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Full text of "A Japanese nightingale"

3 1822022365720 




LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF 
CALIFORNIA 

SAN DIEGO 




Social Sciences & Humanities Library 

University of California, San Diego 
Please Note: This item is subject to recall. 

Date Due 



p :, 
3 



331. 



__mrp % ? 1997 




SEP 1 199 






































4- 












mi 






0139(5/97) UCSDLib. 







JN VERS TY OF CAL FORNIA, SAN DIEGO 




3 1822022365720 




THE STORM DANCE 



A JAPANESE 
NIGHTINGALE 

tjy 

i 

ONOTO WATANNA 



ILLUSTRATED BY 

GENJIRO VETO 




NEW YORK AND LONDON 
HARPER 6- BROTHERS 
PUBLISHERS M-C-M-I-I-I 

" 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAG* 

I. THE STORM DANCE .... ^>w 

II. IN WHICH WOMAN PROPOSES 

AND MAN DISPOSES. . . . 16 

III. AN APPOINTMENT 34 

IV. IN WHICH MAN PROPOSES . . 46 

V. IN WHICH THE EAST AND THE 

WEST ARE UNITED .... 57 

VI. THE ADVENTURESS 66 

VII. MY WIFE! 81 

VIII. YUKI'S HOME 94 

IX. THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY . . 107 

X. A BAD OMEN .121 

XI. THE NIGHTINGALE 131 

XII. TARO BURTON 137 

XIII. IN WHICH Two MEN LEARN OF 

A SISTER'S SACRIFICE . . .148 

XIV. A STRUGGLE IN THE NIGHT. . 165 

XV. THE Vow 177 

XVI. A PILGRIM OF LOVE . . . . 188 

XVII. YUKI'S WANDERINGS .... 203 

XVIII. THE SEASON OF THE CHERRY 

BLOSSOM 215 






ILLUSTRATIONS 

THE STORM DANCE .... FroMtispiect 

THE NIGHTINGALE SONG . . Facing}. 134 
"THE THOUSAND PETALS OP 

CHERRY BLOSSOMS WERE 

FALLING ABOUT THEM" . " 224 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 



THE STORM DANCE 

THE last rays of sunset were tinge- 
ing the land, lingering in splendor above 
the bay. The waters had caught the 
golden glow, and, miser-like, seeming 
ly made effort to keep it with them; 
but, inexorably, the lowering sun drew 
away its gilding light, leaving the 
waters a dark green. The shadows 
began to darken, faint stars peeped out 
of the heavens, and slowly, unwillingly, 
the day's last ray followed the sunken 
sun to rest; and with its vanishment 
a pale moon stole overhead and threw 
a seraphic light over all things. 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Out in the bay that the sun had left 
was a tiny island, and on this a Jaj>- 
anese business man, who must also 
have been an artist, had built a tea 
house and laid out a garden. Such 
an island! In the sorcerous moon 
light, one might easil} 7 believe it the 
witch -work of an Oriental Merlin. 
Running in every direction were nar 
row jinrikisha roads, which crossed 
bewildering little creeks, spanned by 
entrancing bridges. These were round 
and high, and curved in the centre, 
and clinging vines and creeping, 
nameless flowers crawled up the sides 
and twined about the tiny steps which 
ascended to the bridges. After crossing 
a bridge shaped thus, a straight bridge 
is forever an outrage to the eye and 
sense. And all along the beach of this 
island was pure white sand, which 
looked weirdly whiter where the moon 
beams loitered and played hide-and- 
seek under the tree-shadows. 

The seekers of pleasure who made 








THE STORM DANCE 

their way out to the little island on 
this night moored their boats here 
in the shadows beneath the trees, 
and drove in fairy vehicles, pulled 
by picturesque runners, clear around 
the island, under the pine-trees, over 
miniature brooks, into the mysterious 
dark of a forest. Suddenly they were 
in a blaze of swinging, dazzling lights, 
laughter and music, chatter, the clat 
tering of dishes, the twang of the sami- 
sen, the ron-ton-ton of the biwa. They 
had reached the garden and the tea 
house. 

Some pleasure-loving Japanese were 
giving a banquet in honor of the full 
moon, and the moon, just over their 
heads, clothed in glorious raiment, 
and sitting on a sky-throne of lumi 
nous silver, was attending the ban 
quet in person, surrounded by myriad 
twinkling stars, who played at being 
her courtiers. Each of the guests 
had his own little mat, table, and wait 
ress. They sat in a semicircle, and 
3 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

drank the sake hot, in tiny cups that 
went thirty or more to the pint; or the 
Kyoto beer that had been ordered for 
the foreigners who were the chief 
guests this evening. This is the toast 
the Japanese made to the moon: 
"May she with us drink a cup of im 
mortality!" and then each wished the 
one nearest him ten thousand years 
of joy. 

Xow the moon-path widened on the 
bay, and the moon itself expanded and 
grew more luminous as though in 
proud sympathy and understanding 
of the thousand banquets held in her 
honor this night. All the music and 
noise and clatter and revel had grad 
ually ceased, and for a time an elo 
quent silence was everywhere. Huge 
glowing fire - flies, flitting back and 
forth like tiny twinkling stars, seemed 
to be the only things stirring. 

Some one snuffed the candles in the 
lanterns, and threw a large mat in the 
centre of the garden, and dusted it ex- 
4 








THE STORM DANCE 

travagantly with rice flour. Then a 
shaft of light, that might have been 
the combination of a thousand moon 
beams, was flashed on the mat from 
an opening in the upper part of the 
house, and out of the shadows sprang 
on to the mat a wild, vivid little figure, 
clad in scintillating robes that reflect 
ed every ray of light thrown on them; 
and, with her coming, the air was 
filled with the weird, wholly fascinat 
ing music of the koto and samisen. 

She pirouetted around on the tips 
of the toes of one little foot, clapped 
her hands, and courtesied to the four 
corners of the earth. Her dance was 
one of the body rather than of the feet, 
as back and forth she swerved. There 
was a patter, patter, patter. Her gar 
ments seemed endowed with life, and 
took on a sorrowing appearance; the 
lights changed to accompany her; 
the music sobbed and quivered. It had 
begun to rain! She was raining! It 
seemed almost as if the pitter-patter of 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

her feet were the falling of tiny rain 
drops; the sadness of her garments 
had increased, and now they seemed 
to be weeping, at first gradually, then 
faster and still faster, until finally 
she was a storm a dark, blowing, 
lightning storm. From above the light 
shot down in quick, sharp flashes, the 
drums clashed madly, the koto wept on, 
and the samisen shrieked vindictively. 

Suddenly the storm quieted down 
and ceased. A blue light flung it 
self against the now lightly swaying 
figure; then the seven colors of the 
spectrum flashed on her at once. She 
spread her garments wide; they flut 
tered about her in a large half-circle, 
and, underneath the rainbow of the 
gown, a girl's face, of exquisite beauty, 
smiled and drooped. Then the ex 
tinction of light and she was gone. 

A common cry of admiration and 

wonder broke out from Japanese and 

foreigners alike. They called for her, 

clapped, stamped, whistled, cheered. 

6 



y/ ~ 



THE STORM DANCE 




One man's voice rose above the clatter 
of noises that had broken loose all over 
the gardens. He was demanding ex 
citedly of the proprietor to tell him 
who she was. 

The proprietor, smirking and bow 
ing and cringing, nevertheless would 
not tell. 

The American theatrical manager 
lost his head a moment. He could make 
that girl's fortune in America! He 
understood it was possible to purchase 
a geisha for a certain term of years. 
He stood ready on the spot to do this. 
He was ready to offer a good price for 
her. Who was she, and where did she 
live? 

Meanwhile the nerve-scraping dzin, 
dzin, dzin of a samisen was disturb 
ing the air with teasing persistence. 
There is something provoking and 
still alluring in the music of the sami 
sen. It startles the chills in the blood 
like the maddening scraping of a piece 
of metal against stone, and still there 
7 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

is an indescribable fascination and 
beauty about it. Now as it scratched 
and squealed intermittently and grad 
ually twittered down to a zoom, zoom, 
zoom, a voice rose softly, and gently, 
insinuatingly, it entered into the music 
of the samisen. Only one long note 
had broken loose, which neither trem 
bled nor wavered. When it had ended 
none could say, only that it had passed 
into other notes as strangely beautiful, 
and a girl was singing. 

Again the light flashed down and 
showed her standing on the same mat 
on which she had danced, her hands 
clasped, her face raised. She was 
ethereal, divinely so. Her kimono was 
all white, save where the shaft of moon 
beams touched the silk to silvery brill 
iance. And her voice! All the notes 
were minors, piercing, sweet, melan 
choly terribly beautiful. She was 
singing music unheard in any land 
save the Orient, and now for the first 
time, perhaps, appreciated by the for- 
8 










THE STORM DANCE 

eigners, because of that voice a voice 
meant for just such a medley of melody. 
And when she had ceased, the last note 
had not died out, did not fall, but re 
mained raised, unfinished, giving to 
the Occidental ears a sense of incom 
pleteness. Her audience leaned for 
ward, peering into the darkness, wait 
ing for the end. 

The American theatrical manager 
stalked towards the light, which lin 
gered a moment, and died out, as if 
by magic, as he reached it. But the 
girl was gone. 

"By Jove! She's great!" he cried 
out, enthusiastically. Then he turn 
ed on the proprietor. "Where is she? 
Where can I find her?" 

The man shook his head. 

"Oh, come, now," the American de 
manded, impatiently, "I'll pay you." 

"I don' know. She is gone." 

" But you know where she lives?" 

The proprietor again answered in 
the negative. 

9 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Now, wouldn't that make one of 
this country's squatty little gods 
groan?" the exasperated manager de 
manded of a younger man who had 
followed him forward. 

"She'd be a great card in vaude 
ville," the young man contented him 
self with saying. / 

"There's a fortune in her! I'm go- * 
ing to find her if she's on this island. 
Come on with me, will you?" 

Nothing loath, Jack Bigelow fared 
forth behind the theatrical man, whom 
he had never seen before that after 
noon, and w r hom he never expected to 
see again. They hurried down one 
of the narrow, shadowy roads that 
almost made a labyrinth of the island. 
But fortune was with them. A turn 
in the road, which showed the waters 
of the bay not fifty yards ahead, re 
vealed just in front of them two figures 
two women both small, but one a 
trifle taller than her companion. 

"Hi there! You!" shouted the 





THE STORM DANCE 

manager, who, though among a people 
whose civilization was older than his 
own, considered them but heathen, 
and gave them the scant courtesy de 
served by all so benighted in matters 
theatrical. The two figures suddenly 
stopped. 

"Are you the girl who sang?" 
"Yes," came the answer in a clear 
voice from the taller figure. 

The manager was not slow in com- 

>ing to the point. 
"Would you like to be rich?" 

Again the positive monosyllable, ut 
tered with much eagerness. 

"Good!" The manager's face could 
not be seen, but his satisfaction was 
revealed in his voice. " Just come with 
me to America, and your fortune's 
made!" 

She stood silent, her head down, 
so that the manager prompted her 
impatiently: "Well?" 

"I stay ad Japan," she said. 

"Stay at Japan!" The manager 
ii 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

barely controlled himself. "Why, you 
can never get rich in this land. Now 
look-a-herc I'll call and see you to 
morrow. Where do you live?" 

" I don' want you call. I stay ad 
Japan." 

This time the manager, seeing a 
possible fortune escaping him, and 
having in mind the courtesy due the 
heathen, delivered himself of a large 
Christian oath. "If you stay here, 
you're a fool. You'll never " 

The young man named Bigelow, 
who had watched the attempted bar 
gaining in silence, broke in with some 
indignation. "Oh, let her go! She's 
got a right to do as she pleases, you 
know. Don't try to bully her into 
going to America if she'd rather stay 
here." 

" Well, I suppose I can't use force to 
make her take a good thing," said 
the manager, ungraciously. He drew 
out his card-case and handed the girl 
his card. "Perhaps you'll change 






THE STORM DANCE 

your mind after you think about this 
a bit. If you do, my name and Tokyo 
address are on that card; just come 
round and see me. I'm going down 
to Bombay to look out for some Ind 
ian jugglers. I'll be gone about five 
months, and will be back in Tokyo 
before I start out on another trip to 
China, Corea, and the Philippines, 
and then off for home." 

The girl took the card and listened 
in silence ; when he finished, she courte- 
sied, slipped a hand into that of her 
companion, and hurried down the nar 
row road. 

After the two Americans had made 
their way back to the tea-garden, the 
older one at once sought out the pro 
prietor. 

"You know something about that 
girl. Come, tell us," he said, impe 
riously. 

The proprietor was profusely cour 
teous, but hesitated to speak of the 
one who had danced and sung. Fi- 











A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 




nally he unbent grudgingly. lie told 
the theatrical man and his companion 
that he knew next to nothing about 
her. She had come to him a stran 
ger, and had offered her services. She 
refused to enter into the usual contract 
demanded of most geishas, and in 
view of her talents he could not afford 
to lose her. She was attracting large 
crowds to his gardens by her strange 
dances. Still he disliked and mis 
trusted her. She came only when it 
suited her whim, and on f&es and oc 
casions of this kind he had no means 
of knowing where she was. It was 
only by accident she had happened 
in this evening. Once he had attempt 
ed to follow her, but she had discov 
ered him, and made him promise never 
to do such a thing again, threatening 
to stay away altogether if he did so. 
He spoke disparagingly of her : 

" Beautiful, excellencies ! Phow ! You 
cannot see properly in the deceitful 
light of this honorable moon. A 
14 




THE STORM DANCE 

cheap girl of Tokyo, with the blue- 
glass eyes of the barbarian, the yellow 
skin of the lower Japanese, the hair 
of mixed color, black and red, the form 
of a Japanese courtesan, and the heart 
and nature of those honorably unre 
liable creatures, alien at this coun 
try, alien at your honorable country, 
augustly despicable a half-caste!" 






11 



IN WHICH WOMAN PROPOSES AND 

MAN DISPOSES 
^ . 

JACK BlGELOW was beset by the 
nakodas (professional match -makers). 
He was known to be one of the richest 
foreigners in the city, and the nakodas 
gave him no rest. Though he found 
them interesting, with the little com 
edies and tragedies to relate of the 
matches they had made and unmade, 
he had remained impregnable to their 
arts. He naturally shrank from such 
a union, and in this position he was 
strengthened by a promise he had 
made before leaving America to a col 
lege chum, his most intimate friend, 
a young English- Japanese student, 
named Taro Burton, that during his 
16 



WOMAN PROPOSES, MAN DISPOSES 

stay in Japan he would not append 
his name to the long list of foreigners 
who for a short, happy, and convenient 
season cheerfully take unto themselves 
Japanese wives, and with the same 
cheerfulness desert them. 

Taro Burton was almost a mono 
maniac on this subject, and denounced 
both the foreigners who took to them 
selves and deserted Japanese wives, 
and the native Japanese, who made 
such a practice possible. He him 
self was a half-caste, being the prod 
uct of a marriage between an Eng 
lishman and a Japanese woman. 
In this case, however, the husband 
had proved faithful to his wife and 
children up to death; but then he had 
married a daughter of the nobility, 
a descendant of the proud Jokichi 
family, and the ceremony had been 
performed by an English missionary. 
Despite the happiness of this marriage, 
Taro held that the Eurasian was born 
to a sorrowful lot, and was bitterly 
B 17 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

opposed to the union of the women 
of his country with men of other lands, 
particularly as he was Westernized 
enough to appreciate how lightly such 
marriages were held by the foreigners. 
It was true, of course, that after the 
desertion the wife was divorced, ac 
cording to the law, but that, in Taro's 
mind, only made the matter more de 
testable. 

For five years, up to their gradua 
tion four months before this, the young 
American and the young half- Japanese 
had been associated as closely together 
as it is possible for two young men to 
be, and a strong and deep affection 
existed between them. 

It had been originally decided that 
the friends would make this trip to 
gether, which in Taro Burton's case 
was to be his return to the home he 
had left, and, with Jack Bigelow, was 
to be the beginning of a year's travel 
preliminary to entering the business 
of his father, who was a rich ship- 









builder. But for some reason, which 
he never clearly set forth to his friend, 
Taro had backed out at almost the 
last minute; yet he had urged Jack to 
undertake the trip alone, and, under 
promise to follow shortly, finally had 
prevailed. So Jack Bigelow had made 
the long voyage to Japan, and had 
taken a pretty house of his own a short 
distance from Tokyo. 

It was unfortunate that Taro could 
not have accompanied his friend, for, 
while the latter was not a weak charac 
ter, he was easy-going, good-natured, 
and easily manipulated through his 
feelings. 

The young Japanese, had he done 
nothing else, at least would have kept 
the nakodas and their offerings of 
matrimonial happiness on the other 
side of the American's doors. As it 
was, one of them in particular was so 
picturesque in appearance, quaint in 
speech, and persistent in his calls, that 
the young man had encouraged his 
19 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

visits, until a certain jocular intimacy 
put their relations with each other on 
a pleasant and familiar footing. 

It was this nakoda (Ido was his name, 
so he told Jack) who brought an ap 
plicant for a husband to his house, one 
day, and besought him at least to hold 
a look-at meeting with her! 

"She is beautiful like unto the sun- 
goddess," he declared, with the ex 
travagance of his class. 

"The last was like the moon," said 
the young man, laughing. "Have 
you any stars to trot out?" 

"Stars!" echoed the other, for a 
moment puzzled, and then, beaming 
with delighted enlightenment, "Ah, 
yes her eyes, her feet, hair, hands, 
twinkling like unto them same stars! 
She prays for just a look-at meeting 
with your excellency." 

"Well, for the fun of the thing, 
then," said the other, laughing. " I'm 
sure I don't mind having a look-at 
meeting with a pretty girl. Show 





WOMAN PROPOSES, MAN DISPOSES 

her into the zashishi (guest - room) 
and I'll be along in a moment. But, 
look here," he continued, "you'd bet 
ter understand that I'm only going 
through this ceremony for the fun of 
the thing, mind you. I don't intend 
to marry any one at all events, not a 
girl of that class." 

"Nod for a leetle while whicheven?" 
persuaded the nakoda. 

"Nod for a leetle while whicheven," 
echoed the young man, but the agent 
had disappeared. 

When Jack, curious to know what 
she was like, she who was seeking 
him for a husband, entered the zashishi, 
he found the blinds high up and the 
sunshine pouring into the room. His 
eyes fell upon her at once, for the 
shoji at the back of the room was parted, 
and she stood in the opening, her head 
drooping bewitchingly. He could not 
see her face. She was quite small, 
though not so small as the average 
Japanese woman, and the two little 












A JAPANEvSE NIGHTINGALE 

hands, clasped before her, were the 
whitest, most irresistible and perfect 
hands he had ever seen. He had heard 
of the beauty of the hands of the 
Japanese women, and was not sur 
prised to find even a girl of this class 
she was a geisha, of course, he told 
himself with such exquisite, delicate 
hands. He knew she was holding them 
so that they could be seen to advantage, 
and her little affected pose amused and 
pleased him. 

After he had looked at her a moment, 
she subsided to the mats and made 
her prostration. She was dressed very 
gayly in a red crae"pe kimono, tied about 
with a purple obi. Her hair was dressed 
after the fashion of the geisha, with 
a flower ornament at top and long, 
pointed daggers at either side; but as 
she bowed her head to the mats, some 
pin in her hair escaped and slipped, 
and then a tawny, rebellious mass 
of hair, which was never meant to be 
worn smoothly, had fallen all about 



22 





WOMAN PROPOSES, MAN DISPOSES 

her, tumbled into her eyes and over 
her ears, and literally covered her little 
crouching form. She shivered in shame 
at the mishap, and then knelt very still 
at his feet. 

Bigelow was speechless. Never be 
fore in his life had he seen such hair. 
It was black, though not densely so, 
for all over it, even where it had been 
darkened with oil, there was a rich 
red tinge, and it was luxuriously thick 
and long and wavy. 

"Good heavens!" he said, after the 
little figure had remained absolutely 
motionless for a full minute; "she'll 
hurt or cramp herself in that position." 

The girl did not rise at the sound 
of his voice, but crept nearer to him, 
her hair still enshrouding her. It 
made him feel creepy, and annoyed 
and pleased and amused him alto 
gether. 

"Don't do that," he said. "Please 
stand up. Do!" 

The nakoda told him to lift her to 








A JAPANESE NIGH' 



her feet, and the young man did so, 
entangling his hands in her hair. 
When she stood up, he saw her face, 
which was oval and rosy, the lips very 
red. She still drooped her eyes, so that 
her face was incomplete. 

" What's your name?" he asked her, 
gently. "And what do you want 
with me?" 

Now she raised her head and he 
saw her eyes. They startled him. 
They were large, though narrow, and 
intensely, vividly blue. Before, with 
her hair neatly smoothed and dressed, 
he had noticed nothing extraordina 
ry about her; now, with that rich 
red-black hair enshrouding her, and 
the long, blue eyes looking at him 
mistily, she was an eerie little creature 
that made him marvel. A Japanese 
girl with such hair and eyes! And 
yet the more he looked at her the more 
he saw that her clothes became her; 
that she was Japanese despite the hair 

id eyes. He did not try to explain 







iM 






WOMAN PROPOSES, MAN DISPOSES 

the anomaly to himself, but he could 
not doubt her nationality. There was 
no other country she could belong to. 

"You are Japanese?" he finally 
asked, to make sure. 

She nodded. 

" I thought so, and yet" 

She smiled, and her eyes closed a 
trifle as she did so. She was all Jap 
anese in a moment, and prettier than 
ever. 

"You see your eyes and hair " he 
began again. She nodded and dimpled, 
and he knew she understood. 

"What is it you want with me?" 
he asked, desiring rather to hear her 
speak than to learn her object, for 
this he knew. 

She was solemn now. She flushed, 
and her eyes went down. To explain 
to him why she had come to him in 
this wise was a painful task. He 
could guess that, but she forced the 
words past her lips. 

"To be your wife, my lord," she 
25 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 











said in English, and the queer quality 
of her voice thrilled him strangely. 

This was the answer he knew was 
coming; nevertheless it stirred him in 
a way he had not expected. To have 
this wonderfully pretty girl before him, 
beseeching him to marry her he who 
had as yet never dreamed of marriage 
for himself was disturbing to his bal 
ance of mind. Nay, more it was re 
volting. He shrank back involuntarily, 
wondering why she had come to him, 
and this wonder he put into words. 

