, with 
the moon-rays upon it, was wondrous- 
ly, ethereally beautiful. Awed, reveren- 
tial, Koma gazed upon the picture, then 
soundlessly he crept back to the edge 
of the rock and clambered down. Once 
more he stood on the ground below, 
face had a strange, strained ex- 
pression, and in his eyes gleamed a new 
light. 

"I cannot awaken her," he said to 
himself, "and oh, ye gods! how beautiful 
she has grown!" 

201 















yf 

J>J>;, 

>>\I V 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

For a time he stood there without 
moving, plunged in reverie. Then his 
eyes, wandering mechanically towards 
the bay, fell on a series of lights on the 
shore below. They were one behind the 
other, and swung back and forth. In an 
instant he recognized them. The next 
moment he had thrust his own light 
into the cavern. 

"They will not come, this way," he 
assured himself. "This ancient path 
is little known save to the priests. Yet 
if they should!" 

He clinched his hands tensely at his 
side and stood off a few paces, looking 
up at the top of the rock. 

"It is very high up, and they might 
not see. As I did they might pass 
by." 

He leaned far over, straining his eyes 
to pierce through the shadows beneath. 
The lights below flashed a moment from 
out some foliage, disappeared behind 
some rocks, reappeared again, and then 
plunged into a forest path which led, 
202 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



Koma knew, far from his present po- 
sition. 

He heaved a great sigh of relief. 

"Ah, it is well well," he said; "yet, 
nevertheless, I must watch I must 
guard her." 





XXIII 

WITH stealing step morning crept up 
on Matsushima. The sky had scarcely 
paled to a slumberous gray ere the soft, 
yellow streaks of the sun shot upward 
in the east, tinting all the land with its 
glow. The morning star was poised 
on high, as though lingering to watch 
the sun's awakening. Then, softly, it 
twinkled out into the vapor. 

Hyacinth stirred on her strange couch, 
her eyelashes quivered sleepily against 
her cheeks. One little hand opened a 
moment, then clutched the dew -wet 
moss. The touch of the unfamiliar 
grass against her hand startled her, and 
the girl opened her eyes. They looked 
upward at the softly bluing sky. A 
breeze of morning swept across her 
brow, moving a little truant curl. She 
204 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



sat up and stared about her wonder- 
ingly. Then remembrance coming to 
her, she sat still, silently watching the 
sunrise. For some moments she re- 
mained in this absorbed silence. Then 
mechanically she raised her hands to her 
head and sought to smooth the soft hair 
hat the breeze had ruffled. 

How still it is!" she said. Then, a 




moment after, ' ' Heu ! the rock is so hard, 
and it is chilly." She shivered. 

Then moving along the rock, she came 
to the edge and began to clamber down. 
There were clefts in the rock which 
Koma had cut as a boy, and she had no 
difficulty in descending. She dropped 
to the ground as lightly as a bird. Turn- 
ing about, a sudden little cry escaped her 
lips. 

She stood as if rooted to the ground, 
regarding with dilated eyes the figure 
before her. He did not speak. His 
eyes were upon her face, and he was 
watching her startled expression with 
an eager glance. Then she took a step 
205 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

towards him, holding out both her 
hands. 

"Komazawa!" she cried. " It is you!" 

He did not touch her outstretched 
hands, and she shrank back as if struck. 

"You, too!" she said, and her hand 
sought her head bewilderedly. 

"I, too?" he repeated, stupidly. 

"Yes," she cried. "I understand 
why you are here, why you do not 
speak to me and embrace me as of old. 
Ah, it is all very plain." 

"What is very plain?" he asked, still 
keeping his distance from her. 

"Why you are here. They have sent 
you to find me, to give me over to those 
strangers. It is cruel, cruel!" she cried, 
covering her face with her hands. 

"It is not true!" he cried, going to 
her and taking her hands from her face 
and holding them closely in his own. 

She did not seek to release them, but 
permitted them to remain passively in 
his, as she looked up into his face 
through her tears. 

206 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

" It is not true," he repeated, softly. 

"Yet you were not glad to see me," 
she said, tremulously. 

"Ah, but I was," he replied, in that 
same soft, subtle voice which, somehow, 
vaguely thrilled her. 

"You did not speak to me." 

"Your face your sudden appearance 
startled me; I could not speak for a 
moment," he said. 

"Yet even now," she said, catch- 
ing her breath, "you do not embrace 
me." 

He dropped her hands slowly and 
drew back a pace. 

"It would not be right now," he 
said, huskily. 

"I do not understand," she said. 
"Have we not always embraced each 
other?" 

"We were children before," he said, 
"but now embraces are for for lovers 
only." 

