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Full text of "Miss Numè of Japan; a Japanese-American romance"

STATIONER* 
POST CARDS 

Fault's NoveHy Siore 



TOY - 



POST CARDS STATIONERY 

PaulPs Novelty Store 

16H OCEAN FRONT 

TOYS & NOVELTIES VENICE, CALIF. 



MISS NUM OF JAPAN. 



. OF 



MISS NUME 

OF JAPAN 
A Japanese - American Romance 



ONOTO WATANNA 

AUTHOR OF " NATSU-SAN," " YURI-SAN AND OKIKU-SAN, 
"A HALF CASTE," ETC. 




CHICAGO AND NEW YORK: 
RAND, MCNALLY & COMPANY, 

PUBLISHERS. 



Copyright, 1899, by Rand, McNally & Co. 



THIS BOOK 

IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED TO MY FRIEND, 

HELEN M. BOWEN 

BECAUSE I LOVE HER SO 



2139058 



INTRODUCTION. 



The fate of an introduction to a book seems not only to 
fall short of its purpose, but to offend those whose habit it 
is to criticise before they read. Once I heard an old man say, 
"It is dangerous to write for the wise. They strike warm 
hands with form, but shrug a cold shoulder at originality." 
I do not think, though, that this book was written for the 
" wise," for the men and women whose frosty judgment would 
freeze the warm current of a free and almost careless soul. 
It was written for the imaginative, and they alone are the 
true lovers of story and song. Onoto Watanna plays upon 
an instrument new to our ears, quaintly Japanese, an air at 
times simple and sweet, as tender as the chirrup of a bird 
in love, and then as wild as the scream of a hawk. Mood 
has been her teacher; impulse has dictated her style. She 
has inherited the spirit of the orchard in bloom. Her art is 
the grace of the wild vine, under no obligation to a gardener, 
but with a charm that the gardener could not impart. A 
monogram wrought by nature's accident upon the golden leaf 
of autumn, does not belong to the world of letters, but it 
inspires more feeling and more poetry than a library squeezed 
out of man's tired brain. And this book is not unlike an 
autumn leaf blown from a forest in Japan. 

OPIE READ. 
CHICAGO, January, 1899. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER. PAGE. 

I Parental Ambitions, 5 

II Cleo, 10 

III Who Can Analyze a Coquette ? 15 

IV The Dance on Deck, 20 

V Her Gentle Enemy, 24 

VI A Veiled Hint, 27 

VII Jealousy Without Love, 30 

VIII The Man She Did Love, 37 

IX Merely a Woman, 43 

X Watching the Night, 47 

XI At the Journey's End 52 

XII Those Queer Japanese ! 54 

XIII Takashima's Home-Coming, 59 

XIV After Eight Years 60 

XV Nume, 64 

XVI An American Classic, 68 

XVII "Still a Child," 73 

XVIII The Meeting, 76 

XIX Confidences, 79 

XX Sinclair's Indifference 83 

XXI "Me? ILig'You," 86 

XXII Advice, 92 

, XXIII Afraid to Answer, 95 

XXIV Visiting the Tea Houses 99 

XXV Shattered Hopes, 104 

XXVI Conscience, 108 

XXVII Confession, no 

XXVIII Japanese Pride, 115 

XXIX Seclusion 117 

XXX Feminine Diplomacy, 121 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER. PAGE. 

XXXI A Barbarian Dinner, 124 

XXXII The Philosophy of Love, 126 

XXXIII What Can that "Luf" Be? 130 

XXXIV Conspirators 133 

XXXV A Respite for Sinclair, 136 

XXXVI Those Bad Jinrikisha Men, 139 

XXXVII Those Good Jinrikisha Men, 141 

XXXVIII Disproving a Proverb, 144 

XXXIX Love! 148 

XL A Passionate Declaration, 152 

XLI A Hard Subject to Handle, 156 

XLII A Story 160 

XLIII The Truth of the Proverb, 163 

XLIV Nume Breaks Down 167 

XLV Trying to Forget, 171 

XLVI An Observant Husband, 173 

XL VII Matsushima Bay, 176 

XL VIII A Rejected Lover, iSo 

XLIX The Answer, 184 

L The Ball, 187 

LI The Fearful News, 190 

LII The Tragedy, 192 

LIII A Little Heroine 194 

LIV Sinclair Learns the Truth at Last, .... 198 

LV Lovers Again 202 

LVI The Penalty, 206 

LVII The Pity of It All, 211 

LVIII Mrs. Davis's Nerves, 214 

LIX Cleo and Nume, 217 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



TITLE. PAGE. 

ONOTO WAT ANNA, Frontispiece 

NUME-SAN, 29 

KOTO, KlRISHIMA, AND MATSU, IOI 

PLAYING KARUTTA . . . 117 

" NUME BREAKS DOWN," 165 

KOTO WOULD NOT MARRY, 181 

SITTING TOGETHER HAND IN HAND 197 

NUME AND HER Two FRIENDS KOTO AND MATSU, . . . 205 



Miss Nume of Japan. 



CHAPTER I. 
PARENTAL AMBITIONS. 

When Orito, son of Takashima Sachi, was but ten 
years of age, and Nume, daughter of Watanabe 
Omi, a tiny girl of three, their fathers talked quite 
seriously of betrothing them to each other, for they 
had been great friends for many years, and it was 
the dearest wish of their lives to see their children 
united in marriage. They were very wealthy men, 
and the father of Orito was ambitious that his son 
should have an unusually good education, so that 
when Orito was seventeen years of age, he had left 
the public school of Tokyo and was attending the 
Imperial University. About this time, and when 
Orito was at home on a vacation, there came to the 
little town where they lived, and which was only a 
very short distance from Tokyo, certain foreigners 
from the West, who rented land from Sachi and 
became neighbors to him and to Omi. 

Sachi had always taken a great deal of interest in 
these foreigners, many of whom he had met quite 
often while on business in Tokyo, and he was very 

2 5 



6 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

much pleased with his new tenants, who, in spite of 
their barbarous manners and dress, seemed good- 
natured and friendly. Often in the evening he and 
Omi would walk through the valley to their neigh- 
bors' house, and listen to them very attentively 
while they told them of their home in America, 
which they said was the greatest country in the 
world. After a time the strange men went away, 
though neither Sachi nor Omi forgot them, and 
very often they talked of them and of their foreign 
home. One day Sachi said very seriously to his 
friend : 

"Omi, these strangers told us much of their 
strange land, and talked of the fine schools there, 
where all manner of learning is taught. What say 
you that I do send my unworthy son, Orito, to this 
America, so that he may see much of the world, and 
also become a great scholar, and later return to 
crave thy noble daughter in marriage?" 

Omi was fairly delighted with this proposal, and 
the two friends talked and planned, and then sent 
for the lad. 

Orito was a youth of extreme beauty. He was 
tall and slender; his face was pale and oval, with 
features as fine and delicate as a girl's. His was 
not merely a beautiful face; there was something 
else in it, a certain impassive look that rendered it 
almost startling in its wonderful inscrutableness. 
It was not expressionless, but unreadable the face 
of one with the noble blood of the Kazoku and 
Samourai pale, refined, and emotionless. 

He bowed low and courteously when he entered, 



PARENTAL AMBITIONS. 7 

and said a few words of gentle greeting to Omi, in 
a clear, mellow voice that was very pleasing. 
Sachi's eyes sparkled with pride as he looked on his 
son. Unlike Orito, he was a very impulsive man, 
and without preparing the boy, he hastened to tell 
him at once of their plans for his future. While his 
father was speaking Orito's face did not alter from 
its calm, grave attention, although he was unusually 
moved. He only said, "What of Nume, my 
father?" 

Sachi and Omi beamed on him. 

"When you return from this America I will give 
you Nume as a bride," said Omi. 

"And when will that be?" asked Orito, in alow 
voice. 

"In eight years, my son, and you shall have all 
manner of learning there, which cannot be acquired 
here in Tokyo or in Kyushu, and the manner, of 
learning will be different from that taught anywhere 
in Japan. You will have a foreign education, as 
well as what you have learned here at home. It 
shall be thorough, and therefore it will take some 
years. You must prepare at once, my son ; I desire 
it." 

Orito bowed gracefully and thanked his father, 
declaring it was the chief desire of his life to obey 
the will of his parent in all things. 

Now Nume was a very peculiar child. Unlike 
most Japanese maidens, she was impetuous and 
wayward. Her mother had died when she was 
born, and she had never had any one to guide or 
direct her, so that she had grown up in a careless, 



8 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

happy fashion, worshiped by her father's servants, 
but depending entirely upon Orito for all her small 
joys. Orito was her only companion and friend, 
and she believed blindly in him. She told him all 
her little troubles, and he in turn tried to teach her 
many things, for, although their fathers intended to 
betroth them to each other as soon as they were old 
enough, still Nume was only a little girl of ten, 
whilst Orito was a tall man-youth of nearly eighteen 
years. They loved each other very dearly; Orito 
loved Nume because she was one day to be his little 
wife, and because she was very bright and pretty ; 
whilst Nume loved big Orito with a pride that was 
pathetic in its confidence. 

That afternoon Nume waited long for Orito to 
come, but the boy had gone out across the valley, 
and was wandering aimlessly among the hills, try- 
ing to make up his mind to go to Nume and tell her 
that in less than a week he must leave her, and his 
beautiful home, for eight long years. The next 
day a great storm broke over the little town, and 
Nume was unable to go to the school, and because 
Orito had not come she became very restless and 
wandered fretfully about the house. So she com- 
plained bitterly to her father that Orito had not 
come. Then Omi, forgetting all else save the great 
future in store for his prospective son-in-law, told 
her of their plans. And Nume listened to him, not 
as Orito had done, with quiet, calm face, for hers 
was stormy and rebellious, and she sprang to her 
father's side and caught his hands sharply in her 
little ones, crying out passionately: 



PARENTAL AMBITIONS. 9 

' ' No ! no ! my father, do not send Orito away. ' ' 

Omi was shocked at this display of unmaidenly 
conduct, and arose in a dignified fashion, ordering 
his daughter to leave him, and Nume crept out, too 
stunned to say more. About an hour after that 
Orito came in, and discovered her rolled into a very 
forlorn little heap, with her head on a cushion, and 
weeping her eyes out. 

"You should not weep, Nume," he said. "You 
should rather smile, for see, I will come back a 
great scholar, and will tell you of all I have seen 
the people I have met the strange men and 
women." But at that Nume pushed him from her, 
and declared she wanted not to hear of those bar- 
barians, and flashed her eyes wrathfully at him, 
whereat Orito assured her that none of them would 
be half as beautiful or sweet as his little Nume his 
plum blossom; for the word Nume means plum 
blossom in Japanese. Finally Nume promised to 
be very brave, and the day Orito left she only wept 
when no one could see her. 

And so Orito sailed for America, and entered 
a great college called ' ' Harvard. ' ' And little Num& 
remained in Japan, and because there was no Orito 
now to tell her thoughts to, she grew very subdued 
and quiet, so that few would have recognized in her 
the merry, wayward little girl who had followed 
Orito around like his very shadow. But Nume 
never forgot Orito for one little moment, and when 
every one else in the house was sound asleep, she 
would lie awake thinking of him. 



io MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER II. 
CLEO. 

"No use looking over there, my dear. Takie has 
no heart to break never knew a Jap that had, for 
that matter cold sort of creatures, most of them." 

The speaker leaned nonchalantly against the 
guard rail, and looked half -amusedly at the girl 
beside him. She raised her head saucily as her 
companion addressed her, and the willful little toss 
to her chin was so pretty and wicked that the man 
laughed outright. 

"No need for you to answer in words," he said. 
"That wicked, willful look of yours bodes ill for the 
Jap ' s er heart. ' ' 

"I would like to know him," said the girl, slowly 
and quite soberly. "Really, he is very good- 
looking." 

"Oh! yes I suppose so for a Japanese," her 
companion interrupted. 

The girl looked at him in undisguised disgust for 
a moment. 

"How ignorant you are, Tom!" she said, impa- 
tiently; "as if it makes the slightest difference what 
nationality he belongs to. Mighty lot you know 
about the Japanese. " 

Tom wilted before this assault, and the girl took 
advantage to say: "Now, Tom, I want to know 



CLEO. 1 1 

Mr. a a Takashima. What a name! Go, like 
the dear good boy you are, and bring him over 
here." 

Tom straightened his shoulders. 

"I utterly, completely, and altogether refuse to 
introduce you, young lady, to any other man on 
board this steamer. Why, at the rate you're going 
there won't be a heart-whole man on board by the 
time we reach Japan." 

"But you said Mr. Ta Takashima or 4 Takie,' 
as you call him, had no heart. " 

"True, but you might create one in him. I have 
a great deal of confidence in you, you know." 

"Oh! Tom, don't be ridiculous now. Horrid 
thing! I believe you just want to be coaxed." 

Tom's good-natured, fair face expanded in a 
broad smile for a moment. Then he tried to 
clear it. 

"Always disliked to be coaxed," he choked. 

' ' Hem ! ' ' The girl looked over into the waters a 
moment, thinking. Then she rose up and looked 
Tom in the face. 

"Tom, if you don't I'll go over and speak to him 
without an introduction." 

4 ' Better try it, ' ' said Tom, aggravatingly. ' ' Why, 
you'd shock him so much he wouldn't get over it 
for a year. You don't know these Japs as I do, my 
dear dozens of them at our college awfully strict 
on subject of etiquette, manners, and all that 
folderol." 

"Yes, but I'd tell him it was an American cus- 
tom." 



12 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Can't fool Takashima, my dear. Been in Amer- 
ica eight years now knows a thing or two, I guess." 

Takashima, the young Japanese, looked over at 
them, with the unreadable, quiet gaze peculiar to 
the better class Japanese. His eyes loitered on 
the girl's beautiful face, and he moved a step nearer 
to them, as a gentleman in passing stood in front, 
and for a moment hid them from him. 

4 ' He is looking at us now, ' ' said the girl, innocently. 

Tom stared at her round-eyed for a moment. 

"How on earth do you know that? Your head is 
turned right from him. ' ' 

Again the saucy little toss of the chin was all the 
girl's answer. 

"He's right near us now. Tom, please, please 
now's your chance," she added, after a minute. 

The Japanese had come quite close to them. He 
was still looking at the girl's face, as though thor- 
oughly fascinated with its beauty. A sudden wind 
came up from the sea and caught the red cape she 
wore, blowing it wildly about her. It shook the 
rich gold of her hair in wondrous soft shiny waves 
about her face, as she tried vainly to hold the little 
cap on her head. It was a sudden wild wind, such 
as one often encounters at sea, lasting only for a 
moment, but in that moment almost lifting one 
from the deck. The girl, who had been clinging 
breathlessly to the railing, turned toward Taka- 
shima, her cheeks aflame with excitement, and as 
the violent gust subsided, they smiled in each 
other's faces. 

Tom relented. 



CLEO. 13 

"Hallo! Takie you there?" he said, cordially. 
"Thought you'd be laid up. You're a pretty good 
sailor, I see. ' ' Then he turned to the girl and said 
very solemnly and as if they had never even dis- 
cussed the subject of an introduction, "Cleo, this is 
my old college friend, Mr. Takashima Takie, my 
cousin, Miss Ballard. " 

"Will you tell me why, "said the young Japanese, 
very seriously, "you did not want that I should 
know your cousin?" 

"Don't mind Tom," the girl answered, with 
embarrassment, as that gentleman threw away his 
cigar deliberately ; and she saw by his face that he 
intended saying something that would mislead 
Takashima, for he had often told her of the direct, 
serious and strange questions the Japanese would 
ask, and how he was in the habit of leading him off 
the track, just for the fun of the thing, and because 
Takashima took everything so seriously. 

"Why a" said Tom, "the truth of the matter 
is my cousin is a a flirt!" 

"Tom!" said the girl, with flaming cheeks. 

"A flirt!" repeated the Japanese, half -musingly. 
"Ah! I do not like a flirt that is not a nice word," 
he added, gently. 

"Tom is just teasing me," she said; and added, 
"But how did you know Tom did not want you to 
know me?" 

"I heard you tell him that you want to know me, 
and I puzzle much myself why he did not want." 

"I was sorry for you in advance, Takie," said 
Tom, wickedly, and then seeing by the girl's face 



14 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

that she was getting seriously offended, he added : 
"Well, the truth is er Cleo is a so young, 
don't you know. One can't introduce their female 
relatives to many of their male friends. You 
understand. That's how you put it to me once. " 

"Yes!" said Takashima, "I remember that I tell 
you of that. Then I am most flattered to know your 
relative." 

As Tom moved off and left them together, feeling 
afraid to trust himself for fear he would make 
things worse, he heard the gentle voice of the 
Japanese saying very softly to the girl: 

"I am most glad that you do not flirt. I do not 
like that word. Is it American?" 

Tom chuckled to himself, and shook his fist, in 
mock threat, at Cleo. 



WHO CAN ANALYZE A COQUETTE? 15 



CHAPTER III. 
WHO CAN ANALYZE A COQUETTE? 

Cleo Ballard was a coquette; such an alluring, 
bright, sweet, dangerous coquette. She could not 
have counted her adorers, because they would have 
included every one who knew her. Such a gay, 
happy girl as she was ; always looking about her for 
happiness, and finding it only in the admiration and 
adoration of her victims; for they were victims, 
after all, because, though they were generally will- 
ing to adore in the beginning, she nevertheless 
crushed their hopes in the end ; for that is the nature 
of coquettes. Hers was a strange, paradoxical 
nature. She would put herself out, perhaps go 
miles out of her way, for the sake of a new adorer, 
one whose heart she knew she would storm, and 
then perhaps break. She would do this gayly, 
thoughtlessly, as unscrupulously and impetuously 
as she tore the little silk gloves from her hands 
because they came not off easily. And yet, in spite 
of this, it broke her heart (and, after all, she had a 
heart) to see the meanest, the most insignificant of 
creatures in pain or trouble. With a laugh she 
pulled the heart-strings till they ached with pain 
and pleasure commingled ; but when the poor heart 
burst with the tension, then she would run shiver- 
ing away, and hide herself, because so long as she 



16 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

did not see the pain she did not feel it. Who can 
analyze a coquette? 

Then, too, she was very beautiful, as all 
coquettes are. She had sun-kissed, golden-brown 
hair, dark brown at night and in the shadow, 
bright gold in the daytime and in the light. Her 
eyes were dark blue, sombre, gentle eyes at times, 
wicked, mischievous, mocking eyes at others. Of 
the rest of her face, you do not need to know, for 
when one is young and has wonderful eyes, shiny, 
wavy hair and even features, be sure that one is 
very beautiful. 

Cleo Ballard was beautiful, with the charming, 
versatile, changeable, wholly fascinating beauty of 
an American girl an American beauty. 

And now she had a new admirer, perhaps a 
new lover. He was so different from the rest. It 
had been an easy matter for her to play with and 
turn off her many American adorers, because most 
of them went into the game of hearts with their 
eyes open, and knew from the first that the girl 
was but playing with them. But how was she to 
treat one who believed every word she said, 
whether uttered gayly or otherwise, and who, in his 
gentle, undisguised way, did not attempt, even from 
the beginning, to hide from her the fact that he 
admired her so intensely? 

Ever since the day Tom Ballard had introduced 
Takashima to her, he had been with her almost 
constantly. Among all the men, young and old, 
who paid her court on the steamer, she openly 
favored the Japanese. Most Japanese have their 



WHO CAN ANALYZE A COQUETTE ? 17 

full share of conceit. Takashima was not lacking 
in this. It was pleasant for him to be singled out 
each day as the one the beautiful American girl 
preferred to have by her. It pleased him that she 
did not laugh or joke so much when with him, but 
often became even as serious as he, and he even 
enjoyed hearing her snub some of her admirers for 
his sake. 

"Cleo," Tom Ballard said to her one day, as the 
Japanese left her side for a moment, "have mercy 
on Takashima; spare him, as thou wouldst be 
spared." 

She flushed a trifle at the bantering words, and 
looked out across the sea. 

"Why, Tom! he understands. Didn't you say he 
had lived eight years in America?" 

Tom sighed. "Woman! woman! incorrigible, 
unanswerable creature ! ' ' 

After a time Cleo said, almost pleadingly, as if 
she were trying to defend herself against some 
accusation : 

"Really, Tom, he is so nice. I can't help myself. 
You haven't the slightest idea how it feels to have 
any one any one like that on the verge of being 
in love with you. ' ' 

Takashima returned to them, and took his seat by 
the girl's side. 

"To-night," he told her, "they are going to dance 
on deck. The band will play a concert for us. ' ' 

Cleo smiled whimsically at his broken English, 
for, in spite of his long residence in America, he 
still tripped in his speech. 



1 8 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Do you dance?" she asked, curiously. 

"No! I like better to watch with you." 

"Put I dance," she put in, hastily. 

Takashima's face fell. He looked at her so 
dejectedly that she laughed. "Life is so serious to 
you, is it not, Mr. Takashima? Every little thing 
is of moment. ' ' 

He gravely agreed with her, looking almost sur- 
prised that she should consider this strange. 

"We are always taught," he said, gently, "that 
it is the little things of life which produce the big; 
that without the little we may not have the big. 
So, therefore, we Japanese measure even the small- 
est of things just as we do the large things. ' ' 

Cleo repeated this speech later to Tom, and an 
Englishman who had been paying her a good deal of 
attention. They both laughed, but she felt some- 
what ashamed of herself for repeating it. 

"I suppose, then, you will not dance," said the 
Englishman. Cleo did not specially like him. She 
intended fully to dance, that night, but a contrary 
spirit made her reply, "No; I guess I will not." 

She glanced over to where the young Japanese 
sat, a little apart from the others. His cap was 
pulled over his eyes, but the girl felt he had been 
watching her. She recrossed the deck and sat 
down beside him. 

"Will you be glad," she asked him, "when we 
reach Japan?" 

A shadow flitted for a moment across his face 
before he replied. 

"Yes, Miss Ballard, most glad. My country is 



WHO CAN ANALYZE A COQUETTE? 19 

very beautiful, and I wish very much to see my 
home and my relations again." 

"You do not look like most Japanese I have met," 
she said, slowly, studying his face with interest. 
"Your eyes are larger and your features more 
regular." 

"That is very polite that you say," he said. 

The girl laughed. "No! I didn't say it for 
politeness," she protested, "but because it is true. 
You are really very fine looking, as Tom would 
say;" she halted shyly for a moment, and then 
added, "for for a Japanese." 

Takashima smiled. "Some of the Japanese do 
not have very small eyes. Very few of the Kazoku 
class have them. That it is more pretty to have 
them large we do not say in Japan." 

"Then," said the girl, mischievously, "you are 
not handsome in Japan." 

This time Takashima laughed outright. 

"I will try and be modest," he said. "There- 
fore, I will let you be the judge when we arrive 
there. If you think I am, as you say, handsome, 
then shall I surely be." 



20 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER IV. 
THE DANCE ON DECK. 

That evening the decks presented a gala appear- 
ance. On every available place, swung clear across 
the deck, were Japanese and Chinese lanterns and 
flags of every nation. The band commenced play- 
ing even while they were yet at dinner, and the 
strains of music floated into the dining-room, acting 
as an appetizer to the passengers, and giving them 
anticipation of the pleasant evening in store. 
About seven o'clock the guests, dressed in evening 
costume, began to stroll on deck, and as the dark- 
ness slowly chased away the light, the pat of dainty 
feet mingled with the strains of music, the sough 
of the sea and the sigh of the wind. Lighted 
solely by the moon and the swinging lanterns, the 
scene on deck was as beautiful as a fairyland picture. 

Cleo Ballard was not dancing. She was sitting 
back in a sheltered corner with Takashima. Her 
eyes often wandered to the gay dancers, and her 
little feet at times could scarcely keep still. Yet it 
was of her own free will that she was not dancing. 
When she had first come on deck she was soon sur- 
rounded with eager young men ready to be her 
partners in the dance. The girl had stood laugh- 
ingly in their midst, answering this one with saucy 
wit and repartee, snubbing that one (when he 



THE DANCE ON DECK. 21 

deserved it), and looking nameless things at others. 
And as she stood there laughing and talking gayly, 
a girl had passed by her and made some light 
remark. She did not catch the words. A few 
moments after she saw the same girl sitting alone 
with Takashima, and there was a curiously stub- 
born look about Cleo's eyes when she turned them 
away. 

"Don't bother me, boys," she said. "I don't 
believe I want to dance just yet. Perhaps later, 
when it gets dark. I believe I'll sit down for a 
while anyhow." 

She found her way to where Takashima and Miss 
Morton were sitting. Miss Morton was talking very 
vivaciously, and the Japanese was answering 
absently. As Cleo came behind him and rested 
her hand for a moment on the back of his deck- 
chair, he started. 

"Ah, is it you?" he said, softly. "Did you not 
say that you would dance?" 

"It is a little early yet," the girl answered. 
"See, the sun has not gone down yet. Let us 
watch it." 

They drew their deck-chairs quite close to the 
guard-rail, and watched the dying sunset. 

"It is the most beautiful thing on earth," said 
Cleo Ballard, and she sighed vaguely. 

The Japanese turned and looked at her in the 
semi-darkness. 

"Nay! you are more beautiful," he said, and his 
face was eloquent in its earnestness. The girl 
turned her head away. 

8 



22 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Tell me about the women in Japan," she said, 
changing the subject. "Are not they very beau- 
tiful?" 

Takashima's thoughtful face looked out across 
the ocean waste. "Yes," he said slowly; "I have 
always thought so. Still, none of them is as beau- 
tiful as you are or or as kind," he added, 
hesitatingly. 

The man's homage intoxicated Cleo. She knew 
all the men worth knowing on board had known 
many of them in America. She had tired, bored 
herself, flirting with them. It was a refreshment to 
her now to wake the admiration the sentiment of 
this young Japanese, because they had told her he 
always concealed his emotions so skillfully. Not for 
a moment did she, even to herself, admit that it 
was more than a mere passing fancy she had for 
him. She could not help it that he admired her, 
she told herself, and admiration and homage were 
to her what the sun and rain is to the flowers. 
That Takashima could never really be anything to 
her she knew full well; and yet, with a woman's 
perversity, she was jealous even at the thought that 
any other woman should have the smallest thought 
from him. It is strange, but true, that a woman 
often demands the entire homage and love of a man 
she does not herself actually love, and only because 
of the fact that he does love her. She resents even 
the smallest wavering of his allegiance to her, even 
though she herself be impossible for him. It was 
because she fancied she saw a rival in Miss Morton 
that for a moment she became possessed of a wish 



THE DANCE ON DECK. 23 

to monopolize him entirely, so long as she would be 
with him. 

When Miss Morton, who soon perceived that she 
was not wanted, made a slight apology for leaving 
them, Cleo turned and said, very sweetly: "Please 
don't mention it." 



24 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER V. 
HER GENTLE ENEMY. 

Enemies are often easier made than friends. 
Fanny Morton was not an agreeable enemy to 
have. She was one of those women who were con- 
stantly on the look-out for objects of interest. She 
was interested in Takashima, as was nearly every 
one who met him. In the first place, Takashima 
was a desirable person to know; a graduate of 
Harvard University, of irreproachable manners, 
and high breeding, wealthy, cultured, and even 
good-looking. Moreover, the innate goodness and 
purity of the young man's character were re- 
flected in his face. In fact, he was a most desir- 
able person to know for those who were bound for 
the Land of Sunrise. That he could secure them 
the entree to all desirable places in Japan, they 
knew. For this reason if for no other Takashima 
was popular, but it was more on account of the 
genuineness of the young man, and his gentle 
courtesy to every one, that the passengers sought 
him out and made much of him on the steamer. 
And it was partly because he was so popular that 
Cleo Ballard, with the usual vanity of woman, found 
him doubly interesting. In his gentle way he had 
retained all of them as his friends, in spite of the 
fact that he had attached himself almost entirely to 



HER GENTLE ENEMY. 25 

Miss Ballard. On the other hand, the girl had 
suffered a good deal from the malicious jealousy of 
some of the women passengers, who made her a 
target for all their spite and spleen. But she 
enjoyed it rather than otherwise. 

"Most people do not like me as well as you do, 
Mr. Takashima, " she said once. He had looked 
puzzled a moment, and she had added, "That is 
because I don't like everybody. You ought to feel 
flattered that I like you." 

Fanny Morton could not forgive Cleo the half-cut 
of the evening of the hop. A few days afterwards 
she said to a group of women as they lay back in 
their deck-chairs, languidly watching the restless 
waves, "I wonder what Cleo Ballard's little game is 
with young Takashima?" 

She had told them of the conversation on deck, of 
the young Japanese's peculiar familiarity and hom- 
age in addressing her, and of the flowery, though 
earnest, compliments he had paid her. 

"She must be in love with him," one of the party 
volunteered. 

"No, she is not," contradicted an old acquaint- 
ance of Cleo's, "because Cleo could not be in love 
with any one. The girl never had any heart. " 

"I thought she was engaged to Arthur Sinclair, 
and was going out to join him in Tokyo," put in an 
anxious-looking little woman who had spent almost 
the entire voyage on her back, being troubled with 
a fresh convulsion of seasickness every time the sea 
got the least bit rough. It is wonderful what a lot of 
information is often to be got out of one of these 



26 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

invalids. During the greater part of the voyage 
they merely listen to all about them, and, as a rule, 
the rest are inclined to regard them as so many 
dummies. Then, toward the close of the voyage, 
they will surprise 'you with their ^knowledge on a 
question that has never been settled. 

"That is news," said Cleo's old acquaintance, 
sitting up in her chair, and regarding the little 
woman with undisguised amazement. "Who told 
you, my dear?" 

"I thought I heard her discussing it with her 
cousin the other day," the woman answered, with 
visible pleasure that she was now an object of 
interest. 

"My dear," repeated the old acquaintance once 
more, settling her ample form in the canvas chair, 
"really, I must have been stupid not to have 
guessed this. Why, of course, I understand now. 
That was what all that finery meant in Washington, 
I suppose. That is why her mother has been so 
mysteriously uneasy about Cleo's and I must say 
it now outrageous flirtation with the Japanese. 
Every time she has been able to come on deck 
and, poor thing, it has not been often through the 
voyage so far she has called Cleo away from Mr. 
Takashima, and I've even heard her reprove her, 
and remonstrate with her. Well! well!" 

Fanny Morton was smiling as she stole away from 
the party. 



A VEILED HINT. 27 



CHAPTER VI. 
A VEILED HINT. 

Always, after dinner, the young Japanese would 
come on deck, having generally finished his meal 
before most of the others, and rarely sitting through 
the eight or ten courses. Like the rest of his 
countrymen, he was a passionate lover of nature. 
Sunsets are more beautiful at sea, when they kiss 
and mirror their wonderful beauty in the ocean, 
than anywhere else, perhaps. 

Fannie Morton found him in his favorite seat back 
against a small alcove, his small, daintily manicured 
fingers resting on the back of a chair in front of him. 

