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Full text of "The wooing of Wistaria"

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THE LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY 0! CALIFORNIA 
LOS A.NGELES 



OF CALIF. LIBRARY. LOS ANGELES 




i/^2. 



ONOTO WATANNA 
\Fac-similr of author's autograph in Jafanest.J 



THE. 







OF 

VM5TA1UA 




NEW 



LONDON 
DROTMlR5 
MCMI1 












Copyright, 1902, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 



reserve*. 

Published September, 1902. 



3 t 



Of 
NWSTAR4A 



TJ 
2133793 



TWE. WOOING of \wsTARIA 





HEN after a life that had never 
lacked variety the Lady Wis- 
taria came to the years of tran- 
quillity, she was wont to say, 
with the philosophy that follows 
dangerous times : " No one, man 
or maid, ever really began to 
live before the time to which the 
first memory reverts." 

The first recollection of the 
Lady Wistaria goes back to an 
earlier childhood than that of 
most mortals. This she as- 
cribed to its terrible and awful 
import. She could scarcely do 
more than move with the uncer- 
tain direction of babyhood, when 



VJSTARlA 



her father, always now in her memory as 
gaunt, lean, haggard, tall, had taken her upon 
a long journey. They had travelled partly by 
\ kurumaya, and, towards the end, on foot. 
That is, her father had walked, carrying her 
on high in his arms. 

When they halted at Yedo they stood amid 
a vast concourse of people, who remained 
silent and respectful against the background 
of the buildings, while in the centre of the 
road marched steadily and pompously a great 
glittering pageant. 

Wistaria had clapped her hands with glee 
and delight at the mass of color, the glimmer 
of shield and breastplate, the prancing, snort- 
ing horses. But her father suddenly had raised 
an enormous hand and in a moment had 
stopped her delight. Wistaria lapsed into an 
acute silence. 

Instantly she was awakened from her pain- 
ful apathy by her father, who moved her high- 
er in his arms, and turned her head slowly 
about with one hand, while with the other he 
pointed to a shining personage reclining in 
a palanquin borne high on the shoulders of 
ten stout-legged attendants. 

"My daughter," said her father's hollow 
I voice in her ear, "yonder rides the man who 
killed your mother. It is through his crime 
that you are orphaned and have no mother 
to care for you and love you. Look at him 
well! Hush! Do not weep or shake with 



TME.VOPJISG OF VJSTAPJA 

j-3 



fear, but turn your eyes upon him. Look at 
him ! Look ! Look ! Yonder rides your moth- 
er's murderer. Do not forget his face as long 
as you live. It is your duty to remember 

Whereupon Wistaria, who, in obedience 
to her father's commands, had stared with 
wide eyes fixedly at the reclining noble, set 
up a most extraordinary cry. It was un- 
like that of a little child a wild, wailing 
shriek, so weird and piteous that the by- 
standers started in horror and fear. The 
noble raised himself lazily on his elbow, star- 
ing across the heads of all, until his eyes 
rested upon the man with the child held on 
high. He fell back with an uneasy shrug 
of the shoulders. 

That was the Lady Wistaria's oldest mem- 
ory. There were others, but none so vivid as 
this, the first of all. Even later, when she had 
ceased to be a child, she had been unable to 
pierce the mystery of her father's life, or in- 
deed her own. 

One half of her earlier years had been spent 
in a small, whitewashed cottage, built on the 
crest of a little wind-blown hill, far enough re- 
moved from the dwellings in the village below 
to be entirely cut off from them. 

There was a touch of the uncanny and 
weird about the little village, whose slender 
streets, ascending and descending, zigzagging 
up and down, disappeared among hillocks 



and bluffs, though built in reality in the 
hollow outskirts of a flourishing city at the 
foot of a small chain of mountains. Though 
the land here was green and beautiful at all 
times of the year, there came no one from the 
great city beyond to this solitary settlement, 
whose inhabitants bore the impress of toil, 
pain, and oppression. 

Why her father, who, she had been told, 
was of noble blood, resided here on this hill- 
top, isolated even from the strange people 
who dwelt in the silent village below, the 
Lady Wistaria had never learned. When 
she had questioned her uncle and aunt, she 
had been frigidly informed that curiosity and 
inquisitiveness were degrading traits, which 
a maiden should strive with all her strength 
to overcome. Neither did she ask her father, 
who, taciturn and cold during her brief resi- 
dence each year in his house, gave her no 
opportunity for winning his confidence. His 
love Wistaria had never dreamed of possess- 
ing. 

Nevertheless, whenever she went to her 
father's house, a wistful longing and yearn- 
ing for him possessed her whole being, and 
when she departed she would hide her face 
in her sleeve, weeping silently, not knowing 
why she should weep, and scarcely conscious 
of the fact that she wept for lack of her fa- 
ther's love. 

In her father's house there were no servants, 



OF VflSTAPJ A 



no maids, no attendants only one weazened, 
blind, and infinitely old woman, who wept 
tears from her sightless eyes upon her arrival, 
who sang and crooned to her at night in a 
sobbing, sighing voice, that was as sweet and 
pure as a girl's. 

She addressed the old woman as " Madame 
Mume," and preserved always towards her 
the reserved and dignified attitude of the 
mistress to the maid. Yet her father ad- 
dressed her as "Mother." Wistaria knew 
the old woman was not his mother, and she 
could not believe she was even akin to them; 
for had she not always been taught that the 
family from which she was descended was 
one of the oldest and noblest in Japan, while 
old Madame Mume, though gentle and good, 
wore the garb of the poor heimin. 

The other half of her childhood had been 
spent at the home of her uncle. Here were 
countless retainers and servants, besides a 
host of samurai, petty vassals, soldiers, peas- 
ants, and citizens, who lived upon his land 
and owed their direct allegiance to him. 

The garden walls surrounding her uncle's 
palace were tall and of massive structure, 
built of solid stone. Its gates were guarded 
by handsome, bold samurai clad in thick 
armor. The steel upon their breasts and 
shoulders glistened with a sinister sheen, 
and beneath their blazing helmets fierce eyes 
burned out their unswerving allegiance and 

~ . 



VJ57APJA 



loyalty to their lord and their scorn and de- 
fiance of all his enemies. Their coats, all 
emblazoned and embroidered with golden 
dragons, bore two crests, that of the Shogun 
lyesada, and that of the powerful Daimio 
under whom they served, the Lord of Catzu, 
uncle of the Lady Wistaria. 

Here in her uncle's palace Wistaria was 
watched over, cared for, nurtured, and refined. 
Lackeys and servants were about her on 
all sides, ready to spring to her service. As 
a child she had attended a private school, 
kept by an old samurai, where with half a 
dozen other little girls she had squatted on 
small, padded mats before writing-tables but 
twelve inches high, and had been taught the 
intricacies of the language. Two gorgeously 
liveried attendants always accompanied her 
to and from the school-house, carrying her 
books, her writing-box, her kneeling-cushion, 
and her little table. 

When she grew older she attended the ele- 
mentary school. After she had left this, a 
silent woman of perfect manners and ex- 
quisite appearance had come to her uncle's 
palace and attached herself entirely to her. 
With the coming of this governess, Wistaria 
^ ceased to pay her annual visits to her father's 
house. He himself came to the palace in- 
stead, once every year. Upon these occa- 
sions Wistaria was brought into his presence. 
He would put a few stern questions to her 



TttE AtfoojNG ^ WISTARIA 

&==& 3== =*= x 

concerning her knowledge of her duty to her 
parents, to which Wistaria would respond 
with expressions of filial submission to his 
will in all things. 

From the governess, Wistaria learned the 
elegancies of conversation and how to act on 
meeting great personages at court. She had 
even been drilled in certain graces which 
should not fail to enchain her lover, when 
he, the proper one, should be chosen for her. 

Now that she had reached the age of fifteen 
years, this perfect person had departed from 
the palace to teach maidens of younger years. 
The Lady Wistaria had arrived at an age 
when she could be said to have been graduated 
from her governess's hands as competent to 
pass the rest of her life without further in- 
struction, save that constant restraint exer- 
cised over her by her aunt, the Lady Evening 
Glory of Catzu. 







HE education of a Japanese 
maid is not alone a matter of 
^ cultivating the mind; it is an 
actual moulding of her whole 
character. The average girl 
under such discipline succumbs 
to the hereditary instinct of 
implicit obedience to her dic- 
tators, and becomes like unto 
their conception of what she 
should be. But the Lady Wis- 
taria was not an average 
girl. That is the reason her 
appearance at the court of 
the Shogun in Yedo created 
a furore. Her fresh, young 
beauty, her grace and bewitch- 







8 



of* WISTARIA 



ing charm, were a revelation to the jaded 
court. 

The Lady Evening Glory, who had spent 
years of thought and preparation for this 
event, had warned her repeatedly that upon 
such an auspicious occasion she was to tread 
across the vast hall with downcast eyes and 
an attitude of graceful humility. She was 
on no account to look about her. While 
all eyes might gaze upon her, she must see 
no one. And this is how the Lady Wistaria 
carried out her instructions. 

When first she began the slow parade tow- 
ards the Shogun's throne, my lady's head 
was drooped in the correct pose, with her 
eyes modestly downcast. She had proceeded 
but a few paces, however, when she was 
thrilled by the intuition that the spectacle 
was worthy of any sacrifice necessary to see 
it. Her small head began to erect itself. 
Her eyes, wide open, with one great sweep 
viewed the splendor of the picture the grace- 
ful courtiers, the lovely women in their cos- 
tumes of the sun. A sharp pinch upon the 
arm brought her back to the exacting presence 
of the Lady Evening Glory beside her. Down 
drooped her head again. Gradually the eye- 
lids fluttered. My lady peeped! 

There was a low murmur throughout the 
hall. The waving of fans ceased a space. 
The Lady Evening Glory recognized the 
significance of that murmur, and then the 



G of WJSTARIA 



hush that ensued. A tremendous fluttering 
pride arose in her bosom. Her experience 
of many years assured her that her niece's 
J beauty was compelling its splendid tribute. 

Then the Lady Wistaria was presented to 
the Shogun. Her prostration was made with 
inimitable grace. Her beauty and charm call- 
ed forth words of praise from the Shogun him- 
self to her uncle. 

A young noble, more daring and ardent 
than all the others, separated himself from 
the assembled company, and, crossing to where 
the Lady Wistaria stood, kissed a hyacinth 
and dropped it at the girl's feet. 

The Lady Evening Glory could have shriek- 
ed aloud with fury at the action of her niece, 
due solely to her innocence. She had no 
thought whence it had come. A flower in 
her path was not something she could tread 
upon, or even pass by. There in the centre 
of the gorgeous hall she stooped tenderly 
and picked up the pleading flower. 

" Wild girl !" cried her aunt, in a suffocating 
whisper. 

Wistaria started with a little cry of genuine 
dismay. She had forgotten in one moment 
the instruction of years. In her confusion | 
she stopped short in her progress across the 
hall. As if impelled by some great subtle 
force within her, helplessly the Lady Wistaria 
raised her eyes. They gazed immediately 
into the depths of another pair, afire with an 

i v i jf -i 

10 



awakening passion. The next moment the 
young girl had blushed, red as the tints a 
masterful sun throws to coquetting clouds 
at sunset. 

All the journey through, to their temporary 
palace in Yedo, her aunt abused the Lady 
Wistaria. The training of years wasted! 
Ingratitude was the basest of crimes! Was 
this the way she repaid her aunt's labor and 
kindness? Well, back to Catzu they should 
go. It would be unsafe to remain longer in 
the capital. Certainly her niece had much 
to learn before she could continue in Yedo 
longer than a day. 

The Lady Wistaria sat back in her palan- 
quin, pouting. What, to be taken from the 
gay capital one day after arriving before she 
had had the chance to meet or even speak 
to any one! Oh! it was cruel, and she the 
most stupid of maidens not to have comported 
herself correctly at her presentation! 

"Dearest, my lady aunt," said she, "pray 
\ you, do let us continue in the capital for the 
season." 

"What! and be laughed at by the whole 
court for our shocking and magnificently 
bad manners? People will declare that you 
have been reared in the fields with the peas- 
ants." 

"Do not, I beg, blame me for an accident, 
dear, my honorable aunt. It was not, in 
truth, my own fault." 

31 .'J. ^ i a i 

ii 



\MSTAPJA 



"Indeed!" 

"Indeed, I do assure you it was the fault 
of that honorably silly flower/' 

"TSHH!" 

"And of that magnificent and augustly 
handsome courtier who dropped it." 

" Dropped it ! My lady niece, ' I saw the 
impudent fellow throw it at your feet!" 

"What I You saw! Oh, my aunt, then 
it is you who are jointly guilty with me!" 

"What is that?" cried the aunt, angrily. 

"Why, my lady, your honorable eyes were 
improper also." 

The Lady Evening Glory turned an offended 
shoulder. 

"We will start to-morrow for home." 

"Oh, my lady!" 

"I have spoken." 

"But, dear aunt" 

"Will you condescend to tell me, girl, who 
is guardian, thou or I?" 

With the Lady Evening Glory, " thou " was 
the end of discussion. 

The following day, therefore, the returning 
cortege set out for Catzu. As fortune would 
have it, the Lady Evening Glory travelled 
in her own train, while her niece had also 
her personal retinue about her. Consequently 
the journey was joyous for the Lady Wistaria. 

When first the cortege began to move through 
the city a strange little procession followed 
in its wake. It was made up of the love- 

T. ..... ..1 &-. J d= 

U 12 



WJSTARJA 



sick suitors, who, having but once gazed 
upon the beauty of the Lady Wistaria, wished 
to serve and follow her to the end of the world. 
The following was quite large when the cortege 
started. A number dropped off as they reached 
the city limits, then gradually the hopeless 
and disappointed swains with drooping heads 
turned back to Yedo, there to dream of the 
vision of a day, but to dream hopelessly. 

Wherever the Lady Wistaria's personal train 
travelled there lay scattered upon the ground, 
and blowing in the air above and about her, 
tiny bits of white or delicately tinted and 
perfumed paper. They were, alas! the love- 
letters and poems penned by the ardent lovers, 
which the hard-hearted lady, tearing into 
infinitesimal bits, had saucily tossed to the 
winds. It was thus she tossed their love 
from her, she would have them believe. 

Hopeless, and finally indignant, therefore, 
backward turned these erstwhile hopeful suit- 
ors. 

Sir Genji, the big samurai, who had especial 
charge of Wistaria's train, reported to her, 
with a smile of satisfaction, that she would 
suffer no further annoyance, as all save one 
of her suitors had finally retreated. j 

"Bring closer your honorable head," said 
the lady to Genji, who strode beside her nori- 
mono, ever and anon ordering and scolding 
the runners. 

He brought his ear closer to the girl's lips. 



X 



13 



X 



tr 



She leaned over and whispered, while a pale 
pink flush came, fled, and grew and deepened 
again in her face. 

"Tell me," said she, "which of the honor- 
ably bold and silly cavaliers is it that re- 
mains?" 

"The one, my lady, who, not content with 
despatching his love-letters and tokens to you 
by underlings, has had the august imperti- 
nence to deliver them himself in person." 

"Yes ye-es of course," said Wistaria, 
blushing deliciously, "and that was honor- 
ably right. Do you not think so, my brave 
Genji?" 

"Perhaps/' admitted the astute samurai, 
frowning at the same time upon a portion of 
the parade belonging to the Lady Evening 
Glory. Wistaria laughed with infinite relish. 

"Well," she said, "if my honorable aunt 
or august uncle were to learn of his boldness, 
I fear me they would command that the cur- 
tains of my insignificant norimon be drawn 
so tightly that I should surely suffocate." 

"Fear not," said Genji, "I shall take im- 
mediate measures to prevent such an occur- 
rence, my lady." 

Wistaria pouted, and frowned as heavily ^ 
^ as it is possible for bright eyes and rosy lips 
to do. She toyed with her fan, opening and 
closing it several times. 

" You are honorably over-zealous, Sir Gen- 
ji," she said. 

3L. -JU *- .. . -A- J~= 

14 



TOE .WOOJNG o/ 5 VQSTARJ A 



* 



"My lady," he replied, "know you aught 
of this stranger?" 

"He has a pretty grace," said Wistaria, 
" and the bearing of one of noble rank. Have 
you not noted, Sir Genji, the beauty and 
richness of his magnificent attire?" 

"I have, my lady. It is of that attire I 
would speak." 

"Do so at once, then." 

" It is the attire, my lady, of the Mori fam- 

iiy." 

" The Mori ! What ! Our honorably hostile 
neighbors?" 

"Exactly," said Genji. 

"Oh, dear!" murmured Wistaria, as she 
sank back in her cushions in troubled thought. 
After a moment her little black head again 
appeared. 

"Gen," she cried, "come hither once more." 

"My lady?" 

" A little closer, if you please. So ! Know 
you not, Sir Gen, that my lady aunt, and 
indeed also my own august father, once 
served this odious Mori prince?" 

"I have heard so, my lady." 

"Well, then, truly all of the members of 
this honorable clan cannot be augustly bad!" 

Sir Genji could not restrain a smile. 

"Indeed, my lady, this Choshui people 
have many worthy and admirable qualities/' 

"You are a very clever fellow, my dear 
Sir Gen," said Wistaria, smiling engagingly L 



15 



TOE.M/OOjfSG r WMJMJVI* 

..-*,. -jar- ^c jy- IK TJ y-3 

now, " and I shall bespeak you to my honora- 
ble uncle. And now now if you would real- 
ly wish to serve me, do you pray show some 
kindness some little insignificant courtesy 
to this unfortunate Mori courtier. Perhaps 
he may have some good attributes." 

"Undoubtedly, my lady." 

"And do be careful to allow my lady aunt 
to know naught concerning him, for she, 
having come from this Mori, is actually more 
sour against them than we, you and I, Sir 
Gen, who have not indeed." 

Just then my lady heard a familiar tramp 
to the left of her norimono. There were but 
few horses in the cortege, and most of them 
had gone ahead with her father's samurai. 
Consequently the beat of a horse's hoofs was 
plainly to be heard. The Lady Wistaria 
wavered between lying back in her carriage 
and drawing about her discreetly the curtains, 
or sitting up and feigning indifference to the 
horseman. 

The rider had fallen into a slow trot behind 
her norimono, and seemed to be making no 
effort either to overtake or ride beside her. 
For the space of a few minutes the Lady Wis- 
taria, with a bright, expectant red spot in 
either cheek, waited for some sign on the 
part of the rider. His stubborn continuance 
in the background at first thrilled, then irri- 
tated, and finally distracted her. My lady 
put her shining little head out of the vehicle, 

=SC -' '1 *- T q 

16 



MBSTAR1A 

.Iftr- - -4a 



then, leaning quite far out, she looked back- 
ward. Instantly the rider spurred his horse 
forward. In a flash his hitherto melancholy 
face became luminous with hope. A moment 
later he was beside the lady's norimono. 
Before her officious maid had time to draw 
the curtains a love-letter had fallen into my 
lady's lap. 

It was possibly the fiftieth appeal he had 
penned to her. Hitherto he had borne the 
bitter chagrin of seeing the torn bits of paper 
fall from a little hand that parted the silken 
curtains of her gilded norimono and scattered 
them to the winds. 

The lover rode within sight of his mistress's 
palanquin until the first gray darkness of 
approaching night crept like an immense 
cloud over the heavens, chasing away the 
enchanting rosy tints that the departing sun 
had left behind. 

Undaunted by the fact that his letter re- 
ceived no response, encouraged rather by 
the fact that it had not shared. the fate of its 
predecessors, the lover now set himself to the 
task of composing more ardent and flowery 
epistles. What time was not occupied in 
eagerly watching for the smallest glimpse of 
the little head to appear was spent in writing 
to her. He wrote his love-letters and poems 
with a shaking hand even while his horse 
carried him onward. He wrote them by 
the light of the moon when the train halted 



17 



TflE 



for the night. He wrote them in the early 
dawn before the cortege had awakened. And 
he delivered them at all hours, whenever he 
could obtain opportunity. 

Though the Lady Wistaria by this time 
must have acquired a goodly quantity of 
useless literature, she took no measure to 
relieve herself of the burdensome baggage. 
Nevertheless the lover began to despair. A 
few hours before they reached her uncle's 
province he delivered his last missive. It 
was really a very desperate letter. At the 
risk of his life so he wrote he would follow 
^ her not only to her uncle's province but into 
the very grounds surrounding his palace 
into the palace itself if necessary. He be- 
sought her that she would send him one small 
word of favor. 

He waited in impatient excitement for a 
response to this last fervid appeal. He felt 
sure she must at least deign to express her 
wish in the matter. But when they reached 
the province he saw her carried across the 
borders without having given him one sign 
or token. 

In his despair he dismounted, and was 
divided between returning to Yedo or con- 
tinuing his hopeless quest. 

As he remained plunged in his gloomy 
reflections and uncertainty of purpose, an 
enormous samurai touched him sharply upon 
the arm. In his irritation he was about to 



18 



THE .VJOOJNG o/? \W5TAPJA 
^ ^r 4 -- -jc= 

resent the fellow's familiarity, when he per- 
ceived a little roll of rice-paper protruding 
from his sleeve. Stealthily the samurai reach- 
ed out his arm to the lover. The latter seized 
the scroll eagerly. 



/ 



S=3 
19 



VJSTARIA 



JL. 

3gr3 





HE palace, and indeed the 
whole domain of the Lord Cat- 
zu, presented the appearance 
of being constantly armed as 
though for attack, a not un- 
common thing in the latter 
days of feudalism. The Sho- 
gun had been artful in his 
disposal of the various lords 
of the provinces. Families at- 
tached personally to him were 
stationed in provinces lying be- 
tween those administered by 
families friendly to the Em- 
peror. Thus none of the Em- 
peror's friends could meet to 
revolt against the Shogun. 

i, *. x= $r- 

20 



x: 



So it happened that while the Lord Catzu 
was one of the most intimate and confidential 
of the advisers of the Shogun, his neighbor, 
the old Prince Mori, Daimio of the province 
of Choshui, desired to see the Mikado once 
more, the real, instead of the nominal, ruler 
of Japan. 

Consequently the two neighboring clans, 
while displaying extravagant courtesy tow- 
ards each other in public, were in reality un- 
friendly. Only during that portion of the 
year when the Shogun 's edict ordered a Yedo 
residence for all daimios, did the lords of the 
provinces meet one another, and that under 
the Shogun's eyes in his Yedo seat of govern- 
ment. In the capital they simulated suavity 
and cordiality, but once back at their pro- 
vincial capitals they preserved towards each 
other an attitude of polite defiance which 
made all intercourse between them impossible 
save that of the sword, when their respective 
samurai and vassals, coming in contact with 
one another, fought out their lords' political 
differences. 

Imbittering still more the feeling existing 
naturally between the Mori and Catzu clans, 
there was a personal element in the situation. ? 
When Catzu had first been made lord of the 
province he had met on a visit to the Shogun's 
Yedo court the Lady Evening Glory, whose 
brother and guardian (she being an orphan) 
was a young samurai in the service of the {,, 

j- i t ar 

21 



THE -WOOJNG OF vnsTARJ A 



Prince Mori. Having fallen a victim to the 
lady's beauty and charms, the lord of Catzu 
was determined to have her for wife despite 
the opposition of the Mori Prince. Bold, 
brave, fearless, and with a grand contempt 
for the power of his rival, the Lord Catzu had 
carried off the fair lady from his neighbor's 
dominions, though it was generally under- 
stood that both the lady herself and her 
samurai brother lent their assistance to the 
young lord. The young samurai, incurring 
thereby the deep displeasure and enmity of 
his Prince, was deprived of his title and es- 
tates and sent into exile upon the first con- 
venient pretext. Strange tales told without 
shadow of authority diversified the nature of 
the crime for which the samurai had been ex- 
iled, but the two lords remained silent. All 
who had been concerned in the affair were com- 
manded to the same silence by the Shogun. 

Whatever were the many reasons responsi- 
ble for the constant attitude of antagonism 
of these two clans towards each other, the 
lords carefully guarded their lands more 
particularly those in the vicinity of their pal- 
aces with all the rigor of a fortress prepared 
for the fiercest onslaught. Seemingly un- 
approachable and impenetrable as were the 
grounds of the Catzu palace, yet there must 
have existed at some spot in their watchful 
walls a vulnerable point, the heel of the stone 
Achilles. 

-- a " I . =SE- r- .- .f - 

22 



Gor VflSTAPJA 

-y x: 



A courtier, by his dress and demeanor plain- 
ly a member of the Mori household, lingered 
in the private gardens of the palace. The 
day had long since folded its wings of light, 
but an early March moon was enveloping the 
land in an ethereal glow. The courtier re- 
mained under the friendly shadow of a grove 
of pine-trees. His eyes were cast upon the 
stately Catzu shiro (palace). It seemed as 
though the moon-rays had singled out the 
graceful old castle and was bathing it ten- 
derly in a halo of soft light. 

It was cold, not bitterly so, but sharply 
chill, as it is at night betwixt the winter and 
the spring. But unconscious of the chill, 
erect and graceful, the courtier leaned against 
a tree-trunk, his arms crossed over his breast, 
his eyes full of moist sentiment, drinking in 
the beauty of the night scene, which had an 
added enchantment for him, a man in love. 

All about him, before, behind, and around 
him, graceful pine-trees raised their slender, 
pointed heads up to the silver light. In the 
distance, like a strange, white mirage set 
in the moonlit sky, a snow-capped mountain 
seemed hung as in mid-air. The grass be- 
neath his feet was young and intensely soft, 
^ with dewy moisture upon it. 

A nightingale on the tip of a tall bamboo 
sang with such passionate sweetness that 
it brought the lover out from the shelter of 
the shadow. Quivering with emotion, his 

23 



soul responding and vibrating to the song 
of love, he strode into the light of the moon. 
Unmindful of the danger of his exposure to 
possible observation, he drew forth from the 
bosom of his haori a little roll of rice-paper. 
Once more he read it through, and yet once 
again. 

" MY LORD, I write this augustly insignificant 
letter to you, trusting that your health is good. 
Also the health of all your honorable relatives and 
ancestors. 

" I have received your most honorably magnif- 
icent compliments. Accept my humblest thanks. 

" Now I deign to write unto you, beseeching 
you to abandon so foolhardy a purpose as to fol- 
low me to my uncle's home. I would feign warn 
you that my uncle's guards are fierce and ofttimes 
cruel, and to one wearing the garb of a hostile clan, 
I fear they would show no mercy. Therefore I 
beseech you, do you pray abandon your honorable 
purpose. 

" Also condescend to permit me to add, that if 
you must indeed truly attempt so hazardous an un- 
dertaking, I would beg to inform you, that though 
the grounds are surrounded by such great walls 
that I fear me not even a tailless cat might climb 
them, and also the gates are guarded by the fiercest 
samurai, nevertheless, on the south there is a small 
river. Mayhap you will hire a boat. Then do you 
* come up this honorable river, keeping close to the 
shore, and I do assure you that you will discover a 
break in the south wall, which leads into the gar- 
dens surrounding the palace. 

" My lord, my uncle's guards are not so vigilant 

=3=1 LI =3k 1= 

24 



ft f^S .WQ01ISG OF VflSTAR) A n 

" ~ " 



before sunrise, as I myself have ofttimes remarked 
when I have arisen early of a morning and have 
looked from my casement, which is also on the south 
side of the palace, facing the river and the outlet 
thereto." 

The nightingale paused in its song, and 
then broke out again, its long, piercing trill 
filling the night. 

The lover returned to the shelter of the 
pine grove, and, throwing himself upon the 
grass, drew his cape close about him. Lean- 
ing his head upon his hand, he gave himself 
up to his dreams. 






TE -WOOING 



NttSTARtA 

^ -x= 





HE Lady Wistaria arose with 
the sun. Without waiting to 
pin back the long, silken hair 
which hung like a cloud of 
lacquer about her, she stole 
softly to the casement of her 
chamber. 

The perfume which stole up 
to her was sweeter and stronger 
far than that wafted from the 
trees laden with the dews of 
the early morning. Yet the 
trees were bare of blossoms and 
would not bloom for a month 
to come. Nevertheless the ledge 
of Wistaria's casement was piled 
with the living spring blossoms 



Rt- 



y 



26 



of plum and cherry. She could not but caress 
them with her hands, her lips, her eyes, her 
burning cheeks. With little, trembling hands 
she searched among them and found what 
she sought a scroll a narrow, thin, won- 
derful scroll, long, yet only a few inches in 
width, with golden borders down the sides, 
and the faint, exquisite tracings of birds and 
flowers intertwined among the words that 
leaped up at her almost as though they had 
spoken. It was a poem to her her grace, 
beauty, modesty, loveliness, its theme: 

" A stately shiro was her home; 

In royal halls she shone most fair, 
From tiny feet to golden comb, 
In her sweet life what is my share? 

"Oh, lovely maid, my moon thou art ; 
Fuji san, thou hast my heart!" 

There were many other verses, but the 
Lady Wistaria was too much moved to have 
either the vision or the mind to read beyond 
the first stanza. As became her rank and 
the painful tuition of years, she should have 
pushed very deliberately the flowers from her 
sill and torn the scroll into ragged pieces, a 
chastisement prescribed by every etiquette for 
the temerity of a presumptuous lover. 

But the Lady Wistaria did nothing of the 
sort. She gathered the flowers tenderly and 
took them in. Then she came back to the 

T~ ~ -JU IE- I a 



casement, and, leaning far out, gazed with 
piercing wistfulness out into the little garden 
below. For some minutes she waited, the 
patience of her caste fading away gradually 
into that of the impatience of her sex. 

A voice beneath her casement ! She leaned U 
farther over. A young man's eager, glowing 
face smiled up at her like the rising sun. 
Again the Lady Wistaria forgot the training 
of years. Her trembling voice floated down 
to him: 

"Pray you do consider the perils in which 
you place yourself," she implored. 

"1 would pass through all the perils of 
hell so I might reach you in the end/' he 
fervidly whispered back. 

"Oh, my lord, look yonder! See, the sun 
is pushing its way upward above the moun- 
tains and the hill-tops. Do you not know that 
soon my uncle's guards will pass this way?" 

"Under the heavens there is nothing in 
all this wide world worthy as a gift for you, 
dear lady. That you have deigned to accept 
my honorable flowers and my abominably 
constructed poem has given me such strength 
that I am prepared to fight a whole army of 
guards. Ay! And to give up readily, too, 
|f my life." 

"And if you love me," she replied, "you 
will guard with all your strength that life 
which you are so recklessly exposing to 
danger." 

^ Tt -lr , I -E 

28 



Q of ^J5TAPJA n 



"Ah, sweetest lady, can it be true then 
that you condescend to take some concern 
in my insignificant existence?" 

She made no response other than to pluck 
from the climbing vine about her casement 
one little half -blown leaf and drop it at his 
feet. 

As he stooped to pick up the leaf a form 
interposed itself, and a half-grown man looked 
him steadily in the face. With a little cry 
the Lady Wistaria vanished from her case- 
ment. 

Meanwhile the intruder, instead of being 
the aggressor, was defending himself against 
the flashing blade of the infuriated lover. 
Too proud to call for aid, the youth opposed 
to the lover found himself outmatched before 
the skill and fire of the other. So thinking 
caution better than valor, he flung his sword 
at the feet of the lover. The latter, picking 
it up by the middle, returned it to his opponent 
with a low bow of utmost grace. Then with 
n one hand on his hip and the other holding 
his sword, he addressed the youth. 

"Thy name?" 

"Catzu Toro. And thine?" 

" Too insignificant to be spoken before one 
who bears so great a name as thine," re- 
turned the other, bowing with satirical grace. 

"How is that?" cried Catzu Toro "in- 
significant? What, one in thy garb and 
with thy skill of swordsmanship?" 



29 



TOE 



The victorious one, shrugging his shoulders 
imperceptibly, again bowed with a smile of 
disclaimer. 

"May I be permitted," he said, "to put 
one question to you, my lord, and then 1 am 
perfectly prepared to give myself up to your 
father's guards, though not, 1 promise you, 
without a struggle, which 1 doubt not your 
vassals will long remember." And he blithely 
bent the blade of his sword with his two hands. 

"Nay, then," cried the youth, impetuously, 
"You do me injustice. 1 am ready to swear 
protection to one who has acted so bravely 
as thou. But a question for a question, is 
not that fair?" 

"Assuredly." 

"Very well, then. You serve the Prince 
of Mori?" 

"In a very humble capacity," returned the 
other, guardedly. 

"In what capacity?" inquired the young 
Toro, quickly. 

"Ah, that is two questions, and you have 
not even deigned to listen to my one." 

"Speak," said the youth, curbing his curi- 
osity and impatience. 

"The Lady Wistaria she is your sister?" | 

"My cousin," answered the other, briefly. 

" Will you tell me how it is possible for one 
unfortunately attached to an unfriendly clan 
to pay court to your cousin?" 

"Two questions, that!" exclaimed Toro, 



30 



TOE .Wooj NO OF W1STAR) A n 



promptly, whereat they both laughed, their 
friendship growing in proportion to their 
good-humor. 