She looked at him a long moment in 
wondering silence, a slow, pink glow 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

spreading gradually over her face. Then 
she repeated, slowly, almost falteringly: 

"For for lovers!" 

He turned his eyes away from her face. 
She put a timid hand upon his arm. 

"Yet," she said, " Yamashiro Yoshi- 
da was my lover, and and we did not 
embrace." 

"Ah, no, thank the Heavens!" he 
cried, impetuously, again possessing 
himself of her hands. "You were safe 
from such things here, little one. Yet 
you have much to learn much, and 
I " His eyes became purple and his 
chin squared in strong resolution. "I'm 
going to teach you," he said. 

"Teach me?" she faltered. "What 
will you teach me?" 

"The meaning of love," he said, the 
words escaping him as if he could not 
control them. 

"You will be my lover?" she said, 
timid wonder in her eyes. 

He could not speak for some moments. 




208 













THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



"Ah, what have I been saying? Little 
one, you do not know, you cannot 
dream of the extent of your own in- 
nocence. I would be less than man 
if your words did not pierce my heart 
and thrill my whole being. Yet I am not 
altogether selfish no though I have 
spent years of my life among those who 
were so. I will not take advantage of 
the little one. She shall have every op- 
portunity her birth, her beauty, demands. 
You will go with your father, Hyacinth. 
Nay, do not interrupt me. It will be 
for your good. You must see this other 
world, to which you rightfully belong. 
Then when you have come to years of 
womanhood you can decide for yourself." 

"I am already a woman," she said, 
tremulously. 

"Only a child a little girl, "he said, 
softly; "a poor little one who has been 
imprisoned so long she has come to be- 
lieve her own cage is gilded, and will not 
take her freedom when the doors are 
opened." 









THE HEART O 



Earnestly she looked into his face. 

"And if I go to the West country, 
you, too, will go with me, will you not, 
Koma?" 

He shook his head, smiling sadly. 

"No. I would not have the right." 

" I will not go, then," she said, simply. 
"If they should force me I can be as 
brave as others. I would take my life." 

"No, you would not do so, for then 
you would break our hearts." 

"Yet you have no pity for mine,* 
she said, near to tears now. 

"Poor little heart!" he whispered, 
tenderly. 

After a moment she inquired, quietly: 

"And did you come with my august 
parent, then?" 

" On the same steamer yes. It was 
an accidental meeting." 

"Ah, then you did not come back for 
the purpose of helping them?" 

" No, I had another purpose. I came 

break your betrothal with Yamashiro 
oshida." 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Well, they have saved you that 
trouble," she said, sighing. 

He regarded her keenly. 

"Why do you sigh? You have re- 
grets?"" 

"Yes," she admitted, "for if they had 
not cast me off I could have remained 
in Japan. Now " Her voice faltered 
and she turned her head away. 

"Now?" he repeated. 

"Ah, yes," she said, "I begin to see 
there is nothing else to be done. I am 
resigned." 

"You are resigned," he repeated, dis- 
appointment showing in his transparent 
face. 

"Yes," she said, with a fleeting up- 
ward glance at his face. 

She suddenly laughed quite merrily. 

"Come," she said, "let us go home. 
I must humbly submit myself to the 
august will of my honorable parent." 

Koma said never a word. Manlike, 
he was regretting his late words of ad- 
vised self-sacrifice. 

211 














XXIV 

IT was a slow pilgrimage homeward 
that these two young people made, for 
they stopped at every familiar place on 
the hills and by the bay that they had 
known as children. And, like children, 
they dipped their faces in the shining 
water of the little brook that wound its 
way around the hills and fell in a tiny - 
waterfall below into the bay. 

They slipped into a darkened temple, 
touching with reverent, loving fingers 
the deserted images within. At the ' 
little village on the shore, where they 
had lived together as children, they 
halted and lunched at a tiny tavern 
whose garden was the shore of the bay. 
And when they had struck the road that 
led to Sendai they turned their stej 
212 



THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



backward and wandered along the white 
beach of Matsushima. 

The girl, whose heart had been so 
heavy for days with the thought of 
leaving her home, now with the light- 
heartedness of a child seemed to have 
forgotten all her troubles and to revel 
in the joy of living. 

But a gentle melancholy was upon 
Komazawa. It was with something of 
reproach that he answered the merry 
chatter of his companion. 

"Yonder," she said, pointing across 
the bay, while her long sleeve, falling 
back, disclosed her soft, dimpled arm, 
"is the naked island Hadakajima. See, 
it is not changed at all, Koma. Do 
you remember those times when you 
would carry me on your shoulder 
and step from rock to rock in the 
bay until you had reached Hadaka- 
jima?" 

"Yes," he said, watching her eyes. 

She looked up at him sideways, then 
drooped her lashes downward. 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

" You would not do the same to-day?" 
she said. 