"But why do you want to marry 
me?" he asked. 

The expression of her face was enig 
matical now. She had ceased to blush 
and smile, and had become quite white. 
Suddenly she commenced to laugh 
thrilling, elfish laughter, that rang out 
through the room, startling the echoes 
of the house. 

"Why?" he repeated, fascinated. 

She shrugged her shoulders. " I mus' 
make money," she said. 
26 







WOMAN PROPOSES, MAN DISPOSES 

Of course this was her reason; he 
knew that before she spoke; but hear 
ing her say so gave him pain. She 
was such a dainty little body. 

"Oh, you need not sell yourself for 
that/' he said, earnestly. "Why, I'll 
give you some all you want. You're 
awfully young, aren't you? Just a 
little girl. 7 can't marry you. It 
wouldn't be fair to you." 

Again she shrugged her shoulders, 
and spoke in Japanese to the nakoda. 

"She says some one else will, then," 
he interpreted. 

"All right," said the young man, 
almost bitterly. 

She pretended to go towards the 
oor, and then came back towards 
Bigelow. 

J" I seen you before/' she announced, 
ingenuously. 

"Where?" He was curiously inter- 
He fancied that her face was 
familiar. 

Ad tea-house." 
27 












A JAPANESE NIGHTINGAL 

"What tea-house?" 

" On liddle bit island. You 'member? 
I dance like this-a-way." She per 
formed a few steps. 

"What! you that girl?" He knew 
her in an instant now. " How could 
you remember me?" 

"You following me after dance with 
'nudder American gent, and before thad 
some one point ad you ole wooman 
thad always accompanying me." 

"How did she know me?" 

"She din know you to speag ad, 
bud she saying you mos' reech bar 
barian ad all Japan." 

" Oh, I see," he said, coldly. 

"She tell me I bedder git marry 
with you." 

"Indeed! Why?" 

She hung her head a moment. " Be 
cause she know I luffing with you," 
she said. 

" You loving with me!" He laughed 
outright. Her ingenuousness was en 
trancing. 





"Yes," she said, and he, with mas 
culine conceit, half believed her. 

"But wouldn't you rather stay at 
the tea-house than get married?" he 
asked. 

"Not miff money that businesses," 
she returned. 

"Do you do everything for money?" 

"How I goin' to live?" 

This question, answering a ques 
tion, brought her back to the purpose 
of her visit. She held her little hands 
out to him. 

"Ah, excellency, pray marry with 
me," she begged. 

He took her hands quickly in his 
own. They were soft and so small. 
He could enclose them with one of his. 
They were delightful. He knew they 
were daintily perfumed, like every 
thing else about her. He did not let 
them go. 

" You ought not to marry, you know," 
he said to her, almost boj'ishly. " How 
old are you, anyhow?" 

* 













A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

She ignored his question. 

" I will be true, good wife to you for 
ever," she said, and then swiftly cor 
rected herself, as though frightened 
by her own words. "No, no, I make 
ridigulous mistage not forever jus' 
for liddle bit while as you desire, 
augustness!" 

"But I don't desire," he laughed 
nervously. " I don't want to get mar 
ried. I won't be over a few months 
at most in Japan." 

"Oh, jus' for liddle bit while marry 
with me," she breathed, entreatingly 
"Pi-ease!" 

It hurt him strangely to have her 
plead so. She looked delicate and re 
fined and gentle. He put her hands 
quickly from him. She held them 
out and put them back again into his. 
Her eyes clouded, and he thought she 
was going to cry. 

He was seized with a desire to keep 
from weeping, if he could, this 

le creature, who seemed made for 
30 








WOMAN PROPOSES, MAN DISPOSES 

anything but tears. He spoke from 
this impulse, without giving so much 
as a second's thought to the serious 
ness of his words. 

"Don't cry. I'll marry you, of 
course, if you want me to." 

He felt the hands in his own tremble, 

"Thangs, excellency/' she said, in 
a voice that was barely above a whis 
per, but it was a voice which had in 
it no note of joy. 

There was pleasure, however, in 
the eyes of the nakoda. He had done 
a good piece of business, a most ex 
cellent piece of business, for the Amer 
ican gentleman was reputed to be able 
to buy hundreds and hundreds of rice- 
fields if he so cared to do. The nakoda 
came forward with a benignant smile 
to arrange the terms. 

"She will cost only three hundred 
yen per down and fifteen yen each end 
per week. Soach a cheap price for a 
wife!" 

It was the 



grinning 
31 





face 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 



matrimonial middleman that brought 
Bigelow back to his senses. He had 
said he would marry this little creature, 
whose limp hands he was holding. 
He dropj^ed them as though they were 
the hands of one dead, and drew back. 
"I won't do it!" he almost shouted. 
" Never ! ' ' Then he thought what must 
be the feelings of the little girl whose 








Japanese girl. 1 don t want to marry 
any girl. I wouldn't be doing right, 
and it wouldn't be fair to you." He 
paused, and then added, lamely, "I 
think I'd like you awfully, though, if I 
only knew you." 

" But " spoke up the nakoda, anx 
iously, who found his dream of a large 
fee fading into thin air. 

Jack turned upon him quickly and 
gave him a sharp look, whereat he 
retired hurriedly. 

A look of relief had come over the 




\VOMAX PROPOSES, MAN DISPOSES 

girl's face when Jack had cried out 
that he would not marry her, and at 
this he wondered much. This relief 
in her face, however, was succeeded 
almost instantly by disappointment. 
But she spoke no further word. She 
gave him a single hurried glance from 
beneath fluttering eyelashes, courtesied 
until her head was almost on a level 
with his knees, and left him. 



faff* 



. 





Ill 



AN APPOINTMENT 

JACK BlGELOW regarded the at 
tempt of the nakoda and little Miss 

(he had not even thought to ask 

^** her name) as an incident closed by the 
retirement of the one aspiring to wife- 
hood from his sight. But in passing 
from his house she had not passed 
from his mind. This she occupied in 
spite of him, though it must be said 
that Jack made no effort to eject her. 

He had been approached by many 
nakodas, who had the disposal of 
some most excellent wives, so they 
had told him, but never before had he 
consented to see one of their offerings ; 
so the sensation of being asked in mar 
riage by a girl whom he had only seen 
34 




AN APPOINTMENT 

once before, and that under circum 
stances which prevented his seeing 
her clearly, was altogether new. That 
he, John Hampden Bigelow, A.B. 
he was very proud of that A.B., it had 
not cost him any particular labor 
should be so sought out was not at 
all displeasing to his vanity, a quality 
that he prided himself on not possess 
ing; this, notwithstanding the fact 
that he knew he had been approached 
because he had money. 

He chuckled at the event several 
times during the day. He would keep 
this incident in mind, with all its de 
tail, and make use of it now and then 
after he had returned home, when he 
was called upon to talk of his expe 
riences in other lands. Of course, he 
would exaggerate a bit here and tone 
down a bit there, and would make the 
girl much prettier. No, the girl was 
pretty enough. This part of the in 
cident could not be improved upon. 

Jack mused about the morning's 
35 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

episode during the entire day, and 
twice exploded into such laughter at 
the idea of his being asked for a hus 
band that his little man hurried in 
to see if the gay-eyed barbarian was 
taking leave of his senses. In the 
evening he grew restless, and, having 
nothing else to do so he told him 
self he went out to the tea-garden 
on the little island which he had visited 
a few nights before. For an hour he 
waited for something for something 
that did not appear. Finally, when 
the proprietor chanced to pass him, 
he asked in the manner of one casu 
ally interested : 

"The girl who danced and sang 
the other night is she here?" 

She w r as not, for which the proprietor 
humbly asked pardon. She had not 
visited his poor place since the night 
the American had seen her. 

For some reason Jack suddenly lost 
interest in the house and gardens, and 
returned to his home. But the next 









AN APPOINTMENT 

night again because he had nothing 
else to do found him once more a 
guest at the tea - garden. This time 
he did not leave at the end of an hour ; 
possibly because a weird dance was 
performed and a weird song sung by a 
girl with vivid blue eyes. He could 
not see their color from where he sat, 
but he knew they were blue. 

After that he fell into the habit of 
visiting the gardens every night 
these were dull times in Tokyo never 
anything else to do. Most of the even 
ings so spent were intensely weari 
some, but some few of them were not. 
It may only have been a series of coin 
cidences, but it so happened that on the 
enjoyable evenings there was a weird 
dance and a weird song, and on the 
others there were not the graceful 
swayings of a little body, nor the won 
derful music of a wonderful voice. 

One evening, immediately after the 
song had been ended, he found him 
self striding down the same road he 
37 













Tr 






A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

had taken with the excited theatrical 
manager, and this without consciously 
having decided upon such a course. 
But he came down to the beach with 
out seeing man or woman, and, though 
he would not acknowledge to himself 
that he was seeking any one, he carried 
away with him a keen sense of dis 
appointment. 

For two weeks the dulness of Tokyo 
remained unabated, so that the even 
ings offered nothing else to do save 
to go to the tea-gardens. At the end 
of that time, Jack, becoming honest 
with himself, admitted that there was 
nothing else, because there was noth 
ing else he wanted to do, and while 
in this frank mood he let it become 
known to himself that there was noth 
ing else in all the land of the rising 
sun that held so much of interest to 
him as did the girl who had offered 
herself to him for wife nothing, indeed, 
in all the other lands of the earth. 
Why this was, he did not know, not 
38 



AN APPOINTMENT 




being one given to searching his own 
soul or the souls of others. 

While he reclined at his ease one 
afternoon in the little room in which 
he lounged and smoked, he began to 
place her, in his imagination, here and 
there in the house, to try the effect. 

He set her in one of his largest chairs, 
notwithstanding she would have been 
much more comfortable on the floor, 
in this same room, and she added won 
derfully to the appearance of things. 
He stood her pensively by the toko- 
nona ; he nodded his head very good ! 
He placed her out beneath a cherry- 
tree in his garden; again he nodded 
approvingly. And a breakfast with 
her sitting opposite him! That would 
be like unto the breakfasts eaten by 
the angels in heaven if angels par 
take of other than spiritual nourish 
ment. Yes, she would be wonder 
fully effective in his little house, would 
harmonize with it greatly. 

But what an odd figure she would 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

make in an American dress! He 
thought of her in a golfing costume, 
and smiled at his fancy. Neverthe 
less, even in the gowns worn by the 
women of his own country, she would 
be quaint and charming, he felt sure. 
She would be awkward, of course, but 
would be graceful even in her awk 
wardness. And she would transgress 
every polite convention, and would make 
herself all the more delightful in so 
doing. He compared her to the wives 
of some of the men he knew, to many 
of the girls he had met since girls had 
begun to have interest for him, and 
his admiration for her grew apace. He 
would be proud of her, he knew, for she 
was pretty and would attract atten 
tion ; men like their wives to draw eyes 
towards them. She was unlike the wife 
of any of his countrymen he was likely 
to meet, and this also was much. 

What would his parents think? 
They'd be angry at first, of course, but 
they'd give in; they loved him, and 











v* i ) 



AN APPOINTMENT 

couldn't resist her; no one could re 
sist her. Anyhow, this prospective 
trouble was so far ahead that there was 
no use in wasting thought upon it now. 
Why the deuce hadn't he learned 
her name? It was very monotonous 
this being compelled to think of her only 
as "she "and "her." 

But why had she come to him asking 
him to marry her? He shook his head 
at that; he didn't quite like it. But 
oh,well, you know, these Japs have no 
end of queer customs. This incident 
just illustrated one of them. She was 
clearly a superior kind of a girl. Not 
an ordinary geisha as he had thought 
when his eyes first fell on her. He 
had seen enough of the geishas at the 
tea-houses to know that she was of a 
different kind; to his Occidental eyes 
these last were most pleasing creatures, 
but- 
Just then his man straggled through 
the room and brought an end to his 
musing. Marry her ? He sat up 
41 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

straight. What had he been think 
ing about? The idea was absurd. 
It was absurd for him to think about 
marrying any one. He got to his feet, 
called back his man, and ordered a 
jinrikisha to be brought to him. He 
rode off to Tokyo to forget all about it. 

But it would not be forgotten. After 
he had left the jinrikisha he caught 
sight of her on the opposite side of the 
street, turning a corner. He hurried 
after her, but when he reached the 
corner she was nowhere to be seen. 
He looked into all the shops on either 
side of the street for a distance of a 
hundred yards, but saw no one who 
bore the least resemblance to her. 
Then he tramped about the immediate 
vicinity, his sense of loss deepening 
with each minute, until he noticed that 
the shop-keepers were eying him with 
suspicion. He gave up the search and 
started back to his jinrikisha. 

As he was swinging along discon 
solately, his eyes lighted upon another 
42 



person whom he knew Ido, the nakoda 
and him Jack did not let escape. He 
pounced down upon him, and clapped a 
hand upon his shoulder. 

"Hallo there!" he called out. 

Ido started back as if he had been 
set upon by an enemy. He was un 
used to such emphatic greetings. But 
when he saw who his assailant was 
he slipped a smile upon his face, smirk 
ed and bowed, and hoped that the au 
gust American's days were rilled with 

jy- 

" They'll do," Jack answered. " And 
how are things with you? Business 
good? Making many matches?" 

Ido had introduced four persons to 
incomparable happiness which was to 
say, he had brought about two mar 
riages. Had his lordship come into 
like happiness? 

No, his lordship had not. 

"You making gradest mistage you' 
whole lifetime," Ido assured him. 
" You nod yit seen Japanese woman 
43 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

that please you for wife? Xo? 1 
know nodder girl you' excellency nod 
seen yit. Mos' beautiful in Japan. 
You like see her?" 

"No, I've seen enough. By- the - 
way, Ido, what's become of the girl 
you brought around to my place? 
Married yet?" Jack put on a look of 
indifferent interest. 

"No, excellency." 

For one disinterested, Jack found 
much relief in this answer. 

"But I thing she going to be," Ido 
went on, calmly. "Two, three no, 
two odder gents what you say? con 
sider yes, consider her." 

These words drove relief from the 
disinterested Jack's heart, and in 
stantly set up in its place a raging 
jealousy. But he compelled himself to 
remark, quite easily, "You don't say!" 

Ido confirmed his statement with a 
nod that was almost a bow. 

"A very pretty girl," Jack com 
mented, loftily. 

44 






AN APPOINTMENT 

Ido's reply was confined to a mere 
"Yes." There was no use going into 
ecstasies when no bargain was in sight. 

"I think I'll go around to see her, 
and congratulate her," Jack went on. 
"Where does she live?" 

"I regretfully cannot tell." 

" Ah, well, let it go then. But, say, 
I really would like to see her again 
before she's married. Rather took a 
fancy to her, you know. Couldn't you 
bring her to call on me to-morrow morn- 
mg?" 

" I going to be very busy to-morrow." 
Seeing no chance of earning a mar 
riage-fee, he saw no reason for taking 
the trip. 

"I'll" pay you for your trouble 
needn't worry about that." 

Perhaps Ido could arrange to come; 
yes, now that he thought again, he 
knew he could come. 

So it was settled that he and the 
girl should visit Jack at ten o'cloc 
the next day. 





IV 



IN WHICH MAN PROPOSES 

THE announcement of his man that 
Ido and his charge had arrived con 
tained no news for Jack, for he had 
been watching the road from Tokyo 
since nine o'clock, and had seen them 
while they were yet afar off. Never 
theless, he did not enter the zashishi 
until his man came to him with word 
that guests from the city were awaiting 
him, and then he had no definite idea 
of what he intended to do. 

She was dressed exactly as she had 
been on her previous visit, and she 
made obeisance almost to the floor, 
in greeting him, as she then had done. 
He hastened her recovery from the 
deep courtesy by taking her hands 
~ 46 




MAN PROPOSES 

and raising her to an upright pos 
ture. 

"You have come to see me again? 
I am very glad to see you/' he said, 
with eager politeness. 

" Nakoda say you wish see me. Tha's 
why I come." There was not a trace 
of her former coquetry in her manner. 

"Yes, I had to send Ido after you. 
I don't suppose you would ever have 
let me see you again if I had not." 

She shrugged her shoulders im 
perceptibly. "Me you don' wish mar 
rying with. You send me 'way. 
What I do?" 

"We could be capital friends, even 
if we didn't care to marry, couldn't 
we?" 

"Frieri'? I don' wan' frien'," she 
returned, coldly. 

"But I'd like to have you for my 
friend, all the same, though I'm afraid 
it's not possible. Ido" he hesitated 
" Ido says you're going to be married, 
you know." 

47 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 




She inclined her head. 

"You're not married yet, are you?" 
he asked in alarm, forgetting that he 
had put this same question to the 
nakoda the day before. 

"Nodyit." 

"Do you uin like him?" 

" Which one, my lord?" She looked 
up at him innocently. 

"Oh, both of them!" He was be 
ginning to get angry. He would find 
pleasure in laying violent hands upon 
the two, one at a time. 

"Jus' liddle bit, augustness." 

"Better than you do me?" he de 
manded, jealously. 

She shook her head decisively. 
"You nod so ole, an nod so hairy- 
like." She rubbed her little hands 
over her face, by which he understood 
that the two wore beards. They were 
doubtless of his own country. 

He hardly knew what to say next, and 
the silence grew embarrassing to him. 
She broke it by remarking, very quietly : 
48 







MAN PROPOSES 

"Nakoda inform me you wan' make 
liddle bit talk ad me." 

He turned to the match-maker, who 
was pretending deep interest in a 
framed drawing on the wall. "Say, 
Ido, just step into the next room a 
minute, will you?" 

He turned back to the girl, as soon 
as Ido had obeyed him, with extrava 
gant alacrity. 

"You have never even told me your 
name," he said. 

"Yuki." 

"That means 'Snowflake/ doesn't 
it? I like it. Well now, Yuki, mayn't 
I visit you at your home, before you 
are married?" 

He was anxious to see what her 
people were like, and how she lived. 

" Mos' poor house in all Tokyo so lid- 
die bit house augustness nod lige come." 

" But I don't care if it is. I want to 
come anyhow. I want to see you, not 
the house. Won't you tell me where 
you live?" 

D 49 









A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

She shook her head. "No," she 
said with simple directness, and then 
added as an after - thought, "House 
too small. You altogedder too big to 
enter thad liddle bit insignificant hovel." 

Her answer gave him offence. He 
wondered why she should dissemble, 
wondered whether she was laughing at 
him. A glance at her, however, and his 
distrust vanished. She seemed such a 
simple little bod3', yet he knew he did 
not understand her. 

Her eyes, which she had kept turned 
downward, slowly uplifted and looked 
questioningly into his own. Such 
wonderful eyes! Such a simple, ex 
quisite face! He was suddenly suf 
fused with a great wave of tenderness, 
and he bent low, and gently made 
prisoners of her hands. However in 
definite his purpose had been up to 
this time, it was definite enough now. 

"So you remember, Yuki, what 
you asked me when you were here be 
fore?" 

50 





MAN PROPOSES 

"Yes." She still gazed at him 
questioningly. 

"Would you like to would you 
rather marry me than one of those 
other fellows?" he said, softly. 

"Yes," again, in the smallest voice 
this time. 

He hesitated, and she asked, quickly, 
" You wan' me do so?" 

"That's just what I want, Yuki, 
dear," he whispered, drawing her 
hands to his lips. 

"All ride." She trembled perhaps 
shivered is the better word as she said 
this, but gave no other sign of emotion. 

Before Jack could so much as touch 
his lips to her forehead, Ido entered 
smiling his professional blessing. It 
was evident that in the other room 
he had found no drawing to distract 
his attention, and a large new peep 
hole in the immaculate shoji indicated 
where he had given all his eyes and 
ears to what was going on, and he 
could wait no longer to press his claim. 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Jack, seeing an unpleasant duty 
before him, and desiring to have done 
with it at once, told Yuki that he would 
be back in a minute, and led the nakoda 
into the room out of which he had just 
come. 

Ido immediately began to make 
terms. This part was loathsome to 
the young man. 

"Why," he said, hotly, "if we're to 
be married, she can have all she wants 
and needs." 

That wouldn't do at all, the nakoda 
told him, warily. There would have 
to be a marriage settlement and a stated 
allowance agreed upon. He would 
have to pay more, also, as she was a 
maid and not a widow. 

When the ugly terms of the agree 
ment were completed, the nakoda bowed 
himself out, and Jack went back to 
Yuki. He found her changed ; her sim 
plicity had left her, and her coquet 
ry had returned. She stood off from 
him, and he felt constrained and awk- 
52 







MAX PROPOSES 



ward. After a time she demanded of 
him, with a shrewd inflection in her 
voice : 

"You goin' to lige me, excellency?" 

"No question of that," he answered 
promptly, smiling. 

"No," she repeated, "tha's sure 
thing," and then she laughed at her 
own assurance, and she was so pretty 
he wanted to kiss her, but she backed 
from him in mock alarm. 

"Tha's nod ride," she declared, "till 
we marry." 

"God speed the day!" he said, with 
devout joyousness. Still approaching 
her, as she backed from him, he ques 
tioned her boyishly: 

"And you? Will you like me?" 

She surveyed him critically. Then 
she nodded emphatically. They laugh 
ed together this time, but when he ap 
proached her she grew fearful. He did 
not want to frighten her. 

"You god nod anudder wife?" she 
asked. 

51 




8m 








.\ JAPAMlSi: NIGHTINGALE 

"Xo! Good heavens!" 

"I god nod anudder hosban'," she 
informed him, complacently. 

"I should hope not." 

"Perhaps," she said, "you marry 
ing with girl in Japan thad god marry 
before. Me? I never." 

"No, of course not." He didn't 
quite understand what she was driving 
at. 

Then she said : " You pay more 
money ad liddle girl lige me whad nod 
been marry before?" 

He recoiled and frowned heavily 
at her. 

"I settled that matter w r ith the 
nakoda," he said, coldly. 

Seeing he was displeased, she tried 
to conciliate him. She smiled at him, 
engagingly, coaxingly. 

"You don" lige me any more which- 
even." 

But his face did not clear up. She 
had hurt him deeply by her reference 
to money. 

54 




MAN PROPOSES 

"Perhaps you don' want me even," 
she suggested, tentatively. "I bedder 
go 'way. Leave you all lone." 

She turned and was making her 
way slowly out of the room, when he 
sprang impetuously after her. 