"Now," said Toro, "1 will answer what- 
ever questions you may put to me, if you in 
return will only satisfy my mind concern- 
ing certain matters which 1 am perishing to 
know." 

"A fair exchange! Good!" 

"Then," said Toro, unloosening his own 
cape from his hips, "pray throw this about 
you, for 1 fear you will be observed by my 
father's samurai. Even my presence," he 
added, with a sigh, "could hardly protect 
you, for 1, alas! am under age." 

"Is it possible?" said the stranger, with 
such affected surprise that the boy flushed 
with delight. 

" Now, my lord " he hesitated, doubtful- 
ly, as though hoping the other would supply 
the name "now, my lord, let me explain to 
you why I truly sympathize with you in your 
love for one who must seem impossible." 

"Not impossible," corrected the lover, soft- 
ly, thinking tenderly of the Lady Wistaria's 
fears for him. 

"I, too," confessed Toro, "am in the same 
plight." 

"What!" cried the lover, in dismay; "you 
also adore the lady?" 

"No," replied Toro, shaking his head with 
sad melancholy; "but I have conceived the ^ 

C: 1 =3fr JD 3= 



Ttf - 



n 



most hopeless attachment for a lady whom I 
may never dream of winning." 

"Then 1 am much mistaken in you. I 
thought, my lord, that you were not only a 
brave man, but a daring knight." 

"But you cannot conceive of the extremity 
of my case," cried the youth, piteously, "for 
consider : the lady 1 love not only belongs to 
our rival clan, but is already betrothed." 

"Well, but betrothals have been broken be- 
fore, my lord, and the days of romance and ad- 
venture are not altogether dead in the land." 

"Ah, yes, that is true, but my rival is not 
only more powerful, but in every respect more 
prepossessing and attractive." 

"Indeed? Well, all this interests me very 
much. Still, 1 must say, my lord, that though 
1 am in the service of the Mori, 1 have not 
seen the knight or courtier who could prove 
so formidable a rival to you, either in graces 
or rank for are you not the son of the great 
lord of this province?" 

"And has not our neighboring lord a son 
also?" 

"Wh what!" cried the stranger, darting 
backward as though the youth had dealt 
him a sharp and unexpected blow ; then scan- 
ning the other's face closely, "You do not 
mean the Prince ?" 

" Yes the Prince Keiki. That swaggering, 
bragging, noisy roustabout, who bears so 
many cognomens." 



32 



TOE JK/OOJNG op 



"Hum!" said the other. "They call him 
the Prince Kei , truly " 

"Yes," said the youth, jealously, "and also 
' Hikal - Keiki - no - Kimi ' (the Shining Prince 
Keiki)." 

" You have told me strange news indeed," 
said the Mori courtier. "1 did not know of 
the betrothal of our Prince. It is very sad, 
truly." 

"Sad! To be betrothed to the Princess 
Hollyhock sad?" 

"For you, my lord," replied the other, with 
a slight smile. 

Toro doubled his hands spasmodically as 
he frowned with the fierceness of a samurai, 
that the other might not observe the soft 
moisture of a woman in his eyes. 

"Now let me tell you a secret," said the 
stranger, touching his arm with confiden- 
tial sympathy. "Upon my word, the Prin- 
cess Hollyhock is not betrothed to the Prince 
Keiki." 

"My lord, you do not say so! Are you 
sure?" 

"As sure as 1 am that 1 am here now." 

"Oh, the gods themselves must have sent 
you hither!" cried the youth. "Will you 
not accept my protection and constant aid in 
your suit for my cousin?" 

"You are more generous than " 

"Your Prince, you would say," interrupted 
Toro, bitterly. 

=a: ~x. & -=: a 

33 



NWSTARfA 



" than the gods, 1 was about to remark/' 
said the other, gravely. "Now let us form 
a compact. You on your side will promise 
me protection and aid here on your estates, 
and I will swear to you that you shall win 
and wed the Princess Hollyhock." 

"I have a small house yonder, my lord," 
cried the impulsive youth, excitedly. "It is 
kept by my old nurse. Come you with me 
thither. I shall lend you whatever clothes 
you may require and you shall remain here 
as long as you wish. I will introduce you 
to my family as a friend a student from 
my own university in Kummommotta. Then 
you can make suit to Wistaria, and, having 
once wed her, who can separate you, let me 
ask?" 

"Not the gods themselves, I swear!" cried 
the other. 

"And your name what shall 1 call you?" 

The courtier hesitated for the first time. 

"My name is insignificant. It is a Mori 
name, and therefore dangerous in your prov- 
ince." 

"You must assume another, then." 

"Hum! Well, what would you suggest, 
my lord?" 

"How will Shioshio Shawtaro do?" 

"Not at all. It has a trading sound." 

" Ho ! ho ! How about Taketomi Tokioshi ?" 

"Too imperious." 

"Fujita Gemba?" 



34 



TftEWQPJNG Of \W5TARJA ^ 

'ff. . ' "1% 3 . -fr .....fT" 

"No, no." 

"Then do you choose yourself." 

"My lord, waiving aside all our political 
differences, do you not think it would be 
loyal for me to take the name of one of my 
own people?" 

" What, a Mori name? You are very droll, 
my lord. Why not keep your own name, 
then?" 

"Ah, but it is not the Mori family name I 
wish to assume, but a surname." 

"It might be dangerous." 

"Oh, not without the family name and 
title attached. Suppose I take the name of 
Keiki?" 

"What! The name of my rival!" 

"My prince, my lord," said the other, bow- 
ing deeply. 

"Nevertheless my rival." 

"Not at all; and if he were so, why not 
grant him this little honor, seeing you are 
to worst him in the suit for the lady?" 

"That is true." 

" The name will sound vastly different with 
another family name attached. Suppose I 
assume the name of Tominaga Keiki? That 
is somewhat different from Mori Keiki, is it 
not?" 

"Somewhat." 

"Then Keiki is my name." 

"Kei Very well. Let it be so." 



35 




HE Lord of Catzu received 
his son's friend with hospi- 
tality dictated by his fat and 
good - humored nature, beseech- 
ing him to consider the Catzu 
possessions as his own. Keiki 
(as he had called himself), 
on fire to make use of the ad- 
vantage he had now gained at 
the outset, was met by two 
4 unexpected obstacles. 

In the first place, the Lady 
Wistaria was hedged about by 
an almost insurmountable wall 
of etiquette and form. Though 
the lover blessed all the gods 
for the privilege of being in 

rfc- 1 = 



ff 



TfiE 



her presence each day, yet, impetuous, warm- 
blooded, and ardent, he could not but chafe 
at the distance and the silence which seemed 
impassable between them. 

Wistaria, he thought, might just as well 
have been a twinkling star in the heavens 
above him as to be placed at one end of the 
guest-room, her lips sealed in maidenly silence, 
while at the other end, in the place of honor, 
must sit he, the august guest, inwardly the 
burning lover. Between them interposed her 
honorable relatives and certain members of 
her uncle's household, separating the lovers 
with their extravagant politeness and words 
of gracious compliment and hospitality. 

In the second place, the pilot upon whom 
he had relied for safe conduct through the 
icy forms which kept him from his mistress 
had deserted him perfidiously. Toro, the 
reckless and foolhardy, his imagination fed 
by the daring and sang-froid of the Mori 
clansman, his own heart aflame with as deep 
a passion as his friend's, had borrowed his 
dress and departed for Choshui, there to risk 
all chance of danger with the bravery, but 
without, alas! the wit, of the Mori courtier. 

To offset these two hardships, the lovers 
saw a gift sent by the gods in the indisposi- 
tion of the Lady Evening Glory. After the 
long and tedious journey from the capital, the 
lady, who was of a delicate constitution, re- 
tired to her apartments with a malady of the 

3 -M. ig- r a: 

37 



NW5TAFUA 



head and tooth. In point of fact, the Lady 
Evening Glory suffered from neuralgia. The 
lovers prayed that her illness might be long 
and lingering, though Wistaria, having be- 
sought her to keep to her bed as long as pos- 
sible that relapse might be avoided, tempered 
her prayer with a petition to her favorite god 
that her aunt's illness might be unattended 
with pain. 

With the Lady Evening Glory, the vigilant 
mentor of Wistaria, safely out of the way, 
the girl found no cause for despair. This 
was the reason she returned her lover's plead- 
ing and ofttimes reproachful glances with 
smiles, which, but for the joy of seeing them, 
he would have thought heartless. The joy of 
Wistaria's smile almost compensated for the 
pain of her lover's poignant surmise that her 
heart had no pity for the woes of her adorer. 

And, indeed, at this time there was little 
else in the girl's heart save a singing joy, 
a rippling flutter of new emotions and thrills, 
which she, too innocent as yet to recognize 
their full import, cared only to welcome with 
delight, to encourage, to foster and enjoy to 
the uttermost. 

Between Wistaria and her uncle there was 
utmost confidence and love. The young girl 
occupied that place in his heart which would 
have been held by the daughter denied him 
by the gods. The mantling flush, the ever- 
shining eyes, now bright with joy that would 

3 - r>. -sz- * r 

38 



overflow, now moist with the unbidden tears 
that spring to the eyes when the heart is 
disturbed with an emotion more sweet than 
expression; these the change which young 
love alone can produce in a maiden he was 
quick to perceive. 

The Lord Catzu's own marriage had been 
most romantic, and if his lady had lived down 
frigidly to the world, her husband at least had 
retained his sentimental remembrance of the 
adventurous escapades attending it. 

Such were the opportunities of life to the 
daimio of a province at peace that, to all out- 
ward appearances, Catzu was too indolent, too 
listlessly, luxuriously lazy and preoccupied 
with his own pleasures to observe his niece's 
condition of heart. But the Lord Catzu, with 
all his placidity, was astute. Beneath his 
lazy eyelids his own small eyes missed little 
that passed before him. 

In fact, it was not long before he became 
aware of the attachment between the young 
people. The courtier, he knew, bore an as- 
sumed name, for Toro had labored with awk- 
wardness when he endeavored to invent a 
lineage for the friend whose appearance at 
the Catzu palace without the customary ret- 
inue of servants or retainers had convinced 
its lord that he had discovered a tinge of that 
delightful mystery which but added to the 
favor of the unknown in the eyes of the sen- 
timental Lord of Catzu. In addition, it was 



39 



TflE J 



the mode for young nobles of the realm to 
undertake courtship over an assumed name, 
so that an air of romance might be lent to 
their love affair. As to the young man's 
rank there could be no question, since his 
manners and breeding, his grace of person 
and charm of speech, were caste characteristic. 
Looking secretly with high favor upon the 
young man, Catzu considered how he might 
aid the lovers. 

Slothful and deliberate in all he undertook, 
Catzu might provoke impatience, but his grad- 
ual accomplishment of his ends was gratify- 
ing. Just as he took his time in the serious 
business of life, so was he leisurely in the 
pursuit of his pleasures. As a consequence 
the lovers for a time were kept in an agony 
of waiting and suspense. 

Keiki, maddened and irritated by the con- 
stant presence of the smiling Lord Catzu, 
who in his opinion stood between him and 
his heart's desire, once more fell to writing 
imploring letters and poems to the Lady 
Wistaria which made up in epithets of en- 
dearment what they lacked in rhetoric. He 
prayed her to find some means by which he 
might be with her alone, if only for a frac- 
tion of a minute. The one word "Patience," 
written upon a little china plate, so min- 
utely that he could scarcely decipher it, was 
the reply brought by the Lord Catzu, with 
the information that the Lady Wistaria her- L 

i A & j 

40 



TOE-WOOING 



self had painted the plate for their august 
guest. 

Meanwhile Catzu, cognizant of every sigh, 
every appealing expression, every significant 
motion, laid his plans carefully for the im- 
patient suitor's happiness. Certainly within 
the walls of the palace itself there was no 
hope of solitude for the lovers. Pretexts for 
out-door pleasure-parties were never wanting 
in the warmer season. Local ftes, the birth of 
each new flower, family events all these were 
sufficient invitation in themselves for such con- 
vivial parties as delighted the soul of the Lord 
of Catzu, and could not have failed in their 
chance opportunity for dual solitude. 

At this time of the year, alas! there was 
neither snow nor moon nor flowers to serve 
a pretext. A series of heavy rainfalls, most 
distressing and persistent, was the only fugi- 
tive before approaching spring. Yet even 
the rain-gods have a limit to their tears, and, 
after all, the rains preceding the first month 
of spring are ofttimes the very means by 
which the land is cleansed ere it bursts into 
beauty and bud. 

Not so interminable as it seemed to them 
was the lovers' waiting. Three short days 
yet how long! and then the sun which 
had struggled for ascendency over the troubled 
heavens rose up proudly triumphant. The 
thunders retreated into tremulous growls of 
defeat; the gray -black clouds rolled away 



41 



NttSTARtA 



before the blinding flashes of the sun -rays, 
flitting like ghosts before the dawn. An im- 
mense rainbow, spanning the entire heavens, 
sprang out of the skies, a signal of the sun- 
god's victory. 

What mattered it that the land was barren 
as yet of flowers? The grass was green and 
the trees almost bursting in effort of emulation. 
Catzu, having satisfied himself that the moist- 
ure on the grass was but the dew of spring, 
forthwith devised a small party. It consisted 
of his lady niece and the august guest of 
the household, who was graciously entreated 
to accompany them, and who accepted with 
an alacrity almost lacking courtesy. 

With but two attendants, the party set out 
from the palace. Taking a small boat, they 
made a swift pilgrimage up the graceful riv- 
er to a small island where a picturesque tea- 
house and gardens, with twenty charming 
geishas, made a fairyland for lovers. 

To receive so early and unheralded a visit 
from the august lord of the province threw 
the geishas into a delighted panic of excite- 
ment. Their attendants were seen rushing 
hither and thither throughout the place, has- 
tily making it suitable for the reception of 
the exalted guests. 

Hastening down to the beach, the chief 
geisha herself apologized for the island's 
condition. The Lord of Catzu went to meet 
her. For his guest to be received without 



* 



42 



f 



preparation, he explained to Keiki, would be 
unfitting. Consequently he begged him to 
remain on the beach, while he himself pro- 
ceeded with the chief geisha to the tea-house 
to issue instructions. 

The stolid and indifferent lackeys who 
had attended the party returned to the boat, 
where they fell into conversation with the 
oarsmen. 

At last the lovers were alone. 

For a long moment Keiki and Wistaria 
looked into each other's eyes. They were 
safe from all observation, for the gardens, 
and indeed the whole island, was of that 
rock-and-pebble-built variety favored by the 
Japanese. Behind and around them they 
were screened by quaint, grotesque rocks of 
natural form and immense size, carried from 
a mountain to this tiny island, placed there 
in miniature to simulate nature. 

Nevertheless Keiki, the impatient and ar- 
dent, now at the crucial moment, had naught 
to say. He had confessed his love in his 
letters; she had admitted tacitly her own. 
Still they did not embrace, or even touch 
each other. Culture is strong in Japan, 
where also is the fire of love. So these two 
but looked into each other's faces, all their 
hearts' eloquent passion in their eyes. Wis- 
taria's eyes did not fall before his tender gaze. 
Only a rose-red flush crept softly like a mag- 
ic glow over the oval of her cheeks, tingeing {* 



43 



her little chin while accentuating her brow's 
whiteness. 

Without a word her lover dropped upon 
one knee, lifted the long sleeve of her kimono, 
and buried his face within its fabric. 

Five minutes later, hand in hand, they 
were standing on the same spot. They were 
watching the river, swollen by recent rains, 
as it burst over the rocks beyond, bound- 
ing down the river-bed, rolling swiftly along, 
twisting, curving, and winding about the 
sinuous form of the island's shore, holding 
it in the grudging love of the water for the 
land. The \vater was blue -green in color, 
save where the sunbeams reflected its own 
light in glistening gleams of quicksilver, 
ever moving, ever playing, while the shores 
on either side threw shadows of their trees 
and rocks upon it. As it ran busily, merrily 
along, now and then lapping the shore and 
leaping to their very feet, it seemed a living 
thing which babbled and laughed with an 
inward knowledge of their joy, and also sighed 
and wailed with a prophetic undercurrent of 
coming woe. 

The touch of their hands close clasped to- 
gether made them tremble and quiver. Their 
eyes met to droop away and meet again in 
the vivid recognition of their own innocent 
happiness. They could not speak, because 
their hearts had laid claim to their. lips and 
sealed them in a golden silence. 

c f. '-. ."3k- X. a^= 

u 44 



rs f l~ rv 1W f VvJ^i |/\J*vjJ^ 

Then, after a long interval, Keiki found 
his voice. If he spoke of the flowing river 
at their feet, it was not the river itself that 
absorbed his mind, but because in it, as in 
all things beautiful in life, he now; saw re- 
flected the image of his beloved. 

" The honorable river," he said, " flows high 
at this season, but before the summer dies it 
will be but a thin line, very still, very quiet." 

" Yes," said Wistaria, tremulously, " but the 
lotus will spring up in its honorable waters, 
and if the river should continue to rise and 
rush onward like this, I fear me the water- 
flowers would perish and the noise of its cease- 
less flow would drown the voices of the birds, 
which make the summer speak." 

"That is true," said Keiki, "but when the 
summer passes then the flowers must still die, 
and we may no longer hear the singing of 
the birds. Then still the river will be silent 
and motionless perhaps dead." 

Keiki sighed with the moodiness of love 
attained. A gentle depression stole from him 
to the Lady Wistaria. 

"Alas! my lord," she murmured; "it is so 
with all things in life that are beautiful. 
They vanish and die like the flowers of sum- 
<*) mer." 

"Then," said Keiki, "swear by the god 
of the sea, by whose waters we now stand, 
that our love shall never die, and that for 
the time of this life, and the next, and as 

" ff ' JL *fc-- iT""= 

45 



VflSTAFUA n 

-5K ?fe 3- 3te <s 



many after as may come, you will be my 
flower wife, and take me for your husband/' 
"By all the eight million gods of heaven, 
and by the god of the sea, I swear/' said 
Wistaria. 



j*^.*. 

46 



TfiE 



NttSTARJA 

^ -XI 



n 





HE air was balmy, the sky 
of a cerulean blue, the Dew- 
drop gardens were sweet with 
a strange charm and mystery 
all their own. Pebbles, sand, 
and stone, were cunningly dis- 
played and mingled to create $ 
the illusion of an approach 
to a giant sea. In themselves 
the wondrous rocks were so 
fashioned as to form a land- 
scape wherein neither foliage, 
trees, nor flowers were neces- 
sary. Small, grotesque bridges, 
made of rare rocks in their nat- 
ural form, undefaced by hammer 
or chisel, spanned the miniature 



X 



47 



jfe 



rivers, which, snakelike, crept and threaded 
their way in and out of the rock island. Sud- 
denly appearing caverns yawned wide agape, 
only to show on closer approach that they were 
naught but gigantic rocks, hollow within. 

Though the gardens were bare of foliage, 
yet the spot shone out like a jewel set in a 
magic river. Here was the perfection of 
art, that art so complete that without the 
very things of nature which seem necessary 
to a landscape, the cunning hand of man 
had fashioned the like out of the hard and 
jagged substance of stone and rock. And in 
this the hand of the Creator had aided, since 
the very rocks which formed this precious 
and priceless island, the pride and wealth 
of the Lord of Catzu, had been untouched by 
the tool of the artisan, for, having been gath- 
ered together from all parts of the country, 
they were planted in their natural form upon 
this island jewel. 

Across the narrow river the shores were 
green, while beyond the silent surface of the 
moats the granite walls of the Catzu palace 
rose to a height, white and stately, tipped with 
golden towers and peaks that were taller than 
the cedars and the pines centuries old. 

A stir of expectation thrilled the Dewdrop 
tea-house, and then a clear, shrill voice cried 
aloud : 

" The Lady Wistaria passes into the honor- 
able hall." 



4 



48 



THE JWOOJNG op \MSTAPJ A 



The twenty geishas prostrated themselves 
at my lady's feet. Gracefully she returned 
their courtesy, begging that they \vould serve 
her and her august guest, the Lord Tominaga 
Keiki, with refreshment. 

The geishas, at this period in history oc- 
cupying a high and dignified position in soci- 
ety, expressed their wish to serve their lady 
for the rest of their lives. 

They brought the lovers fresh fruit, shining 
and luscious, and drink from a well of sweet- 
est and purest water. Humbly apologizing 
for the honorable meanness of the refresh- 
ment, the chief geisha prayed that they would 
condescend to pardon her, for not even in 
her dreams had she imagined that the gods 
would favor her so soon in the season with 
such august guests. 

But the lovers only smiled benevolently 
upon her, and insisted that never, no, never 
in all the honorable days of their lives, had 
they been blessed with more gracious refresh- 
ment. Whereat the geisha, with many low, 
grateful obeisances, retired. 

The lovers sighed as in one breath. 

"Once more alone," said Keiki, blissfully 
reaching over the little table and laying his 
own hands softly upon those of the girl. " How 
gracious the gods!" 

"Of a truth," said Wistaria, smiling up at 
him; "we must repay the gods." 

" We must, indeed. What shall we do? 

^ I *- 1 T= 

49 



Build a thousand temples to well, which 
one?" 

" I consider!" quoth Wistaria, thinking very 
seriously. Then, suddenly, with a little, sil- 
very laugh: "I have it. Let us deify my 
own august uncle. Is he not the god who 
befriends us?" 

"Not consciously," said Keiki, "for I doubt 
not my Lord of Catzu would fume and curse 
me roundly did he know I took advantage 
of his honorable disposition to sleep." 

Wistaria laughed softly. 

"Now I am quite ready to swear," she 
said, "that of late my honorable uncle is 
perfectly conscious when he sleeps." 

" Pray tell me," cried Keiki, starting. 

The girl nodded merrily. 

" Will you tell me, then, how it is possible 
for one to fall asleep in a small, rocking 
boat ? Could you or I do so, my Lord 
Keiki?" 

"Oh, not you or I; but your honorable 
uncle is divinely lethargic." 

"Then, my lord, he is but lately afflicted." 

" But I do not understand, then you can- 
not mean Oh no, it could hardly be so!" 

"And why not, my lord? To me it seems 
that even the gods must needs favor you, 
much more an honorable mortal." 

"Your uncle favor me! It cannot be pos- 
sible." 

"It is possible. It is so." 



L 



f 



50 



\MSTAR)A n 

=* -J rji 



" But he has been acquainted with me only 
for the past six days." 

" And does it take a year for favor to grow, 
when love " 

"Awakens in a day an hour," finished 
Keiki, rapturously. " No, I can see how it is 
possible, but I could not at once realize my 
good-fortune. Moreover " 

Suddenly he broke off as a melancholy 
shadow crept across his brow, troubling his 
eyes. In a sudden depression he bent forward. 

"My lord is troubled? Speak to me 
quickly." 

" Troubled? Yes, that is so," Keiki sighed. 

" Then do, I pray you, speak your trouble 
to me," said Wistaria. Immediately she threw 
herself at his feet, resting her hands upon his 
knees and raising her face upward to his. 
Keiki took her face in his hands. He looked 
deep into her love-lit eyes. 

"Yes, I will tell you, little Wistaria," he 
said, " though I fear you are already acquaint- 
ed with my secret." 

"I am not, indeed," she denied. 

"You do not know," he asked, sadly, "that 
I am of the Mori clan?" 

"Of the Mori clan! And is that all that 
troubles you, my lord?" 

"And is not that sufficiently serious?" 

"No." 

" But surely you must be aware of the feud 
existing between the Mori and Catzu clans?" |. 

4 > *- i -a 

51 



THE JWOOJNO of? WJSTAPJA 



"My lord, you and I do not constitute the 
Mori and Catzu clans." 

" You and I," he repeated, slowly, " do not 
constitute the Mori and Catzu clans." Then, 
after a silent moment : " Alas, my lady, I fear 
we do!" 

Wistaria snatched her hands quickly from 
his and arose. Certainly he could not love 
her, she thought, if he allowed so small a 
thing as that to distress him. 

"If that be so if that is what you think, 
my lord, deign to inform me why you have 
condescended to make suit to me?" 

"I was forced to make my suit in secret/' 
he said, almost bitterly. 

"But your love is honest, is it not?" 

"Oh, my flower-girl, can you ask that?" 

She was contrite in a moment. Once more 
she was at his feet, kneeling, and pressing 
both his hands with her little, slender, ner- 
vous fingers. 

"Nay, then, do not look so sad, my Keiki. 
It troubles me that you should allow so silly 
a thing as the differences of our respective 
clans even for a fraction of a moment to come 
between us." 

"They cannot truly come between us," ft 
was his fervid reply, "for no power on earth 
can actually separate us now. Are we not 
sworn to each other for all time for all eter- 
nity?" 

"Then why be so sad? You, who are so *# 

1 4 - '- ' *- - ' - q 

52 



TOE AGOING Oj* WJSTAPJA n 

E -% 3 *- 1 ^ 



brave, cannot fear the dangers that may be- 
set our union." 

"No, no, it is not that. But I sigh for 
the tears of others our honorable ancestors 
and parents." 

" Then do cease to sigh at once, if you please. 
Why, it is not such a terrible crime to marry 
a Mori, surely!" 

"No, I hope not," said Keiki, smiling now. 

"No, indeed, for my own honorable uncle 
committed that same fault." 

"Fault?" 

" And I believe that if we were to go to him, 
and tell him the honorable truth, he would 
gladly assist us." 

"Not if he knew all," said Keiki, sadly. 
"No, he must know nothing yet." 

"Indeed," said Wistaria, "I did not know 
the feeling of the Mori was so bitter against 
us, and I do assure you that in Catzu the 
prejudice exists not so much against your 
clan, as against your lord and prince." 

"Alas, that is too true!" answered Keiki, 
half under his breath. 

"Well, a courtier's loyalty to his Prince 
need not at all be shaken if he marry the in- 
significant niece of a rival clan. My own 
honorable father was of that very clan him- 
self. Know you not that, my lord?" 

Keiki groaned suddenly. Whereat the girl 
placed her hands on his shoulders and forced 
him to look into her eyes. 



** 



53 



VJSTARJA 

... -%--. '..' 



"My lord," she said, "do you know aught 
of my father's history?" 

Slowly Keiki drew himself up from her 
clinging hands. Placing one arm close about 
her, he drew her to his breast. 

"Let us no longer talk of these distressful 
matters." 

"Nay, I have asked you a question. Do, 
I beseech you, answer me." 

"What can I say?" His voice was very 
low. 

"Tell me of my father pray tell me," she 
implored, almost piteously. 

"Of your father? But surely I can tell you 
nothing that you do not already know?" 

"I know naught of my father, save that 
he was a Choshui samurai, and for some 
honorable offence was banished by that wick- 
ed and cruel Prince of Mori." 

Keiki was silent. 

"I have questioned every one about me 
my uncle", his samurai, the very servants 
about the castle but none will make answer 
to me, whether from ignorance or by command 
of those in authority over them, I know not. 
Do you, then, my lover, answer me." 

"My little flower-girl, I do not know the 
offence of your honorable father, nor do I 
know why or wherefore he was sent into 
exile. I was but a child of five when this 
penalty came upon him." 
n " Then wherefore did you tremble and turn 

L iff 4 "x _ % I ff 

^ 54 



TWE J^oojNG OF VflSTARJA n 

r ^ 3| ^p- _T J 



away your eyes when I spoke of my honor- 
able parent?" 

"Because I know that injury of some sort 
was wrought against your honorable parent 
by my by the Mori, and since then so im- 
placable an enmity exists between our families 
that nothing but blood alone can ever wipe 
away the stain. Think, then, of the wrong 
I do your father in loving his own daughter!" 

" No, no dear Keiki it is no wrong, I 
do assure you. If there be a feud existing 
between my father and the Mori Prince, truly 
you and I, who are innocent, cannot be im- 
plicated in any way, and, indeed, it is not as 
if I were about to wed one of the Mori family 
itself, but" 

"In that case," he interrupted, quickly, 
"if I were indeed of this Mori family, what 
then?" 

For a moment the girl recoiled, shrinking 
backward, and regarded him with frightened, 
shocked eyes. 

"That would be impossible," she said, 
and she shivered with apprehension. 

"If it were possible?" said the lover, 
hoarsely. 

"It could not be," she insisted, "for the 
Mori princes are proud and ill-favored, while 
you-" 

"While I?" 

" You are more beautiful than the sun- 
god." 

a. - a jp- x a: 

55 



? VJSTARiA 

:fr Jl 



" But you have not answered me. Suppose 
it were Prince Keiki, the heir of Mori, who 
wooed you?" 

"I cannot, my lord. Oh, the Prince is 
otherwise occupied than in wandering with 
love," replied Wistaria, smiling at the thought. 
"Why, he is the head of a wicked party of 
Imperialists, I have ofttimes heard my uncle 
declare, and is the most cunning and base fer- 
menter of intrigue against our august Sho- 
gun in the whole empire. Indeed, he has no 
time or inclination for dallying with love." 

"But if I were indeed he, what then?" 

"Why, then then," said the girl, slowly 
rising, and regarding him with shining eyes, 
"then still I would say, 'Take me.' What 
have we to do with the quarrels of our 
ancestors, the wrongs or the rights of our 
honorable parents? You and I are under the 
sheltering wings of the god of love. We rec- 
ognize no law of country, lord, or kindred. 
Let us go into the mountains together and 
find refuge in a cottage where we can live 
and love in peace." 

"Oh, thou dear one!" he cried. 

"But why suggest such a horrible possi- 
bility?" she continued, tremulously. "Thou 
art not that base and traitorous Prince? Thou 
art" 

"Thy love! That is all," he said. 



n THE: 

fr-y a. 3E 



G op \W3TARi A n 





N the joy and sunshine of 
Wistaria's nature, which would 
have driven sadness from the 
soul of a hermit, Keiki's mel- 
ancholy was evanescent. Her 
lover's fears at the mere possi- 
bility of their being forced apart 
were soon dissipated by her. 

A week passed sped like 
so many minutes. The pale 
green of the spring grass was 
deepening in hue and the trees 
were in leaf. The lovers lin- 
gered in the paths that led 
down to the little boat-house, 
whence each day they sailed 
slowly down the river to the 

t , . .-, . ~j- x.. . F, 

57 



TWEVJOO)NG op VflSTfAFDA 

rock island. There in the lazy, drifting boat, 
the drowsy Lord of Catzu dosed back against 
his padded seat, while the lovers looked into 
each other's eyes, or furtively pressed each 
other's hands. 

Meanwhile their short hours of happiness 
were being slowly ticked off by the god of 
love, at whose shrine they had offered the 
whole wealth of their hearts. The days 
of their joy were numbered. That strange 
honey of bliss they sipped so greedily was 
soon to be snatched from their lips. 

The Lady Evening Glory was recovering 
slowly from her indisposition. Because the 
lady herself had contracted a most wilful and 
romantic marriage, she was perhaps the more 
suspicious of the culpability of others. She 
trusted neither youth nor maid, but Wistaria 
bore the weight of her suspicions. 

While gossip and idle chatter had stolen 
into the lady's chamber concerning the charms 
and grace of their whilom guest, Wistaria's 
almost extravagant solicitude for her set my 
lady at first to thinking, and then to acting. 

The Lady Evening Glory was no believer 
in the worship of the sun. Nevertheless, 
some garrulous maid having carried to her 
the innocent remark of her niece that she 
enjoyed viewing the rising of the sun, a few 
mornings later found the Lady Evening 
Glory not only arising before the sun, but 
w r ending her way through the silent corridors 



58 



\WSTARJA 



of the palace until she was before the chamber 
of the Lady Wistaria. Without so much as a 
tap for admission, she softly pushed aside 
the sliding shoji. 

With the keenest of lover's ears, Wistaria 
heard the faint shir-r-r made by the sliding 
doors. In the same instant down went her 
own shutter. So when the Lady Evening 
Glory entered the chamber she found her 
niece sitting on the floor, her back set stiffly 
against her casement shutter, and a deep 
rosy coloring all over her face. Her guilty 
eyes fell before the cold glare of her august 
aunt. 

The next thing the Lady Evening Glory's 
sharp eyes fell upon were the flowers. They 
lay in a great, tumbled mass all about the 
Lady Wistaria. There was no mistaking the 
meaning of those tell-tale blossoms. The Lady 
Evening Glory's lips became a thin, pursed 
line. 

"The flowers? Whence came they?" 

"From the honorable garden," answered 
Wistaria, trembling. 

"There is no tree in all the garden with 
blossoms in full bloom. They are only com- 
mencing to bud, and will not blossom before 
the first of April." 

To this undeniable fact Wistaria made no 
response. 

" Answer when thou art spoken to," prompt- 
ed her aunt, sharply. 

3-=JL * A ~J 

59 



n TOE 

* 



"My lady I do not know what to say." 

" Then you leave me to my own conjectures. 
You have a lover." 

"Oh no, indeed!" 

"What I Flowers fresh with the morning 
dew in your chamber, and you with your 
hair unbound 1 Pray when did it become 
an honorable fashion for ladies of our rank 
to venture out to purchase flowers before 
sunrise and in such scanty attire?" 