"You are not the same child," he 
replied. 

"Ah, no," she sighed. " I am changed, 
alas!" 

"Why 'alas'?" 

"The change does not please you," 
she said. 

"Ah, but it does." 

"Yet you were kinder to me then." 

He did not reply. She raised her 
face. 

"Is it not so?" 

"Perhaps," he replied. 

Then you must have loved me more 
then," she said. 

"No, that is not true." 

"No? Do you still love me, then?" 

" I cannot answer you," he said. " If 
I were to tell you my heart you would 
not believe me, because you would not 
understand." 

"Ah, but I would, indeed," she said, 
softly. 

214 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"You are innocent," he said, regard- 
ing her thoughtfully, "but you are a 
coquette by nature." 

"What is that ?' : 

"One who makes a jest of love." 

"And what is love?" 

"Your heart will tell you some day." 

"Yet I would have your heart tell me 
now." 

"Love is a rosy pain of the heart." 

"Then I do not feel it," she said, 
stretching out her little, pink fingers over 
her heart, "for mine thrills and beats 
with joyous palpitations. Yet" she 
looked up at him seriously "perhaps 
that, too, is another of the moods of this 
love." 

"Perhaps," he said. "Love is capri- 
cious." 

Hyacinth sighed and looked out wist- 
fully across the bay. 

"It is a strange word," she said, 
vaguely. 

"Yes, strange," he said. "I have 
lived years in England, but I had to 
2I S 













THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

return to Nippon to learn its mean- 
ing." 

" Yet you have been back but a day," 
she said, tremulously. 

"And love is born in a moment," he 
whispered, and took her hand softly in 
his own. 

She withdrew it quickly, and turned 
from him in a sudden panic of in- 
comprehensible fear, the morning had 
wrought such a change in her. 

"We must be going home," she said. 
"Nay, we must hurry." 

And after that they walked home- 
ward swiftly in silence, each afraid to 
speak to the other. 





A 



XXV 

As Hyacinth passed up the little gar- 
den-path she saw a familiar face at the 
open shoji of the guest-room. 

"It is Yamashiro Yoshida," she said 
to Koma. 

" What does he want?" her companion 
demanded, with such unexpected harsh- 
ness that the girl broke into a silvery 
peal of laughter. 

The gods alone know. We shall see. 
Ah, but he is welcome!" 

Aoi met them at the door. Her poor, 
little, anxious face hurt the girl more 
than if she had heaped her with re- 
proaches. With an unwonted tender- 
ness she threw her arms -about the 
mother's neck and pressed her face 
against hers, whispering over and over 
again. 

217 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"How I love you! It is so good to 
see you again." 

"Yoshida is within," said Aoi, when 
the girl had released her. "He comes 
alone." 

"What!" she cried, in mock sur- 
prise. "The brave Yoshida ventures 
out alone ? Well, and what does he 
want?" 

"Nay, he would not tell me. He 
will speak only to you, little one." 

"Very well. Let him speak," and 
she pushed the doors gayly aside and 
entered the oxashishi. She was not 
aware that Koma had entered also un- 
til, following the glance of Yoshida, she 
perceived Koma behind her. Then her 
voice rippled merrily, and she spoke 
affectionately to Yamashiro Yoshida. 

"Why, Yamashiro Yoshida, what 
brings you here? I had not dreamed 
of the blessings the gods had in store 
for me. I am so affected by the light 
of your presence that I am rendered 
speechless," which last was quite un- 
218 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

true, as both the young men could have 
attested. 

Yoshida bowed himself to the ground ; 
and now, oblivious of the presence of the 
intruder, Koma, replied: 

"Ah, beauteous one, I am come to 
bring you a most insignificant present, 
and to beseech you to pardon the rude- 
ness of my family and to permit our 
betrothal to continue." 

The girl took the gift slowly and held 
it on the palm of her hand. It was a 
very exquisitely lacquered box, and she 
knew without opening it that it con- 
tained some very valuable complexion 
powder. Her lover, however, could not 
have told from her face the effect of his 
words and gift upon her. 

Her eyes were inscrutable, her lips 
pressed closely together. She seemed 
to be examining the box with critical 
eyes, as though she were weighing its 
value. 

Without a word of response, she sud 
denly crossed to the tokonona and dre 
219 















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

out from underneath it a fairly large 
box. Its contents she removed slowly, 
setting the articles in a semicircle on 
the floor about her. Soon she was quite 
encircled by the contents. Then, with 
one little, pointing finger, she spoke: 

"This obi, Yamashiro Yoshida, was 
your first gift. It was given on the day 
of our betrothal. I have never worn 
it. It was too rich for one so small 
as I." 