She pulled a chair along the deck, and sat down 
beside him. 

"You are selfish, Mr. Takashima," she said, "to 
enjoy the sunset all alone." 

"Will you not enjoy it also?" he asked, quite 
gravely. "I like much better, though," he con- 
tinued, seeing that she had come up more to talk 
than to enjoy the sunset, "to look at the skies and 
the water rather than to talk. It is most strange, 
but one does not care to talk as much at sea as on 
land when the evenings advance." 

"And yet," Miss Morton said, "I have often heard 
Miss Ballard's voice conversing with you in the 
evening. ' ' 



28 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

The Japanese was silent a moment. Then he 
said, very simply and honestly, "Ah, yes, but I 
would rather hear her voice than all else on earth. 
She is different to me." 

The girl reddened a trifle impatiently. 

"Most men love flirts," she said, sharply. 

The Japanese smiled quietly, confidently. 

"Yes, perhaps," he said, vaguely, purposely 
misleading her. 

Tom Ballard's hearty voice broke in on them. 

"Well," he said, cheerfully, "thought I'd find 
Cleo with you, Takie, " and then, smiling gallantly 
at Miss Morton, "but really, I see you've got 'metal 
more attractive.' " He winked, and continued, 
"Cousins are privileged beings. Can say lots of 
things no one else dare." 

Fanny Morton's face brightened. She was a 
pretty girl, with pale brown hair, and a bright, 
sharp face. 

"Oh, now, Mr. Ballard, you are flattering. What 
would Miss Cleo say?" 

Tom scratched his head. "She would prove, I 
dare say, that I was a lying. ' ' 

The play on words had been entirely lost on 
Takashima, who had become absorbed in his own 
reveries. Then Miss Morton's sharp words caught 
his ear, and he turned to hear what she was saying. 
She had mentioned the name of an old American 
friend of his, who had gone to Japan some years 
before. 

"I suppose," Miss Morton had said, "she will be 
pretty glad when the voyage is over." She had 



A VEILED HINT. 29 

paused here, and Tom had prompted her with a 
quick query, "Why?" 

"Oh! for Arthur Sinclair's sake," she had 
retorted, and laughingly left them. 

Casually,' Tom turned to Takashima. "Remem- 
ber Sinclair, Takie? Great big fellow at Harvard 
in for all the races rowing everything going in 
fact, all-round fine fellow?" 

"Yes." 

"Nice fellow." 

"Yes." 

"Er Cleo that is, both Cleo and I, are old 
friends of his, you know. ' ' 

Takashima's face was still enigmatical. 

Cleo had had a headache that evening, and had 
returned to her stateroom after dinner. The water 
was rough, and few of the passengers remained on 
deck. Quite late in the evening, Tom went up. 
The sombre, silent figure of the Japanese was still 
there. He had not moved. 

"Past eleven," Tom called out to him, and the 
gently modulated voice of the Japanese answered, 
"Yes; I will retire soon." 



30 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER VII. 
JEALOUSY WITHOUT LOVE. 

The next day Cleo rallied Takashima because he 
was unusually quiet, and asked him the cause. He 
turned and looked at her very directly. 

"Will you tell me, Miss Ballard," he said, "why 
Mr. Sinclair will be so overjoyed that you come tc 
Japan?" 

The abrupt question startled the girl. She 
flushed a violent, almost angry red, and for a 
moment did not reply. Then she recovered herself 
and said: "He is a very dear friend of ours." 

The Japanese looked thoughtfully at her. There 
was an embarrassed flush on her face. Again he 
questioned her very directly, still with his eyes on 
her face. 

"Tell me, Miss Ballard, also, do you flirt only 
with me?" 

Cleo's face was averted a moment. With an 
effort she turned toward him, a light answer on 
the tip of her tongue. Something in the earnest, 
questioning gaze of the young man held her a 
moment and changed her gay answer. Her voice 
was very low : 

"No," she said. "Please don't believe that of 
me." 

She understood that some one had been trying to 



JEALOUSY WITHOUT LOVE. 31 

poison him against her. Her eyes were dewy 
with self-pity, perhaps, for at that moment the 
coquette in her was subdued, and the natural liking, 
almost sentiment, she had for Takashima was para- 
mount. A silence fell between them. Takashima 
broke it after a while to say, very gently: "Will yon 
forgive me, Miss Ballard?" 

"There is nothing to forgive." 

"Ah! yes," said Takashima, sadly, "because I 
have misjudged you so?" His voice was raised in a 
half -question. The girl's eyes were suffused. 

4 ' Let us not talk of it any more, ' ' he continued, 
noticing her distress and embarrassment. "I will 
draw your chair back here and we will talk. What 
will we talk of? Of America of Japan? Of you 
and of myself?" 

"My life has been uninteresting," she said; "let 
us not talk of it to-night, but tell me about yours 
instead. You must have some very pretty remem- 
brances of Japan. Eight years is not such a long 
time, after all." 

4 'No"; that is true, and yet one may become almost 
a different being during that time." He paused 
thoughtfully. " Still, I have many beautiful 
remembrances of my home all my memories, in 
fact, are sweet of it." Again he paused to think, 
and continued slowly: "I will also have beautiful 
memories of America." 

4 'Yes, but they will be different," said the girl, 
"for, of course, America is not your home." 

"One often, though, becomes homesick let us 
call it for a country which is not our own, but 



32 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

where we have sojourned fora time," he rejoined, 
quickly. 

"Then, if Japan is as beautiful as they say it is, I 
will doubtless be longing for it when I return to 
America." 

A flush stole to the young man's eager face. 

"Ah! Miss Ballard, perhaps if you will say that 
when you have lived there a while, I might find 
courage to say that which I cannot say now. I 
would wish first of all to know how you like my 
home." 

The girl put her hands at the back of her head, 
and leaned back in the deck-chair with a sudden 
nervous movement. 

"Let us wait till then," she said, hastily. "Tell 
me now, instead, what is your most beautiful 
memory of Japan?" 

"My pleasantest memory," he said, "is of a little 
girl named Nume. She was only ten years old when 
I left home, but she was bright and beautiful as the 
wild birds that fly across the valleys and make 
their home close by where we lived." 

A flush had risen to the girl's face. She stirred 
nervously, and there was a slight faltering in her 
speech as she said: "Tom once told me of her he 
said you had told him that you had told him you 
were betrothed to her. ' ' 

She had expected him to look abashed for a 
moment, but his face was as calm as ever. 

"I will not know that till I am home. My plans 
are unformed." He looked in her face. "They 
depend a great deal on you," he continued. 



JEALOUSY WITHOUT LOVE. 33 

For a moment the girl's lips half-parted to tell 
him of her own betrothal, but she could not summon 
the courage to do so while he looked at her with 
such confidence and trust; besides, her woman's 
vanity was touched. 

"Tell me about Nume," she said, and there was 
the least touch of pique in her voice. 

"Her father and mine are neighbors, and very 
dear friends. I have known her all my life. When 
she was a little girl I used to carry her on my 
shoulders over brooks and through the woods and 
mountain passes, because she was so little, and I 
was always afraid she would fall and hurt herself. ' ' 

Cleo was silent now. She scarcely stirred while 
the young man was speaking, but listened to him 
with strange interest. Takashima continued: "I 
used to tell her I would some day be her Otto (hus- 
band), and because she was so very fond of me that 
pleased her very much, and when I said so to our 
fathers, it pleased them also." 

The girl was nervously twisting her little hand- 
kerchief into odd knots. She was not looking at 
Takashima. 

"How queer," she said, "that our childhood 
memories are sometimes so clear to us! We so 
often look back on them and think how how 
absurd we were then. Don't you think there is 
really more in the past to regret than anything else?" 

Takashima looked at her in surprise. 

"No," he said, almost shortly, "I have nothing to 
regret." 

"And yet," she persisted, "neither of you was 



34 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

old enough to to care for the other truly." Her 
words were irrelevant, and she knew it. 

"We were inseparable always, ".the young man 
answered. "We were children, both of us, but in 
Japan very often we are always children always 
young in heart." 

Gleo could not have told why she felt the sudden 
overwhelming rebellion against his allegiance to 
Nume, even though she knew only too well that 
Takashima's heart was safe in her own keeping. 
With a woman's perversity and delight in being 
constantly assured of his love for her in various 
ways, in dwelling on it to feed her vanity, and yes, 
in wishing to hear the man who loved her disclaim 
even ridicule one whom in the past he might 
have cared for, she said : 

"Do you love her?" 

"Love?" the Japanese repeated, dwelling softly 
on the word. "That is not the word now, Miss 
Ballard. I have only known its meaning since I 
have met you," he added, gently. 

The girl's heart beat with a pleasurable wildness. 
It was sweet to hear these words from the lips of 
one who hesitated always so deferentially from 
speaking his feelings; from one who a moment 
before had filled her with a fear that, after all, 
another might interest him just as she had done ; for 
coquettes are essentially selfish. 

"You will not marry her?" she questioned, in a 
low voice. 

She could not restrain the almost pleading tone 
that crept into her voice ; for though she kept tell- 



JEALOUSY WITHOUT LOVE. 35 

ing herself that they could never be anything to each 
other, and that she already loved another, yet, 
after all, was she so sure of her heart? The Japanese 
was silent. "That will depend," he said, slowly. 
"It is the wish of our fathers. They have always 
looked forward to it. ' ' His voice was very sad as he 
added : ' ' Perhaps I should grow to love her. Surely, 
I would try, at least, to do my duty to my parents. ' ' 

With a sudden effort the girl rose to her feet. 

"It would be a cruel thing to do," she said, "cruel 
for her and for you. It would be fair to no one. 
You do not love; therefore, you should not marry 
her." Her beautiful eyes challenged him. A wild 
hope crept into the Japanese's heart that the girl 
must surely return his feeling for her, or she would 
not speak so. He was Americanized, and man of 
the world enough, to understand somewhat of these 
things. He purposely misled her, taking pleasure 
in the girl's evident resentment at his marriage with 
Nume. 

' ' I would never marry a man I did not love, ' ' she 
continued. "No! I would have to love him with 
my whole heart. ' ' 

"It is different in Japan," he said, quietly. 
"There we do not always marry for love, but rather 
to please the parents. We try always to love after 
marriage and often we succeed." 

"Your customs are are barbarous, then," Cleo 
said, defiantly. "We in America could not under- 
stand them." 

There was a vague reproach now in her voice. 
The Japanese had risen also. He was smiling, as 



36 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

he looked at the girl. Perhaps she felt uncon- 
sciously the tenderness of that look, for she turned 
her own head away persistently. 

"Miss Ballard," he said, softly, "Miss Cleo I 
do not disagree with you, after all, as you think. 
It is true, as you say there should be no marriage 
without love. ' ' 

"And yet you are willing to follow the ancient 
customs of your country, ' ' she said, half-pettishly 
almost scornfully. 

' ' I did not say that, ' ' he said, smiling. 

"Yes, but you make one believe it," she said. 

"I did not mean to. I wanted only that you 
should believe that it might be so for my father's 
sake, if if the one I did love was impossible to 
me." There was a piercing passion in his voice 
that she had not thought him capable of. 

One of those inexplicable, sudden waves of 
gentleness and tenderness that sometimes sweep 
over a woman, came over her. She turned and 
faced Takashima with a look on her face that would 
have made the coldest lover's heart throb with 
delight and hope. 

"You must be always sure always sure she is 
she is impossible. ' ' 

She was appalled at her own words as soon as 
they were uttered. 

The Japanese had taken a step nearer to her. He 
half held his hands out. 

"I am going below, " she said, with sudden fright, 
"I I indeed, I don't know what I'm talking 
about." 



THE MAN SHE DID LOVE. 37 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE MAN SHE DID LOVE. 

When she reached her stateroom, she threw her- 
self on the couch, being overcome by a sudden 
weakness. She could not understand nor recognize 
herself. It was impossible that she was in love with 
Takashima, for she already loved another ; and yet 
she could not understand why she should feel so 
keenly about Takashima, nor why it hurt her, the 
idea of his caring for any one else. Was it merely 
the selfishness and vanity of a coquette? Cleo could 
scarcely remember a time, since she was old enough 
to understand that man was woman's natural play- 
thing, that she had not thoughtlessly and gayly 
coquetted, flirted and led on all the men who had 
dared to fall in love with her. There was so seldom 
a real pang with her, because she had seldom per- 
mitted any affair to go beyond a certain length. 
That is, almost from the beginning she would let 
them know that her heart was not touched that she 
was merely playing with them, because she could 
not help being a flirt. Then Arthur Sinclair had 
come into her life. As she thought of him a 
wonderful tenderness stole over her face, a tender- 
ness that Takashima had never been able to call 
there. 

It had been a case of love on her side almost from 

4 



38 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

the first night they had met. But with the man it 
was different; and perhaps it was because of the 
fact that he at first had been almost indifferent to 
her, that the girl who had wearied of the over- 
attention of the other men, who had loved her 
unquestioningly, and whose love had been such an 
easy thing to win, specially picked him out as the 
one man to whom she could give her heart. How 
often it happens that she who has been loved and 
courted by every one, should actually love the only 
one who perhaps had been almost indifferent to her ! 
True, Sinclair had paid her a good deal of attention 
from the beginning, but it was because he admired 
her solely on account of her beautiful face, and 
because she was popular everywhere with every one, 
and it touched his vanity that she should single him 
out. 

Later, the girl's wonderful charm had grown on 
him ; and one night when they stood on the conserv- 
atory balcony of her home, when the moon's kindly 
rays touched her head and lighted her face with an 
almost wild beauty, when the perfume of the roses 
in her breast and hair had stolen into his senses, 
and the great speaking eyes told the story of her 
heart, Sinclair had told her he loved her. He had 
told her so with a wild passion ; had told her so at a 
time when, a moment before, he had not himself 
known it. That she was wonderfully beautiful he 
had always known, but he had thought himself 
proof against her. He was not. It came to him 
that night the knowledge of an overmastering love 
for her that had suddenly possessed him a love 



THE MAN SHE DID LOVE. 39 

that was so unexpected and violent in its coming, 
that half of its passion was spent in that one glorious 
first night, when she had answered his passionate 
declaration solely by holding her hands out to him, 
and he had drawn her into his arms. 

Sinclair had returned to his rooms that night 
almost dazed. Did he love her? he asked himself. 
A memory came back of the girl's wonderful 
beauty, of the love that had reflected itself in her 
eyes and had beautified them so. And yet he had 
seen her often so she had always been beautiful, 
but before that he had been unable to call up any- 
thing more than strong admiration of her beauty. 
Was it not that he had drank too much wine that 
night? No! he seldom did that. It was the girl's 
beauty and the knowledge that she loved him that 
had turned his head ; it was the wine too, perhaps, 
and the surroundings, the moonlight, the flowers, 
their fragrance everything combined. And then, 
having thought confusedly over the whole thing, 
Arthur Sinclair had risen to his feet and walked 
restlessly up and down his room because he was 
not sure of his own heart after all. 

Cleo Ballard had known nothing of this struggle 
he had had with himself. After that night he had 
been an ideal lover, always considerate, gentle, 
and tender. The girl's imperious nature had 
melted under the great love that had come into her 
life. She ceased for a timfc to be a coquette. Then 
she was only a loving, tender woman. 

It was hardly a month after this that Sinclair was 
appointed American Vice-Consul at Kyoto, Japan. 



40 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

He had told Cleo very gently of the appointment, 
and they had discussed their future together. It 
meant separation for a time, for Sinclair did not urge 
an early marriage, and Cleo Ballard was perhaps 
too proud to want it. 

"We will marry," Sinclair had said, "when I am 
thoroughly established, when I have something to 
offer you when I can afford to keep my wife as I 
would like to keep you." 

The girl had answered with half -quivering lip: 
"Neither of us is poor now, Arthur;" and Sinclair 
had answered, hastily, "Yes, but I had better make 
a place in the world for myself first get estab- 
lished, you see, dear. We don't need to hurry. We 
have lots of time yet. ' ' 

Cleo had remained silent. 

"When I am settled I will send for you to join 
me, dear," Sinclair had added, "if yon are willing to 
come." 

"Willing!" she had answered, with indignant 
passion. "Oh, Arthur, I am willing to go anywhere 
where you are. ' ' 

Her mother's illness, soon after this, absorbed 
Cleo for a time, so that when Sinclair left her, the 
date of their marriage still remained unsettled. 

That was three years before. Since then the girl 
had kept up an almost constant correspondence with 
Sinclair. His letters were like him, tender and 
loving, almost boyish in their tone of joyousness, for 
Sinclair liked his new home and position so much 
that he wanted to remain there altogether. He 
wrote to Cleo, asking if she would not now come to 



THE MAN SHE DID LOVE. 41 

Japan and judge for them, and if she liked the 
country they would live there altogether; if not 
they would return to America. 

The girl's pride had long been roused in her, and 
but for her love for Sinclair she might have given 
him up long before. But always the overmastering 
love she had for him kept her waiting, waiting on 
for him waiting for him to send for her as he had 
promised he would. It is true, she had grown used 
to his absence, and often tried to console herself 
with the homage and love given by others, but it 
could not be her heart turned always back to the 
man she had loved from the first, and even the little 
flirtations she indulged in were half-hearted. Some- 
times Sinclair's letters showed a trace of haste and 
carelessness, often they were almost cold and per- 
functory. At such times she would plunge into a 
round of reckless gayety, and try to forget for the 
time being her unsatisfied longing and love. And 
now she was on her way to join him. The voyage 
was long, and would have been tedious had it not 
been for Takashima. He gave her a new interest. 
Most of the other passengers she found uninterest- 
ing. Sinclair's last letters, although speaking of 
her trip, and seemingly urging her to come, 
appeared to her, sometimes, almost forced. The 
girl's proud, spoiled heart rebelled. It was with a 
feeling as much of hunger for sympathy and love, 
as of coquetry, that she had started her acquaint- 
ance with Takashima, and now as she lay in the 
narrow little couch in her room, she was asking her 
heart with a sudden fear whether her hunger for 



42 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

love had overpowered her. She was of a passion- 
ate, intense nature. It galled her always that she 
was separated from the man she loved, -r-that she 
could not at once have by her the love he had pro- 
tested he felt for her. She buried her face in the 
pillows and sobbed bitterly. With a passionate 
nervousness, she thrust his picture away from her, 
and tried to think, instead, of Takashima, the gentle 
young Japanese who now loved her not as Sinclair 
had done, with a passion of a moment that swept 
her from her feet, but with deference and respect, 
and yet with as strong a love as she could have 
desired. 



MERELY A WOMAN. 43 



CHAPTER IX. 

MERELY A WOMAN. 

Even a woman in love can put behind her easily, 
for a time, the image of the one she at heart loves, 
when she replaces it with one for whom she cares 
(not, perhaps, in the same wild way as for the 
other, but with a sentiment that is tantamount to a 
flickering, wavering love a love of a moment, a 
love awakened by gentle words and perhaps put 
away from her after she has reasoned it out to her- 
self) ; for it is true that the best cure for love is to try 
to love another. 

Cleo Ballard was not heartless. She was merely 
a woman. That is why, half an hour after she had 
wept so passionately, she was smiling at her own 
beautiful face in the mirror, as she brushed her 
long wavy hair before it. 

She was thinking of Takashima, and of his love 
for her, which he could not summon the courage to 
tell her of, and which she tried always to prevent 
his doing. There was a stubborn, half pettish look 
on her face when she thought of his possible love 
for "the Japanese girl." 

"Even if I cannot be anything to him," she told 
herself, remorselessly, "still, if he does not love her, 
I'm doing both a kindness in preventing his marry- 
ing her. ' ' 



44 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

She paused in her toilet, and sat down a moment 
to think. 

"I can't analyze my own feelings," she said, half- 
fretfully. "I don't see why I should feel so so bad 
at the idea of his his caring for any one else. I 
am not in love with him. That is foolish. A 
woman cannot be in love with two men at once. ' ' 

She smiled. "How strange! I believe it is true, 
though, and yet and yet if it is so how differ- 
ently I care for them!" 

She rose again, and commenced twisting her hair 
up. 

"Oh, how provoking it is! I don't believe there 
are many girls who would admit it and yet it is 
true that we can love one man and be 'in love' with 
another." She pushed the last pin into her hair 
impatiently. "I believe if it were not for the fact 
that he that he might really care for some one 
else I'd give him up now, but somehow, as it is 
Oh! how selfish how mean I am!" She stopped 
talking to herself, and opening the door called out 
to her mother in the next room : 

"Mother dear, are you dressing for dinner yet?" 

The mother's weak voice answered: "No, dear; 
I shall not be at the table to-night. ' ' 

"Oh, mother, I want you with me to-night," she 
said, regretfully, going into her mother's room. 

"You want me with you?" said the mother, with 
mild astonishment. "Why, my dear, I thought 
you usually like being alone or or with Mr. 
er with the Japanese." 

"Not to-night, mother not to-night," she said, 



MERELY A WOMAN. 45 

and put her head down on her mother's neck with a 
half-caress, a habit she had had when a little girl, 
and which sometimes returned to her when in a 
loving mood. 

"I don't understand myself to-night, mother," she 
whispered. 

The peevish, nervous tones of the invalid mother 
repulsed her. 

' ' My dear, do not ruffle my hair so There ! go on 
to the dining-room like a good girl. And do, dear, 
be careful. I am so afraid of your becoming too 
fond of this this Japanese. You are always talk- 
ing about him now, and Tom says you are insepa- 
rable on deck. ' ' 

The girl raised her head, and rose from her 
kneeling posture beside her mother. There was a 
cold glint in her eyes. 

"Really, mother, you need not fear for me," she 
said, coldly. ' ' Tom only says things for the sake of 
hearing himself talk you ought to know better than 
to mind him. ' ' 

"We are so near Japan now," the mother said, 
peevishly, "and we have waited three years. I am 
not strong enough to stand anything like like the 
breaking of your engagement now. My heart is 
quite set on Sinclair, dear you must not disappoint 
me." 

"Mother I ," the girl commenced, in a pained 
voice, but the mother interrupted her to add, as she 
settled back in her pillows, "There, there, my dear, 
don't fly out at me I understand I really can trust 
you." There was a touch of tenderness mingled 



46 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

with the pride in the last hard words: "You always 
knew how to carry your heart, my dear. ' ' 

The girl remained silent for a moment, looking 
bitterly at her mother ; after awhile her face soft- 
ened a trifle. She leaned over her once more and 
kissed the faded face. "Mother, mother you really 
are fond of me, are you not? let us be kinder to 
each other." 



'WATCHING THE NIGHT." 47 



CHAPTER X. 
"WATCHING THE NIGHT." 

It was quite a wistful, sad-faced girl who took her 
seat at the table, and answered, half absently, the 
light jests of some of the passengers. 

Tom's sharp ears missed her usual merry tone. 
He glanced keenly at her, as she sat beside him, 
eating her dinner in almost absolute silence. 

44 What's up, Cleo?" 

"Nothing, Tom." 

"Don't fib, now. You are not in the habit of 
wearing such a countenance for nothing. ' ' 

"I can't help my countenance, Tom, " she rejoined, 
with just a suggestion of a break in her voice. 

Tom looked at her a moment in silence, and then 
delicately turned his head away. After dinner he 
took her arm very affectionately, and they strolled 
out on deck together. 

Takashima was sitting alone, as they came out. 
He was waiting for Cleo, as usual, and had been 
watching the door of the dining-room expectantly. 
Tom drew her off in a different direction from where 
the Japanese was sitting. For a short time they 
walked up and down the deck, neither of them 
speaking a word. Then Tom broke the silence, 
saying carelessly, as he lit a cigar: 

"Mind my smoking, sis?" 



48 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

"No, Tom," the girl answered, looking at him 
gratefully. Instinctively she felt the ready sym- 
pathy he always extended to her, often without 
even knowing her trouble, and seldom asking for 
her confidence. When she was worried or distressed 
about anything, Tom would take her very firmly 
away from every one, and if she had anything to 
tell she usually told it to him ; for since they had 
been little girl and boy together Tom had been the 
recipient of all her woes. When he was a little boy 
of twelve, his father and mother both having died, 
Cleo's father, his uncle, had taken him into his 
family, and the two children had been brought up 
together. After the death of his uncle he had stood 
to the mother and Cleo as father, brother, and son 
in one, and they both became very dependent on 
him. Once in a while when he was feeling excep- 
tionally loving to Cleo he would call her "little sis." 
That night he did so very lovingly. 

"Feeling blue, little sis?" he asked. 

"Yes, Tom." 

Tom cleared his throat. "Er er Takashima?" 

"No, Tom it is not he. It is mother." 

Tom stopped in his walk, and made a half-impa- 
tient exclamation. 

"Oh, Tom, I do want to love her so much but- 
but she won't let me. I mean she is fond of me, 
and and proud, I suppose, but whenever I try to 
get close to her she repulses me in some way. We 
ought to be a comfort to each other, but but there 
is scarcely any -feeling between us." She caught 
her breath. "Tom, I don't know what's the matter 



"WATCHING THE NIGHT." 49 

with me to-night. I I Oh, Tom, I do want a 
little sympathy so much. ' ' 

The young man threw his lighted cigar away. 
He did not answer Cleo, but he drew her little 
hand closer through his arm. After a time the girl 
quieted down, and her voice had lost its restlessness 
when she said: "Dear Tom you are so good." 

They strolled slowly back in the moonlight to 
where Takashima was sitting. He was leaning 
over the railing, watching the dark waves beneath 
in their silvery, shimmering splendor, touched by 
the moon's rays. He turned as Tom called out to 
him: 

"See a a whale, Takie?' 

' ' No ; I was merely watching the the night. ' ' 

Cleo raised her head and smiled at Tom, both of 
them enjoying the Japanese's naive way of answer- 
ing. 

"I was watching the night," he repeated, "and 
thinking of Miss Cleo. We generally enjoy such 
sights together. ' ' 

"Well, to-night I thought I had a lien on her for 
a change," Tom said. "Cleo is too popular to be 
nionopolized by one person, you know." 

The Japanese smiled a happy, confident smile. 
It touched the girl, and she said, impetuously: 
"Tom, it always depends on who has the monopoly. " 

Tom answered with mock sternness: "Very well, 
madam ; I leave you and Takie to the tender mercies 
of each other." 

"Your cousin likes you very much, does he not?" 
the Japanese asked her, as Tom moved away. 



50 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Yes; Tom is the best boy in the world. I don't 
know what I'd do without him." She leaned her 
head against the railing-. His next quiet, meaning 
words startled her: "Would you wish to marry with 
him?" She laughed outright; for she perceived the 
first touch of jealousy he had shown in these words. 

She lifted her little chin in its old saucy fashion. 

' ' No not if Tom was the only man in the world. 
It would be too much like marrying one's brother." 

She smiled at the anxious face of the Japanese. 
He bent over her chair a moment, then he drew 
back and stood against the rail, in a still indecisive 
posture. The girl knew instinctively what he 
wanted to say. Perhaps it was because she was 
tired, and her heart was hungry for a little love, 
that she did not try to prevent him from speaking. 

"This afternoon, Miss Ballard, your words gave 
me courage. Will you marry with me?" he asked. 

The question was so direct she could not evade it. 
She must face it out now. Yet she could find no 
words to answer at first. The effort it had cost the 
Japanese to say this had made him constrained, for 
he had all the pride of a Japanese gentleman ; and 
after all he was not so sure that the girl would 
accept him. He had been told it was customary in 
America to speak to the girl herself before speaking 
to the parents, and it was in a stiff, ceremonious way 
that he did so. He waited silently for her answer. 

"Don't let us talk about about such things," she 
said; and again there was that little break in her 
voice that had been there when Tom had walked 
with her. "Our our friendship has been so 



"WATCHING THE NIGHT." 51 

delightful," she added; "don't let us break it just 
now. " 

For the first time since she had known him there 
was a note of sternness in Takashima's voice. 

"Love should not break friendship," he said. 
"It should rather cement it." 

The wind blew her hair wildly about her face, and 
in her restlessness it irritated her. She put her 
hands up and held back the light, soft curls that had 
escaped. 

"Shall I speak to your mother?" he asked her. 

"No ! No ! " she said, quickly ; ' ' mother has has 
nothing to do with it." 

"Will you not tell me what to expect, then?" 
The sadness of his voice touched the girl's heart, 
bringing the tears to her eyes. 

"I cannot answer yet. Wait till we get to Japan. 
Please wait till then. ' ' 

"I tried to plan ahead," he said, "but you are 
right, Miss Ballard. You will want some time to 
think this over. It will be but five days now before 
we reach Japan. If that you are very kind to me in 
those five days my heart shall take great hope of 
what your answer will be." 



52 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

CHAPTER XL 
AT THE JOURNEY'S END. 

Cleo Ballard could not have told what it was that 
made her so restless, almost feverish, during those 
remaining five days. She knew Takashima had 
meant to ask her to show in some way, during that 
time, just what he might expect. It was almost a 
praj'er to her to spare him, if she knew it was in 
vain. But the girl was possessed, during those 
days, with an almost feverish longing for his com- 
panionship and sympathy. She showed it con- 
stantly when with him ; she would look unspeakable 
longings into his eyes, longings she could not 
understand or analyze herself ; she led him on to talk 
of his plans, and he even told her of some wherein 
he had counted on her companionship-r-how he 
would have a Japanese- American house a home 
wherein both the beauty of Japan and the comfort 
of America would be combined; and of the trips 
they would take to Europe, and the friends they 
would make. He used the word "we" always, in 
speaking, and she never once questioned his right 
to do so. Often she herself grew so interested in his 
plans for the future that she made suggestions, and 
they laughed with light-hearted joyousness at the 
prospect. At the end of the five days Takashima had 
not even a lingering doubt left. 

As the shores of his home came into view, and the 



AT THE JOURNEY'S END. 53 

passengers were all clustered on deck watching the 
speck of land in the offing grow larger and larger as 
they approached it, the young Japanese placed his 
hand firmly on Cleo's so soft and slender and 
said: "Soon we will reach home now your home 
and mine." 

A sudden vague fear crept into the girl's heart. 
She shivered as his hand touched hers, and there 
was a frightened, almost hunted, look in her eyes. 

"Shall I have my answer now?" he continued. 

Again she shivered. "Wait till we are on shore," 
she pleaded, "till we have rested; wait five more 
days I must think I I " 

"Ah, Miss Cleo, yes, I will wait," he said, 
gently. ' ' Surely, I can afford to do so. It is after 
all merely the formal answer I will ask for. These 
last days you have already answered me with your 
beautiful eyes." 

"Tom," the girl said, desperately, as the passen- 
gers were passing from the boat on to the dock 
below, and her cousin was tying the heavy straps 
around their loose baggage, "Oh, Tom I am afraid 
now I am afraid of of Takashima. ' ' 

Tom's usually sympathetic face was almost stern. 
He rose stiffly and looked at the girl remorselessly. 