"Don't, Yuki!" he cried, and caught 
her eagerly in his arms. She yielded 
herself to his embrace, though she 
was trembling like a little frightened 
child. For the first time he kissed her. 



After she had left him, he stared with 
some wonder at the reflection of him 
self in a mirror. So he was to be mar 
ried, was he? Yes, there was no get 
ting out of it now. As for that, he 
didn't want to get out of it of this 
he was quite sure. He was very well 
content nay, he was enthusiastically 
happy with what the future promised. 

But his happiness might have been 
felt in less measure if his eyes, in 
stead of staring at his mirrored like 
ness, could have been fixed on Yuki. 
55 











A J A 1 > A N KSI-: NIGHTINGALE 

She had borne herself with a joyous 
air to the jinrikisha, but once within 
it, and practically secure from observa 
tion, the life had seemingly gone out 
of her. The brown of her skin had 
paled to gray, and all the way to Tokyo 
her eyes shifted neither to right nor 
left, but stared straight ahead into 
nothingness, and once, when Ido looked 
down, he found that they were filled 
with tears. 








V 



IN WHICH THE EAST AND THE 
WEST ARE UNITED 

A FEW days later they were married. 
It was a very quiet little tea-drinking 
ceremony, and, unlike the usual Japan 
ese wedding, there was not the painful 
crowd of relatives and friends attend 
ant. In fact, ho one was present, be 
sides themselves, save Jack's man and 
maid and the nakoda, while Yuki her 
self sang the marriage song. 

They started housekeeping in an 
ideal spot. Their house, a bit of art 
in itself, was built on the crest of a 
small hill. On all sides sloped and 
leaned green highlands, rich in foliage 
and warm in color. Beyond these 
smaller hillocks towered the jagged 
57 



A JAPANESE NIGHTIXC, AI.i: 




background of mountain - peaks, with 
the halo of the skies bathing them in 
an eternal glow. A lazy, babbling 
little stream dipped and threaded its 
way between the hillocks, mirroring 
on its shining surface the beauty of 
the neighboring hills and the inimi 
table landscapes pictured on the canvas 
of God the skies and seeming like a 
twisted rainbow of ever-changing and 
brilliant colors. But no surges dis 
turbed its waters, even far beyond 
where it emptied into the mellow Bay 
of Tokyo. 

From their elevation on the hill they 
could see below them the beautiful 
city of Tokyo, with its many-colored 
lights and intricate maze of streets. 
And all about them the hills, the mead 
ows, the valleys and forests bore elo 
quent testimony to the labor of the 
Color Queen. 

Pink, white, and blushy-red twigs 
of cherry and plum blossoms, idly 
swaving, flung out their suave fra~ 
58 




be 



EAST AND WEST UNITED 

grance on the flattered breeze, the 
volatile handmaid of young May, who 
had freed all the imprisoned perfumes, 
unhindered by the cynic snarl of the 
jealous winter, and with silent, pur- 
suasive wooing had taught the dewy- 
tinctured air to please all living nostrils. 
So from the glowing and thrilling 
thoughts that tremble on the young 
tree of life is love distilled, and, un 
mindful of the assembling of the baffled 
powers of cold caution and warning 
fear, the heart is filled with fountain 
tumults it cannot dissemble. 

:Jack Bigelow was fascinated and 
wildered at the turn events had taken, 
e was very good and gentle to her, 
and for several days after the cere 
mony she seemed quite happy and con 
tented. Then she disappeared, and for 
week he saw nothing of her. 
He greatly missed her his little 
bride of three or four days. He longed 
ardently -for her return, and her ab 
sence alarmed him. Her little arts and 
59 





A j.M'ANKSi-: MC.IITI.V; AI.I: 







ivitchcries had grown on him even in 
this short period of their acquaintance. 

Towards the end of the week she 
slipped into the house quietly, and 
went about her household duties as 
though nothing unusual had occurred. 
She did not offer to tell him where she 
had been, and he felt strangely un 
willing to force her confidence. 

Instead of becoming better acquainted 
with her, each day found him more puz 
zled and less capable of knowing or un 
derstanding her. Now .she was cling 
ing, artless, confiding, and again 
shrewd and elfish. Now she was 
laughing and singing and dancing 
as giddily as a little child, and again 
he could have sworn she had been 
weeping, though she would deny it 
stoutly, and pooh-pooh and laugh 
away such an idea.^. 

He asked her one day how she would 
like to be dressed in American clothes. 
She mimicked him. She mimicked 
everything and every one, from the 





EAST AND WEST UNITED 

warbling of the birds to the little man 
and maid who waited on them. 

"I loog lige this/' she said, and 
humped a bustle under her ridiculously 
tight omeshi, and slipped his large 
sun hat over her face. Then she 
laughed out at him, and flung her 
arms tightly about his neck. 

"You wan' me be American girl?" 

"You are a witch, Yuki-san," he 
said. 

"I wan' new dress/' she returned, 
promptly, and held a pink little palm 
out. He frowned. He almost disliked 
her when she spoke of money. He 
filled her hands, however, with change 
from his pockets, and when she broke 
away from him, which she did as soon 
as she had obtained the money, he 
wanted to take it back. Her pretty 
laughter sifted out to him through the 
shoji at the other side, and he knew 
she was mocking him again. 

"It is her natural love of dress and 
finery/' he told himself. "It is the 
61 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

eternal feminine in her, and it is be 
witching." 

The next day, as she sat opposite 
to him, eating her infinitesimal bit 
of a breakfast a plum, a small fish, 
and a tiny cup of tea all on a little 
black lacquer tray, he announced mys 
teriously that he was going "on busi 
ness " to the city. 

She desired to accompany him, as 
became a dutiful wife. 

No, he told her, that was impossible. 
His mission was of a secret nature, 
which could not be div r ulged until his 
return. 

Then she insisted that she would 
follow behind him after the manner of 
a slave; and when he laughed at her, 
she begged quite humbly and gently 
that he would condescend to honor 
ably permit her to go with him, and 
then he was for telling her his whole 
pretty story, and the surprise he had 
concocted to please her, when she grew 
:apricious and insisted that she would 
62 









EAST AND WEST UNITED 

not stir one little bit of an inch from 
the house, and that he must go all 
alone to the city and attend to his great, 
magnificent business! 

He went down to Tokyo, and in his 
boyish, blundering fashion he pur 
chased silk and crpe and linen suffi 
cient for fifty gowns for her. 

She thanked him extravagantly. 
She could not imagine what she would 
do with so much finery. Her honor 
able person was augustly insignificant, 
and could not accommodate so much 
merchandise. 

" Now," he thought with inward .satis 
faction, "that ghost of a money ques 
tion will be laid. She has everything 
she wants and shall have. I want to 
do for her, and give her things with 
out being wheedled into it. It is that 
which irritates me." 

But a few days later she came to 

him breathless and flustered. Lo! 

some one had stolen all the beautiful 

goods he had bought her. It was 

63 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

neither their man nor maid. No, no! 
that was altogether impossible. They 
were honest, simple folk, who feared 
the gods. But they were all quite 
gone where she could not say. Who 
had taken them, she could not guess. 
Perhaps she, her unworthy self, and 
he, his honorable augustness, had 
been extremely wicked in their former 
state, and the gods were now punishing 
them in their present life. It would 
be wicked and unavailing to attempt 
to search for the missing goods. It 
was the will of the gods. Maybe the 
gods had been offended at such ruth 
less extravagance. Ah, yes, that was 
a better solution of the theft. Of course 
the gods were angry. What gods 
would not be? It was sinful to buy 
so many things at once. 

She affected great distress over the 
loss, and her husband, somewhat be 
wildered at her elaborate apologies 
for the thief who had stolen them, tried 
to comfort her by saying he would 
64 




EAST AND WEST UNITED 

buy her double the quantity again, 
whereat she became very solemn. 

"No, no," she said. "Redder give 
me money to buv. I will purchase 
jus' liddle bit each time to please 
the gods" 





VI 



THE ADVENTURESS 

THE man in the hammock was not 
asleep, for in spite of the lazy, loung 
ing attitude, and the hat which hid the 
gray eyes beneath, he was very much 
awake, and keenly interested in a cer 
tain small individual who was sitting 
on a mat a short distance removed from 
him. He had invited her several times 
to reduce that distance, but up to the 
present she had paid no heed to his 
suggestions. She was amusing her 
self by blowing and squeezing between 
her lower lip and teeth the berry of 
the winter cherry, from which she 
had deftly extracted the pulp at the 
stem. She continued this strange oc 
cupation in obstinate indifference to 
66 







THE ADVENTURESS 

the persuasive voice from the ham 
mock. 

" I say, Yuki, there's room for two in 
this hammock. Had it made on purpose." 

She continued her cherry - blowing 
without so much as making a reply, 
though one of her blue eyes looked 
at him sideways, and then solemn^ 
blinked. 

"What's the matter, Yuki? Got the 
dumps again, eh?" 

No reply. 

"Look here, Mrs. Bigelow, I'll come 
over and elope forcibly with you if 
you don't obey me." 

She dimpled scornfully. 

"Ah, that's right! Smile, Yuki. 
You're so pretty, so bewitching, so 
irresistible when you smile." 

Yuki nodded her head coolly. 

"How you lige me smiling forever?" 
she suggested. 

"That wouldn't do," he said, grin 
ning at her from beneath his tipped 
hat. "That would be tiresome." 
67 






A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Tha'swhy I don' smiling to-day." 

"Why?" 

"All yistidy I giggling." 

lie shouted with laughter at her. 

"Move your mat here, Yuki," indi 
cating a spot close to his hammock. 
"I want to talk to you." 

"My ears are " 

"Too small to hear from that dis 
tance," finished her husband. "Come." 

"Thangs," with great dignity, "I 
am quide comfor'hle. I don' wan' sit 
so near you, excellency." 

"Why, pray?" 

'Why? Hm! I un'erstan'. Tha's 
because I jus' your liddle bit slave." 

"You're my wife, you little bit 
fraud." 

"Wife? Oh, I dunno." She pre 
tended to deliberate. 

"Then you've tricked me into a 
false marriage, madam," declared her 
husband, with great wrath. 

"Tha's fault nakoda." 

" What is?" 

68 



THE ADVENTURESS 

"Thad you god me for wife, and," 
slowly, "servant." 

"Fault! Come here, servant, then. 
Servants must obey." 

"Nod so bad master, making such 
grade big noises," she laughed back 
daringly. "Besides, servant must sit 
long way off from thad same noisy 
master." 

"And wife?" 

"Oh, jus' liddle bit nearer." She 
edged perhaps half an inch closer to 
him. "Wife jus' liddle bit different 
from servant." 

"Look here, Mrs. Bigelow, you're 
not living up to your end of the con 
tract. You swore to honor and obey " 

She laughed mockingly. 

"Yes, you did, madam!" 

" I din nod. Tha's jus' ole Kirishitan 
marriage." 

He sat up amazed. 

" What do you know of the Christian 
marriage service?" 

"Liddle bit." 

69 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Come over here, Yuki." 

"You like me sing ad you?" 

"Come over here." 

"How you like me danze? liddle 
bit summer danze?" 

"Come over here. What's a sum 
mer dance, anyhow?" 

She ran lightly indoors, and was 
back so soon that she seemed scarcely 
to have left him. She had slipped 
on a red - and - yellow flimsy kimono, 
and had decked her hair and bosom 
with flaming poppies. 

" Tha's summer sunshine," she said, 
spreading her garment out on each 
side with a joyous little twirl. "I am 
the Sun-goddess, and you? you jus' 
the col', dark earth. I will descend 
and warm you with my sunshine." 
For a moment she stood still, her head 
thrown back, her face shining, her 
lips parted and smiling, showing the 
straight little white teeth within. Then 
she danced softly, ripplingly, back and 
forth. The summer winds were sigh- 
70 






THE ADVENTURESS 



ing and laughing with her. Her face 
shone out above her lightly swerving 
figure, her little hands and bare arms 
moved with inimitable grace. 
-j*You are a genius," he said to her, 
when she had subsided, light as a 
feather blown to his feet. 

"Tha's sure thing," she agreed, 
roguishly. 

Her assurance in herself always 
tickled him immensely. He threw his 
hat at her with such good aim that it 
settled upon her head. She approved 
his clever shot, laughed at him, and 
then, pulling it over her eyes, lay down 
on the mats and imitated his favorite 
attitude to a nicety. He laughed up 
roariously. He was in fine humor. 
They had been married over a month 
now, and she had not left him save 
that first time. He was growing pretty 
sure of her now. 

She perceived his good -humor, and 

immediately bethought herself to take 

advantage. She put the rim of his hat 

71 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

between her teeth, imitated a monkey, 
and crawled towards him, pretending to 
beg for her performance. He stretched 
his long arms out and tried to reach 
her, but she was far enough off to elude 
him. 

" You godder pay," she said, " for thad 
nize entertainments I giving you." 

He threw her a sen. She made a 
face. "That all?" she said, in a dread 
fully disappointed voice, but, despite 
her acting, he saw the greedy eager 
ness of her eyes. All the good-humor 
vanished. 

"Look here, Yuki," he said, with a 
disagreeable glint in his eyes, "you've 
had a trifle over fifty dollars this week. 
1 don't begrudge you money, but I'll 
be hanged if I'm going to have you 
dragging it out of me on every occasion 
and upon every excuse you can make. 
You have no expenses. I can't see 
what you want with so much money, 
anyhow." 

"I godder save," said Yuki, myste- 
72 



THE ADVENTURESS 

riously, struck with this brilliant ex 
cuse for her extravagance. 

"What for?" 

" Why, same's everybody else. Some 
day I nod have lods money. Whad I 
goin' do then? Tha's bedder save, eh?" 

" I've married you. I'll never let you 
want for anything." 

"Oh, you jus' marry me for liddle 
bit while." 

"You've a fine opinion of me, Yuki." 

"Yes, fine opinion of you," she re 
peated after him. 

"There's enough money deposited 
in a bank in Tokyo to last you as long 
as you live. If it's ever necessary for 
me to leave you for a time, you will not 
want for anything, Yuki." 

"But," .she said, argumentatively, 
"when you leaving me I hencefor 
ward a widder. I nod marry with you 
any longer. Therefore I kin nod take 
your money." This last with heroic 
pride. 

"Boo! Your qualms of conscience 
73 






A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

about using my money are, to say the 
least, rather extraordinary." 

"When you leaving me " she com 
menced again. 

" Why do you persist in that? I 
have no idea of leaving you." 

"W'hat!" She was quite frightened. 
"You goin' stay with me forever!" 
There was far more fear than joy in 
her voice. 

"Why not?" he demanded, sharply, 
watching her with keen, savage eyes. 

"My lord," she said, humbly, "I 
could nod hear of thad. It would be 
wrong. Too grade sacrifice for you 
honorable self." 

He was not sure whether she was 
laughing at him or not. 

"You needn't be alarmed," he said, 
gruffly. "I'm not likely to stay here 
forever." He turned his back on her. 

Suddenly he felt her light little hand 

on his face. She was standing close 

by the hammock. He was still very 

angry and sulky with her. He closed 

74 



THE ADVENTURESS 

his eyes and frowned. He knew just 
how she was looking ; knew if he glanced 
at her he would relent ignominiously. 
She pried his eyes gently open with 
her fingers, and then kissed them, as 
softly as a tiny bird might have done. 
Gradually she crawled into the ham 
mock with him, regardless of non- 
assistance. 

" Augustness," she said, her arms 
about his neck now, though she was sit 
ting up and leaning over him. " Lis 
ten ad me." 

"I'm listening." 

"Look ad me." 

He looked, frowned, smiled, and 
then kissed her. She laughed under 
her breath, such a queer, triumphant, 
mocking small laugh. It made him 
frown again, but she kissed the frown 
into a smile once more. Then she sat up. 

"Pray excuse me. I wan' sit ad 
your feet and talk ad you." 

" Can't you talk here?" he demanded, 
jealously . 

75 




A 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Nod so well. I gittin' dazzled. 
Permit me," she coaxed. He released 
her grudgingly. She sat close to him 
on the floor. She sighed heavily, hyp 
ocritically. 

" \Yhat is it now?" 

" Well, you know I telling you about 
those moneys." 

" Yes," he said, wearily. " Let's shut 
up on this money question. I'm sick 
of it." 

"I lige make confession ad you." 

"Well?" 

"I god seventeen brudders and sis 
ters!" she said, with slow and solemn 
emphasis. 

" What!" He almost rolled out of the 
hammock in his amazement. 

"Seventeen!" She nodded with omi 
nous tragedy in her face and voice. 

"Where do they live?" 

"Alas! in so poor part of Tokyo." 

"And your father and mother?" 

"Alas! Also thad fadder an' mud- 
der so ole lige this." She illustrated, 
76 



THE ADVENTURESS 

bowing herself double and walking fee 
bly across the floor, coughing weakly. 

"Well?" he prompted sharply. 

" I god take all thad money thad ole 
fadder an mudder an' those seventeen 
liddle brudders an sisters. Tha's all 
they god in all the whole worl'." 

"But don't any of them work? 
Aren't any of them married? What's 
the matter with them all?" 

" Alas ! No. All of them too young 
to worg or marry, excellency." 

"All of them too young?" 

"Yes. Me how ole /am? Oldes' 
of all! I am twenty-eight no, thirty 
years ole," she declared, solemnly. 

He nearly collapsed. He knew she 
was a mere child; knew, moreover, 
that she was lying to him. She had 
done so before. 

"Even if you are thirty, I fail to see 
how you can have seventeen broth 
ers and sisters younger than your 
self." 

She lost herself a moment, Then she 
77 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

said, triumphantly, "My fadder have 
two wives!" 

He surveyed her in studious silence 
a moment. Her attitude of trouble 
and despair did not deceive him in 
the slightest. Nevertheless, he wanted 
to laugh outright at her, she was such 
a ridiculous fraud. 

" Do you know what they'd call you 
in my country?" he said, gravely. 

She shook her head. ' 

"An adventuress!" 

"Ah, how nize!" She sighed with 
envious blissfulness. " I wish I live ad 
your country be ad venturessesses. " 

"How much do you want now. 
Yuki?" 

She pretended to calculate on his 
fingers. 

" Twenty-five dollar," she announced. 

He gave it to her, and she slipped 
it into the bosom of her kimono. He 
watched her curiously, wondering what 
she did with all the money she secured 
from him. 

78 









THE ADVENTURESS 

All of a sudden she put this ques 
tion to him. 

"Sa-ay, how much it taking go ad 
America?" 

"How much? Oh, not much. De 
pends how you go. Four hundred, or 
fix*e hundred dollars, possibly." 

She groaned. " How much come ad 
Japan?" 

"The same." 

She sighed. "Sa-ay, kind august- 
ness, I wan' go ad America. Pray 
give me money go there." 

"I'll take you some day, Yuki." 

She retreated before this offer. 

"Ah, thangs yes, some day, of 
course." Then, after a meditative mo 
ment : " Sa-ay, it taking more money 
than thad three- four hundled dollar 
whicheven?" 

"Yes; about that much again for 
incidentals possibly more." 

She sighed hugely this time, and he 
knew she was not affecting. 

A few days later, poking among her 
79 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

pretty belongings, as he so much liked 
to do she was out in the garden gath 
ering flowers for their dinner- table 
he found her little jewel-box. Like 
everything else she possessed, it was 
daintily perfumed. At the top lay the 
few pieces of jewelry he had bought for 
her on different occasions when he had 
taken her on trips to the city. He 
lifted the top tray, and then he saw 
something that startled him. It was 
a roll of bank-bills. He took it out and 
counted it. There was not quite one 
hundred and fifty dollars. He calcu 
lated all he had given her. It amount 
ed to a little over twice this sum. She 
had been saving, after all ! What was 
her object? 

And, his suspicions awakened by this 
discovery, he searched uneasily further 
through her apartments, and discovered, 
rolled like a huge piece of carpet and 
covered over by a large basket, the 
cre'pe and silks she had protested were 
stolen. 

Bo 



VII 

( 

MY WIFE! 

THE second time his wife left him, 
Jack Bigelow was very wretched. He 
missed her exceedingly, though he 
would not have admitted it, for he was 
also very angry with her. 

When she had gone away that first 
time, so soon after their marriage, he 
had not felt her absence as he did now, 
for then she had not become a necessity 
to him. But she had lived with him 
now two whole months, and had become 
a part of his life. She was not a mere 
passing fancy, and he knew it was 
folly to endeavor so to convince him 
self, as in his resentment at her treat 
ment he was trying to do. 

The house was desolate without her. 
81 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 



Everywhere there were evidences of his 
little girl. Here a pair of her tiny 
sandals, some piece of tawdry kan- 
zashi for her hair, her koto, samisen, 
and little drum; in the zashishi, in her 
own little room, and all over the house 
lingered the faint odor of her favorite 
perfume, so subtle it made the young 
man weak. 

He grew to hate the silence of the 
rooms. Their household had always 
been small, with just a man and maid 
to wait on them; and now only one 
presence gone from it, and yet how 
painfully quiet the place had grown! 
He realized what all her little move 
ments had become to him. He stayed 
out-doors as much as he could, only to 
return restlessly to the house, with a 
faint hope that perhaps she was hiding 
somewhere in it, and playing some 
prank on him, as she was fond of do 
ing, bursting out from some unexpected 
place of hiding. But there was no 
trace of her anywhere; and when the 
82 








MY WIFE ! 



second day actually passed, the realiza 
tion that she was indeed gone forced 
itself home to him, leaving him stupid 
with rage and despair. 

He was bitterly angry with her. She 
had no right to leave him like this, 
without a word of explanation. How 
was he to know where she had gone 
or what might happen to her? And 
the thought of anything dire really 
overtaking her nearly drove him dis 
tracted. He hung around the bal 
conies of the house, wandered down 
into the garden, and strayed restlessly 
about. And all the time he knew he 
was waiting for her, and in the wait 
ing doubling his misery. 

She came back in four days, slipped 
into the house noiselessly and ran up 
to her room. He heard her, knew she had 
returned, but checked his first impulse 
to go to her, and threw himself back on a 
couch, where he assumed a careless at 
titude, which he relentlessly changed to 
a stern, unapproachable, forbidding one. 
~ 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Suddenly he heard her voice. It 
came floating down the stairs, every 
weird minor note thrilling, mocking, 
fascinating him. " Toko-ton-yare ron- 
ton-ton!" she sang. Then the voice 
ceased a moment. She was waiting 
for him to call her. He did not move. 
He was certainly very angry with her. 
He would not forgive her readily. 