"My aunt, you are killing me." 

"Your health appears to me to be far from 
feeble." 

"I am innocent of any wrong," said Wis- 
taria, with a flash of spirit. 

"Then you will not object to inform me 
who presented you with these flow r ers?" 

"An honorable gentleman," said Wistaria. 

"Indeed! And what is this honorable 
gentleman's name, may I ask?" 

Wistaria hesitated. Then a sudden idea 
came to her. She smiled mysteriously. 

"But I do not know his name," she said, 
which was quite true, as she was unaware 
of her lover's true name. 

" You do not know the name of your lover!" 
cried her aunt, incredulously. 

"Indeed, I wish I did." 

"Yet you accept his gift! You are en- 
tirely without shame, girl!" 

"Oh, lady! the flowers were so beautiful 
I could not resist them." 



60 



TW AV^^JI i v*t ' wj^o j/*\rvijei PT 

r5F sp 31 -y 1 K: 

"Beautiful!" shrieked her aunt. "And be- 
cause flowers are beautiful, is that an excuse 
for accepting the love of some impudent ad- 
venturer?" 

"Accepting the love!" repeated Wistaria, 
faltering. 

" Yes, indeed, and you need not pretend ig- 
^ norance of my words. They are quite clear to 
you, I have no doubt." 

"But" 

"You are well aware that by accepting the 
flowers you also accept his despicable love, 
and practically betroth yourself to this fellow. 
He shall be flogged for his impertinence." 

"Flogged!" cried Wistaria, becoming very 
pale. 

"Flogged, I repeat," said her aunt, coldly. 

Wistaria shivered with apprehension. She 
had not until now grasped the real seriousness 
of her position. 

" Your father," continued the Lady Evening 
Glory, "shall be sent for this day. We shall 
see what those in authority over you think 
of your conduct." 

The aunt had but to mention the father to 
fill Wistaria with fear. She sprang to her 
feet and stood trembling among the scat- 
tered blossoms. 

" I am guilty of no wrong, I do assure you, 
my lady aunt. But I arose to enjoy the sun's 
awakening, and and I did find these honor- 
able flowers on my sill, and indeed they spoke 

61 



TOE J 



to me of of the coming summer, and so many 
things, dear aunt, that I was fain to take 
them in." 

"Then do, pray, my little dove, inform 
me what you know concerning this pre- 
sumptuous fellow who placed them on your 
sill." 

"Oh, my lady, he is indeed honorably 
noble." 

"Indeed!" 

" I do assure you. He is " she broke off, 
painfully debating in her mind the wisdom 
of confessing the truth to her aunt. 

"He is ?" repeated her aunt 

"Our own august guest." 

"Ah ho! Then, if that is so, you spoke 
a lie just a moment since when you said you 
did not know your lover's name." 

Wistaria attempted to speak, but broke off, 
faltering and stammering piteously. 

"May I inquire, then," continued her aunt, 
relentlessly, "whether you are unacquainted 
,, with the honorable name of our august 
guest?" 

"Oh, my lady, I do believe that that he 
assumed another only just for the innocent 
romance of wooing me under an assumed 
title." 

" So ! And pray how comes it, then, that 
my son's honorable guest should also happen 
to be your lover? If in order to woo you he 
came hither under an assumed name, then 

? --- .JL... - -^ : T-= 

62 



VJSTAPJA 



it would seem that you had some previous 
acquaintance with him?" 

"He followed our cortege from Yedo, ma- 
dame/' confessed the unhappy girl. 

" What ! You do not mean to tell me that he 
is that insolent Mori courtier of whom I heard 
only after my arrival home?" 

Wistaria pressed her hands tightly together. 
She seemed overcome. Then suddenly she 
raised her head with almost defiant bravery. 

"He is of the Mori clan, madame," she 
said. 

"The Mori clan!" The lady's voice rose 
shrilly. "How came he, then, to enter our 
grounds?" 

"He came, my lady, by the south river, 
where there is a break in the wall." 

"But how could he know this? Answer me 
that at once." 

{< T _ 

" Will you deign to inform me whether you 
condescended so far as to answer the love- 
letters of this young man, for I have no doubt 
he favored you with many?" 

" I wrote only one insignificant reply," said 
Wistaria. 

"And what, pray, did you say in this re- 

ply?" 

"I implored him to follow us no farther. 
I besought him to give up the impossible 
exploit of entering our grounds, and, know- 
ing what would be his fate if he attempted to 



VJJSTAPJA 



do so, I also informed him that if he must in- 
deed enter, to do so by way of the south river, 
that a portion of our grounds ran down to 
this honorable river and was unprotected by 
the walls, which otherwise surrounded us on 
all sides/' 

" So it seems that you have betrayed to our 
enemy the weakness of our condition?" 

"Not an enemy, lady! He is not, indeed." 

"And may I ask how your redoubtable 
lover, having gained entrance to our grounds, 
also contrived to wedge his way into the pal- 
ace and become a guest of our hospitality?" 

"Toro " faltered Wistaria. 

Her aunt's face flamed. 

"Toro, he discovered him the first morn- 
ing, and and they became friends at once." 

"My son!" 

" Oh yes, madame, and on my two knees, I 
am prepared to beg you to show him mercy." 

"Keep your knees, my young lady, to beg 
mercy for yourself. You may have need 
,. of it ere long," said her aunt, with chilling 
irony. 



64 



P WISTARIA 

3" 3T= =XI 





ROM the insinuations and 
threats of the Lady Evening 
Glory it might seem as if 
Wistaria's lover were in im- 
minent danger, and that the 
Catzu family might be expect- 
ed to hasten instantly to cast 
him out from their province 
or have him imprisoned as a 
trespasser and impostor. But 
-) Japanese craft is more subtle. 
Besides, the right of judgment 
lay in the hands of the father 
of Wistaria, who was her natu- 
ral and legal guardian. It was 
necessary, therefore, that the 
young man should, for the 



3 



X 



65 



time being, gather no suspicion of their dis- 
covery. Consequently the Catzu family re- 
doubled their expressions of good -will and 
friendship for their guest, while the only one 
who could have warned him was placed 
where she was helpless to do so. 

With excessive sweetness, the Lady Evening 
Glory informed the courtier that she had 
i heard such good reports of him from her 
honorable husband that she had risen pre- 
maturely from her bed of sickness in order 
to greet him and assure him of her solicita- 
tion for his comfort and pleasure during his 
stay in Catzu. 

All these marks of friendship and compli- 
ment from the honorable lady of the house, 
besides the increased cordiality of the Lord 
of Catzu, would have been very delightful to 
the lover, but for the fact that almost coin- 
cident with the return to health of her aunt 
it was announced that the Lady Wistaria 
was unable to leave her apartments because 
of a sudden illness. The lover, therefore, 
in an agony of apprehension for the health 
of his mistress, had no heart or ears for the 
words of compliment pressed upon him by 
her family. 

He spent his time roving restlessly about the 
grounds of the palace in the neighborhood 
of Wistaria's casement, but the blinds were 
drawn tightly, morning, noon, and night, 
and there was only the memory of the girl's 



66 



\flSTARJA 



exquisite face at the window to torture the 
lover. 

The arrival of Shimadzu, the father of the 
Lady Wistaria, created no stir in the Catzu 
palace. He came silently at night. If any 
of the servants or members of the household 
knew of his presence they were dumb con- 
cerning the matter. The lover, consequently, 
was wholly unaware of his coming. 

Shimadzu was closeted for some hours 
with his sister and brother-in-law. The Lady 
Evening Glory was bitter against her niece. 
Not merely the fact of the indelicate and un- 
conventional manner of the courtship, nor 
even the fact that the lover was a member 
of their rival clan, and through his residence 
among them must have acquired information 
concerning their province which would be 
of value to his prince not these things in- 
furiated her so much as the thought that her 
son, the pride and joy of her life, the heir of 
Catzu, had been led by this stranger into an 
undertaking both perilous and shameful, the 
outcome of which was most uncertain. 

The Lord of Catzu was milder and more 
lenient towards the guilty parties, possibly 
realizing in his inmost soul a measure of 
the responsibility. He endeavored to palliate 
their offenQe. 

As for Shimadzu himself, he had not one 
word to say. He listened to the separate 
speeches of his sister and brother-in-law, ^ 



6 7 



n, 



and when they had concluded he simply re- 
quested that his daughter be ordered into his 
presence at once. 

Wild - eyed and trembling, Wistaria was 
brought in. Gone from her face, pale and 
drawn with the intensity of her sufferings, 
was all the sun. During the three days pre- 
ceding the arrival of her father she had been 
locked up alone in an interior room of the 
palace. No one had approached save her 
august aunt, who brought food with her 
own hands, and whose absolute silence in- 
spired her with a great dread. She would 
speak no word, or even deign to look at the 
unhappy girl. Wistaria, rendered frantic by 
her fears for her lover, had ofttimes thrown 
herself at her aunt's feet, piteously beseeching 
that she would enlighten her as to the fate of 
her lover. But the Lady Evening Glory would 
shake her skirts icily and contemptuously 
from her grasp, to retire without a word of 
response. 

Now Wistaria prostrated herself before the 
parent who had always inspired her with 
such incomprehensible fear. He motioned 
her to be seated, though he himself remained 
standing. Mutely, mechanically, she obeyed 
him. 

For a moment there was silence. The deep- 
set eyes of the father looked out at the young 
girl, noting the piteous tremble of the hands, 
the small, bowed head, the down -drooped 

3-" .. ._ 3^ " ^- 1 " " *y 

* 68 



n 



eyes which dared not meet his own, and all 
the other evidences of her sufferings. What- 
ever the thoughts of the father, whether mer- 
ciful or cruel, his impassive face revealed not 
his inner feelings. In some strange way this 
samurai seemed steeled against the pain of 
the world itself. Suddenly he spoke, his hol- 
low voice smiting with a shock the frail, highly 
strung girl. 

"My daughter, had you a mother to love 
and guide you, you would not now be un- 
happy." 

He paused to note the effect of his strange 
words strange because of the lack of emotion 
and sympathy that should have accompanied 
them. Wistaria raised her head painfully, 
but she dicl not speak. 

"Therefore," continued her father, "I wish 
to inform you that it is because of an enemy 
that you are now motherless, and therefore 
misguided." 

"An enemy?" repeated Wistaria, dully. 

"And it is to take my revenge upon this 
enemy that I am now about to impose a cer- 
tain duty upon you which may at first seem 
repugnant. Before I do so, however, I wish 
to remind you that you come of a proud and 
heroic race, my daughter, no member of which 
has ever faltered in his duty. I would there- 
fore, my daughter, much rather see you strong 
and fearless than weak and trembling, as you 
now appear." 



f 



1. &*. 

69 



QOJf? \W3TARJA 






Raising herself bravely, with a superhuman 
effort the girl grasped at her strength of will. 

"My weakness, honorable father, is but 
physical. Speak your august will with me/' 
she said. 

" That is well/' returned the samurai, brief- 
ly. " I have a few questions first of all to put 
to you. I need not say that I expect truthful 
answers, and will tolerate no prevarication." 

The girl bowed her head with a certain 
dignity of submissiveness. 

" Of what rank is your lover?" 

Wistaria trembled. 

" I do not know," she replied, in a low voice. 

"He has not mentioned his rank to you?" 

"Only that he was of honorably insignif- 
icant rank." 

"Humph! Well, that is but a natural re- 
ply. What is his appearance?" 

For a brief moment a gleam of strange 
pride came over her face. She pressed her 
little hands passionately together. 

" Oh, my father, he is honorably noble, I 
do assure you. He possesses " 

" I did not ask for a rhapsody upon his mer- 
its," interrupted the samurai, coldly. " How- 
ever, I am satisfied as to his rank." 

A tear fell softly upon her little hand. Feel- 
ing, rather than seeing, her father's irritation, 
she brushed it away impatiently, trying vain- 
ly to appear brave. 

" Now/' resumed Shimadzu, half to himself, 



70 



Tfi -VQQJrSG QF VflSTARI A 

"if he is of noble rank it follows that he is 
close to the Mori family. Very good." 

He turned to his daughter. 

"He is a good Imperialist?" 

"He is honorably loyal," she replied. 

"Loyal to his prince, you mean, or his 
party?" 

"Surely to both. He could not be other- 
wise. He is a brave and true gentleman, 
my father." 

"Very well, I have no more questions to 
ask you. I shall now outline to you the duty 
I have prepared for you. You are ready to 
obey my will?" 

"In all things, honored parent." 

"That is well. I commend you for your 
filial words. First of all, I desire all possible 
information concerning the young heir of 
Mori." 

" But ' she faltered, " how is it possible 
for me?" 

"Your lover," said her father, quickly, 
"is a Mori courtier. There is no doubt he 
will give you all the information I require." 

"Oh, then, my father," she cried, clasping 
her hands together, "you will be lenient tow- 
ards him, will you not? You will permit 
him to see me?" 

"I have nothing against your lover," said 
her father, with slight irritation. 

"Oh, father!" In a moment her face was 
aglow with hope and happiness. 

X -" i. .. . Tfc- 'i- ' 3 - 

71 



TOE JWOOJNG op 



"I advise you to listen to me/' he rejoined, 
coldly. 

" Speak 1 speak, august father ! I will fol- 
low your commands faithfully, joyfully." 

" I wish to know the nature of this prince, 
his habits, his mode of life, and the esteem 
in which he is held by his people. Once 
you have learned these facts, you must secure 
for me specific details concerning his political 
schemes against the Shogun. 

Gradually Wistaria had risen to her feet. 
She had grown strangely pale. Her eyes 
were frightened and apprehensive. 

" You desire," she repeated, slowly, as though 
she scarce comprehended the words " you de- 
sire to know the secrets of of his honorable 
party?" 

"Exactly." 

"You desire," she began to repeat, "to 
know the secrets " 

"More than that." 

"More. You you my father, you would 
not injure his his party?" 

" Your apprehension, my lady, for a hostile 
party, is strange for one of your training. 
Are you, then, turned Imperialist?" 

"No. I have no fear for myself, my lord. 
But he he You must understand, my 
lord, he believes in loves his honorable 
party whether right or wrong. I would not 
injure it because of his sake." 

"I have had enough of this weakness, 



72 




THE-M/oojNGOj 



my daughter, and you must admit I have 
been patient. To relieve your mind, however, 
of one thing, I will inform you that I have 
no designs against either this young man 
or his party." 

"Oh, you lift from my heart, my honored 
parent, a weight too heavy for me to bear. " 

"Pugh! It seems you are determined not 
to listen to my orders." 

" Speak at once. I will not again interrupt 
you." 

"Very good. While I have said I have 
nothing against this Imperialist party, I am, 
nevertheless, desirous of knowing all their 
plans and secrets. It will be your duty, there- 
fore, to ascertain these for me. Do not inter- 
rupt " as she made as if to speak. "You 
would say your lover is too loyal to betray his 
party secrets, even to you. Then you will use 
your wit to compel him to do so." 

"I I will do so," she replied, drearily. 

" That is not all. I wish you to force your 
lover into betraying some scheme or intrigue 
of his prince which would, if brought to the 
attention of the Shogun, implicate him crim- 
inally. Now I have arrived at my chief de- 
sire in other words, I wish to accomplish the 
ruin the death of the Prince of Mori." 

Wistaria's head swam in vertigo. She 
scarce could think or feel. Only one horrible 
thought hammered itself into her mind. By 
the cajolery and arts of a false woman she 

=IT -JL -E i a 

73 



was to assist in the betrayal of the prince 
to whom her lover had sworn allegiance. 
It was revolting, cruel, horrible. The mere 
thought of it made her head whirl in dizziness. 

When she attempted to speak, her words 
escaped her slowly in gasps. 

"I can not do that!" 

A terrible expression came into her father's 
face. 

" You dare defy my authority?" he shouted. 

"Oh, my father, put upon me any other 
task but this. It is base, cruel, cruel. And 
I I am only a weak woman " 

" That is true. Do not, then, I advise you, 
attempt to pit your weakness against my 
strength. If you are so lacking in all those 
qualities admirable in a woman and a daugh- 
ter of a noble race, I shall take means to force 
you to do your duty." 

A sudden wave of courage swept over her. 
She ceased to tremble, though the samurai 
was fierce and menacing. There sprang into 
her eyes a light of defiance. 

"You have reminded me, my father, that 
I come of a race of proud and heroic men. 
Then let me tell you that I, too, am conscious 
of possessing the intrepid blood of my ances- 
tors, and that you can force me to do nothing 
against my will." 

As she spoke she had backed slowly across 
the room, away from her father, as though re- 
treating from a blow. Now she stood against 

3 ' -Jl ^-7 I ; 

74 



VWSTARIA 



the wall, her arms spread out on either side, 
the hands clutching the partition. 

" In ten minutes I shall show you, my lady," 
said her father, between angry, clinched teeth, 
" the fate of one who dares defy her honorable 
parent." 

"Do so," was her astonishing response. 
" Kill me, break all my honorable bones, my 
lord. We all must suffer and die!" 

"You are too quick to choose your meth- 
od of punishment, my lady. I have a more 
subtle means of teaching you the duty of a 
child to its parent. Do not imagine that I 
shall kill your body. It is your mind and 
heart I shall crush." 

"What do you mean, my lord?" 

" You will understand, my lady, when your 
lover is paying with his life for " 

"Oh no, no, no, no!" she cried, wildly, her 
hands groping through blinding emotion as 
though she would push away from her some 
horror too awful for utterance. " No, no, no!" 

She fell down at her father's feet, burying 
her face in the folds of his hakama, her hands 
clutched about it frantically. " Oh, my father 
no, no, no!" 

She could say no more. 

"You will obey my commands?" inquired 
the father, bending over her. 

" Yes, yes oh, my lord anything on earth 
you may command. Only spare him, I be- 
seech you, I pray to you, as I would to a 

j i .. _. 3^.. X tT 

75 "TT 



THE . 
-a; 1~^ 3 ^ cm: 

god!" She fell to moaning and crying with 
the weakness of hysteria, no longer brave, 
defiant. 

He raised her not ungently. Holding her 
hands firmly, he looked sternly into her face. 

"Listen to me, my daughter. The task 
may seem to you horrible. It should not be 
so. It is a righteous, holy cause you serve. 
I have sworn to the dead, pledged myself, to 
encompass a certain vengeance, which must 
not escape me now. I have lived for no oth- 
er purpose. If I have seemed a cold, unfeel- 
ing father, stern, unsympathetic, and unloving, 
it is because I have a mission in life greater 
than that of a father. It is you who must 
help me to attain this ambition. Vengeance 
honest, righteous vengeance for a wrong 
done me and mine is a holy cause. No Jap- 
anese girl can regard it otherwise. The Prince 
of Mori is our bitter enemy. We must accom- 
plish his undoing his death!" 

" Yes, yes," she said, between her chattering 
teeth; "and you will not harm him ?" 

" I repeat I have nothing against this man. 
It is his prince whose proud spirit I will break ! 
Kill!" 

" Yes, yes only his prince the old prince. 
You wish me to kill him? Yes, I will do 
so." 

"No; it is the young prince who must 
die the son of the Prince of Mori. Do you 
not understand that I accomplish a more 

4 .J* . &- . . 1 3 : 

76 



^4 



complete revenge by compassing the death 
of him who is the salt of his life?" 

"Yes, yes; I see it clear. I must kill the 
innocent. Ah-hl Oh, it is cruel, cruel!" 

She was weeping brokenly, piteously at his 
feet again, her physical strength quite gone. 

The samurai leaned over her. 

" Soon, my daughter, you will have regained 
your strength and will. From your attitude 
of a little while ago I am made aware that 
you are possessed of such qualities as might 
impel you to attempt to betray your father. 
Be assured that you shall be given no op- 
portunity for doing so. For your own good 
I would advise you to lay the honorable force 
of repression upon your disturbed spirits, 
and bring yourself to do that which I have 
set for you with completeness and swiftness. 
In this way you will render a service to your 
father and family, and save the life of this 
man you love." 



77 



- TOE J 



Of \MSTARIA 



-4E- 





PRIL danced lightly over the 
land. Merrily she flung her 
rainbow showers of sweetest 
water upon the earth, the trees, 
the fearsome grass which March 
had coaxed in vain to do more 
than peep its head above the 
soil. Now the land was covered 
with a mantle so soft and ten- 
der that its young life seemed 
a thing that it were wanton to 
crush beneath the foot. 

Early, early in the morning, 
before the birds and flowers 
had cocked up their little heads 
to seize the first sun -kiss, a 
lover stood in a garden all 



y 



78 



X 



f 



TflE -WfcojNG of NWSTARJA 

: a. A ^ -r- 



made of gently sloping hillocks, crowned 
with trees whitened, as if frost -laden, with 
the full bloom of the cherry and plum. And 
the lover's voice called softly and tenderly 
to his lady's casement: 

" Lady Wistaria! My sweetest Wistaria!" 

At first there was no response. Moving 
nearer the casement, he called again: 

"Sweetest, dearest one, will you not come 
to your window for a minute but a fraction 
of a minute?" 

Softly a hand slid back the shoji a slender, 
small, expressive hand of perfect form and 
contour, and then a young girl's face ap- 
peared at the opening. Her eyes were very 
dark, and infinitely, intensely sad in ex- 
pression. Indeed, one might almost wonder 
whether their very brightness was not caused 
by the dews of unshed tears: She was pale. 
There was no color in her face at all, save 
that of her red lips. 

So pale and ethereal she seemed to her 
rapturous lover that, for a moment, he was 
filled with an eerie fear was she mortal, or 
one of those fragile spirits who abide on the 
earth for a season only? Then, all in a mo- 
ment, her eyes meeting those of her lover, the 
sadness of the night passed from her like a 
shadow which is vanquished by the sunlight. 
An instant later she was again pale. 

"Speak to me at once," implored the lover, 
"for but a moment since I thought you a 



79 



TOR -VOOJNG op VflSTAR) A 



spirit. Dearest one, assure me that my pas- 
sion is not in vain, and that my eyes deceive 
me when they fancy that yours are sad." 

Her voice faltered and trembled at first. 
Gradually she steadied it. 

" My honorable eyes," she said, " are not al- ^ 
ways faithful mirrors of my heart. Yes, in- 
deed, you are deceived, my lord. Look again. 
Surely you will see that that they do smile." 

"Yes," he replied, regarding her somewhat 
wistfully, "it is true. They do smile, and 
yet " He hesitated. "You do not appear 
happy, Fuji-wara." 

A strange little laugh escaped her lips. 
But she made no reply. She had turned her 
eyes from his, staring out before her. As 
the trouble deepened in the lover's eyes, he 
reached up, touching very gently the small 
white hand on the sill. The light touch of 
his hand startled her. Before he could speak 
she had recovered herself, leaning farther over 
to him. Her words sounded strangely harsh. 

" My lord, do let us resume our conversation 
concerning this brave cause to which you 
adhere." 

He flushed warmly. 

"It seems incongruous," he replied, after a \ 
moment, "that a tender maiden should be 
interested in political conflicts." 

"That is very unkind, my lord. You do 
not credit me, then, with any other quality, 
apparently, than that of pale softness. Indeed, 



80 



WJSTAPJA 

-y - T 



my vanity has saved me from the knowledge 
that the gods have been most unkind." 

"Nay, do not speak so," he tenderly chid 
her. Of late he had chafed not a little at 
her persistent waiving aside of all tenderer 
subjects to discuss those of larger import 
to men alone. 

" Well, then," she persisted, " say that I am 
capricious, whimsical, what you will. But do, 
pray, humor me, and if 1 find it necessary" 
she stammered over her words "if I find it 
interesting to discuss such matters, pray allow 
me to do so." 

" Do so, then, at once, dear one ! I am all 
ears to listen and all tongue to reply." 

"Pray tell me, then, are you truly an Im- 
perialist at heart, or merely so in name because 
you are a Mori?" 

" Pray tell me where my insignificant sym- 
pathies should lie, and there I swear to you 
shall they be." 

She protested that he but begged her ques- 
tion. Did he, then, consider, because she was 
but a weak maiden, that her interest in such 
a matter must needs be a slight thing? Was 
she not herself a daughter of a samurai, and 
did not the flame, the fire of patriotism glow 
unceasingly in her breast also?" 

"Dear Wistaria," entreated the lover, "I 
pray you do not disturb 3 7 our gentle bosom 
with these questions which are meant for 
soldiers, not for maidens." 

- T- ..^ ^_ I J - 

6 81 



"Nay, then/' she replied, and there were 
tears in her voice now, " why will you persist 
so? You are quite wrong, too. Let me re- 
1 peat : I am the daughter of a family whose 
women have had their honorable share in 
the affairs of the nation." 

"True, but your house has stood always 
on one side only. They have never deigned 
even to hear the argument, the pious, patriotic 
cry of the other side." 

"My house! Well, my lord, and am I a 
house?" > 

He kissed the slender hand on the window- 
ledge. It reached just to his lips. 

" Nay, I swear you are a goddess. It could 
not be possible that one so good and fair would 
favor an evil cause." 

"Evil? Ah, then, my lord, is the cause of 
my house an evil one?" 

He looked up into her eyes earnestly. 

"I should be a traitor, my lady, did I take 
advantage of the friendly hospitality your 
house has offered me to repay it by sowing 
seeds of mischief." 

"But if the seeds were not mischievous, 
my lord? If they were worthy and good?" 

He dropped her hand abruptly, and paced 
| for a time up and down the small grass-grown 
walk beneath her window. 

In the shadow of the room behind the Lady 
Wistaria another face appeared for the space 
of a moment only. Long, lean, cadaverous 

^C~ 'Jb - *- T "3 

82 



J* 



it was, wherein fierce eyes burned like living 
coals. With a shudder, Wistaria clutched her 
hand over her heart. Back to her casement 
came the. lover. 

"My sweetest girl, do not let us discuss so 
melancholy a subject." 

Impatient to speak with her of other mat- 
ters nearer his heart, the lover let full, pas- 
sionate appeal shine in his eyes. Wistaria's 
paleness deepened, if that were possible. Her 
eyes grew humid with repressed sadness. 
Her voice trembled and broke in spite of her 
words. 

"Melancholy, my lord? Nay, you would 
treat me as a child. You would turn my 
heart from a lofty subject with the graceless 
remark that it is too melancholy for me." 

"Lady, I would turn your heart to the 
holiest of all subjects on earth." 

" Ah, what is that, dear Keiki No, no, no ! 
Pray excuse my honorable rudeness. Do, 
pray, my lord, rather perceive my intense 
curiosity in the matter of which we have 
spoken. Then when you have enlightened 
me, speak whatever you will, my lord. I 
will listen." 

"And concerning what am I to enlighten 
you?" 

" The question which cuts our country into 
two bitter factions, each defiant and warlike 
towards the other." 

Into the lover's face there crept vague, baf- 



83 



fled perplexity mirroring the thought beyond. 
Coquetry, or desire for political truth which 
swayed his mistress? If the former, there 
was no combating it ; if the latter, then why 
then he would speak her true. He said : 

"Will you tell me, then, whom you have 
been taught to regard as the ruler of Japan?" 

"Why, our good Shogun lyesada," she re- 
turned, promptly. 

"Yet he is not so regarded by every one 
in Japan." 

"Why is that?" 

"Because there are many who would see 
our rightful sovereign, our divine Emperor, 
upon the throne." 

" But, my lord, his Imperial Majesty is, in- 
deed, already upon the throne, is he not?" 

"Only nominally. I fear, my lady, that 
you have not read the Dai Nihon Shi of the 
Prince of Mori?" 

"No, but I am much interested in it." 

"The history," continued the young man, 
with vehement bitterness, "was purged re- 
peatedly by the Yedo censor of the Shogun. 
It dared to speak the truth to the people. I 
do assure you it was not destroyed, however, 
before it had done its work well." 

"How? Pray do tell me all about it." 

" Have you never heard that pious fanat- 
ical, if you will cry, a barely half-muffled 
war-cry now, 'Daigi Heibunor!'" [the King 
and the subject]. 






His voice rose with a growing passion. 
Into his eyes leaped the gleam of the patriot. 

An exclamation escaped the lips of the 
young girl. 

"Oh, my lord, do not speak so loudly. I 
would feign warn you. I I " 

She broke off in her agitation. But her 
apparent fear for him only filled her lover 
with a great joy. His voice softened. 

" Fuji-wara, will you suffer yourself to listen 
hereafter to a confessed traitor?" 

"Dear lord, traitor to the wrong?" 

"Oh, dearest girl, can it actually be that 
you sympathize with our noble cause?" 

"I I Tell me, do, pray tell me, with 
whom does the young Prince of Mori sympa- 
thize?" 

" Oh, the rascal is a descendant of the Mori 
of whom I spoke just now." 

" And an adherent to his views?" 

"Possibly." 

"You do not know for a fact," she urged, 
tremulously, "just to what party the Prince 
does adhere?" 

"My lady," replied the lover, with some 
constraint, " the Prince has his pride of caste. 
He is also not without the inherited germs 
I J of patriotism in his soul." 

"And still they do say that he is as silly 
as a butterfly, and so given to frivolity that 
his head can hold no serious thought." 

"I do assure you," replied the other, flush- 

^- . 4. ~ >H ... jfe-,,..,., JT 3T. 



ing warmly, "that our prince is not all he 
may seem." 

"My lord, I have conceived the most over- 
whelming interest in this young Prince Mori." 

"Indeed!" The young man started back 
in humorous dismay. The girl smiled now, 
a little, dreary smile. 

" Be assured, my lord, that the interest is 
not of a sentimental nature. But it would 
seem that the young Prince was surely born 
for a great purpose." 

"Yes?" inquired the other, eagerly. 

"And that is, to follow in the steps of his 
honorable ancestor." 

"Oh, dearest girl, you fill my soul with 
joy! I am ready to swear that your sweet 
heart beats for the right the noble cause 
to which " 

"The Prince Mori is sworn?" she interrupt- 
ed, quickly. 

"Ay! and all the patriotic sons of Japan!" 

" And what do these sons of Japan propose 
to do? What are the plans of the Prince 
Mori?" 

"My lady!" 

"Pray, why do you start so, Keiki-sama?" 

"You ask a weighty question with the 
same lightness you would bestow if inquir- 
ing about the weather!" 

"Then the tones of my voice do me in- 
justice." 

"Wistaria, I swear I will not speak an- 



86 



Ttf J 



other word on this subject. No not even 
to you." 

"But" 

"No, no. I swear I will not." 

"My lord 

"Did I arise an hour before the sun, think 
you, to preach politics to my mistress?" 

" You recall the hour to me now. It seems 
I must bid you farewell. My maid even 
now is tapping on my door. Do, pray then, 
depart." 

The young man appeared cut to the heart 
at the parting. He sighed so deeply that 
Wistaria could not bear to gaze upon him, 
and, conscious of the impatient presence with- 
in, she drew her windows back hastily and 
shut out the sight of her lover from her. Then 
she faced her father within. 

"You have heard all, honored parent?" 

"Everything." 

" You are a witness of my continued efforts. 
I fear we have learned all there is to know." 

"Your opinion was not asked," replied the 
father, coldly. "Your services are all I re- 
quire. You will resume them to-morrow." 

The Lady Wistaria prostrated herself before 
her parent with the utmost humility. 

"I am prepared to obey your august will in 
all things," she murmured, in the most filial 
and submissive of voices. 



87 



n TflE-WOOHNG or VJSTAR1A 

-JJ ^ 3g ^ : .$- f- -^{ -fl 




HE aged castle moat was dark- 
ly melancholy, though its banks 
on either side were beautiful 
with the damp grass and the 
meeting willow and wistaria. 
Cold, still, and deep were its 
waters. At night it seemed 
grewsome and uncanny, per- 
haps because of the tragedy of 
its history, which every Cat- 
zu courtier knew. Even in 
the bright sunlight its beauty 
was seductively sad, for its 
dark waters were covered with 
white lotus, mingled with 
red and purple, with gold- 
en hearts, whose little cups 



88 




VASTARIA 



each held one drop of dew a glistening 
tear. 

Wandering dejectedly along the banks of 
the old moat, Keiki vainly sought in his 
mind for some clew to the phenomenal change 
in his mistress. Though at times her eyes 
seemed drowned in tears of tenderness, more 
often they were coldly glassy. Her conver- 
sation, too, was spasmodic, devoid of all 
endearment, and of a sort alien to lovers. 
When he had first seen her after the illness 
which had kept her from his sight for some 
days, he had lost all self-control in the joy 
of beholding her once more. In ardent im- 
agination he revived the memory of those 
dream -days on the little rock island of the 
twenty geishas, but though she appeared 
to have recovered her health, she no longer 
accompanied him upon such excursions. In- 
deed, she was rarely seen in the Catzu palace, 
except on the formal occasions of the guest- 
room. Keiki had been forced to content 
himself with those early morning meetings 
at her casement, so brief, so unsatisfactory. 
For she no longer murmured shy words of 
love and happiness. She talked, instead, of 
ridiculous matters, the politics of the coun- 
try! 