She looked full into the face of Yo- 
shida, and then with a fleeting glance 
she saw the face of Koma. She smiled 
ever so sweetly. 

"These pins, Yoshida, are costly, but 
murderous appearing. Once they prick- 
ed my head." 

She stuck them into the sash of the 



"These bracelets," she said, "are just 
exactly like the ones you gave to the 
geisha Morning Glory." 

She laid them beside the pins. 

"This kimono, honorable Yoshida, is 
220 

^ 









, 

THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

so heavy its weight would break the 
back of one so humble as I." 

"Lady," said Yamashiro Yoshida, 
haughtily, " you make a jest of my gifts. 
I assure you I do not appreciate it. 
Why do you thus enumerate them? Is 
it not ungracious?" 

Sweetly the girl swept all of the gifts 
into a heap together, then, rising with 
them in her arms, she crossed to Yoshida. 

"Yamashiro Yoshida," she said, " I 
never loved you, yet I betrothed myself 
to you because of the magnificence of 
your gifts. I was an ignorant child. 
Then you and your august parents cast 
me off because of my honorable origin, 
which you despised. Now you come 
to attempt to buy me with another 
gift. But I am no longer a silly child, 
and I give you back not only that new 
gift, but all all all all. Take them 
take them quickly." 

She thrust them into his arms. An- 
grily he attempted to refuse them . They 
fell crashing to the floor. A man's rich 
221 











THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

voice suddenly broke out into laugh- 
ter. 

"It is an insult!" cried Yamashiro 
Yoshida, furiously, trampling upon his 
gifts, half by accident, half blindly. 
He glared at the sweetly smiling face of 
the girl glared at the laughing Koma- 
zawa; then he clapped his hands vio- 
lently. 

"My shoes!" he fairly shouted at 
Mume, as she answered his summons. 

He kicked his feet into his shoes, 
stamped on the floor furiously, then 
turned on his heel and left the house in 
a fine rage. 



I 










CJ& 




XXVI 

As the irate Yoshida vanished through 
the doors, Hyacinth clapped her hands 
with a childish gesture of delight. She 
looked at Koma, now regarding her 
gravely, then, with a dimpling smile, she 
sat down on the mats among the de- 
spised gifts. These she tossed about 
gayly. 

"He has gone away," she said, "mad 
as three devils of Osaka, but what 
matter? He has left the gifts! Such 
a silly lover, such a foolish one!" 

She began to collect the gifts, folding 
the obi and the rich kimono. 

"You are not going to keep them?" 
said Koma, standing over her and look- 
ing down at her gravely. 

" Not going to keep them? Why, the 
lover refused to accept their return." 
223 










THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



"Yes, but you don't want them." 

" But I do," she protested, patting the 
folded obi lovingly. 

"Why, you told him you did not." 

"Oh," she said, airily. "That's just 
foolish pride. I was just talking 
through my head." 

She laughed mischievously. 

"That's liddle slang I learned at mis- 
sion-house," she said. 

"I want you to send those presents 
back to this Yamashiro." 

1 ' Send all those lovely presents back ? ' ' 

She shook her head. 

"Could not do it," she said. "Too 
great sacrifice." 

"I will buy you all the things you 
want." 

She stared up at him amazedly. 

"You?" 

"Yes," he replied, flushing, "I why 
not?" 

" Well, but "she regarded him doubt- 
fully "you are not rich like Yamashiro 
Yoshida." 

224 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 






"How do you know?" he asked, qui- 
etly. 

She regarded him dubiously. 

"When I get those presents from 
you," she said, "then I will return these. 
That right?" 

He pulled the box over to the centre 
of the floor, and thrust the gifts into it, 
snapping the lid down tightly. Then, 
going to the door, he called for Mum6 to 
take the box at once to the Yamashiros. 

Having disposed of this question, he 
turned his attention again to Hyacinth. 
She was sitting in the centre of the room, 
her chin on her hand, pensively regard- 
him. 

"How," she said, "are you going to 
make me those gifts if I am to go away 
to that West country, and you will not 
go with me?" 

" You are going to stay here," he said; 
and she knew from the expression in his 
eyes and the tone of his voice that he 
meant what he said. 

"But what of my august parent?" 

[$':' 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Will you follow my advice exactly?" 

She nodded in assent. 

"When he comes you are to make a 
request of him." 

"Yes?" 

"Ask him beg him even to permit 
you to remain one month in Sendai with 
us. Then tell him that after that you 
will go wherever your rightful guardian 
shall direct." 

"He will not consent," she said, de- 
pression seizing upon her ' ' these august 
barbarians are hard as rock. They 
never move no, never." 

"Who told you that?" 

"Nobody," she said, "but I observe." 

"Where did you observe it?" he per- 
sisted. 