She began beating on her drum. 
He heard her making a great noise in 
the little room up-stairs, and understood 
her object. She was trying to attract 
him. Suddenly she whirled down the 
stairs and burst in on him with a merry 
peal of laughter. 

He ignored her sternly. She ceased 
her noise and laughter, and, approach 
ing him, studied him with her head 
tilted bewitchingly on one side. 

"You angery ad me, excellency?" 
she inquired with solicitude. 

No reply. 

" You very mad ad me, augustness?" 

Still no reply. 

84 



MY WIFE ! 

" You very cross ad me, my lord?" 

Jack regarded her in contemptuous 
silence. 

She shouted now, a high, mocking, 
joyous note in her laughter. 

"Hah! You very, very, very, very 
a ff ended, Mister Bigelow?" 

" It seems to please you, apparently," 
said Jack, scathingly, wasting his sar 
casm, and turning his eyes from her. 

She laughed wickedly. 

"Ah, tha's so nize." 

"What is?" he demanded, sharply. 

"Thad you loog so anger y. Myi 
You loog like grade big whad you 
call thad? toranadodo." She knew 
how to pronounce " tornado," but she 
wanted to make him laugh. She failed 
in her purpose, however. She tried an 
other way. 

"How you change!" She sighed 
with beatific delight. 

Jack growled. 

"Dear me! I thing you grown more 
nize-loogin," she said. 
85 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 



Jack got up and walked across to 
the window, turning his back de 
liberately on her, and whistling with 
forced gayety, his hands in his pock 
ets. She approached him with feigned 
^timidity and stood at his elbow. 

"You glad see me bag, excellency?" 

"No!" shortly. 

This emphatic answer frightened her. 
She was not so sure of herself, after 
all. 

"You wan' me go 'way?" she asked, 
in the smallest voice. 

"Yes." 

She loitered only a moment, and 
then "Ah-bah" (good-bye) she said 
softly. 

He felt, for he would not turn around 
to see, that she was crossing the room 
slowly, reluctantly. He heard the 
shoji pushed aside, and then shut to. 
He was alone! He sprang forward 
and called her name aloud. She came 
running back to him and plunged into 
his arms. He held her close, almost 
86 




MY WIFE 




fiercely. The anger was all gone. 
His face was white and drawn. The 
dread of losing her again had over 
powered him. When she tried to ex 
tricate herself from his arms, he would 
not let her go. He sat down on one 
of the chairs, and held her on his knee. 
She was laughing now, laughing and 
pouting at his white face. 

" My crashes ! ' ' she cried. " You loog 
lige ole Chinese priest ad the temple." 
She pulled a long face, and drew her 
pretty eyes up high with her finger 
tips; then she chanted some solemn 
words, mocking mirthfully her ances 
tors' religion. 

But her husband was grave. He 
had not the heart to find mirth even 
in her naughtiness. 

"Yuki," he said, "you must be se- 
ous for a moment and listen to me." 

"I listening Mr. Solemn - Angery- 
Patch!" She meant "Cross-patch." 
You loog lige " 

"Where did you go?" 
87 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 







"Oh, jus' liddle bit visit." 

" Where did you go?" he repeated, 
insistently. 

"Sa-ay, I forgitting." 

"Answer me." 

She pretended to think, and then sud 
denly to remember, sighing hypocrit 
ically the while. 

"I lige forgitting," she said. 

"Forgetting what?" 

" Where 1 been." 

"Why?" 

" Tha's so sad. Alas! I visiting thad 
ole fadder an' mudder ninety - nine 
and one hundled years ole, and those 
seventeen liddle brudders an' sisters. 
You missing me very much?" she 
changed from the subject of her where 
abouts. 

"No!" he said, shortly, stung by her 
falsity. 

"I don' sing so!" 

" Where were you, Yuki?" 

"Now, whad you wan' know for, 
sinze you don' like me whicheven?" 
88 



MY WIFE 1 

"Did I say so?" 

"You say you don' miss." 

"I lied," he said, bitterly. "Where 
were you?" 

"Jus' over cross street, see my ole 
friend ad tea-garden. " 

" I thought you said you were visit 
ing your people?" 

She was not at all abashed. 

" Sa-ay, firs' you saying you miss me : 
then thad you lie. Sa-ay, you big lie, 
I jus'liddlebitlie." 

"Yuki, listen to me. If you leave 
me like this again, you need never 
come back. Do you understand?" 

"Never?" 

"I mean that." 

" Whad you goin' do? Git you nud- 
der wife?" 

He pushed her from him in savage 
disgust. She laughed with infinite rel 
ish. 

He sat down a little distance from her, 
and put his face wearily between his 
hands. Yuki regarded him a moment, 
89 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 









and then she silently went to him, 
pulled his hands down, and kissed hi 
lips. 

" I have missed you terribly/' he said, 
hoarsely. 

She was all compunction. 

" I very sawry. I din know you 
caring very much for poor liddle me, 
an p'raps I bedder nod come bag ad 
you." 

" Why did you come, then?" he asked, 
gently. 

"I coon' help myself," she said, for 
lornly. " My feet aching run bag ad 
you, my eyes ill to see you, my hands 
gone mad to touch you." 

She had grown in a moment serious, 
but also melancholy. 

After a pause she said, more bright 
ly, "I bringin' you something some 
thing so nize, dear my lord." 

" What is it, Yuki, dear?" He was 
reluctant to let her go even for a moment. 

" Flowers," she said " summer 
flowers." 













MY WIFE 



He released her, and she brought 
them to him, a huge bunch of azaleas. 
She buried her delightful little nose 
in them. "Ah," she said, "flowers 
mos' sweetes' thing in all the worl', 
an' all them same flowers for you, for 
you." 

"Where did you get them, dear?" he 
asked, taking her hands instead of the 
flowers, and drawing her, flowers and 
all, into his arms. She faltered a lit 
tle, and then said, with the old dar 
ing smile flashing back in her face: 
" Nize Japanese gents making me pres 
ent those flowers." 

He caught her wrists in a grip of iron. 
"What do you mean?" he demanded, 
fiercely, wild jealousy assailing him. 

She pulled herself from him, and re 
garded the little wrists ruefully. 

"Ain' you shamed?" she accused. 

"Yes!" He kissed the little wrists 
with an inward sob. " Tell me all, my 
little one. Please do not hide anything 
from me. I can't bear it." 



rrv 









A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Thad Japanese gent wanter marry 
with me," she informed him, calmly 
smiling, and dimpling as if it amused 
her, and then making a face to show 
him her feelings in the matter. 

" My ! How he adore me ! ' ' she added, 
vividly. 

"Marry with you! What do you 
mean? You are my wife." 

"Yes, bud he din know thad," she 
said, consolingly; "an' see, I bring 
his same flowers unto you." 

He took them from her arms. They 
were all crushed now, and it distressed 
her. No Japanese can bear to see a 
flower abused. She fingered some of 
the petals sadly; then she sighed, look 
ing up at him with tears in her 
eyes. 

"Tha's mos' beautiful thing' in all 
the whole worl'," she said, indicating 
the flowers "so pure, so kind, so 
sweet." 

"I know something more beautiful 
and sweet, and and pure." 
92 



MY WIFE ! 



"Ah, whad?" she said, her face shin 
ing, the pupils of the blue eyes so large 
as to make them look almost black. 

"My wife!" he breathed. 













vin 

YUKI'S HOME 



EVERY day, all unknown to Yuki, 
her husband looked in her little jewel- 
box. The pile of bills grew larger. 
He no longer refused her requests for 
money. The fund was quite large now. 
The last time he had counted it there 
were four hundred dollars. He took a 
whim to make it five hundred, and 
that same day gave her a clear hun 
dred dollars. 

She had given him a solemn promise 
never to leave him again without his 
knowledge and consent, and for a whole 
month she had kept steadfastly at home. 
It was the happiest month in his life, a 
month that spelled naught else but joy 
and sunshine. 

94 








YUKI'S HOME 



But the day after he had given her 
the hundred dollars she came to him 
and begged very humbly to be permitted 
to visit her old father and mother and 
seventeen little brothers and sisters. 
She still kept up this deception. He 
refused her almost gruffly. He had 
grown selfish and spoiled under her 
care. All the day, however, he watched 
her suspiciously, fearful lest she should 
slip away. And he was right. In the 
evening, when she had left him for a 
moment, he saw her leaving the house. 
He took his hat, and, keeping at a 
good distance from her, but never los 
ing sight of her for a moment, he fol 
lowed her. 

Twilight was falling. Softly, tender 
ly, the darkness swept away the exqui 
site rays of red and yellow that the 
departing sun had left behind, for it 
was crossing the waters, until, far in 
the distance, it dipped deep down as 
though swallowed up by the bay. 

Yuki was walking rapidly towards 
95 









A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Tokyo. It was only a short distance, 
but nevertheless the thought of her lit 
tle tender feet treading it alone, and at 
such an hour, unnerved her husband. 
Whatever her mission, wherever she was 
going, he would follow her. She be 
longed to him completely. She should 
never escape him now, he told himself. 

She seemed to know her way, and 
showed no hesitation or fear when 
once in Tokyo, but bent her steps quick 
ly and with assurance, until finally 
they were before the great terminal 
station at Shimbashi. They had now 
come a long distance. The girl looked 
tired; weary shadows were under her 
eyes, as she passed into the railway 
enclosure and bought a ticket for a town 
suburb a short distance from Tokyo. 

Her husband went to the window, in 
quired where the girl was going, and 
bought a ticket for the same place. 

Then began the long journey in the 
uncomfortable train, where there were 
no sleeping accommodations whatever. 
96 



YUKI'S HOME 

Yuki found a seat, and sat very quietly 
staring out at the flying darkness. 
After a time she put her head back 
against the seat and, despite the jolt 
ing of the train, fell asleep. 

Her husband was close to her now 
in the next seat, in fact. He could 
have touched her, as he so longed to 
do, but would not for fear of disturbing 
or frightening her. 

When they reached the little town, 
the banging of the doors, the blowing 
of whistles, and shouts of the conductors 
awakened her. She came to life with 
a start, gathered her little belongings 
together, and left the train, her hus 
band still following her. 

It was a refined and beautiful little 
town they had arrived at, apparently 
the home of the exclusive and cultivated 
Japanese. Its atmosphere was grate 
ful and pleasing after the crowded 
city of Tokyo, with its endless labyrinth 
of narrow streets and grotesque sign 
boards, and ceaseless noises. 
G 97 



A JAi'ANKSK NIGHTINGALE 

Yuki had not far to walk. Only a 
few steps from the little station, and 
then she was before one of those old- 
fashioned, pretentious palaces once af 
fected by the nobles. There were signs 
of neglect about the house and gardens, 
which had fallen out of repair. No coo 
lies or servants were in sight. At the 
garden gate Yuki paused a moment, 
leaning wearily against it, ere she 
opened and passed through, up the gar 
den walk, and disappeared into the 
shadows of the palace. 

Her husband stood for a long time 
as though rooted to the spot. Then 
very slowly he retraced his steps to the 
railway station, bought his ticket, and 
returned to Tokyo. He felt sure she 
would come back to him. 

And she did, hardly two days later. 
He was very gentle to her this time. 
There were no more questions asked, 
and she vouchsafed no explanation. 

But she came back to him strangely 
docile and submissive. All the old 
98 






YUKl S HOME 

mockery and folly had vanished. She 
was angelic in her sweet tenderness 
and solicitude. But once he found 
her in tears. She protested they had 
come there because she had laughed 
so hard. Another time, when he offered 
her money, she refused passionately to 
accept it. It was the first time since 
she had lived with him. Thereafter 
she refused to take even the regular 
weekly allowance agreed upon. He 
looked in her little jewel-box, and found 
the money all gone. 

Her docility and gentleness strength 
ened his confidence in her. He was 
sure she would never leave him again. 
He even told her of this belief, and she 
did not deny it. But her eyes were tear 
ful. With boyish insistence he teased 
her. 

" Tell me so that you will never leave 
me again." 

" Never?" she said, but the word slip 
ped her lips as a question. 

" Repeat it after me," he demanded. 
99 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

" Say : ' I shall never never leave 
you again. ' ' 

"Ah, you makin' fun ad me/' she 
protested, begging the question. 

But he still persisted, and made her 
repeat slowly after him, word by word, 
that she would remain with him till 
death should part them. 

One day he found her laboriously 
occupied at her small writing-desk. 
Her little hand flew down the page, 
rapidly drawing the strange characters 
of her country's letters. 

"What are you doing? You look 
as wise and solemn as a female 
Buddha." 

Yuki carefully blotted and covered 
her letter. She did not answer him. 
Instead she held up her little stained 
fingers, to show him the ink on them. 
He sat down beside her, kissing the 
tips of her fingers. 

"To whom were you writing, fairy- 
sage?" he said. 

" To whom ? My brudder. ' ' 
100 






YUKI'S HOME 

"Your brother! Ah, you have a 
brother, have you? And where is 
he?" 

She still hesitated, and he watched 
her keenly. 

"He live ad Japan," she said, after 
a long moment. 

"Japan is quite a big place," ^re 
marked her husband, suggestively. 
"He has rather large quarters for one 
fellow, don't you think?" 

"Japan liddle bit country," she 
argued, trying to change the subject. 
"America, perhaps, grade big place, 
big as half the whole worl' " 

" Not quite," interposed her husband, 
smiling. 

" Well, big's one-quarter of the worl', 
anyhow/' she declared. "Bud Japan! 
Mos' liddle bit insignificant spot on all 
the beautiful maps." 

"What part of Japan does your 
family live in?" 

"Liddle bit town two hundled miles 
north of Tokyo." 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Indeed." 

She had spoken the truth, he knew. 

"Why doesn't your brother come to 
see you?" 

Now that he had commenced it, he 
stuck to his catechism doggedly. 

" He don' know where I live," she said. 

"Don't know! That's strange. Why 
doesn't he?" 

"I'fraidtellin'." 

"Afraid of what?" 

"Afraid he disowning me forever." 

"Why should he do that?" 

He was getting interested. He dis 
liked wringing her secrets from her in 
this wise. He wanted her confidence 
unsolicited; but his curiosity had the 
better of him. " Why should he disown 
you?" he repeated. 

"Because I marrying " she paused, 
somewhat piteously, holding one of 
his hands closely between her own 
small ones, and entreatingly pressing 
it as though begging him not to pursue 
his questions. 

1 02 



YUKI'S HOME 

"Well?" he said "because you 
married " 

" You," she finished. 

"Oh!" His ejaculation was rueful. 
Then he laughed, and squared his 
shoulders, and shook his finger at 
her. 

"What's the matter with me? Am 
I not good enough?" 

"Too honorably good," she declared, 
humbly. 

"Then why does your family object 
to receiving me into its bosom, eh?" 

"Because you jus' barbarian," she 
said, apologetically, and then swiftly 
tried to make amends. " Barbarian 
mos' nize of all. Also / am liddle bit 
barbarian. I god them same barbarous 
eyes an' oogly hair " 

"Loveliest hair in the world/' he 
said, stroking it fondly. "But never 
mind, dearie. Don't look so distressed. 
It's not your fault, of course, that your 
people disapprove of me." 

"They don' dis'prove," she inter- 
103 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

rupted him, her distress deepening. 
"They don' never seen you even." 

" But I thought you said " 

"I jus' guess. Tha's why I don' 
tell thad brudder. Mebbe he dis 'prove 
you when he see you grade big barba 
rian. Tha's bedder nod tell unto him." 

"But where does he think you are 
all the time?" 

"He?" She lost her head a mo 
ment. "Likewise," she continued, "he 
also travel from home. Perhaps he 
also marrying with beautiful barbarian 
leddy. Tha's whad I dunno." 

"I don't quite understand," said her 
husband. "But never mind. If you 
don't like the subject, and it's plain you 
don't, you sha'n't be bothered with it." 

"Thangs," she said, gratefully. 

On another day, as she sat opening 
his American mail with her small 
paper-knife, a picture of a young Amer 
ican girl fell from the envelope. Yuki 
picked it up, and regarded it with dilated 
eyes and lips that quivered. It was the 

T 




YURI'S HOME 

first shock of jealousy she had expe 
rienced. One of his own country 
women then must love him. No Jap 
anese girl would send her picture to 
any man save her lover. 

Her first impulse was to tear the pict 
ure across. She did not want him 
to see it. Perhaps even the pictured 
face might win him back, she thought 
jealously. But she did not destroy it. 
She hid it in the sleeve of her kimono, 
and for a whole week she tortured 
herself with drawing it forth from its 
hiding-place and studying the face 
whenever she was alone a moment, 
comparing it with her own exquisite 
one in her small mirror. 

Then conscience, or perhaps natural 
feminine curiosity to know who her 
rival was, prompted her to make humble 
confession to her husband of her theft. 

He took the matter gayly, and seemed 

exuberantly happy at the idea of her 

being jealous, for she could not well 

hide this fact from him. He gloated 

105 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

over this apparent evidence of her love 
for him. 

"Isn't she lovely?" he asked, en 
thusiastically, pointing to the picture, 
and then pretending to hug it to him. 

"No," said Yuki, proudly. "Mos' 
oogly girl in all the whole worl'. Soach 
silliest things on her haed. I don' 
keer tha's hat or nod. Flowers, birds, 
beas', perhaps, an' rollin' her eyes this- 
a-way " 

"This is my sister," said Jack, 
gravely. "I am sorry you don't like 
her, Yuki. She'd be just the sort of 
girl to love you." 

Her little spurt of temper flickered 
out pitifully. 

"Ah, pray forgive me," she im 
plored. "I mos' silliest mousmd in all 
Japan. She jus' lovely, mos' sweet 
beautiful girl in all the whole worl'. 
Jus' like you, my lord." 



IX 

THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY 

THE mellow summer was gone. 
With the dawn of the autumn the 
languor of the country seemed to in 
crease. Now that the weather was 
cooler, however, they made frequent 
trips to the city, visiting the chrysan 
themum shows, loitering through 
Uyeno park, the Shiba temples, and 
bazaars. And one day Jack shook 
gayly before her eyes a really awe- 
inspiring document. It was, in fact, 
an invitation, written in fine French, 
from a Japanese person of high rank, 
inviting him to attend a very impor 
tant function, which was to be given 
at the H6tel Imperial on the Mikado's 
birthday, which function was to be 
107 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

honored by the presence of " les princes 
et les princesses." 

"We are going, of course," he told 
her. " It will be a change, and, besides, 
I want to show you off to my friends. 
There'll be hosts of them there, you 
know." 

But she protested. First she set 
forth as excuse the fact that she was 
only an honorably rude and insignif 
icant humble geisha girl, who would 
be out of place in so great and ex 
traordinary an assemblage. 

Then her husband quite seriously 
reproved her, and reminded her forcibly 
that she was anything but an insignif 
icant geisha girl. She was, in fact, a 
very important person his wife. 

Ah, yes, she admitted that she had 
indeed grown in caste since her mar 
riage with him ; nevertheless, they 
had lived so honorably secluded to 
gether that she had forgotten all the 
polite mannerisms of society, which she 
had never been acquainted with at all, 
108 




THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY 

bejng only a crude girl of humble parent 
age. She would surely disgrace not 
only both of them by her behavior, but 
doubtless the whole assemblage. She 
would not know how to act, how to look, 
and when to speak. 

Then Jack insisted, with affected 
selfishness, that she should look at 
and speak to no one but himself. He 
would commit hari-kari, or joshi, or 
any old kind of Japanese suicide, other 
wise. And as for her manners, they 
were lovely, perfect, just right. 

"Ah, bud you " she deprecated. 
"You don' understand you big bar 
barian. Those same honorable mon 
sters, Japanese princes, whad, before 
all the gods, they goin' to thing of 
me?" 

"That you are absolutely adorable. 
How could they help thinking so, un 
less they are stone blind. Besides, 
this isn't a Japanese affair at all. It's 
at a European hotel, and there'll be 
all sorts and conditions of people there. 
109 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

I was lucky to get the invitations. 
They aren't for every one, you know. 
This is a big thing." 

" You so big," she .said, proudly. 
"Well, no. It had really nothing 
to do with my size. You see, I have 
a half- Jap friend in America, and of 
course it's through him I'm favored." 

"Ah, thad half -Jap, he was very 
high-up man ad Japan, perhaps?" 

" Well, he was connected with some 
of the big families, though he was quite 
poor." 

"Thad," said Yuki, with sudden 
vehemence, "is no madder ad Japan. 
Money! Who has thad money? Nod 
the ole families, the flower of the coun 
try; jus' the shop-keepers and the 
politicians." 

Her husband was startled at her 
outbreak. He was astonished at her 
knowledge of existing conditions in 
her country. But she did not pursue 
the subject, saying she disliked it. 
And the ball? What about that? 
no 



THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY 

Well, she would not go with him. 
lie must go to that all alone, for the 
million big reasons she had given him. 
Moreover, all the ladies would wear 
Parisian toilettes. It would be a dis 
grace for his wife to go in a kimono. 

Again he was astonished at her. 
How did she know that on such oc 
casions the ladies, Japanese included, 
dressed in European gowns? 

Apparently she knew more concern 
ing such matters than he had imagined. 
It was becoming plainer to him every 
day that his wife was of no ordinary 
family. And then the memory of the 
old rambling palace, doubtless her home, 
in the exquisite, aristocratic little town 
where he had followed her, supported 
this idea. Who was his wife, after all? 
Who were her people, and why had 
none of them come near her during all 
these months? What was the mean 
ing of the mystery in which she had 
surrounded herself ever since he had 
known her. And now, when there 
in 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

was scarcely a doubt left in his mind 
of her love for him, why had he failed 
to win her confidence? 

"I want to know just who you are, 
my little wife," he suddenly said. "I 
do not believe that tale about your 
people. I know you are not a geisha 
girl. You are not, are you?" 

"No," she said, very softly. 

"Then tell me. Who are your peo 
ple? It is only right I should know 
this." 

She looked up at him with intense 
seriousness. Then her eyes fluttered, 
and she went rambling into one of her 
fairy tales of nonsense. 