Nevertheless, through her apparent sym- 
pathy for this cause so close to the heart of 
the young man, she had revivified those thrills 
of patriotism which, for the nonce, he had 



89 



f 



of WJSTAPJA 

- -= - E 



pushed aside to devote all his heart and mind 
to the sweeter employment of loving. 

In a moment of enthusiasm, only two days 
before, he had confided to her the far-reach- 
ing plans of the Mori princes for their country. 
She had begged him with tears in her eyes to 
tell her of them; then, before he had half 
finished, she had entreated him wildly to tell 
her no more, and the next instant, piteously, 
tremblingly, begged him to continue. And 
then as he went on she had dropped her head 
upon her arms and buried her face from his 
sight. Her emotion had thrilled him. At the 
moment he could have fallen on his knees, 
beseeching her to do something to hasten 
their marriage so that he might return to 
Choshui to do his part in this noble cause. 
Before he could speak, however, she had 
raised her face and gazed for a moment upon 
him with such an expression of penetrating 
agony and appeal that he had sprung towards 
her, hastily crying out her name, " Wistaria ! 
Wistaria!" 

A moment later she was gone. The fol- 
lowing morning he had waited in vain in 
the garden beneath her casement. Over and 
over again he had tapped upon her shutters 
and called her name, but there was no re- 
sponse. He had met with the same experi- 
ence this morning. Keiki was very miserable. 
Since the change in her seemed inexplicable, 
his confidence was shaken not his confidence 

4 ' i * I 3 

90 



TOE .WOOJNG of? vflSTAPJA n 

~ 3 



*=w 

u 



in her faith or truthfulness, but in her love. 
He began to torture his mind with the possi- 
bility that she might not love him, that she 
had been but a girl, after all, who, flattered 
by his manner of wooing her, had thought 
she returned his affection. His faith in her 
purity of soul was so perfect that no slightest 
thought of any designs upon his political 
schemes ever occurred to him in connection 
with Wistaria. 

Thus unhappy, worried, and very much in 
love, Keiki walked moodily along the bank 
of the old castle moat, his old assurance and 
egotism completely gone from him. 

Suddenly as he strolled along something 
struck him sharply on the temple. Stooping, 
he raised from the ground what seemed to 
be a soft pebble. Examining it more closely, 
however, he perceived it to be a lady's fine 
paper handkerchief rolled into a little ball. 
Half wonderingly, half idly, Keiki undid it. 
A faint, familiar perfume exuded from it 
as he shook it out. In an instant he was 
pressing it rapturously to his face. It was 
from Wistaria. Tenderly turning it about and 
enjoying its sweetness, he found as he was 
smoothing it out a little word in the centre : 

tt r\ 

Go. 

The lover became pale as death. He read 
it again, then repeated it aloud "Go!" Its 
meaning was plain. He did not doubt for 
an instant from whom it came. That one 



91 



i 



THE -WOOING of NWSTARIA 



little word from her explained everything 
the change in her, her realization that 
she did not love him, and this silent means 
of telling him the truth. He crumpled the 
handkerchief in his hand. A moment later 
he was pacing almost running up and 
down along the bank of the silent, mocking 
moat. He could not think. He could only 
feel. Then he threw himself prone upon the 
ground, his face buried in the long grasses. 
He was smothering and choking back the 
hoarse, terrible sobs of a man one who had 
been trained in the inflexible school of the 
samurai. 

The day passed over his head. The sky, 
ruddy with the setting sun, paled gradually, 
until it seemed as though a veil were drawn 
softly across it. Still Keiki gave himself up 
to his despair. For him it seemed that the 
sun had gone out, life had ceased. 

As the shadows continued to spread their 
batlike wings over the heavens, darkening, 
darkening the skies, until only an impene- 
trable vault of darkness dotted with myriad 
magic lights was above and about him, he 
still lay there. 

A rustle disturbed the grass. Possibly 
a hare running by. Keiki heeded it not. 
Something was stirring, moving near him. 
Mechanically, dully, he listened. Some one 
had lost his way among the willows and with 
his hands was feeling his way. From his 

w 92 



TfiE .VJOOJNG of? 



own despair Keiki was recalled by the sudden 
acute knowledge of possible danger to this 
person who had evidently lost his way. One 
false step towards the boggy grass, and be- 
yond was the treacherous moat, whose water- 
flowers and reeds hid its dark surface. Sud- 
denly he sprang to his feet and called out 
hoarsely : 

"Who is the honorable one?" 

He fancied he heard a cry. He ran towards 
it, then stopped short. He had come upon 
her there in the willows. Her kimono shone 
out startlingly white with a stray moon-beam 
upon it, but her gown was not less white than 
her face, which stared into the darkness like 
that of a statue. 

Slowly he went to her as though drawn 
by subtle, compelling hands. Close to her, 
almost touching her; he did not speak, be- 
cause he could not. Bitter words had sprung 
to his lips only to die before birth. He per- 
ceived that she was trembling from head to 
foot. Her hands stood out from her sleeves, 
each finger apart, and they trembled, quiv- 
ered, shook. 

With an inarticulate cry he caught, them 
in his own, inclosing them warmly, almost 
savagely, in his grasp. Then his voice came 
to him. It was very husky and strange. 

"Speak!" 

"Go! Go!" 

This was all she whisperingly cried. She 



93 



p VJSTAPJA 

-%= == 



kept repeating it over and over between her 
chattering teeth. As he wound his arms 
about her shivering form he found that she 
was dripping wet. Could it be that she had 
fallen into the moat? By what miracle of the 
gods, then, had she been saved? The dark 
waters were so deep so deepl 

"You are wet and coldl You have met 
with an accident?" 

"No, no," she said. "It was the honorable 
grass so wet so cold, like a lake. I crawled 
through it, on my hands and knees, close to 
the moat." 

i " But why did you do it, why did you do 
it?" His voice was imploring. 

"To come to you. To be with you to " 

He clasped her closer, warmed to the soul 
by her words. 

"Ah, then it is not true," he cried, "and 
you do still love me, Fuji-wara?" 

"Better than my soul. Better than my 
duty to the gods," she whispered. 

The sound of her voice was muffled. Her 
words literally sighed through her lips. He 
could not comprehend ; he knew only that she 
loved him, had come to him, and now she 
was all water - wet, pale - eyed, and trembling 
| as one who sleeps with fear. And because 
that strange voice hurt his soul, he covered 
her lips with his hand. She made no re- 
monstrance, but sank into his arms, almost 
as if she had fainted. But looking down he 



* 



94 



TflE n 



saw her eyes were wide open, shining like 
dark stars. They startled him. They were 
like those of a dead woman. He shook her 
almost roughly in his fright. 

"Wistaria! Speak to mel What is it? 
Tell me your trouble." 

"Trouble?" she repeated, dazedly. "Trou- 
ble!" 

Then she remembered. She grasped his 
arm till her fingers almost pierced through 
the silk into his flesh. 

"You must go go! Go quickly run all 
the way. Do not stop one moment not one 
little moment." 

"Go away? Run? What are you say- 
ing?" 

"Listen! In a moment, perhaps, I may 
not have power to speak. My strength is 
failing me. I thought you would obey the 
word I sent you. But I saw you fall down 
among the grasses, and all day long I have 
watched from my window, waiting, waiting, 
m waiting to see you depart. No, no listen 
unto me do not speak. I escaped the vigi- 
lance of my jailers my executioners. Oh, 
will you not understand ? I have come through 
perils you cannot imagine to warn you to 
beg you on my knees to go away at once. 
Hasten to Choshui!" 

Her breath failed her. She had been speak- 
ing quickly, in sharp gasps. 

"But I do not understand," he said. 



95 



TOE .WOOJNG op 



"Your prince your august prince is in 
danger!" 

"What?" 

"The Prince of the young Prince Keiki," 
she gasped. 

"The young Prince Keiki!" he repeated, in- 
credulously. 

"Yes, yes; they have discovered his secrets 
they will arrest him for treason and " 

He almost shouted. 

"His secrets! The cause! Oh, all the 
gods!" 

"You can save him. There may be time. 
They will take him and cast him into a dun- 
geon and kill him!" 

"I must set off at once," excitedly he mut- 
tered. "What could have happened in my 
absence?" 

Her shivering, trembling presence recalled 
him. He was distracted at the thought of 
leaving her. He could think of nothing else. 
He tried to see her white face in the darkness, 
but could only trace the pale outlines. Sud- 
denly he took it in his hands. 

"Fuji-wara," he whispered, in a voice of 
mingled love and agony. "How can I leave 
you? How can I do so? And yet you would 
not have me act the part of a coward, the 
false traitor. You would be the first to bid 
me go." 

"Go, go!" she cried, releasing herself from 
his hands feverishly. 

f ffi 4 jfc _ jfc, r y 

96 



7WE.WOOJNG 



"And you?" 

" Lead me back into the path. I shall find 
my way horn there." 

Leading her, he questioned anxiously: 

"There is danger for you here, Wistaria? 
Tell me, or I shall not depart." 

She turned the question. 

"Last night there was a slight earthquake 
in the province. There is always danger. 
But you and I have pledged each other. For 
the time of this life and the next, and as many 
after as may come, I will be your flower-wife 
and you my husband." 

At parting he kissed the hem of her kimono 
and the little, water-soaked foot beneath. 



97 



WJSTAPJA 



-at 





HEN the tender veil of the 
first hours of the morning was 
raised from the face of the 
sun, the early light revealed 
a small, still, white face at a 
window where the morning- 
glory, rising from the midst 
of spring roses, mingled with 
the wild ivy of Japan, clam- 
bered up and encircled the case- 

4 ment, and nodded until the 
blossoms touched and caressed 
the small, dark head. The eyes, 
darkly overcast with ceaseless 

| watching, stared out through 
the mist of the morning, across 
the musk -laden gardens and 

.4. j. ar= 



over the silent moat, trying to pierce with 
the vision of love the distance beyond the 
lines of the province. 

Thus all night long had the delicate Lady 
Wistaria crouched at her casement. Did the 
night winds stir the long grasses or rattle the 
boughs of the trees and bushes, the young 
girl started and trembled with unspeakable 
fear. Did the steady beat, beat of the wooden 
sandals of the guards at the palace gates for 
a moment cease or increase their rhythmic, 
orderly tramp, her heart bounded up, then al- 
most stopped its beating. The slightest sound 
or stir made her tremble and quiver. Only 
the nightingale, softly, piercingly, ceaselessly 
singing throughout the night, comforted and 
soothed her like the song of an angel. Under 
its soothing influence she had fallen asleep, 
with her little, tired head upon her arms. But 
even while she slept, she sighed and trembled. 
Awaking before daybreak, she heeded not the 
shivering breezes of the passing night, but 
waited for the sunlight. 

An alert guard of the palace gates, after the 
night watch, was wending his way through 
one of the paths which led out of the grounds, 
when he thought he heard some one calling 
his name. It was very early. But for the 
chirping of a few waking birds, the gar- 
dens were very silent and still. He stopped 
short in his walk and listened. There it was 
again a woman's or a child's voice, calling 



99 



TWE BOOING Of VJ37APJA 



his name, softly, almost appealingly. Turn- 
ing sharply, the guard retraced his steps down 
the path, looking about him anxiously as 
he neared the palace. 

"0 Yone! Yone-yara!" 

He turned in the direction of the voice. 

"O Yonel This way! It is I your 
lady!" 

Then the guard saw the Lady Wistaria 
leaning far out from her casement. He ran 
forward and dropped on his knees, touching 
the earth with his head. 

"Closer! Still closer!" she called, in a 
whisper. 

"Yes, my lady!" 

He knelt close under her casement, his 
head bent, and respectfully attentive. 

She whispered. 

"I wish you to do me a service; will you 
not, Yone?" 

"Oh, my lady!" was all the young man 
could stammer, out of his eagerness to serve 
her. 

"I know you are tired after your watch, 
and it was long so long!" She sighed, as 
though she, too, had kept the watch with 
him. 

"No, no!' cried the young guard, hastily. 
" Indeed I am honorably fresh, my lady. Do 
not spare me any service." 

" Then do you please run as swiftly as your 
honorable feet will carry you to the home 



JOO 



of Sir Takemoto Genji, and bid him hasten 
to me here at once, without one moment's 
delay. Now hasten do not wait!" 

Like a flash of wind the young soldier 
had sprung to his feet, had leaped across 
the small division to the bridge spanning 
the moat, and was speeding through the 
wooded park beyond. 

In less than fifteen minutes the samurai 
Genji was bending the knee to the Lady Wis- 
taria. 

"Thy service, my lady!" 

" Oh, Sir Genji," she cried out, throwing all 
caution to the winds, "I am in such dire 
trouble such fearful, cruel trouble I" 

"Why, my little lady?" The big samurai 
was on his feet, regarding her with amazed 
eyes. 

"Yes, yes I know it seems incredible to 
you that I should have trouble of any sort, 
but indeed it is so, and " 

" Are" moshi, moshil" soothed the samurai, 
patting her hand reassuringly. 

" You will be my very good friend, will you 
not, Sir Gen?" 

"Friend! Command me to cut myself in 
half and I will do so at once!" 

"Last night," she whispered, "he" 

He nodded comprehendingly, certain that 
only one " he " could exist in my lady's mind. 

"he escaped!" she gasped. 

"Escaped?" 



f 



101 



at ffi 



"Oh, you know you know of whom I 
speak." 

" Yes, yes certainly ; but how do you mean 
escaped? He was our honored guest, was 
he not?" 

"His prince is my father's mortal enemy. 
My father has been my jailer for many days 
now, and I I have been forced to cause him 
to betray his prince. Oh, will you not un- 
derstand!" 

" Hah ! It is all quite plain ! But why did 
3 T ou not inform me sooner?" 

"Because until yesterday my father kept 
so constant a watch over me that I could 
make no movement he would not have per- 
ceived. But do not ask useless questions 
now, Gen. Help me. Tell me what to do- 
what to do." 

"You say he has escaped? When and 
how did he go?" 

"Last night, Gen. I climbed down the 
vine of the casement here. See, it is strong. 
My father for the first time had not been near 
me all day, and I thought I was safe from 
observation, though indeed I could not be 
sure. But I went to him and warned him 
of the danger, and he has gone to Choshui." <: 

"That is very well, then." 

"But my father may know the truth and 
will track him through the woods. I cannot 
live for the fear, the august dread, of what 
may befall him." 

- - i i_ ..... m= I =ar=: 

102 



THE -WOOING OF VflSTARJA n 

^ ^f- x -* I!K< 

" Do not tremble so, my lady. Things are 
not so dark as they seem. It is quite im- 
possible for your father to have overheard 
you; he left Catzu at noon yesterday." 

" Ah ! Then if that is so, it will be too 
late to warn the young Prince Mori," she 
cried. 

" But do not think of this prince, my lady. 
Be happy that your august lover is safe." 

" Oh," she cried, despairingly, " but I cannot 
have the death of this innocent prince upon 
my hands. I should die if anything happened 
to him." 

"Well, do take some comfort, my lady. 
You say your lover departed last night. Very 
good. The samurai Shimadzu left yesterday 
at noon. Yet the young man, I am ready to 
swear by my sword, will be the first to reach 
Choshui." 

"Oh, but vengeance and hatred will lend 
wings to my parent's feet." 

"And the wings of vengeance and hatred, 
my lady, are not so fleet as those of the wings 
of love. Be assured." 

" Sir Gen, you do not know, you would not 
believe all I have suffered." 

Sir Genji's brows contracted. Ever since 
he had followed her to the old Catzu palace, 
when she was a tiny, bewitching little creature 
of five, with laughing lips and shining eyes, 
a flower ornament tumbling down the side 
of her hair and a miniature kimono tied about 

a _& &=. a -^^c=^ 

103 



TOKJWOQJNO of* Vfl5TAR)A 

with a purple obi, she had been his favorite. 
He could scarcely believe it possible that any 
one could be cruel to this beautiful young 
girl. His looks just then bode ill for any 
one who should cause her pain. Never- 
theless, for many days now the young girl's 
chamber had been not unlike that of an in- 
quisitorial prison. It was true there were 
no thumb -screws or neck -halters or burn- 
ing-irons within, but there were instruments 
of torture more refined and excruciating in 
their torture, because they pierced the mind 
rather than the body. 

If the girl awoke screaming in the night, 
one could be sure that some creeping, spying 
presence had entered her chamber and had 
grown upon the consciousness of her dreams, 
rudely awakening her to the fearful night- 
mare of an unseen presence. In the early 
morning she was awakened from her sleep and 
forced to carry on those nerve-shocking, heart- 
breaking interviews with her lover. She fell 
asleep at night with the intuitive knowledge 
that one watched unceasingly in her cham- 
ber. She might make no stir or movement 
unobserved. 

This Sir Genji heard for the first time. 

"And I may rely on you for the future?" 
she asked, in conclusion. 

The samurai raised his sword. 

"With this, gentle lady, I'll serve thee and 
him," he said. 

4 I _ fc- IE ^f~ . 

104 U 



THE BOOING op VflSTAPJA n 



a; 



J 



Then with a quick movement he flung the 
sword to the ground. 

Three days passed away. She seemed like 
one in a dream, under a spell, as she hung 
over her flowers. Under the fruit-trees she 
wandered. Their petals, odorous and dewy- 
laden, fell around and upon her like a cloud 
of summer snow - flakes. They made her 
quiver with memories that caused her pain. 
She ran through the grasses away from them, 
her little feet scattering the petals before 
her, seeking the banks of the moat far away 
from where he had been wont to stand at the 
dawning, pleading for her love. 

But the lotus with the dew in its cups smiled 
but to weep. She threw herself down by the 
water's edge, and swept with her hand the 
lotus back from the surface of the water. 
The flowers at her touch left one little oval 
spot, out of which her small face shone up 
at her with its startled eyes of tragedy. She 
fancied it a magic mirror wherein the face 
of the divine goddess of mercy was reflected. 
So she prayed to the goddess very softly, 
and quite as one whose mind has been over- 
weighted with trouble, for peace and mercy 
for that wilful and foolish Lady Wistaria, 
whose lover had passed out of her life and 
gone the gods knew whither. And the lips 
of the goddess in the water moved in sound- 
less response, but, " He is gone gone!" said 
the hapless Lady Wistaria. 

zzzan - L * 1 3= 

105 



TflE . 



of vflSTARJ A n 

- 




T 




HE Lady Wistaria was carried 
to her father's home at night. 
There was no gorgeous cortege, 
no gayly bedecked attendants 
or retainers to bend the back 
and knee to her. She travelled 
alone, in a covered palanquin 
borne on the shoulders of hired 
runners, beside whom the tall, 
lank figure of her father strode. 
They set her down in the heart 
of the city, the rest of the journey 
being made on foot. When she 
had last visited her father's 
home he had carried her on 
his back, after he had dis- 
missed the palanquin, for she 

> &~ X *f . 



WJSTAPJA 



was then but a small girl of ten. Now she 
walked silently, dumbly, by his side. As 
they reached and passed through the silent 
little village that had impressed her as a 
child, strange fancies flitted in and out of 
Wistaria's mind. There was none of that 
strange up-leaping of the heart, experienced 
on returning to a home not seen for years. 
The old mystic horror and fear of the place 
had taken possession of Wistaria, but now, with 
a woman's wide-open eyes, her wonder and fear 
began to form themselves into vague fancies. 

Slowly passing along the silent, spiral 
streets, climbing up and around hillock after 
hillock, they came finally before the small, 
whitewashed house with its dark, empty, cold 
interior. The old, old woman who had fon- 
dled and sung to the child Wistaria came hob- 
bling and mumbling to the door. She wept 
over Wistaria's hands, caressed them, and 
drew her head to her bosom with a crooning 
laugh that was almost a sob. 
l "\ am very weary and would fain retire at 
once," said Wistaria, as she returned the old 
woman's caress. 

Madame Mume attended Wistaria tenderly 
towards the stairway which led to the upper 
part of the house. But, as she did so, Shi- 
madzu called to his daughter in his hollow 
voice of command. 

" Stay/' he said. " I have much to say to 
you to-night." 



TOE .WOOING of NW5TAPJA 



Bowing obediently, if wearily, to her father. 
Wistaria handed her cape to the old woman 
and mechanically followed him into the 
ozashiki. 

"My daughter," began the father, "do you 
know where you now are?" 

This strange question surprised Wistaria, 
but she replied, with a gentle smile: 

"In my honorable father's house." 

"That is true, but do you know where 
your father's house is situated?" 

"No." 

" Very well ; I will tell you, then. My house, 
though seemingly apart, because of its situa- 
tion on the hill, is built in the heart of an 
Eta settlement." 

"Eta?" repeated Wistaria, mechanically. 
She had heard the word somewhere before, 
but just what it signified her mind at the 
moment could not recall. So she repeated the 
word again, as though it troubled yet fasci- 
nated her. "Eta! Eta!" 

"Eta," repeated her father. "In other 
words, the social outcast, the despised pariah 
class of Japan/' 

Then silence fell like a swift, blank darkness 
upon them. Wistaria trembled with a creep- 
ing horror she could not fathom or grasp. 

Somewhere, somehow, vaguely, dimly, she 
had heard of this class of people. Perhaps 
it was at school. Perhaps her aunt had 
instructed her in their condition. One thing 

y q. " "X ff = 

108 



Of WiSTAPJA 







1 



was certain, she was suddenly made aware 
of just what the one word Eta signified. 

It described a class in Japan upon whom 
the ban of ostracism and isolation had been 
placed by an inviolate heritage and a cruel 
custom. So virulent and bitter was the prej- 
udice against them and the contempt in 
which they were held, that in the enumera- 
tions of the population they were omitted from 
the count and numbered as cattle. 

Herded in separate villages, their existence 
ignored by the communities, none but the 
most degraded tasks were assigned to them 
that of burying criminals, slaughtering cattle. 
that of the hangman and public executioner. 

Whence they had come, why they were 
held in the contempt of all other citizens, 
what their origin, none could tell. When 
had there been a time in the history of the 
nation that they did not exist? Some old 
histories aver that they were originally cap- 
tives from the great Armada of the Tartar in- 
vaders who dreamed of conquering the sacred 
realm. Others declare that they were the de- 
scendants of the public executioners from time 
immemorial ; and again, more recent students 
assert that they were descendants of the fam- 
ily and retainers of Taira-No-Masakado-Hei- 
shimo, the only man in Japan who ever seri- 
ously conspired to seize the imperial throne 
by armed force. Whatever their origin, they 
were the outcast people of the realm. They 



109 




WJSTARJA H 



7 ere not permitted to mingle with or marry 

itside of their own class, and any one who 

ose to marry among them must either surfer 
me penalty of death or become one of them. 

The long silence which ensued after Shi- 
madzu had spoken the word Eta was bro- 
ken by the Lady Wistaria. 

"And why/' she asked, with a tremor she 
could not keep from her voice "why does 
my honorable father make his home among 
this outcast people?" 

"Because/' quickly came the passionate 
response, "your honorable father is an Eta, 
as is also my lady his daughter/' 

Wistaria's eyes, wide with shocked sur- 
prise, stared mutely up into her father's face. 
What! she the Lady Wistaria, the dainty, 
cultivated, carefully guarded and nurtured 
lady an Eta girl ! Her mind could not grasp, 
would not hold the thought. 

"Listen," said her father, slowly. "I was 
born in a city of the south, the seat of a dai- 
mio of eight hundred thousand koku. My 
father's house stood w: thin the outer forti- 
fications surrounding this prince's castle. I 
was trained in the school of the samurai. I 
grew up, honoring and swearing by this 
prince. When I became of age I entered his 
service. No love of man for woman was more 
persistent than my loyalty to his cause. De- 
votion to him was my highest ideal. 

"My prince had a bitter rival and enemy. 



He was a good and powerful lord, though a 
Shogun favorite. This lord loved my sister 
and was loved by her. In an evil moment 
I listened to her entreaties, and forgot my 
allegiance to my prince in so far as to assist 
his rival to win and wed my sister, now the 
Lady of Catzu. Immediately I brought down 
upon my head the bitterest detestation of my 
own prince. I was assigned to the poorest 
and most degrading of posts, that of the spy 
and the suppressor of petty broils, and finally 
detailed to live in and protect a certain Eta 
settlement. So much of my time was thus 
forcibly spent among these people that I came 
to study, to understand, and finally to sym- 
pathize with them. 

"I was young, as I have said, impression- 
able, and I had been trained in the school 
of chivalry. It fell to my lot to be the pro- 
tector of an Eta maiden of such beauty of 
person and purity of soul that " 

He broke off in his recital, and, to clear his 
husky voice, raised with a shaking hand a 
tumbler of sake to hR lips and swallowed it 
at a gulp. He began again, with passionate 
fierceness. His eyes glittered with inward fire. 

"I married the maiden!" 

With a sudden little sob, Wistaria moved 
closer to him and drew his hands up to her 
lips. 

"My mother?" The words passed her lips 
as a quick, burning question. 



1 



in 



TOE.VOOilSGO/" V13TAR1A 

"Thy mother," he repeated, and then she 
saw in the dim light of the room the great, 
shining tears roll down the hard crevices in 
her father's face. She moaned and crept closer 
to him. 

"For her I became an Eta an outcast. 
Do not shudder, my daughter. Has the word, 
then, so evil a sound? Then I perceive you 
have been wrongly bred in the school of 
prejudice. The Eta, though an outcast, is 
a human being more human, indeed, than 
many of our disdainful lords who ride over 
their heads and trample them like insects be- 
neath their feet." 

"Tell me of my mother," she whispered. 

"Of her antecedents I know naught and 
care less. Her honorable grandmother still 
abides here in my house." 

"Old Madame Mume?" 

"Yes." 

"Continue. Pray do so." 

" After my marriage I was cast off im- 
mediately by my prince, my titles and honors 
were taken from me, my property confiscated. 
For all this I cared nothing. I was content 
and happy to be left at peace with my wife." 

His long, thin fingers clinched and un- 
clinched. He moistened his lips, biting into 
them. 

"Did I say that this prince under whom 
I served was arrogant and cruel? Did I tell 
you he had a heart of flint and a pride so 

j. X % 3. ^- " 

112 



indomitable that he would not brook one of 
his samurai being other than of noble birth? 
Six of his vassals, the most graceless and 
worthless in the province, to humor his pleas- 
ure, undertook to seek me out in my exiled 
happiness and engage to make life intolerable 
for me. Whether their actual intention was 
evil or not, I cannot say; that they wrought 
evil is all I know, and that they came with 
the express knowledge and consent of their 
prince." 

Wistaria observed that her father was trem- 
bling so violently that he scarce could speak. 
She pressed his hands convulsively within 
her own. 

" Speak quickly, my father," she implored. 

" They murdered her," he whispered, hoarse- 
ly. "Curses and maledictions upon their 
souls I" 



WJSTARJA 




T 




9 



HE death of the mother of 
Wistaria had taken place the 
day after the girl's birth. Her 
father had left his young Eta 
wife to go to the village to 
purchase medicines and food. 
She was in the care of her grand- 
mother, who was old and weak, 
and powerless to protect her. 

The Mori samurai, all of them 
in a state of savage intoxica- 
tion, had come to the house 
demanding and calling for Shi- 
madzu. They had been drink- 
ing heavily all day, and swore 
they would have their final cup 
with their former comrade. 

!>.'.. . 4fe .-- .A . ~"5r 

114 



WiSTAPJA 

^3 



When Madame Mume assured them of his 
absence, they insisted upon entering the 
house, and, pushing past the old woman, 
straightway took possession of the place. 
One of their number suggested that in the 
absence of Shimadzu they must be enter- 
tained by his Eta wife, whereupon the oth- 
ers, taking up the cry, boisterously began to 
shout for the hostess of the house. 

Meanwhile the young wife, very weak and 
ill from her recent confinement, listened with 
feverish excitement to the loud voices and the 
bedlam of noises now rattling through the lit- 
tle cottage. Fearful for the safety of her lord, 
in a moment of delirium she arose from her 
sick bed to go to them, staggering through 
the dividing rooms until she came to the ribald 
debauchees. 

As she pushed aside the sliding doors and 
stood in the opening, her white bed-robes about 
her, she seemed like an apparition. A sudden 
silence fell upon the revellers. It was broken 
by a samurai whose sake cup dropped from 
his nerveless hand to the floor, where it shat- 
tered into fragments. 

The next instant there was a general move- 
ment towards the figure between the shoji. 
That simultaneous, half-savage advance seem- 
ed to snap the last vital cord in the woman. 
When they reached her she no longer swayed 
between the shoji. They bent over her in va- 
rious attitudes of horror, where she lay prone 



jfr 



at their feet, a white, crushed thing whose deli- 
cate life had been brutally snuffed out forever. 

With a loud cry of fear and dismay they 
rushed from the chamber, out from the house 
into the open air, where their befogged brains 
still seemed to behold a vision of an avenging, 
pursuing spirit. 

Hearing the wailing cries of the old grand- 
mother while he was yet afar off from the 
house, Shimadzu began to run at his utmost 
speed, a premonition of disaster forcing itself 
upon him. Up the hillocks he sped. A mo- 
ment of fearful, striving effort and he was be- 
side the old woman. Something froze in Shi- 
madzu, paralyzing his faculties. Power of 
speech and movement was gone. 

The old woman caught his arm, shook it, 
and gazed with her fading eyesight into his 
staring eyes. 

"Master, master!" she cried. 

He only stared at the figure upon the floor. 
The old woman rushed from the house, shriek- 
ing and calling aloud for help. Neighbors 
came rushing up from the little village below 
and began to fill the house. They tried to 
arouse the stricken samurai, but he heeded 
them not. But when they attempted to move 
the young wife, a strange guttural sound of 
savage protest escaped his lips, so that they 
dared not touch her. 

Then the neighbors mingled their cries with 
those of the old woman, and the house of w 

4, "": ,..-' 3& ; ""' "X T "' ^^~ 

116 



death was rendered hideous with their cease- 
less moaning and the muffled beating of 
Shinto drums. 

All night long the samurai crouched in 
that paralyzed attitude by the side of his 
wife. But in the morning strong and stout 
armed men from the village, disregarding 
his cries of protest, lifted the body of the wife 
upon the death -couch, drew the lids over 
the staring eyes, closed the frothed mouth, 
where the teeth shone out like small white 
fangs, and folded the frozen white hands 
across her breast. Then the samurai came 
back to life vivid, horrible, insane life. 

Some kindly woman brought in the little 
Wistaria and held her towards him with a 
pitying exclamation, knowing that this little 
life could not but comfort the bereft man. 
He seized the child wildly in his arms. Then 
holding his one-day-old babe over the dead 
body of his wife, he swore a fearful oath of 
vengeance. 

From that day the samurai had but one 
purpose in life, but one hope and ambition: 
to encompass the ruin and death of those he 
deemed the murderers of his wife. It hap- 
pened that he came of a powerful family, who, 
in all his troubles, had offered him their sym- 
pathy and would gladly have received him 
back among them in spite of his marriage to 
an Eta girl. They were in high favor at court, 
and now they carried his case to the Shogun 

I- jg -a r=. A, L- raE= 

117 



THE .WOOING o 



himself. The exiled samurai was forthwith 
ordered to appear before the Shogun, who had 
been deeply impressed and touched by his 
sorrows, and who had cause for prejudice 
against his former lord. 

The Shogun offered to force his lord to 
restore to the samurai his estates and rank, 
but Shimadzu fiercely refused to accept these 
favors, wildly declaring that he would rather 
be buried alive than enter the service of such 
a lord. The Shogun, still anxious to please 
his family, begged him to make some re- 
quest which it would be in his power to grant, 
whether for service under another lord, or 
at court in attendance upon his own person. 

"I have but one request to make, my lord," 
responded the samurai. 

"That is?" 

"To be made the public executioner." 

All these things the Lady Wistaria now 
learned for the first time. She was as one 
struck down by a sudden shock of grief. In 
one little hour she had fallen from a great 
height, and had learned of things that had 
caused her to quiver with anguish and shame. 
She could not at once share the thought of 
the father whose wrongs haunted him, de- 
manding vengeance and justice. She thought, 
instead, of other things. She was the daughter 
of the public executioner, the hangman! 
an Eta girl an outcast! The odium of it 
all crushed her. In that hour of agony 



1x8 



her imagination conjured up the noble, high- 
born face of her lover, torturing her soul with 
its infinite distance from her. She knew now 
that he was as far beyond her reach as the sun. 

"Shrink not, my daughter," came her 
father's voice harshly upon her thoughts; 
"your father's hands are not stained in the 
blood of any of his fellow -men save those 
who were his by divine right. To underlings 
I gave the punishment of the public criminal, 
but to myself I kept the sacred task of seeking, 
tracking, ruining, and killing with my own 
hands the destroyers of my house." 

" Then," said Wistaria, in a strangely plead- 
ing voice, " you have avenged my mother. 
All is done, all is finished. Oh, my father, 
let us forget all this past, and go away where 
we may not be known and pass our days in 
peace until the end." 

"Nay, all is not done," replied the father. 
" You forget that while I have had the holy 
joy of executing the six murderers of my wife, 
their prince still lives." 

"Ah!" 