"I warned you, Cleo," he said; "I told you to be 
careful. You ought to have answered him directly 
five days ago, when he spoke to you. You are the 
greatest moral coward I know. I believe you could 
not summon pluck enough to refuse anybody. 
Don't know how you ever did. It is a wonder you 
are not engaged to a dozen at once." 



54 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XII. 
THOSE QUEER JAPANESE! 

Kyoto is by far the most picturesque city in 
Japan. It is situated between two mountains, with 
a beautiful river flowing through it. It is con- 
nected with Tokyo by rail, but the traveling accom- 
modations are far from being as comfortable or 
commodious as in America; in fact, there are no 
sleeping-cars whatever, so that it is often matter of 
complaint among visitors that they are not as com- 
fortable traveling by rail as they might be. It was 
in Kyoto that Sinclair and, most of the Americans 
who visited Japan lived. Sinclair kept one office in 
Kyoto and another in Tokyo, and being inclined to 
shove most of his light duties on to his secretary, 
went back and forth between the two cities ; in fact, 
he had a house in both places. Tokyo, with its 
immense population and its air of business and 
activity, is yet not so favored by foreigners, nor by 
the better class Japanese, as a place of residence as 
is Kyoto. Indeed, a great many of them carry on 
a business in Tokyo and also keep a house in 
Kyoto. Most of the merchants of Tokyo, however, 
prefer to live in one of the charming little villages 
a few hours' ride by train from Tokyo, on the shores 
of the Hayama, where there is a good view of Fuji- 
Yama, the peerless mountain. And it was almost 



THOSE QUEER JAPANESE! 55 

under the shadow of this mountain that Takashima 
Orito and Nume had played together as children. 

The Ballards took up their residence for the time 
being in the city of Tokyo, at an American hotel, 
where most of the other passengers who had arrived 
with them were staying. Arthur Sinclair had 
failed to meet them at the boat, though he sent in 
his place his Japanese secretary, who looked after 
their luggage for them, hailed jinrikishas, and saw 
them comfortably settled at the hotel, apologizing 
profusely for the non-appearance of Sinclair, and 
explaining that he had gone up to Kyoto the 
previous day, and had been delayed on important 
business. 

When they were alone in their rooms the mother 
sank in a chair, complaining bitterly that Sinclair 
had failed to meet them. ' 

"I will never get used to this this strange 
place," she said, with her chronic dissatisfaction. 
"I won't be able to stay a week here. How could 
Arthur Sinclair have acted so outrageously? I shall 
tell him just how I feel about it. " 

"Mother," Cleo turned on her almost fiercely, 
"you will say nothing to him. If he had something 
more important to attend to if he did not want to 
come we do not want him to put himself out for 
us we do not care if he does not.." Her voice 
reflected her mother's bitterness, however, and 
belied her words. 

"He was always thoughtful," said Tom, laying 
his hand consolingly on his aunt's shoulder. "Come 
now, Aunt Beth, everything looks comfortable here 



56 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

and I'm sure after we once get over the oddity of 
our surroundings we will find it quite interesting." 

"It is interesting, Tom," said Cleo, from a win- 
dow, "the streets are so funny outside. They are 
narrow as anything, and there are signboards every- 
where. " 

Mrs. Ballard looked helplessly about the room. 

"Tom, what do you suppose they will give us to 
eat? I have heard such funny tales about their 
queer cooking chicken cooked in molasses, and 
and raw fish and " 

"Mother," put in the girl, impatiently, "this 
hotel is on the American plan. The little bell-boys 
and servants, of course, are Japanese but every- 
thing will be as much like what we have at home as 
they can make it. ' ' 

Both the mother and daughter were out of 
patience with everything and were tired, the mother 
being almost hysterical. Tom went over to her and 
tried to calm her down, talking in his easy, consoling 
way on every subject that would take her mind off 
Sinclair. After a time Mrs. Ballard's nervousness 
had quieted down, and she rested, her maid sitting 
beside her fanning her gently, while Tom and Cleo 
unpacked what luggage they had had in their state- 
rooms with them, their other trunks not having 
arrived. The girl was feeling more cheerful. 

"When I go back to America," she said, "I 
believe I'll take a little Japanese maid with me. 
They are so neat and amusing." 

Tom looked at her gravely. ' ' I thought you con- 
templated making your home here?" he quizzed. 



THOSE QUEER JAPANESE! 57 

"Perhaps I will," the girl said, saucily, "perhaps 
I won't. It depends on whether my mind changes 
itself." 

"Hum!" 

"Remember Jenny Davis, Tom?" 

"Well, I guess so; never saw you alone when 
she was in Washington. ' ' 

"Well, she brought home with her the sweetest 
little Japanese maid you ever saw. She used to be 
a a geesa girl in Tokyo, and the people she 
worked for were horrid to her. So Jenny paid them 
some money and they let her bring a Fuka with 
her to America. Well, I wish you could have seen 
her. She wasn't bigger than that, Tom," measur- 
ing with her hand, "and she was just as cute as 
an)*thing, walks on her heels, and smiles at you 
even when you are offended with her, Jenny says." 

"Where is Mrs. Davis now?" Tom asked. 
"Thought I heard some one say she had come back 
here." 

"So she did. She is somewhere in Japan now. 
Last time I heard from her she was in Kyoto. I 
wrote her, care of Arthur though, because she 
moves around so much, and I told her we 'were 
coming. I half expected she would meet us." 
After thinking a moment she added, "Tom, do you 
know, there was not a single American to meet us? 
I think mamma is right (though I won't tell her so), 
and that Arthur acted abominably in not meeting 
us. It doesn't matter what business he had he 
should have left it. He might at least have sent a 
a friend to meet us, instead of that smooth 



58 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

Japanese. Mrs. Davis says there is a perfect Amer- 
ican colony here, and in Yokohama and Kyoto they 
are scattered everywhere, and Arthur knows them 
all, and most of them know we are to be married." 

"Sinclair's hands, I guess, are pretty full most of 
the time. Every American nearly that comes here 
pounces onto him. He wrote me once that he had a 
different party to dinner nearly every day at the 
Consulate when he is in Kyoto, and I guess that is 
why the poor chap likes to run down here where 
every tourist does not throw himself at him. Sin- 
clair never was a good a business man. Don't 
believe he has any idea of the responsibility of his 
work. Believe he'd just as lief throw it up, any- 
how." 

But, though Tom stood up for his friend, even 
he could not help feeling in himself that the girl 
was justly indignant. 



TAKASHIMA'S HOME-COMING. 59 



CHAPTER XIII. 
TAKASHIMA'S HOME-COMING. 

Takashima had left the Americans at the dock. 
He had offered the Ballards every courtesy, even 
inviting them to go with him to his home. This, 
however, they refused, and as it had been so long 
since he had been in Japan he was almost as much a 
stranger to his surroundings as they were ; so he left 
them to the care of Sinclair's secretary, feeling con- 
fident that he would show them every attention, 
telling them that he would call on them the next 
day. He realized that they felt a trifle strange, and 
wanted, in his generous, gentle way, to make them 
feel at home in Japan. Two old Japanese gentle- 
men who stood on the dock, peering eagerly among 
the passengers as they passed down the gangway, 
now paused before him. Both were visibly affected, 
and the one who called his name so gently and 
proudly trembled while he did so. 

' ' Orito, my son. ' ' 

"My father," the young man" answered, speaking, 
impulsively, in pure Japanese. With one old man 
holding each of his arms he moved away. Cleo 
looked after them, her beautiful eyes full of tears. 

"It is his father," she had said. "They have not 
seen each other for eight years." Her voice fal- 
tered a trifle. "The other one must be her 
father." 



60 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
AFTER EIGHT YEARS. 

It was with mingled feelings of pleasure and, per- 
haps, pain that Takashima Orito saw his home once 
more. The place had scarcely changed since he had 
left it eight years before. It seemed to him but a 
day since he and Num had played on the shores of 
the Hayama, and had gathered the pebbles and 
shells on the beach. He remembered how Num 
would follow him round wherever he went, how 
implicitly she believed in him. Surely, if he lived 
to be a hundred years old never would such confi- 
dence be placed in him again the sweet, unques- 
tioning confidence of a little child. After dinner 
Orito left his father and Omi to go outside the house 
and once more take a look at the old familiar scenes 
of his boyhood; once more to see Fuji-Yama, the 
wonderful mountain that he had known from his 
boyhood, and of which he had never tired. There 
it stood in its matchless lonely peace and splendor, 
its lofty peaks meeting the rosy beams of the vivid 
sky, snow-clad and majestic. Ah! the same weird 
influence, the same inexplicable feeling it had 
always produced in him had come back now, and 
filled his soul with an ardent, yearning adoration. 
Every nerve in the young man bespoke a passionate 
artistic temperament. Many a time when in Amer- 



AFTER EIGHT YEARS. 61 

ica, wearied with studying a strange people, strange 
customs, and a strange God, his niind had reverted 
to Fuji-Yama Fuji-Yama, the mount of peace, and 
in his heart would rise an uncontrollable longing to 
see it once more, for it is said that no one who is 
born within sight of Fuji-Yama ever forgets it. 
Though he might roam all the world over, his foot- 
steps inevitably turn back to this spot. Standing 
majestically in the central part of the main island, 
snow-clad and solitary, surrounded by five lakes, it 
rises to the sublime altitude of 12,490 feet. It is 
said that its influence is almost weird that those 
who gaze on it once must always remember it. 
They are struck not so much by its grandeur as by 
its wonderful simplicity and symmetry. It is sug- 
gestive of all the gentler qualities ; it is symbolic of 
love, peace, and restfulness. 

Orito remained outside the house for some time, 
his face turned in mute adoration to the peerless 
mountain, no sound escaping his lips. When his 
father joined him he said, with a sigh: "Father, 
how came I ever to leave my home?" 

The old man beamed on hint, and leaned against 
his shoulder. 

"Ah, my son, it pleases me much that you have 
found no spot more beautiful than your home. 
Most long have the days been without you. Tell 
me somewhat of your life in America. ' ' 

"My father," the young man answered, "the 
world outside my home is turbulent and full of a 
restlessness that consumes the vitality of man and 
robs him of all peace." He pointed towards the 



62 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

mountain: "Here is rest, peace Nirvana, rest 
from the pulse of the wild world. ' ' 

The old man looked uneasy. "But, my son, 
surely you do not regret your travel?" 

"No, father," said Orito. "Life is too short tor 
regrets. It is folly to regret anything. Here in 
this land, where all is so beautiful, we sleep per- 
haps a delicious, desirable sleep ; but though there 
be beauty all about us, all that the heart could 
desire, the foolish heart of man still is not content. 
We cannot understand this restlessness that makes 
us want to leave the better things of life and go out 
into the world of sorrow, to leave beauty and rest 
behind us, and exchange it for a life of excitement, 
of shams and unrealities." 

Old Sachi looked frightened at his son's words. 
He did not quite comprehend them, however. The 
son seemed to perceive this, and changed the sub- 
ject quickly. 

"Where is Nume, my father? I have not yet seen 
her. She must surely be a young lady now. " 

Once more the old man's face lighted up with 
pride and interest. 

"I thought you would be tired after your long 
voyage, and would not care so much to see any one 
but your father. Therefore, when she desired to 
visit her American friends her father permitted her 
to do so." He smiled at his son. "You will see her 
to-morrow. She is now a young maiden, and you 
will not know her at first." 

"No perhaps not," the young man said, sadly. 
"I can think of her only as the little wild plum bios- 



AFTER EIGHT YEARS. 63 

som of ten years. I shall not care for her as well 
now that she is a perhaps polite maiden of eight- 
een." 

"You should rather like her better, now that she 
is a beautiful maiden instead of a mere baby, for it 
is the nature of man to prefer the woman to the 
child." 

"Yes, I understand, father, but it is so many 
years since I have seen a Japanese girl, and I have 
grown more used to the American woman." 

A shrewd look crept into the old man's face. 

"Omi and I thought of that long ago, and for that 
reason we encouraged her to be with the Americans 
greatly, so that she has learned to speak their 
tongue, and often becomes almost as one of them. ' ' 

' ' But, father, I would not wish her to be an Amer- 
ican lady. She could not be you cannot make a 
Japanese girl into an American girl. She would be 
more charming solely as a Japanese maid." 



64 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XV. 

NUME. 

The American lady with whom Nume was staying 
was the Mrs. Davis of whom Cleo Ballard had 
spoken. She had rented one of the houses that 
eight years before the foreigners had lived in. 
They had at that time filled the house with Ameri- 
can furniture, so that when Mrs. Davis came to look 
at it, it had presented so familiar and homelike an 
appearance that she had rented it at once. She had 
lived there for some months now. In fact, as she 
was popular and always the centre of gay parties of 
foreigners, quite a small colony of Americans and 
English people had settled in that vicinity, which 
was within easy reach of Tokyo, and, indeed, only a 
day's journey from Kyoto. They had rented 
houses and land from Omi and Sachi, who cultivated 
them constantly because of their son. Mrs. Davis' 
husband was a large silk merchant in Tokyo, and they 
had practically made their home in Japan, though 
they often took trips to America and Europe. 

Ever since Orito had left Japan Nume had lived a 
retired, reserved life. Although but a child at the 
time, she was of a peculiarly staunch and intense 
nature, and for many years after Orito had been 
gone, she clung to the memory of the happy days 
she had spent with him, and looked forward con- 



NUME. 65 

stantly to his return. With the usual unquestioning 
content of a Japanese girl, she. was ready to marry 
whoever her father chose for her, so long as he was 
not repugnant to her; and as they had already 
decided on Orito, the girl took it as a matter of 
course that she would some day be his wife. As 
she had only pleasant memories of him, her mar- 
riage was looked forward to almost with delight, and 
until the day before Orito 's return there had not 
been a pang of fear or regret. She had not been 
thrown into the society of young men, and knew 
very little of them. Orito's letters to her, although 
formal in tone, always were tender and kind, and 
spoke of the happy days they had spent together, 
and which he said would be renewed when he was 
once more in Japan. 

When the Americans had settled so near her 
home, the girl had gone out curiously among them, 
studying their strange manners and customs, learn- 
ing to speak their language, and often even dressing 
in their costume, to the amusement of her father, 
Sachi, and the Americans. They had sought her 
out in the beginning because of her extraordinary 
beauty; for, living on her father's land, they 
naturally often came across her either with her 
father or roaming alone with her maid in the fields. 
At first the child was inclined to resent any over- 
tures on their part, because of an unaccountable 
jealousy she cherished toward them ever since Orito 
had gone to America. But after a time her better 
sense had triumphed, and soon she became a famil- 
iar figure in their midst. 



66 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

It is true that most of these foreigners stayed only 
a short time there, and moved around constantly, 
but as fast as they went others came, and the girl 
soon got used to them. Although she had received 
the best education possible for a girl in Japan, yet 
she had traveled very little, her father taking her 
once in a while on a flying trip to Kyoto and Tokyo. 
But her knowledge of the outside world was gained 
entirely through her acquaintance with the Ameri- 
cans, and often she sighed for a larger life than the 
one she had known. She would ask her father con- 
stantly to permit her to go away on trips with the 
Americans, but though he encouraged her always to 
cultivate them, yet he never would permit her to go 
away with them, even on a short trip to Yokohama. 

Omi was perhaps a trifle more limited and nar- 
row than Sachi, and more regarded the etiquette 
of his class. Sachi had always been inclined to take 
the lead in most things, and Omi was always will- 
ing to be guided by him. Thus it happened that 
Omi had perhaps as much love for Orito as his 
father had, and even thought more of him than he 
did of Nume, who was only a girl. 

Orito and Nume were the only children either of 
the old men had had, and, moreover, both of their 
mothers had died many years ago. 

When Mrs. Davis had settled there about six 
months before, "she had brought letters with her 
from Takashima Orito, whom she had met in 
America, commending her to the hospitality of his 
father and Omi. With her quick, gay manners, her 
beautiful and odd dresses, her frank good-nature, 



NUME. 67 

she dazzled and was a puzzle always to the old men 
and to Nume. Moreover, she was a wealthy 
woman, and had rented the most exquisite of all the 
houses owned by Sachi. She took a great liking to 
Nume almost at once, and the girl returned it. She 
would walk into Omi's house in the most insinuating 
manner in the world, captivate the old man with her 
wit and grace, and carry off Nume right under his 
nose, even though he had told her of his resolve to 
keep his daughter in seclusion until her marriage. 
She would say to him "Well, now, you know, Mr. 
Watanabe, I am different. I knew dear Mr. 
Takashima so well in America, and I am sure he 
would like Nume and me to be good friends, eh, 
Nume?" And when she was alone with the girl and 
out of sight of the old man, she would say, with a 
confident shake of her head: "Just wait, my dear; 
soon I'll have things so that you can come and go as 
you like. ' ' 

She did not speak vainly. Soon she had taken the 
two old men by storm, so that she could have 
twisted them round her own shrewd little finger. 



68 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XVI. 
AN AMERICAN CLASSIC. 

The day before Orito was to arrive home Nume 
had crossed the rice fields and gone to the American 
lady's house. 

"I have felt so nerviss," she said, with her pretty 
broken English, "that I come stay with you, Mrs. 
Davees. " 

"What are you nervous about, dear?" Mrs. Davis 
asked, kissing the girl's pretty, troubled face. 

Nume slipped down from the chair Mrs. Davis had 
placed for her, and sat on the floor instead, restino- 
her head against the older woman's knee. 

"Orito will return to-morrow," she said, simply. 
"I am so joyed I am nerviss." 

The American lady's sweet blue eyes were moist. 

"Do you love him, sweetheart?" 

The girl raised wondering eyes to her. 

"Luf? Thad is so funny word Ess I luf," she 
said. 

'And you have not seen him for eight years? 
And you were only ten years old when you last saw 
him? My dear, I don't understand I can't 
believe it." 

The girl raised a wistful face to her. 

"Nume nod unerstan', too," she said. 

"Of course you don't, dear. Nume, I wish your 



AN AMERICAN CLASSIC. 69 

father would let me take you away for a time. It is 
a shame to tie you down already, before you have 
had a chance to see anything or any one, hardly. 
You aren't a bit like most Japanese girls. I don't 
believe you realize how pretty how very, very lovely 
and dainty and sweet you are. Sometimes when I 
look at your face I can't realize you are a Japanese 
girl. You are so pretty." 

"Bud the Japanese girl be pretty," Nume said, 
with dignity; "pretty more than Americazan girl," 
she added, defiantly. 

Mrs. Davis laughed. "Yes, they are I suppose, 
some of them, but then an American can't always 
understand their style of beauty, dear. You are 
different. Your face is lovely it is a flower a 
bright tropical flower. No! It is too delicate for 
a tropical flower it is like your name you are 
a wild plum blossom. Sometimes I am puzzled 
to know when you look best in the sweet, soft 
kimona or or in a regular stylish American gown ; 
then I couldn't tell you were anything but an 
American girl ; no, not an American girl you are 
too pretty even for that you are individual just 
yourself, Nume." 

"The Americazan lady always flatter, "the girl 
said, rising to her feet, her face flushed and troubled. 
"Japanese girl flatter too; Japanese girl tell you she 
thing' you vaery pritty but she nod mean. Tha's 
only for polite. Thad you thing me pretty tha's 
polite. ' ' 

This speech provoked a hearty laugh from a gentle- 
man reading a batch of letters at a small table. 
e 



70 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"There's a lesson for you, Jenny. She can't jolly 
you, eh, Nume?" 

"Nume nod unerstan' to jolly, ' ' the girl answered. 

"Come here, Nume, and I'll tell you," he called 
across to her. She went over to his side, her little 
serious face watching him questioningly. 

"A jollier is an American classical word, Num 
a jollier is one who jollies you." 

"Nume nod unerstan', still." 

Mrs. Davis drew Nume away from him. 

"Leave her alone, Walter," she said, reprovingly; 
and then to the girl: "Nume, you must not believe 
a thing he tells you. ' ' 

Walter Davis laid his paper-cutter down. 

"Madam, are you teaching that young girl to lose 
faith in mankind already?" 

Mrs. Davis answered by placing her little hand 
over his mouth and looking at him with her pretty 
blue eyes so full of reproach that he pulled her down 
beside him. They had been married only a little 
over eighteen months. 

"Here is the literal translation of the word 
'jolly,' " he said to Nume. "Now, I want Mrs. 
Davis to be in a good humor, so .1 squeeze her up 
and tell her she is the darlingest little woman in the 
world. ' ' 

Still the girl's face was troubled. She looked at 
the husband and wife a moment; then she said, 
very shyly: "Nume lig' to jolly, too." 

Mrs. Davis pushed her husband's arm away. 

"Don't use that word it is ugly. Walter is full 
of slang. " 



AN AMERICAN CLASSIC. 71 

"Ess, bud," she persisted, "z/ thad the 'jolly' 
means to be //, then I Kg' thad liddle word." 

"But you must not use the word, dear." 

When Nume had gone to bed for the night, and 
husband and wife were alone together, Mrs. Davis 
reproached her husband. 

' ' Really, Walter, I wish you would not teach that 
poor little thing such a a wicked things or or 
that awful slang. First thing we know she will be 
using it seriously. You have no idea how quickly 
she catches on to the smallest new word, and she 
will ask more questions about it, if it catches her 
fancy, than a child of three. ' ' 

"That's her charm, my dear," the man answered. 
"Ought to encourage it, Jen." 

"She does not need that kind of a charm. She is 
a charm all by herself. Every movement she makes 
is charming, every halting word, her own strange/ 
sweet beauty. She is irresistible, Walter. You 
remember that Englishman who stayed over at the 
Cranstons'? Well, you know what a connoisseur of 
beauty every one thought him. You ought to have 
heard him after he had seen Nume. He was 
simply wild about her called her a dainty piece of 
Dresden china a rose and lily and cherry blossom 
in one. ' ' 

"Did he tell Nume so?" 

4 ' No, he didn't get the chance. He made the awful 
blunder of telling her father so. He (Mr. Wata- 
nabe) disagreed very politely with him said his 
daughter was augustly homely, and wouldn't let the 
poor little thing out of his sight for a month after. 



72 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

Really, Walter, you needn't chuckle over it, for 
Nume suffered dreadfully about it. If you won't 
laugh I'll tell you what she said to me afterwards, 
though I believe it was you, yourself, )^ou wretch, 
who taught her the words. I told her how sorry I 
was that the Englishman had been so stupid ; because 
she had told us never to praise her to her father and 
at any rate not to let any gentleman do so. Well, I 
half apologized to her, because, you know, I had taken 
him to their house, and she said, 'Nume not lig' 
Egirisu' (Englishman) 'he cot-tarn.' I know she 
did not know what the word meant, poor little 
thing, and I spent half a day explaining to her 
why it was not proper to use such an expression. 
Yes, you can laugh you wicked thing but really, 
Walter, I won't let that child listen to you any 
longer. ' ' 

Mrs. Davis left her husband almost in convulsions 
over this, and stole on tiptoe to the girl's room. 
She was sleeping without a pillow under her head. 
Beside her on the bed was a small English-Japanese 
dictionary. Mrs. Davis picked it up and glanced at 
a page which was turned over. It was a page of the 
letter J. Towards the bottom of the page was the 
word "jolly," with the interpretation, "to be merry 
gay." 

Her husband's definition had been unsatisfactory 
to Nume, and she had looked it up in her little 
dictionary. 



"STILL A CHILD." 73 



CHAPTER XVII. 
"STILL A CHILD." 

The next day Nume seemed strangely loath to 
return home. For eight long years the girl had 
thought almost constantly of Orito and their mar 
riage which had always seemed so far away. Now 
that he had come home, and the marriage seemed 
but a matter of a few weeks, she was seized with a 
sudden fear and dread of she knew not what. Long 
after she had finished breakfast she still lingered 
with the Davises, and though once or twice she had 
gone restlessly to the door and looked out across the 
fields toward where her own home was, she seemed 
in no hurry to leave. Finally Mrs. Davis had 
spoken to her, and asked if she did not think they 
would be expecting her. Nume clung to the Amer- 
ican lady's hands with a sudden terror. 

"Nume is still nerviss, " she said. 

"Shall I go back with you, dear?" 

"No; let me stay with you." 

About eleven in the morning, however, Orito 
walked through the rice fields and came himself to 
bring her home. Mrs. Davis saw him alone first, 
and after they had exchanged greetings and talked 
for a time of their mutual friends in America, she 
told him of the girl's agitation and how, at the last 
moment, she had broken down. The young man 



74 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

appeared to be very much concerned, and begged 
Mrs. Davis to tell Nume that she had nothing what- 
ever to fear from meeting him. So Mrs. Davis 
went into the next room to fetch Nume. She put 
her arm round the girl and drew her gently into the 
room where Orito was. Nume did not raise her 
eyes to look at him. He, on the other hand, looked 
at her very keenly, taking note of every sweet out- 
line of her face and form. To please his father he 
had resumed the Japanese costume, and now, 
dressed in his hakama, he looked every inch a 
Japanese gentleman, and should not have alarmed 
Nume so seriously. Yet his manners had lost some 
of the old Japanese polish, and as he crossed to her 
side and lifted her little hand to his lips, it seemed 
more the act of a foreigner than that of a Japanese. 

At the light touch of his lips on her hand Nume's 
confidence returned. She smiled, shyly, at him. 
Orito was the first to speak. 

"You are not much changed, Nume," he said. 
"You look just as I expected you would and and 
you are still a child." 

Nume opened her little fan, and then closed it 
with a swing. 

"And you, I thing you so changed that you must 
be Americazan," she said, shyly. 

They sat and talked very politely to each other for 
some time, neither of them alluding to their pro- 
posed marriage ; in fact, both of them seemed anx- 
ious to steer away from the subject altogether. 
Orito addressed her in Japanese, but she, with a 
strange wish to show off to him her pitifully limited 



STILL A CHILD. 75 

knowledge of the language of which she was 
extremely proud, answered him in English. 

Mrs. Davis drew Nume into the next room, before 
she left, and raising her little flushed face, looked 
down into her eyes as though she would fain have 
discovered what was going on in her little heart. 

"Are you disappointed, dear?" 

"No ; me? I am vaery joyous, ' ' the girl answered, 
candidly. 



^6 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 
THE MEETING. 

How different was the meeting between Cleo 
Ballard and Arthur Sinclair! He had traveled over 
night from Kyoto, and because there were no sleep- 
ing accommodations on the train he had passed a 
very uncomfortable night. Consequently, when he 
arrived in Tokyo the next morning he was in any- 
thing but a happy frame of mind. He had gone 
directly to the hotel, and had followed his card to the 
Ballards' suite of rooms. Mrs. Ballard was ill, as 
usual. Tom had gone out, and Cleo was waiting 
alone for him. She had slept very little through 
the night, and there were dark shadows under her 
eyes. She had stayed awake thinking of Sinclair, 
and of his unkindness in failing to meet them. One 
moment she thought of him bitterly, and of his 
seeming indifference to her, the next her mind was 
thrilled with the wonder and tenderness of her love, 
which lost sight of his every fault. And now his 
little card lay in her hand, and her heart was beat- 
ing to suffocation, for the footsteps that she knew so 
v>rell, the tall, athletic figure, and the deep voice she 
had learned to adore. She had tried to steel herself 
for this meeting, telling herself that she ought to 
punish him for failing to meet her, but as his tall fig- 
ure loomed up beside her she forgot everything save 
that she loved him loved him better than all else on 
earth, that she had come thousands of miles to be 



THE MEETING. 77 

with him, and that she would never leave him again. 
For a moment neither of them spoke. They looked 
at each other, the one with hungry, yearning love, 
the other with keen scrutiny, together with an hon- 
est endeavor to call up some of the old passion he 
had once had for her. 

The girl's voice was almost frantic: 

"Why don't you speak to me, Arthur; have you 
ceased to to love me?" 

"Why of of course not, Cleo." 

She went close to him and put her hands on his 
shoulder, looking into his fine, fair face with 
beseeching, beautiful eyes. What man could have 
resisted her, whether he loved her or not? Sin- 
clair's arms closed about her, and somewhat of the 
old passion did return as he kissed her, and held her 
there. But she had broken down, and was sobbing 
pitifully, hysterically, in his arms. 

"Why, Cleo, what is the matter, dear?" 

He drew her to a small lounge and sat down with 
her, putting his arm affectionately about her, and 
drawing her close to him. 

"Oh, I don't know," she sobbed; "but I I Oh, 
Arthur, I thought all sorts of awful things about 
you. That you that you did not love me that you 
did not want me to come and and but I know it 
is not true, now and you will forgive me?" 

She waited for his denial, almost longing to hear 
him reprove her because her fears were unfounded. 
Instead, he merely kissed her, saying she was a 
foolish little girl. 

After Cleo had quieted down a little she began to 



?8 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

tell him of different home matters which she 
thought would interest him ; but after listening for 
a while to his monosyllabic answers she stopped 
talking and turned her head away with the old pique 
and distrust. The distrust or pain of one we love 
very dearly cuts like a knife and wrings the heart, 
but where we do not love it irritates. It had always 
been so with Sinclair. When, during their engage- 
ment in America, the girl had shown resentment or 
anger against him for any cause, it had always had 
the effect of making him nervous, sometimes almost 
unkind. On the other hand, when she had put her 
entire trust in him, believed in and loved him 
unquestioningly, he seldom could find the heart to 
undeceive her. Now, as he looked at her pained, 
averted face, he felt only a vague weariness, almost 
a dislike for her. There was a touch of impatience 
in his voice: "What is the matter now, Cleo?" 

"Nothing," the girl answered, proudly. "Only I 
thought perhaps you'd rather not hear me talk. 
You do not answer when I ask you anything, and I 
don't think you even hear what I say." 

"Don't let us quarrel already, Cleo." 

The girl melted. "No!" she said; and her feel- 
ings choked her. 

"How is your mother?" he asked, mechanically. 

She rose from beside him. "Come and see 
mother, Arthur. She is not at all well, and was 
quite put out about your not meeting us. ' ' 

They passed into the mother's room together, and 
Sinclair was soon forced to listen to the querulous 
reproaches of the invalid. 



THE MEETING. 79 



CHAPTER XIX. 
CONFIDENCES. 

A few days later the Davises, together with sev- 
eral other Americans, swooped down, en masse, on 
Cleo, and she soon found herself surrounded by old 
acquaintances and friends. Mrs. Davis had heard 
of her arrival from Takashima, and had come to her 
at once. The two friends had so much to say to 
each other that Cleo was in a happy frame of mind. 
Sinclair had spent the former day entirely with her, 
and had been as tender and thoughtful as of old. 
After the first constraint had worn off and they had 
grown more used to each other, and the man had 
settled the matter with himself that she was the 
woman with whom he was to spend the rest of his 
life, he had called up all the gentleness and tender- 
ness he could summon. If it was a poor substitute 
for love, it was, nevertheless, more welcome to the 
hungry heart of the girl than the indifference she 
had fancied she had detected, and which she now 
told herself was imaginary. 