She looked at him sideways a moment 
without replying. Then she dimpled and 
smiled. 

"In the mission-house people and in 
you, Koma," she said. 

"Promise me that you will make the 
request?" 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"Very well, I will make that foolish 
promise. But " she thrust out a lit- 
tle red underlip in a bewitching pout 
"one month will soon come to an end, 
and after that?" 

"After that you will leave the rest to 
me," he said. 










\ >H9^^I 









XXVII 

IN the guest-room of Madame Aoi's 
house, the Lorrimers had waited fully a 
half-hour. Their patience was wellnigh 
exhausted. Lorrimer's nervousness and 
anxiety threatened to result in utter 
collapse. The events of the last few 
months, through which this dissipated 
man of the world had suddenly found 
himself to be the father of a child he 
had never seen, and by the woman his 
conscience had never ceased to tell him 
he had wronged, were having their effect 
upon him. 

He was a weak-natured man, easily 
ruled through his affections ; but he was 
not bad-hearted. Many years ago the 
woman who was now his wife had pre- 
vailed upon him to divorce another 
wife that he might marry her. Richard 
228 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

Lorrimer's affection for his second wife 
had evaporated during the honeymoon, 
and was flameless and dead in twelve 
months. Since then his life with her 
had been dull, aimless, purposeless, 
broken in its monotony only at inter- 
vals by the woman's spasmodic efforts 
to fan the flame into life. 

Now a strange and novel emotion was 
stirring the soul if soul it could be 
called in such a nature of Richard 
Lorrimer. He had a feverish, almost 
childish, longing to see, to possess, this 
child his own. He was too sluggish 
and indolent by nature to have an im- 
agination which would have pictured 
her in his mind. He had a hazy idea 
that she would be like any other Amer- 
ican child, that she would, of course, be 
shy of him at first, but that the natural 
feeling of a child for its father would 
assert its power. He felt certain that 
she would prove a source of pleasure and 
comfort to him. 

Nervously he paced the floor, with 
220 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

irregular, broken strides, stopping now 
and then to look about him, or to answer 
the impatient remarks that escaped his 
wife's lips. 

"This is beautiful," she said. " I sup- 
pose we are to wait here all day." 

Lorrimer glanced about the room. 

"Do you suppose there's a bell some- 
where?" he asked, fretfully. 

" What a question! Did you ever see 
a bell in a Japanese house?" 

"The hotels all have them," he an- 
swered. 

"This is not a hotel." 

Lorrimer winced at her retorts. He 
said, a trifle apologetically: 

"You see, my dear, the woman said 
she was dressing, or something like that . " 

' ' Then we may as well go back to Mt^ 
Blount's. These Japanese women are 
inordinately vain, and spend hours in . 
dressing." 

"My daughter is not Japanese," said 
her husband, mildly. 

The woman pursed her lips. 
230 






ACINTH 



4 ' I wonder what you really expect to 
see, Dick?" she said, looking at him 
curiously. "You're all unstrung." 

Just then Aoi appeared at the door. 
She came towards them in a state of 
repressed excitement, and she welcomed 
her guests with stammering and un- 
certain words, though she courtesied so 
repeatedly that the visitors became un- 
easy. 

"My daughter?" inquired Lorrimer, 
as soon as Aoi had ceased her kow- 
towing. 

"She will come in a moment. The 
illustrious ones will pardon the child's 
nervousness." 

"It is only natural," said Lorrimer, 
quietly, biting his underlip in his own 
restlessness. 

Aoi's face, with its humble smile, sud- 
denly appeared alert. She seemed to be 
listening. 

"Ah, now she is coming, augustness," 
she said, as she crossed to the doors and 
slowly pushed them aside. 
231 






THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

The Lorrimers had not heard the soft 
patter of the little feet in the matted 
hall, for a Japanese girl's tread in the 
house is almost soundless. Hence, when 
Aoi drew the sliding-doors apart, they 
had not expected to see the girl on the 
very threshold. 

They started, simultaneously, at sight 
of the little figure. With drooping head, 
Hyacinth softly entered the room. At 
first glance she seemed no different from 
any other Japanese girl, save that she 
was somewhat taller. She was dressed 
in kimono and obi, her hair freshly ar- 
ranged and shining in its smooth butter- 
fly mode. Her face was bent to the 
floor, so that they could scarcely see 
more than its outline. 

She hesitated a moment before them; 
then, as though unaware of the im- 
petuous motion towards her of the man 
she knew was her father, she subsided 
to the mats and bowed her head at his 
feet. 

The silence that ensued was painful. 
232 








THE HEART OP HYACINTH 

Then Mrs. Lorrimer gasped, hysteri- 
cally: 

"This is not not she?" 