"Once I served under him, honored him 
above all men; now I desire nothing else 
on earth but to bow his head in the dust. 
He is a great prince, beyond my reach, but I 
have sought and found a better means of 
striking at him. For this purpose, my daugh- 
ter, I need your aid." 

"You mean" she began. 



119 



n 



"This Prince of Mori is the man. Now 
you understand. His heart, his whole life, 
is wrapped up in his son. But yesterday, 
my daughter, I caught that son in the trap 
which I set through you. To-morrow he 
pays the penalty of the sins of his father." 

Wistaria tottered to her feet. Then she 
fell on her knees and crept upon them to her 
father. 

"Father, dear, my father, I beg, I implore 
you to show mercy." 

"For whom do you ask mercy, my lady?" 
asked the father. 

"For the innocent for this young Prince 
of Mori." 

"You you ask mercy for this prince! 
you, the daughter of a murdered woman!" 
In an instant she was sitting up stiff and 
rigid. 

"My lord," she said, "I am, indeed, too in- 
significant and unworthy to be thy daughter, 
but for one small moment I did forget our 
wrongs and fain would have spared my soul 
the sacrifice of innocent blood." 



J20 





ARLY in the morning the 
inhabitants of the little Eta 
village were startled by the 
unusual sound in the streets 
of the "clip-clop" of palanquin 
runners' sandals. The Eta 
were not used to being carried 
in gilded norimons, or of trav- 
elling in any other fashion 
than on foot. Consequently, 
the spectacle of an exquisite- 
ly finished norimon, carried on 
the shoulders of liveried at- 
tendants, created as much stir 
as it is possible for the placid 
Japanese to manifest. The 
bamboo curtains of the norimon 

a^_ I J 

121 



were closely drawn. The runners sped swiftly 
along, paying no heed to the raised shutters 
or the curious eyes at the wall holes. On 
either side of the palanquin two couriers or 
personal samurai walked. 

The runners stopped before the house of 
Shimadzu, and, having thrown aside the 
curtains, bowed low as they backed before 
a veiled lady, who stepped from the norimon. 
The lady, however, unmindful of her bend- 
ing servitors, hurried up the gravelled path- 
way to beat upon the door with her delicate 
fists. 

The early morning visitor entered the 
house before the Lady Wistaria had descended 
from her chamber. When she threw back 
the covering from her head, the proud face 
of the Lady Evening Glory appeared with 
all its cold beauty and strange pallor. Her 
lips trembled so that she could not keep them 
together. 

She had travelled all night in the utmost 
haste to throw herself at the feet of her brother, 
praying his mercy for the young Prince of 
Mori. She did not wait for her brother to 
question her, but began at once a pitiful, dis- 
jointed tale concerning her son Toro. i 

The young man had involved himself in 
great trouble in the Choshui province, and 
was now held a prisoner by the Prince of 
Mori. Toro, the foolhardy, imitating the ac- 
^ tions of the young courtier of the Mori clan, 

i- ffi <*$.. JL. ^te~ JL n. 

122 



/V|Z. w - 41 1 W "! *V"S1 J/\rvJJ"l r* 

- r -j rp -^ 1 , 

had fared badly. Caught scaling the walls 
surrounding the palace of the father of the 
Lady Hollyhock, he had been arrested and 
brought before the Prince of Mori. This 
nobleman had at first intended to return the 
young fellow to his neighbor courteously, 
with some satirical rebuke which would scorch 
the vanity of the boy's father, but just at 
this juncture had come the fearful intelligence 
of the arrest, secret trial for treason, and 
sentence to death of the young heir of Mori. 
The old Prince, rendered frantic with fear 
and anguish, despatched word immediately 
to Catzu that unless the Prince Keiki were 
spared, the same fate should be meted out 
to the young Catzu Toro. 

So the Lady Evening Glory had come 
now to her brother to demand, to beg the 
pardon of their enemy, this young Prince 
of Mori, while her husband had hastened 
to Yedo to seek the aid of the Shogun. Never- 
theless, both father and mother knew that 
the fate of their son depended not upon the 
august Shogun, but upon their brother, the 
samurai Shimadzu, for the Shogun would 
scarcely have time to send forces to compel 
Mori to release Toro before the execution of 
Keiki took place, which would be undoubt- 
edly the signal for the immediate despatch 
of Toro. 

The unexpected answer the lady received 
from her brother stunned her so completely 



TJfE-WQQJlNGpF VJSTARlA 

that she was robbed of all hope. Now she 
suffered in turn all the pangs of frantic despair 
and agony that her niece had so lately under- 
gone through her agency. 

"What!" cried the samurai, with stern 
derision, "permit the consummation of the 
work of a lifetime of misery and torture to 
slip through my aching fingers now? Not 
for a thousand nephews!" 

Yet he endeavored in his rough and stern 
way to comfort his sister with these strange 
words : 

"Catzu Toro is of samurai blood. It be- 
hooves him, therefore, to give up fearlessly 
his life for the honor of his family. He ought 
to bless the gods for the opportunity." 

The mother wept, prayed, threatened. All 
in vain. Shimadzu was inflexible. Mean- 
while the hour which had been set for the 
execution of the young Prince of Mori ap- 
proached with more than the natural speed 
of time, and the Lady Evening Glory's cou- 
riers, the samurai Genji and Matsue, waited in 
agonized impatience for word of truce to carry 
to the old Prince of Mori. 

Finding all her efforts to move her brother 
unavailing, the Lady of Catzu sought des- 
perately though impotently to bar his egress 
from the room. She clutched the dividing 
shoji which opened into the corridor, then 
placed her back against them. When Shi- 
madzu turned to the doors on the opposite 



124 



TOE . 



side she rushed before him, and again sought 
to prevent his departure. Firmly, but not un- u 
gently, Shimadzu put her aside, whereupon 
she fell down at his feet, clasping her arms 
about his legs, while her lips emitted strange 
and piteous outcries. 

Yet what could the utmost strength of a 
delicate lady do against that of a samurai 
man? With one quick movement he freed 
himself from her clinging hands. The next 
moment the Lady Evening Glory was quite 
alone. She suddenly realized that the gods 
had denied her all succor, and crawled across 
the room until she stood in front of the 
small shrine in the place of the tokonona. 
There she prostrated herself, but her lips 
could not frame themselves in petition to the 
gods. 

How long she lay thus she could not have 
told. Gradually she became conscious that 
some one was kneeling beside her, and that 
a soft and tender hand was smoothing back 
the wild hair that escaped about her face. A 
gentle voice whispered: 

"The gods are good good! Take heart! 
They will not desert us ! The gods are good 1 " 

Then the proud Lady of Catzu, raising her- 
self to a kneeling posture, gazing up into 
the bending, pitying face above her, saw her 
niece, whom she had so vindictively perse- 
cuted. Before she could speak one word, Wis- 
taria drew her hand to her breast. Then the 






125 



bereaved mother gave way to a passion of 
tears of weakness and despair. 

"You are calmer now, dear aunt," said 
the Lady Wistaria after a while. " Weep no 
more, I pray you. But try rather to bring 
your mind to think clearly with mine. We 
must conceive some way by which we can 
outwit my honorable parent. We have yet 
two hours before the time when my father 
will depart for for his prisoner." 

But the after-effects of weeping, great sighs, 
rendered the Lady Evening Glory speechless. 
She could only shake her head hopelessly, 
helplessly. 

"All night long," said Wistaria, "I have 
kept a vigil. I have thought and thought 
and thought, until my brain has seemed 
ready to burst. I, too, my lady, have yielded 
myself to such despair as you now feel. I 
suffer more than the pain of one who loses 
a beloved, for I am tortured with the knowl- 
edge that I am guilty. Oh, lady, was it not 
I who betrayed this prince, and would I not 
be the indirect cause of dear Toro's death 
also? Therefore it is my task to save the life 
of this prince, if that can be done." 

"But it cannot cannot," moaned the Lady 
Evening Glory. "Thou knowest not thy 
father!" 

"And yet," said Wistaria, slowly, "I have 
thought of one way." 

"Anata!" 

u " 126 



" Tell me first, my lady, is it not so that 
one who marries an Eta is forever after dis- 
graced branded ?" 

"Yes, yes, that is true but " 

"It is of importance that I know all this. 
Now is it not also true that my father's chief 
ambition is to break the pride and spirit of 
the old Lord Mori?" 

"Yes, it is so, it is so." 

"Then, my lady, be comforted. Mayhap 
I shall find a solution to all our troubles/' 

Arising, gently she took her arms from 
about her aunt to hasten into the adjoining 
chamber. Her voice addressing the Madame 
Mume came to the Lady Evening Glory. 

"Tell my honorable father," she said, 
"that I beg for just one minute of his hon- 
orable time." 

When she returned to her aunt her face 
had a wan little smile of hope on it. The 
samurai Shimadzu followed her into the 
room. Wistaria prostrated herself before him 
with the utmost humility. 

" You have asked for an audience, my lady. 
Speak quickly, for I have work to do ere 
long." 

" Honored parent," said Wistaria, with her 
eyes upon his, "I have thought much upon 
what thou wert pleased to tell me last night." 

"Indeed." 

" And, my father, the more I have thought 
of the matter the greater have the wrongs 

3~ - "3, " ~1E= 1 J 

127 



NWST&fUA 

W XI 



of my father and mine, those of our house, 
appeared to me to be." 

"Thou speakest now/' said the samurai, 
quietly, "as becomes an honorable daughter/' 

"Oh, my father, so deeply do I feel the 
wrongs of our house that I have felt that even 
the very death of this young prince would not 
be a sufficient vengeance." 

She was speaking slowly and distinctly, 
so that each sentence should take effect upon 
her father. 

"Having broken the heart and spirit of 
my enemy," said Shimadzu, "I shall have ac- 
complished all. It will be sufficient, and my 
work, my duty, will then be consummated." 

"But think you, my father, that by the 
killing of this prince you will indeed have 
broken the heart and spirit of your enemy?" 

"Ay! For I shall have robbed him of 
that thing which he prizes above all else on 
earth his son!" 

"But has he not seven other sons who 
would quickly fill the place of this one?" 

"That is so. Were it possible for me to 
have seven instead of one Mori prince for 
execution this day, I would be seven times 
the happier." | 

"August father, you have taught me, and 
I have learned, that death is not the greatest 
of sorrows that can befall us. Execute this 
prince and he will quickly pass into another 
world, where the fates may befriend him. (^ 

^f .T JR . i ar~ 
128 



TOE .WOQJNG of VJS7APJ A 



He will be beyond our reach. In the eyes 
of his parent he will have died an heroic and 
exalted death, since he gives up his life for 
what he deems a noble cause. Oh, my father, 
in all the empire of Japan, what Imperialist 
would not envy him such a death? No, the 
death of this prince would be inadequate re- 
venge for the wrongs we have suffered. Far 
better if he could be forced to live so that he 
might suffer the devils of pain to gnaw at 
his heart all the rest of his life." 

"Thou wouldst have him spared for pur- 
poses of torture?" 

"Yes, honored father." 

"Thou art indeed a woman," said the sa- 
murai. "Yet a samurai's sword has never 
been turned to such a purpose." 

"That is right, for your honorable sword 
is not sufficiently sharp, my father." 

"Thou speakest darkly, my daughter." 

"I have thought darkly of our wrongs, 
my father. I have found a more refined re- 
venge to inflict upon this prince, one which 
would wound him more deeply than the death 
of one of his eight sons." 

"Well, and what is your revenge?" 

" First answer me this : What would be the 
feelings of this proud and arrogant prince 
if his idolized heir were to be guilty of 
that very fault for which he exiled his sa- 
murai?" 

"What fault?" 

- 3 ~ I A- 1 - J. - 

129 



VJJSTAPJA 

JR. 



" The fault of marrying into a degraded and 
outcast class." 

The samurai started. Then a strange 
smile flitted across his thin face. 

"His pride would fall. Such a calamity 
would crush bend kill him!" 

"True. Then if his pride is such, let us 
strike at it before his heart. I think I see a 
way by which this can be accomplished." 

"How?" 

"Bring this young prince hither. Leave 
him to me!" 

"To you!" 

She went very close to her father and raised 
her face upward so that he might see it per- 
fectly. 

"Look upon me, honorable parent. Am 
I not fair? Bring hither this son of an evil 
prince, and in twenty-four hours he will be 
ready to wed an Eta maiden." 

"An Eta maiden!" suddenly shrieked her 
aunt. "Who? Not" She made an inde- 
scribable gesture towards the girl. 

"I," said Wistaria, throwing back her 
head "I am an Eta maiden, my lad}^." She 
bowed very low, then moved towards the door. 
Before passing out she turned. 

"I go," she said, "to garb myself in the 
dress of an Eta maiden. But do not believe, 
my lady aunt, that I shall have lost that 
beauty with which the gods have blessed me, 
and with which I shall win and wed this Mori 



=:= 



130 



TflE . 



4 



prince to the disaster of his household and 
the triumph of my father's." 

With that she was gone from the room. 
They heard her light feet flying up to her 
chamber above. 

"It will crush bend kill the father!" mut- 
tered the samurai, softly. "It is well!" 

"It is well!" repeated his sister, but in a 
different tone. 



VJSTAPJA 





HE young Prince of Mori, no 
longer the Shining Prince Kei- 
ki, lay huddled in a corner of 
his dungeon. Vainly he had 
thrown his weight against the 
stone doors, only to rebound, 
baffled and bruised. Vainly he 
had called in piercing ac- 
cents for help. There came no 
response from man or gods. 
Only his frantic voice, fleeing 
like the wind through the pas- 
sage-ways of the empty prison, 
dark, damp, and for long un- 
used, seemed to call back to 
him in the mocking tones of a 
demoniac. 

i=" t 377-7 

132 



j; 



A prisoner! A prisoner! He, the heir of 
Mori, the hope, the idol of the brave Impe- 
rialists, the son of the most powerful prince 
in all Japan, barring not even the Shogun 
himself ! A prisoner ! Penned like a common 
criminal within the stone walls of a loath- 
some dungeon! It could not be true. It 
was a hideous nightmare, caused by that 
terrible, ceaseless, excruciating pain in his 
head, and the mad turmoil in his brain. 

He had been captured on the outskirts of 
his father's province. He was alone, with 
not one vassal or retainer in attendance upon 
him. He had made the wildest resistance. 
More than one samurai paid with his life 
for the capture of the Shining Prince. Over- 
powered by such numbers that it seemed mad- 
ness not to yield, Keiki could not be taken 
while a spark of life remained in him with 
which to resist. Only when he was beaten 
quite senseless were the Shogun's officers and 
the Catzu samurai able to capture the Prince. 
Even then many of the samurai refused the 
inglorious task of carrying away the young 
Prince, who had fought against them with 
such desperate bravery. To drag his uncon- 
scious, bleeding, helpless body before his 
judges would be beneath the dignity of a 
samurai. So the office was assigned to some 
of the Shogun's spies. 

When Keiki had returned to conscious- 
ness he was as one in a dull dream, a night- 

~& 133 



n 



mare, wherein painful events wove a net about 
him from which he could not stir or move to 
save himself. 

The trial had been a brief one. A few ques- 
tions, a multitude of proofs, irrefutable evi- 
dence, the testimony of some false samurai 
now become a ronin, a private statement by 
the samurai Shimadzu that was all. No 
word or question whatever was addressed to 
the prisoner, nor was he given the oppor- 
tunity to speak in his own defence, had he 
been in a condition to do so. He stood be- 
tween two guards, one on either side, while 
four others stood before him and a score at 
his back. 

Keiki was quite beyond understanding 
the proceedings, and only the Spartan will 
of the samurai lent to him that almost un- 
natural strength by which he stood stoutly 
upon his feet while his head swam. Out of 
a multitude of surging words and sentences 
only one word reached his ears and penetrated 
to his consciousness 

"Treason!" 

And the word called up a haunting memory 
of a dark and stagnant moat wherein the 
sacred lotus blossoms, symbolic of the purity 
of woman, hid the treacherous waters be- 
neath, of a sloping bank where the grasses 
grew high over his head, and the willows at 
the bottom waved in a foot of water. A young 
girl's face shone out of this strangely mixed 



134 



of? 



background. It was very long ago, it seemed 
to Keiki, and though her face was quite dim 
to his vision now, he remembered that it was 
like unto the lotus, perfectly pure and peer- 
lessly beautiful, only behind her beauty, un- 
like that of the lotus, there were no treacherous 
deeps of darkling waters. Keiki remembered 
vaguely now that she had crawled through 
the willows, through the moat, perhaps, to 
come to him to warn him of this treason. 
Treason? Whose? 

Thus Keiki 's tangled mind followed not 
the mockery of the trial, nor heeded the sono- 
rous voice of the crier, who echoed the words 
of the Lord Judge, and shouted mechanically : 

"Guilty! Death!" 

A small company of armed men led him 
from the judgment-hall. They made a long 
journey, marching by night. Passive, stupid- 
ly indifferent to everything, Keiki was led to 
prison. 

Only when they had locked him within the 
empty stone cell, did the old, passionate re- 
bellion that had swayed him so savagely 
when he had resisted capture break out with 
renewed fury, driving in a flash his apathetic 
dulness from him. 

His captors had taken his two swords from 
him, the two proud swords from which a 
samurai must never part. The Prince was 
to become lord over the samurai, yet he had 
been trained in the same school, and with as 



*> 3 ^ 



135 



THE -WOOING OP WI^JAUVI* n 

severe a discipline as that of the simple soldier. 
Had they left him these, his samurai swords, 
in all probability the Prince would have ended 
his misery. As it was, he spent the night 
in fruitless, impotent raving. Morning found 
him exhausted. Even the samurai's great 
power of will over the physical body could 
avail him no longer. 

When the samurai Shimadzu unlocked the 
door of the cell no desperate, wild-eyed prince 
leaped at his throat. The young Prince of 
Mori lay stretched across the floor of the 
dungeon. The glittering cords of his coat, 
the golden hip-cape, with its billowings and 
embroiderings of dragons and falcons, all 
the late luxurious finery which had earned 
for him the sobriquet of "The Shining 
Prince," and which were also the insignia 
of his high rank, were now torn and stained 
with the cruellest of colors. The dark hair 
fell back, clotted with the perspiration on his 
noble brow, from which the blue veins start- 
ed through the fine skin. The long lashes 
covered the eyes and swept the almost boyish 
curves of the death -white cheeks. His lips 
were parted, and he was still raving, but in 
the babbling, weak, piteous fashion of one 
|} delirious from loss of blood. 

After feeling the Prince's hands and head, 
Shimadzu was satisfied with his condition. 
Roughly binding up a bad wound upon the 
shoulder, he called for a stretcher. Borne 

t # *l JL qfe- f - 

** 136 



TfiE .VOTING Of 



upon this temporary couch, straightway the 
Prince was carried to the home of the execu- 
tioner. 

Meanwhile Wistaria had made ready for 
the reception of their expected guest. Hav- 
ing taken off her silken omeshi and removed 
the jewelled ornaments from her hair, she ap- 
peared in a rough cotton kimono, of a bright 
red-and-yellow pattern, such a garment as a 
laboring woman or one of the heimin would 
have worn. But she had taken especial pains 
with her hair and face. The shining, dark 
locks, which formed such a charming frame 
for her beautiful face, were spread wide and 
folded back, so that their beauty might be 
exaggerated. Because she was pale, as one 
about to die rather than to wed, she had 
rubbed upon her cheeks, chin, and brow bra- 
zen red paint, something previously she would 
have scorned to touch. Instead of brighten- 
ing the pallor of her face, however, it only 
heightened its haggardness. 

Wistaria sat in the centre of the chill, empty 
guest-room. She was smiling. ' She had been 
smiling ever since she had descended from 
her chamber. Her eyes were glassy, and 
shared not in that forced, blighting smile 
which she wore upon her lips. Very still, 
like an automatic puppet with the works 
unwound within it, she sat. 

The Lady Evening Glory, on the other 
hand, flitted back and forth like a restless 



137 



771E ^V *" r ^ I II V **| ' VVJ^> J /\JX I M 

rg 



spirit. Sometimes she paused by the little, 
waiting figure, stroking the shining head. ,c 
But in her heart the proud Lady of Catzu 
had little sympathy for the one who was to 
be sacrificed to the vengeance of a samurai. 
When she recalled that her niece was renounc- 
ing her lover to whom she had pledged her- 
self to all eternity, she thought, with the selfish 
egotism of one who has outgrown her own 
heart, that in marrying a prince, even though 
she won him by trickery, certainly her niece 
would be faring better than if she had be- 
stowed herself on one of his vassals. 

Then, too, Wistaria, after all, was merely a 
female an Eta maiden. So the lady's self- 
ish mind fed itself upon one thought, mingled 
hope and suspense for the fate of her son. 

When the sound of tramping feet were 
heard without, the Lady Wistaria did not 
stir, but the cold and stately Lady of Catzu 
went rushing across the room to fling herself 
against the window. The tramp of feet grew 
louder, deeper, heavier. They smote upon 
Wistaria's ears like the beat of Shinto drums 
at a funeral. Still she did not stir, not even 
when the doors of the house were pushed 
wide apart and the tramping feet entered, 
passed through the outer room, and then 
into the guest-room. The set smile upon 
her face deepened. Wistaria laid her head 
to the mats, prostrated herself in exquisite, 
humble greeting. 

=4- - Jfc. g~ I 3 

138 



TOE VQO])NG op \flS7APv) A 

"*^ % "^fr" -3?^" j[ " T[ 

Thus, for some time, she courtesied low. 

Some one pulled her sleeve. She sat up 
and stared at the figure on the stretcher. 
They had set it down beside her on the floor. 
Somewhere in another part of the house she 
heard dim voices, above them all her father's 
deep, hollow voice, sounding strange clear. 

A sort of awe and horrible reverence fell 
upon her as she clutched her aunt's hand. 
Then the two half crept, half crawled, close 
to the stretcher. Wistaria looked at the 
face, looked, and looked, and looked again. 
A heart-rending shriek burst from her lips. 
She fell across her lover's body, spreading 
the wings of her sleeve over and about him, 
as though to shield and protect him from all 
harm. 



WiSTARIA n 

1 tea 




ROTHER, you were surely 
blind that you did not recognize 
your prisoner," said the Lady 
Evening Glory, after the lovers 
had been carried from the room. 

"His appearance, my lady, 
had no interest for me." 

"Now that you are aware 
he is her lover, what then?" 

"All that is very fortunate. 
J Whatever doubt I may have 
felt as to my daughter's ability 
to ensnare this Mori prince 
into marrying her is now set 
at rest. She already possesses 
his affection. Nothing remains, 
therefore, to be done save to 



140 



bring about their early union. This shall be 
effected just as soon as the young man re- 
gains sufficient strength. Meanwhile " 

"Meanwhile?" 

"You have permission to despatch word 
to Choshui that a delay has been granted 
to the Prince. This will keep them for a time 
from attacking Catzu Toro. Also, the shogun- 
ate, availing itself of the time to march upon 
Choshui, will rescue your son." 

" But will not the Mori immediately retaliate 
by sending troops here to attempt the rescue 
of their own prince?" 

"Not so, since the whereabouts of their 
prince is entirely unknown to them. As 
you are aware, his trial was in secret. Only 
the shogunate is acquainted with his present 
abode. The secret will be guarded, rest as- 
sured. In fact, for the very purpose of fore- 
stalling any such attempt on the part of the 
Mori, they have placed at my service a compa- 
ny of soldiers and a large number of spies." 

"What are your intentions with regard 
to this Mori prince?" 

" He shall marry, as you already know, the 
Lady Wistaria, and in that way will become 
an outcast, both legally and morally." 

"And after their marriage?" 

"Immediate notification of the fact to his 
father." 

"And after that? What of the order from 
the shogunate touching his execution?" 



141 



THEJWOQIINGQ/* WISTARIA 



"It shall be destroyed. I have given my 
promise to my daughter." 

" But when this fact reaches the shogunate 
people they will resent it, and will never permit 
so valuable a prisoner to escape them. They 
will send troops, if necessary, to take him from 
you. In the event of your refusing to execute 
him, they will find another who will do so." 

" Very well, let them do so. I have no doubt, 
however, that the Prince Keiki will escape 
them. But having become an outcast, he 
will be useless as an Imperialist leader." 

"Which does not alter the fact that the 
Shogun's men will continue to fear him. 
Even now, you say, their spies and soldiers 
are lurking about on all sides. I tell you it is 
quite impossible for him to escape them now." 

"Well, all that is his affair, my lady. So 
far as I am concerned, on the day of his Eta 
marriage I shall destroy the order of execu- 
tion." 

"Which would be a criminal act, and one 
that would place you under the ban of the 
law." 

"That is true, but I shall answer, I assure 
you, for whatever unlawful acts I have com- 
mitted during my lifetime to a higher tribunal 1 
than any that could be formed by the august 
shogunate." 

"Brother, what do your words imply?" 

"Sister, I cannot answer that question yet. 
When my purpose in life is accomplished you 



142 



THE .WOOJNG op WJSTAPJA 



shall have the answer. And after that, will 
you perform a favor for me?" 
"Certainly." 

"The Lady Wistaria will be alone." 
"Alone? She will have a husband." 
"She will be alone, I repeat. Do you sup- 
pose I should rest peacefully in my grave 
with the knowledge that the blood of Mori 
was mingling with my own? I repeat once 
more, my daughter will be quite alone, sister. 
Be gentle with her, and as tender and kind 
as it is possible for one woman to be to an- 
other. She will not lack for worldly wealth, 
for I shall leave her a fortune. I do not wish 
her to return to Catzu. I desire that a small 
temple shall be built for her somewhere in a 
quiet and remote region. There I wish her 
to become a high priestess, to devote the re- 
mainder of her life to works of holiness and 
charity. In this way she will atone for the 
many sins of her father, and the gods will 
listen to her prayers and show charity to his 
soul." 

"Oh, brother, from your words I begin to 
have lamentable fears that you contemplate 
committing some frightful harm to your- 
self." 

"We are children of the same father, my 
lady. Your words surprise me. Surely they 
are unbefitting one of your blood and rank. 
Do you see any disgrace in my contempla- 
tions? I would rather wish that you would 

A .1 - ^ - 1 - ?= 



'JO 



f VJSTARIA 



urge me to that deed you appear to dread, for 
otherwise my life would be without honor. 
Therefore lay aside your unworthy fears and 
assure me that you will carry out my wishes." 

"I shall do so, ani-san" (elder brother), she 
replied, somewhat brokenly. 

"That is all, then. Why do you wait?" 

" For a letter signed by you as executioner, 
stating that the execution has been postponed 
indefinitely. We must put Toro's safety for 
the next few days beyond a doubt/' 

Hastily writing a few words upon paper, 
the samurai handed it to his sister, who seized 
it eagerly. Then, having examined the scroll 
carefully, she murmured a few words of thanks 
and prepared to leave the room. The samurai 
stayed her. 

" One moment. By whom do you send this 
paper to Choshui?" 

"I have two couriers." 

"Well, but one of these samurai must at- 
tend you to Catzu." 

"Certainly." 

"Then only one can be sent to Choshui." 

"But why so? I shall not leave here until 
my couriers .return with intelligence as to 
the fate of my son." 

"I can assure you, my lady, that your 
couriers will not return, and I should advise 
you to part with but one of the two samurai 
attending you." 

"Why?" 

"37 ' X * 1 ' 3 - 

144 



WJSTAPJA 

: 3* -UZ 



"The Mori people will not let this courier 
depart, rest assured, unless he divulge the 
hiding-place of their prince. This no samurai 
would ever do. If your courier has not the 
wit, therefore, to deceive the Mori, I am very 
much afraid his life will be endangered by 
this undertaking." 

"And what samurai," inquired the lady, 
quickly, "would not welcome the chance of 
thus giving up his life in the service of his 
lord? What I have to decide now is, which 
of the two samurai to send, for each will claim 
the privilege of the undertaking." 

"What are their names?" 

"Sir Nishimua Matsue and Sir Takemoto 
Genji. The former has been in my lord's 
service for twenty years, and is so trusted 
by him that whenever I am forced to travel 
alone, as at the present time, my lord intrusts 
me to his especial care. You are already ac- 
quainted with the history of the other, Sir 
Genji. He was one of your own comrades in 
Choshui, but after your exile he deserted the 
Mori and became a ronin. Afterwards my lord 
pressed him into our service, and he became at- 
tached personally to Lady Wistaria. You will 
see, therefore, that it is a difficult matter for me 
to choose between these two brave gentlemen." 

"Not at all. There is not the slightest 
doubt in my mind as to which is the most 
fit for the service. Bid the samurai Genji 
come hither, if you please." 

3 ,o sk- j a 

145 



A few minutes later the big samurai Genji 
and Shimadzu were bowing deeply to each 
other. From their low bows of silent courtesy 
it was hard to believe that these two men 
had once been the closest of friends and com- 
rades in arms. Now they met again after 
many years of separation, yet neither ex- 
hibited that emotion which lay at the bot- 
tom of their hearts. Shimadzu did not even 
allow opportunity for the usual exchange 
of compliments, but went straight to the 
point. 

"My good friend, your lady, my honorable 
sister," said he, "has an august mission for 
you to perform, but one fraught with exceed- 
ing great danger, and of a delicate and diplo- 
matic nature withal." 

The samurai bowed calmly, as though the 
fact of the danger were as indifferent a matter 
to him as the mission itself. 

"In fact, she wishes you to carry word to 
Choshui of the postponement of Prince Keiki's 
execution. I need not point out to you the 
dangers of such a mission. The Mori will 
insist upon your revealing the place of im- 
prisonment of their prince, and upon your 
refusing to do so will take drastic measures 
to compel you. These perils, however, will 
be to your liking, I am sure." 

"To my liking, that is so," said Genji, 
"but" ' 

"What?" interrupted the Lady Evening 



146 



Glory. "You hesitate! You do not set off 
at once!" 

"I do not hesitate, my lady," replied the 
samurai, bowing respectfully. " I refuse. I do 
not set off at once because I am not going." 

The Lady Evening Glory could scarcely be- 
lieve her ears. Never in her memory had a 
samurai refused to do the bidding of his lord 
or lady. That Genji, of all samurai, should do 
so, astounded her. Nevertheless she brought 
herself to listen to his amazing words. 

" My lady, long before I entered the service 
of my Lord of Catzu I was a ronin, an in- 
dependent samurai who owed allegiance to 
no lord or prince. I was induced to enter 
your service not for love of your lord or desire 
to ingratiate myself with the Shogun powers, 
for, though a deserter for personal reasons, I 
was of the clan of Choshui, and an Imperialist 
at heart!" 

"Such insolence," said the lady, furiously, 
"shall be punished with thy insignificant 
head." 

"Tsh!" interposed her brother, angrily. 
" Permit our good friend to speak. I have a 
liking and understanding for his words." 

" As I have said," repeated Genji, " it was 
neither for love of thy lord nor his cause that 
I entered his service, but because I desired to 
be near to, and to serve with my life, if neces- 
sary, the orphaned daughter of my old friend 
and comrade, the Lady Wistaria." 



I 



VJ5TARJA R 

-~jr ' ' ' "Tf Ti > 



"It is well," said the Lady Evening Glory, 
sharply, " that you did not acquaint my Lord 
Catzu with all this. If my memory serves 
me correctly, you came to Catzu with great 
protestations and promises of allegiance and 
loyalty to his lordship." 

"And," said Genji, "during the time that 
I have served the Lord Catzu, there has been 
no samurai whose allegiance has been more 
unswerving than mine." 

"And yet," said the lady, scornfully, "at 
the first test the allegiance you boast of is 
found wanting." 

"I respectfully beg to call your attention, 
my lady, to the error and injustice you com- 
mit in making such a remark. In following 
my inclination at this present time I expect 
to be discharged by his lordship, or I shall 
submit my resignation to him. Under the 
circumstances, I am once more a free samu- 
rai, and, being out of service, I am at perfect 
liberty to serve whom I please. Nevertheless 
I shall take delight in obeying any commands 
you may be pleased to bestow when I am at lib- 
erty to do so. At present I am not at liberty." 

"May I inquire," she asked, with her cold 
eyes disdainfully fixed above his head, "why 
you condescended to accompany me?" 

"Certainly. I had a fancy that you were 
about to set off for the place where the Lady 
Wistaria might be residing. Consequently I 
besought you to permit me to attend you. ^ 

3T ' L . 1 T ' 

148 



TOE A 

-% 3- -3Ezz=:: 



What is more, I had reason to believe that 
the Lady Wistaria would be in need of me. 
Hence, here I am, and here I remain, the 
gods permitting." 

" If you suppose, Sir Genji, that by pretend- 
ing zeal in behalf of my honorable niece you 
can excuse your conduct towards those in 
whose service you rightfully belong, you will 
soon discover your error, I assure you." 

"There I disagree with you," interrupted 
Shimadzu, suddenly. " It is my opinion that 
my old friend's loyal zeal for the insignif- 
icant Lady Wistaria excuses him from any 
seeming lapses in his service to his lord, 
and in this I believe the Lord of Catzu will 
agree with me. Therefore, sister, let us call 
a truce to this harsh and useless exchange 
of bitter words. Instead, let us beg that Sir 
Genji will condescend to accept our gratitude 
for his loyalty to one who, though insignif- 
icant, is yet of our family." 