"My dear," said Mrs. Davis, "you must come and 
spend a few days with me at my house. I have 
such a pretty place quite a little way from the city, 
and in the most charming spot imaginable. The 
house is large enough, almost, to be one of our own. 
I had wings built onto it after I had been there 



8o MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

awhile, and really, it is so much more comfortable 
and homelike than the hotel. ' ' 

"Indeed, I will come," Cleo answered. "Jenny 
I want to see everything there is to see here: You 
know Arthur likes the country, and has an idea he'd 
like to settle here altogether. He says, however, it 
depends on me and I want to see lots of the place 
before I decide. I do hope I will like it, for his 
sake." 

"You certainly will get to like it." 

"Yes, but I'm afraid I shall get lonely for Amer- 
ica and Americans. ' ' 

"No, you won't, Cleo, because there are scores of 
Americans here, to say nothing of tourists from all 
over Europe. In fact, I intend giving a big party 
in your honor, my dear. We haven't had one here 
for oh, for ages ! We could invite all the Japanese 
we know, and all the Americans and English worth 
knowing. ' ' 

So the two friends chatted on, turning from one 
subject to another. At one time they had been 
almost inseparable, and confided in each other on all 
subjects. Hence, it was not surprising that Mrs. 
Davis, with characteristic familiarity and bon- 
camaraderie, should dash into the subject of Cleo's 
marriage. 

"When is it to be, my dear?" she asked. "Sin- 
clair is a splendid catch. Every one thinks worlds 
of him here, and well, he is charming as far as his 
own personality goes. ' ' 

Cleo was silent a moment. Then she said, 
abruptly: "Jenny, sometimes I fear that Arthur 



CONFIDENCES. 81 

does not actually love me. I do not know why I 
should think so. He is always so kind to me. I 
suppose I am foolish." 

"Of course you are. Why, Cleo, it would be a 
a perfect tragedy if he did not it would be 
dreadful. ' ' 

The girl sighed. Her words were halting, for she 
hesitated to ask even her closest friend such a ques- 
tion: "Does he has he paid any one here much 
a attention?" 

"No, indeed. He doesn't like Japanese women 
much he told me so himself. Says they are all 
alike. That they haven't any heart. " 

"Is it true?" 

"Well, dear, I don't know. It is not true of all of 
them, at any rate. There is one girl I know who is 
the dearest, best-hearted little thing in the world. 
Cleo, she is the sweetest thing you ever saw. I 
won't attempt to describe her to you, because I am 
not a poet, and it would take a poet to describe 
Nume." 

"Nume?" 

"Yes Mr. Takashima's little sweetheart, you 
know. Ever heard him speak of her?" 

Cleo Ballard had become suddenly very still and 
quiet. The other woman rattled on, without wait- 
ing for an answer. 

' ' She has waited for him eight years, and and I 
actually believe she still loves him. She seems to 
take it as a matter of course that she loves him, 
and doesn't see anything strange at all in her doing 
so, in spite of the fact that she was just a little girl 



82 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

when he went away. ' ' She paused a moment, smil- 
ing thoughtfully. "Really, Cleo, it is the prettiest 
thing in the world to see them together. He is 
rather stiff and formal, but just as gentle and polite 
as anything, and she, poor little creature, thinks he 
is the finest thing alive." 

Cleo Ballard caught her breath with a sudden 
pain. She had grown quite white. "Jenny, don't 
let's talk of of the Japanese now. I I don't care 
for them much. ' ' 

"Don't care for them! Why, you must get over 
any feeling like that if you intend living here. 
However, even if you dislike every Japanese in 
Japan, you'd change your mind, perhaps, after you 
knew Nume. You really ought to see her she why, 
my dear, what is the matter? You look quite faint." 

"Oh, it is nothing, dear; only don't talk about 
this this girl really, I I feel as though I shouldn't 
like her, and I am sure she won't like me." 

"Oh, come now; you're not well, that's all. 
Here, sit down. You are tired after the long trip. " 

She left the girl's side to go over to Tom and 
Sinclair, who were talking over old college days. 
Cleo heard her praising her new protege. Sinclair 
looked a trifle bored, though Tom was interested. 

"Yes, they are all pretty, more or less," Sinclair 
said, languidly; "but the deuce is, they are too 
much alike." 

"Well, Nume is different. Really, Mr. Sinclair, 
I am surprised you have not met her. But you will 
all see her at my party. You know we're going to 
have one for Cleo at my house, ' ' she added. 



SINCLAIR'S INDIFFERENCE. 83 



CHAPTER XX. 

SINCLAIR'S INDIFFERENCE. 

When Mrs. Davis had said Sinclair did not care 
for Japanese women she had merely spoken the 
truth. With the unreasoning prejudice of a 
westerner, he had taken a dislike to them, hardly 
knowing himself why he did so. Perhaps one of the 
reasons lay in the fact that when he had come to 
Japan he had been too acutely aware of his engage- 
ment, and that his wife would likely make her home 
there in Japan. For this reason he avoided the 
distractions that the tea-houses offered to most for- 
eigners, going there only occasionally with parties 
of friends; but, unlike most western men, who 
generally consider it their privilege when in Japan 
to be as lawless as they desire, he had got into no 
entanglements whatever. That he had been called 
upon constantly, as consul, to help various Ameri- 
cans out of such scrapes with Japanese women, had 
made him more prejudiced against them. 

On the night of Mrs. Davis' party, he stood in a 
doorway looking on at the gayly mixed throng. 
Here were Americans, English, French, Germans, 
and a good sprinkling of the better class Japanese. 
Mrs. Davis' house was entirely surrounded by bal- 
conies, which she had had specially built in American 
fashion, and the guests wandered in and out of the 



84 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

ball-room on to these balconies, or down into the 
gayly lighted garden; under the shadows of the 
trees, illumined, in spots only, by the flaring light 
of hundreds of Japanese lanterns, scattered like 
twinkling swinging lamps all through the gardens, 
and on the lawn. Cleo Ballard was looking very 
beautiful; and because she was undoubtedly the 
prettiest woman in the room she was surrounded the 
entire evening. Sinclair had once told her laugh- 
ingly that he gave her carte blanche to flirt all she 
desired. In his secret heart, like most men, he was 
opposed to this pastime (for women). Not that he 
was entirely free from it himself. By no means ; 
but sometimes the ring of falsity and untruth in it 
all struck the finer sense of the man. Perhaps he 
was a trifle bored that night. He watched wearily 
the dancers passing back and forth, the filmy laces 
and beautiful summer gowns; and he sighed. 
Somehow, he was not a part of the scene, for with 
the peculiarity of a traveler, Sinclair detested any- 
thing smacking of conventionality, and most parties 
(in society) are formal to a great degree at least on 
the surface. Quite late in the evening Mrs. Davis, 
who had disappeared for a time from the ball-room, 
returned, bringing with her a young girl. Sinclair 
could not see her face at first, because her head was 
turned from him. She was dressed very simply in a 
soft white gown, cut low at the neck, the sleeves 
short to the elbows. She wore no jewels whatever, 
but in the mass of dense' black hair, braided care- 
lessly and coiled just above the nape of her neck, 
were a few red roses. Something in the girlish 



SINCLAIR'S INDIFFERENCE. 85 

poise of the figure, the slim, unstudied grace of the 
neck, and rounded arms, caused Sinclair to move 
deliberately from his position by the door, and pass 
in front of her. Then he saw her face. There was 
something piteous in the girl's expression. He 
could not have told what there was in her face that 
struck him so with the peculiarity of its beauty. 
Her nationality puzzled him. As the guests began 
to crowd about her, the girl lost her repose of man- 
ner. She looked frightened and troubled. With a 
few quick strides,. Sinclair was beside Mrs. Davis, 
waiting to be introduced. Almost as in a dream he 
heard his hostess say, half jokingly: 

"Nume, I am going to introduce you to a a hater 
of Japanese woman he is our consul, Mr. Sinclair. 
You must cure him, my dear," she added; and then 
smiling at Sinclair she said: "Arthur, this is Nume, 
Miss Watanabe, of whom I told you. ' ' 

The girl raised her little oval face, and looked 
very seriously at him. She held her hand out; she 
had learned from the Americans the habit of shak- 
ing hands. Sinclair felt a strange, indescribable 
sensation as her little hand rested in his ; it was as 
if he held in his hand a little trembling, frightened 
wild bird. 



86 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXI. 
"ME? I LIG' YOU." 

For a moment Sinclair was at a loss what to say to 
Nume, and as she had not spoken he did not know 
whether she understood the English language or 
must be addressed in Japanese. 

"Will you not let me get you a seat somewhere 
where there is not such a crowd?" he asked, speak- 
ing in English. 

"Ess," she answered, looking almost helplessly at 
him, as Mrs. Davis came towards them with a fresh 
company of Americans, all eager to meet her. 
Nume belonged to the Kazoku order of Japanese 
(the nobles), the most exclusive class in Japan. 
They lived, as a rule, in the Province of Kyushu, 
and their women were supposed to be extremely 
beautiful, and kept in great seclusion, as the 
daughters of nobles usually are. Nume's father, 
however, had gone into business in Tokyo, and 
later had become a large land-owner there, so 
that the girl had mingled very little with her own 
class. 

"I am going to take Miss Watanabe somewhere 
where she can breathe, ' ' Sinclair said to Mrs. Davis, 
and added: "Don't bring any more along just 
now. I judge by her face she is scared to death 
already. ' ' 



"ME? I LIG' YOU." 87 

The girl looked gratefully at him. "Ess, I nod 
lig' big crowd joyful ladies and gentlemen, ' ' she 
said, haltingly. 

He found a couple of seats close by a window, 
where a soft breeze came through, and fanned her 
flushed little face. In spite of what Mrs. Davis had 
told her of Sinclair's not liking Japanese girls, with 
the usual confidence of a little woman in a tall man, 
Nume felt protected from the curious crowd when 
with him. She told him so with a shy artlessness 
that astonished him. 

"Me? I lig' you," she said, shyly. "You are big 
and thad you nod lig' poor liddle Japanese womans 
still I lig' you jus' same." 

"I like some of them," he said, lamely, con- 
founded by the girl's direct words. "You see, I 
have not met any Japanese ladies, and the Japanese 
girls I have met always struck me as being well, 
er too gay to have much heart. ' ' 

Nume shook her head. "Japanese girl have big, 
big heart," she said, making a motion with her 
hands. "Japanese boy go long way from home 
see all the big world ; bud liddle Japanese girl stay 
at home with f adder and mudder, an' vaery, vaery 
good, bud parents luf always the boy. Sometimes 
Japanese girl is vaery sad. Then account she stay at 
home too much, but she not show that she is vaery 
sad. She laugh and talk so thad the parents do nod 
see she is vaery sad. ' ' 

Sinclair did not interrupt her. Her odd way of 
telling anything was so pretty and her speech so 
broken that he liked better to hear her talk. But 



88 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

the girl stopped short here, and looked quite embar- 
rassed a moment. Then she said : 

"Nume talk too much, perhaps?" Her voice was 
raised questioningly. 

"No no Miss Nume cannot talk too much." 

"Oa, " the girl continued, smiling saucily, 
"Americazan girl talk too much also?" 

"Sometimes." 

"That you do not lig' liddle Japanese girl do you 
lig' Americazan big proud girl?" 

"No" smiling. "Do you like the big proud 
American girl, Miss Nume?" 

"Ess," she answered, half doubtingly. "Ameri- 
cazan lady is vaery pretty. Sometimes she has great 
big heart then she change, and she is liddle, liddle 
heart vaery mean woman. " 

"What makes you say that?" 

"Oh ! Nume watch everything, ' ' the girl answered, 
shrewdly. 

Sinclair stayed by Nume's side almost the entire 
evening. She did not know how to dance ; he did 
not care to ; and as she told him quite candidly that 
she liked him to sit with her better than any one 
else in the room, he needed no further excuse. The 
girl's beauty and naivete captivated him, and in 
spite of her artlessness there were so many genuine 
touches of shrewdness and cleverness about her. 
Sinclair was converted into the belief that Japanese 
women were the most charming women he had met 
at least, if the ladies were all as sweet and pretty 
as Nume. 

During the evening Cleo Ballard paused in a 



"ME? I LIG' YOU." 89 

dance, close by them. She had noticed the atten- 
tion Sinclair had paid the girl from the beginning. 
He did not see her at first, but was looking with 
almost fascinated eyes into the strangely interest- 
ing face of the Japanese maiden. Sinclair had not 
once danced with Cleo through the entire evening, 
nor had he been by her side even. He had told her 
he did not like dancing, and on this plea had left 
her to the throngs of admirers who surrounded her, 
eager for a dance. There was a look of bitter pride 
on Cleo's face as she looked at him. In America 
Sinclair had always made it a point to attach himself 
almost scrupulously to her, and although she had 
always felt something lacking in his love for her, it 
pleased her that at least he had never given her 
cause to be jealous of any other women. Her voice 
sounded harsh even to her own ears. 

"Perhaps, Arthur, you will introduce me to 

to your friend?" she said. 

The same pique that always irritated him so was 
in her voice now. It was, he told himself, the 
reminder to him of his bondage ; for long ere this 
the man had admitted to himself that he did not 
love her. He was too staunch by nature, however, 
knowing her love for him, to break with her. He 
rose stiffly from his seat beside Nume, his face rather 
flushed. 

"Certainly," he said, coldly, and pronounced the 
two girls' names. 

Instinctively the woman nature in Nume scented 
a rival possibly an enemy. She wished the Amer- 
ican gentleman would sit down again. She could 



90 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

not understand why he should stand just because 
the beautiful shining American lady had wanted to 
know her. The American girl's partner tapped her 
lightly on the shoulder, reminding her of the dance, 
and once more she glided away, leaving a vague 
unrest behind. 

"Is the beautiful Americazan lady your be- 
trothed?" 

The man started, though he evaded the question. 

"What makes you ask that?" 

"All of us have betrothed," the girl said, 
vaguely. "See, I will show you my betrothed. He 
stands over there now talking to the same pretty 
Americazan lady. ' ' 

"Takashima!" said Sinclair. 

"Ess," the girl answered, happily. 

Takashima was talking very seriously to Cleo 
Ballard. There was an impatient, almost pettish, 
look on her face. She seemed anxious to get away 
from him. Sinclair saw her make a motion to Mrs. 
Davis, and in some way the two women managed to 
get rid of the Japanese. They stood talking for a 
moment together, and Sinclair saw them look over 
in his direction. He noted Cleo's movements 
almost mechanically, his mind being more absorbed 
in what Nume had told him about her betrothal to 
Takashima. 

"When does the wedding take place?" he asked, 
abruptly. 

"Oh! I not know. We Orito and me do not 
like much to hurry, the fadders make great haste," 
she said. 



"ME? I LIG' YOU." 91 

Sinclair looked down at her thoughtfully, studying 
her with a strange pang at his heart. 

"So you are Takashima's little sweetheart," he 
said, slowly. "He used to tell us about you in 
America. He said you were the prettiest thing on 
earth, and the boys didn't believe him, of course, 
but, after all he spoke only the truth. ' ' 

Again the girl smiled. 

"When I was liddle, liddle girl," she said, "Orito 
carry me high way up on his shoulder. Now I 
grow big and polite, and he is that far away to me, 
and I thing' we are strangers." 

The man was silent. "But I am vaery happy," 
she continued, "because some day I will be alto- 
gether with Orito, then we will be much luf for each 
other again." 

"May you always be happy, little woman," Sin- 
clair said, almost huskily. "Happiness is a price- 
less treasure; we throw away our chances of it 
sometimes recklessly, for a joy of a moment only." 

Mrs. Davis' voice broke in on them. She looked 
quite coldly at Sinclair. 

"Come, Nume," she said, "I want you to meet 
some other people." 



92 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXII. 
ADVICE. 

Mrs. Davis drew Numb into a corner of the 
balcony, and sat down to give her a little lecture. 

"Now, dear, I'm going to speak to you, not as 
your hostess, but as your a chaperon and 
friend. You must not speak too familiarly to any 
man. Now, you ought not to have sat with Mr. 
Sinclair so long. There were lots of other men 
around you, and you didn't speak to any of them." 

"Bud I do nod lig' all the udder mans," the girl 
protested. "Me? I lig' only the a Mister Sinka. ' ' 

"Yes; but, Nume, you must not like people so 
so quickly. And you must not let any one know it, 
if you do. ' ' 

"Oa, I tell him so," the girl said, stubbornly. 
"I tell Mr. Sinka thad I lig' him vaery much; 
and I ask thad he sit with me, so thad too many 
peoples nod to speak to me." 

Mrs. Davis looked very much concerned at this 
confession. 

"Now, that was imprudent, my dear; besides, you 
know," she spoke very slowly and deliberately, 
"Mr. Sinclair is to be married soon to Miss Ballard, 
and so you ought to be very particular, so that no 
one can have the chance to say anything about 
you. ' ' 



ADVICE. 93 

The girl's bright eyes flashed. 

"Mr. Sinka nod led me thing" thad," she said, 
remembering how Sinclair had evaded the question. 
"I ask him thad the pretty lady is betrothed and he 
make me thing* no." 

Mrs. Davis was silent a moment. 

"Er that's only a way American men have, 
Nume. You must not believe them; and be very 
careful not to tell them you like them because 
because they they often laugh at girls who do 
that." 

Nume did not stir. She sat very still and quiet. 

Mr. Davis joined them, and noticing the girl's 
constrained face, he inquired what was the matter. 

"Nothing at all, my dear," the American lady 
said. "I was just giving Nume some pointers." 

"Look here, Jenny, you'll spoil her make her 
into a little prig, first thing you know. At least, 
she is genuine now, and unaffected." 

"Walter," Mrs. Davis said, rising with dignity, 
"Mrs. Ballard thought it outrageous for Sinclair to 
have sat with her all evening. I never knew him 
to do such a thing before with any one. That 
makes it all the more noticeable. Cleo, too, was 
quite perturbed." 

When the party broke up and the guests were 
slowly passing into their jinrikishas, numbers of 
them lingered in the garden, bidding laughing 
farewells. 

Nume, who was spending the night with Mrs. 
Davis, stood a lonely little figure in the shadow of 
the balcony. She did not wish to say good-bye to 



94 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

any of them she did not like the pretty Americans, 
she told herself, because she did not believe them 
any longer. 

Sinclair went up to her, holding out his hand. 

"Good-night, Miss Nume, " he said. 

The girl put her little hand behind her. 

"Nume not lig' any longer big Americazan 
gentlemans," she said. "Mrs. Davees tell me nod to 
lig' goonight," this last very stiffly and politely. 

The man smiled grimly: "Ah, Miss Nume," he 
said, "you must always choose your own like 
whom you choose; don't let any one tell you who 
to like and who not to. ' ' 

He looked searchingly at her face a moment, 
then turned and passed out with the other guests, 
understanding the truth. 



AFRAID TO ANSWER. 95 



CHAPTER XXIII. 
AFRAID TO ANSWER. 

It was over ten days since the Ballards had arrived 
in Tokyo. Still Cleo had not given Takashima the 
promised answer. It was not that she any longer 
hesitated for the sake of any sentiment she might 
have had for him, which was the case on the 
steamer, but that, having led him on to believe in 
her, she had not the courage to let him know the 
truth. Moreover, there was a certain assured, 
determined look always about his face which fright- 
ened her. Cleo was a coward if she was anything. 
It would have been a relief to her to have confided 
in Mrs. Davis, and perhaps to have her break the 
truth to him, as gently as possible ; but knowing of 
her strong affection for Nume her heart misgave her 
whenever she thought of doing so, and she dreaded 
the contempt, perhaps anger, that such a revelation 
would cause in Mrs. Davis. So she put off from 
day to day. Whenever Takashima called on her at 
the hotel she was either out, or one of a party, so 
that he found no chance whatever of speaking to her 
alone. The girl did everything in her power to 
avoid being alone with him. If the young man 
guessed anything of the truth, he never showed it, 
for he was persistent in his visits, and when he did 
get a chance to speak to Cleo would talk to her as 



96 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

naturally and confidently as he had done those last 
days on the boat. It terrified Cleo that he refused 
to be discouraged, that in spite of the almost direct 
way in which she at times ignored him, he let her 
understand, in every conceivable way in his power, 
that he had not lost faith in her, letting her believe 
that he understood that she, having so many friends, 
must necessarily be surrounded for the first few 
days, at least. Cleo did not know whether he had 
heard of her engagement to Sinclair or not. If he 
had heard of it he simply ignored it, putting it 
behind him as so much gossip, and as an impossi- 
bility, seeing the girl had told him nothing of it 
herself, and had almost deliberately encouraged 
him to believe that his own suit was not in vain. It 
was no use for her to try before Takashima to let 
him see that she and Sinclair were more to each 
other than friends, because Sinclair was no aid to 
her in the matter. He had become strangely cold 
and reticent, and though he was always the essence 
of politeness and attention to her, still he might 
have been just so to any woman friend. Mean- 
while, Takashima had not once reminded her of her 
promise to answer him. He told himself he could 
afford to wait now that he was so sure of her; 
besides, his mind was a good deal absorbed in going 
over the old familiar haunts of his boyhood, and try- 
ing in every way possible to do little acts to please 
his father, and which would make up for the long 
years of separation. With Nume he was on the 
best of terms, they being, however, more as brother 
and sister or very dear friends, rather than lovers ; 



AFRAID TO ANSWER. 97 

for Nume had become as anxious as he to put the 
marriage off for a time, and the subject was seldom 
broached between them, though their fathers often 
alluded to it, and urged haste. 

Although Takashima and Sinclair were excellent 
friends, neither of them had ever mentioned Cleo 
Ballard's name to the other. Sinclair knew nothing 
whatever of Takashima's love for the girl, or that 
there had been anything between them; for both 
Tom and Cleo had been very careful to avoid tell- 
ing him, knowing Takashima to be an old friend 
of his. Besides, perhaps Sinclair's interest in her 
had flagged, so that, in spite of her beauty and 
vivacity, his engagement began to pall on him. It 
galled him beyond measure that he did not have the 
freedom to go and come when he pleased. This 
was another reason why he avoided, whenever it 
was possible, talking about the girl, not wishing to 
be reminded of her when it was unnecessary; for an 
engagement where there is no love is the most irk- 
some of things. 

So they talked, instead, of Nume. Sinclair was 
intensely interested in her. He had a half -pleas- 
ant, half-painful memory of her angry eyes and 
flushed face when she had refused to shake hands 
with him in parting that night of the party. He had 
not seen her since then, though he had paid several 
visits to Mrs. Davis, and even to Takashima's home. 
Orito told him she had taken an unaccountable 
whim, after the party, to become very strict in 
Japanese etiquette, and that since then she had been 
living in great seclusion, not even he (Orito) seeing 



98 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

her, save in the presence of her father. And in 
these talks about Nume, with her betrothed, Sin- 
clair made one -discovery which astonished, and 
strange to say, pleased him it was that Takashima 
did not love her and further, that the girl did not 
actually love Takashima, though they were the best 
of friends. He wondered what understanding they 
had come to on the subject, and whether they had 
bluntly told each other that they did not love each 
other. 



VISITING THE TEA HOUSES. 99 



CHAPTER XXIV. 
VISITING THE TEA HOUSES. 

Quite a large party of Americans, which included 
the Ballards, Sinclair, the Davises, the Cranstons, 
Fannie Morton, and others, visited the picturesque 
tea-houses on the highway between Yedo (Tokyo) 
and Kyoto. The oddly-built houses, with their 
slanting roofs, the beauty of their gardens, the per- 
fume-scented air, rich with the odor of cherry and 
plum blossom, all contributed to lend an air of 
delight and sunshine to the visits, and the Ameri- 
cans watched with pleasure and interest the pretty 
waitresses and geisha girls, who seemed a part of 
the scene, as they tripped back and forth before 
them in their brightly-colored kimonas, played 
on the samisen and koto (harp), or danced for them. 

One girl with an unusually pretty round face, and 
bright, sly eyes, attracted especial attention. She 
waited on Cleo and Tom Ballard, kneeling on the 
ground in front of them, holding a small tray, while 
they drank the tin)'- cups of hot sake. Cleo did not 
like the taste of sake. She told the little waitress 
so, who, although not understanding a word the 
American girl had said, nodded her head knowingly, 
and brought tea for her instead. She tripped on 
her little heels across the floor, padded about three 
feet with rice straw, looking back over her shoulder 
to smile at Tom, to the amusement of that gentle- 



loo MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

man, and the irritation of some of the American 
ladies. 

"Japanese girls are rather bold," Rose Cranston 
said, sharply. 

"They are all right," Tom answered, ready to 
defend them. 

"Yes," said Fanny Morton, with her usual 
cynicism. "Naturally you think so. Perhaps we 
women would, too, if she peeped at us out of her 
wicked little eyes as she does at you. " 

Cleo Ballard laughed, a slow, aggravating, silvery 
laugh. 

"I think they are charming, Miss Morton," and 
then to Tom, "they are too funny, Tom. It is the 
cutest thing in the world to see the way in which 
they deliberately ignore us poor females. At least 
they don't make any pretense of liking us, as we 
would do in America. ' ' 

The little geisha girl had come near them again, 
with a couple of others. Thy were all pretty, with 
a cherry-lipped, peepy-eyed, cunning prettiness. 
They stood in a group together, their fans in their 
hands, glancing smilingly at the American men, 
undisguisedly trying to flirt with them. " 

Rose Cranston, thoroughly disgusted, said loftily: 
"Nasty little things, these Japanese women are." 

"Not at all," said Tom, and went over to them, 
followed by Cleo and Sinclair. 

"What is your name, little geesa girl?" Cleo 
asked, a touch of patronage in her voice. The three 
girls looked at each other and giggled. Sinclair 
looked amused. He put the question to them in 



VISITING THE TEA HOUSES. 101 

Japanese, and they answered him readily: "Koto, 
Kirishima, and Matsu." 

''What very pretty names!" the American girl 
said, graciously. "Er do you dance, as well as 
as serve tea?" 

Again the girls laughed, and Sinclair told them 
what the American lady had said. The girls nodded 
their heads brightly, and a few minutes after were 
dancing for the Americans. 

"Do they make much money?" Cleo asked Taka- 
shima, who had joined them. 

"Yes, but they spend a great deal on their clothes. 
They are very gay. ' ' 

"Yes, they seem so," Cleo said, thoughtfully, 
"and yet somehow they look kind of tired and fagged 
out at times. I have been watching them quite 
closely, and noticed this about them in spite of the 
big show of gayety they affect. ' ' 

"Their chief duty is to arouse mirth," the 
Japanese answered. "Therefore they must always 
appear joyful themselves. Some are very witty 
and accomplished, and if you understood Japanese, 
as you will some day, you would find a great deal to 
laugh at in what they say." 

Towards evening the gardens began to fill up 
with more guests, and the geisha girls soon had their 
hands full. They talked and laughed with their 
guests, sang, danced, flirted, and played on odd 
musical instruments. 

The geisha's chief attractions lie in her exquisite 
taste in arranging her hair, and in the beauty of her 
dress, the harmonious colors of which blend, accord- 

8 



102 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

ing to a Japanese idea, in an unsurpassed way. Her 
manners, too, are very graceful, though the younger 
geishas are inclined to be boisterous, and laugh 
perhaps too much. Moreover, the situations of 
their houses and the picturesqueness of their tea 
gardens lend an air of enchantment and charm to 
the geisha girl and her surroundings. Although the 
geisha has little history, having first come into 
existence the middle of last century, her popularity 
is such in Japan that no parties are thought to be 
complete without her presence to brighten it up, 
to entertain the guests with her accomplishments 
and infectious mirth, and to dance and play for 
them. Although her life is essentially rapid and 
gay, yet, in spite of her lapses from virtue at times, 
the geisha always retains her native modesty and 
grace. It is true, many of them are extremely 
familiar with foreigners, who are their best patrons; 
yet, in spite of this, the more modest and virtuous 
a geisha is the more are her services required. 

The remnant of the old Samourai class of Japan- 
ese, although very taciturn and grave in deportment, 
are, nevertheless, extremely fond of the distractions 
offered by the tea-houses. They are addicted to 
such pleasures. The snow, the full moon, flowers 
of every season, national and local fetes, these all 
serve as pretexts for forming convivial parties which 
meet in the picturesque tea-houses and drink the 
sak& hot, in tiny cups, twenty or more to the pint. 
The fact that they are so much sought after, how- 
ever, has not spoiled the geisha girl. In fact, when 
you have become acquainted with any one of them, 



VISITING THE TEA HOUSES. 103 

you soon discover that she is quite diffident, modest, 
and gentle. 

There are a great many tea-houses scattered over 
Tokyo, and on the highway between that city and 
Kyoto; and it is notable that the style of dress of the 
waitress and the geisha, as well as the dancing and 
other amusements, very distinctly differ from each 
other in each locality. Hence, one who starts out 
in the morning and visits a number of different tea 
and geisha gardens is hardly likely to be bored, as 
he will find new attractions in each place. 



104 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXV. 
SHATTERED HOPES. 

It was in the month of April that Orito had 
arrived home April, the month of cherry blossoms, 
the month when the devout Japanese celebrate the 
birth of the great Buddha. On the eighth of that 
month devotees go to the temples where the cere- 
mony is performed. It consists simply of pouring 
tea over the sacred image. They also make trifling 
contributions to the temple, carrying home with 
them some of the tea, which is supposed to contain 
certain curative properties if administered to one 
suffering from disease. Of later years this religious 
ceremony has been practically done away with, 
although a few devout followers still observe it. 
Instead of performing any ceremony in memory of 
Buddha, many of the people commemorate the 
month of April by simply being very gentle, kind, 
loving, and happy among themselves during the 
month. It is at this time of year that the people 
stroll out for hanami (flower picnic), clad in fantas- 
tic costumes, some with masks over their eyes. To 
the foreigner the surging crowd of holiday makers 
will cause them to think of an endless masquerade. 
No one is allowed to pluck the cherry blossom dur- 
ing the entire month, and perhaps this is the reason 
that the flower grows so luxuriantly throughout the 



SHATTERED HOPES. 105 

island, as it is not plucked by unscrupulous lovers 
who might have a special taste for it. 

It was because of the fact that April is a month of 
peace and good-will to almost every one, when one 
puts off the cares of to-day until to-morrow, that 
Orito had failed to tell his parents of his love for the 
American girl. He had, instead, tried every means 
in his power to please the two old men, and would 
often sit by them for hours listening to their plans 
for his and Nume's future, without saying a word. 
Neither had he, as yet, spoken to Num& on the sub- 
ject. That the girl was extremely fond of him he 
knew, but with the reasoning rather of an American 
than a Japanese he could not believe that she 
actually loved him, whom she really scarcely knew. 