Lorrimer stooped gently down to the 
little figure and lifted her to her feet. 
She raised her face, and for a moment 
these two whose lives were so strangely 
connected looked into each other's faces. 
The father could not speak for some 
time, so intense were the emotions that 
assailed him. When he did find his 
voice, it was broken and trembling. 

"My my dear little daughter!" he 
said. 

Then he bent and kissed her. She 
stood still, almost stonily, under his 
caress, but she did not return his em- 
brace. She quietly withdrew her hands 
from his. 

" It is unnatural horrible," said Mrs. 
Lorrimer, beneath her breath. Low as 
was her voice, it broke the spell of 
silence, which rested like a pall in 
the room. Lorrimer turned to her 
quietly. 

.,,., 






'M 

m 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



is 



"And this," he said to Hyacinth, 
your your mother." 

She turned her eyes slowly upon the 
woman, and looked at hei steadily. 
Then she said, in clear English: 

"You make mistake. My mother is 
dead." 

Again an embarrassed silence and con- 
straint fell upon them all. This time it 
was Aoi who broke it. She turned her 
head from them as she spoke. 

"Little one, it is your duty to accept 
the Engleesh lady as your mother." 

For the first time the girl's unnatural 
calmness deserted her. She ran to Aoi, 
throwing her arms passionately about 
her. 

"No, no," she cried. "You are the 
only mother I know. I will never have 
another. No!" 

"What are they saying to each other?" 
asked Mrs. Lorrimer, watching them cu- 
riously. 

"My knowledge of Japanese is limit- 
ed," said her husband, heavily. 
234 







THE HEART OF 




"The whole thing's a farce," she said. 

" Do you find it so?" he asked, smiling 
bitterly. 

"Oh, Dick, we can't be expected to 
understand a girl like that." 

"She is my daughter," was his quiet 
reply; and there was a new dignity in 
his voice. 

"Yes, but she is different from us, 
so utterly alien. Just look at her. 
Would any one believe she was your 
daughter?" 

He looked over at the little figure 
now soothing the weeping Aoi, and his 
wife's words found a hollow echo within 
him. 

"Yet," said Mrs. Lorrimer, thought- 
fully, "she is still very young and quite 
pretty. A few years in the West may 
make a great change in her. Who 
knows, we may make quite a little 
civilized modern out of her yet. She 
is Richard Lorrimer's daughter." 

As though she knew they were talking 
about her, Hyacinth left Aoi and came 
235 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 



towards them, though she was careful 
to keep at a distance. 

"Will my honorable father excuse 
our presence for to-day?" she said, in 
English. 

"But you are going with us at once," 
said Mrs. Lorrimer. 

With a movement that in a Western 
girl would have seemed rudeness, Hya- 
cinth turned her back slowly towards 
her step-mother and addressed her words 
solely to her father. 

"If it please you, august father," 
she said, "will you not deign to per- 
mit me to remain here with my my 
friends till the time comes to leave 
Sendai?" 

Her form of speech hurt her father 
N strangely. He watched her face unlov- 
ing, emotionless, it seemed, when turn- 
ed to his and his own grew wistful. 
He was more than anxious to indulge 
her. 

"Yes, yes, certainly," he said. "I 
appreciate your feelings. By all means 
236 







THE HEART OF 



HYACI 



stay here if you wish. How long be- 
fore" 

"Will you not permit me to remain 
one month?" she said, somewhat tim- 
idly, and her eyes suddenly fell. She 
could not tell why, but a flood of 
emotions seemed to fill her heart, so that 
she could no longer contain herself 
she must look into the face of h 
father. 

"We expected to leave at once," he 
said, gently; "but if it is your wish to 
remain longer, understand, I want you 
to have your desires gratified." 

She went towards him falteringly a 
few steps. She held out her hands un- 
certainly. 

He took them quickly in his own. 
She raised her face to his, and suddenly 
her eyes became blinded with tears ; but, 
when he stooped to kiss her, she slipped 
to the floor at his feet. 

He clasped his slender, nervous hands 
together and looked down at the queer 
little figure, now seeming to bow to him 
237 




















THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

after the strange fashion of the Japanese 
in bidding adieu. Then he turned to 
his wife. 

"We had better go now," he said, 
huskily. 







1 * 











XXVIII 

ON an early morning in the month 
of August, two young people were drift- 
ing in a light sail-boat in and out of the 
waters surrounding the rock islands of 
Matsushima. They might have been 
new lovers, they were so silent, and al- 
ways they were gazing into each other's 
faces, flushing and trembling when their 
eyes met. 