Again the two samurai bowed deeply to 
each other. The Lady of Catzu shrugged 
angry shoulders. 

"What is to be done?" she inquired, after 
a moment. 

" Despatch the samurai Matsue at once with 
the paper," said her brother. "Meanwhile" 
he turned to Genji" deign to permit me to 
lead you to my Lady Wistaria." 



Ttf E J 



OOJNG *F NtffcSTAfciA n 

c ^i .%- T - it a 





HE pain was quite gone from 
the brain and head. The fever 
had abated. A strange sense 
of coolness and rest pervaded 
the whole being of Keiki. The 
Shining Prince fell to dream- 
ing, this time without a hideous 
nightmare being wrought upon 
his mind. 

Once more he was standing 
in a royal garden, where the 
little winds blew about him 
laden with the faint, subtle 
odor of early spring; where 
the birds clattered and cried 
out indignantly at him for 
disturbing them so early ; where 

~ ' "'- --*&- ~ ]C - *JT 
150 



TOE .VOOJIMG of VJSTAPJ A n 

F" .a| 2ft ^p- ( 



the sun arose from behind the mountains 
veiled in a golden cloud and travelled over 
the heavens, pausing to tint the waters of a 
slender river to the magic glow of blood and 
gold. The soft, glad winds caressed as 
they called to him now. Moved to bend the 
knee in greeting and homage, he had become 
a sun - worshipper. He stood waiting be- 
neath a flowered casement, waiting in a silence 
pregnant with inward feeling. Not a sound 
stirred about him; the birds had dropped 
to sleep again; but the glory of the sun had 
deepened and spread its full radiance upon 
the casement. Then very slowly a maiden's 
face, like a picture of the sun -goddess with 
the halo of the sun about it, grew into the 
vision, until gradually the dream -eyes of 
the Prince Keiki saw naught else save that 
haunting spiritual face, with its eyes laden 
with love and still suffused with unutterable 
sadness. 

As suddenly as it had come, the vision 
faded away. Darkness passed between him 
and the face of his dreams. He sat upon his 
couch, stretching out imploring, beseeching 
hands as he called aloud, with a cry of pierc- 
ing pleading : 

"Fuji Fuji-wara!" 

Then he became dreamily conscious that 
soft hands were gently pushing him back- 
ward. He knew that her arms were pressed 
about him, that she had put her face against 

=^T -O. gg==LJt JT- 



n TOE .WOOING of ViSTAPJA 

5E % _^ ffi HZZ 

his own. He tried to speak, but she closed 
his lips with her own upon them, and an- 
swered, in that sighing voice of hers: 

"It is I, Wistaria! Pray thee to sleep!" 

Keiki fell into a delicious, dreamless slumber. 
Beside him, her arms supporting against 
her bosom the weight of his head, Wistaria 
knelt, unmoving, for the space of an hour. 
Her eyes had that strange, brooding, guard- 
ing expression of the mother. 

Some one tapped with the lightness of a 
child upon the fusuma. Wistaria tightened 
her arms about her lover. Her face became 
strained and rigid. Her eyes enlarged with 
mingled terror and savage defiance. 

The tapping was repeated. Still she made 
no response. There was an interval of si- 
lence. Then the sliding door was softly 
pushed aside. Some one entered the room, 
and stood against the wall looking down at 
the little, silent figure with its face of ap- 
pealing, helpless agony. The next moment 
the samurai Genji was kneeling beside Wis- 
taria. 

For a moment she could not speak, so in- 
tense were her mingled emotions. She had 
thought herself bereft of all friends on earth. 
In her father and aunt she could see noth- 
ing but menacing enemies who had assumed 
the dark guise of fiends. Yet here was Genji 
Genji, her own, big samurai whose very 
presence brought a sense of safety and re- 



152 



TflE . n 



pose. A strange little laugh, half a strangled 
sob, struggled through her lips. 

In one glance Genji saw that the weight of 
the Prince in her slender arms was benumb- 
ing them. Without a word he lifted the 
sleeping Prince in his own arms and put 
him gently back upon the padded robe which 
served as his couch. Then turning to his 
mistress he half assisted her, half lifted her, 
to her feet. For a moment she leaned against 
him, dizzy with weakness. 

In a broken, piteous, helpless fashion she 
began to cry against his breast, the pent-up 
anguish of many days finding its outlet. 

Genji gently led her across the room, be- 
yond the possible awakening of the Prince. 
His big voice, hushed to a whisper despite 
its huskiness, was as soothing as a mother's. 

"Are" moshi! See, the big Gen is here. 
All is well! Very well!" 

"Oh, Gen!" she sobbed, "1 do not know 
what to do!" 

"Do? Why, we must cease to weep, so we 
may have the strength to minister to the 
sick." 

"Y-yes I will cease to weep," she whis- 
pered, brokenly. "I I will do so." 

"That is right." 

"And you will not let them harm him, 
will you, Gen?" 

"No! I swear by my sword I will not!' 

"You are so good and strong, Gen!" 

j. " A =& JL <T= 

153 



TOE JK 

z -% a -fr 1 



Placing his hands upon her shoulders he 
held her back, then gently wiped the tears 
from her face. 

"Hah!" he cried. "Now she is once again 
the brave girl. That is right. She is the 
daughter of a samurai, and cannot weep L 
for long." 

She tried to smile through her tears, but 
it was a very pitiful little smile which strug- 
gled through the mist. 

"Now," said he, "tell me everything." 

"Do you not know all?" she asked. 

"No, I do not. I am in darkness as to 
how your lover comes to be here, wounded 
and ill; but I surmise that he was captured 
while on his way to Choshui and prevented 
from warning his prince." 

"You do not know," cried Wistaria, looking 
up into his face with startled eyes, "that he 
is the prince himself?" 

"The prince! Who is the prince? What 
prince?" 

j, " The young Prince of Mori. He " she 
indicated Keiki "he is the same person." 

It was Genji's turn to start. He made a 
movement towards the Prince, but Wistaria 
grasped his arm and stayed him. 

"Nay, do not go to him. He is so tired, 
Gen. He has been awake, though uncon- 
scious, all night long, and he needs the hon- 
orable rest the gods have denied him so 
long." 



154 



" But you do not mean to tell me that your 
lover is the young Mori prince?" 

"Yes, even so, Gen, though I knew it not 
until until they brought him here." 

"Brought him here! Why but this man 
the Prince Mori is condemned to death 1 He 
was found guilty of treason he oh, it is 
quite impossible!" 

"Alas! but it is true." 

" You do not mean that your father brought 
him here under penalty of death?" 

Her head was bent forward. She covered 
her face with her sleeve. 

"Shaka!" exclaimed Genji. "We must do 
something at once." 

"Yes, oh yes! You, Gen, you will take 
him away will you not, Gen? and protect 
him, for if you do not they will kill him, or 
force me to marry with him." 

"Force you to marry with him!" 

"Yes. Do you not understand? I am only 
an Eta girl." 

"I know that." 

"And my father believes that if he were 
to marry me to the Prince he would legally 
become an outcast, and it would break his 
father's heart." 

"That is very true." 

"Then you see, Gen, how imperative it is 
that he should be taken away at once." 

"Why, no, I do not so regard it." 

"You do not? Then what am I to do?" 

. 3 ~ A ^ 1 3C= 

155 



"Marry him at once." 

"But, indeed, I cannot do so." 

"Why not?" 

"Oh, Gen, it would be too humiliating for 
him to debase himself. I could not be so false 
as to deceive him and drag him down from 
his high estate. I could not do it." 

"Pugh! You overrate the ignominy of 
the Eta. In the old days when your father 
married among them the prejudice was at 
its bitterest. He is not aware of the changes 
which are rapidly taking place in the thought 
of the people of Japan to-day, nor does he 
know that this very prince represents to the 
people that new era which is about to dawn 
wherein all men will have equal rights and 
privileges. Your honorable father has lived 
only in his own sorrows, knowing little of 
what is taking place in his country. Take 
advantage of his ignorance, I advise you." 

"But he would never forgive me," she 
said. 

"Who? Your prince? Never forgive you 
for marrying him! Why, I thought he had 
wooed you for that purpose!" 

"Yes," she sighed, "but he did not know 
the truth then. Perhaps if he had known 
of my lowly station " 

"It would have made no difference. I 
tell you 1 am well acquainted with this family 
of Mori. They are a proud but not ignoble 
race, and this new scion has shown a braver 



156 



WE -V 



and better blood than all of his august an- 
cestors." 

"I cannot do it/' she said, shaking her 
head despairingly. "So do you, pray, Sir 
Gen, assist me to put him in hiding some- 
where." 

"Tsh! That is impossible. Why, see, he 
is a big fellow. We could not carry him 'far, 
and the place here is surrounded by spies. 
He would meet a worse fate than if " 

She became paler and shivered visibly. 

"I do not like to hear you speak so," she 
said. 

"I do not like to see you act so, my lady," 
said Gen. "What! You would desert your 
lover when he most needs you!" 

"Oh, Gen, no! -I did not say that." 

"When there is a way by which you can 
save his life, you refuse to do so? Very well, 
then; better deliver him up at once to his 
executioners." 

"Oh-h!" 

She interrupted him with a sharp cry of 
fright. The sound of her voice reaching the 
Prince as he slept, he turned uneasily on his 
couch, sighing heavily. Genji and Wistaria 
listened to him in breathless silence. Then, 
with her face turned towards the Prince, Wis- 
taria moved close to his couch, whispering 
tremulously : 

" Yes, yes, I must do it. It is the only way 
the only way!" 



157 



THE -WOOING ojf* WISTARIA 



n 



- 



< 



"That is right," said Genji, patting her 
hand reassuringly. 

She walked unsteadily back to her lover. 
Once more she sank down on her knees beside 
him. Her face wore an expression the big 
samurai could not bear to look upon. He 
moved very silently and stood against the 
door of the chamber, straight and immovable 
as a statue, and strong and invincible as a 
war god on guard. 



158 



VJ3TAFJA 





RINCE KEIKI was pacing rest- 
lessly and impatiently up and 
down the chamber wherein he 
had lain ill. It was the month 
of June. From the small open- 
ing of the doors Keiki could 
see that the uneven hillocks 
which appeared on all sides 
were blazing with the gorgeous 
flowers colored by the yellow 
sun above them. 

At the door of the chamber, 
his arms folded across his breast, 
his eyes quietly following the 
glance of the plainly irritated 
Prince, the samurai Genji stood, 
still in the attitude of a guard. 



159 



X 



"Why," inquired the Prince, frowning 
savagely, "may not the shoji be pushed com- 
pletely to one side? I suppose this honorable 
house is fashioned like any other Japanese 
abode. Since I am not permitted to venture 
out of this honorable interior, at least I might 
be allowed to look upon more of the outside 
world than is to be seen through such a 
narrow space." 

He indicated the screens, only partially 
opened, which half discovered, half con- 
cealed, a sloping balcony. 

Very deep and respectful was Genji's bow. 

"It is my distasteful duty to be forced 
to disagree with your excellency," he said. 
"Your highness's august health is such that 
your chamber must be sheltered even from 
the summer breezes." 

The Prince stopped sharply in his walk. 

"Spare yourself such imaginative effort, 
Sir Genji," he said. "That, you are well 
aware, is not the true reason w r hy I am de- 
prived of sufficient air, and am forced to 
remain in a room with my shutters closed 
so that not even the breath of summer may 
enter." 

At Genji's second obeisance, the Prince, 
with an impatient motion, commanded him 
to cease, and to give his undivided attention 
to his remarks. 

"Now will you do me the kindness to in- 
form me what all these mysterious precau- 



160 



tions mean? Wait a moment. Do not speak, 
for I perceive you are about to utter some 
further prevarication. Think before you speak , 
and try to see that it is useless to attempt to 
deceive me." 

"Well, my lord/' said Genji, "knowing as 
you do the peril in which your life will be 
placed if " 

"Oh yes, I perceive all you would say. 
I have recently been rescued from a blood- 
thirsty executioner; I must remain in hiding 
for some time, and so on; but what I wish to 
understand is why is it necessary for me to 
continue imprisoned?" 

" Well, my lord, you would not wish a Sho- 
gun spy to catch a glimpse of you by chance?" 

" I fear no spy," said the Prince, with con- 
tempt. " If I were permitted my own way " 
he added, savagely, " I would not linger here, 
but would start out alone, and cut my way 
through such worms and vipers." 

"If you wish to do so," said Genji, with 
some asperity, "I shall take no measures to 
prevent you ; but I had thought your high- 
ness desired to remain here at all events until 
after your wedding." 

The young Prince sighed, and, seating 
> himself on a small lacquer stool by the parted 
doors, he rested his chin upon his hands and 
stared out gloomily at the landscape. 

After a moment, in a gentler voice he re- 
joined : 



161 



TOEJtt/QOJMG OF \fl5TAPJA ^ 

" Is it not yet time for her to come?" without 
turning his head. 

"No, my lord." 

The Prince sighed again. 

"I once prided myself upon my habit of 
early rising," he said. "Now it has become 
a nuisance." 

Silence again, and then: 

"Sir Genji, what has become of the Lady 
Evening Glory? She has not returned to 
Catzu?" 

"No. She still condescends to accept my 
humble hospitality." 

"I have not seen her lately a fortunate 
circumstance, by - the - way. The lady op- 
presses me." 

"She has been much engaged with the 
marriage garments of the Lady Wistaria." 

The Prince's face softened at the mere men- 
tion of Wistaria's name, and the look of im- 
patience passed from his face. For a time 
he seemed plunged in a pleasing reverie. 
Again he questioned the samurai. 

"Do you not think it a strange fancy for 
my lady to wish to be married here at your 
house instead of at Catzu?" 

"Not at all. Your health is such that an 
ordinary wedding would be harmful ; besides, 
think of the danger!" 

" Well, it is my opinion that the state of my 
health is exaggerated. All I need to drive 
away rny paleness quickly is the open air 



162 



VJ5TAPJA 



and the golden sunlight. As for the danger, 
I was not thinking of a wedding in Catzu, 
but one in my own province. I should be 
perfectly safe there with my own samurai 
to protect me, and a half-dozen other southern 
clans ready to come to my assistance." 

"I cannot conceive of your excellency's 
impatience and dissatisfaction," said Genji, 
" when I recall that you are about to be wedded 
soon, and to one for whom any prince would 
be only too glad to sacrifice everything." 

"You are right, Sir Genji. Yet is it not 
strange that, despite all this, I feel melan- 
choly. I cannot understand it." He paused, 
and turned on his seat to look back at the sa- 
murai. "Sometimes it appears to me that I 
have caught this sadness of spirit from my 
lady herself." 

" What, the Lady Wistaria ? Impossible. ' ' 

"It is true," said the Prince, thoughtfully. 

" Why, she sings half the day like a bird " 

"Whose heart is broken," quickly ended 
the Prince. 

"She plays like a child" 

"Who is commanded to rejoice." 

"Her soul is as gay " 

"As a priestess whom the black temple 
shuts from life." 

"Pugh! She laughs' 1 

" With tears in her throat " ; again the Prince 
finished the sentence. "Yes, it is so, I tell 
you. I am not deceived." 



163 



"Your affection, my lord, causes you to 
imagine things that do not exist." 

"No, my affection but increases the acute- 
ness of my perceptions/' 

"If you will permit an unworthy vassal to 
venture an opinion, I would say, my lord, that 
for one about to wed in a day, your excel- 
lency wears a most funereal countenance." 

The Prince arose abruptly, as though he 
would shake off some oppression that beset 
him. 

"Let me tell you, my good fellow," he said, 
approaching Genji more closely, "when one 
we love appears to us to be cloaking behind 
a mask of painful gayety some secret sad- 
ness, the world is apt to wear a haggard as- 
pect which one's own self must reflect. If you 
repeat that my imagination but conjures up 
such fancies, then I will say that I must be 
insane." 

Silently, for the space of a few moments, 
the two men remained looking into each 
other's faces. They started simultaneously 
at the soft patting of approaching footsteps. 

"One request, Sir Genji," whispered Keiki, 
as the footsteps drew nearer. "Will you for 
once relax your guard and permit me to be 
alone with " 

"But" 

"You can guard my person just as well 
outside, and should any one attempt to attack 
me you will certainly be made aware of the 



164 



TflE -VJOOJNG QP WJSTAR) A n 

-4 ^ ^ \ ...J 

fact by whatever noise a pair of lungs can 
force." 

"Her aunt would consider it unseemly," 
said the samurai, with some hesitation. 

" I do not make it a request," said the Prince, 
patiently, "but merely beg the favor." 

A light tap on the door, and the next moment 
Wistaria had entered the room. Her arms 
were full of flowers, naming red and yellow 
blossoms that grew wild on the hills, while 
about her garments clung the odors of the 
fields and the mountain. She was damp and 
sweet with the morning dew shining on her 
hair, clinging even to her face and arms. 

"What!" cried Gen. "You have been out 
already?" 

She nodded, smiling wistfully over the 
flowers, which the Prince silently took from 
her arms and set upon the floor. His eyes 
never relaxed their gaze from her sweet face. 

"My lord's chamber," she said, as she 
shook the dew and a few clinging leaves 
from her kimono, " is so barren of the beauty 
of summer that I thought the fields might 
spare something of their wealth." 

Keiki turned an imploring glance to Genji. 
The samurai turned hastily to the door. 

"Well, then," said Genji, "I shall go and 
bring you some honorable water for the flow- 
ers." 

The moment Genji had left the room the 
Prince seized Wistaria's hands impulsively. 



TfiE.VOojNG OJP VMSTARIA 



"Wistaria/' he cried, "now I have some 
questions to put to you." 

One startled, upward glance at him she 
gave. He took her face in his hands, com- 
pelling her eyes to meet his own. 

"Why are your eyes so dark?" he asked. 

She attempted to smile. 

"The gods " she began. 

"No," he interrupted, knowing in advance 
what she was about to say, "but here, and 
here." He passed his fingers gently over the 
dark shadows that framed the pitiful eyes. 

"Have they not always been so?" she 
asked, with a pathetic attempt at lightness 
which did not deceive him. 

"No," he replied, almost vehemently. 
"When first the gods blessed me with the 
joy of beholding you, they were not so." 

"Well," she murmured, tremulously, "I 
am becoming honorably older. That is all." 

"No, that is not the reason," he cried, pas- 
sionately. "A few months could not have 
wrought the difference, nor the other changes 
I perceive in your face. The rose is gone. 
You are pale and too frail. Your lips ah, 
I cannot bear it!" 

With an exclamation of pain he broke off. 

An expression of fright appeared in her 
face. Her hands clutched about his. 

"My lord," she cried, "you you do not 
think that I that I have ceased to be beau- 
tiful?" 



166 



THE . WOOJNG op \flSTARIA n 



"No, no. You are more beautiful than 
ever. You could not be otherwise than beau- 
tiful, my beloved, but you appear to me so 
frail that I am beginning to believe you are 
some spirit. Tell me, do tell me, what has 
wrought this change in you?" 

For a moment she remained silent. Then 
she laughed. Her hands, with a little, childish 
motion of delight, she clapped. 

"Wait!" she cried, breaking from his arm. 
"I will show you the cause." 

She ran across the room and brought a 
little mirror, which she polished with her 
sleeve as she returned to him. Then leaning 
against him, she held it before his face, while 
she put her own cheek against his. 

" Look within, Keiki-sama. Said the gods : 
' Such a pale and wan Keiki will need a com- 
panion, so we will make the Lady Wistaria's 
face to match his!' So they did so." 

With a gesture of despair, he pushed the 
glass away. 

"No," he said, hoarsely, "for mine is pale 
and thin from much illness, while yours 

"From love," she said, in a breath. 



167 





ISTARIA," said the Prince 
Keiki, with a very firm clasp 
of her hand, "just now I in- 
sisted that the samurai Genji 
should cease his futile deception 
by useless prevarication. And 
now I ask you, I beg you, not 
to hide under a cloak of levity 
any secret trouble which you may 
have, and which I, as your future 
husband, am entitled to know." 

The mirror slipped from the 
girl's hand. She stared at it 
hopelessly. 

" Now answer me/' continued 
her lover, insistently. " Is it not 
true that you are in trouble?" 

u 3* 'A. 3T 

168 







- \W5TARIA 

-v- ' 



" Yes," she said, in a low voice ; " yes, but " 
Her voice broke, and she turned her face from 
his gaze. " But, alas, I cannot tell it to you, 
my lord." 

"Nay, do so," he entreated, with such 
pleading in his voice that she came back 
to his arms and nestled against his breast 
with a little wounded cry. 

"I am waiting," he said, softly. 

"I cannot tell you," she murmured against 
his breast. 

"Why not?" he inquired, quietly. 

In her nervous restlessness she broke 
away from his arms again. Her hands 
noiselessly clapped each other repeatedly. 
She could not remain still. 

" Why not?" repeated the Prince. 

"There are many reasons," she said, in a 
low voice, still maintaining the distance be- 
tween them. 

" Nay, think a little while, and see whether 
your heart will not suggest to you that the 
mere telling of your troubles to me may be 
their solution. Remember I shall be your 
honorable husband very soon " he smiled a 
trifle sadly "and then I shall command 
you to tell me the truth, you know." 

Wistaria sat very still now. Ever since 
Genji had come upon her that first day with 
the wounded Prince in her arms Wistaria 
had been a prey to the utmost despair and 
anguish. The infinite faith and trust of ^ 



e: 



her lover filled her continually with a greater 
horror of her deceit, for she could not forget, 
not for one moment, the part she had been 
forced to play in the undoing of the Prince. 
How could she add to her other iniquities by 
inveigling this noble and generous-hearted 
Prince into a marriage which would not fail 
to debase him? And yet she had no alterna- 
tive, for otherwise his life would be the forfeit. 
Was it possible for her to tell him all this? 
Would it be, as he had said, a solution of 
her misery to confess her own deceit and 
warn him of the danger in which he stood, 
that of marrying into an outcast family? 

As she thought thus sadly, the gentle voice 
of her lover brought the tears to her eyes. 
But she held them back, almost feverishly 
placing a greater distance between herself 
and the Prince. In that moment when his 
tender eyes held hers in their gaze, while he 
trustfully waited for her to speak, she was 
ready to tell him everything. 

" You are about to tell me all," he said, as 
though he understood her unspoken volition. 
"Do not mistrust me. Believe in my adora- 
tion for you. Give me thy heart completely." 

A sudden shivering took possession of 
Wistaria. Instead of speaking, she drew 
her sleeve across her face, a characteristic 
habit with her when in despair. Gradually 
her head sank forward, until she knelt at 
his feet in an attitude of humility. 



170 



Ttf E .WOOING OF VflSTAPJA 



"Nay, do not kneel," he cried, "nor hide 
thy face from me. Do not so, I beseech 
thee." 

Having permitted his assistance in rising, 
she freed herself from his encircling arm. 

"Look at me, my lord," she cried. "Tell 
me, what do you see?" 

"A maiden as beautiful as the sun-goddess 
and as good " 

" Nay, then, do not speak so. Look at me 
again, my lord. Have you then found such 
pleasure in my beauty that you have not 
even remarked my garments?" 

"Your garments?" 

Bewilderment was in his face. 

"Yes. Are these the silks, my lord, worn 
by the ladies of your rank?" 

"Nay, but though I cannot conceive why 
you should be garbed in cotton, yet I see no 
disgrace in the fact. Perchance the samurai 
Genji is honorably poor, and you are so cour- 
teous as to dress in homely garments while 
a guest of his honorable household." 

"I am not a guest of his household, my 
lord." 

"But" 

"I know it has been told you so. Never- 
theless, this is the house of my father." 

"I do not understand," he exclaimed. 

He added immediately, " If it is that your 
honorable father is poor " 

"You are wrong, my lord. My father is 




in the service of the government. His remu- 
neration is ample." 

"Then do explain to me the reason why 
you are so garbed and situated." 

"Because it is so enacted by the law/' 
she said. 

"The law!" 

"I am an Eta woman." 

"An Eta! Impossible!" 

" That was the offence for which my father 
was banished because of his marriage to 
an Eta maiden." 

The Prince stared at her aghast. She 
stood as still as if made of stone. Her lover's 
silence was due to his repugnance at this 
revelation, she thought. Seeing his effort 
to speak, she prayed a little prayer to the 
gods that he would spare her. The Prince 
found his voice. 

"Then by the royal blood of my ancestors, 
I swear," he cried, " that I shall be guilty of 
the same offence as thy honorable parent, and 
for thy sweet sake I, too, shall become an Eta. " 

With a little, trembling cry she started 
towards him. 

"But thy cause! Oh, my lord, thy noble 
cause!" 

"The cause!" He threw back his head 
and laughed with buoyant joyousness. 

"Fuji-wara," he said, "do you not perceive 
that a new life is about to dawn for this Japan 
of ours?" 

: 3 -a. . %- n a- 

172 



Ttf E -WOOJING F NWSTAR) A n 



"A new life," she repeated, breathlessly, 
hanging upon the words that escaped his 
lips. 

"A new life," he said, "with our country 
no longer broken up into factions, when men 
shall have equal rights and privileges." 

He smiled at her rapt face, and possessed 
himself of both her little hands. 

" Dearest and sweetest of maidens," he said, 
tenderly, "in marrying me you do not wed 
a prince. I am pledged to the welfare of the 
people. Know you not that the great cause 
of the Imperialist will bring about that Res- 
toration which will overturn all these crush- 
ing tyrannies and injustices which press our 
people to the earth? Repeat with me, then: 
'Daigi Meibunor! Banzai the Imperialist!' ' 

Suddenly she remembered the blow she had 
dealt the cause. Her head fell upon their 
clasped hands. 

But over her fallen head the voice of the 
Prince Keiki was full of joy. 

"And now I have heard the great trouble, 
and have I not burst it like a bubble? Hence- 
forward, then, let there be only happiness and 
joy in these eyes and these lips." Reverently 
he pressed her eyes and lips. 

Genji was heard outside the door. His face 
was very grave and his whole appearance per- 
turbed when he entered. 

Bowing deeply to the Prince, he addressed 
him hastily : 

J I A- 1 3~= 

173 



THE -WOOING OF . VMSTAR1 A 

"Your excellency, the Lord of Catzu has 
arrived at my insignificant house and is below. 
It is his wish that the marriage of his niece 
should be celebrated without further delay. 
I come to you, therefore, to beg that you will 
consent to its immediate consummation." 

" I comply with gladness," replied the Prince, 
" but may I inquire the reason for this haste?" 

" The Lord Catzu Toro is in critical peril in 
your august father's province." 

"Enough!" interrupted the Prince, impul- 
sively. " You desire my immediate mediation 
in his behalf?" 

He turned to Wistaria with an exclamation 
of delight. " Now," said he, " we shall see all 
our troubles melt into thin air like mist before 
the sun." 

" But I have not told you all there is more 
still to tell. I pray you " Wistaria began. 

"There is no time," interrupted Genji, 
severely, " and I beg your highness will con- 
vince the Lady Wistaria of the necessity for 
haste." 

" That is right," said the Prince. " There is 
a whole lifetime before us yet in which thou 
canst tell me thy heart. Come. Let us de- 
scend to the wedding-chamber." | 



174 



VJSTAPJA 



* 




<l 




Prince of Japan had ever 
been wedded in so strange and 
4 lowly a fashion. There was not 
a sign or sound of the gratu- 
lation, rejoicing, or pomp which 
usually attend such ceremonies. 
When the Prince Keiki and 
the Lady Wistaria, attended by 
the samurai Genji, entered the 
homely wedding apartment, they 
found a small group, pale and 
solemn, awaiting them. It con- 
sisted of the Lord and Lady 
Catzu and one who was a 
stranger to Keiki, but whom 
he knew to be the father of the 
Lady Wistaria. 

- I T 

175 



t 



THE w^^Jiiw **i * wi-o J/MVHSI 

The waiting party bowed very low and 
solemnly to those who had just entered. Their 
greeting was returned with an equal gravity 
and grace. There was a pause a hush. 
Keiki looked about him inquiringly, and then 
he shivered. The true solemnity of the oc- 
casion dawned upon him so that even the near 
joy of possessing Wistaria at last passed from 
his mind. He was about to join through mar- 
riage two families who hitherto had had for 
each other nothing save hatred and detesta- 
tion. 

Timid and pale as his glance was, he scarce- 
ly dared to look at the Lady Wistaria, though 
he knew she was so weak and faint that the 
samurai Genji had to support her. 

Somewhat sharply, the voice of the Lady 
Evening Glory broke the silence. 

"Why do we wait?" 

The Lord Catzu stirred uneasily, glancing 
from the bridal couple to his wife, and then to 
the inscrutable face of Shimadzu. 

"If I may be permitted to remark," he said, 
apologetically, " the Lady Wistaria is certainly 
garbed unbefitting her rank and race." 

"Chut!" said his wife, angrily, "you would 
delay matters for such a trifle? Every mo- 
ment counts now against our son. Will you 
let such an insignificant matter as the dress 
of your unworthy niece hasten the possible 
death of our beloved?" 

"When it is her wedding-dress, yes," said 



176 



THE WOQ]NG of VJ5TAPJA rj 

*fr ^fc T -"$ i \ 



Catzu, stubbornly. " May I be stricken blind 
before I witness such a disgrace brought upon 
my honorable niece's dignity. She must be 
married as befits her rank, I repeat." 

A sour smile played over the features of the 
Lady Evening Glory. 

"That is true. Well, her rank is that of 
the Eta," she said, tartly. 

Having found the courage to disagree with 
his lady, Catzu now set her at complete de- 
fiance. He marched towards the door. 

" Very well, then. I refuse to witness such 
an outrageous ceremony. The lady may 
have Eta kindred, but do not forget that 
she has also the blood of royalty in her 
veins." 

His consort could hardly suppress her fury. 

"I appeal to you, honored brother," she 
said. " How shall it be?" 

"And I," exploded Catzu, who was in an 
evil and contrary temper, " appeal to you, my 
Lord of Mori," and he bowed profoundly to 
the Prince. 

Shimadzu made no response. His glance 
met that of the troubled Prince. Keiki flushed 
under his penetrating eyes. Then he spoke 
with graceful dignity, bowing meanwhile to 
the trembling Wistaria. 

"Let her be garbed," he said, "as befits 
the daughter of her father and the bride of a 
Prince of Mori." 

There was silence for a space. Then 



177 



F VJJSTAPJA 

as - ^ - & 1 



Shimadzu made an imperative gesture to 
Genji, who gently led the girl from the cham- 
ber, followed by the angrily resigned Lady 
Evening Glory. 

The three men, now alone, waited in strained 
silence for Wistaria's return. Straight and 
stiff, with heads somewhat bent to the floor, 
they remained standing in almost identical 
attitudes. Gradually, however, Catzu broke 
the tension by an attempt to relieve his exces- 
sive nervousness. Resting first on one foot 
and then on the other, he shifted about. His 
eyes lingered in painful sympathy upon the 
Prince, and then irresolutely turned to the 
samurai. Perspiration stood out on the lord's 
brow. He was suffering physically from the 
strain. 

After a long interval of this intolerable 
silence, the doors of the chamber were again 
pushed aside. The samurai Genji entered. 
Bowing deeply, he announced: 

"The Lady Wistaria and her august aunt 
enter the honorable chamber!" 

The two ladies, close behind Genji, now 
followed him into the room. Immediately 
all prostrated themselves. When they had 
regained their feet, it was found that Wistaria 
was still kneeling. Then Genji perceived that 
she had not risen because she was unable to 
to do so. Without a word, he lifted her to her 
feet. One moment she leaned against his 
strong arm, then seemed to gather strength. 



178 



VJ5TAPJA n 

i " 



Stepping apart from him, she stood alone 
there in the middle of the floor. 

Despite her waxen whiteness, she was more 
than beautiful ethereal. Her lacquer hair 
was no more dark than her strange, long eyes, 
both set off by an exquisite robe of ancient 
style, as befitted a lady of noble blood. 

When her hand touched that of the Prince 
he felt cold as ice. Involuntarily his own palm 
enclosed hers warmly. He did not let it go, 
but drawing her closer to him, unmindful of 
the assembled company, he tried to fathom 
the tragedy that seemed to lurk behind her 
impenetrable eyes. But, her head drooping 
above their hands, he beheld only the sheen 
of her glossy hair. Then she passed from 
his side to her uncle and her father. 

Almost mechanically, his eyes never once 
relaxing their gaze from the face of his bride, 
the Prince went through the ceremony. After 
the service he tried to break the uncomfortable 
restraint. He proposed the health of the two 
noble though previously misguided families, 
whose union had now been so happily con- 
summated. But his own cup was the only 
one held high. Gradually his hand fell from 
its elevation. He set the untasted sake down 
among the marriage - cups and sprang to his 
feet. 

" Let us diffuse some merriment among us," 
he cried, " for the sake of the gods and for 
our future peace and happiness. Such un- 

- ^~- n_ju =&. r a ~ 
179 



VJSTAPJA 



due solemnity bodes ill for our honorable 
future." 