Over a month had passed by since his return 
home. One day in the month of May, when the 
fields were ablaze with a burning glory of azaleas, 
and the sun touched their wild crimson with daz- 
zling splendor, Orito told his father and Omi of his 
love for the American girl. He had invited them 
both to go with him to Okubo, the western suburb 
of the capital, to see some new variety of the azalea ; 
for with the birth of each new flower, every month, 
the Japanese celebrate fetes in their honor. The 
noisy crowd of pleasure-seekers had driven them 
away from the scene, however, to a more secluded 
spot in the woods. Here Orito had told them, very 
gently but firmly, of his love for the beautiful 
American girl. The two old men remained per- 
fectly silent, looking at each other with haggard, 
uncomprehending eyes. The dream of their life 



106 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

was shattered. There had not been a time since 
Nume was born that they had not talked joyously of 
the marriage of their two children, and in their 
strong pride in Orito they had sent him to America 
to become very learned and accomplished. It had 
seemed to them, sometimes, that the eight years 
never would come to an end. Now Orito had 
returned to them, but alas, how changed! He 
stood by them, slim and quiet, his face sad but 
determined, waiting for his father to speak. 

Finally old Sachi rose to his feet. 

"What does this mean?" he said, sharply. "Do 
you then wish to go against the command of your 
father? Must I then say I have lost my son?" 

"No, father I will be more your son than ever." 

The old man's voice trembled. 

"Duty!" he said, sternly. "That is the watch- 
word for a Japanese. Did you forget that in Amer- 
ica? Have you ceased to be Japanese? duty first 
of all to your parents, to the wife and children to 
come, and last to yourself." 

Orito was silent. 

Omi now spoke. "Orito," he said, and his voice 
was quite dazed and stupid, "you really speak only 
in jest. Surely, it is now too late to change." 

The young man's voice was very low: 

"It would be too late had the marriage taken 
place it is not too late now. Not so long as I have 
not ruined Nume's happiness as well as my own." 

"Perhaps after you think this over you will 
change, my son," Sachi said, gently. 

"Nay, father, I would rather see you reconciled. 



SHATTERED HOPES. 107 

I cannot change in this. You do not understand. I 
love her with all my heart, and if if she were 
impossible to me, I should surely die." 

"Could you, then, leave your father to a comfort- 
less, childless life?" the old man asked, sadly. 

"We should go together," Orito said. 



io8 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 
CONSCIENCE. 

A pitiful constraint had settled over the house- 
holds of Takashima Sachi and Watanabe Omi. The 
two old men saw each other not often now ; for Sachi 
had not the strength to cross the eager vital will of 
his son, whom he loved so dearly, while Omi was 
too stunned and grieved to care to see them. So he 
and Nume remained in great seclusion for some 
days. Omi had as yet told Nume nothing of what 
Orito had told them. He was a shrewd old man, 
and there came to him a certain hope that perhaps 
the American girl would, after all, refuse to marry 
Orito. Consequently, he thought he would wait a 
while before telling the girl anything. Orito called 
on him each day with presents of tea and flowers, 
but each time the old man refused to see him, send- 
ing word that he and Nume were in retirement. 
This gave Orito no opportunity whatever of speak- 
ing to the girl alone. Sachi tried to convince him 
constantly that she actually loved him, and that it 
would be a cruelty now, not to marry her. The 
young man grew very despondent, though his 
resolve did not lose any of its firmness. Sachi had 
fallen into a pitiful dull apathy, taking interest in 
nothing about him, and refusing to take comfort 
from his son, who tried to be very devoted and kind 



CONSCIENCE. 109 

to him. Often, too, he would upbraid Orito very 
bitterly. At such times the young man would leave 
the house and go out into the valleys and wander 
through the woodland paths, trying to forget his 
misfortunes in the beauty of his surroundings. He 
had not seen Cleo Ballard for some days, but he had 
written to her, telling her of what he had done. 
Cleo Ballard had read his letter with dread mis- 
giving. 

"Miss Cleo," it said very simply, "I have told 
my father and Mr. Watanabe that I cannot marry 
Nume-san because of my supreme love for you. 
I did not tell them last month, because it was the- 
season of joy, and I wished to save them pain. 
Now they are very unhappy, but I tell myself that 
soon will you bring back joy to our house." 

His assurance frightened her. She read the note 
over and over, as she sat before her dresser, her 
maid brushing her hair. She shook the hair from 
the maid's hands. 

"I must be alone, Marie," she said, and the girl 
left her. 

Long she sat in silence, no sound escaping her 
lips save one long trembling sigh of utter weariness 
and regret. 

She looked at her image in the glass, seeing noth- 
ing of its beauty. 

"You are a wicked woman, Cleo Ballard," she 
said, "a wicked, cruel woman, and and Oh! God 
help me what shall I do?" 



no MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
CONFESSION. 

Cleo Ballard did not answer Takashima's letter. 
All night long it rose up before her accusingly, and 
the next morning she dressed in feverish haste, and 
rushed off to her friend, Mrs. Davis. 

"Jenny," she said, wildly, "I want to go away I 
must go I am stifling here. I must leave Tokyo 

I I " she broke down and covered her face 

with her hands. 

"Why, Cleo what is it?" Her friend's kindly 
arms were around her. 

"I can't tell you, Jenny. I can't tell you you 
would hate me, and then, except Tom Oh, Jenny, 
I can't afford now to lose any one's friendship." 

"Nothing you can tell me, Cleo, would make me 
hate you. Is it some flirtation you have carried too 
far? Come, now, it used to relieve you to tell me all 
about these things in America. Who is it? Alliston? 
Cranston? or the Englishman? or or " 

"No none of them it it Oh, Jenny, I can't 
tell you." 

"You must, Cleo it will do you good, I know, 
and perhaps I can help you. ' ' 

"It is Takashima." 

Jenny Davis' hands dropped from Cleo's 
shoulders. 

"Orito!" 



CONFESSION. Hi 

The two looked at each other in tragic silence. 

"Cleo, how could you do it? There were enough 
without him; when was it? how? tell me all about 
itOh! poor little Nume!" 

"It was on the steamer " 

"On the steamer," her friend repeated, stu- 
pidly. "Yes, go on; well, and what happened 
you ?" 

"Yes I did it deliberately I made him care 
for me. I was lonely, and wanted to be amused. 
The passengers were uninteresting and stupid. He 
was different, with his gentle, odd "ways. Some- 
times I got almost frightened of myself, because he 
took everything so seriously. I did not mean to to 
really hurt him. I wanted to see how a Japanese 
would act if he were in love, and and Tom kept 
telling me how proof he was against women and 
Oh, Jenny, when he did speak out to me, I had not 
the courage, then, to tell him the truth. And all 
the time I knew it but " 

Her friend's shocked face startled her. 

"Yes; I understand," she said, bitterly. "I 
knew you would hate me I deserve it only 
j 

Jenny Davis put her arms round her again. 

"Dear, I don't hate you. Indeed, I don't, but it 
has startled me so. I am so so shocked, because 
of Nume, and the two poor old men. I don't know 
what to say, but I'd stand by you, dear, against all 
the Japanese in Japan if it became necessary." She 
put her head against Cleo's, and the two friends 
wept in sympathy with each other, as women do. 



113 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"You must face the thing out, Cleo. Have you 
told Takashima yet?" 

"No; he sent me this to-day," she put the note 
despairingly into her friend's hands. 

"How dreadful! how perfectly awful! you do 
not know the Japanese as I do, dear. It will just 
break the two old men's hearts. They have looked 
forward to his marriage with Nume all their lives. 
They don't love their children as we do in America. 
Their pride in them is too pathetic, Cleo ; and when 
they disappoint them it is like a death-blow. ' ' 

"Don't, Jenny don't, please don't talk about 
them. ' ' 

"But we must, Cleo. That is where the whole 
mistake has always been with you. You are too 
weak, Cleo. You can't look suffering in the face, 
and in consequence you do nothing to relieve it. 
Your duty is plain. Go right to Orito and tell him 
the truth." 

"Jenny, I can't do it. He said once on the 
steamer that he would not scruple to take his life if 
he were very unhappy ; and then he went on to tell 
me how common suicides were in Japan, and how 
the Japanese had not the smallest fear of death, and 
he seemed to think it would be a courageous act to 
to take one's life. Jenny, I got so frightened that 
night I almost screamed out. ' ' 

"But sooner or later you will have to tell him, 
Cleo. Don't let him know it solely by your marry- 
ing Sinclair. That would be too cruel ; tell him. 
Tell me, Cleo, do you think he actually believes you 
care for him?" 



CONFESSION. 113 

"Yes; once I almost told him so at least I led 
him to believe it and it was true, almost, that 
night." 

"Cleo!' 

"You tell him, Jenny." 

"I! Why, he wouldn't listen to me, Cleo." 

Cleo got up desperately, and began pacing the 
floor. 

"I will not give Arthur up, Jenny. You don't 
know how I love him love him. I think day and 
night of him. I forgive him everything. He is 
cold often, and I am humiliated at his indifference 
at times, but I go on loving him better than ever. 
I can't help it; I shall love him as long as I live." 

Jenny Davis watched her with anxious eyes. 
She had known her for some years, had known her 
better qualities, her weaknesses, her strength ; and 
her heart ached for her. She was so beautiful, with 
a lithe, grand, extraordinary beauty. 

"Yes, Cleo," she said, slowly, "you are right. 
You nnist go away right at once. There is a party 
of English tourists going to Matsushima Bay 
to-morrow. Pack a few things hastily and join 
them. I know them all well, and you know some of 
them, too." 

"Yes," the girl agreed, eagerly. "And you will 
break it to him you will save me that that 
pain. ' ' 

"I will try, Cleo. " The two women were silent a 
moment. Then Mrs. Davis said: "Cleo, does 
Arthur Sinclair know?" 

Cleo's eyes were full of a vague terror "No no 



114 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

and he must not. Jenny, he is so strict about 
such things he would despise me; and then, Mr. 
Takashima is his friend. He would not forgive me. 
Jenny, he must not know." After a time she said, 
almost wildly: "Jenny, I hate Takashima whenever 
I think of his alienating Arthur and me for even a 
moment, as he would do if if Arthur found out. ' ' 



JAPANESE PRIDE. 115 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 
JAPANESE PRIDE. 

The next day Cleo left Tokyo with the party of 
tourists. Takashima, who had called during the 
afternoon, found a note from her. It told him sim- 
ply that she had decided to make a trip through the 
island, and as the party left that day she had no 
time save to write a hurried good-bye. The letter 
was weak, conventional in its phrases, and 
enigmatical. Had it been written to a westerner 
he would have understood at once; in fact, her 
manner, long before this, would have raised doubts 
as to her honesty toward him. It did not have that 
effect on Takashima, because it is the nature of the 
Japanese to believe thoroughly in one until they are 
completely undeceived. On returning home Orito 
found waiting for him a dainty note from Mrs. 
Davis, asking him to call on her. 

It was a difficult task she had set herself difficult 
even for a woman of Mrs. Davis' social and worldly 
experience. 

When Orito looked at her with grave, attentive 
eyes, in which were no traces of distrust, she felt 
her heart begin to fail her before she had said a 
word. They talked of the weather, of the flowers, 
of the month, the foreigners in Tokyo, the pretty 
geisha girls every subject save the one she had at 



n6 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

heart. Finally she dashed into it all at once, almost 
desperately. Perhaps she had learned in that brief 
interview why it had been so hard for Cleo to tell 
him, for the young man's face was so earnest, pure, 
and true. 

"Cleo has told me I know all about that and I 
she told me to say I mean I know about your 
your caring for her, and ' ' 

The Japanese had risen sharply to his feet. He 
was deathly pale. 

"Will madam kindly not speak of this?" he said. 
"I can only speak with Miss Ballard herself on this 
subject." 

After he had left her Mrs. Davis sat down help- 
lessly, and wrote a flurried letter to Cleo. 

"Dearest Cleo," it ran, "I tried to tell him; 
tried harder than 1 ever tried to do anything in my 
life. But he would not let me speak stopped me 
as soon as I got started, and I had not the heart to 
insist." 



SECLUSION. 117 



CHAPTER XXIX. 
SECLUSION. 

Mrs. Davis had not seen Nume for some days. 
She had heard that the girl was living in strict 
seclusion, as it was customary for Japanese girls to 
do previous to their marriage. With a woman's 
quick wit and comprehension, however, Mrs. Davis 
understood that she had taken umbrage, and, per- 
haps, resented the lecture she had given her the 
night of the party. She was afraid, too, that in her 
earnest desire to serve both Cleo and Orito she had 
given Nume a false impression of Americans. Mrs. 
Davis was a good woman, and a wise one. She was 
determined that nothing on earth should prevent 
her friend's marriage with Sinclair. She knew Cleo 
Ballard well enough to know the wonderful goodness 
and generosity in her better nature. She knew also 
that she loved Sinclair with a love that should have 
been her salvation. In spite of all this, Mrs. Davis 
was genuinely fond of Nume, though not, of course, 
in the same way as she was of Cleo. It pained 
her, therefore, to think that Nume was probably 
suffering. 

The day after Cleo left, she crossed the valley and 

went down to the house of Watanabe Omi. With 

her usual sang-froid, she asked to see Nume. Omi 

made some very polite apologies, saying his honor- 

e 



n8 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

ably unworthy daughter was entertaining a friend, 
and would the august American lady call the next day? 

"No;" Mrs. Davis would like to see Nume's 
friend also ; for Nume had told her she wanted her 
to meet all of them. 

She passed into the girl's room with the familiarity 
of old acquaintance, for she and Nume had been 
great friends, and Omi thought so much of her 
that the American lady had got into the habit of 
coming and going into and out of his house just 
as she pleased, which was a great concession and 
compliment for any Japanese to make to a for- 
eigner. 

She found Nume sitting with another Japanese 
girl, playing Karutta. They laughed and talked as 
they played, and Nume seemed quite light-hearted 
and happy. 

Mrs. Davis sat down on the mat beside her, and 
after having kissed her very affectionately, asked 
why she had not been over for so long. 

"I come visite you to-morrow," the girl answered, 
looking a trifle ashamed, as Mrs. Davis regarded her 
reproachfully. Then, as she started to make further 
apologies, the American lady said, very sweetly: 
"Never mind, dear; I understand; you did not 
like what I told you the other night. ' ' 

Nume did not answer. The other Japanese girl 
watched Mrs. Davis curiously. Mrs. Davis turned 
smilingly to her and started to say something, but 
stopped short, a look of puzzled recognition on her 
face. 

"I am sure I have seen your friend some- 



SECLUSION. 119 

where before, but I can't tell where," she said to 
Nume. 

"Perhaps you seeing her at the tea garden, 
because Koto was, one time, geisha girl." 

"Why, of course! I remember now. She was 
the pretty little Japanese girl who waited on us that 
day and made Rose Cranston so angry by flirting 
with Tom. ' ' 

The girl was smiling at Mrs. Davis. She too 
recognized her. Mrs. Davis turned to Nume : 

"I don't understand, Nume, how how a geisha 
girl can be a friend of yours, ' ' she said. 

Nume looked very grave. 

"Japanese lady always have frien' who is also 
maid. Koto is my maid; also my frien'." 

"I understand," the American lady said thought- 
fully. 

Japanese ladies usually treat their maids more as 
sisters than as maids. In fact, one of the duties of 
a maid is to act as companion to her mistress. 
Hence, it is necessary that the maid be quite accom- 
plished and entertaining. Often a geisha girl will 
prefer to leave the tea-house where she is employed, 
to take a position as companion and maid to some 
kind and rich lady of the Kazoku and Samourai 
class, and in this way she learns to be very gentle 
and polite in her manners by copying her little mis- 
tress ; besides, she will have a good home. It is a 
peculiar fact that Japanese holding positions such 
as maid, or, for a man, perhaps as retainer or valet, 
or even servant, become extremely devoted to their 
masters and mistresses, remaining with them until 



120 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

they are married, and sometimes preferring to remain 
with them after they have married, rather than 
marry themselves. It is no uncommon thing for 
them to make sacrifices, sometimes almost heroic 
ones, for their masters or mistresses. 



FEMININE DIPLOMACY. 121 



CHAPTER XXX. 
FEMININE DIPLOMACY. 

The next day Nume and Koto visited the Ameri- 
can lady. Orito had gone up to Yokohama, Nume 
told her, and would not be back for several days. 

"You will be very lonely then, dear." 

Nume sat in her favorite position, on the floor at 
Mrs. Davis' knee. Koto trotted about the room, 
examining with extreme interest and curiosity the 
American furnishings and decorations. 

"No; I nod be lonely," Nume said, "because I 
nod seen Orito many days so I ged used." 

"He must be a very bad boy to keep away from 
you so many days," Mrs. Davis said, playfully. 

"Oh, no! Orito is vaery good boy." She sat still 
and thoughtful for a while, her feet drawn under 
her, her little hands clasped in her lap. 

"Do the pretty Americazan ladies always luf 
when they marry?" 

"Nearly always, Nume." 

Nume nodded her head thoughtfully. "Japanese 
girls nod ahvays luf," she said, wistfully. "Koto 
say only geisha girls marry for luf." 

"That must be because they are thrown into con- 
tact with men and boys, while Japanese ladies are 
secluded. Is it not so, dear?" 

"Ess. Mrs. Davees, do you lig' that I am goin' 
to marry Orito?" 



122 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Yes, very much I am sure you will be very 
happy with him. He is so good. No one has said 
anything to you about about it, have they?" she 
added, anxiously, fearing perhaps the girl had 
heard of what Orito had told his father. 

"No," she said. "No one talk of luf to Nume 
bud Mrs. Davees ; thad is why Nume lig' to talk to 
you. ' ' 

The American lady smiled. 

"Suppose Japanese girl lig' instead some nise, 
pretty genleman, and she marry with some one she 
nod like?" She emphasized this question, and threw 
a charming glance at Mrs. Davis. 

"Do you mean the case of a girl betrothed to one 
man and in love with another?" 

"Ess." 

"Why, I don't know what she could do then, 
Nume. What put such an idea into your head?" 

Nume did not reply for a moment. Then she 
said, very shyly: "Nume not lig' the big, ugly 
Americazan genleman any more. I telling him so. ' ' 

"Nume!" 

"Ess, I tell Mr. Sinka I nod lig' thad you tell- 
ing me so." 

"Well, Nume!" Mrs. Davis' voice betrayed her 
impatience. "What did you do that for?" 

The girl half shrugged her little shoulders. 

"Oa! Idunno." 

"Nume, you must be careful how you speak to 
men. Don't tell them anything. If you like them, 
keep it to yourself; it's a good thing yoii told him 
you disliked him, this time, and did not leave him 



FEMININE DIPLOMACY. 123 

with the impression that you were in love with him. 
You know, dear, girls have to be very careful who 
they like." 

' ' Bud, Mr. Sinka tell me nod to let any one choose 
for me thad I lig' " she paused a moment, and 
added vaguely, "thad I lig' who I lig'." 

' ' Really, Nume, you might take my advice before 
Mr. Sinclair's," the older lady said, quite provoked. 



124 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 
A BARBARIAN DINNER. 

The girls stayed to dinner with Mrs. Davis. Koto 
had never eaten an American dinner before, though 
Nume had grown quite used to it. Following the 
national custom, she ate all placed before her by her 
hostess, and Mrs. Davis, knowing of this little habit 
of hers, which was more an act of compliment to her 
hostess than of liking for the food, was always very 
careful not to serve her too much. She quite for- 
got that Koto would be altogether unused to the 
food. The two little Japanese women presented a 
very pretty contrast. Both were small and, in their 
way, pretty. Koto had a round-faced, bright-eyed, 
shy prettiness; while Nume's face was oval and 
pure in contour. She chatted very happily and 
confidently, now in Japanese to Koto, now in pretty 
broken English to Mr. and Mrs. Davis. 

Koto ate her dinner in silence, her face strangely 
white and pitiful. Very bravely she ate the strange 
food, however, stopping at nothing. She looked 
with wonder at the butter (something the Japanese 
never use), puzzling for a moment what she was sup- 
posed to do with it, then picked the little round pat 
from the butter-plate, slipped it into her tea, and 
drank the tea. 

Mr. Davis saw this act, and choked. 



A BARBARIAN DINNER. 125 

"What is the matter, Walter?" 

"Er er hum nothing, my dear! I a Oh, 
Lord!" This last ejaculation was provoked by 
another act of Koto's. On the table was a small 
plate of chowchow. The servant passed it to Koto, 
thinking perhaps she would like some with her 
meat. Instead of helping herself to some, the girl 
held the dish in her hand, hesitated a moment, and 
then very heroically ate the hot stuff all up with the 
small china spoon in the dish. Her eyes were full 
of tears when she had finished. 

"What is it, Koto-san?" Nume asked, gently. 

"It is the barbarian food," the girl answered, 
desperately, in Japanese. "I do not like it." 

Nume translated this to the Americans, apologia- 
ing for the remark by saying : 

"Koto always been geisha girl. Tha's why she 
is nod most careful in her speech. It was most rude 
that she spik' so of the kind Americazan's food, bud 
the geisha girl is only stylish, and nod understan' to 
spik' polite to foreigners." 

This elaborate, rather mixed apology, the Amer- 
icans took very good-naturedly, telling Nume to 
assure Koto that they bore her no malice whatever, 
and that, in fact, they owed her an apology for not 
having remembered that she was a stranger to their 
food. Besides, the Americans were just as foolish 
when they had eaten Japanese food. 



iz6 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 
THE PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE. 

After dinner Nume resumed her seat by Mrs. 
Davis, while her husband took Koto through the 
house, glad of an opportunity to air his limited 
knowledge of Japanese ; for Nume seldom permitted 
them to address her save in English, pretending to 
make great fun of their Japanese in order to make 
them speak English to her. They, on the other 
hand, always praised her English extravagantly. 

"I want you to promise me, Nume, that you will 
never tell any man you care for him again, unless 
itisOrito." 

"Why shall I promise?" the girl asked. 

"Because it is not the right thing to say to any 
one." 

"But if Iluf " 

"Nonsense; you are not going to love except as 
all good Japanese girls do after your marriage." 

"But you say one time thad is shame for me thad 
I only luf after I marry." 

"Well, I have been thinking it over," the other 
answered, a trifle rattled "and and really, you 
are all so happy with things that way I wouldn't 
advise your changing the custom. ' ' 

"Bud Japanese girl luf a liddle before they'marry. 
After marriage big bit. Koto say geisha girl luf big 



THE PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE. 127 

bit before they marry. Koto luf vaery much Japan- 
ese boy in Tokyo ' ' 

"That is good, and are they to be married?" 

"Ah, no; because he worg vaery hard to mag' 
money, but Koto say mag' vaery liddle money, so 
she come worg' for me, and save afterward they 
marry vaery habby . ' ' 

Nume looked at the American lady with eyes full 
of wistful wondering: "I thing' I lig' vaery much 
thad I luf and be habby too. Nume nod know thad 
she luf Orito vaery much Ess, she luf him vaery 
much, bud sometimes I thing' I nod /;// him too 
much ; sometimes I thing' mebbe Orito nod luf me 
too much." 

"Of course, you do love him, goosie. Now, don't 
begin thinking you don't, because one often con- 
vinces oneself of things that are not actually so. ' ' 

"Bud I do nod thing' much of Orito," the girl 
contradicted; and added, shyly: "I thing', instead, 
of Mr. Sinka but I not lig' No! Nume nod lig' 
Mr. Sinka;" she shook her head violently. 

Mrs. Davis called all the argument she could to 
her aid. 

"You ought not to think of him, Nume; that is 
wicked, because he belongs to some one else." 

The girl's face had lost its wistfulness. Now it 
was arch and complacent. 

"Perhaps Nume is vaery wigged," she smiled. 
"Koto say all girls thad are habby are wigged." 

"Koto is a bad girl if she told you that. Don't 
let her teach you about the geisha girls, dear Er 
every one knows they are not a good class, at all." 



128 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

Nume tossed her head provokingly. "All the 
same, Nume still thing' of Mr. Sinka. ' ' 

Her persistence astounded Mrs. Davis. She felt 
almost like shaking the girl; and yet there was 
something so sweet and innocent in her openly 
acknowledging that she thought of Sinclair. 

She had not been out much, nor had she seen 
many people since the night of the party. There- 
fore, it was quite natural that, as Sinclair had made 
such an impression on her that night, she should 
think about him a great deal. Moreover, Koto, 
with a geisha girl's usual flippancy and love of any- 
thing savoring of romance, had perhaps fostered this 
feeling. The girls had discussed him. 

Ever since he had told his father of his love for 
the American girl, Orito had been very kind to her, 
though sometimes Nume fancied he wished to tell 
her something. Her interest in Sinclair had not 
spoiled her loyalty to Orito, which she had felt and 
cultivated all these years. Koto had encouraged 
her in the idea of flirting with the American. That 
was all. She never for an instant thought of break- 
ing off her betrothal with Orito. She had grown 
used to that, and, unlike Orito, she had not been in 
America, so that she still was Japanese enough to be 
obedient. Besides, she really did love Orito in a 
way that she herself did not comprehend. Because, 
although it pleased her very much to be with him, 
to chat and tell him all the news of the neighborhood 
in which they lived, ask his advice and opinion on 
different subjects, yet her mind kept constantly 
wandering from him, and she could call up no gen- 



THE PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE. 129 

nine warmth or enthusiasm in her affection for him. 
The truth was, her love for him was merely that of 
a young sister for a very dear brother, one from 
whom she had been parted for a long time. 



130 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 
WHAT CAN THAT "LUF" BE? 

Perhaps Orito recognized this fact, and for that 
reason seldom wearied her with over-attention. He 
was tenderness itself to her ; he took great interest 
in all her studies; played games with her and 
Koto; and tried in every way possible to make 
things pleasant for her. In this way a very dear 
sympathy had sprung up between them. Although 
Orito had told her nothing directly of his plans, yet 
he had often tried to give her some inkling of the 
state of affairs. Thus, he would say: "I will be 
your friend and brother forever, Nume-san. ' ' 

Nume had a peculiar temperament for a Japanese 
girl. Although apparently open and ingenuous and 
artless in all things, nevertheless where she chose to 
be she could keep her own counsel, and one might 
almost have accused her of being sly. But then the 
girl was far from being as childish, or as innocent 
and contented, as she seemed at times. On the 
contrary, her nature was self-willed almost to 
stubbornness. She either loved one with all her 
strength, or she was indifferent, or she hated one 
fiercely. There was nothing lukewarm about her. 
Perhaps when she should meet the one to whom she 
could give her heart, she would give it with a pas- 
sion that would shake every fibre of her little body. 



WHAT CAN THAT "LUF" BE? 131 

This was the reason why she was restless in her 
betrothal to Orito. 

She instinctively felt her capability for a deeper 
love. The Japanese are not, as a rule, a demonstra- 
tive people. It is said to be a weakness to love 
before marriage, though a great many do so, espe- 
cially those who are thrown into contact with the 
opposite sex to any extent. Numb knew this, and 
strove bravely to live up to the popular idea. She 
did not, as yet, understand her own self, nor was 
she cognizant of the possibilities for feeling which 
were latent in her. She attributed her restlessness 
solely to the fact that she was so soon to be married. 
She had not analyzed the word "love." It had only 
existed in her vocabulary since she had known the 
Americans. She had tired Mrs. Davis out asking 
questions about it. "Was this luf good?" "Was it 
wrong to luf too many people?" "Why must she 
not tell when she lufed any one?" "Did the pretty 
Americazan ladies luf their husbands, and was that 
why they were always so proud and beautiful?" 
"She" (Nume) "would like to luf too." "How 
would she know it?" 

These almost unanswerable questions, and many 
others, she put to Mrs Davis, that lady answering 
them as sagely and wisely as possible, the natural 
love of romance prompting her to encourage the 
girl to talk so, but her desire to give only such 
advice as would keep her from thinking of Sinclair 
causing her to modify her answers so that they 
might suit the case. The worst of the matter was 
that although Nume would thank her very sweetly 



132 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

for any information on the subject, she had a 
lingering doubt that she ever wholly believed her, 
and that, in spite of her advice, the girl would will- 
fully permit her thoughts to run riot. No! the 
Americazan lady could not prevent Nume from 
thinking of whom she chose. 



CONSPIRATORS. 133 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 
CONSPIRATORS. 

This visit to Mrs. Davis' house broke the retire- 
ment Omi and Nume had planned for themselves. 
Besides, the girl was tired of the seclusion, and 
wanted to go out once more. And Omi had lost a 
'good deal of the old interest in his daughter that he 
had had before Orito had told him of his love for the 
American girl. He was still very strict with her, at 
times ; but soon he got into the habit of neglecting 
her, and would go over to the house of Sachi, where 
the two old men would sit mournfully together, 
neither of them alluding in any way to their chil- 
dren ; so that Nume was left a great deal to herself, 
and allowed to do pretty much as she liked. She 
and Koto would start out in the mornings with their 
lunches in tiny baskets, and would spend the entire 
day on the hills, or the shores of the Hayama, wan- 
dering idly in the cool shade of the trees, or gather- 
ing pebbles and shells on the shore. Sometimes they 
would join parties of young Japanese girls and 
boys, who came up to the hills from a little village 
near there. They were the children of fishermen, 
and were plump and healthy and happy. Nume 
and Koto would play with them as joyously as if 
they, themselves, were children. 

One day when Nume and Koto were in the woods 
10 



134 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

alone together, and Nume had made Koto tell her 
over and over again of the gay life of the geisha 
girls in Tokyo, Nume said : 

"Koto-san, let us some day go up to Tokyo 
alone. Lots of girls now travel alone, and we are 
so near the city. We would not let my father know, 
and as he is away with Takashima Sachi all day, he 
would never miss us. No one will recognize us in 
the city, or if they do they'll think we are there with 
some friends, but it is common for two girls to be 
together in the city, is it not, Koto?" 

Koto said it was, but looked a trifle scared at this 
proposal. However, she was as ea^er as Nume to 
carry it out, for they had both grown very tired of 
the quietness of their life ; especially Koto, who was 
used to the noisy city. She entered into the project 
at once. 

"Let me go first to the city alone to-morrow," sh 
said, "and I will tell your father that I have busi- 
ness to do there ; then I will go and make arrange- 
ments at a jinrikisha stand to send a special vehicle 
to meet us each day or every other day. ' ' 

"And will we see Shiku?" Nume asked. 

Koto's face beamed. 

"If you say so, Nume-san if you will permit. 
'Why, of course I will," Nume said, excitedly. 
"Where will we see him?" 

"I will tell him to meet us. He works for the 
American consul, and he is very good to Shiku. ' ' 

Nume looked at her narrowly. 

"Do you know, Koto-san, that the American 
consul is the Mr. Sinka I tell you of?" 



CONSPIRATORS. 135 

"No; Shiku calls him only 'master sir,' and 'the 
consul.' " 

Nume was silent a moment. 

"And will we see the consul also, Koto?" 

"Oh, no! because if we do not want any one to 
know we must be very careful not to be recognized. ' ' 

So the two girls planned, and the next day Koto 
went up to the city and made every arrangement. 