"My people? Who they are? My 
august ancestors came from the moon. 
My one hundled grade - grandfathers 
fight and fight and fight like the lion, 
and conquer one-half of all Japan fight 
the shogun, fight the kazoku, fight each 
other. They were great Samourai, 
cutting off the haeds of aevery humble 
mans they don' like. So much blood- 
112 



THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY 

shed displeased the gods. They pun 
ishing all my ancestors, bringin' them 
down to thad same poverty of those 
honorable peebles killed by them. 
Then much distress an' sadness come 
forever ad our house. All pride, all 
haughty boasting daed forever. Aevery- 
body goin' 'bout weepin' like ad a fu 
neral. Nobody habby. What they goin' 
do git bag thad power an' reeches ag'in? 
Also one ancestor have grade big family 
to keep from starving, an' one daughter 
beautiful as the moon of her ancestors. 
He weep more than all the rest of those 
ancestors, weep an' weep till he go blind 
like an owl ad day-time. Then the 
gods begin feel sawry. One of them 
mos' sawry of all. He also is descend 
ant of the Sun. Well, thad sun -god 
he comin' down ad Japan, make big 
raddle an' noise, an' marrying with thad 
vsame beautifullest daughter of thad ole 
blind ancestor. Thad sun-god my fad- 
der. Me? lam the half-moon-half-sun 
offspring." 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 







She had promised to accompany him, 
at all events, to see the review from 
the American - legation tent, but at 
the last moment she backed out. She 
had seen it many times before, she 
declared. She was tired of it. 

At first he swore he would not go 
without her. Why, the " show, " he 
declared, would be nothing to him with 
out her to see it with him. Half the 
pleasure nay, all of it would be gone. 
He was really keenly disappointed, but 
she coaxed and wheedled and petted 
around him, till, before he knew that he 
was aggrieved at her backsliding, he 
was well on his way. 

The streets were thronged with a 
motley crowd of people. Jinrikishas 
were scurrying hither and thither, 
and little bits of humanity, in the shape 
of small men, small women, small chil 
dren, and small dogs and cats, were 
colliding and jostling against the many 
ramshackle vehicles in the road. Gay 
flags and bunting were displayed every- 
114 







THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY 

where, and the town presented a gala 
appearance. 

Jack got out of his jinrikisha and 
pushed his way through the crowd 
until he came up to the parade-grounds. 
He found his way to the proper tent, 
and, with a half -score of former ac 
quaintances about him, he was soon 
drawn into the babble and gush of 
small talk and jokes that tourists meet 
ing each other in foreign lands usually 
indulge in. 

Once on the parade-grounds, where 
infantry, cavalry, and artillery were 
forming themselves, it seemed as if he 
had suddenly left Japan altogether, and 
was once more in the modern Western 
world, of which he had always been a 
part. 

There was nothing Oriental in this 
brave display of the imperial army. 
There was nothing Oriental in this 
bustling, noisy crowd of foreigners, 
each trying to outdo the other in im 
portance and precedence. Only the 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

skies and the little winds, and, in the 
distance, the sinuous outlines of the 
mountains and forests beyond, and the 
disks on the national flag displayed 
everywhere, were Japanese. And after 
his long seclusion in the country the 
glitter dazzled him. 

There were seven thousand men in 
the field, and the Mikado, surrounded 
by his generals, body-guard, outriders, 
and standard - bearers, reviewed the 
troops; and then, amid a great flourish, 
and hoarse cheering drowning the 
national hymn, which was being played 
by all the bands at once, he left the 
grounds. 

Jack did not return after the parade 
to his home, much as he would have 
liked to do so. Some acquaintances 
who had crossed on the same steamer 
with him on his way to Japan carried 
him off triumphantly to their hotel, and 
that night he went with them to the 
imperial ball. 

It was very late when he went home 

116 
. 




THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY 

to Yuki. There was a faint light burn 
ing in the zashishi, and he wondered 
with some concern whether she were 
sitting up waiting for him. He did 
not see her at first when he entered 
the room, for the light of the andon had 
fluttered down dimly, and it was more 
the grayness of the approaching dawn 
which saved the room from complete 
darkness. Crossing the room, he came 
upon her. She had fallen asleep on 
the floor. She was lying on her back, 
her arms encircling her head. He was 
suddenly struck with her extreme youth. 
She seemed little more than a tired 
child, who had grown weary and had 
fallen asleep among her toys, for beside 
her on a tiny foot-high table was the 
little supper she had prepared for him, 
and which was now quite cold. On the 
other side of her were her tiny drum and 
samisen, with which she had been at 
tempting doubtless to pass the even 
ing by pulling from the strings some 
of that weird music he knew so well now. 
117 




\m 







A JAI'ANKSi: Mr.HTIXGALi: 

For a long time her husband looked 
at her, and a feeling of intense isolation 
about her came over and suddenly pos 
sessed him. Why had he never been 
able to bridge that strange distance 
which lay like a pall between them, 
the feeling always that she was not 
wholly his own, that she had been but 
a guest within his house, a tiny wild 
bird that he had caught in some strange 
way and caged caught, though she 
had come to him, as it were, for protec 
tion? Just as, when a bo}^, he remem 
bered how a robin had beaten at his 
shutters, and he had saved it from an 
enemy, and afterwards how he had caged 
it, and how it had pined for its freedom. 

The thought that he might yet lose 
Yuki caused him such anguish of mind 
it almost stunned him. He knelt down 
beside her, and drew her up in his arms, 
and then, as gently as a mother would 
have done, he carried her up the queer 
spiral stairway which led to their little 
up-stairs room. 

118 



THE MIKADO'S BIRTHDAY 



The next day she questioned him 
anxiously. Were there many ladies 
more beautiful than she at the ball? 
Had he enjoyed himself largely with 
them, and how could he live away here 
after from such mirth and gayety? 
Why had he come back to little, in 
significant her? 

And he told her that never in all his 
life before had he longed so ardently 
for any one as he had for her that pre 
vious night. That the day had been 
endless ; the noise and show, the brassy 
merriment and cheer, were abhorrent 
to him, for she had not been there to 
rob it of its vulgarity with the charm 
of her sweet presence. That he had 
been rude in his efforts to escape it, had 
bullied the jinrikimen because they 
had seemed to creep, and that happiness 
and peace had only come back to him 
again when he had crossed his own 
threshold and had taken her in his arms. 

Still the wistful distress in her misty 
eyes was only in part dispelled. 
119 

















A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Last night." she said, "I broke 
ray liddle jade bracelet. It is a bad 
omen." 

"I will buy you a dozen new ones/' 
he said. 

"One million dozens cannot mend 
jus' thad liddle one," she returned, 
sadly, shaking her head. " It is a bad 
omen. Mebbe a warning from the 
gods." 

Of what did they warn her? That 
she could not say, but she had heard 
that such an accident usually preceded 
the sorrows of love. Perhaps he would 
soon pass away from her, and, like the 
ghost of the fisher-boy Urashima, who 
had left his fairy bride to return to his 
people, he too would pass out of her 
life, back into that from which he had 
come. 















A BAD OMEN 

IT was late in November. The parks 
were dropping their autumn glories and 
taking on the browner hues and hints 
of hoar - frost, black - and - white vest 
ments, the sackcloth and ashes of 
winter. The recessional of the birds 
was dying away into silence. Soon 
the final, long-drawn amen of the 
north-wind would be breathed out over 
the deserted woods, where the anthem 
of praise had rung out to the worship 
ping air all through the golden days 
and silver nights of summer. 

The still beauty of the autumn even 
ing was piercingly melancholy, and, 
even with a loving sunset still lingering 
in the skies, a silken, gentle rain was 

121 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

falling, as though the gods were weep 
ing over the death of the autumn, were 
weeping hopeless tears the most tragic 
of all. 

The little house that stood alone on 
the hill faced to the west, its wet roofs 
and shingles sparkling and glistening 
in the rays of the dying sunset that 
enveloped it. 

Yuki opened a shoji (sliding paper 
door) of her chamber, and looked out 
wistfully at the city of Tokyo, that 
in the autumn silence was shining out 
like a gem, with its many strange 
lights and colors. She stole softly out 
on to a small balony, and stepped down 
into the tiny garden as the night began 
to spread its mantle of darkness. A few 
minutes later her husband called to her : 

"Yuki! Yuki!" 

He drew her into the room, and closed 
the shoji behind her. 

"You have been crying again!" he 
said, sharply, and turned her face up 
to the light. 

122 






A BAD OMEN 

"It is the rain on my face, my lord," 
she answered in the smallest voice. 

" But you mustn't go out in the rain. 
You are quite wet, dear." 

"Soach a little, gentle rain," she 
said. " It will not hurt jus' me. I loog- 
in' ae very where 'bout for our liddle 
bit poor nightingale. Gone! Perhaps 
daed ! Aeverything dies bird, flowers, 
mebbe me!" 

He put his hand over her mouth with 
a hurt exclamation. 

"Don't!" he only said. 

The maid brought in their supper on 
a tray, but before she could set it down 
Yuki had impetuously crossed the room 
and taken it from her hands. 

"Go, go, honorable maid," she said. 
" I will with my own hands attend my 
lord's honorable appetite." 

She knelt at his feet, geisha fashion, 
holding the tray and waiting for him 
to eat, but he took it from her grave 
ly, and put it on the small table be 
side them, and then silently, tender- 
123 














A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

ly, he took her small hands in his 
own. 

" What is troubling you, Yuki? You 
must tell me. You are hiding some 
thing from me. What has become 
of my little mocking-bird? I cannot 
live without it." 

"You also los' liddle bird?" she 
queried, softly " jus' lige unto my same 
liddle nightingale?" 

"I have lost I am losing you," he 
said, suddenly, with a burst of anguish. 
" I cannot make you out these last few 
weeks. What has come over you? I 
miss your laughing and your singing. 
You are always sad now; your eyes 
ah, I cannot bear it." His voice went 
suddenly anxious. "Tell me, is it 
do you want need some more money, 
Yuki? You know you can have all you 
want." 

She sprang to her feet fiercely. 

" No, no, no, no ! " she cried ; " naever 
any more for all my life long, dear my 
lord." 

124 







A BAD OMEN 



"Then why" 

"Ah, pray don' ask why." 

" But why" 

"Then listen unto me. I nod any 
longer thad liddle bit geisha girl you 
marrying with. I change grade big 
moach. Now you see me, I am one 
wooman, mebbe like wooman one 
bundled years ole wise sad I 
change!" 

" Yes," he said. " You are changed. 
You are my Undine, and I have found 
your soul at last!" 

One oppressive afternoon, when a nag 
ging, bleating wind out-doors had pre 
vented their going on their customary 
ramble through the woods or on a 
little trip to the city, Jack had fallen 
asleep. Long before he had awakened 
he had felt her warm, soothing presence 
near him, but with the pleasure it afford 
ed him was mingled a premonition of 
disaster and a dread of something un 
happy about her? He awoke to find 
125 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

her standing by him, her face white and 
drawn with a despair he could not com 
prehend. 

"What is it?" He started up fear 
fully. "Your eyes are tragic! You 
look as if you were contemplating 
something frightful." 

She sank down to his feet, and, de 
spite his protests, knelt and clung to him 
there, sobbing with passionate abandon. 

"Don't! Don't! I can't bear you to 
do that. What is it, Yuki?" 

"Oh, for liddle while, jus' liddle bit 
while, bear with me," she said. 

" Little while! What do you mean?" 
he demanded. 

She tried to regain her composure. 
Her laughter was piteous. 

"I only liddle bit skeered," she said. 
"I " she stammered "I skeered 'bout 
thad liddle foolish jade bracelet, all 
smashed and broken." 

" Is that all?" 

" It is soach a bad omen ! The gods 
trying to separate us, mebbe." 

I--6 




A BAD OMEN 

" Separate us?" His suspicions were 
growing. "How can they do that? 
It lies between you and me, such a 
such a fate. The gods ah, you are 
talking nonsense." 

" The gods see inside," she said. 

"Inside what?" 

"Our hearts." Her voice was bare 
ly above a whisper. 

"And what can they find there to 
distress you?" he asked, almost fiercely. 
She was hurting him with her failure to 
confide in him. 

"The bracelet " she began. "It is 
broken, an' love, too, mus' die an' 
break!" 

From that day her melancholy grew 
rather than diminished. But she had 
roused her husband's suspicions, and 
her morbidness irritated rather than ap 
pealed to him. He felt that in some 
way he was being deceived. The day 
that he found her wardrobe neatly and 
carefully folded away in her queer little 
packing-case, as though in preparation 






A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

for a journey, the full sense of her deceit 
dawned upon him. Hitherto when she 
had left him she had taken none of her 
belongings with her. He perceived it 
was now her intention to desert him 
utterly. He had served her purpose, 
apparently, and she was through with 
him. 

His wrath burst its bounds. He 
had not known the capabilities of his 
angry passion. He tore the silken 
garments from the box with the fierce 
madness of one demented, then he 
pushed her into the room, and showed 
her where they lay scattered. 

"The meaning of this?" he demand 
ed, white to the lips with the intensity 
of his passion. 

She remained mute. She did not 
even trouble to mock or laugh at him, 
nor would she weep. She seemed 
dazed and bewildered, and he, infuri 
ated against her, said things which 
rankled in his conscience for years 
afterwards. 

128 







A BAD OMEN 

"Does a promise mean nothing to 
you a promise an oath itself ? Were 
you, parrot - like, merely echoing my 
words when you swore to stay by me 
until " his voice broke "death?" 

Still she made him no denial, and 
her silence maddened him, and drove 
him on with his bitter arraignment. 

" What your object has been I fail to 
see, but you cannot deny that you have 
laid yourself out, have used every effort, 
every art and wile, of which you are 
mistress, to make me believe in you. 
And I I like a blind, deluded fool 
ah, Yuki there is something wrong, 
some hideous mistake somewhere, You 
have some secret, some trouble. Be 
frank with me. Can't you see under 
stand how I I am suffering?" 

She roused herself with an effort, but 
her words were pitifully conventional. 
She apologized for the trouble and 
noise she had brought into his house. 

"You have not answered me!" he 
cried. " What was your intention? Did 
i 129 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

you intend to leave me? You shall an 
swer me that!" 

"It was bedder so," she said, and 
her voice fainted. She could speak 
no further. 

"Then such was your intention!" 
He could hardly believe her words. 











XI 

THE NIGHTINGALE 

WHEN Love lives after Trust is dead, 
then peace is an unknown quantity. 
A constraint that was baffling in its 
intense hopelessness now hedged up 
between these two. Yuki grew thin 
and wistful. Her whole attitude be 
came one of pitiful attempted concil 
iation and humility, which with bitter 
suspicion her husband took to be con 
fusion and guilt. Had she even af 
fected somewhat of her old light-heart- 
edness and attempted to win his for 
giveness by her old audacious wiles, 
her husband would have forgotten and 
forgiven everything, glad of an excuse 
to renew the old close comradeship with 
her. But she made no such attempt. 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

She had acquired a peculiar fear of 
her husband, and unconsciously shrank 
from him, as though dreading to bring 
down on herself his further displeasure. 
She kept away from him as much as 
she could, though at times she made 
spasmodic, frantic efforts to assume her 
old light-heartedness, but these efforts 
were usually followed by passionate 
outbursts of tears, when she had drawn 
the shoji between them, and was once 
more alone with her own inward 
thoughts, whatever they were. 

Meanwhile her husband kept the 
watch of a jailer over her. lie was 
convinced that she was waiting for a 
chance to leave him, and this he was de 
termined to frustrate. She had raised 
in him a feeling of the intensest bitter 
ness, which amounted almost to antag 
onism towards her. And still beneath 
all this resentment and bitterness a 
tenderness and yearning for her threat 
ened to strangle and overpower all other 
feeling. Her apparent fear of him 
132 







THE NIGHTINGALE 

hurt him terribly, and caused him dis 
tractedly at times to question whether 
he had been as kind to her as he might 
have been. Then his mind would in 
evitably revert to the fact that she was 
planning to leave him, and his resent 
ment would burn fiercer than ever. 

By a common dread of the subject, 
both of them avoided alluding to it, and 
for this reason it weighed the heavier 
on their minds. He feared that any 
explanation she might attempt to make 
to him would only be some excuse put 
forward to reconcile him, and win his 
consent to the impossible situation 
which he instinctively knew she intend 
ed to consummate. She, on the other 
hand, watched wildly to turn the sub 
ject, dreading his wrath, which she was 
conscious was righteous. 

To add to the gloom of their strained 
relations, a season of drizzly wet weather 
set in, which confined them to the house, 
and moreover Yuki was grieving and 
pining over the loss of a favorite night- 
133 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

ingale that had made its home in the 
tall bamboo out in the midnight gar 
den of their little home. Jack was mis 
anthropic and cynical, restless as it is 
possible for a man to be under such 
galling circumstances, yearning never 
theless for things to be as they had 
been between him and his wife. 

One night, at dusk, after an excep 
tionally sad and chilly meal in-doors, 
Jack had come out alone, and was 
trying to soothe his senses with a fra 
grant cigar. Instinctively he was 
waiting for his wife. He missed her 
if she was absent from his side but a 
moment. Suddenly out of the gloam 
ing soared out one long, thrilling note 
of sheer ecstasy and bliss, that quiver 
ed and quavered a moment, and then 
floated away into the maddest peals of 
melody, ending in a sob that was ex 
cruciating in its intense humanness. 
The nightingale had returned ! 

He sprang to his feet, and, trembling 
by the veranda rail, stared outward 




IF 






THE NIGHTINGALE SONG 



THE NIGHTINGALE 

into the darkness. And then? Yuki 
came out from the shadows of their 
garden, and under the light of the 
moon, beneath their small balcony, 
she looked up into his eyes, and mur 
mured in a voice thrilled by an inward 
sob, so timid and meek, so beseeching 
and prayerful : 

"I lige please you, my lord!'"' 

"The nightingale!" he whispered, 
with hoarse emotion. "Did you hear 
it? It has returned!" 

"Nay, my lord tha's jus' me! I 
jus' a liddle echo!" 

She had learned the voice of the 
nightingale. 

\. V-U 

With an exclamation of indescribable 
tenderness he drew her into his arms, 
and for a few moments at least all the 
misery and pain and constraint of the 
last few weeks between them passed 
away and gave place to all their pent- 
up love and loneliness. 

As he held her close to him, he was 




conscious at first only of the fact that 
she loved him, that she was clinging to 
him with somewhat of her old abandon, 
and then he felt her hands upon his 
arms. He could almost see them 
shaking and trembling. She was at 
tempting to release herself! Strug 
gling to be free! All of a sudden he 
released her, and stood breathing hard, 
his arms folded across his breast, wait 
ing for her to do or say something to him. 

She did not move. She stood before 
him, with her head down: and then 
her blue eyes lifted, and timidly, ap- 
pealingly, they beseeched his own. She 
started to speak, stammered only a 
few incoherent words, and then, with 
a half-sob, she unsteadily crossed the 
room and left him alone. 

Two days later, upon their household 
gloom came word from Taro Burton, 
announcing that he had arrived in 
Tokyo. Jack rushed off to meet him, 
telling Yuki he expected an old friend, 
and would bring him home that evening. 

j? 



xn 

TARO BURTON 

IT may be that Jack Bigelow first 
awoke to the fact that for months he , 
had been literally living in a dream 
world when he saw his old college- 
chum, Taro Burton the same dear, 
old, grave Taro! He rushed up to 
him in the old boyish fashion, wringing 
his hands with unaffected delight. 

The past dream-months rolled for the 
moment from his memory, and Jack 
was once again the happy up-to-date 
American boy. 

Taro had been delayed in America, 
he now told the other frankly, on ac 
count of the failure of his people to 
send him passage money until about a 
month ago. He had a few hardships to 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

recount and some messages to deliver 
from mutual friends, and then he want 
ed to know all about Jack. Why had 
he failed to visit his people as promised? 
How much of the country had he seen? 
Why were his letters so few and far 
between? 

Jack Bigelow laughed shortly. 
"Burton, old man," he said, "I've been 
dead to everything in Japan in the 
world, in fact save one entrancing 
subject." 

"Yes?" The other was curious. "And 
that is?" 



, 

being. 



"And so you did it, after all?" said 
the other, with slow, bitter emphasis. 
His friend, then, was little different 
138 







"My wife." 

"Your wife!" Taro stopped short. 
They were crossing the main street of 
Tokyo on foot. 

"Yes," said the other, laughing 
boyishly, all his resentment against 
the girl lost and forgiven for the time 




TARO BURTON 

from other foreigners who marry only 
to desert. 

"Did what?" 

"Got a wife." 

"Got a wife! Why, man, she came 
to me. She's a witch, the sun-goddess 
herself. She's had me under her spell 
all these months. She has hypnotized 
me." 

"And still has you under her spell?" 

"I am wider awake to-day," said 
Jack, soberly. 

"And soon," said Taro, "you will 
be still wider awake, and then then 
it will be time for her to awaken." 

"No!" said Jack, sharply, with bitter 
memory. " She has no heart what 
ever. She likes to pretend that is 
all." 

" How do you mean?" 

"Simply that we've both been pre 
tending and acting I to myself, she 
to me; she trying to make me believe 
it was all real to her, at any rate these 
last two months ; I trying to delude my- 
i39 



A JAPANESE N1GHT1M.A1.K 

self into believing in her, which was 
more than my conceit was good for, 
after all. Just when I was sure of her, 
I accidentally discovered that she was 
preparing to desert me altogether." 

" She apparently has more sense than 
some of them," said Taro. " Her head 
rules her heart." 

" Oh, entirely," Jack agreed, quickly, 
thinking of the money she had coaxed 
from him in the past. 

"And you," Taro turned on him, 
"have you come out all right?" 

"Perfectly!" the other laughed with 
forced assurance and airiness that de 
ceived Taro, who was somewhat cred 
ulous by nature. "It wasn't for a 
lifetime, you know," he added. 

His reply was distasteful to the high 
moral sense of Taro Burton more, it 
pained him, for it brought to him a sud 
den and deep disappointment in his 
friend. He changed the subject, and 
tried to talk about his own people. He 
was in a great hurry to go home, and 
140 




TARO BURTON 

would linger but a day in Tokyo. He 
had arrived sooner than they expected 
him. He was hungry for a sight of his 
little sister and mother they were all 
he had in the world. 

Jack's spirits were dampened for the 
moment, as he had expected his friend 
to remain with him for a few days. 
However, he got Taro's consent to ac 
company him to his home for dinner 
that evening, in order to meet the 
"Sun-goddess." 

Taro was ushered with great cere 
mony into the quaint zashishi, which 
was supposed to be entirely Japanese, 
and was in reality wholly American, 
despite the screens and mats and vases 
Jack ran up-stairs to prepare his wife 
to meet his friend. 