The boy, for he seemed still very 
young, was graceful, and of grave, 
bre beauty. He was tall and dark, 
and the expression of his deep-brown 
eyes was tender and piercing. His 
limbs were well formed, and his strong 
arms, as he handled the boat, showed 
that he was no mean athlete. He was 
dressed in a gray hakama, the sleeves 
rolled back. His head was bare, and the 
239 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

wind, lifting the soft,, dark locks, showed 
his high, fine bro.w. 

The girl was small. Her hair, though 
brown, had a strangely sunny sheen to 
it, and her eyes were gray-blue, dreamy, 
and wistful. Koma, as he watched 
the changing expressions of her face, 
thought her fairer and lovelier than all 
the women of the great world he had 
seen. 

There was a little padded seat in the 
boat, and against this she leaned back, 
trailing her hand in the still water, and 
watching now the sky, now the bay, now 
the hills on either side, and sometimes 
Komazawa. 

They drifted about the bay in this 
silent, thrilling fashion for some time; 
then she suddenly spoke. Koma drop- 
ped the oar and sat forward. 

"Do you know what the days seem 
like to me now?" she asked. 

"No," he said, his eyes wandering in- 
constantly over her face. 

"They are like a lotos bloom," she 
240 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

said, "always pink and gold, and so 
beautiful that they are sure to fade." 

For a moment he did not reply, then, 
leaning on his oar, he said: 

"And if the day must fade, will not 
the morrow be as beautiful?" 

"Ah, no," she said, sadly; "besides, 
we are not acquainted with the morrow. 
We only know the to-day, and so the 
heart breaks at the thought of parting 
from what is with us now." 

" You are sad to-day. Yesterday you 
were merry." 

"I was not merry at heart," she said, 
plaintively. "You are very clever, 
Koma, but, ah, you do not know every- 
thing." 

He watched her face in silence. 

"You think because I laugh and say 
gay things that my heart, too, is light." 

"No, I do not think that," he said, 
earnestly; "but why should you not be 
happy and gay? You are only a maid- 
en. You cannot know tears yet little 
one." He added the old, familiar term 
16 241 












THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

"little one" so softly that she strained 
her ears to hear it. 

She held a lotos blossom close to 
her face, and looked down into its 
heart. 

"See," she said, holding it towards 
him, "there is one drop of dew in the 
heart of the lotos. It is like a tear. It, 
too, poor flower, must fade away with 
the summer." 

"Why do you say ' it, too ' ?" 

"Like me," she said; "I will not be 
here when the summer has passed." 



Her voice broke. "You said I should 
not go. Yet yet the days pass so 
swiftly. Only one week more and 
after that ? Ah, I cannot bear to 
think of it." 

" Do you, then, love this Japan of ours 
so dearly?" 

She looked about her, her eyes filled 
with tears. She clasped her little hands 
together. 

"Ah, yes," she said. 

"And you would not even be content 
242 




THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

co go to the home of your ancestors for 
for a little while?" 

"I am afraid," she said, simply 
" afraid to leave the land of gods and go 
out into the unknown. It is the un- 
known that has such horror for me. 
And the great seas are flat and bottom- 
less. I could not have courage to cross 
them unless I were forced to do so." 

"But you would not be afraid to 
cross them with me, would you, little 
one?" 

" No not with you, Koma," she said, 
looking into his eyes. 

Leaning across, he took one of her 
little hands, held it a space between 
both his own, then lifted it to his lips. 

" Never was there such faith as yours, 
and in one one who is not worthy to 
touch you." 

" When you talk like that, Koma," she 
said, with tears in her voice, "you make 
me sadder still, because when I am gone 
from you I must recall those words." 

"Then if such words make you sad, I 
243 





THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

will not speak them again. Nothing 
but joy and sunshine should dwell in 
your face. So let us talk of happier 
things. See how near to the shore we 
are coming. Shall we land?" 

"No. Let us drift on." 

"Look how the sunbeams are gliding 
down the pine trunks. See how they, 
too, have tinted the green leaves to 
gold." 

"There are no no pine-trees in 
America. No more And there are 
no sunbeams there. The sensei told 
me so." 

"The sensei is ignorant. The sun is 
generous. He scatters his gifts all over 
the world." 

"But he favors Nippon." 

"Yes," he repeated, "he favors Nip- 
pon all nature does so." 

"And that America is cold." 

"It has its summers, little one." 

"Look, "she said; "see, there is a little 
white fox on the hill there. It is look- 
ing at us. Ah, it is gone!" 
244 




HYACINTH 

iat is a good omen, is it not?" said 
Koma, smiling. 

"Oh, surely. The foxes are sacred. 
Every one believes so except the mission- 
house people." 

"We do not belong to the mission- 
house. We will believe so." 

" How cheerful you are, Koma. You 
are not sorry to see me go?" 

"You are not gone yet." 