136 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 
A RESPITE FOR SINCLAIR. 

It was about two weeks later. Orito had not 
returned from Yokohama, neither had Cleo Ballard 
returned from Matsushima. She was enchanted 
with the beauty of the wonderful bay, and after the 
strain she had been under in Tokyo, it was a great 
relief for her to be away from the noise of the city 
in a spot that suggested only beauty and rest. 

Sinclair had not accompanied them on the trip. 
He had been somewhat surprised at the haste in 
which it had been undertaken, and had told Cleo 
that unless he could travel leisurely he did not care 
to go at all; besides, he never enjoyed traveling 
with a large party of tourists, preferring to go alone 
with one congenial companion. However, he urged 
her to go, saying that he might run down himself 
and join them in a few days. 

After the departure of the party he was left almost 
entirely to himself. He found time for looking 
about him. It was a relief for the time being to feel 
free once more, and to come and go as he chose; 
whereas, when the Ballards were in the city, he had 
always felt in duty bound to be with them con- 
stantly, and to place himself and his time entirely 
at their disposal. Sinclair was not looking well. 
He had grown thin and nervous, and there was a 



A RESPITE FOR SINCLAIR. 137 

harassed look about his usually sunny face. Sinclair 
was by no means an extraordinary or brilliant man. 
He was easy-going in disposition, a trifle stern and 
harsh to those he disliked, but as a rule genial and 
easy to get on with. He was a favorite both with 
men and women. He was too good-natured to be a 
strong man, perhaps, and was easily swayed by his 
own likes and dislikes. 

His engagement worried him more than he cared 
to admit. He told himself constantly that he ought 
to be happy, that nine men out of ten would have 
envied him Cleo. He recognized that she was good 
and generous, as well as beautiful ; but yet all this 
seemed rather to paralyze his efforts to love her 
than otherwise. He knew her beauty and charms 
too well. When a man admits to himself that he 
has summed up all a woman's charms, then be sure 
affection begins to wane ; for where there is love the 
lover is constantly discovering new charms, and, in 
fact, even those he has known are ever new to him. 

Sinclair was weary. The prospect of his marriage 
appalled him. Even the beauty of the country, in 
which he had hitherto taken such great delight, 
ceased to interest him. It was replete with sadness 
now. The girl's departure was an unconscious 
respite and relief to him. 

After they had left he threw himself into the 
actual joy of living, which life in Japan always 
suggests. He succumbed to the do Ice far niente of 
the atmosphere, went out into the country, with his 
Japanese interpreter and office boy, and even on two 
or three occasions visited the tea-houses and frivolled 



138 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

away a few dreamy hours with the light-hearted 
geishas. 

Often he and an English traveler named Taylor 
would find a quiet spot on the Hayama, where they 
would spend the entire day fishing, a favorite pas- 
time of Sinclair's. Shiku would accompany them, 
carrying their rods and the Englishman's sketching 
apparatus, for in a quiet, unobtrusive fashion Taylor 
was quite a clever artist, though he painted almost 
entirely for his own pleasure. He would often 
desert the rod for the brush and leave Sinclair to 
fish alone, while he tried to reproduce parts of the 
exquisite, incomparable landscape; for, as some 
clever Japanese poet has described the scenery in 
Japan, it consists of "precious jewels in little cas- 
kets," and that within the vicinity of Fuji-Yama, 
from many points of which a distant view of the 
peerless mountain can be seen, is one of the most 
beautiful of all the lovely spots in Japan. 

Taylor was of an uncommunicative, reticent 
nature, strong and staunch. Between the two men 
an inexplicable friendship had sprung up, one that 
partook of no confidence betwixt them, but showed 
itself simply in the pleasure they took in being 
together. 



THOSE BAD JINRIKISHA MEN. 139 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 
THOSE BAD JINRIKISHA MEN. 

One balmy day in June, when the woods were so 
still that scarce a leaf stirred on the branches of the 
trees that shaded a spot along the Hayama where the 
two friends were fishing and smoking together, they 
were aroused from a pleasing silence by voices on 
the road which ran curving along the river bank 
only a short distance from where they sat. They 
were women's voices, and they were raised in pro- 
test. The Englishman lazily puffed on at his pipe, 
saying laconically : 

"Some damned jinrikisha man, I suppose. Got a 
nasty habit, some of them, of demanding extra fare 
of women when they get them well on the road, and 
then, if they don't pay, won't carry them any 
further." 

The American turned to Shiku: 

"Go and see what you can do, Shiku." 

Shiku ran lithely through the small bush that 
separated them from the road. After a time he 
came back, his face flushed and indignant. 

"The lady has forgot to bring more money 
than the fare, and now the runners will charge 
more." 

Sinclair stopped watching the line at the end of 
his rod. He put his hand carelessly into his trousers 



140 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

pocket, pulling out a handful of small change. 
"How much is it, Shiku?" 

"Fifteen sen." 

"Here you are." 

"Wait a moment," said the Englishman, slowly, 
pulling in his line. "I'll just step over with you, 
and punch his head for him. ' ' 

Sinclair smiled to himself as he watched his tall, 
strong figure disappear among the trees. As he did 
not return for some time, Sinclair also drew in his 
line, and sauntered toward the road. Taylor was 
not bullying the runners. Instead, he was listening 
very attentively to the little Japanese women in the 
jinrikisha, who seemed tearful and excited. As 
Sinclair came nearer to them he caught what one of 
them was saying : 

"An" I bring no more moaneys." The halting 
English struck him with a pleased ring of familiar- 
ity. He turned sharply to look at her face. It was 
Nume! 



THOSE GOOD JINRIKISHA MEN. 141 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 
THOSE GOOD JINRIKISHA MEN. 

It did not take Sinclair long to learn the source of 
her trouble. It seems she and Koto had been mak- 
ing trips to Tokyo, and had made special arrange- 
ments with a jinrikisha man to take them for so 
much per week. Unfortunately, two new runners 
had been given to them that day. Like the rest of 
their class, they were unscrupulous and, conse- 
quently, as soon as they were in a portion of the 
road from which the girls could not attempt either 
to walk to the city or to their home, they had 
stopped to demand extra fare. This the girls could 
not pay them, having no more with them. There- 
upon the runners had refused to carry them farther. 
It was in this pitiful plight the two men had found 
them. 

Sinclair reprimanded the men very severely, 
threatening to report them to the police, as soon as 
he returned to Tokyo. He could not be too harsh, 
however, because at heart he was thanking them for 
giving him this happy chance to see Nume again. 

How pretty she looked in the soft kimona! He 
had only seen her in conventional American evening 
dress. It had seemed to him, then, wonderfully 
lovely and suited to her ; now he thought it incon- 
gruous when compared to the Japanese gown on her. 



142 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"You must have been awfully frightened," he 
said; "better stop a while until you are composed;" 
then, as the girls hesitated, "I'll fix it all right with 
the runners." He did so, and soon all were in good 
humor. As for Nume and Koto, they stepped 
daintily, "almost fearfully, from the jinrikisha, and 
followed the two men to the pretty shaded spot, 
leaving the jinrikisha men with their vehicles to take 
care of themselves. 

Sinclair noticed that the Englishman seemed to 
know Nume. He addressed her as Miss Watanabe, 
and inquired after Mrs. Davis. 

"You have met before, I see," he remarked. 

"Ess," the girl smiled; and Taylor repeated the 
incident of how he had spoken to her father of the 
girl's beauty. 

"Did I offend you?", he asked the girl. 

"Ess." 

Both Sinclair and Taylor laughed heartily at her 
assent, and the two girls joined in, scarcely knowing 
what they were laughing at, but feeling strangely 
happy and free. 

Nume called their attention to Koto, telling them 
she was her friend and maid. Sinclair recognized 
the girl almost immediately as she smiled at him. 

"And so you have been making almost daily trips 
to Tokyo?" he said, wondering at the girl's skill in 
evading detection. 

' ' Ess we become so lonely. ' ' 

"Well, it's a jolly shame to shut you up like they 
do the women here," Taylor said, with a vivid 
memory of how the girl had been kept under such 



THOSE GOOD JINRIKISHA MEN. 143 

rigid seclusion after his conversation with her father. 
Taylor began fumbling with his sketching tools. 

"Will you let me paint you, Miss Nume?" he 
asked. "I'll make the sky a vivid blue behind you, 
and paint you like a bright tropic flower standing 
out against it. ' ' 

The girl looked at Sinclair standing behind Tay- 
lor. He shook his head at her. 

"No," she said, with exaggerated dignity, "Nume 
does not wish to be painted. ' ' 

"Well, what about Koto?" 

Koto nodded her head in undisguised pleasure at 
the prospect. 



144 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
DISPROVING A PROVERB. 

While Taylor sketched Koto, Sinclair and Nume 
wandered away from them, and finding a pretty 
shady spot sat down together. The girl was 
strangely shy, though she did not pretend to hide 
the artless pleasure she had in seeing him again. 

"What have you been doing with yourself all 
these days, Nume?" 

"Nosing." 

"I thought you had been making sly trips to 
Tokyo?" 

"I was so lonely," the girl said, sadly. 

"You ought to be very happy now now that your 
marriage is assured. ' ' 

"Nume is nod always habby, " she answered, 
wistfully. "Sometimes I tell Mrs. Davees I am nod 
vaery, VAERY habby, an* she laf at me, tell me I 
donno how habby I am. ' ' 

"But why are you not always happy?" 

"I don't to understand. I thing' thad I want 
to " she looked Sinclair in the face with 
serious, wistful eyes "I thing* I want to be luf, " 
she said. 

Sinclair felt the blood rush to his head in a tor- 
rent at this strange, ingenuous confession. The 
girl's sweet face fascinated him strangely. He had 



DISPROVING A PROVERB. 145 

thought of her constantly ever since he had met her. 
With her strange, foreign, half-wild beauty, she 
awakened in him all the slumbering passion of his 
nature, and at the same time, because of her sweet- 
ness, innocence and purity of heart, a finer sense of 
chivalry than he had ever felt before a wish to 
protect her. 

"You do not need to wish to be loved, Nume 
every one who knows you must love you. ' ' 

"Koto luf me," she said, "tha's all. My f adder 
vaery proud of me sometimes, an' thad I marry 
with Orito ; Orito luf me a liddle, liddle bit Mrs. 

Davees vaery good friend you " she paused, 

looking at him questioningly. Then she added, 
shyly : 

"You are vaery good friend too, I thing'." 

Sinclair had forgotten everything save the witch- 
ing beauty of the girl at his side. She continued 
speaking to him : 

"Are you habby, too?" she asked. 

"Sometimes, Nume; not always." 

"Mrs. Davees tell me thad you luf the pretty 
Americazan lady all with your heart, an' thad you 
marry with her soon, so Nume thing' you mus* be 
vaery habby. ' ' 

Sinclair made a nervous gesture, but he did not 
answer Nume. After a while he said : 

"Nume, one does not always love where one 
marries." 

"No in Japan naever; bud Mrs. Davees say 
nearly always always in America." 

"Mrs. Davis is wrong this time, Nume." 



146 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

About a half hour later he heard Taylor calling to 
them. 

"Nume," he said, as he helped her rise to her 
feet, "I know a pretty spot on the river not far from 
your home. Won't you and Koto come there 
instead of going all the way to Tokyo?" 

The girl nodded her head. As they started up the 
hill she said: "Mrs. Davees tell me not to say too 
much to you." 

"Don't put any bar on your speech, Nume. 
There is nothing you may not say;" he paused, 
"but er perhaps you had better not say anything 
to her about our meeting." 

He was strangely abstracted as he and Taylor 
trudged back to their hotel. The Englishman 
glanced at him sideways. 

"Nice little girl, that Nume-san." 

Taylor stopped in the walk to knock the ash from 
his pipe against a huge oak tree. 

"Hope she is not like the rest of them." 

"What do you mean?" 

"Ah well, don't you know lots of fire and all 
that but as for heart ever hear the old saying: 'A 
Japanese flower has no smell, and a Japanese woman 
no heart'?" 

The perfume-laden blossoms and flowers about 
them stole their sweetness into his nostrils even as 
he spoke. Perhaps Sinclair recognized this. 

"It is doubtless as untrue of the woman as the 
flower. Ah pretty good smelling flowers those 
over there, eh?" He plucked a couple of wild 
flowers that resembled the pink. 



DISPROVING A PROVERB. 147 

"Well, I guess the poet or fool who said that 
alluded only to the national flower the chrysan- 
themum," Taylor said. 

"Apparently yes; he was a fool; didn't know 
what he was talking about." 



148 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 
LOVE! 

Summer in the woods summer in Japan! Ah! 
the poet Hitomaru sang truly over a thousand years 
ago, when he said: "Japan is not a land where men 
need pray, for 'tis itself divine." It seemed as if 
the Creator had expended all the wealth of his pas- 
sion and soul in the making of Nippon (Japan) the 
land of beauty. It pulsated with a warm, wild, 
luxuriant beauty; the sun seemed to shine more 
broadly over that fair island, kissed and bathed it 
in a perpetual glow until the skies and the waters, 
which in their clearness mirrored its glory, became 
as huge rainbows of ever-changing and brilliant 
colors. Color is surely contagious; for the wild 
birds, that sang deliriously, wore coats that dazzled 
the eye ; the grass and flowers, the trees and blos- 
soms were tinged with a beauty found nowhere else 
on earth; and even the human inhabitants caught 
the spirit of the Color Queen and fashioned their 
garments to harmonize with their surroundings. 
So, also, the artists of Japan painted pictures that 
had no shadows, and the people built their houses 
and colored them in accord with nature. 

What spirit of romance and enchantment lurked 
in every woodland path, every rippling brook or 
stream! Sinclair was intoxicated with the beauty 



LOVE! 149 

of the country. It is true he had lived there nearly 
three years now, but never had it struck him as 
being so gloriously lovely. Why was there an added 
charm and beauty to all things in life? Why was 
there music even in the drone of the crickets in the 
grass? Sinclair was in love! Love, the great 
beautifier, had crept into his heart, unseen. Nume 
knew it knew that Sinclair loved her. From the 
first he had never even tried to battle against the 
growing love for Nume which was consuming him, 
so that he thought of nothing else, night or day. His 
letters to Cleo Ballard grew wandering and nervous, 
or he did not write at all to her. He would neglect 
official business to meet Nume on the banks of the 
Hayama, and spend whole days in her company, 
with no one by them save the wee things of nature, 
and within call of Koto and Shiku. Neither did 
Nume struggle against or make any resistance. 
With all the force of her intense nature she returned 
his love. And it was the awakening of this love in 
her that had taught her to be discreet. She had 
taken the lesson well to heart that Mrs. Davis had 
taught her to tell no man she loved him even if she 
did love him. 

"Orito is coming home neg's weeg," she told him 
one morning. 

Sinclair drew his breath in sharply. 

"It will mean, then, the end of our our happy 
days in the woods. ' ' 

Nume was feeling perverse. Why did not Mr. 
Sinka tell her he cared for her did he love the 
beautiful American lady more than he did her? 
n 



150 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

"Oh, no not the end, Mr. Sinka," she said; and 
added, cruelly, "Orito can come, too." 

It was the first time she had ever seemed to trifle 
with him. Hitherto she had always been so gentle 
and lovable. He felt a pain at his heart, and his 
eyes were quite stern and contracted. 

"Nume," he said, almost harshly, "you you 
surely hold our meetings more sacred than that. 
You know they would lose their essence of happi- 
ness and freedom, with the intrusion of a third 
party. ' ' 

The girl was filled with remorse, in an instant. 

"Ess, Mr. Sinka," she said. "Please forgive bad 
Nume." 

"Forgive you, Nume!" He turned his eyes 
reluctantly from the girl's flushed face. "Oh! little 
witch," he whispered, holding her hands with a 
passionate fierceness. "You tempt me so tempt 
me to forget everything save that I am with you." 

She let her hands rest in his a moment. Then she 
withdrew them and rose to her feet restlessly. Sin- 
clair rose also, looking at her with yearning in his 
face. 

"Why do you speag lig' thad, Mr. Sinka?" she 
asked. 

"Nume, Nume, don't you understand don't you 
know?" 

"No! Nume does not onderstand Americazan. 
Mrs. Davees tell me thad the Americazan genleman 
mag' luf to poor liddle Japanese women, but he nod 
really luf only laf at her. " 

A cold anger crept over Sinclair. 



LOVE! 151 

"So she has been telling you some more yarns?" 

"No; she telling thad yarns long, long time ago." 

He recovered himself with an effort. 

"I won't make love to you, Nume," he said, 
bitterly. "You need not fear. " 

In his misery at his helplessness and inability to 
tell the girl how much he loved and wanted her, he 
was doubting her, wondering whether it were 
indeed the truth that a Japanese woman had no 
heart. A feeling of utter misery came over him as. 
he thought that perhaps Nume had been only play- 
ing with him, that her shy, seeming pleasure in 
being with him was all assumed. He looked down 
at the girl beside him. Perhaps she felt that look. 
She raised her little head and smiled at him, smiled 
confidently, almost lovingly. His doubts vanished. 

"Numb Nume!" was all he said; but he kissed 
her little hands at parting [with a vehemence and 
passion he had never known. 



152 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XL. 
A PASSIONATE DECLARATION. 

"Koto," Num& said that night, as the maid 
brushed her hair till it shone bright and glossy as 
the shining jade-stone she placed before the huge 
Buddha when she visited the Kawnnon temple, 
"Mr. Sinkaluf me." 

' ' I know, ' ' the other said, quite complacently, and 
as though she had never had even the smallest doubt 
about it. 

"Why, Koto," Numk turned around in surprise, 
"how do you know?" 

"Shiku tell me first. He say always the august 
consul carry with him the flowers you give him, and 
he leave his big work for to come and see you." 

Nume smiled happily. 

"Do you think he will love me forever, Koto?" 

"Ah, no!" Koto answered, elaborately; "because 
the august consul is to marry with the honorably 
august American woman in two months now, and of 
course he love only his wife then. ' ' 

This answer displeased Nume. She spoke quite 
sharply to Koto. "But he tells me love never dies; 
that when he will love somebody he love her only 
forever." 

Koto shrugged her shoulders. 

"Americans are very funny. I do not understand 
them. ' ' 



A PASSIONATE DECLARATION. 153 

The next day Nume asked Sinclair whether he 
thought it possible for one who was married to love 
any one else besides his wife. 

"Yes, Nume, it is possible," he said. 

Then an idea struck him that she was thinking of 
her own case and her approaching marriage to 
Orito. 

"I don't believe in such marriages," he said. "I 
would despise a woman who loved one man and mar- 
ried another." Nume smiled sadly. 

"Ah, Mr. Sinka, that's vaery mas' sad thad you 
despising poor liddle womans. Will you despise also 
grade big mans who do same thing?" 

Then Sinclair comprehended. His face was quite 
haggard. 

"Oh, Nume, Nume-san, " he almost groaned, 
"what can I do?" The girl was silent, waiting for 
his confidence. 

"You understand, Nume, don't you understand 
that I love you?" 

The girl quivered with his passion, for a moment, 
then she stood still in the path, a quiet, question- 
ing, almost accusing, little figure. 

"But soon you will marry with the red-haired 
lady," she said. 

"No! I cannot!" he burst out, passionately. "I 
won't give you up! Nume, I I will try to free 
myself. It must not be, now. It would be wrong- 
ing all of us. Sweetheart, I never cared for her. I 
never loved any one in the world but you, and I 
think I loved you even that first night. I will tell 
her all about it, Nume. She is a good woman, and 



154 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

will give me my freedom. Then she will go back 
to America, and we will be married and be together 
here in this garden of Eden." He was holding 
her little hands in his now, and looking into her 
face hungrily. 

"Think of it, Nume," he repeated; "only you and 
I together always together no more parting at the 
turn of the road no more long, long nights alone. 
Oh! Nume! NumeT' 

"But Orito?" she said, with pitiful pain. "Ah! 
my father would surely kill me. You dunno my 
people." 

"Yes, I do, sweetheart. You must tell them 
they will forgive in time promise me, Nume 
sweetheart. ' ' 

He drew her towards him, but the girl still held 
back. 

"Wait," she cried, almost in terror. "We mus* 
be sure firs' thad my father, thad Orito will not kill- 
ing me. ' ' 

"Kill you!" the man scoffed at the idea. 

' ' Bud Nume is afraid, ' ' she persisted, and pulled 
her little hands desperately from his. She ran a 
little way from him, a sudden feeling of shyness and 
terror possessing her. 

"Koto!" she called. 

At the bend of the road where they were wont to 
part Sinclair helped her into the waiting jinrikisha. 
Her little hand rested against his sleeve for a 
moment. She was not afraid now now that Koto 
was with her, and the runners were watching them. 
She was not afraid to let him read her little heart 



A PASSIONATE DECLARATION. 155 

now. Such a look of tenderness and love and pas- 
sion was in her small flower face as filled Sinclair 
with a wild elation. 

"My little passion flower," he whispered, and 
bending kissed her little hand fervently. 



156 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XLI. 
A HARD SUBJECT TO HANDLE. 

When the girls reached their home that afternoon 
they found Mrs. Davis waiting for them. Nume, 
who thrilled with a joy she herself could not compre- 
hend, ran to her, and putting her arms about her 
neck, clung with a sudden passion to her. 

"Oh, Nume is so habby," she said. 

Mrs. Davis undid the clinging arms, and looked 
the girl in the face. Then Nume noticed for the 
first time that the American lady was unusually 
silent, and seemed almost offended about something. 
Nume tried to shake off the loving mood that still 
lingered with her, for where one is in love there 
is a desire to caress and shower blessings every- 
where, and on all living creatures. So it was with 
Nume". 

"I want to have a talk with you, Nume dear, 
Mrs. Davis, said, gravely ; and then turning coldly 
to Koto she added, "No, not even Koto must stay." 
The little maid left them together. 

"Nume, how could you be so sly?" 

"Sly!" the girl was startled. 

"Yes to think that all these weeks when you 
have been pretending to be alone with Koto in the 
woods, you have been meeting Mr. Sinclair." 

The girl turned on her defiantly. 



A HARD SUBJECT TO HANDLE. 157 

"I nod telling you account tha's nod business for 
you. ' ' 

"Well, Nume!" 

"I getting vaery lonely, and meeting only by acci- 
dent with Mr. Sinka. ' ' 

"Does your father know?" the other asked, 
relentlessly. 

The girl approached her with terror. "No! Oh, 
Mrs. Davees, don't tell yet." After a time she 
asked her: "How did you know?" 

"I learned it by accident through a clerk at the 
consulate. How he knows and how many others 
know of it, I cannot say." She almost wrung her 
hands in her distress. She saw it was no use being 
angry with Nume, and that she might do more by 
being patient with her. She had learned merely the 
fact of Sinclair's being in the woods each day with 
a Japanese girl. This had set her to thinking; 
Koto's and Nume's long absences in the country 
each day a few questions and a handful of sen to 
the runners who had been loitering in her vicinity 
for some days now with their vehicles, and she soon 
knew the truth. 

Just how far things had gone between Sinclair and 
Nume she must find out from the girl herself, 
though she was not prepared to trust her completely 
when she realized how Nume had deceived her all 
these weeks. She was determined to help Cleo, and 
felt almost guilty when she remembered that she 
had urged the girl to make the trip which might 
result in so much disaster to her, for Jenny Davis 
knew Cleo Ballard well enough to know that it 



158 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

would break her heart to give Sinclair up now, after 
all the years she had waited for him. 

"Nume, " she said, quite sadly, "don't look at me 
so resentfully. I want only to do my duty by you 
and my friend. Let me be your friend. Oh! 
Nume, if you had confided in me we could have 
avoided all this. ' ' 

Nume had a tender spot in her heart for Mrs. 
Davis, who had always been so good to her. 

"Forgive Nume," she said, impulsively, and for a 
moment the two women clung together, the Amer- 
ican woman almost forgetting, for the moment, 
everything save the girl's sweet spontaneity and 
impulsiveness. Then she pulled herself together, 
remembering Cleo. 

"Nume, tell me just what just how all about 
the the meetings with Mr. Sinclair. ' ' 

The girl shook her head, flushed and rebellious. 

"Me? I nod tell. Mr. Sinka tell me all too 
saked. ' ' 

Mrs. Davis caught her breath. 

"He told you told you the the meetings were 
sacred?" 

Nume nodded : 

"Ess." 

"Then he is not an honorable man, Nume, 
because he is betrothed to another woman. ' ' 

"Bud he writing her to breag', " the girl said, 
triumphantly. 

"He write to Nume, what are you talking 
about? Are you conscienceless? When did he 
write what?" 



A HARD SUBJECT TO HANDLE. 159 

"He say he writing soon, and I telling Onto, too. " 
The girl's complacency cut Mrs. Davis to the 
quick. She forgot all about Cleo's flirtations. She 
remembered only that Cleo was her dearest friend 
that this strange Japanese girl might cause her 
immeasurable trouble and pain, and that she must 
do something to prevent it. 

"Nume, you can't really care for for Sinclair." 
"Ess I luf," the girl interrupted, softly. 
"Come and sit at my knee, Nume, like like you 
used to do. So ! now I will tell you a little story. 
How hot your little head is you are tired? No? 
Oh, Nume, Nume, you have been a very foolish 
very cruel little girl. ' ' Nevertheless, she bent and 
kissed the wistful upturned face. 



160 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XLIL 
A STORY. 

"Once there was a young girl," Mrs. Davis 
began, "who was born in a beautiful city away 
across the seas. She was just as beautiful and good 
as as you are, Nume. But, although the city 
was very beautiful in which she lived, she had very 
little in her life to make her happy. She lived all 
alone in a house so big that the halls and stairways 
were as long as as the pagodas. She seldom saw 
her father because he was always away traveling, 
and, besides, he did not love children much. Her 
mother was always sick, and when the little girl 
came near her she would fret and worry, and say 
that the little girl made her nervous. So she grew 
up very, very hungry for some one to love her. 
After a time, when she became a beautiful young 
lady, many men thought they loved her; but she 
had grown so used to not loving, and to not being 
loved by any one, that she never could care for any 
of them. At last there came one man who seemed 
different to her from all the others. And, Nume, he 
fell in love with her and she loved him. Oh ! you 
don' t know how much they loved each other. They 
were with each other constantly, and, and, are you 
tired?" she interrupted herself to ask the girl, who 
had moved restlessly. 

"No." 



A STORY. 161 

"Well, Nume, then her lover, that she loved so 
much you would have cried to have seen her, went 
far, far away from her to take a fine position, and 
he promised her faithfully that he would love only 
her, and would send for her soon. So the girl 
waited. But he did not send for her soon, Nume. 
He kept putting off and putting off till three long 
years had passed; and all this time she had been 
true to him waiting for him only to say the word 
to come. Then, at last, he wrote to her, asking her 
to come to him all the way across the seas thou- 
sands and thousands of miles, and she left her beau- 
tiful home, and came with her sick mother to join 
him." 

Nume's eyes were fastened on her face with a look 
of intense interest. 

"Ess?" she said, as the American lady paused. 

"When she reached him she found he had 
changed though she had not. He was cold, and 
always bored ; kind to her at times, and indifferent 
at others. Still, she loved him so much she forgave 
him, and was so sweet and gentle to him that even 
he began to melt and began to be kinder to her, and 
all, Nume, would have turned out happily, and he 
would have loved her as he used to, only only 

" she paused in her story. She had exaggerated 

and drawn on her imagination strongly in order to 
make an impression on Nume; for she knew the 
girl's weakness lay in her tender heart. 

''''Only whad, Mrs. Davees?" 

"Nume the girl was Miss Ballard the man Mr. 
Sinclair. Oh, Nume, you don't want to separate 



162 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

them now after all these years. Think how cruel it 
would be. It would kill her, and ' ' 

Nume had risen to her feet. She looked out at 
the burning blaze of the oriental landscape, the end- 
less blue of the fields at the misty mountains in the 
distance. She was trying to reason. The first real 
trouble of her life had come to her. She thought of 
all to whom she would bring sorrow should she yield 
to Sinclair; of the two old fathers, for she knew 
nothing as yet of what Orito had told them. She 
thought of the beautiful American girl, and remem- 
bered the look on her face that night of the ball. 
She wondered how she would have felt in her place. 
Her voice was quite subdued and hushed as she 
turned to Mrs. Davis. 

"Nume will marry only Orito," she said. "Nume 
will tell Mr. Sinka so. ' ' 

The other woman put her arms around the girl 
and attempted to draw her to her with the old affec- 
tion ; but Nume shrank strangely from her, and per- 
haps half the pleasure at her success was lost as Mrs. 
Davis saw the look of mute suffering in the girl's 
face. 



THE TRUTH OF THE PROVERB. 163 



CHAPTER XLIII. 
THE TRUTH OF THE PROVERB. 

It was with a heart full of yearning and love that 
Sinclair waited for Nume the next day. She was 
late ; or was it that that last look of hers had turned 
his head so that he had come earlier than usual to 
the spot, unable to wait the appointed time? 

He found himself planning their future together. 
How he would love her his bright tropic flower, 
his pure shining star his singing bird. Every leaf 
that stirred startled him. He tried to absorb him- 
self in the beauty of the country, but his restless- 
ness at her failure to come caused him to go 
constantly to the road and see if there were any 
signs of her. 

At last he heard the faint, unmistakable beat, 
beat, beat of sandaled runners. They started his 
blood throbbing wildly through his veins. She was 
coming the woman he loved, the dear little woman 
who had told him she loved him not in words but 
with that last parting, sweet look; and oh! Nume 
was too sweet, too genuine, too pure, to deceive. 

As he helped her from the jinrikisha and looked 
at her with all his pent-up longing and eagerness, 
she turned her head aside with a constrained look. 
Koto stayed close by her, and refused to take any 
suggestion from Sinclair to leave them alone 
together. 



164 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

Numb began to talk hastily, and as though she 
could not wait. 

"We have had lots of fon, Mr. Sinka?" 

"Fun! why, Nume!" 

She opened her little fan and shaded her face a 
moment. 

' ' Ess Nume and all Japanese girl luf to have fon. ' ' 

"Nume I don't like that word. It is inappli- 
cable in our case. ' ' 

He tried to take her hand in his, but it clung per- 
sistently to her fan, while the other remained hidden 
in the folds of her robe. 

"My little girl is quite cross," he said, thinking 
she was trying to tease him. 

"No! Nume nod mos' vaery cross;" after a 
moment she added, in a hard voice: "Nume does 
nod want to have any more fon. ' ' She clung to that 
word persistently. 

"You do not want any more fun, Nume!" he 
repeated, slowly; "I don't understand you." 

"Ess it is all fon," she said. "All fon thad we 
pretending to luf." 

"All fun?" he echoed, stupidly. "What is all 
fun, Nume? Why, what is the matter, sweetheart 
why so contrary to-day?" 