The samurai Shimadzu stepped forward, 
facing him fairly. 

"My lord and prince/' he said, "I have this 
moment given the signal for a courier to hasten 
immediately to Choshui to acquaint my bit- 
terest enemy with the tidings of the marriage 
of his heir to my insignificant daughter." 

The Prince smiled, despite his uneasiness. 

"Surely, my lord," he said, "you make a 
goodly new and honorable custom. What! 
an announcement, perchance an invitation 
for one's enemy! That is well, for we have 
overturned all false maxims relating to ven- 
geance against an enemy. We have buried 
our wrongs in a union of love, and embrace 
our enemies as friends." 

" With august humility," said the samurai, 
coldly, " I would suggest that your highness 's 
assurance of our embrace is premature." 

"Premature I What, and this my marriage 
day!" 

" Your marriage day may be a source of woe 
to your proud house." 

"Well, that is so," agreed the Prince, 
thoughtfully. "Nevertheless," he added, 
cheerfully, "my honorable father becomes 
more lenient with the years. Moreover, he 
has but to behold his new daughter to forget 
all else save the fortune the gods have be- 
stowed upon us." 

T. . . JU - ~J>- J - *T - 

180 



THE . 

3E- T- -E= 



" Be assured your father shall never behold 
her," said the samurai, with incisive fierceness. 

"What is that?" 

"You have heard." 

"But I do assure you that my marriage, 
though it may provoke the momentary anger 
of my father, will never debar my lady wife 
from her position in our household. You 
forget that my honored parent is very old, 
and I shall soon have the honor of becoming 
Prince of Mori in my own right. I shall then 
have no lord to deprive me of my rights, even 
if I had disregarded the law." 

"You may as well be made aware of the 
fact at once," said Shimadzu, "that no blood 
of mine shall ever mingle with that of the 
Mori!" 

" I do not understand your honorable speech. 
Has not our august bloods just now become 
united?" 

"Only by the law, my lord." 

"Well?" 

" My daughter, your highness, shall never 
accompany her Mori husband to his home." 

" Very well, then. I will remain here with 
her. I am quite satisfied to renounce all my 
worldly ambitions and possessions for her 
sake, if such is the command of her august 
father," and the Prince bowed to his father-in- 
law in the most filial and affable manner. 

"If you remain here you will not be per- 
mitted to live." 



p VflSTAPJA 

-IE ir- 



A low cry, half moan, came from the new 
Princess of Mori, who lay against her uncle's 
breast. Keiki turned to her at that cry. He 
was seized with a foreboding of events to come. 
Again he turned to the samurai. 

"Will it please you, honored father-in-law, 
to speak more plainly to me?" 

" Very well. This marriage, your highness, 
has been consummated not for the purpose of 
uniting a pair of lovers, but to fulfil a pledge 
which was made to one who was murdered by 
your parent a pledge of vengeance." 

"But I cannot perceive how this is accom- 
plished," said the Prince, now pale as Wis- 
taria. 

"You have married an Eta girl." 

" I am aware of that," said the Prince, some- 
what proudly. 

"I have not finished," said Shimadzu. 
"Are you aware that you are at present un- 
der sentence of death?" 

The Prince made a contemptuous motion. 

" By order of the bakufu (shogunate). Yes, 
I am aware of the fact." 

"Very well. I am the executioner!" 

"You!" 

" It was I who caused your arrest, and after- 
wards brought you hither with the intention 
of executing you." 

A flood of horrible thoughts rushed across 
the Prince's mind, bewildering him. As if to 
press them back, he clasped his hands to his [. 

=^r " -jb tg- T ^cn= 

182 



head. Shiniadzu continued in his cold and 
monotonous voice: 

"After your arrest, it was brought to my 
attention that a more subtle revenge against 
your parent could be gained by marrying you 
into that very class of people so despised by 
3'our father, and forcing you to become guilty 
of the same offence for which I was exiled." 

Stirred as he now was, Keiki's faith in Wis- 
taria still remained unshaken. That her fa- 
ther had had a hand in betraying him he 
was assured, but he could not yet recognize 
in the deed the delicate hand of the woman 
he loved. 

"Through the agency of my daughter," 
went on the samurai, " I was soon able to learn 
sufficient concerning the workings of the Im- 
perialist party of which you are the head " 

"The Imperialist party!" repeated the 
Prince, and he bounded towards the samurai 
with the cry of a wounded animal. His hand 
sprang to his hip, where his sword had been 
restored to its sheath. 

" You you ! " he shouted. " It was you who 
betrayed me who " 

"You are augustly wrong," said the sa- 
murai, moving not an inch, despite the close 
proximity and menacing attitude of the Prince. 
"You honorably betrayed yourself!' 

"I!" 

"Certainly. To her." He indicated, with- 
out naming, the Lady Wistaria. 



183 



THE . 



Slowly, painfully, driven by the goading 
words of the father, the blazing, burning eyes 
of the husband sought Wistaria, there to rest 
upon her while infinite horror found mirror 
in his countenance. Motionless thus he 
stood. 

Wistaria, braced for a shock she could not 
meet, leaned against her uncle, whose head 
bent over her. The Lady Evening Glory 
smiled, as one who delights in the soul of 
a cat. Calm, satisfied, unmoved, remained 
Shimadzu. Keiki's eyes bulged from their 
sockets, his mouth gaped open. At last one 
word burst from his lips, but it was as elo- 
quent as though he had uttered a thousand. 

"Thou!" 

Her head sank low. He recoiled a step. 
But with entranced horror he continued to 
gaze at her. Her face was like marble, out of 
which her dark eyes stared as though made 
of polished, glazed china. And as he gazed, 
terrible thoughts and remembrances rushed 
upon Keiki, overpowering, weakening, paralyz- 
ing him. After a long, immovable silence 
he leaned slowly forward until their faces, 
close together, were on a level. 

"It is true?" he whispered, hoarsely. 
"Speak! Speak!" 

" It is true," she replied, in a voice so small 
and faint that it seemed far away. 

His sword leaped out of his scabbard. He 
raised it as if to strike her down. But his ^ 

31 -X " t A ~ 



TfiE - 

-% "^ -"SB 



hand fell to his side. Then he spoke, in a 
hoarse, fearful voice: 

"The gods may forgive thee. I, never!" 
With that he was gone from the chamber. 
They heard the clash of his sword as it touch- 
ed the stone pavement, then the sound of his 
flying feet, loud at first, and then dying away 
into the silence. 



185 



n 

-- 





AVING fulfilled his purpose in 
life, the Shi mad zu was ready, 
eager, for his own self-immola- 
tion. He had prepared for this 
event with strict observance of 
an elaborate etiquette, just as 
he, a samurai, would have pre- 
pared for any event of impor- 
tance in his life. 

The little house had been 
thoroughly cleansed and white- 
washed. Fresh mats of straw 
had been laid upon the floor, 
and the walls were recovered. 
To admit the sunshine, and the 
air of the out -door world, the 
windows were thrown wide apart. 

." -~ 3fe- . .. TH , . H5T~ 
186 



THE -WOOING pf VJ5TAPJA 

Shimadzu produced an ancient chest, from 
which he brought forth rare and costly old 
garments, emblazoned with the crests of a 
proud family, and a pair of very long swords. 
The hilts were of black lacquer. The guard, 
ferule, cleats, and rivets were richly inlaid 
and embossed in rare metals. But the beau- 
tiful blades were the parts which shone out in 
their noble, classic beauty. They were ex- 
tremely narrow, glossy, and brittle as icicles. 
The very sight of them would have awakened 
a feeling of heroism and awe in the bosom 
of one less alive to what they signified than 
Shimadzu. They were, in fact, two swords 
which, belonging to a hundred ancestors of 
Shimadzu, had been used only in the most 
glorious service. 

"The girded sword is the soul of the sa- 
murai," and Shimadzu muttered an ancient 
saying. It had been long since he lost the 
right to wear them through his marriage into 
the Eta class, and now he regarded them with 
such intense emotion that fierce tears blinded 
his eyesight. 

Reverently, tenderly, he lifted them to a 
place upon a white table before a shrine in 
his own chamber. Then with a low groan 
he prostrated himself before them, rather than 
the figure of the Daibutsu, which placidly 
rested upon the small throne. 

In his inmost soul, this samurai felt he had 
done a good and righteous thing in achieving 



~r? , 

* 187 



his vengeance, even though the innocent were 
sacrificed. Trained as he had been in the 
harsh school of the samurai, in which self- 
J denial, contempt for pleasure and gain, scorn 
of death or physical hurt, and the righteous 
vengeance upon an enemy were esteemed 
virtues, he was steeled against all fear and 
pain. His conscience was satisfied with itself. 

After his silent prayer, he rose to his feet 
very calmly and with a degree of solemnity. 
He had gathered fresh strength from his 
prayer. The ceremony of hari-kari he per- 
formed with grave dignity and punctilious- 
ness. 

First of all, he gently lifted the two swords 
and held them in the sun, their knightly 
significance strong in his mind. One was to 
use against all enemies of his lord, the other 
held ever in readiness to turn upon himself 
in atonement for fault or faintest suspicion 
of dishonor, or, as in his case, when a duty 
has been fulfilled and honorable death is 
desired as a crowning end. 

The samurai Shimadzu was without a lord, 
or, rather, he disdained and cursed the one 
under whom he should have served. Hence 
he broke into a dozen pieces one of the two * 
swords, spurning the glittering pieces with 
his foot. 

Then silently he disrobed to the waist. 
Very slowly and precisely he pressed the sword 
into his body so that he might lose none of 



188 



! 



the pain, which he would have scorned to 
resist. No moan escaped his lips. No muscle 
of his face quivered. 

As the sword sank deeper his brain whirled 
with the dizziness of nausea, but, still stiff 
and relentless, his arm obeyed the will of his 
soul, even continuing mechanically to do so 
when his head had fallen backward into semi- 
unconsciousness. He was one hour and a 
half in dying. No words could describe the 
excruciating nature of such pains. Certainly, 
as a samurai, his was a fitting end. 

Such was the nature of this people that to 
his friends and relatives his act ,was regarded 
as an honorable and admirable thing. Had 
he faltered in its accomplishment they would 
have urged him to the deed, entreating him 
to save himself from the stigma of dishon- 
or which would otherwise smirch his good 
name. 

The following day a large number of Catzu 
samurai and vassals marched through the 
Eta settlement and ascended the small hill 
upon which stood the house of the public ex- 
ecutioner. The body of the samurai was car- 
ried with the utmost respect and reverence 
from the Eta house, whence a train, bearing 
it in due state, departed for Catzu. 

From the Eta house the Lady Wistaria, too, 
was carried. Her train was even more like 
a funeral procession than that of her father; 
for those who carried her norimon and who 



x 



189 



TtfE .WO.OJNO OJP VJSTAR) A 



followed in its wake had long been her per- 
sonal attendants and servitors. Now, because 
of their love for her, they wept at almost every 
step of the journey. 

The two mournful processions left the Eta 
settlement side by side, but their different des- 
tinations led to their parting company at the 
base of the hill. The one carrying the dead 
samurai turned in the direction of Catzu. 
There, fitting ceremonies were to be given to 
the departed soul of Shimadzu, after which 
he would be interred in the mortuary hall of 
his ancestors. 

The train of the Lady Wistaria turned to 
the south, travelling many miles over bare 
and uninhabited regions, over plains, past 
hamlets and small towns and villages, on 
towards the mountains of the south. 

While the last rays of the setting sun were 
still illumining the west, the cortege of the 
new Princess of Mori entered a forest of ever- 
green pines. When it emerged, the darken- 
ing sky had deepened its colors until a melan- 
choly calm wrapped the land in an effulgent 
glow. The moon had risen on high and was 
shimmering out its holy light. The earth, re- 
flecting its gleam, seemed a tableau of silent 
silver. 

They had reached a beautiful and tranquil 
hill. At the top, above the pines and cedars 
enclosing it in nature's own sacred wall, the 
amber peaks of a celestial temple, with its 



X 



190 



VflSTAPJA n 



myriad slanting lights, pointed upward in 
the sky. Their journey was ended. 

Very still now stood the cortege. Low and 
deeply bent stood the silent attendants, as 
with streaming eyes they gazed longingly 
upon the slight young figure which the samu- 
rai Genji, almost bowed over with personal 
grief, assisted to alight from the norimon. 
In her white robes the Lady Wistaria seemed a 
spirit as she stood there under the moonbeams. 
Mutely she looked about her. As the muffled 
sobs of her servitors reached her ears, she 
wrung her hands with an unconscious gesture 
of anguish greater than their own. 

As if in sympathy with the intense sadness 
over all who were there, nature herself seemed 
to show signs of her own distress. Clouds 
rolled over the skies above the mountains, 
veiling the moon and the star beams. A 
little river that flowed at the foot of the hill 
was heard sobbing as it rolled with a mournful 
sound over its rapids. 

But the lights twinkled out warmly from 
the temple beyond, and a white-robed priest- 
ess was descending to welcome the novitiate. 
An odor of sweet incense, such as of umegaku 
or tambo, was wafted to the watchers on the 
hill from the temple doors. Wistaria turned 
her face towards it. Then back again she 
directed her glance to her kneeling servitors. 
Her voice was as soft and gentle as a bene- 
diction. 



191 



THE- 



" Pray thee " she said, " to take care of your 
honorable healths. Sayonara!" 

She hesitated on the threshold of the temple. 
Then silently she entered the place of tranquil 
rest amid the shadows of the mountains. 



192 





HE Prince Keiki had been on 
the highway three days before 
4 he became again something 
more than an unconscious au- 
tomaton. After the first great 
shock of Wistaria's revelation 
had passed from him, there had 
come a desperate terror and 
horror which seemed to numb 
his faculties. For several days 
he was not conscious of any- 
thing either within or without 
him. There was no anguish 
in his heart or intelligence in 
his brain. His memory of 
events succeeding Wistaria's un- 
masking, as he believed it, was 

1 -i 3 * 

. 5fc JL- t +r 



TOE -WaojNG OF VflSTAPJ A 



as vague as the tangled threads of a dream. 
He had fallen into that apathetic lethargy with 
which he had been afflicted upon his arrest. 

He had, it is true, uncertain recollections 
of a place passed on the way, or of a halt here 
and refreshment there, but he could not assert 
that they were real. He might have dreamed 
them. He could not tell. 

Then Keiki returned to his normal being. 
He awoke as from a troubled sleep to a world 
of torment. Could he have slept, and, sleep- 
ing, have imagined the events with which the 
name Wistaria was repulsively associated? 
No! It was, alas, all too true. He must bear 
it. As the first sharp anguish of his awaken- 
ing passed away, there came visions to com- 
fort Keiki. 

When what he termed in after years his 
great awakening burst upon him, he found 
himself walking down a muddy road which 
led, his sense of locality told him, south to his 
province of Choshui. It was raining, fierce- 
ly, sullenly. Almost with a feeling of relief, 
Keiki found that he was wet. It gave him 
new life and new courage to do some simple 
elemental thing, such as drawing his cape 
tighter, closer about him. Then, as he battled 
against the wind and the driving rain, a fierce 
joy came to him. He was wise in the wisdom 
of suffering. His life should be devoted to the 
cause. No woman should destroy the signif- 
icance life held for him. 



194 



TOE 



Too long had he tarried with inclination. 
He had pictured to himself a beautiful high- 
way through life, upon which Wistaria should 
tread by his side. She was lost forever. The 
rough path, the developing path of struggle, 
should be his. He would not falter. He 
would be true first to himself, his higher self, 
and then to the holy cause of his country. 
Patriotism and the restoration of rightful rule 
to the Mikado should guide him in every act. 
The events through which he had passed had 
consecrated him anew. His life could not be 
taken; he could not fail, until all had been 
accomplished. 

In the new life which he was about to enter 
his course would not always be plain ; he would 
not always be understood. For that he must 
be prepared. 

When the Prince Keiki had thus settled the 
past and ordered the future, he began to take 
cognizance of outward conditions, as became 
him now. It was wet, and growing dark. He 
must seek shelter for the night. Turning aside 
from the highway, Keiki asked the simple 
hospitality of the country-side from a little 
house hard by the path of travel. Although 
it was long past the hour of their evening 
meal, the good dwellers in the cottage sent 
their daughter to the rear of the house to pre- 
pare food for the hungry Prince. 

Sitting alone in a corner, Keiki, waited upon 
by the little maiden, found a quiet and comfort L 



195 



TOE WQQJNG <y VQSTARIA n 



that three days ago he would have thought 
impossible. A strange comfort exhales from 
a perfectly appointed meal after the heart has 
been tried. It is the acme of despair, the 
realization of one's duty to one's self. Keiki, 
absorbed in these fantastic reflections, sud- 
denly became conscious of the fact that for 
several minutes past the little maid had been 
making strange signals to him. Seeing this, 
he signed to her to advance. She did so, 
but in a faltering and almost fearful fashion. 
When near enough to him to speak without 
being overheard, she glanced in terror at his 
face and slipped to the ground, where she pros- 
trated herself at his feet, her head nodding in 
frantic motions of servility. 

"Why, what is this?" ejaculated the Prince, 
displeased. 

"Y your highness!" she gasped. 

" Speak," said Keiki, sternly. " You appear 
desirous of serving me. What is it?" 

She rose tremblingly. 

" You must not tarry here long," she whis- 
pered. " The spies of the Shogun are about." 

"Ha!" 

"It is broadly reported that the Shining 
Prince Keiki has escaped his fate. The roads 
are beset. They are tracking his footsteps. 
Even now some of them are before the house. 
Oh, my lord, I know you to resemble too closely 
the Shining Prince for you to linger here. 
We the whole country are in sympathy with 

3-~ Jb .. jfc. T=: 5T "X. 

196 * 



*& 



VJStAPJA 

3 -* \ >:a 



thee and would befriend thee, but the sho- 
gunate She broke off, her fear and dis- 
tress completely overpowering her. 

Keiki laid an alert hand upon his sword. 

"None may take me now," he said, de- 
fiantly, "for I am become invincible." 

"Come!" urged the little maid. 

"Whither?" inquired the Prince. 

Pushing aside the doors at the rear, she 
led Keiki into the garden. Passing through 
it, they came to a wall. The maid spoke. 

"Climb this, turn to the west. Go along 
the road a bit until you come to a cross-path. 
Take that, and you will come out upon your 
southern route below the danger point. I 

There was a movement in the bushes behind. 

"Oh, all the gods!" she cried. "It is too 
late, I fear!" 

"What do you there?" a voice, stern with 
threatening, demanded from the bushes. The 
maid responded: 

"Peace to thee! I do but bid farewell to 
my lover." 

A laugh answered. 

"Do not fear, maiden. We do not disturb 
cooing birds," came from the bushes, and a 
drawn sword was shifted from hand to hand, 
carelessly. 

The warm blood surged about the temples 
of Keiki. Because of the perfidy of Wistaria, 
he would accept no service from her sex. 

"I did not need thy lie, maiden," he said. 



197 



op V)7APJA 



Then to those in the bushes he shouted: 

" I am he whom you seek, the Prince Keiki. 
Come, take me!" 

As he spoke, he hurled his cape to the ground 
and rested his sword with its point upon his 
sandalled foot. Quick as was his action, it 
was met by those lurking in hiding. Three 
forms glided out from the bushes. Three 
blades flashed towards him. Keiki 's quick 
eye perceived that those attacking him wore 
but one sword. They were evidently merely 
Shogun spies or common soldiery. Their 
clumsy handling of their swords filled his soul 
with a wild elation. He would have some play 
with these vassals he, Keiki, the most ex- 
quisite swordsman in Japan, and the most 
finished Jiujutsu student. 

" Come hither hither ! " he taunted. " With- 
out dishonor ye may yield yourselves to me, 
Keiki, the invincible!" 

A savage yell replied. In imagination, per- 
haps, the Shogun spies saw the glittering price 
of the Prince's head within their hands. They 
closed with him. 

The hand of Keiki instantly snatched the 
second sword from his belt. - With a sword 
in each hand he met the advance. The sword 
in his right hand met and parried the initial 
blows and thrusts of his two adversaries; the 
sword in his left met the blade of the third, 
and, though it could not attack, maintained 
an effective defence. 



f 



TOE .WOOJNG of? VJSTAPJ A n 



The attacking swordsmen were startled. 
Such a thing was beyond the traditions of 
the samurai, and a feat wellnigh impossible. 

Of a sudden the blade of the first of Keiki's 
adversaries dealt a vicious blow. Keiki met 
it with his left-hand sword, and before the 
blade could be recovered by his enemy the 
sword in his right hand had turned to the 
second adversary. This one, unprepared for 
Keiki's sudden onslaught, fell back, with his 
sword-arm severed at the wrist. Again the 
first antagonist thrust; Keiki met him. He 
now had an antagonist on either side of him, 
at points nearly opposite. He answered the 
blow of the one with the first of his two swords, 
while the other recovered his blade. There 
could be only one issue to such unequal combat. 
The position of his adversaries would not 
permit Keiki to fight them with one sword 
alone. Alive to the necessities of his position, 
Keiki kept slowly turning as his opponents 
tried to take him from behind. Suddenly 
Keiki fell upon his left knee, as though over- 
come, while with his right-hand sword he kept 
up a vigorous attack. The sword in his left 
hand became feebler, weaker in its move- 
ments. Thinking Keiki affected by some of 
the numerous small wounds with which he 
was covered despite his defence, the soldier on 
Keiki's left rushed in to despatch him, leaving 
himself but poorly guarded. The sword op- 
posed to him became swiftly active. It passed 



G of VflSTAFUA 



into the breast of the samurai, where Keiki, 
glad that its necessity was over, allowed it to 
remain. 

Quickly regaining his feet, the Prince de- 
voted himself to his remaining enemy, who 
was a better swordsman than the others. 

"Yield!" threatened Keiki, as he dealt a 
furious blow at the other's head. 

His antagonist laughed. Immediately 
Keiki thrust in quick succession at the other's 
breast, head, and throat. His first blow was 
parried. The second at the head was a feint. 
As the soldier raised his sword to meet it, 
Keiki, unopposed, thrust through his throat. 
He fell. 

Breathing heavily from his exertion, Keiki 
looked about him for the maid, and the spy 
whose hand he had severed. He found the 
maiden bending over the lifeless body of his 
antagonist. From her hand a small dagger 
slipped to the ground. Satisfied as to her 
safety, Keiki quickly drew out his left sword 
from the breast of his opponent. Then with- 
out a word he climbed the wall and took the 
southern route again, disdaining to follow the 
directions of his late hostess. 

In a rice - field farther down the road he 
bound up his wounds with the torn lining of 
his haori. Through the larger part of the 
following day he slept. 

Alarmed by the recent occurrences at the 
little house by the highway, Keiki, who be- 

*di \ ' afc. i ^r~ . 

200 



VJSTARJA 

^ \ 



lieved that the Shogun had put a price upon 
his head, now travelled only at night. The 
days he spent in sleep, and in locating, without 
exposing himself too much, the scenes of forag- 
ing expeditions made at night through which 
he managed to secure the means of sustenance. 

The vigorous and unnatural fight through 
which he had just passed had a further in- 
vigorating effect upon him. Before that he 
had been near to death in his thoughts death 
for the cause. Now he resolved in fresh and 
vigorous determination to live and to live 
gloriously for the greatest cause that had 
ever made a pulse to leap in Japan. 

At dusk on the fifth day after the fight, 
Keiki set forth upon the last stage of his jour- 
ney. He was now near to the borders of the 
Choshui province. A few hours later he 
reckoned that he had crossed the boundary 
and was well within the limits of his father's 
country, when there came to him the sound 
of swords clashing beyond a turn in the road. 
Keiki, now grown cautious, skirted the spot 
through a field, and then crept within sight of 
the place. 

Five men were pitted against three, while 
on the road lay the bodies of two more. Keiki 
had made up his mind to aid the lesser par- 
ty, when an exclamation in well - remembered 
tones came to him. It was from one of the 
lesser party, old Hashimoto, a trusted follower 
of his father. 






201 



\WSTAR) A 



In a moment Keiki was in the road. Be- 
fore either party were aware of his presence, 
he had killed two of the larger number. 

" I aid thee!" he shouted, as with his father's 
men he engaged the despised Shogun follow- 
ers. Speedily another of their number fell. 
The four obtained the easy surrender of the 
others. 

Hashimoto approached the Prince. 

"We thank thee for thy aid " he began. 
Then, recognizing Keiki, he started back a 
pace and fell upon his knees. 

"My noble prince! My master!" he cried, 
as he caught his robe and reverently pressed 
it to his lips. 

" Thy master?" repeated Keiki. " My father, 
what of him?" 

"Taken, your highness." 

"Taken?" 

"After the rumors of your capture, your 
highness, we at once determined to raise the 
Imperial standard against the Shogun, and 
your father " 

" But we were not ready. None of our plans 
had been carried out!" cried the Prince. 

Hashimoto answered: 

" True, your highness, but your father was 
promised the assistance of most of the south- 
ern clans. Consequently he seized a number 
of Buddhist monasteries and cast their huge 
bronze bells into cannon. His undertaking 
was revealed to the Shogun before our allies 

J > ^ * JE - 

202 



could join us, and he was surprised and taken 
captive." 

"He serves a sentence?" 

"He was sentenced, your highness. But 
the gods have anticipated he is dead." 

Keiki threw off his cape, which Hashimoto 
respectfully lifted. 

" Attend me to the fortress," he commanded. 

The followers bowed deeply. Suddenly 
Keiki raised his voice. 

" Daigi Meibunor ! The Shogun shall die ! " 
he cried. 

The followers answered with a cheer. 

With head bowed in deep thought, Keiki 
led the way towards the principal fortress and 
castle of the Mori. 



203 





PON his return to the fortress, 
Keiki, as the capable and de- 
voted leader of the cause of Im- 
perialism, was deferred to by his 
brothers. He at once assumed 
in his own right the command 
of the resources of the clan. 

The household was put upon 
a footing even more military 
than before. Regular watch 
was kept at all points of the 
estate and at the boundaries 
of the province. Reports of 
all crossing the boundaries of 
the province in either direction 
were made to Keiki each morn- 
ing. 

"sfc- ( f 

204 



V1STAPJA 



An army of laborers impressed into service 
from the Mori as well as the friendly southern 
provinces were put to work strengthening the 
defences of the Mori fortress, now become the 
war headquarters of the Imperial party. 

The castle itself, situated within the centre 
of the province, approach to which on all sides 
must be made through friendly provinces, 
with the exception of the Catzu, because of 
its natural defensive properties, became the 
nucleus for a host of outworks sheltering the 
activities of Keiki. Within the line of for- 
tifications surrounding the immediate vicinity 
of the fortress were j.he factories and foun- 
dries now built by those who acknowledged 
Keiki as their leader. For while all this owed 
its inception to the Shining Prince, it could 
not be carried out with his resources alone. 
The neighboring clans, whose lords in the 
past had held equal and superior rank to the 
Shogun, sent of their best to the Prince of 
Mori. The clans of Satsuma, Ozumi, Hinga, 
Nagate, Suwo, the Liu Kiu Islands, and others 
ordered their artisans and mariners to Keiki 's 
headquarters. 

The old Prince of Satsuma, more learned 
in European civilization than Keiki (although 
Choshui was the home in Japan of Dutch 
sciences), was the Prince's preceptor. Under 
his direction the cannon foundries, whose 
weapons of war were to oust the Shogun, were 
built. A sort of light rifle designed by Sat- 



205 



THE .WOQIISG or \fl3TAR) A n 

~< 3fe '_ J. - % 1! jt~^ 

suma was manufactured under his direction 
near Keiki 's fortress. The castle, which in 
time of war would afford protection to all these 
works and foundries, was reduced in the num- 
ber of its living apartments. These were sit- 
uated within the inmost recesses. All about 
the old portions of the house were built broad 
platforms. Upon their edges were set stone 
walls with openings for cannon. These, as 
fast as they came from the foundry, were 
set in tiers so arranged that they could com- 
mand the approaches to the large circle, within 
which were set the factories and works of the 
Imperialists. 

In the midst of these activities Keiki found 
relief from the flood of memories that other- 
wise might have overwhelmed him. He felt 
that now he was rising to true greatness. For 
him personally, selfishly, life held nothing. 
It was for his country he labored. So austere 
and unbending was his demeanor, that for 
months after his return his brothers forebore 
to speak of the message that had come during 
his absence. 

But one evening as he sat in his chamber 
alone, within the centre of the fortress, his 
brother, Komozawa, came to him and held out 
in silence the letter which had disturbed them. 
Keiki read sufficient to ascertain its tenor. 
Then gently he laid it aside. There was no 
passion to his tones or manner as he said, 
coldly : 

206 



TflE.WOQHNG Of NWSTAR1A n 

"Brother, whatever truth or falsity may 
lie in this epistle is of the past, and con- 
cerns me alone. It cannot affect the future. 
Speak to me no more of the leaves of last 
autumn." 

"But " began the brother, timidly. 

Keiki sprang to his feet. There was a 
cloud upon his brow, dark and threatening. 
His sword showed half its bare length. 

" Not a word," he said, " or, dearly as I love 
you, this blade shall give you explanation." 

Komozawa bowed submissively and retired. 

In the thoughts that the words of his broth- 
er had called into being Keiki was led to re- 
member the imprisoned Toro, whose existence 
he had forgotten. Immediately he ordered the 
youth before him. 

To his surprise he found that Toro, in- 
stead of appearing sullen or dejected, was 
quite cheerful and optimistic. He greeted the 
Prince with so much bonhomie and frank- 
ness that Keiki was puzzled at first to know 
how to treat him. 

" Toro," he said, " I have come to a decision 
regarding you." 

"That is good," said Toro, at once, "for I 
really am becoming interested in my pros- 
pects." 

" And what are your prospects?" said Keiki. 

Toro fingered his sash buoyantly, and as- 
sumed the attitude of a gay spark. 

" Well, if it please you, my lord, I should 

=^L i &- I * 

207 



THE -WOOING of? V)S7AR)A 



wish to remain in Choshui, but at peace 
and liberty, pray understand." 

Keiki frowned impatiently, but Toro remain- 
ed apparently unconcerned. 

"In fact/' he added, ingenuously, "I would 
very much like to remain in Choshui as a 
guest such as your excellency was in my own 
province. I do assure you, my lord, that I 
have not been treated with the equal hospi- 
tality and courtesy offered to your highness 
in Catzu." 

"It is impossible for you to remain here," 
said Keiki; "matters have changed." 

" Then let me recall a certain promise made 
to me by your excellency. For my services 
in your behalf with my lady cousin in Catzu, 
you in return " 

He stopped abruptly, held by the expression 
on the other's face. For the first time he per- 
ceived that the Prince was in an unnatural 
state of mind. 

"Wistaria, my lord what of her? You do 
not mean to tell me that you failed in your 
suit!" 

With a sob in which no tears intermingled, 
Keiki raised his sword, only to drop it, groan- 
ing inwardly. 

"Return to your father, Toro. Be warned 
by me that this is best. " 

"But I wish to repeat that your highness 
promised " 

" Listen. If you remain here, your life will 



208 



l T & 

IT 





V 



not be safe. Do not further protest. I will 
say this, that if your lordship does not care 
to follow my suggestion, I shall be forced to 
eject you or allow my officers to deal with you.'' 

Toro shrugged angry shoulders, a gesture 
to Keiki reminiscent of his mother. The 
action displeased him. Sharply he clapped 
his hands. To the officers answering his sum- 
mons he said, briefly: 

" Be good enough to have my Lord of Catzu 
taken to Catzu under such escort as he may 
require." To Toro he bowed perfunctorily: 
"Good-day, my lord." 

The preparations and activities of the past 
few months had brought all within the domi- 
nation of Keiki to active readiness for war. 
Keiki himself was now of greater value to 
his cause, since old Satsuma had taught him 
all he knew the result of years of Euro- 
pean study and reading of the making of 
the munitions of war. The lingering disease 
which threatened Satsuma need carry no fear 
to the Imperialists. Keiki, the disciple and 
heir in knowledge to Satsuma, could well 
cope with any man in the world in the utiliza- 
tion of the war resources at his hand. 

Only a pretext, a happening that should 
afford the opening wedge for war, was wanting 
to the Imperialists. The public mind must 
be quieted by the outbreak of hostilities as the 
logical outcome of some event, not as a sudden, 
uncaused outburst. 



It was during these days of waiting that the 
old Lord Satsuma sought Keiki out in the 
interior of the fortress. There was an evident 
perturbation and embarrassment manifest in 
his bearing. Keiki, alarmed lest some ac- 
cident should have endangered one of the 
projects of the labor of years, started upon 
sight of his hereditary friend. 

"My Lord Satsuma, is it ill with you?" he 
inquired with solicitude. 

He noted that the face of Satsuma showed 
as never before that its master would never 
live to see the Restoration. This thought sad- 
dened him. 

Satsuma, though in some pain, smiled 
gently. 

"Ill indeed it is with me," he said. 