The girl was panically dressing in 
her best clothes. The maid had brush 
ed her hair till it glistened. Long- 
ago her husband had peremptorily for 
bidden her the use of oil for the purpose 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 



ot darkening or smoothing it, so it now 
shone a rich bronze black and curled 
entrancingly around her little ears and 
neck. She needed no color for her lips 
or cheeks; this also her husband had 
forbidden her to use. She looked like 
the picture of the sun-goddess in some 
old fairy print, her eyes dancing and 
shining with excitement, her cheeks 
very red and rosy. She was irresist 
ible, thought her husband, as he held 
her at arm's length. Then, to her great 
mortification and chagrin, he lifted her 
bodily in his arms and carried her down 
stairs. And thuo they entered the room, 
the girl blushing and struggling in his 
arms. 

Taro Burton was standing tall and 
erect, his back to the light. He was 
very grave, in spite of his friend's mirth, 
and, as Jack set the girl on the floor, 
he took a step forward to meet her, 
bowing ceremoniously in Japanese fash 
ion. 

Yuki stood up, straightened her 
42 




TARO BURTON 




crumpled gown, and hung her head a 
moment. 

" Yuki, this is my friend, Mr. Burton." 

She raised her head with a quick, 
terrified start, and then instantaneously 
hers and Taro's eyes met, and each 
recoiled and shrank backward, their 
eyes matching each other in the intense 
startled look of horror. 

The man's face had taken on the 
color of death, and he was standing, 
immovable and silent, almost as if 
he were an image of stone. The girl 
sank to the floor in a confused heap, 
shivering and sobbing. 

Jack turned from her to Taro, and 
then back again to the crouching girl. 
She was creeping on her knees towards 
Taro, but the man, having found the 
power of movement, went backward 
away from her, aged all in a mo 
ment. 

He tried to turn his sick eyes from 
her, but they clung, fascinated as is 
the needle by the pole. 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

And then Jack's voice, hoarse with a 
fear he could not understand, broke in : 
"Burton, what is the matter?" 
Suddenly the girl sprang to her feet 
and rushed to Taro, sobbing and en 
treating in Japanese, but the terrible 
figure of the man remained immovable. 
Jack pulled her forcibly from him. 
" Burton, dear old friend, what is it?" 
The other pushed his hands from him 
with almost a blow. 

"She is my sister! Oh, my God!" 
Jack Bigelow felt for an instant as if 
the life within him had been stopped. 
Then he grasped at a chair and sank 
down dazed. 

As though to break up the terrible 
silence, the girl commenced to laugh, 
but her laughter was terrible, almost 
unearthly. The man in the chair 
covered his face with his hands; the 
other made a movement towards her as 
if he would strike her. But she did not 
retreat: nay, she leaned towards him. 
And her laughter, loud and discordant, 
144 



TARO BURTON 

sank low, and then faded in a tremu 
lous sob. 

She put out her little speaking, be 
seeching hands, and "Sayonara!" she 
whispered softly. Then there was still 
ness in the room, though the echoes 
seemed to repeat "Sayonara," "Sayo 
nara," and again "Sayonara," and 
that means not merely "Farewell/'' 
but the heart's resignation : " If it must 
be." 

Jack and Taro were alone together, 
neither breaking by a word the tragic 
sadness of that terrible silence. It was 
the coming into the room of the maid 
that recalled them to life. Twilight 
was settling. She brought the lighted 
andon and set it in the darkening room. 

Jack got up slowly. The stupor and 
horror of it all were not gone from 
him, but he crossed to the other man, 
and looked into his dull, ashen face. 

"My God! Burton, forgive me," he 
said, brokenly; "I am a gentleman. 
I will fix it all right. She is my wife, 
145 







A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 



and all the world to me. We can re 
marry if you wish, and I swear to pro 
tect her with all the love and homage 
I would give to any woman who became 
my wife." 

"Yes, you must do that," said the 
other, with weak half-comprehension. 
''But where is she?" 

"Where is she?" Jack repeated, 
dazedly. They had forgotten her de 
parture. A dread of her possible loss 
possessed and stupefied Jack, and Taro 
was half delirious. 

" We must look for her at once," said 
Jack. 

They called to her, and all over the 
house and through the grounds they 
searched for her, their lanterns scan 
ning the dark shadows under the trees 
in the little garden; but only the autumn 
winds, sighing in the pine-trees, echoed 
her singing minor notes, and mocked 
and numbed their senses. 

"She must have gone home," said 
the husband. 

146 






TARO BURTON 

"We must go there at once," said 
the brother. 

"It will be all right, Burton, dear 
old friend. Trust me; you know me 
well enough for that." 

Taro paused, and turned on him 
burning eyes, in which friendliness 
had been replaced by a look that spoke 
of stern and awful judgment. "Other 
wise," he began, but paused; then 
he went on in a cold hard voice, " I was 
going to say, I will kill you." 









XIII 

IN WHICH TWO MEN LEARN OF A 
SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

JACK BlGELOW'S usually sunny 
face was bleached to the ashiness of 
fear and despair. He was so nervous 
that he could not keep still a moment 
at a time, but would get up and pace 
the length of the car, only to return 
and look with eyes that attested the 
heartache within at the other man, 
silent and grim. Taro seemed the 
calmer, but well the younger man 
knew that beneath that subdued ex 
terior slumbered a fire that needed but 
a breath to be turned into avenging 
fury. 

At last they reached their destina 
tion. The little town once again! 
,4, 



A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

But this night Jack was not alone. 
There was no star or moon overhead 
to lighten their pathway ; a dull, driz 
zly, sleety rain was falling. In silence 
they left the car; in silence plodded 
through the mud of the road and 
the damp grass of the field beyond. 
The little garden gate creaked on its 
hinges as they went through. They 
saw the dim outlines of the old palace 
before them, with its wide balconies 
and sloping roofs. Half-way up the 
garden was the family pond, freshened 
by a hidden spring, and the little wind 
ing brook which wound hither and 
thither showed how it emptied into 
the bay beyond. There was even a 
tiny boat moored on a toy-like island 
in the centre of the pond. 

For the first time Taro Burton paused, 
and looked with dreadful eyes at its 
dull surface, which even the darkness 
of the night and the miserable rain could 
not obliterate entirely. What were the 
memories that crowded back on him, 
149 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 




suffocating him? Here it was that 
he and Yuki had grown up together. 
The little boat was the same, the island 
as small and neat, the house seemed as 
ever; nothing had changed. Yes, there 
was Yuki! A deep groan slipped from 
his lips. 

There was a difference of seven years 
in their ages, but a stronger bond of 
sympathy and comradeship had existed 
between these two than is usual between 
brother and sister. Their nationality 
had to a large extent isolated them 
from other children, for the Japanese 
children had laughed at their hair 
and eyes, and called them "Kirish- 
itans" (Christians). Until he was seven 
years of age, Taro had manfully, 
though bitterly, fought his battles 
alone. He had been a queer, brood 
ing little lad, of passionate and violent 
temper, and, apparently, scorning any 
overtures of friendship from any one 
outside his own household. 

When the little sister had come, the 
150 



A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 




boy had gone suddenly wild with joy, 
and had proceeded to bestow upon 
her the same worshipful love his mother 
gave exclusively to him, for Snow- 
flake had been born when their English 
father lay at the gates of death, her 
tiny soul fluttering into life just as 
that of her father drifted outward into 
eternity, so that to Omatsu, the mother, 
who was passionately absorbed in her 
grief, her arrival had been a source 
of irritation. But Taro had carried 
her to the family temple, and had, 
himself, named her "Snowflake" 
(Yuki), for she had come at a time 
when all the land was covered with 
whiteness. There had been a frost and 
even a snowfall, which is rare in that 
part of the country. Moreover, she 
resembled a snowflake, so soft and 
white and pure. 

How was it possible for him, after all 
these years, to come, as he now had 
come, once more to this place of which 
she had always been a part, and with 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

which she had always been lovingly 
associated in his mind, and not be filled 
with emotions that rent his heart. She 
had been his inspiration and all the 
world to him. 

He remembered how they would drift 
around in their tiny boat, and she, 
little autocrat, would perch before him, 
her eyes dancing and shining, while 
he told her the story of the fisher-boy 
Urashima and his bride, the daughter 
of the dragon king. And when he 
would finish, for the hundredth time, 
perhaps, she would say, "See, Taro- 
sama, I am the princess, and you the 
fisher-boy. We are sailing, sailing, 
sailing on the sea 'where Summer 
never dies,'" and he, to please her 
fanc} r , drifted on and on with her, 
around and around the little pond, 
until the sun began to sink in the west 
and the little mother would call them 
in-doors. 

Now the monotonous drip, drip, drip 
of the rain-drops as \hey plashed from 
152 



A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

the weeping willow -trees that sur 
rounded the tiny lake, fell upon its 
dull surface with mournful sound. 
Taro groaned again. 

When he had knocked loudly a man 
came shuffling round from the rear of 
the house, and, in reply to his inqui 
ry for Madam Omatsu, informed him 
gruffly that she had retired. 

It did not matter ; he must awaken her, 
Taro, who had found voice, told him 
with such insistence that the servant 
fled ignominiously to obey him. They 
waited for some time, out in the melan 
choly night. There was no sound 
from within the house. Taro ham 
mered on the door once more. Then 
a faint light appeared from a window 
close by the door, and the man's head 
showed again. He begged their honor 
able patience. He would open in a 
fraction of a second. He was very hum 
ble and servile now, and, as he admit 
ted them, backed before them, bowing 
and bobbing at every step, for his 
i53 






A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

mistress's entire household had been 
taught to treat foreigners with the 
greatest deference and respect. 

"Go to your mistress," said Taro, 
briefly, "and tell her that her son de 
sires to see her at once." 

There was immediately a fluttering 
at the other side of the shoji. Taro 
saw an eye withdraw from a hole. 
There were a few minutes of silence, 
and then the shoji parted and a woman 
entered the room. Her mother-love 
must have prompted her to rush into 
the arms of her son, for she had not seen 
him in five years, but, whatever her 
emotions, she skilfully concealed them, 
for the paltry reason that her son was 
accompanied by a stranger, an honor 
able foreign friend, and it behooved 
her to affect the finest manners. Con 
sequently she prostrated herself grace 
fully, bowing and bowing, until Taro 
strode rapidly over to her and lifted 
her to her feet. 

She was quite pretty and very gentle 
i54 



A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

and graceful. Her face, oval in con 
tour, was smooth and unwrinkled as 
a girl's, for Japanese women age slowly. 
It was hard to believe she was the 
mother of the tall man now holding her 
at arm's length and looking down at 
her with such deep, questioning eyes. 

"Where is my sister, Yuki?" he 
demanded, hoarsely. 

"Yuki?" Madam Omatsu smiled 
with saintly confidence. She had re 
tired. Would they pray wait till morn 
ing ? Ah, how was her honorable son, 
her august offspring? She began 
fondling her boy now, stroking his 
face, standing on tiptoe to kiss it, 
ecstatically smoothing and caressing 
his hands, feeling his strange clothes, 
and laughing joyously at their like 
ness to those of her dead husband's. 
But the dark shadow on Taro's face 
was deepening, nor would he return 
or submit to his mother's caresses till 
his fears regarding his sister were 
stilled. 



1 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

"Send for her," he said, briefly, and 
she knew he would not be gainsaid. 

Send for herl Ah, Madam Omatsu 
begged her noble son's pardon ten 
million times, but she had made a great 
mistake. His sister had, of course, 
retired, but it was not within their 
augustly miserable and honorably un 
worthy domicile. She had gone out 
on a visit to some friends. 

Taro undid the clinging hands and 
pushed her from him, his brooding 
eyes glaring. 

"Where?" 

Where? Why, it was only a short dis 
tance perhaps two rice-fields' lengths 
from their house. 

"The house? the people's name?" 

Madam Omatsu whitened a trifle. 
Her eyes narrowed, her lips quivered. 
She tried once more frantically to pre 
varicate. 

The people's name? She could not 
quite recall, but the next day the 
next day surely 

156 




A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

"Ah-h," said her son, with delirious 
brutality, " you are deceiving me, lying 
to me. I demand to know where she is. 
I am her rightful guardian. I must 
see her at once." 

Madam Omatsu protested with faint 
vehemence, but she did not weep. She 
even essayed a little laugh, that re 
minded Jack eerily of Yuki. In the 
dimly lighted room she looked strange 
ly like her daughter, save that she was 
much smaller and quite thin and frail, 
whereas Yuki was rosy and healthy. 

Taro was speaking to her in Japanese, 
in a sharp, cruel voice, and she was 
answering gently, meekly, humbly, 
consolingly. Jack felt sorry for her. 
Suddenly Taro threw her hands from 
him, with a gesture of sheer despair 
and exhausted patience. 

" I can learn nothing from her, noth 
ing," he said in English. Then he 
turned on her again. "Listen," he 
said: "You are my mother, and as 
such I honor you, but you must not 

157 ~\k I 

-Wv 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

deceive me. I know all; know that 
my sister was married to an American ; 
know how she was married, if you call 
such marriage. They do not consider 
it so, as you must know. W T hat do you 
know of this, my mother? It could not 
have happened without your knowl 
edge?" 

The mother broke down at last. All 
was indeed lost if he knew that much. 
She sank in a heap at his feet, and again 
the other man was reminded of her 
daughter. 

Taro raised her, not ungently, curb 
ing his emotions. 

"Pray speak to me the truth," he 
implored. 

" It was for you," she said, faintly, in 
Japanese. " I desired it, I, your mother ; 
and, afterwards, she also, she, your 
sister. It was a small sacrifice, my 
son." 

"Sacrifice! What do you mean?" 
he cried. 

"Alas, we had not the money to keep 
158 











A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

you at the American school, and later, 
when you desired to return, it was still 
harder." 

"Oh, my God!" 

She went on, speaking brokenly in 
Japanese. After he had gone to Amer 
ica their little fortune had been swept 
away, but of this they had kept him in 
ignorance, fearing that he would not 
remain in the university did he know 
how poor they had become. The house 
belonged to him; they could not sell it. 
There had been but poor crops in their 
few remaining acres of rice-fields ; their 
income became smaller and smaller. 
One by one their servants and coolies 
had to be sacrificed, till there were only 
a very few left, and these refused to 
be paid for their services. They had 
secured money in what manner they 
could, and sent it to him. It was hard, 
but they loved him. 

Then Yuki, unknown to her mother, 
.had gone up to Tokyo each day and 
learned the arts of the geisha; later 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

she invented dances and songs of her 
own, and soon she was able to com 
mand a good price at one of the chief 
tea-gardens in Tokyo. 

This for a season had brought them 
in a fair income, and for a time they 
were enabled to send him even more 
than the usual allowance. Then came 
his request for his passage money. 
Alas! they were but weak and silly 
women. They had forgotten to save 
against this event in their desire to 
keep him in comfort. Nakodas had 
approached Yuki, and tempting offers 
were made to her. She had resisted 
all of them, for she was then below 
the age when girls usually marry, but 
sixteen years of age. Only when it 
became imperative to raise the passage 
money would she even listen to the 
pursuasion of her mother and of the 
nakoda. They had pointed out to 
her the great advantage, and finally, as 
the brother's letters grew more insistent, 
she had broken down and given in. 
160 



A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

fter that time she had assisted them in 
their efforts to secure her a suitable 
husband. They had been exceptionally 
successful, for she had married a for 
eigner who would likely leave her soon, 
which was fortunate in Omatsu's mind, 
one whose excellent virtues and whose 
wealth were above question. This was 
all there was to tell. She prayed and 
besought her honorable son's pardon. 

During her recital Taro had leaned 
towards her, listening with bated breath 
to every word that escaped her lips. 
His thin, nervous face was horribly 
drawn, his hands were clinched tightly 
at his side, his whole form was quiver 
ing. He tried to regain his scattered 
senses, and his hand vaguely w r andered 
to his brow, pushing back the thick 
black hair that had fallen over it. 

"You cannot understand," he said 
to the other man, his voice scarcely 
recognizable for its labor. "It was 
for me, me, my little sister sold her 
self. To keep me in comfort and ease! 
L 161 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Snowflake for me! And they kept me 
in ignorance. I did not even dream 
they were in straitened circumstances. 
Oh, had I not willing hands and an 
eager heart to work, to slave for them? 
Why should the whole burden have 
fallen on her, my little, frail sister? But 
it has always been so. There is no 
such thing as justice in this land for 
the woman." 

Jack heard him raving, understood, 
and bowed his head in impotent sor 
row. 

"Has your mother given you any 
information of her whereabouts?" he 
suddenly broke in. 

Taro had forgotten that they were 
seeking her. His mother's story had 
held all his attention. The horror 
aroused by that recital of devotion, 
the thought of the months of her sweet 
life which she had sacrificed for him, 
and then how he had repulsed her, press 
ed on his poor numbed senses. But 
Jack's inquiry recalled him. A thou- 
162 



A SISTER'S SACRIFICE 

sand dark surmises regarding her 
overwhelmed him. 

"Yes, yes where is she?" he asked, 
huskily. 

She had been with her husband some 
days now. Madam Omatsu expected 
her home soon, and this time she would 
never again return to him. 

Taro's eyes were inflamed. "And 
she has not returned? She should 
be here now! Ah, it is plain to be seen 
what has happened. She may be tak 
ing her life at this moment. It is what 
a Japanese girl would do. She had 
the blood of heroes in her veins; she 
would not falter." 

All of a sudden he turned upon his 
friend. Then the full agony caused 
by his sister's disappearance and her 
great sacrifice descended upon him, and 
he tottered. Before Jack could stay 
him, he swayed forward and, as he fell, 
struck his forehead upon the corner of 
a heavy chair that had been his father's. 
When Jack raised the head of the un- 
163 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

conscious man he found blood flowing 
from a wide cut over the left eye. 

There were hurrying feet throughout 
the house, terrified whispers, and sobs, 
and, above all, a mother's voice raised 
in terrible anguish. 


















XIV 






A STRUGGLE IN THE NIGHT 

BY day and night they kept their 
unrelaxing watch by the bedside of 
the sick man. Ever he tossed and 
turned and muttered and cried aloud, 
one word alone on his lips his sister's 
name. 

Tenderly the mother smoothed the 
fevered brow, softly she stroked the 
restless hands, and tried to still their 
fever between her own cool, soothing 
ones. Thin lines had traced their 
shadows on her worn face ; gray threads 
had come to mingle with the glossy 
black of her hair. But she never per 
mitted herself, after that first night of 
anguish, to betray her emotions, for, if 
she did, well she knew she would be re- 
165 









A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

fused the precious labor of nursing her 
boy. And she kept her sleepless, tire 
less watch night and day. Her maid 
begged her to lie down herself and rest, 
but she shook her head with bright, 
dry eyes. Rest for her ? While he lay 
tossing thus? Nay! perhaps when he 
should find the rest, the gods would 
permit her also a respite; till then she 
must keep her watch. 

She smiled pathetically when the 
white-faced American boy tried to in 
sist that she should sleep, with the lit 
tle air of authority he had assumed in 
the household. But with the gentle 
smile she also shook her head in ne 
gation. 

" Let me take your place," he pleaded. 
"He is dear to me also." 

Still she smiled, such a shadowy, 
heart-aching smile, and turned back 
to the sick-bed. 

Jack Bigelow went back to Tokyo, 
and began his vigilant search for the 
missing girl. The services of the en- 
166 



A STRUGGLE IN THE NIGHT 

tire metropolitan police board were 
called forth, and money was not spared. 
The nakoda who had brought about 
their marriage was put through a 
vigorous catechism, but he could tell 
them nothing. The proprietor of the 
tea-garden swore she had not returned 
to him, and when he bewailed the mis 
fortune which was filling his house 
and gardens with officers, Jack consoled 
him by paying liberally for the loss he 
claimed he was suffering. 

On the fifth day the mystery of the 
girl's disappearance still remained un 
solved. Large rewards were offered 
for a clew to her whereabouts. The 
police were sure that she was some 
where in Tokyo, and Jack urged them 
to continue unremitting search in the 
city, but each night dawned upon their 
fruitless efforts. Now some one had 
seen a girl of her description entering 
a tea-house on the eve of her disappear 
ance; another had seen her selling 
flowers in the market-place; and yet 
167 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

another swore she had gone on board 
a German vessel with a dried-up for 
eigner. This last person could not 
be mistaken a Japanese girl with blue 
eyes and red hair. But each clew was 
found wanting and proved false. 

Then back to Yuki's home, sick-heart 
ed, disappointed, weary, went Jack Big- 
elow. A servant met him with the 
blessed news that the man down with 
brain fever was improving; that a 
merciful calm had at last come to him, 
and that now he slept. Wearied from 
his fruitless endeavors to find some clew 
to Yuki's whereabouts, the first good 
news in days unnerved the young man. 
He sat down, covering his eyes with his 
hands. He was badly in need of rest 
himself, but his mind was full of the 
mother in the sick-room overhead. 

Madam Omatsu, was she resting? 

No, she still kept her watch, but she 
was very weak, and they feared she 
would break down if they could not 
prevail on her to rest. 
,68 









A STRUGGLE IN THE NIGHT 

Jack went slowly up the stairs, tapped 
softly on the shoji, and then entered 
the sick-room. 

Taro lay on the heavy English bed, 
with its white coverlets and curtains, 
his face upturned. 

"You must rest/' Jack whispered 
to the woman with the wan face and 
wasted form, kneeling by the bedside. 

She shook her head, resisting. 

"I beg you to," pleaded Jack, and, 
though she could not understand him, 
she knew what he was saying, and 
still resisted. 

"Come," he said, gently, and put his 
hands upon her shoulders. "See, he 
sleeps now. It is well, and you will 
be too weak and faint to minister to 
him when he awakes, otherwise." 

But she protested that her health was 
excellent; that she would not leave 
her son. He stooped down, and at 
tempted to raise her gently to her feet, 
but she would not permit him. 

He saw the tired droop of the eyes. 
169 











A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

" She will fall asleep soon," he said to 
himself, and so sat down beside her, 
putting his arm about her and pillow 
ing her head on his shoulder. She did 
not restrain him. She looked grate 
fully into the frank, inviting eyes. She 
sighed, her head wavered and dropped. 
The room was very still and silent. 
Gradually the woman fell asleep, and 
as she slept she sighed from ineffable 
weariness. 