"But there is only one week left," she 
said, "and despair craves company. Do 
you, therefore, give me your sympathy ?" 

"Wait till the week is gone," he said, 
"and then if you still wish it, none will 
be sadder with you than I." 




XXIX 




A PEW days later. It is early evening 
and the crickets are making a great 
bustle in the grasses, while a small, gray 
ape, swinging in a bamboo, is mingling 
its chattering with the cawing of the 
crows in the camphor-trees. 

"Summer is passing," said Hyacinth, 
"for everything is complaining." 

I do not complain," said Koma. 

'No; life will always be summer for 
you. You are not going away from 
Nippon." 

jAre you?" he asked. 
"There is no help for me," she said. 
"I grow more melancholy each day." 

'Is it only Japan you care about 
leaving?" 

"Japan holds all all that is dear to 
me." 

246 






HEART OF HYACINTH 



"And can you enumerate them the 
things that are dear to you?" 

She shook her head drearily. 

"No," she said, "I cannot." 

"Yet you could stay here if you 
wished." 

"No. How could I?" 

"Did not that young American from 
the consulate in Tokyo ask you to marry 
him? He lives here in Japan, necessa- 
rily." 

She laughed. 

"Was he not kind?" she said. 

"Why did you refuse him?" 

"Oh, for many reasons." 

"Tell me them." 

"He belongs to the West country, 
after all." 

"He does- not think so. For your 
sake he would forswear even that." 

"Ah, but he does so, nevertheless. 
The gods no, his God fashioned him 
for his own land." 

"And was that the only reason wh 
you refused him?" 







THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

1 ' No. I do do not " She hesitated , 
and turned her head droopingly from 
him. "I do not love him," she said, 
simply. 

"You did not love Yamashiro Yo- 
shida, yet you would have married him." 

"I did not know better," she said, 
faintly. 

" But it is only a little while since." 

"A month," she said; "since you re- 
turned." 

"Confess to me," he said, his eyes 
gleaming, "that it was I who made 
you know the meaning of love, and I 
will tell you why you are not going to 
America to-morrow no, nor the day 
after, nor until you shall go with me." 

"What can I confess?" she said, 
tremulously. "I do not know what 
you wish, dear Koma." She was 
trembling now. 

"Confess to me," he said, "else I can- 
not speak, for fear I should wrong you, 
my little one. I will not try to urge 
you to stay here with me unless " 
248 




THE HEART O 



HYA< 






"I I cannot speak," she said. "I 
know not what to say." 

"Then I will speak," he said. " I love 
you, I love you, Hyacinth; with all the 
life that throbs within me, I love you. 
Do you understand? No, do not speak 
unless you can answer my heart with 
your own. I want you for my own. Ah, 
I know I have won you! It is not a 
delusion, for I see it in your eyes, your 
lips. You do not know it yet, you are 
so innocent and pure, but I ah, I am 
sure of it!" 

She raised her quivering face to his 
in the moonlight. Then suddenly her 
head fell upon her clasped hands. 

"Ah, is this love?" she said. 

He lifted her face and kissed her 
lips, her eyes, then her little, trembling 
hands. 

"This is love and this, and this." 

Later they came to a hidden path 

arched on either side by the drooping 

bamboos. The moon was above them, 

making a silver pathway for their feet. 

249 








THE HEART OF HYACINTH 






"Whither do we go?" she tremulously 
whispered. 

"I know the way," said he, gently 
leading her onward. 

They came to an open space, a narrow 
field. And on the grass, the winds, gently 
blowing, moved back and forth in the 
moonlight strange wisps of white paper. 

" It is the Path of Prayer," said Koma. 

She understood, and was dumb with 
the thrilling of her emotions. 

"Here," he said, "the Goddess of 
Mercy walks nightly. Though we are 
no longer sad, let us leave our prayer 
here among these sad petitions for her 
to read." 

"Yes," she said, " and we will pray to 
Kuannon for those less fortunate than 
we." 

Kneeling there in the silver light, they 
wrote on fragments of paper their simple 
prayers. Did the Heavenly Lady, when 
trailing her robes of mercy through the 
Path of Prayer, read also the petitions 
of the lovers? 

250 









THE HEART OF HYACINTH 

They left the Path of Prayer and 
climbed to the summit of the hill. 
Softly they turned their feet towards 
the mission-house. 

"We have said our prayers to Kuan- 
non now we will turn to the God of our 
fathers," he whispered. 

They paused a moment on the mis- 
sionary's doorstep. She raised her face 
to his. 

"The Reverend Blount may refuse," 
she said. 

"He will not," he assured her, "sin 
he has promised me. Come!" 








THB END 



f 








PS Babcock, Winnifred (Eaton) 

8453 The heart of Hyacinth 

A33H4 



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