"Nosing is madder 'cept that Nume does nod 
wand any more fon with you she tired vaery much 
of Mr. Sinka. ' ' 

A silence, tragic in its feeling, passed between 
them. 

"What do you mean, Nume?" He was still 
stupid. 



THE TRUTH OF THE PROVERB. 165 

"That I only have fon to pretend that I luf you 
I am very tired now. ' ' 

A gray pallor had stolen over the man's face. 

"You you are trying to jest with me, Nume," he 
said unsteadily. 

The truth began to dawn on him gradually. He 
remembered his doubts of the former day. He had 
been deceived in her after all! Oh! fool that he 
was to have trusted her and now now he had not 
thought himself capable of such fierce love yet he 
loved her in spite of her deceit, her falsity. 

He got up and stood back a little way from her, 
leaning against a tree and looking down at her 
where she sat. A sudden wild sense of loss swept 
over him. Then his voice returned it was muffled 
and unfamiliar even to his own ears. 

"Nume!" was all he said; but he stretched his 
arms toward her with such yearning and pain that 
the girl rose suddenly and ran blindly from him, 
Koto following. On, and on, to where the jinrikisha 
was waiting. Koto helped, almost lifted her bodily 
in, and as the runner started down the road, Num& 
put her head back against Koto and quietly fainted 
away. 

When she came to herself she was in a high fever. 
She called pitifully for Sinclair, begging Koto to 
take her to him to go to him and tell him that she 
did not mean what she had said ; that she was try- 
ing to help Mrs. Davis; that she loved only him, 
and a thousand other pitiful messages. But Mrs. 
Davis had her carried to her house and stood at her 
bedside, invincible as Fate. 

12 



166 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

Sinclair remained where she had left him for some 
time, the same dazed expression on his face. When 
the girl had darted from the fallen tree on which 
they had sat, she had dropped something in her 
flight. Mechanically he stooped and picked it up. 
It was a Japanese-American primer. Nume and he 
had studied out of it together. He ground his teeth 
with wild pain, but he threw the book from him as 
if it had been poison. He ran his hand through his 
hair, tried to think a moment, and then sat down on 
the fallen tree, his face in his hands. 

There Taylor and Shiku came across him, sitting 
alone, looking out at the smooth, scintillating waters 
of the Hayama. 

"Had a sunstroke, old man?" Taylor asked. 

"No;" he rose abruptly to his feet. "I I was 
just thinking, Taylor just thinking thinking of 
of what you had told me a month or so ago. Do 
you remember it was about Japanese women?" 

4 ' Er yes, about them having no heart. Remem- 
ber we decided the poet or fool, we called him 
was wrong." 

"He was wrong only about the flower, Taylor." 



NUME BREAKS DOWN. 167 



CHAPTER XLIV. 
NUME BREAKS DOWN. 

A few days later Orito returned to Tokyo. His 
father's house was strangely sad and gloomy. On 
his return home from America it had been thrown 
open, as if to catch every bright ray of light and 
happiness. Now it was darkened. Sachi no longer 
sat in the little garden, but he and Omi were indoors 
trying to pass the time playing a game which 
resembled checkers. 

Neither of them greeted Orito otherwise than 
sadly, both of them letting him see in every way 
that he had wounded them deeply, although Omi 
was a trifle hopeful and often told Sachi that he had 
great hopes that Orito would change his mind, that 
something would turn up to help them. Sachi, on 
the other hand, was inconsolable. Moreover, he 
was growing quite old and feeble, and this last dis- 
appointment seemed to have stooped his shoulders 
and whitened his hair even more. 

Orito tried to cheer them up, telling them of some 
clever business deal he had made in Yokohama, by 
which he had sold a large tract of land for a good 
round sum. 

"How is Nume?" he asked. 

The old man shook his head sadly. 

"Quite sick," he said. "She grew very sad and 



168 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

lonely for a time, and about a week ago she broke 
down when out with her maid, and was carried 
to Mrs. Davis' house, where she has been ever 
since. ' ' 

"I'll go right over and see her," Orito said, with 
concern. 

He found Numk looking very thin and wan. She 
was lying on an English sofa. Koto was beside her, 
singing very softly as she played on her samisen. 
Orito paused on the threshold, listening to the last 
weird, thrilling notes of the beautiful song, ' ' Sayo- 
nara" (Farewell). 

"It is indeed very sad to find you sick, Nume, " he 
said, gently, as he sat down beside her. 

She smiled faintly. 

"I am afraid you have kept too much in seclusion, 
Nume. You ought to go out more into the open air. ' ' 

Still the girl smiled silently a pitiful, trembling, 
patient smile. 

Mrs. Davis came into the room and welcomed 
Orito, trying to cheer the girl up at the same time. 
"Now we will get better soon," she said, pinching 
the girl's chin "now that Orito has come home." 

"Ess," the girl answered, vaguely. "Nume will 
be bedder now." 

Koto laid her face against the sick girl's, caressing 
her little head with her hand. 

"Your voice is so weak, Nume-san," she said. 

A look of genuine sympathy and affection passed 
between mistress and maid. Koto understood her, 
if no one else did. Koto loved her and would stand 
by her through thick and thin. 



NUME BREAKS DOWN. 169 

Orito expressed himself to Mrs. Davis as being 
very shocked to find Nume so weak and thin. He 
had not heard of her illness. How long had it 
been? 

"Only a few days," Mrs. Davis told him. It had 
been very sudden. She would improve soon, now 
that Orito had returned. 

Her persistency in dwelling on the fact that it 
depended on him the restoration of Nume's 
health irritated Orito. He knew Nume better 
than Mrs. Davis imagined; and knew, also, that she 
did not love him so that for the sake of it she would 
suddenly break down and become as white and frail 
as a lily beaten by a brutal wind. 

Koto talked to him rapidly in Japanese. She 
wanted them to return home soon. Neither she nor 
Nume were comfortable. "Nume wanted to be all 
alone with Koto, where no one not even the kind 
Americans could intrude until she should be better 
again. ' ' 

"I will carry her across the fields now," Orito 
said, and told Mrs. Davis of his intention of doing 
so. That lady seemed very anxious that the girl 
should not be removed for several days. But Nume 
settled the question by rising up from the couch and 
saying she was perfectly strong, and wanted to 
return home ; that she would always be grateful for 
the kindness Mrs. Davis had shown her, but would 
Orito please take her home? 

The American lady was in tears. She kissed the 
girl repeatedly before letting her go, but Nume was 
too listless to be responsive. 



170 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

Ever since that day when she had fainted in the 
jinrikisha and had awakened in a high fever, Nume 
had been sick ill with no particular malady, save 
perhaps the strain and shock. 

Mrs. Davis had been very kind to her, waiting on 
her with her own hands, once staying up all night 
with her. In fact, she and Koto had vied with each 
other in serving and doing everything to please 
her, but Nume seemed to have lost interest in 
everything. The only thing that soothed her was 
for Koto to sing and play very gently to her, and 
this the little maid did constantly. 



TRYING TO FORGET. 171 



CHAPTER XLV. 
TRYING TO FORGET. 

Sinclair had become suddenly attached to his 
work. He deserted the country for the city, remain- 
ing sometimes quite late in the evening in his office, 
attending to certain matters that had collected dur- 
ing his absences from the office. One was the case 
of an American missionary who had been arrested 
for attempting to bribe school boys to become 
Kirishitans (Christians). The charge against him 
was that he had caused dissension in several of the 
public schools by bribing certain of the poorer chil- 
dren to leave their schools, and, in some cases, their 
homes, and attend the missionary school in Tokyo. 
It was said that he had become a terror to parents 
in the district, who were afraid of losing their chil- 
dren, for he generally got them to accompany him 
by paying them small sums of money. 

One deserter who had been converted to the 
Christian belief by a bright silver yen, was accred- 
ited with having told him after he had become a 
backslider and the missionary had reproached him : 
"You pay me ten more sen I go to church you pay 
me twenty sen I love Jesus." 

On the other hand, the missionary declared he 
had merely interfered and protested at the harsh 
treatment Christian children received at the hands 



172 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

of their playmates in the schools, and which he 
declared was encouraged by the teachers. In this 
way he had antagonized some bitter Japanese 
against him, who had had him unjustly arrested 
and thrown into prison. 

The case was quite a serious one, as the mission- 
ary was a well-known man in America. It gave 
Sinclair plenty of thought and work, and he was 
untiring in his endeavor to obtain his discharge. 

He had seen nothing of Nume since that day in 
the woods, when she had told him she had never 
cared for him. In spite of constant visitors and the 
volume of his work, which he tried personally to 
superintend for the time being, Sinclair could not 
forget Nume. The moment he was left to himself 
his mind would revert to the girl, to the dreamy 
days he had spent with her in the woods, to little 
things she had said that lingered in his mind like 
Japanese music. In spite of himself he could not 
hate her. Had she been an ordinary woman it 
might have been different, but with Nume could he 
cherish anything harsher against her than regret? 

He tried to assure himself that he had put her 
from his mind altogether, that after all she was 
unworthy of his pain, but every incident that came 
up which reminded him of her, found him wander- 
ing back to the dear dead days he had spent with 
her k days that were tinged with bitterness and 
regret now, 



AN OBSERVANT HUSBAND. i?3 



CHAPTER XLVI. 
AN OBSERVANT HUSBAND. 

So, though Sinclair tried honestly to forget Nume 
and harden himself against her, he could not do so. 
He grew so thin and wretched looking that his 
friends began to notice it. They thought it was 
due to the fact that he had worked so hard lately on 
the missionary's case. 

"You ought to fake a rest and change of some 
sort, Sinclair," Mr. Davis told him, "now that you 
have got the missionary off. Why not take a run 
down to Matsushima, where the Ballards are ? Cleo 
thinks the spot even more beautiful than about 
Fuji-Yama. " 

"I hadn't thought of going away," Sinclair said, 
absently; "besides, Cleo is coming back next week, 
anyhow. ' ' 

"Well, suppose you run down for the rest of the 
week, and then come home with the party. ' ' 

Sinclair remained thinking a moment. 

"Yes, perhaps it would divert me for the time 
being, ' ' he said, drawing his brows together with a 
sudden flash of pain, as he remembered how he had 
once told Nume that they would visit Matsushima 
together, some day. Mr. Davis left him at his 
desk. 

"Can't make out what's the matter with Sinclair," 



174 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

he told his wife. "He looks wretched, and is as 
absent-minded as he can be. Seems to be worrying 
about something." 

"He no doubt is a lonely, Walter. When Cleo 
returns he will be all right. ' ' 

In the same way as she trusted or tried to make 
herself believe that Orito's presence would cure 
Nume, so she liked to imagine that Cleo Ballard's 
return would raise Sinclair out of the despondency 
into which he had fallen. 

"No Jenny, I think you make a mistake about 
Sinclair's caring so much for Cleo," Walter Davis 
said, slowly. 

"What makes you say that?" his wife interrupted, 
sharply, fearful that he had guessed something dur- 
ing Nume's illness in their house; for she had told 
him nothing, as yet. 

Her husband hesitated a moment before answer- 
ing, then he said : 

"Fact is, I saw on his desk quite a batch of 
unopened letters. I wanted Sinclair to go some- 
where with me. He pleaded press of business, and 
I took it he had to answer those letters. They 
were all from one person, Jenny, and were lying in 
a letter basket on his desk without even the seals 
broken. I made the remark that he had quite a lot 
of mail for one day. What do you think he 
answered? 'This is nearly a week's mail' and said 
he had forgotten the letters. ' ' 

Davis flicked the ash from his cigar into a receiver, 
then he continued, slowly: "My dear, the letters 
were from Cleo Ballard. I know her writing. A 



AN OBSERVANT HUSBAND. 175 

man does not let the letters from a girl he is in love 
with remain unopened long," he added. 

Mrs. Davis got up. "Walter," she said, indig- 
nantly, "that man is a a brute." 



176 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 
MATSUSHIMA BAY. 

Matsushima Bay is perhaps one of the most beau- 
tiful spots in Japan. It is on the northeastern coast, 
and being cool and refreshing is a favorite summer 
resort. Countless rocks of huge size and form are 
scattered in the bay, and these rocks are covered 
with pine trees. Unnamed flowers bloom also on 
these rocks and burn their surface with flaring 
colors. It may be that the rocks are even more 
nutritious than the earth itself; for the tall pines 
that take their root in them seem more graceful and 
delicate than those found on land, and the flowers 
are more fragrant and lovely than those of a fairy- 
land dream. 

About eight miles from the northern shore, where 
rests the beautiful city of Sendai, towers Mount 
Tomi, only a shadowy tracing in the evening skies. 

It was in the city of Sendai that the party of tour- 
ists had settled. They were charmed with the 
beauty of their surroundings, and being, most of 
them, ardent lovers of nature, made daily trips, 
exploring the country, visiting the temple Zuiganji, 
which is located only a few cho from the beach. 
This temple originally belonged to Marquis Date, 
the feudal lord of Sendai, who sent an envoy to 
Rome in the seventeenth century, and a wooden 



MATSUSHIMA BAY. 177 

image of him still stands in the temple. Or they 
climbed Mount Tomi in order to get a view of the 
matchless bay with its countless white rocks; eight 
hundred and eight, they are said to number, and 
there is only one rock in the entire bay which is 
bare of foliage. It is called Hadakajima, or Naked 
Island. 

Sinclair arrived in this ideal, quiet, restful spot, 
travel-stained, sick-hearted and weary. Some of 
his travel had been by rail, a great part solely by 
kurumma. He had sent Cleo Ballard no word of his 
proposed trip, and he was not expected. She was 
not at the hotel when he arrived, having gone out 
with her party to the mountains. 

Sinclair went immediately to the room assigned 
him, and after bathing went to bed in the middle of 
the day. He had not slept for several days, in spite 
of the strange lassitude and weariness he had felt. 
The inviting white of the American bed tempted 
him. It was perhaps the first real sleep he had had 
in weeks. 

When the party of tourists returned to the hotel 
the clerk told Cleo Ballard of the arrival of a gentle- 
man who had enquired for her. A glance at the 
register showed her Arthur Sinclair's name. 

Fanny Morton and a number of women acquaint- 
ances were at her elbow. After the first start of 
emotion and surprise she tried to appear calm before 
them and as if she had expected him. 

"So he has arrived?" she said carelessly to Tom 
and to the clerk : ' ' Please send him word that we 
have returned." 



178 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

The boy brought the answer back that the Amer- 
ican gentleman was sleeping they did not like to 
wake him 

' ' He must be very tired, ' ' the girl said. 

Sinclair did not appear in the dining-room that 
evening. His dinner was served to him in his room, 
and Cleo Ballard saw nothing of him till the follow- 
ing day. 

"I am so glad you have come, dear," she told 
him ; ' ' the summer was going by so quickly, and I 
was afraid you had forgotten your promise. ' ' 

' ' Did I make any promise, ' ' he asked, indifferently. 

"Why, of course, Arthur;" she looked hurt. 

"Well, I forgot, Cleo. One can't remember all 
these little things, you know. ' ' 

"Then what made you come?" she asked, sharply, 
stung by his indifference. 

"Not because of any promise, my dear," he said. 
"Simply because I was tired," and then as he saw 
her hurt face he added, with forced gentleness: "I 
wanted to see you that was the chief reason, of 
course. ' ' 

Cleo melted. 

"You know, dear," she said, "we had arranged to 
go back to Tokyo the end of this week. Of course 
we will postpone our return, now, on your account. 
Yor really must see the country with us. ' ' 

"Well, Cleo, I have seen Matsushima before. I 
only wanted a change for a day or two, that was all. 

No; don't delay the return home as I ," he 

struck some gravel aside with his cane; "the fact 
is, it is too quiet here, and I prefer the city." 



MATSUSHIMA BAY. 179 

The party returned to Tokyo about a week later, 
Sinclair feeling somewhat better. The bracing air, 
the beauty of the bay, and the constant companion- 
ship of friends, served to turn his mind, for a time, 
from his troubles. 



l8o MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

CHAPTER XLVIII. 
A REJECTED LOVER. 

Sinclair found a very odd letter waiting for him 
on his return to Tokyo. It was written in English, 
and ran as follows : 

TOKYO, August 20, 1896. 
HON. A. SINCLAIR. 

Dear Master Sir: Here I write to you ashamed 
to say to below lines. 

I intend to marry in next month soon as I get 
money. I must spend two hundred yen while I 
marry. My father gave me fifty yen upon day 
before yesterday, and I was have twenty yen on my 
hands. I have already seventy yen at present, and 
I know extraly some of my friends will help me. 

Anyway, soon I shall have full one hundred yen, 
but I cannot begin marrying with that much money, 
so I complain to you for borrow me some money if 
you like that I going to marry. If you thinking 
right and borrow me some in this time, I will be 
thousand thanks for you until before I die. After- 
ward I will pay back to you as soon as I can, but I 
cannot pay you all in one time. I would pay six 
yen each end of per month. 

Although this is not great bisiness for you, but as 
for me first greatly bisiness in my life. If you do 
not like to borrow me some money in this time I 
never marry in before several years. 

Do as you please that you like it or not. 

I have very many things to tell you, but I know 
English very little so I stop. 

Your lovely (loving) clerk, 
SHIKU. 




KOTO WOULD NOT MARRY. 



A REJECTED LOVER. 181 

Sinclair read the letter aloud to Taylor, and both 
of them laughed heartily, enjoying the contents; 
then he touched the electric button on his desk. 
The next minute Shiku was with them. 

"So you want to marry, Shiku?" 

"Yaes, master-sir." 

"Um! Have you settled on the girl yet?" 

"Yaes, master-sir." 

"Fortunate girl!" from Taylor. 

"And you think she'll have you?" 

"Yaes, master-sir." 

"What's her name?" 

"Tominaga Koto." 

"Not Koto whom I painted in the woods?" put in 
Taylor. 

The boy nodded his head sagely. 

Sinclair had grown suddenly silent. The mention 
of Koto's name instantly called up memories of 
Nume memories that he had told himself, when at 
Matsushima with Cleo Ballard, would no longer 
cause him a pang. His voice was quite gentle as he 
spoke to Shiku. 

"Well, go ahead and marry her, Shiku. I'll make 
you a gift of the money, and perhaps a trifle more. ' ' 

The boy thanked him humbly, repeating over and 
over that he was a thousand thanks to him until 
before he died. 

"Rum little chap that," Taylor said, as the boy 
left them. 

"Yes, he is a bright little fellow. Been with me 
now ever since I came to Japan." 

"Well, he's going to get a mighty pretty girl." 

13 



182 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Yes I suppose so as good as the rest of them." 

The next day Shiku presented himself before the 
consul with a very woe-begone and disappointed 
countenance. 

"Well, Shiku, what luck?" Sinclair asked him. 
For the boy had gone straight to Koto. 

4 ' Koto will not marry with me, master-sir. ' ' 

"Why, I thought you told me she had already 
promised." 

"Yaes bud she changing her mind." 

Sinclair laughed, shortly. 

"Been fooling you?" 

"No;" he hesitated a moment, as though he 
feared to tell Sinclair the truth. Then he said: 
"She not like for to leave her mistress now; " he 
paused again, looking uneasily at the consul, and 
shifting from one foot to the other. 

Sinclair had been opening some letters with a paper- 
cutter while the boy had been speaking. He suddenly 
laid it down, and wheeled round on his chair. 

"Well?" he put in. 

"Nume-san is quite sick," the boy said. 

"Quite sick!" Sinclair rose with an effort. He 
was struggling with his desire to seem indifferent, 
even before the office boy, but a sudden feeling of 
longing and tenderness was overpowering him. It 
shocked him to think of Nume's being ill bright, 
happy, healthful Nutne. 

"What is the matter?" he asked. 

4 ' I not know. Koto say she cry plenty, and grow very 
thin, that she have very much luf for somebody." 

"Ah!" 



A REJECTED LOVER. 183 

"I tell Koto," the boy continued, "that I think 
she love Takashima Orito, and that he not love her 
she is very sad." 

Sinclair began to pace the floor with restless, 
unsteady strides. 

"Yes it's doubtless that, Shiku," he said, nerv- 
ously. "Well, I'm sorry sorry that your that 
your marriage will have to wait. ' ' 



184 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER XLIX. 
THE ANSWER. 

The same day that Sinclair had heard of Nume's 
illness, Cleo Ballard received a letter from Orito. 
It was very brief and simple. 

"I am coming to see you," it ran, "at seven 
o'clock to-night, before your party will start. Then 
will I ask you for the answer you promised me. ' ' 

Mrs. Davis was with her when she received the 
letter. 

"Now, you must be strong, my dear," she said. 
"See him, and have it all over." 

"Yes, I will," Cleo Ballard said. 

Precisely at seven o'clock Takashima Orito pre- 
sented himself at the hotel. He had told his father 
and Omi of his mission there ; and the two old men 
were waiting in great trepidation for his return. 

As he stood, calm but expectant, by the girl's 
side, waiting for her to speak first, she felt a sudden 
fear of him. She did not know what to say. She 
knew he was determined to have a direct answer 
now. 

"I don't know what to say." She broke the 
strained silence desperately. 

"I have only one answer to expect," he said, very 
gently. This answer silenced the girl. The Japan- 
ese came closer to her and looked full in her face. 



THE ANSWER. 185 

"Will you marry with me, Miss Cleo?" 

"I I " She shrank back, her face scared and 

averted. 

1 ' I cannot ! ' ' she said, scarcely above a whisper. 

She did not look at him. She felt, rather than 
saw, that he had grown suddenly rigid and still. 
His voice did not falter, however. 

"Will you tell me why?" he asked. 

"Because I am already betrothed to Mr. Sin- 
clair. Because I never could love any one but 
him." 

The shadows began to darken in the little sitting- 
room. The Japanese was standing almost as if pet- 
rified to the spot, immovable, silent. Suddenly she 
turned to him. 

"Forgive me," she said, and tried to take his 
hand. 

He turned slowly and left the room without one 
backward look. 

The silence of the room frightened her. She 
went to a window and put her head out. A sudden 
vague terror of she knew not what seized her. Why 
was everything so still? Why did he leave her like 
that? If he only had reproached her that would 
have been better; but to go without a word to her! 
It was awful it was uncanny cruel. What did he 
intend to do? She began to conjure up in her mind 
all sorts of imaginary terrors. She told herself that 
she hated the stillness of the Japanese atmosphere; 
she wanted to go away back to America, where 
she could forget everything where, perhaps, Sin- 
clair would be to her as he had been in the old days. 



1 86 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

She had been on a nervous strain all day, and she 
broke down utterly. 

Mrs. Davis found her walking up and down the 
room hysterically. 

"There, dear it is all over now," she put her 
arms about the girl and tried to soothe her. 

"No, no, Jen; I feel it is not over. I think I 
imagine Oh, Jenny, I don't know what to think. 
He acted so queerly. I don't know what to think. 
I dread everything. Jenny," she put her hand 
feverishly on the other woman's shoulder, "tell me 
about these Japanese can they do they feel as 
deeply as we do?" 

"Yes no; don't let's talk about them, dear. 
Remember, they are giving you and the travelers a 
big party to-night at the hotel. You must dress it 
is nearly eight now." 



THE BALL. 187 



CHAPTER L. 
THE BALL. 

Never had Cleo Ballard appeared so beautiful as 
that night. Her eyes shone brightly with excite- 
ment, her cheeks were a deep scarlet in hue, and her 
wonderful rounded neck and arms gleamed daz- 
zlingly white against the black lace of her gown. 

Even Sinclair roused out of his indifference to 
look after her in deep admiration. 

"You are looking very beautiful to-night, Cleo," 
he said; and ten minutes afterwards Tom, passing 
with Rose Cranston on his arm, laid his hand on 
Cleo's shoulder : "You are looking unnaturally beau- 
tiful, Cleo. Anything wrong?" 

"Must there necessarily be something wrong, 
Tom, because I am looking well?" 

Tom gave her a scrutinizing glance. In spite of 
her quick bantering words there was something in 
the girl which made him think she was laboring 
under some intense excitement, and that it was this 
very excitement that was buoying her up and lend- 
ing her a brilliancy that was almost unnatural. Tom 
knew the reaction must come. All through the 
evening he watched his cousin. She was surrounded 
almost constantly, save when she danced. Later in 
the evening he pushed his way to her side. She 
was resting after a dance. 



1 88 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Cleo, you are dancing too much," he said, noting 
the girl's flushed cheeks. 

"One can't do anything too much, you know, 
Tom. I hate moderation in anything I hate any- 
thing lukewarm;" she was answering at random. 
He put his hand on hers. They burned with fever. 

"You are not well at all," he said, and then 
added, looking about them anxiously: "I wonder 
where Sinclair is?" 

The girl was possessed with a sudden anger. 

"Don't ask me, Tom. I would be the last person 
to know of his whereabouts. ' ' The words were very 
bitter. 

"You know, Cleo," he answered her, soothingly, 
"Sinclair never did care for this kind of thing. He 
is doubtless in the grounds somewhere. Wait I'll 
hunt him up." He rose from his seat, but the girl 
stayed him peremptorily. 

"Not for my sake, Tom. Oh, I assure you, I shall 
not wither without him," she said. 

Tom sat down beside her again. 

"Look here, little sis, don't get cynical nor nor 
untruthful. I know very well you want to see Sin- 
clair. I have not seen you together all evening, and 
I believe it's partially that which makes you so rest- 
less. No use trying to fool old Tom about any- 
thing. ' ' 

Cleo did not argue the point any longer, and Tom 
passed on to the piazza of the hotel. 

Quite a lot of the guests were congregated there, 
some of them telling tales, others listening to the 
music. Tom made his way to where he saw Mrs. 



THE BALL. 189 

Davis standing. She was with Fanny Morton, and 
they seemed to be waiting for some one. 

August is the universal month for holding ban- 
quets in honor of the full moon, in Japan, and gay 
parties of pleasure-seekers are to be met on the 
streets at all hours of the night 

"Seen Sinclair anywhere about?" Tom asked 
them. 

"Yes, Tom," Mrs. Davis said, nervously. "He 
and Walter went down the street for a while. 
Something has happened. Mr. Sinclair thought 
some one had got hurt. They said they would be 
back in a minute." 

Tom waited with the two women. The dance 
music floated out dreamily on the air, mingled with 
the incessant chatter and laughter of the guests. 
Inside the brilliantly-lighted ball-room the figures of 
the dancers passed back and forth before the windows. 

As they sat silently listening, and watching the 
gay revelry, a weird sound struck on their ears it 
was the muffled beating of Buddhist drums. 

The two women and Tom rose to their feet 
shivering. They turned instinctively to go indoors. 
Standing quite near the door by which they entered 
was Cleo. Her beautiful face was flushed with 
fever; her eyes were filled with terror. She was 
leaning forward, listening to the faint, muffled beat 
of the drums. 

"Some one is dead!" she said, in a piercing whis- 
per, and threw her beautiful bare arms high above 
her head as she fell prone at their feet. 



MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER LI. 

THE FEARFUL NEWS. 

What awful premonition of disaster had filled Cleo 
Ballard all that night! The guests gathered awe- 
struck about the fallen figure which, but a moment 
before, was so full of life, vivacity, and beauty. 

"What is the matter?" some one breathed. 

Fanny Morton's sharp words cut the air: 

"Some Japanese has died, that is all killed him- 
self, they say. She fainted when she heard the 
drums beat. ' ' 

Very gently they carried the unconscious girl to 
her room. The music had ceased; the guests had 
lost their appetite for enjoyment. Almost with one 
accord all, save a few stragglers, had deserted the 
ball-room, and were now grouped in the grounds of 
the hotel, or on the steps and piazzas, waiting for 
the return of the two men who had gone to learn the 
cause of the alarm. 

At last they came up the path. They walked 
slowly, laggingly. Mrs. Davis ran down to meet 
them. 

"What is it?" she whispered, fearfully. "Cleo 
has fainted, and a panic has spread among all the 
guests." 

Walter Davis's usually good-tempered face was 
bleached to a white horror. 



THE FEARFUL NEWS. 191 

"Orito, his father, and Watanabe Omi have all 
killed themselves," he said, huskily. 

The American lady stood stock-still, staring at 
them with fixed eyes of horror. The news spread 
rapidly among the guests, all of whom had known 
both families well. They were asking each other 
with pale lips the cause? the cause? 

Mrs. Davis clung in terror to her husband. 

"Keep it from Cleo," she almost wailed. "Oh, 
don't let her know it she must not know it she 
must not." 

The guests lingered late that night, in the open 
air. It was past three o'clock before they began to 
disperse slowly, one by one, to their rooms or their 
homes. 



192 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 



CHAPTER LII. 

THE TRAGEDY. 

After leaving Cleo Ballard, Orito had jumped into 
the waiting kurumma, and had been driven directly 
home. There he found the two old men waiting for 
him. The house was unlighted, save by the moon- 
light, which was very bright that night, and 
streamed into the room, touching gently the white 
heads of the two old men as they sat on their mats 
patiently awaiting Orito's return. It touched some- 
thing bright, also, that lay on a small table, and 
which gleamed with a scintillating light. It was a 
Japanese sword! 

Orito entered the house very silently. He bowed 
low and courteously as he entered the room, in stiict 
Japanese fashion. Then he began to speak. 

"My father, you have accused me sometimes of 
being no longer Japanese. To-night I will surely 
be so. The woman of whom I told you was false, 
after all." His eyes wandered to the sword and 
dwelt there lovingly. He crossed to where it lay 
and picked it up, running his hand down its blade. 

"I have no further desire to live, my father. 
Should I live I would go on loving her who is so 
unworthy. That would be a dishonor to the woman 
I would marry for your sakes, perhaps. Therefore, 
'tis better to die an honorable death than to live a 
dishonorable life; for it is even so in this country, 



THE TRAGEDY. 193 

that my death would atone for all the suffering I 
have caused you. Very honorable would it be. ' ' 

Sadly he bade the two old men farewell; but 
Sachi stayed his arm, frantically. 

"Oh, my son, let thy father go first," he said. 

One thrust only, in a vital part, a sound between 
a sigh and a moan, and the old man had fallen. 
Then quick as lightning Orito had cut his own 
throat. Omi stared in horror at the fallen dead. 
They were all he had loved on earth, for, alas! 
Nume had represented to him only the fact that she 
would some day be the wife of Orito. Never, since 
her birth, had he ceased to regret that she had not 
been a son. He picked the bloody sword up, and 
with a hand that had lost none of its old Samourai 
cunning he soon ended his own life. 

About an hour after this a horror-stricken servant 
looked in at the room in its semi-darkness. He saw 
the three barely distinguishable dark forms on the 
floor, and ran wildly through the house, alarming all 
the servants and retainers of the household. Soon 
the room was flooded with light, and the dead were 
being raised gently and prepared for burial, amidst 
the lamentations of the servants, who had fairly 
idolized them. Relatives were sent for in post 
haste, and before the night had half ended the 
muffled beating of Buddhist drums was heard on the 
streets, for the families were well known and 
wealthy, and were to be given a great and honor- 
able funeral. And also, the sounds of passionate 
weeping filled the air, and floated out from the 
house of death. 