Jack looked towards the silent figure 
on the bed. The grayness of the ap 
proaching night gave the face an ex 
pression that was sinister in the ex 
treme. He shuddered and averted his 
face. The little form in his arms grew 
heavier. 

"She will rest better lying down," 
he thought, and carried her into the 
adjoining room and laid her softly 
down. Then he took the lighted andon, 
and, carrying it into the sick-room, set 
it in a corner near the bed, and drew 
down the shutters. After this, he went 
170 



A STRUGGLE IN THE NIGHT 

back to the bed, and stood for a minute 
looking down on the sleeping man, an 
expression of infinite sadness on his 
face. Taro stirred, the hand lying out 
side the coverlet contracted, then closed 
spasmodically; the expression of the 
face became terrifying. He moaned. 
It seemed to Jack as if the sleeping 
man was haunted by a terrible night 
mare which robbed him of the rest that 
should have found him. 

And it was with Taro as Jack had 
thought. He was in the midst of a fever 
dream a nightmare. He thought his 
little sister, Snowflake, knelt by his 
bedside and soothed and ministered to 
his wants. He felt rested and at peace 
at last; but, alas! just as he was slip 
ping into happy oblivion a dark form 
loomed up beside his sister, bent over, 
and clutched at her. She struggled 
wildly at first, then weakly ; finally her 
struggles ceased, and she lay very still 
and white. The man lifted her up and 
carried her away. After a time he came 
171 











A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

back, and now Taro felt his breath on 
his own face. He was bending over 
him. In a dim haze he saw the face, 
and recognized it as that of his friend, 
Jack Bigelow! He tried to reach out 
and grasp him, to strike and kill him, 
but he was at the mercy of some invisible 
power which benumbed him and held 
him down. His limbs refused to move, 
he was unable to lift so much as a fin 
ger, stir an eyelash, and all the time 
the man's breath was on his face, steal 
ing into his nostrils and suffocating 
him. 

Jack noted the gasping of his friend 
with alarm, and stooped over for the 
purpose of removing the pillow to give 
him relief. But at the touch of his 
hand, as he attempted to raise the head 
on the pillow, the life blood started 
vividly, madly, through the man on 
the bed, and suddenly he had sprung 
into wild life. Jack saw the terrible 
gleam of two delirious eyes, and stood 
magnetized. With lightning fur} T the 








A STRUGGLE IN THE NIGHT 

raving man had thrown aside the bed 
clothes, sprung from the bed, and thrown 
himself on the other with such force 
that the two came to the ground to 
gether, the madman on top. 

" I have you now ! traitor 1 be 
trayer!" he said, as his hands felt 
Jack's warm throat. 

Jack had been taken so by surprise 
that he was dazed in the first moment, 
and in the next realized that he was 
powerless to defend himself. He was 
in the grasp of one temporarily insane, 
one whose lithe, physical strength he 
already knew well. It would be useless 
to fight against that strength. His sal 
vation lay in being passive and feign 
ing unconsciousness; but could he do 
this with those terrible fingers closing 
around his throat, throttling the life 
out of him? Now they pressed hard, 
now relaxed, now caressed his neck and 
throat, rubbed it, pinched only to press 
again. He was playing with him! 
Jack did not stir. He had closed his 










A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

eyes, and was praying for strength to 
meet unflinchingly whatever fate held 
for him. 

"Where have you put her?" came 
the fierce whisper, close to his ear. 
"Where did you carry her to? Hah! 
you are silent. Have I silenced you 
like this and this? You are cold; you 
cannot breathe now, nor smile nor 
laugh at her. No, not while I have 
my hand here to press so and so. Once 
you were my friend, and I loved you. 
But now so you killed her! Now I 
will kill you like this and this and this !" 

Jack was becoming weaker and 
weaker. The white - shrouded figure 
sitting on him leaned forward, staring 
dreadfully, but his victim saw nothing, 
heard nothing. Suddenly it seemed as 
if another had sprung upon him and 
was beating his life out. He dimly 
heard a woman's cries, and, intermin 
gled, a terrible laughter. Then life and 
consciousness seemed to depart, and he 
knew no more. 



A STRUGGLE IN THE NIGHT 

When he regained consciousness he 
found himself on a bed. A woman 
was leaning over him, bathing his head s 
smoothing and caressing it a woman 
with an angelic face, so like Yuki's 
when she had nursed him during a 
brief illness that in his weakness he 
fainted at the mere dream of her sweet 
presence. But it was not Yuki ; it was 
the mother. She had been awakened 
by the talking and cries in the sick 
room, and, rushing to the door, had 
looked in on the terrible scene. Jap 
anese women have little or no fear of 
physical disaster for themselves. She 
raised a fearful cry to arouse the house 
hold, then flung herself on the two men, 
and with her puny strength sought to 
divide them. At first her son laughed 
and resisted her, but when her white 
face flashed before him his grip grew 
weak, and he staggered back, dazed by 
the rush of returning reason. He, too, 
had taken her for the ghost of his lost 
sister ! 

i75 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

The alarmed household had flocked 
into the room. Gently they prevailed 
on him to return once more to the bed, 
as weak as a child now. 

Jack was not seriously hurt. In his 
shattered, nervous condition, however, 
the shock had temporarily unhinged 
him, and for several days he lay in 
bed, waited on and attended by the 
gentle Omatsu, who went like a sweet, 
soothing spirit back and forth between 
the two rooms, who called him "son," 
and was to him as if she were indeed 
his mother, till she could not approach 
him but he kissed her hands and blessed 
her from his heart. 








XV 

THE VOW 

THE happy sadness of the brown 
autumn had faded in a yellow gleam 
of light. December had entered the 
land with a little drift ot frost and snow 
which had surprised the country, for 
December is not usually a cold month 
in Japan. Its advent shook the little 
housewives into action and life. New 
mats of rice straw were being laid, and 
every nook and corner dusted with fresh 
bamboo brooms and dusters, for the 
Japanese begin to prepare a month in 
advance for the New Year season, and 
all the country seems to wake into 
active life and present a holiday ap 
pearance. 

But the old palace, where dwelt the 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Burton family, kept its garment of 
perpetual gloom, and stood out in mock 
ing contrast to the neighboring houses. 
No window was thrown open, no door 
turned in to air the place and give it the 
sunshine of the coming New Year. 

Thick as the dust that had gathered 
about its unkept rooms, the shadow of 
death pervaded the place. Vast shad 
ows, mysterious and oppressive, crept 
in, enshrouding it with their ghostly 
presence. From afar off the drone of a 
curfew bell was heard, its slow, mourn 
ful cadence seeming to drift into a dirge. 
Outside the early winds of winter were 
wailing a requiem, and all the spirits of 
the air floated about and beat against 
the sombre palace. 

At dusk consciousness returned to the 
dying man, and weakly, though intelli 
gently, he looked about him, and even 
smiled faintly at the wailing and moan 
ing that crept upward from the rooms 
below, where the few old retainers of 
the household, who had been in the ser- 
178 



THE VOW 

vice of the family long before Taro had 
been born, and had stayed by them af 
ter their fortunes had fallen, were hud 
dled together and loudly lamenting the 
approaching death of the son of the 
house. 

Before a tiny shrine in a corner of 
the room was the prostrate form of the 
mother. Her lips were dumb, but her 
speaking eyes wailed out her prayer to 
all the gods for mercy. And at the 
bedside, his face in his hands, knelt 
Jack Bigelow. Perhaps he, too, was 
praying to the one and only God of his 
people. 

"Burton," he said, as the sick man 
stirred, " you have something to say to 
me?" 

He bent over and wiped the dews 
that lay thick as a frost on lips and 
brow. 

"My sister " Taro began with 
painful slowness. 

"My wife " whispered the other, 
his voice breaking, and then, as Taro 
179 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

seemed unable to proceed, he put his 
mouth close down to his ear. 

" Burton, our grief is a common one. 
I swear by everything I hold sacred and 
holy that I will never cease in my efforts 
to find my wife ! Nothing that strength 
or money can do shall be spared. I 
will take no rest till she is found. Be 
fore God, I will right this wrong I have 
unconsciously done you and yours 
and mine!" 

Taro's eyes, wide and bright, fixed 
Jack's steadfastly. His long, thin hand 
stirred and quivered, and attempted to 
raise itself. Without a word Jack took 
it in his own. He had understood that 
mute effort to mean belief and confi 
dence in him. And, kneeling there in 
the melancholy dusk, he held Taro's 
hand between his own until it w r as stiff 
and cold. 

Whither had the soul of the Eurasian 
drifted? Out and along the intermi 
nable and winding journey to the Meido 
of his maternal ancestors, or to give 
180 

S^Sa 











THE VOW 

an account of itself to the great Man- 
God-three-in-one-Creator of his father? 

The mother crept from the shrine 
with stealing step, her white face like 
a mask of death, her small, frail hands 
outstretched, like those of one gone blind. 

A consciousness of her eerie approach 
thrilled Jack Bigelow. He dropped 
Taro's hand and turned towards her, 
standing before and hiding the sight 
of the dead from her. In the dim 
shadows of the deepening twilight she 
looked as frail and ethereal as a wraith, 
for she had clothed herself in all the 
vestal garments of the dead. 

With somewhat of the heroism of her 
feudal ancestors Omatsu had prepared 
herself to face and undertake that 
perilous journey into the unknown 
with her son. In the pitiful tangled 
reasoning that had wrestled in the 
bosom of this Japanese woman, al 
ways there had disturbed the beauty 
of such a sacrifice the doubt as to 
181 






A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

whether the gods would indeed receive 
her with this son of hers who had ded 
icated his soul to an alien and strange 
God. But she had prepared herself 
to risk the consequences. And now she 
stood there swaying and tottering in 
all her ghastly attire, while opjxxsite 
to her stood the tall, fair-haired foreigner 
with the pitying gray eyes of her own 
dead lord. 

She essayed to speak, but her voice 
was barely above a parched whisper. 

"Anata?" (Thou). It was a gentle 
word, spoken as a question, as though 
she would ask him, "Condescend to 
speak your honorable desire with me?" 

" Mother 1" he only said "dear 
mother!" 

At Taro's funeral Jack Bigelow 
made the acquaintance of his wife's 
family. He had not imagined it pos 
sible for any one to have so many rel 
atives. They came from all parts of 
the country, distant and close cousins 
182 



THE VOW 

and uncles and aunts, and even an 
old grandfather and grandmother, the 
former very decrepit and quite blind. 
And they all lined up in order, and 
wept real or artificial tears and muttered 
prayers for the soul of the dead boy. 

A few of them were rich and im 
portant men of high rank in Japan; 
some of them were suave and courteous, 
coming merely for form's sake and for 
the honor of the family; most of them 
were of the type of the decayed gentility 
of Japan poor but proud, dignified 
but humble in their dignity. 

They all regarded Jack with the 
same grave, stoical gaze peculiar to 
the better-class Japanese, betraying in 
no way by their expression surprise or 
resentment at his presence among 
them. As a matter of fact, none of the 
family were aware of the relation in 
which he stood to them, and so had 
occasion for no real animus against 
him, regarding him merely as a friend 
of Taro's. But in his supersensitive 
183 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

condition Jack imagined that they look 
ed upon him as an intruder, perhaps 
as one who had brought distress and 
havoc upon their household. 

When, however, after the funeral the 
little mob of friends and relatives had 
gradually dispersed till there was none 
left besides himself and Omatsu, the 
intense loneliness and silence of the 
big house grated upon his nerves, so 
that he would have welcomed the wail 
ing of the servants, which had now 
been buried in the grave. 

Omatsu, too., who had borne herself 
with heroic fortitude and bravery all 
through the day, now that the reaction 
had come was shivering and trembling, 
and, when he approached her with a 
pitying exclamation, she \vent to him 
straightway and cried in his arms 
like a little, tired child. He comforted 
her with broken words, though his own 
tears were falling on her little, bowed 
head. And he tried to tell her, in ter 
ribly bad pidgin Japanese some- 
184 









THE VOW 



thing Yuki had taught him how it 
would be his care to protect and guard 
her in the future just as if she were 
indeed his mother; that he was not 
worthy, but he would try to fill the 
place of the beautiful boy who was sleep 
ing his last sleep. And he told of the 
promise he had given to Taro, how his 
life would be devoted to but one end 
and purpose, to find his wife. Would 
she accompany him? 

She entreated him to take her with 
him. But in the end, after all, she could 
not accompany him. Her health, which 
had never been robust, gave way to 
her grief, and Jack took her back to 
her parents, for it was necessary that 
he should spare no time from his search, 
and, moreover, she was too delicate to 
travel. Before leaving her he saw to it 
that she and her parents should have 
every comfort possible. 

The old palace, grim, gray, and 
haggard in the winter landscape, was 
185 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

now completely deserted. The towns 
people looked askance at it, as at a 
haunted house, knowing somewhat of 
the tragedy that hid within its closed 
portals. 

Jack was the last to leave the place. 
Omatsu had begged him to see to the 
closing up, and the paying-off of all the 
old servants. When he had finally come 
out he was shocked at the curious crowd 
of neighbors who had gathered about the 
gates and were whispering and gossip 
ing about him and waiting for him. But 
they were quite respectful and silent 
as he passed them. He was an object 
of curiosity, this tall foreigner who had 
married among them, and they watched 
him with round, wondering eyes, fol 
lowing him all the way to the station, 
a little, pygmy procession, very much 
as children follow a circus. Once or 
twice he half turned as though to tell 
them to leave him, but stopped himself 
in time, remembering how strange he 
must really seem to them. 
1 86 



THE VOW 

At the station he bowed to them grave 
ly, and his bow was solemnly and polite 
ly returned by those in front. And it 
was in this strangely pathetic though 
grotesque manner that the tall, fair- 
haired barbarian left the town. 

Less than a j r ear before he had been 
a light-hearted, joyous boy. He was 
now a man, with a burden on his soul 
and a sacred task to perform. More 
over, there was an awful abyss in his 
life that must be bridged. Never again 
would life have for him the same rosy 
bow of promise, not until he had found 
that other part of his soul his Sun- 
goddess. 



XVI 




A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

JACK BlGELOW went up to Yo 
kohama, where the Tokyo detectives 
thought they had a clew to the girl's 
whereabouts. A new and very beauti 
ful geisha had appeared among the 
dancing - girls, and as no one seemed 
to know anything about her history it 
was thought that she might be the 
missing Yuki. But she had disap 
peared only the day before his arrival 
there. 

Jack spent a month in the big me 
tropolis, shadowing the tea-gardens, 
and watching, with the assistance of 
men he had hired, every geisha house 
and garden; but though many girls 
apparently answering to the description 

* 





A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

of Yuki were brought before him, none 
of them proved to be the missing girl, 
and the disgust the young man ex 
perienced at their total unlikeness to 
his wife was only equalled by his bitter 
disappointment. 

A telegram from police headquarters 
brought him back to Tokyo. Here 
he was told that the detectives had 
traced the missing girl to Nagasaki, 
a seaport on the western coast of Kiushu. 
This was the city where Yuki's father 
had first lived in Japan. He had been 
the son of a rich silk merchant, and 
had come to Japan in order to extend 
his knowledge of the silk trade and ex 
pand his father's business. But Stephen 
Burton had become infatuated with the 
country, had married a Japanese wife, 
assimilated the ways of her people, and 
in time had even become a naturalized 
citizen. He never returned alive to his 
native England, though strange, cold, 
red-bearded men had taken his body from 
the wife, and had crossed the seas with it. 
189 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Old Sir Stephen Burton had never 
forgiven what he considered the me 
salliance of his son, and hence Taro 
and Yuki had never seen or known any 
of their father's people, and he him 
self had died while they were yet 
children. 

Some feeling of sentiment might 
have brought Yuki to this place. More 
over, there were many public tea-houses 
there, where she could quickly find em 
ployment. The police were positive in 
their statements that they were not 
mistaken in the identity of the girl 
they claimed to be Yuki. 

Travelling by slow and tedious trains, 
with no sleeping accommodations and 
but few of the modern luxuries that are 
necessities on American trains ; travel 
ling by kurumma, with the flying heels 
of his runners scattering the dust of 
the highway in his eyes, when the 
landscape before, behind, and around 
him seemed a maze of dazzling blue; 
travelling on foot, when he was too 
190 



A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

restless to do otherwise than tramp, 
he was weary and ill when he finally 
reached Nagasaki. Here an amazing 
horde of nakodas pestered him with 
their offerings of matrimonial happiness. 
He had no heart for them. They 
stifled him with memories that were 
better sleeping. 

The tea-house to which he had been 
directed was owned and run by an 
elderly geisha, who, in her day> had 
been noted for her own beauty and 
cleverness. She was all affectation and 
grace now. She met Jack with exag 
gerated expressions of welcome, and in 
a sweet, sibilant voice pressed upon him 
the comforts and entertainments of her 
"poor place." 

He did not pause to exchange com 
pliments with her. 

Was there not in her house a girl, 
very beautiful and very young, who 
sang and danced? 

Madam Pine-leaf (that was her name) 
allowed her face to betray surprised 
191 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

amusement at the question. Why, her 
place was famous for the beauty of her 
maidens, and every one of them danced 
and sang more bewitchingly than the 
fairies themselves. But she only said, 
very humbly : 

" My maidens are all unworthily fair, 
and all of them indulge in the honorable 
dance and song. It is part of the ac 
complishment of every geisha." 

" Yes, but you could not mistake this 
girl. She is distinct from all others. 
She her eyes are blue. She is only 
half Japanese!" 

" Ah - h ! a half - caste. " Madam 
Pine-leaf's lips formed in a moue. She 
was very polite, however. She pre 
tended to consult her mind. Then she 
begged that he would remain, at all 
events, and see for himself all her girls. 

Impatiently he waited, a terrible 
nervousness taking possession of him 
at the mere possibility that Yuki might 
be near him. But though he scanned 
with almost seeming rudeness the faces 
192 




A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

of the inmates of the place, none of 
them was like unto her whom he sought. 

When he paid his hostess, who, rec 
ognizing in him a generous patron, 
had been careful to stay close by him 
the entire evening, his face betrayed his 
exceeding disappointment. 

The woman glanced at the big fee in 
her hand, and a feeling of pity and 
gratitude called up all her native pre 
varication. 

Now that she had spent the whole 
evening turning the matter over in 
her mind, she recalled the fact that only 
a few days before a girl answering 
exactly to his description of his wife 
had worked for her for a short period, but 
unfortunately she had left her and gone 
to Osaka. 

Madam Pine-leaf's face was guileless, 
her words convincing. There was gen 
tle compassion in her eyes, which added 
to the comfort of her words. 

Jack wrung her slim hands grate 
fully till they ached. 
" 193 









A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

Osaka? How far away was that? 
Did Madam Pine-leaf believe he had 
time to get there before she would 
leave? What was the exact address? 

Yes, she believed he would be in time, 
and she drew out a dainty tablet and 
wrote an address upon it, and with 
deep and graceful obeisances she pray 
ed that the gods would accompany and 
guide him. 

He reached Osaka at night, when 
many strange canals and narrow 
vers were reflecting the lights of the 
city, like glittering spear - heads, on 
their dark, shining surface. The hotel 
was miles from the station, but the 
streets were deserted, and there was no 
traffic to hinder the flying feet of his 
runner. At night the city seemed 
strangely romantic and peaceful, a 
spot that would have attracted one of 
Yuki's temperament. But daylight re 
vealed it as it was a bustling com 
mercial centre, where everybody seemed 
194 









A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

hurrying as though bent on accomplish 
ing some important mission. 

Jack stayed but a few days in .Osaka. 
She was not there. The proprietor 
of the Osaka gardens, hearing his 
story, humbly apologized for the fact 
that while such a girl had honored for 
a short season his unworthy gardens, 
she had left him now some days ago. 
Whither had she gone? To Kyoto. 

And in Kyoto, the most fascinating 
and beautiful city in all Japan, he was 
sent from one tea - house to another, 
each proprietor acknowledging that one 
answering to the description had been 
in his employ, but declaring that she 
had left only a short time previous. She 
was only a visiting geisha, who moved 
from place to place. 

Finally he traced her back to To 
kyo, the place whence he had started 
on his weary pilgrimage. She was 
the chief geisha, so he was told, of the 
Sanzaeyemon gardens. With his brain 
swimming, his lips almost refusing him 
195 





a 



A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

speech, he went straightway to this place. 
The proprietor received him with mag 
nificent humility, and, listening to his 
disjointed questions, answered that all 
was well. She was even then within 
his honorably miserable tea-house. For 
the privilege of seeing her he would be 
obliged to make an honorably insignifi 
cant charge, and, if he (the august bar 
barian) desired to take her away with 
him, a further fee must be forthcoming. 

Waiving these questions aside, by 
putting down so much coin that the 
little proprietor's eyes matched its glis 
ten, he followed him up the stairway 
to the private quarters of the more im 
portant geishas. Into one of the rooms 
he was unceremoniously ushered. 

A girl who sat on a mat put forward 
her two hands, and her bowed head on 
top of them. Jack watched her with 
bated breath. He could not see her 
face, and the room was badly lighted. 
But when he could bear no longer her 
perpetual bowing and had lifted her, 
196 






A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

with hands that shook, to her feet, he 
saw her face. It was that of a stranger ! 

A slight illness now hindered the 
progress of his search, but he would 
not allow himself the rest he needed; 
and still ill, haggard, and a shadow 
of his former self, the young man once 
more drifted to the metropolitan police 
station. 

They had exhausted all their clews, 
but they were kind-hearted little men, 
these Japanese policemen. The chief 
of police invented a story that would 
have done credit to one of Japan's 
poets. 

Yuki was somewhere in the vicinity 
of Matsushima Bay, on the northeast 
ern coast of Japan, near the city of 
Sendai, where the waters flow into the 
Pacific. This was a spot favored by 
unhappy lovers, and the chief of police 
had positive evidence that a girl answer 
ing to her description had been seen wan 
dering daily in that part of the country. 
He even produced a telegraph blank, 
197 












A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

with an indecipherable message in Jap 
anese characters written on it, purport 
ing to give this information. His ad 
vice to the young man was to go to 
this honorable place and stay there for 
some time. The country was large 
thereabouts. He might not find her at 
once, but soon or late surely she would 
turn up there. 

Jack was impressed with his glib re 
cital, and then, moreover, he remem 
bered that Yuki had told him much 
about this place, which they had plan 
ned to visit together some day. He 
started straightway for it, buoyed up 
with a hope he had not known in 
months. 