194 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER LIII. 
A LITTLE HEROINE. 

It was three days later. Cleo Ballard had been 
sick with nervous prostration ever since the night of 
the ball. Mrs. Davis was with her constantly, and 
would permit no one whatever to see her not even 
Sinclair. She had told the facts to her husband and 
to the doctor, and had enlisted them on her side ; so 
that it was not a difficult matter for her, for the time 
being, and while Cleo lay too ill to countermand 
her orders, to forbid any one from intruding, for she 
did not want her to know of the awful tragedy that 
had transpired. 

Sinclair inquired day and night after Cleo's 
health, and sent flowers to her. He, himself, had 
suffered a great deal since that same night, what 
with the shock of his friend's death, Cleo's unex- 
pected illness, and, above all, an inexplicable long- 
ing and desire to see Nume to go to her and 
comfort her in this fresh trial that had come to her. 
She was now utterly alone in the world, he knew, 
save for one distant relative. 

Thoroughly exhausted with the trials of the last 
days, and wishing to get away from the hotel, Sin- 
clair had shut himself indoors, and had thrown him- 
self on a couch, trying vainly to find rest He kept 
puzzling over the cause of Takashima's death. 



A LITTLE HEROINE. 195 

Whether the truth had been suspected among some 
of the Americans who had been on the boat with 
Cleo and Onto or not, no one had as yet breathed a 
word of it to him. As he lay there restlessly, some 
one tapped on his wall. 

"Who is it?" he called, fretfully. 

"It is Shiku, master-sir." 

"Well, come in." 

The boy entered almost fearfully, and began 
apologizing profusely in advance. 

"It is Koto who has made me intrude, master," 
he said. "She is waiting outside for you, and tells 
me she must talk with you. She will not enter the 
house, however, and she is very much fearful." 

The American went to the door. There stood 
Koto, a trembling, frightened little figure in the 
half-light. 

"Come in, Koto," he said, noting her embarrass- 
ment; and then, as she still hesitated, he drew her 
very gently but firmly into the house and closed the 
door. Soon she was seated in one of his large 
chairs, and because she was such a little thing it 
seemed almost to swallow her up. 

"Nume not know that I come tell you of our 
grade sadness," she said, stumblingly. "Mrs. 
Davis will not forgive me forever, but I come tell 
you the trute, Mister Consul." She began to weep 
all of a sudden, and could go no further. The sight 
of the wretched little sobbing figure touched Sin- 
clair very deeply. He thought she had some revela- 
tion to make about the death of Onto. He was 
unprepared for her next words. 



196 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

"My mistress, Nume-san, luf vou so much that 
she going to die, I thing'. ", 

Sinclair stood up, a strange, doubting, uncompre- 
hending look on his face. 

"What do you mean, Koto?" he asked, sternly. 
"Are you trying to to fool me about something?" 

"No! No! I not to fool with you. I tell you the 
trute. Mrs. Davis tell Nume of vaery sad story 
account the august Americazan lady wait long many 
years for you, that you love her always, just not love 
for a liddle while, because of Nume, that " 

A sudden light began to break in on Sinclair. 

"So Nume tell you she not to luf because she 
want to serve the honorable Americazan ladies and 
not to pain her father and Takashima Sachi. Then 
she get vaery sick. She cry for you all the time, and 
when she is very sick she say: 'Koto, go tell Mr. 
Sinka I not mean.' Then when she is better she 
say : ' No ; Koto must not go. ' ' ' 

Sinclair sat down again, and shaded his face with 
his hand. His mind was in confusion. He could 
not think. Only out of the jumble of his thoughts 
came one idea that Nume loved him, after all. 
Now he remembered how unnatural, how excited, 
she had been that last day. Ah, what a fool he was 
to have believed her then! 

His voice was quite unsteady when he broke the 
long silence. "Koto! Koto! how can I ever repay 
you for what you have done?" 

The little maid was weeping bitterly. 

"Ah ! Koto is vaery 'fraid that she tell you all this, 
account Mrs. Davis will speag that I mus* not 



A LITTLE HEROINE. 197 

worg any longer for Nume ; she will tell her rela- 
tives so, and they will send me away. Then Nume 
will be all alone ; because only Koto love Nume for- 
ever. ' ' 

Sinclair was smiling very tenderly. "You have 
forgotten me, Koto. I will take care of both of 
you, never fear, little woman. I am going with you 
to her now. ' ' 

"It is too late now," the girl said. "Nume will 
have retired when we reach home. Shiku is going 
to take me home, and to-morrow will you come?" 

She rose from her seat, looking more hopeful and 
happy than when she had first come in. 

"You will make it all good again," she said, look- 
ing up at him with somewhat of Nume's confidence: 
"for you are so big." 



14 



198 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER LIV. 
SINCLAIR LEARNS THE TRUTH AT LAST. 

After Koto had left Sinclair he sat down to think. 
His brain was whirling, for his thoughts and plans 
were in confusion. His first impulse had been to go 
straight to Nume ; but he had promised Koto to wait 
until the following day. Now that he was alone, he 
suddenly remembered Cleo Ballard. Was he free 
to go, after all? Could he desert Cleo now while she 
lay so sick and helpless? His joy in the renewed 
assurance of Nume's love for him had been suddenly 
tinged with bitter pain. What could he do? 

He slept none through the night. In the morn- 
ing of the next day he hurried over to the hotel and 
made his usual enquiries after Cleo's health. Mr. 
and Mrs. Davis, with Tom, had done their best to 
prevent him from knowing the cause of Orito's sui- 
cide. Various reasons had been suggested; and 
after the first alarm had worn off, and the bodies 
had been interred with due ceremony, the excite- 
ment subsided somewhat, so that they had hopes of 
the talk quieting down, and perhaps dying out alto- 
gether, without the truth reaching Sinclair's ears; 
for, knowing him to be her betrothed, there were 
few who were unkind or unscrupulous enough to 
tell him. 

As Sinclair passed through the hotel corridor on 



SINCLAIR LEARNS THE TRUTH AT LAST. 199 

his way to the front door, Fanny Morton came down 
the wide staircase of the hotel. She stopped him 
as he was going out. 

''''Let me express my sympathy," she said, sweetly. 

"Your sympathy!" he said, coldly; for he did not 
like her. "I do not understand you, Miss Morton." 

"Yes," she cooed. "I am sure I can vouch for 
Cleo that she never dreamed he would take it so 
seriously. I was with them on the voyage out, you 
know, and indeed Cleo often said the passengers 
were dull. He cheered her up, and and " 

"Really, Miss Morton, I am at a loss to under- 
stand you, ' ' he said, curtly. 

Fanny Morton showed her colors. There was no 
suggestion of sweetness in her voice now. 

' ' i mean that every one knows that Mr. Takashima 
killed himself because he was in love with Miss Bal- 
lard ; because she let him believe on the boat that 
she reciprocated his affection, and the night of the 
ball she told him the truth. He killed himself, they 
say, hardly an hour after he had seen her." 

Jenny Davis stood right at the back of them. She 
had heard the woman's venomous words, but was 
powerless to refute them. Sinclair felt her eyes 
fixed on him with an entreaty that was pitiful. 

He raised his hat to Fannie Morton. 

"I will wish you good morning," he said, cut- 
tingly, and that was all. 

Then he turned to the other woman. 

"Let us go in here," he said, and drew her into a 
small sitting-room. 

"What does that woman mean?" he asked. 



ioo MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

Mrs. Davis had broken down. 

"We can't keep on pretending any longer, Mr. 
Sinclair. Yes ; it is true, what she says. Poor Cleo 
did lead him on, thoughtlessly you know the rest. " 

A look of dogged sternness began to settle on 
Sinclair's face. 

"Then she was the real cause of " 

"No! no! don't say that. Arthur, she never 
intended doing any harm. Cleo would not willingly 
harm anything or any one. She really liked him. 
Tom will tell you. It was the reason why she never 
had the heart to tell him of of her engagement to 
you. ' ' 

For a long time the two sat in moody silence. 
Then Sinclair said, almost bitterly: "And it was for 
her that Nume suffered." 

"Why, Nume is what do you mean?" the other 
asked, showing signs of hysteria. 

"Yes; Mrs. Davis, I know the truth," he said, 
grimly. "I understand that you thought you were 
really serving Cleo and myself by acting so but 
well, a man is not cured of love so easily, you know. 
She (Nume) gave me up because she did not want 
to spoil a good woman's life, as she thought, after 
what you told her. This same woman did not 
scruple to take from her the man who might have 
comforted her after everything else had failed. 
Now she is utterly alone. ' ' 

"I won't say anything now," Mrs. Davis said, 
bitterly. "I can't defend myself. You would not 
understand. It is easy to be hard where we do not 
love ; that is why you have no mercy on Cleo." 



SINCLAIR LEARNS THE TRUTH AT LAST. 201 

"I am thinking of Nume," the man answered. 

"May I ask what you intend to do?" 

"Last night I was uncertain. This morning, "now 
that I know the truth, things are plain before me. 
I am going to Nume," he added, firmly. 

"But Cleo?" the other almost implored. 

"I cannot think of her now." 

"But you will have to see her. What can you 
tell her? We are hiding from her, as best we can, 
the fact of of the tragedy. That would kill her; 
as for your ceasing to care for her, she suspected the 
possibility of it long ago, and might survive that. 
Yet how can she know the one without the other?" 

Sinclair remained thinking a moment. 

"There is only one way. Let her think of me 
what she will. You are right; if possible the truth 
even Takashima's death must be kept from her 
so long as she is too weak to bear the knowledge. 
Can we not have her make the return voyage soon? 
I will write to her, and though it will sound brutal, 
I will tell her that the reason why I cannot be more 
to her than a friend is because I I do not love 
her, that I love another woman." 

Mrs. Davis was weeping bitterly. All her efforts 
and plans had been of no avail in Cleo's behalf. 
She saw it now, and did not even try to hold 
Sinclair. 

"Yes," she said, almost wildly. "Go to Nume 
she will comfort you. At least your sorrows and 
hers have ended, now. But as for ours Cleo's and 
mine, for I have always loved her better than if she 
were my own sister we will try to forget, too." 



202 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER LV. 

LOVERS AGAIN. 

Koto had told Nume nothing of her visit to Sin- 
clair. The girl had been so stunned by the deaths 
of her father, Orito, and Sachi, that Koto had not 
the heart even to tell her good news ; for when our 
friends are in sorrow the best comfort one can give 
is to weep and sorrow with them; so the Japanese 
believe. Besides, she wanted Sinclair's coming to 
be a surprise to the girl. 

In Nume's great sorrow and illness she would 
have no one by her save Koto, and once in a while 
Koto's friend, Matsu, who was visiting them. Koto 
had had her come to the house because she played 
the harp so beautifully, and she knew the music 
would please Nume. Both the girls tried in every 
way to make up to the grieving orphan for the sor- 
rows that had suddenly come to darken her young 
life. Often the three would sit together hand in 
hand, Nume between her two friends, speaking no 
word to each other, but each feeling strangely com- 
forted and refreshed with the others' love and sym- 
pathy. After the funeral ceremony, Nume had 
awakened somewhat out of her apathy, and tried to 
take interest in things about her ; but it was a piti- 
ful effort, and always made Koto weep so much that 
one day Matsu had suggested to her that she go to 



LOVERS AGAIN. 203 

the city and see the American and tell him the truth. 
For Nume had told Koto of what Mrs. Davis had 
caused her to do ; and Koto, in her turn, had told 
Matsu. 

"You have become too secluded and proud, 
Koto," the city geisha girl told her. "It is an easy 
matter to go to the city and perhaps you will do 
Nume and the American a great service. I will stay 
with Nume-san while you are gone, and will wait on 
her just as if I were indeed her maid instead of your 
being so." It was in this way Koto had been 
induced to visit the American. 

The next morning, as she and Nume sat together, 
she said: 

"Nume-san, did you know why Orito killed him- 
self?" 

"No." 

"It was because he loved the honorable American 
lady." 

Nume did not interrupt her. Koto continued: 
"The beautiful one that was betrothed to Mr. 
Sinka." 

Nume's little hands were clasped in her lap. She 
did not speak, still. 

Koto went on: "You see, she was not worthy, 
after all, that you sacrificed the pretty American 
gentleman for her, for Matsu says that all the Amer- 
icans say at the hotel that she tell Orito sometime 
that she love him just for fun and she not love so 
Takashima Orito kill himself." 

Still Nume did not reply. Her little head had 
fallen back weakly against the pillow. She was 



204 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

looking away out before her. After a time Koto 
put her arms about her, and they clung together. 

"Koto," Nume said, vaguely, "will you leave me 
now? Or will you stay with me forever? Nume is 
so lonely now." 

Koto evaded the question. 

"I will stay with you, Nume-san, until you do not 
need me any longer. ' ' 

"That will never be," the other said, tenderly. 

That afternoon Koto fetched her samisen and 
played very softly to Nume. After a time she laid 
her instrument aside and went to the door, shading 
her face with her hand as she scanned the road. It 
was about the hour Sinclair had told her to expect 
him. She heard the beat of his runners before they 
were within a mile of the house. 

"I am going to leave you all alone, for a little 
while," she told Nume. 

She went down to meet Sinclair, and admitted 
him into the house. She pointed to the room where 
Nume was and then left him. 

Sinclair pushed aside the shoji and passed into 
the room. 

Nume raised her head languidly at the opening of 
the screens. At first she thought she was dreaming, 
and she sat up straight on the little couch on which 
she had been resting. Suddenly Sinclair was 
beside her, and had taken her bodily into his arms. 

"Nume! Nume!" he whispered; and then, as she 
struggled faintly to be free, he said, blissfully, 
"Oh, I know the truth, little sweetheart, though it 
is too good for me to understand it yet. Koto has 



LOVERS AGAIN. 205 

told me everything, and and oh! Nume!" He 
kissed the wistful eyes rapturously. 

He scarcely knew her, she had grown so quiet 
and sad. In the woods she had chattered con- 
stantly to him; now, he could not make her say 
anything. But after a while, when Sinclair had 
chided her for her silence, she said, very shyly : 

"Do you luf me, Mr. Sinka, bedder than the 
beautiful Americazan lady?" 

Sinclair raised her little face between his two 
hands. 

"Sweetheart do you need to ask?" he said. "I 
have never loved any one but you. ' ' 

The girl smiled the first time she had smiled in 
weeks. Her two little hands met round his neck, 
she rose on tiptoe. "Nume tig* to kees with 
you," she said, artlessly. There is no need to tell 
what Sinclair answered. 

When the shadows began to deepen, he and Nume 
still sat together on the small lounge, neither of 
them conscious of time or place. They were renew- 
ing their acquaintance with each other, and each 
was discovering new delights in the other. 

It was Koto who broke in on them. She had 
been in the next room all the time, and had watched 
them through small peep-holes in the wall. 

She made a great noise at the other side of it 
to let them know it was now getting late. They 
looked at each other smiling, both comprehending. 

' ' Koto is our friend foraever, ' ' Nume said. 

"We will be Koto's friends forever," Sinclair 
answered. 



206 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER LVI. 
THE PENALTY. 

When Sinclair returned to the city that night he 
sat down in his office and wrote a letter to Cleo 
Ballard. It was the most difficult thing he had 
ever done in his life. It told her briefly of his love 
for Nume. He felt he could not be a good husband 
to her so long as he loved another woman. It was 
better she knew it than to find it out after they had 
married. 

Mrs. Davis gave it to Cleo when she thought her 
strong enough to bear the shock. She read it with 
white lips, her poor, thin hands trembling as the 
letter slipped to her feet. 

"I expected it," she said, bitterly, to Mrs. Davis; 
arid then suddenly, without the smallest warning, 
she leaned over and picked the scattered sheets 
from the floor and tore them into a thousand frag- 
ments with such fierceness that it frightened her 
friend. 

After that day Mrs. Davis devoted herself more 
than ever to her friend, and scarce left her alone 
for a moment. A strange calm and quiet had 
come over Cleo. She would sit for hours by an 
open window, perfectly silent, with her hands 
clasped in her lap, looking out before her with large 



THE PENALTY. 207 

eyes which were dry of tears, but which held a 
nameless brooding. 

Mrs. Davis tried in every way to cheer her up, 
but though she protested that she was not suffer- 
ing, yet she could not deceive her friend who knew 
her so well. 

"You are going to be happy, dear, and as soon 
as you are strong enough we'll make the voyage 
back. You didn't know I was going with you, 
did you? Well, dear," her sweet voice faltered, 
"7 couldn't bear to stay here after after you were 
gone. We will all be happy when in America 
again. I believe that's what has made us all more 
or less gloomy. We have been homesick. Japan 
is all right, beautiful and all that but, well, it is 
not America. We never could feel the same here. ' ' 
So she rattled on to Cleo, trying to take the girl's 
thoughts out of herself. 

And then, one day, Cleo turned to her and told 
her very quietly that she knew everything. 

Mrs. Davis gasped. " Ever) T thing ! " 

She looked at the girl's calm, emotionless face 
in horror. "And and you " 

"I've known it some time now," the girl con- 
tinued, grimly. She heard the other woman sob- 
bing for her, and put her hand out and found the 
little sympathetic one extended. 

"I know know, dear, how you tried to hide it 
from me," she smiled faintly; "that could not be." 

Mrs. Davis was mute. Cleo was an enigma to 
her now. 

"I never guessed you knew." 



208 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"No? Mother told me. She did not mean to 
be cruel, but she was not well herself then, and she 
she reproached me." 

She rose suddenly to her feet, the same still, 
white look on her face that had come there when 
she had read Sinclair's letter. She turned on her 
friend with an almost fierce movement. 

"Why don't you Jiate me?" she said, with only 
half -repressed vehemence. "Why does not every 
one as I do myself?" 

She was beyond the comfort of her friend 
now. Jenny Davis could only watch her with wide 
eyes of wonder and agony. For a moment the girl 
paced the room with restless, dragging step, like a 
wild caged thing. 

"Jenny, I will tell you something now. You 
may laugh at me laugh as I can as I do myself, 

but " Again she paused, and she put her hand 

to her throat as though the words choked her. 

"After I read that that letter, it seemed as if 
something broke in me not my heart no, don't 
think that ; but at first I felt desolate, with a loneli- 
ness you could never comprehend. He had been 
in my mind so many years then. Yes, I know I 
had expected it all but it was a shock at first. 
I never could face anything painful all my life, and 
when I actually knew the truth when I read his 
letter, and it was cruel, after all, Jenny, I wanted to 
go away somewhere and hide myself no I wanted 
to go to some one some one who really loved 
me, and cry my heart out. Don't you understand 
me, Jenny? Oh, you must " her voice was 



THE PENALTY. 209 

dragging painfully now. "I wanted to go to 
Orito!" 

"Cleo!" 

"Yes, it is true," she went on, wildly. "He 
was better than the other. So much tenderer and 
truer the best man I ever knew the only per- 
son in the whole world who ever really loved 
me. And I Jenny, I killed him! Think of it, 
and pity me no, don't pity me I deserve none. 

And then and then " she was beginning to 

lose command of her speech now. Mrs. Davis 
tried to draw her into a chair, but she put the 
clinging, loving hands from her and continued: 
"When I wanted him when that other had 
deserted me had let me know the truth that he 
never did care for me never did care for me," 
she repeated, incoherently, "and I loved him all 
those years. I used to lie awake at night and cry 
for him, for Orito for his comfort just as I 
do now. I cannot help myself. I thought I would 
go to him and tell him everything he would under- 
stand how how my heart had awakened how I 
must have loved him all along. And then then 
mother burst out at me only last week, Jenny, and 
told me the truth that that he was dead that he 
had killed himself ; no that I had killed him. Do 
you wonder I did not die go mad when I learned 
the truth? Oh, Jenny, I am half dead I am so 
numb, dead to all pleasure, all hope in life." 

She had been speaking spasmodically; at first 
with a hard, metallic ring to her voice, and then 
wildly and passionately. Now her voice suddenly 



210 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

trembled and melted. She was still quite weak, 
and had excited herself. Her friend caught her 
to her breast just in time for the flood of tears to 
come tears that were a necessary, blessed relief. 
She broke down utterly and began to sob in a 
pitiful, hopeless, heart-breaking fashion. 

From that day, however, she seemed to improve, 
though she was erratic and moody. She would 
insist on seeing all the callers those who came 
because of their genuine liking for her, and sorrow 
in her illness, and the larger number who came 
out of curiosity. However much of her heart 
she had shown to Mrs. Davis, no one else of all 
Cleo's friends guessed the turmoil that battled in 
her breast. 



THE PITY OF IT ALL. 



CHAPTER LVII. 

THE PITY OF IT ALL. 

Although it was nearly two weeks since Sinclair 
had written to her, she had not seen him once. 
He had talked the matter over with Tom and Mrs. 
Davis, and they had decided that, for a time at 
least, it would be best for her not to see him. 
About a week before the Ballards sailed, Cleo wrote 
to Sinclair. She made no allusion whatever to his 
letter to her. She simply asked him to come and 
see her before she left Japan, and without a 
moment's hesitation Sinclair went straight to her. 
He could afford to be generous now that his own 
happiness was assured. 

It was a strange meeting. The man was at 
first constrained and ill at ease. On the other 
hand, the girl met him in a perfectly emotionless, 
calm fashion. She gave him her hand steadily, and 
her voice did not falter in the slightest. 

"I want you to know the truth," she said, "before 
I go away. ' ' 

"Don't let us talk about it, Cleo," Sinclair 
said. "It will only cause you pain." 

"That is what I deserve," she said. "That is 
why I have always been wrong I was afraid to 
look anything painful in the face. I avoided and 
shrank from it till till it broke my heart. It does 
me good now to talk to speak of it all." 



212 MISS NUME OP JAPAN. 

He sat down beside Cleo, and looked at her 
with eyes of compassion. 

"You must not pity me," she said, a trifle 
unsteadily. "I do not deserve it. I have been 
a very wicked woman." 

"It was not altogether your fault, Cleo," he 
said, vaguely trying to comfort, but she contra- 
dicted him almost fiercely. 

"It was it was, indeed, all my fault." She 
caught her breath sharply. "However, that was 
not what I wanted to speak about. It was this. 
I wanted to tell you that that after all, I do not 
love you. That I Iloved/; Onto!" She half- 
breathed the last word. 

Sinclair sat back in his chair, and looked at her 
with slow, studying eyes. 

She repeated wearily: "Yes; I loved him but 
I did not know it till it was too /ate/" 

For a long time after that the two sat in com- 
plete silence. Sinclair could not find words to speak 
to her, and the girl had exhausted her heart in 
that heart-breaking and now tragic confession. 

Then the man broke the silence with a sharp, 
almost impatient, ejaculation, which escaped him 
unconsciously. "The pity of it all! Good God!" 

"Arthur, I want to see to speak to Nume before 
I go away. You will let me; will you not?" 

He hesitated only a moment, and then: "Yes, 
dear, anything you want." 

And when he was leaving her, she said to 
him, abruptly, with a sharp questioning note in her 
voice that wanted to be denied: 



THE PITY OF IT ALL. 213 

"I am a very wicked woman!" 

"No no; anything but that," he said, and stoop- 
ing kissed her thin, frail hand. 

Something choked him at the heart and blinded 
his eyes as he left her, and all the way back to his 
office, in the jinrikisha, he kept thinking of the 
girl's white, suffering face, and memories of the 
gay, happy, careless Cleo he had known in America 
mingled with it in his thoughts in a frightful 
medley. Something like remorse crept into his 
own heart; for was he entirely blameless? But he 
forgot everything painful when he arrived home, 
for there was a perfume-scented little note written 
on thin rice-paper, waiting for him, and Nume was 
expecting him that day. When one has present 
happiness, it is not hard to forget the sorrows of 
others. 







214 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 



CHAPTER LVIII. 

MRS. DAVIS'S NERVES. 

The next day Sinclair brought Cleo to call on 
Nume. It was the first time the two girls had 
ever really talked with each other. At first Nume 
declared she would not see the American girl, 
whom she held responsible for her father's, Sachi's 
and Orito's deaths, but after Sinclair had talked to 
her for a while and had told her how the other girl 
was suffering, and how she, after all, really loved 
Orito, the girl's tender little heart was touched, 
and she was as anxious to see Cleo as Cleo was to 
see her. 

She went herself down the little garden path to 
meet Cleo, and held her two little hands out with 
a great show of cordiality and almost affection. 

"Tha's so perlite thad you cummin' to see me," 
she said. 

Cleo smiled, the first time in days, perhaps. 
It pleased Nume. "Ah!" she said, "how nize thad 
is jus' lig' sunbeam in dark room!" 

She was very anxious to please the American 
girl and make her feel at her ease, and she 
chatted on happily to her. She wanted Cleo to 
understand that in spite of her father's death she 
was not altogether unhappy, for she had talked 
the matter over very solemnly with Koto and 



MRS. DAVIS'S NERVES. 215 

Matsu only the previous night, and they had all 
agreed that Cleo's desire to see her (Nume) was 
prompted by remorse, which remorse Nume wished 
to lessen, to please Sinclair. 

Sinclair left them alone together, and strolled 
over to Mrs. Davis 's house. She had been kept in 
ignorance of this proposed visit. Sinclair found 
her busily engaged in packing, preparatory to 
leaving. Mrs. Davis was in despair over some 
American furniture that she did not want to take 
with her. 

"Can't you leave it behind?" 

"No; the new landlord won't let me. Says 
the Japanese have no use for American furniture 
unpleasant in the houses during earthquakes, etc. ' ' 

"Well, I'll take care of them for you," Sin- 
clair volunteered, good-naturedly. 

"Oh, will you? Now, that will be good of 
you. That settles that, then. And now about this 
stuff come on, Tom," she began crushing things 
into boxes and trunks, in her quick, delightful 
fashion, scarce noting where she was placing them. 
She paused a moment to ask Sinclair if he had been 
over to Nume's. 

"Yes, " he smiled a trifle. "Cleo is there now. " 

She dropped a piece of bric-a-brac and sat down 
on the floor. 

' ' Cleo ! there with Nume/ Well ! " 

"Yes, she wanted to know Nume, she said, before 
going away," Sinclair told her. 

"She will never cease surprising me," Mrs. 
Davis said, plaintively. "She ought not to excite 



216 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

herself. I never know what to expect, of her, which 
way to take her. I used to think my nerves were 
strong; now my nerves are are nervous." 

"Cleo is not herself lately," Tom said, quietly, 
without looking up. "We'd better humor her for 
a little while still. Besides Nume will do her 
good, I believe." 



CLEO AND NUME. 217 



CHAPTER LIX. 
CLEO AND NUME. 

As soon as Sinclair left them the Japanese girl 
went close up to the American girl. 

"Sa-ay I goin' tell you something," she said, 
confidingly. 

"Yes, dear." 

"You mos' beautifoolest womans barbarian 
No! no! nod thad. Egscuse me. I nod perlite to 
mag' mistakes sometimes. I mean I thing' you mos' 
beautifoolest ladies I aever seen," she said. 

Again Cleo smiled. Nume wished she would 
say something. 

"You Kg' me?" she prompted, encouragingly. 

"Yes " 

"Foraever an' aever?" 

"Well yes I guess so." 

"How nize!" she clapped her hands and Koto 
came through the parted shoji. 

''''Now I interducing you to my mos' vaery 
nize friens, Mees Tominago Koto. ' ' 

Koto was as anxious as Nume to please, and as 
she had seen Nume hold her two hands out in 
greeting, she did the same, very sweetly. 

About an hour later Mrs. Davis, with Tom and 
Sinclair, looked in at the three girls. Cleo was sit- 
ting on the mats with Koto and Nume, and they 
were all laughing. 



2i8 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

"Well, we've come for the invalid," said 
Tom, cheerily. "She has been out long enough." 

"I have enjoyed my visit," she told them, simply. 
"And Nume," she turned to her, "Nume, will you 
kiss me?" 

"Ess;" she paused a moment, bashfully, throwing 
a charming glance at Sinclair. "I kin kees Mr. 
Sinka tich me. ' ' 

They all laughed at this. 

"An" now," she continued, "I inviting you to 
visit with me agin." She included them all with a 
bewitching little sweep of her hands, but her eyes 
were on the American girl's face. "An" also I Kg' 
you to know thad Mr. Sinka promising to me thad 
he goin' tek me thad grade big United States. 
Now, thad will be nize. I egspeg you Kg' me 
visite with you also. Yaes?" 

"Of course; you would stay with us," Tom 
said, cordially. 

"Thad is perlite," she breathed, ecstatically. 

"Not polite, Nume," Sinclair corrected, smil- 
ing, "but, well 'nize,' as you would call ft." 

"Ah, yaes, of course. I beg pardons, egscuse. 
I mean thad liddle word 'nize.' Tha's foolish say 
'perlite.'" She laughed at what she thought her 
own foolishness, and she was so pretty when she 
laughed. 

Cleo turned to Sinclair. "I understand," she 
said, softly, "why you you loved her. If I were 
a man I would too. ' ' 

"Ah! thad is a regret," sighed Nume, who 
had overheard her and half understood. "Thad you 



CLEO AND NUME. 219 

nod a mans to luf with me. Aenyhow, I thing' I 
liging you without thad I be a mans. Sa-ay, I lig' 
you jus' lig' a a brudder no, lig' a mudder, with 
you. ' ' This was very generous, as the mother love 
is supreme in Japan, and Nume felt she could not go 
beyond that. 

Cleo seemed very much absorbed on the way 
home. Tom was in the kurumma with her, Sin- 
clair having stayed behind a while. 

"Matsu is going back with us to America," she 
said. "I think she is a dear little thing, and I shall 
educate her. ' ' She was silent a moment, and then 
she said, very wistfully: 

"Tom, do you suppose I can ever make up 
atone for all my wickedness?" and Tom answered 
her with all the old loving sympathy. 

"/ never could think of you as wicked, sis 
not wantonly so only thoughtless. ' ' 

"Ah, Tom if /could only think so too!" 

When the boat moved down the bay Cleo's 
and Tom's eyes were dim, and when the wharf was 
only a shadowy, dark line they still leaned forward 
watching a small white fluttering handkerchief, and 
in imagination they still saw the little doleful figure 
trying to smile up at them through a mist of tears. 

And a week later the selfsame missionary who 
had given Sinclair so much work, and thereby 
helped him bear his trouble, married them Sin- 
clair and Nume. The girl was gowned all in 
white the dress she had worn that first time Sin- 
clair had met her. 

About two years later a party of American tour- 



220 MISS NUME OF JAPAN. 

ists called on Sinclair. Among them were a 
few old acquaintances. They brought strange 
news. Cleo and Tom Ballard had been married for 
a month past ! 

Perhaps the most frequent visitors at the Sin- 
clairs' are Mr. and Mrs. Shiku. 



THE END. 



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