Ancl the chief of police snapped his 
fingers and bobbed his head and clinked 
the big fee he had received. 

"These foreign devils are naive," 
he said to an assistant. 

The cringing assistant agreed. 
"They believe any august lie," he 
replied. 

198 





A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

His superior frowned. "It was for 
his good, after all," he returned, tartly. 

In the city of Sendai Jack put up at 
a small Japanese hostelry, and from 
there each day he would start out and 
wander down to the beach of the won 
derful bay. It was all as Yuki had 
pictured it, with her vivid, passionate 
imagery. There were the countless 
rocks of all sizes and forms scattered 
in it, with strange, shapely pine-trees 
growing up from them, and the one 
bare rock called "Hadakajima," or 
"Naked Island/' and all the beautiful 
romances, impossible and dreamy as 
the fairy tales of a classic Oriental 
poet, that she had woven about and 
around this place, came back to his mind 
now, haunting him like a beautiful 
dream, until the memory of her, and 
the influence of the beauty of the place, 
seemed to cast a mystic spell about 
him. 

For, oh! the scenes that enwrapped 
the bay! The slopes and hillocks and 

















A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

the great mountains beyond were garbed 
in vestal white, pure and glistening. 
The snowflakes had tipped the branches 
of the pine, and there they hung, like 
glistening pearl-drops, sometimes drop 
ping with little bounds on the rocks, 
there to freeze or melt into the bay. 

And some vague fancy, baffling in 
its hopelessness, nevertheless, clung 
to him that possibly she might have 
come hither to this peaceful spot, far 
from the scenes where they had loved 
and suffered so deeply, for, with un 
erring insight, Jack knew that she 
had loved him. Bit by bit he traced 
backward in his mind every proof 
she had given him of this, and now, 
when the sorrow of her loss seemed 
more than he could bear, the knowledge 
of this upheld and cheered him always. 

But the beauty of Matsushima could 
give him no peace of mind or soul, for 
he was alone! The stillness and si 
lence of the very atmosphere, the tall 
pine-trees, bending gracefully in the 

200 







A PILGRIM OF LOVE 

swaying, swinging breezes, seemed to 
mock him with their calm content. The 
bay was enchanted yes, but haunted 
too haunted by the imagination of 
the little feet that had perhaps wan 
dered along its shore. 

In a little village only a short dis 
tance from the beach, inhabited by a 
few simple, honest fisher -folk, Jack 
tried to ascertain whether they had 
seen aught of her he sought. But 
they babbled fairy stories back at him. 
There had been many, many witch- 
maids who had haunted the shores of 
Matsushima; many young girls, who 
had lost their minds through unfort 
unate love affairs, had wandered thither. 
They were the ghosts of these unfort 
unate lovers, who had sought in death 
the bliss of love denied them in life, 
which now haunted the shore of the bay. 

That the strange, fair man who had 
lost his bride would meet the same 
untimely though poetic fate the simple 
people never doubted. 

2OI 











A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

And so, like one who has lost his 
soul, he wandered hither and thither 
throughout the islands of Japan in 
search of it. 

Sunshine had been the dominant 
element in Jack Bigelow's character, 
and in a less degree impulsiveness and 
generosity. No one had ever given 
him credit for intensity of feeling or 
greatness of purpose. But sometimes 
tribulation will bring out such qual 
ities, which have lain hidden beneath 
an apparently superficial exterior. 

A deep, abiding love for his summer 
bride had sprung into eternal life in 
his heart. She was never absent from 
his mind. There were moments when 
for a time he would forget his immeasu 
rable loss, and would drift into mem 
ory, and in fancy re-live with her that 
dream summer. She had become the 
soul of him. She would remain in 
his heart until it ceased to beat. 







YUKI'S WANDERINGS 

HAD Jack followed Yuki on the 
night she went out of his house and 
life, he would have known that she 
was not to be found in all Japan. She 
had hurried from his and Taro's 
presence with but one object to take 
herself forever from the sight of the 
brother whom she had loved but who 
had repulsed her, whom she had dis 
honored in trying to assist. She took 
the road for Tokyo, and, head down 
ward, sobbing like a little child who 
has lost its way in the dark, stumbled 
blindly along until she had come with 
in its limits. 

She had no idea whither she was go 
ing now, what she would do; her mind 
203 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

could only contain her grief. But as 
she wandered aimlessly about, weeping 
silently, an address slipped itself into 
her consciousness the address written 
on the card handed her by the American 
theatrical man months before, when he 
had followed her from the tea-house. 
She had studied the card curiously at 
the time, and now, though the name 
had escaped her she had really never 
been able to make it out her mind 
still held the address. 

She turned in the direction in which 
she knew the American's house lay, 
and at length found it, wearied both 
by the anguish of her mind and by 
her long walk. Yes, the American 
gentleman was in, said the garrulous 
Japanese servant who answered her 
timid summons. He had returned from 
lands far south less than a week ago, 
and now in two more days he would be 
off again. Did she want to meet him? 
Perhaps he slept. 

Yuki said she would speak with him 
204 




YUKI'S WANDERINGS 

but a minute, and the servant van 
ished. Almost immediately the mana 
ger appeared before her, frowning heav 
ily. But at sight of her his face 
brightened wonderfully. 

"Why, if it ain't the girl I heard sing 
at the tea-garden!" he cried. "Come 
right inside." 

And he eagerly drew her, unresisting, 
within. 

Two days later, on board the Yoko 
hama Maru, Yuki left her native Japan. 

As the ship weighed anchor, she 
closed her eyes and faintly clung to 
the guard-rail. All about her she could 
hear the passengers talking and laugh 
ing, a few were cheering and waving 
flags and handkerchiefs to friends on 
shore. And long after the wharf was 
only a dim, shadowy outline she still 
clung there to the rail, her hands cold 
and tense. 

Some one put an arm about her, and she 
started as though she had been struck. 
205 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 



"You are not ill already, you poor 
little thing?" said a woman's clear, 
pleasing voice. 

Yuki regarded her piteously. She 
dimly recognized in her the wife of her 
employer, and she struggled to regain 
her scattered wits, but vainly. She 
was only able to look up into the sym 
pathetic face of the other with eyes 
which could not conceal the turbulent 
tragedy of her soul. 

" Why, you are shivering all over, and 
are as cold as Jimmy, come over 
here," she turned and called peremp 
torily to her husband, who hastened 
forward, throwing his cigar overboard. 

" Look here ; she's sick already. Bet 
ter send one of those ayah women, or 
whatever you call 'em, over, and have 
her put to bed right away." 

They undressed her, submissive as a 
little child, and put her into the berth 
of a little stateroom, which seemed to 
Yuki, who had never in her life before 
been on board a vessel of any sort, save 
206 





YUKI'S WANDERINGS 



the tiny craft about the rivers at her 
home, like a tiny cage or vault, wherein 
she, exhausted and weary, had been put 
to die. 

She lay there with the surging bustle 
of the ship's noises overhead and the 
tremulous growl of the waters beneath 
the ship droning in her ears like the 
melancholy ringing of a dying curfew- 
bell at twilight. 

The ayah reported to the manager's 
wife, an ex-comic-opera prima donna, 
that she was resting and sleeping; but 
when that impetuous, big-hearted wom 
an peeped in on her, she found Yuki's 
eyes wide open. She whirled into the 
small stateroom, almost filling it with 
her large person, and sat down beside 
the poor little weary girl and looked at 
her with friendly and approving eyes. 

"You are like a pretty picture on a 
fan," she said ; " the prettiest Japanese 
girl I've seen. I think we'll be fine 
friends, don't you?" 

Yuki could only assent with a weary 
207 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

little nod of her head. She closed her 
eyes. 

" You are not so dreadfully sick, are 
you?" said the American. "I thought 
maybe we could have a nice little gos 
sip together. You see, my husband's 
the boss of this whole outfit that we've 
got along with us, and I don't know 
that there's one of the whole lot I've 
ever cared to associate with before. 
You're different. Now, ain't I good 
to speak out just what's on my mind, 
eh?" 

"I ought to thang you," said Yuki, 
feebly, "but I am too weary to be per- 
lite." 

" Then you shall be left alone, you 
child, you," said the other; then she 
kissed Yuki lightly, and went out of 
the door. 

But after she had gone Yuki's pas 
sivity left her. She sat up quivering, 
and then with nervous quickness she 
began to dress herself. She could not 
open the door of the stateroom. She 
108 



YUKI'S WANDERINGS 

was unused to strange doors that re 
quired the pushing of springs and bolts. 
She had lived in a land where bolts and 
locks were almost unknown, where a 
shoji fell apart at a touch of a hand. 
Now she pushed hard against the door, 
but, as she had not turned the handle, 
it refused to move. A terror possessed 
her that they had locked her in this 
tiny, awful cell, to which penetrated no 
light save that which filtered through 
a small porthole against which the wa 
ters beat and beat. 

She flung herself desperately against 
the door, battering it with her tiny 
hands; she felt herself growing dizzy 
and blind as the ship rocked and sway 
ed beneath her feet. She tried to pace 
the tiny length of the stateroom, her 
sense of terrible loneliness and home 
sickness deepening with every moment. 
The moving of the ship horrified her, 
and the knowledge that it was taking 
her farther and farther from her home 
across the immense bottomless sea filled 
o 209 












A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

her with a terror akin to nothing she 
had ever known in her life before. 

In the sickening, wearying dazzle of 
the few days previous to their sailing, 
the girl's mind had held but one thought 
to go far away from the scenes of her 
pain; now perhaps the reaction had 
come, and her terror at the step she 
had taken appalled her. Memory, which 
had been thrust out of sight by the ever- 
present nagging pain that had blinded 
her to all else, now asserted its power, 
merciless and invincible. She pressed 
her hands to her head, as though to 
blot out forever from her mind the piti 
less ghosts that haunted her. 

Like the wraiths that come and van 
ish in a nightmare, the events of her 
life came to her one by one the happy 
childhood with her brother, their pas 
sionate devotion to each other, her grief 
at his departure for America, the months 
of struggle that had followed, sacrifices 
made for him, her attempts to make a 
living sufficient for his maintenance in 
210 






YUKI'S WANDERINGS 

America, and then her marriage ! After 
that, memory held no other thought but 
the immeasurable craving and longing 
that was almost madness for the voice, 
the touch, the sight of the man she had 
loved and left. 

It was three days before her illness 
ended. Then, having begged the con 
sent of the woman who attended her, 
she crept up the companion-way and 
out on deck, where the passengers were 
disporting and enjoying themselves. 

She had looked forward to the time 
when she would regain sufficient 
strength to leave her prison -cell, for 
such she regarded her stateroom. In 
the strange medley of ideas which had 
curiously woven themselves into a maze 
in her mind, she had imagined that 
once in the open on deck she would see 
once more the shores of her home, Fuji 
yama's lofty peak smiling against its ce 
lestial background, and hanging like a 
mirage in mid-air. 

But there was no sight visible to 

211 












A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

her, as, with her hand shading her eyes, 
she looked out before her, save a vast, 
cold, pitiless waste of surging waters, 
jumping up to meet the sky, which 
smiled or glowered with its moods. 

In the months that followed, Yuki 
met with nothing but kindness from 
the American theatrical manager and 
his wife. With them she went to 
China, India, the Philippines, and 
finally to Australia. From all these 
different points the American theatrical 
scout drew together a motley troupe 
of jugglers, fancy dancers, wizards, 
fencers, and performers of one sort and 
another, with which he hoped to make 
a larger fortune in America. He had 
combined business with this long pleas 
ure trip, for he was on his bridal tour 
at the time. 

By some remarkable intuition pecul 
iar sometimes to the gayest and most 
frivolous hearted of women of the world, 
the wife of the theatrical manager had 
212 



YUKI'S WANDERINGS 

gained some insight into the cause of 
the pitiful sensitiveness and shrinking 
shyness of the queer little Japanese girl 
with the blue eyes, to whom she had 
taken an extravagant fancy. 

She had taken Yuki under her per 
sonal charge, and sheltered and shield 
ed the girl from the overbold scrutiny 
of those with whom they daily came 
in contact. It was many months, how 
ever, before she learned her history. In 
fact, it was only a few days before their 
expected departure for America, the 
great country in the west, which seem 
ed to Yuki as far distant as the stars 
above her. 

As the time for their departure, which 
had been delayed already much longer 
than the manager had anticipated, 
drew nearer, Yuki grew more depressed 
and restless, so that to the exaggerated 
fancy of the American woman she 
seemed to be fading away and enter 
ing into what she emphatically called 
"the last stages of consumption." 
213 











A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

She cornered the girl relentlessly, and 
finally wrung from her the whole pitiful, 
tragic story of her life. How home 
sick and weary she had been ever since 
she had left Japan, how her heart seem 
ed to faint whenever she thought of that 
final interview with her brother, and 
of the immeasurable longing for the 
man she loved, and whom she had 
married "for jus' liddle bid while." 

All the big, romantic heart of the 
American woman went out to her as 
she took her into her arms and mingled 
her own honest tears with Yuki's. 

"You sha'n't go to America," she 
said, drying her eyes with a tiny piece 
of lace which served as a handkerchief. 
"You are going right back to Japan, 
bag and baggage of you. I'm going 
with you, to see you get there O.K." 

" Bud " began Yuki, weakly. 

"Never mind, now. I know he ex 
pects to sail in a week. I don't. I'm 
boss! See!" 








xvm 

THE SEASON OF THE CHERRY 
BLOSSOM 

IN summer the fields of Japan are 
alive with color burning flat low 
lands shimmering with the dazzling 
gleam of the natane and azalea blos 
soms. In autumn the leaves, as well 
as the blossoms, have caught all the 
tints of heaven and earth, and in winter 
the gods are said to be resting after 
their riotous ramblings during th 
warm months. But in the spring 
time they awake, and in their lavish 
renewed youth bless hill and dale and 
meadow and forest with an abandon 
unlike any other time of year. It is 
the season of the cherry blossom, of 
the mating of the birds, the babbling 
215 
















A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

of the brooks, and the chattering and 
unfolding anew of all the beauties of 
nature. 

It was two years from the day when 
Jack and Yuki had married each other 
in the spring-time. And Jack was 
back in Tokyo. Recalled thither by a 
telegram from the police headquarters, 
he was preparing to depart for America, 
where the police claimed they had 
positive evidence that Yuki had gone. 
He was staying at an American hotel 
in the city proper, and his heart on 
this day sickened and yearned for the 
little house only a few miles away that 
he longed and yet dreaded to see again. 

Now that he contemplated leaving 
Japan, the dread possibility that Yuki 
might still be in the country and that 
he would be placing the distance of 
thousands and thousands of miles 
of land and water between them, de 
pressed and weighed on his mind, de 
spite the really plausible proof the police 
board had that she had gone to America 
216 










SEASON OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM 

with a theatrical company that of the 
very man he himself had witnessed 
coaxing her to go with him. 

The afternoon previous to the day 
set for sailing, his melancholy and 
morbidness grew in intensity. With no 
fixed purpose in view he started out. 
from his hotel, tramped half-way across 
Tokyo, then hailed a jinrikisha and 
gave the runner orders to take him 
to the little house that had formerly 
been his home, and which he had strug 
gled against visiting ever since his re 
turn to Tokyo. 

As in a dream the interminable stretch 
of rice-fields, blue mountains, and valleys 
and hamlets, stretching away into misty 
outlines, flashed by him, and he noted 
only half absently how the heels of 
his runner were all worn hard just 
as if they had dried in the sun. 
Yuki once had called his attention to 
this. 

"The honorable soles are the same," 
she had said. "It .is the perpetual 
217 








A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

running. The gods have mercifully 
protected the feet from pain." 

The landscape about him, familiar 
as the face of a mother, gave him no 
pain now. He was conscious only of 
a sense of ineffable rest and peace, as a 
traveller who has wandered long feels 
when nearing home. And soon the 
runner had stopped \vith a jerk, and 
was doubling over and waiting for 
his pay. 

Should he humbly wait for his excel 
lency to condescend to return to the 
city? 

"Just for a little while," Jack told 
him absently. And he went through 
the little garden gate and up the pebbled 
adobe path, now arched on either side 
by two rows of cherry - blossom trees, 
that met at the top and made a bower 
under which to walk. 

When he had pushed the door back 
ward and stepped inside he paused 
irresolute, his heart paining him with 
its rapid beating. Coming from out 
218 




SEASON OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM 

the blaze of the out-door light into the 
shadowed room, his vision dazzled him. 
But gradually the objects inside grew 
upon his consciousness, and a rosy pain, 
an ecstasy that stung him with its 
sweetness, shot upward like a dawn 
through ail his being. 

He scarcely dared breathe, so potent 
was the influence of the place upon him. 
He feared to stir, lest the spell, ghostly 
and entrancing as the influence of a 
magic hand, might vanish into mistland, 
for with all the immeasurable pain 
that rushed to his heart in a flame was 
mingled a tentative, exquisite pleasure 
a survival of the old joy he had once 
known. 

And there came back to his mind 
whisperings of the old mysterious ro 
mances she had been wont to ramble 
into. What was that tale of the spirit 
which haunted and was felt but never 
seen? Was there not behind it all some 
mysterious possibility of such a spirit? 
For the very furnishings of the room, 
219 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 




the mats, the vases, the old broken- 
down hammock, and his big tobacco- 
bon, each and all of them suddenly 
assumed a personality the personality 
of one he loved. 

Stepping on tip-toe, he crossed the 
room and stooped to touch the little 
drum, the sticks of which were snapped 
in twain. And then he suddenly re 
membered how she had broken them 
because he had complained one day 
that her drum disturbed him. He had 
liked the koto and the samisen; the 
drum she had beaten on when she 
mocked him. Now the sight of it beat 
against his brain and heart. 

He could not bear the sight of those 
little broken sticks. He tried to cover 
them with his handkerchief, as if they 
were the evidence of a crime. 

"The place is haunted!" he said, and 
scarce knew his own hollow voice, 
which the echoes of the silent room 
mocked back at him. 

"I shall go mad, "he said, and again 
220 





SEASON OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM 

the echoes repeated, "Mad! mad! 
mad!" 

Then he covered his eyes, and sat 
in the silence, motionless and still. 

From afar off there came to him the 
melancholy sweetness of the bells of a 
neighboring temple. They caused his 
hearing exquisite pain. What mem 
ories were recalled by them! But now 
every toll of the bells, slow and muf 
fled, seemed to speak of baffled hope 
and despair. There was no balm in 
their sweet monotone. Would they 
never cease? Why were they so loud? 
They had not been so formerly. Now 
they filled all the land with their ring 
ing. What were they tolling for, and, 
ah, why had the ghostly visitants of 
his house caught up the tone, and 
softly, sweetly, with piercing cadence, 
chanted back and echoed the sighing 
of the bells? 

The house was full of music, inex 
pressibly dear and familiar. He started 
221 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

to liis feet, trembling like one afflicted 
with ague. And gradually words, in 
a fairy language that he had learned 
to love, began to form themselves into 
the melody of a voice. 

Slowly, painfully, like one led by un 
seen, subtle, persuasive hands, he went 
forward, and up and up the spiral 
stairs till he had reached her chamber, 
and there he stood, like one who has 
come far and can go no farther. 

One other presence besides himself 
was within. This he knew, and still 
could not comprehend. He could see 
her plainly, just as she had been in 
life her little, shining head, her dear, 
small hands, the long, blue, misty eyes, 
and the small mouth with the little 
pathetic droop that had come to it in 
the last few days they had been to 
gether. She stood with her hands 
raised, dreamily loitering before a mir 
ror, putting cherry blossoms in her hair 
on either side of her head. But at the 
prolonged silence that ensued she turn- 

222 




SEASON OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM 

ed slowly about, and then she saw the 
man standing silently in the doorway. 

She was not a girl to scream or faint, 
but she went gray with fear, and stood 
perfectly still there in the middle of the 
room. Then gradually her eyes trav 
elled upward to the man's face, and 
there they remained transfixed. 

For a long while they faced each oth 
er thus, both with hearts that seemed 
not to beat. Then the man made a 
movement towards her, a passionate, 
wild movement, and she had dropped 
the flowers from her hands, and had 
gone to meet him. The next moment 
he was crushing her to him. When he 
released her but a moment, it was to 
hold her again and yet again, as though 
he feared to find her gone, and his arms 
empty once more, as they had been for 
so long. He could only breathe her 
name "Yuki! Yuki! My wife! My 
wife!" 

Neither tried to explain. There was 
time enough for that. They were ab- 
223 





A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

sorbed alone in the fact that they were 
together at last. 

Some one noisily entered the house 
and whirled up the stairs. It was the 
American girl. She gazed in upon 
them with eyes and mouth agape in 
amazement. 

"Well, I never!" she ejaculated, and 
went out and down the steps, sobbing 
aloud. 

" Such a romance 1 Such a nice, big 
fellow, too! And, oh, dear me, I've lost 
her sure enough now forever! Bother 
men, anyhow! and she jumped into 
Jack's jinrikisha and bade the man 
take her on the instant to Tokyo. 

Meanwhile the lovers had wandered 
out into the open air. He was holding 
both her hands in his, and his eyes were 
straying hungrily over her face; her 
eyes bewitched him; her lips thrilled 
him. 

The thousand petals of cherry blos 
soms were falling about them, and the 
224 




" THE THOUSAND PETALS OF CHERRY BLOSSOMS WERE FALLING 
ABOUT THEM" 



SEASON OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM 

birds had all flown to their garden and 
were twittering and bursting their little 
throats with melody. A fugitive wind 
came up from the bay and tossed the 
little scattering curls about her ears 
and temples. A strand of her hair 
swept across his hand. He stooped and 
kissed it reverently, and she laughed 
and thrilled under the touch of his 
lips. 

" I love you with all my soul," he said. 
"Do not laugh at me now." 

She said, " Dear my lord, I will never 
laugh more ad you. I laugh only for 
the joy ad being with you." 

"I will take you to my home," he 
said. 

" I will follow you to the end of the 
world and beyond," said she. 

" And we will come back here again, 
love. We will take up the broken 
threads of our lives and piece them 
together." 

"They shall never again be broken," 
she said. But he must needs spoil 

r 225 




A JAPANESE NIGHTINGALE 

her divine faith. "Till death do us 
part," he added. 

"No, no. We will have the faith of 
our simple peasant folk. We are wed- 
ed for ever an' ever." 

" Yes, forever," he repeated 




THE END 



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