Keiki reached out and impulsively seized 
the hand of the old warrior, pressing it with 
sj^mpathy that words could not have expressed. 

"I may not be with you," continued Sat- 
suma, "on the day of the bakufu's undoing." 

"Nay, do not say so." 

"It is so, nevertheless," said Satsuma. "I 
must go before " 

"My lord, it is but the common lot the 
common happiness of life to give up, to cease 
to struggle. Your achievements have been 
many. This rifle by my hand, that cannon 
in the embrasure, all these will speak for you 
with terrible effect after you yourself are long 
silent." 

**. ' a - i ** rr 

210 * 



"Prince Keiki, it is not for myself I think 
thus sadly of life and death. I have a 
daughter. We are on the eve of war, the 
country is unsettled. I cannot leave her un- 
protected to share its uncertain fate." 

"But surely," said Keiki, with a mild sur- 
prise, "your daughter will be well cared for 
among her many honorable relations." 

"Alas, no, that is not possible. Her step- 
mother is ill disposed towards her, and all 
of her brothers are pressed into the Imperialist 
service. " 

"This is very sad," said Keiki, "and if it 
were in my power to aid you I would beseech 
you to command me immediately." 

" It is possible for your highness to aid me," 
said Satsuma, slowly. 

"How? Let me know at once how I can 
do so." 

"By permitting my insignificant daughter 
to have the personal protection of so chival- 
rous a prince as your excellency." 

"My personal protection!" exclaimed Keiki; 
"but I am engaged in the work of warfare." 

" True, but my lady would not distract you 
from these tasks. Her presence in the fortress 
need scarcely be felt." 

Keiki sprang to his feet and began to pace 
the apartment in a perturbed manner. Under 
his thick brows old Satsuma regarded him 
keenly. 

"My lord." said Keiki, stopping suddenly 

-a A gfc * 3^= 

211 



MWSTAR1A 



in his walk, " your suggestion gives me much 
pain, because I am unable to grant your re- 
quest. It is quite impossible. This is not 
the place for a woman." 

Drawing himself up proudly, Satsuma re- 
plied, in a ruffled voice: 

"Very well, your excellency. You refuse 
me." 

After a moment, as Keiki averted his face 
and did not reply, he continued: 

" I am an old man, travelling over the last 
stage of the journey of life. I had a natural 
longing to have with me in these my last days 
my beloved child. Hence, feeling assured 
that you would not deny the wish of a dying 
father, I took the liberty of bringing her hither 
with me." 

"You brought her here!" cried Keiki, in 
amazement. 

" She is within," said the old Prince, quietly, 
as he indicated the interior apartment. 

With difficulty Keiki curbed his temper. 
Satsuma had not long to live. He would tell 
him his secret : he would bare to him the source 
of his buried grief. Thus his old friend would 
recognize the impossibility of his being brought 
into contact with any woman, and perceive 
how unfitted he was for the task of protecting 
her. 

So it happened that while without a storm 
raged, and rainy blasts struck sharply into 
the faces of the sentinels about the fortress, 



212 



TflE-WQgJKGpJr* VJSTAPJA 

Keiki related his story to his aged friend. 
Once during the recital the shoji moved, then 
there appeared in it two tiny holes. Once 
there crept into the room, mingled with the 
tempest and the sentinels' sharp cries without, 
a muffled sob. 

" You have passed through the heart's nar- 
rowest straits to the mind's broadest realm," 
said old Satsuma; "but permit me to still 
insist that while your highness's story has 
touched me deeply, I cannot agree with you 
that it should be permitted to affect the fate 
of my daughter." 

"You are right," said Keiki, gently. "It 
must not do so." 

"You will allow her to remain here?" 

"Yes." 

Satsuma bowed deeply and gratefully. 

"The camp," said Keiki, thoughtfully, "is 
no place for a woman, but here in my fortress 
she will be safe." 

" Your highness," said Satsuma, with much 
emotion in his voice, " no words of mine can 
express the thanks of a grateful heart. Good- 
night, my brave boy; the gods comfort and 
bless you." 

In the adjoining apartment a small figure, 
half crouching by the dividing doors, sprang 
to its feet. A girl ran to him with a little cry 
and threw her arms about his neck, pressing a 
little, wet face gratefully against the heavily 
limned one of the old Prince. 

213 



TtfE .VJOOJNG op 



" It is well," said Satsuma, patting her head. 

" How can I thank thee?" she breathed. 

"By endeavoring to feel as if thou wert 
indeed my own daughter instead of a distant 
relative. But come, thou art pale, and your 
garments are soiled and torn with travel." 

"The journey was long," she sighed, glanc- 
ing at the frayed ends of her kimono, "and 
do you know, my Lord Satsuma," she added, 
"I could scarcely hire a runner to carry me, 
because of my unworldly attire, and so I was 
compelled to make much of the journey on 
foot." 

Meanwhile Keiki sat alone, his hands clasp- 
ed before his eyes. All the bitterness of a 
lifetime welled within his bosom. He was 
trusted above men; at young years the idol 
of a brave nation ; fate was bearing him upon 
a wave of the highest destiny that could not 
fail to beat down the rotten dikes of oppression. 
Yet all this brought no peace, no happiness. 
He realized in a moment the futility of all his 
efforts to put the soul of the Lady Wistaria 
out of his heart. Only in fierce action and 
strain that should engross all his faculties 
could he even find a temporary easement. 
After that, the gods pity him! After that, 
he could not live. There should no longer be 
any delay. There should be war, and that 
speedily, perhaps on the morrow. 

ft, . ^ . .^_ 

214 



TOE - 



WJSTARIA n 





OWEVER fiercely the Prince 
Keiki desired and sought for 
4 instant action, there were ex- 
cellent reasons in the delayed 
march of some of the clans 
journeying to the Mori fortress 
for the temporary postponement 
of hostilities. 

Keiki at first was bitterly 
opposed to any further delay, 
but the reasonable arguments 
of the older daimios and the 
insistence of Satsuma, the prac- 
tical leader of the movement, 
won him over. It was their 
logic, not their authority, which 
restrained him. He would be 

. ... ft. 1 .. J. 

215 



TOE .WOO) NO of 



compelled to wait no longer than a few days 
more, certainly not more than a week. 

One morning shortly after Keiki's interview 
with the Lord Satsuma concerning his reputed 
daughter, who so far had kept apart in strict 
retirement in her apartments in the castle, 
Keiki found in his morning reports a reference 
to the youth Toro. He was riding post-haste 
in the direction of the Choshui province with 
the evident intention of crossing its frontier. 
What was the will of his excellency respect- 
ing him? 

So this, then, was the way in which the rash 
youth repaid his consideration, mused Keiki. 
Or perhaps he came because of the Princess 
Hollyhock. If that were so, he would send 
him back to Catzu again, with a friendly 
warning against the perfidious sex. 

"He approaches the frontier?" he asked 
the soldier who brought the reports. 

"Yes, your highness." 

" Well then, let him ride unmolested towards 
our fortress. So long as he advances do not 
touch him, but at the first sign of his return 
seize him and bring him to me." 

The soldier bowed. 

"It shall be as your highness commands." 

So it was that Toro, to his surprise, was 
allowed to proceed unharmed through the 
hostile country of the Mori. His journey was 
without incident until his arrival before the 
fortress. There a guard barred farther prog- 



216 



TtfE.VSOjNG of WJSTAPJA n 
^ ar -=~3s= n s 



ress with his sword. Toro flung himself from 
his panting charger. 

"The Prince Mori?" he questioned. 

"Expects you and will give you audience 
shortly/' returned the guard. 

The young heir of Catzu was conducted to 
a chamber within the outer circle of the for- 
tress's defensive works. While this chamber 
was not within the inmost area of the edifice 
devoted to the living apartments, yet it was 
sufficiently near for the occasional passage 
of some peaceable member of the household 
through the grimmer servants of war to oc- 
casion no comment. Moreover, it adjoined the 
apartments set aside for the Prince of Satsuma. 

Thus when the daughter of Satsuma chanced 
to pass through the chamber, none showed sur- 
prise until the youthful Toro came. His as- 
tonishment, however, was such that instantly 
his mouth gaped wide. Before sound could 
add its audible testimony to his visible aston- 
ishment, the girl had clapped her hand upon 
his lips. A quick glance about the cham- 
ber told her that they were unobserved. She 
took Toro gently by the shoulder. 

"Come," she said. 

Half an hour later the old Lord Satsuma 
stood before Keiki in alarm. 

"My daughter is not to be found," he cried. 

"Not to be found!" 

" No, my lord. I committed her to thy care. 
Thou didst promise to guard her." 



217 



TfiE .WOOJN& o/* VJSTAPJA 



Keiki was troubled. His conscience smote 
him, for he had painfully put off making the 
acquaintance of Satsuma's daughter and had 
left her to the care of his underlings. 

"My lord," he said, "I will have search 
made at once. Your honorable daughter must 
be found. " 

Satsuma, in deep agitation and concern, left 
his pupil's apartment to make further inquiry 
of the guard. He had advanced but a little 
way into one of the armed outer chambers 
of the fortress when a note was slipped into 
his hand. He tore it open and read it through 
in amazement. After a second reading a 
broad smile overspread his face. He sought 
no more for his daughter. Instead, he de- 
spatched a hurried note to Keiki, briefly in- 
forming him that his insignificant and un- 
worthy daughter had become ill with long- 
ing for her home, and had departed thence 
on her own account. As she was very effi- 
ciently attended, he had no fears for her 
safety. 

Meanwhile Keiki was holding audience with 
Catzu Toro. 

"This, then," he said, severely, "is the 
gratitude of the Catzu for me. I have spared 
your Jife, twice forfeit to me by every law of 
lord and samurai. You have come back, it 
seems, and are determined to make fresh 
trouble for yourself." 

Keiki paused. Toro answered, quickly : 

3- I, a^ J yj 

2T8 



THE. .WOQJNG o/* -WJSTAPJ A n 

-jf- ir rn - -* L _ 



"I have come back to you, your highness, 
to offer ray allegiance and my service." 

' ' Your allegiance ! ' ' 

"My poor aid, rather, to a cause of whose 
nobility I learned during my stay in your 
province. Sovereignty is not with the Sho- 
gun, but the Emperor. Place the rightful 
ruler upon the throne, oust the usurper and 
tyrant, and the rights of the people will be 
listened to." 

"Who taught you these counsels?" 

"My own conscience, my lord." 

Keiki smiled. 

"Are you quite certain, Toro, you did not 
read your new principles in a lady's eyes?" 
he asked, dryly. 

Toro blushed. 

"The Princess Hollyhock appears to have 
been a teacher of some weight," said Keiki. 

Toro cried, warmly: 

"My lord, you do me injustice. I love the 
Princess Hollyhock, it is true I confess it. 
But what my honor dictates, what my con- 
science has seen, has naught to do with the 
Princess." Ingenuously: "Tis, my lord, I 
do protest, but a happy coincidence that her 
views are mine. Were it otherwise, though 
tears did blind my eyes, I should perceive the 
right way; though sorrow choked my voice, 
I still would cry, 'Daigi Meibunor!' 

Toro dropped to his knees, his extrava- 
gance of expression seeming not to have af- 



2IQ 



fected his sincerity. Keiki put out a quick 
hand to raise him. In a voice of deep emotion 
he cried., impulsively: 

" Toro, rny brother, I wronged you. Now I 
make amend and receive you into our service. 
My heart was bitter because of my own sorrow, 
but it still has generosity left for you, friend 
of my hopes. You are of the days of flowers. 
Now, after the flowers have withered, I still 
receive you." 

"The flowers have not withered/' said 
Toro, impulsively. "Do listen to me. Per- 
chance " He broke off in some confusion, 
as by some sudden remembrance. 

"Speak no more, I pray thee," said Keiki, 
commandingly. 

"Forgive me. I would speak of my grati- 
tude to you." 

"Toro, I will place you in command of a 
small company. At first I could not do more 
without antagonizing some of my people. 
They would say that your adherence was too 
recent." 

Toro replied: 

" I do not seek that honor. I ask a humbler 
station. " 

"You shall be upon my personal staff for " 
the present," was Keiki 's response. " Later, as 
occasion offers, I will honorably advance you. " 

Keiki now rose. Bowing to Toro, he sig- 
nified that the interview was at an end. Still 
Toro hesitated. 



220 



TWE AJOOJNC of? 



"You wish to have further talk with me?" 
inquired Keiki. 

" I crave pardon," said Toro, somewhat em- 
barrassed, "but " 

He went towards the doors into the adjoin- 
ing apartment and signalled to some one with- 
in. A youth entered quietly. He was slight, 
yet of a grace that owed its being equally to 
his exquisite proportions and to his entire 
command of his physical being and comport- 
ment. A youth's fringe hid his forehead. 
His eyes, cast down, were veiled from Keiki. 
He did not wear the armor of Toro or Keiki, 
but carried under his arm a small encased 
sword, which he handled easily. 

"My lord," said Toro, "I have, as you 
see, been able to make a recruit. He was 
to be my personal follower, but since I am 
to serve on your staff I have no need of 
him." 

"I am not an exquisite. I do not need a 
little man to follow at my heels," said Keiki, 
surveying with disapproval the dainty lines 
of the little warrior. 

The unwelcome visitor flushed to his ears. 
Toro glanced at him with what seemed a 
suspicion of humor. The youth, seemingly 
infuriated, whipped out his sword. 

A sudden suspicion of treachery came to 
Keiki as he brought his hand to his own 
heavy blade and put it at guard. But the 
thought of the youth attacking him seemed 




221 



TflE .WOO) MG o/* \flSTAPJA 



to amuse him also, so that he took no trouble 
to defend himself. 

Perhaps, too, it was because of his astonish- 
ment, and the heaviness of his blade, and not 
because of lack of skill, that the tiny blade of 
the youth slipped down Keiki's guard, and, 
leaving the line of defence, sought, cut, and 
carried away a rosette from the cuirass of the 
Prince. Plucking it from his blade, the youth 
thrust the rosette into his breast, while on his 
knees he offered his sword to Keiki with its 
point directed towards his own breast. 

Keiki made a motion of surprise. The youth 
had answered, and worthily, his taunt. But his 
life hung upon the generosity of the Prince. 
Toro saw that here was a test of the soul of 
Keiki. 

The Shining Prince laughed loud and 
long. 

"Good! I receive thee at once into my 
service. Thy name?" 

"Jiro, my lord," half whispered the youth 
from his kneeling position. 

"Well, Jiro, just now you held my life in 
your hands. For the sake of a worthy cause 
I thank you for sparing me. A thrust in the 
loosened corsage below that rosette would have 
done for me." 

Jiro rose to his feet, but remained with his 
head respectfully bowed before the Prince. 

Toro clapped him on his slight shoulder. 

"In the days soon to come, when your life 

^==3C====3> 4fe 1 & 

222 



is sought by the foes of the cause, my lord 
Jiro and I will protect you." 

When Toro, flushed with his strange suc- 
cess, sought the Lady Hollyhock, he found 
her wholly unresponsive. 

"In faith, my lord/' she said, mockingly, 
"it was not right for you, a Catzu lord, to ride 
through the outposts of your hereditary enemy, 
simply for a glimpse of an unworthy and in- 
significant maiden." 

"Nay" remonstrated Toro. 

" To abandon your father's house and hopes 
for a girl that is not what the daughters of 
Nipon are taught." 

"My dearest lady" 

" To follow one's conscience were an honor, 
but to forget all blindly, to betray your cause, 
to betray your house to win a wife. Think 
you she would have you after such perfidy? 
She would not be worth possessing did she 
favor you then." 

One little, unfeeling hand Toro carried to his 
heart. 

"Dear lady," he said, "I did not do it for 
thee." 

The Lady Hollyhock frowned, and withdrew 
her hand immediately. 

"You did not?" she exclaimed. 

"Nay, dear lady. I did it because of my 
conscience, because I believe in the Emperor, 
and not the Shogun." 

The Princess turned her back upon him. 



223 



THE.' 

"-t -*^"- ~^ ' * "- - " JL" I-"- 

"You are angry, sweet lady?" interrogated 
the agitated Toro. 

No reply. 

"Lady, you were angry with me when you 
thought I did it for you, and now when you 
know I did not you are still angry." 

"A princess must have her brave knight," 
said the Lady Hollyhock, haughtily. 

"You know why I did it," said Toro, ready 
to forswear everything at her demand. 

Again he sought her hand, but still she 
denied him. 

" Oh, not so fast, my lord. Let me whisper 
to you a report I have heard. " 

"A report concerning me?" said Toro, in 
bewilderment. 

" Concerning a certain Catzu gentleman who 
recently awaited an audience with the Prince 
Mori. He was placed in a certain interior 
chamber, which happened to adjoin the apart- 
ments of the daughter of a certain prince of 
prominence. This Catzu gentleman, it is 
said, disappeared into this lady's private 
apartments. Since which time the lady 
has been banished to Satsuma by her own 
father." 

"Lady," said Toro, in a great state of 
mingled fear and bewilderment, "I pray thee 
repeat not such a story, even to the flowers." 

With a scornful and angry little laugh, 
the Lady Hollyhock, who had inwardly hoped 
for a denial by her lover, stepped away. 

? i. . i a 

224 



TOE AGOING of VW5TAPJ A n 

_ ^ r iTTl __ i _ n -r 



"I am not likely/' she said, "to tell of my 
own supplanting." 

She drew the doors sharply between them. 

Toro, alone, mused upon the imputation of 
her words. 

"She is mine if I tell her a secret/' he said, 
" but that secret is not my own ; I cannot tell 
it!" He added, with a naive wisdom: "Nor 
can I trust her. A woman is like unto a vol- 
cano, which, even when inactive, is palpitating 
to spit forth its fire, and which, when it does 
vent its fury, bursts the bounds of its late en- 
forced suppression." 



225 



THE. 



of \STAR)A 



JBb. 




A 




* 



SMALL portion of the night 
had been spent by the Prince in 
that sleep, troubled by nervous 
starts and awakenings, which 
was now his only repose, when 
there was a sound of disorder 
in the great enclosure without 
the fortress. The challenging 
of sentinels, the rattle of arms, 
the gallop of a considerable 
body of horse, came to him 
plainly within the palace in- 
terior. 

Hastily Keiki passed through 
the castle apartments to a para- 
pet high above the area of the 
enclosure. Leaning against a 

! .. $& Jk 3F 

226 



Op WJSTAf 



SJ 



& 



4 



cannon, he sought among the shadows for the 
cause of the disturbance. If he had any fears 
as to the state of his defences, none appeared 
in his face, now grown impassive almost to 
the point of apathy. 

Gradually, as his eyes became accustomed 
to the semi-darkness of the enclosure, he saw 
that his followers were receiving an accession 
of fresh troops, many of whom were mounted. 
Quarters for the rest of the night were being 
made ready for the new-comers. Plainly, it was 
the arrival of some of the long-exp'ected clans. 

With the knowledge that a report would be 
made presently, for such was his standing 
order by day or by night, Keiki returned to his 
apartments, seeking, after a few further prep- 
arations, the chamber in which he was ac- 
customed to receive guests. 

Soon a number of his people, among them 
Toro and the boy Jiro, ushered in his cousin, 
the cadet Lord of Nagato. Scarcely had he 
announced the number and strength of the 
clans he had gathered about him, when he 
burst out: 

"Strange news, your highness!" 

"Speak," said Keiki, briefly. 

" With these eyes have I seen it. Ill augurs 
it for our kind and cause." 

"Speak," said Keiki, impatiently. 

" My lord, I have just come from Yedo, 
whither I went alone in disguise, joining my 
men only yester morn." 



227 



- . n 

U fr % a Jk- 1 \ 



"My lord," said the impatient Keiki, "pray 
remember that the hour is late. All things 
wait upon your utterance. Tell me in a breath 
what is your news. What did you see in 
Yedo?" 

" Foreign ships - of - war sailing up the 
harbor." 

"What was their purpose?" 

"They demand the opening of our ports, 
closed for two hundred years, to the trade of 
the world." 

Keiki reflected. 

"It is evil this complication with foreign 
peoples at this time," he said. "But proceed, 
my lord." 

The other continued: 

" Four foreign ships-of-war are now in Yedo 
Bay. They are American. They are in much 
doubt as to who is the ruler of the country. 
The Shogun lyesada has assured them that 
he reigns supreme. Treaties are now being 
negotiated. The Shogun has taken it upon 
himself to change the policy of our country 
without reference to the Son of Heaven" (the 
Mikado). 

"This is treason," cried Keiki. "We must 
march against the Shogun at once." 

"Nay, my lord, permit an insignificant 
vassal to suggest that our country must pre- 
sent at this critical juncture an undivided front 
against the foreigner. It may be that the 
Shogun in his weakness before the foreigner L 



228 



TflE .VOOjfSG o/? VJSTARJA 



but temporizes in his presence. The foreigner 
must be expelled, and, after that, the Shogun 
dealt with." 

" You are right, my lord. I congratulate 
you upon your wisdom and foresight, and 
beg that you will now retire to rest." 

" May I inquire whether you purpose taking 
any action, your highness?" inquired Nagato. 

"I am decided," said Keiki. " In the morn- 
ing I shall set out for Yedo, whatever the peril. 
I must make observations." 

Long after the others had retired, Keiki tried 
to review clearly the train of events that had 
led up to this occurrence. He must decide 
upon his course. In spite of the European 
knowledge transferred to him by the Lord of 
Satsuma, the very term "foreigner" sent a 
vague thrill of unknown terror to his soul. 
He had been told of their arms and other 
methods of warfare; many of their secrets 
were his. He had, if not their armaments, at 
least fair imitations gunpowder, cannon, and 
rifles. Yet in spite of all this, an emotion 
that was not fear, not cowardice, made its way 
subtly to his heart. These foreigners stood 
for a strange civilization which, despite his 
vaguely derived knowledge, might yet include \ 
greater destructive agencies. 

Then who could clearly see beyond their 
diplomacy? They might come simply, as they 
said, to demand 'open ports. But their own 
history showed that such things had been the L 



229 



forerunners of wars of aggression, wars for 
the acquisition of territory. No man might 
know what the extent of the latter demanded. 
They were a distinct peril to the whole of Dai 
Nippon. Yet what was to be done with regard 
to the shogunate? lyesada was dealing with 
these foreigners, making treaties, without the 
sanction of his imperial master, the Mikado. 
If, on the other hand, Keiki should move with 
all his forces against the Shogun, would not 
the foreigners, taking advantage of civil war, 
better their mysterious position and gain 
whatever object they might have in view? 

No, it seemed clear to Keiki that, unless 
something unforeseen intervened, every energy 
must be made by a united country to keep out 
the foreign powers. When this was definite- 
ly accomplished the Mikado's reign would be 
established with little delay before the foreign- 
ers could recover. 

This was the final and definite conclusion 
reached by Keiki. He saw a certain advan- 
tage in the arrival of the foreign ships-of-war, 
provided they came in good faith. They would 
serve to distract attention from the aroused and 
armed state in which the southern provinces 
now were, to which they had been brought 
under his direction. 

"I will go to Yedo at sunrise," he told him- 
self. 

His temples were throbbing painfully, the 
result of long nights without sleep, of long 

=3====3^==^^ 
230 



TflE .WdOJWG <*r \WSTAR)A 

-* -as: -3T- -^ 1 I;-? 

days of thought and care. He sighed and 
drew his hand across his brow. 

"My lord is ill?" 

He started at the voice. It had a vaguely 
familiar sound. The young boy, Jiro, had 
started towards him a pace, and then had re- 
treated backward, as though overcome by his 
temerity. 

"My lord is ill?" 

"An insignificant pain in the brow," said 
the Prince. 

The boy slipped behind the Prince softly 
and fell upon one knee. 

" Dear lord, will you not permit me to relieve 
the pain of your august brow?" 

The Prince stirred uneasily. Again the 
strange quality of the boy's voice touched some 
hidden spring of memory. Taking his silence 
as consent, the boy laid a soft, cool hand on 
either side of Keiki's temples, pressing them 
with his finger-tips. The action, the touch, 
recalled in an instant a memory that was bet- 
ter sleeping. It was thus the Lady Wistaria 
had been wont to woo away the pain that beset 
his brow when he had lain ill in her father's 
house. 

Suddenly the Prince clasped his hands over 
those on his brow. Gradually he was drawing 
Jiro to a position facing him, when, eluding 
the Prince's grasp, Jiro sank to the floor and 
laid his head at Keiki's feet. 

"Oh, my lord, I beseech you not to be an- 



231 



THE JWOOJNG cjr? 



* 



gry with me for my forwardness. It was my 
solicitude for your pain " 

"Nay, rise," said the Prince, gently. "Pray 
do not confound me with apologies." 

With his head still drooping, the boy re- 
treated towards the door. 

The Prince smiled at the fear apparent in 
Jiro's demeanor. 

"You have done me no ill," he said, kindly; 
" you have actually soothed away the pain. I 
thank you." 




I 



;' 




PON his arrival in Yedo, Keiki 
made use of every precaution 
his ingenuity could devise, that 
the Imperialists might not dis- 
cover his presence in the capital 
of the Shogun's government. 
His approach to the city had 
been attended only by Toro and 
Jiro, but during the last stage 
of the journey the three had 
separated, entering the city from 
opposite directions to meet in an 
isolated quarter near the water- 
front. Here the Imperialist par- 
ty found it advantageous to 
maintain a small establishment 
whose squalid exterior gave no 

t __-t- I *r 
233 



of vn 



promise of the comparative comfort to be en- 
joyed beyond the threshold by those in posses- 
sion of the pass-word. 

From this house the movements and plans, 
the thoughts even, of the shogunate govern- 
ment in its own Yedo capital were observed 
and reported to those seeking the return of 
rightful sovereignty to the Mikado in his 
Kioto capital. Here at all hours of the night 
came men in mean dress, whose bearing, 
though consciously abased to that of mer- 
chants or laborers, was unmistakably that 
of the noble; here came strange, imperious 
young men who might pose as water-carriers, 
but whose hands sought an imaginary sword- 
belt at the least obstacle, and slight youths 
whose loose garments too poorly hid the 
curves of feminine figures. Of late the ac- 
tivity and the going to and fro of these per- 
sons had increased, but apparently without 
exciting the attention of the municipal au- 
thorities. 

Although the young Prince of Mori had em- 
ployed all artifice in gaining the Yedo head- 
quarters of his party, yet he was surprised to 
note that his person attracted scarcely any 
attention. His position of peril, and his natu- 
rally observant mind, on guard to catch the 
slightest suspicious augury, would have led 
him to exaggerate any apparently hostile 
glance. Everywhere, the sole topic was of 
the foreigners, their strange behavior, their 

- = 1 sk. I 3 

** 234 



TflE.V/oojNGCj* WISTARIA n 
fr-^ ^ a -* i j 



stated purposes, their mysterious ways, and 
their utter indifference to all Japanese usage. 

When Keiki had been greeted by his fellow- 
Imperialists, and he had described to them 
the state of his southern resources, they in 
turn gave him such information as they had 
concerning the foreigners, whose arrival had 
obscured the future of their operations against 
the shogunate. The Prince of Echizen, tem- 
porarily in charge of the headquarters, re- 
ported in detail to his military superior the 
events which he had not yet described in his 
regular despatches to the head of the Mori 
family. 

"I was unable, my lord, to send you further 
news," he said, "beyond the mere verbal re- 
port communicated by the Lord of Nagato 
before your departure." 

The foreigners, he went on to say/ had been 
on the coast some days now. They had first 
appeared in the bay of Yedo. 

"Why were they not sent to Nagasaki?" 
demanded Keiki. "They should have been 
told that all foreign affairs are administered 
from that port." 

"Ah," returned Echizen, "they are dealing 
with the bakufu, not the Emperor." 

"Proceed, I beg you." 

" When first they came upon the coast they 
announced to the Governor of Niaga that 
they bore letters and presents from the Presi- 
dent of the United States of America ; that they 

3 - x -m. . i a 



WE .WOOING 



must deliver them to the Emperor in person, 
or to a high official appointed for that purpose. 
They were told by the shogunate, which took 
upon itself the right of dealing with matters 
intended for our Emperor, to go to Nagasaki. 
They replied by moving nearer up the bay 
to Yedo, which they took to be the Emperor's 
capital. 

"They have sent out parties in boats to 
take soundings in the bay, despite the Gov- 
ernor's protests, and each hour brings them 
nearer to Yedo. This frightened the sho- 
gunate, which finally set a day for landing. 
To-morrow, near the fishing village of Yoko- 
hama, they are to land and present their let- 
ters to commissioners appointed by the Shogun 
to receive them. They will await a reply." 

"What is their nature and strength?" de- 
manded Keiki. 

"They are four ships -of -war. They are 
Americans, and in command of a high Lord 
Perry." 

"But why do they deal with the Shogun?" 

The Prince of Echizen replied: 

" They are ignorant of our true internal con- 
dition. They do not know that we have one 
true Emperor, a shadow of power, and a war 
lord, a Shogun, who rules for himself. These 
Americans are of the opinion that they are 
treating with the Mikado, with the Emperor 
of Japan. Their letters and credentials are 
inscribed to the Emperor of Japan." 



236 



WJSTAPJA 



QEIK 



J^ 



Keiki reflected upon what Echizen had told 
him. The national situation was rapidly be- 
coming strained. If the foreigners should be 
driven from the country, well and good; but 
it was now no time to attack the shogunate, 
which must be as embarrassed as its oppo- 
nent over the advent of the Americans. In 
all events, the only present policy was delay. 
The shogunate might be destroyed by the 
foreigners, yet 

A sudden determination came to Keiki. He 
must know the attitude of the Shogun, even 
at risk to himself. He turned to the future 
premier. 

"Your highness/' he asked, "can you pro- 
cure for me a uniform of the household of 
lyesada?" 

"What! the Shogun?" 

"Yes." 

"Certainly. In fact, one of our clan, who 
is secretly in sympathy with us, is a member 
of the Shogun's household and stands close 
to his august person. You may pass for the 
Lord Sakura." 

Keiki, wrapped in a long cloak, stood near 
the entrance of the house awaiting some favor- 
able moment, when the street should be clear 
of passers-by, to slip out into the night. As 
he was about to make a sudden spring to 
gain the street a hand clutched the hem of 
his cloak. The boy Jiro was restraining 
him. 

j * -"A, I J 

237 



TfiE .yooiING QJ* VflSTAPJA n 

" "~ ~ "" 



"Go not out alone, my lord," he entreated. 

Keiki frowned impatiently. 

" One would think I were about to encounter 
danger. I go but to observe. There is no 
danger," he said, sharply. 

The trembling hand of the boy Jiro tore wide 
the cloak. 

" This uniform, my lord. It is of the Sho " 

Keiki, feeling a pang of sorrow at hurting 
the boy, but determined upon his mission, did 
not defer action long. At any moment, the 
street comparatively quiet, might be filled with 
wayfarers. He pushed Jiro gently but in- 
sistently from him and went out into the city. 

At first he kept to the side streets, travers- 
ing much useless distance, but directing his 
general course towards the palace of the Sho- 
gun. Once or twice he thought himself fol- 
lowed, but, retracing his steps, came upon 
no pursuer. Finally he came to the ave- 
nues, where further concealment were fruit- 
less and would only invite suspicion. In 
these thoroughfares, therefore, he flung back 
his cloak, permitting liberal glimpses of his 
bakufu uniform. 

He found still the utmost indifference per- 
vading the city concerning the movements of ^ 
mere individuals, be they of the court of the 
Shogun or the cpurt of thieves. In the story- 
tellers' halls and the theatres, on the street 
corner and in all public places, groups specu- 
lated upon the presence of the foreigners in 

iz-aL i a- r ;;= 

238 



THE A/OOJNG ojf VJSTAPJ A 

^ a ^T :3 



Japan. There was abroad a subtle, indefin- 
able fear that in some way the coming of the 
foreigners was to change the destiny of the 
empire. The more ignorant could not see 
clearly in what way this was to come about, 
but there was present in their consciousness 
fear of an impending evil. 

Nobles of both parties were unsettled. The 
foreign visitation might mean annihilation to 
either party. Ruin it did mean to one, but 
which? The shogunate seemed in the ascend- 
ant, since it had been recognized, blindly, 
but still recognized, by the foreigners. Thus 
among all classes there was manifest a great 
unrest, none the less threatening and fearful 
because its import was hidden. Plainly the 
shadow of events to come had darkened the 
nation's mind. 

The tradesman in his shop, showing his 
wares to a purchaser, stated their price un- 
certainly. 

" Just now, honorable sir, the price is three 
yen, but the gods alone know what it will be 
to-morrow, whether more, less, priceless be- 
yond measure, or smaller than nothing at all. 
The barbarians " 

" Ah yes, these barbarians." His purchaser 
would nod understandingly. 

At a street corner a woman approached a 
strolling samurai in the Shogun's uniform. 

"Honorable samurai," she said, "what of 
the foreigners who have come?" 



239 



TflE -WOOING jtf* VJJ3TAPJA 



The samurai shrugged his shoulders. 

" I'll tell you all I know of them," he mur- 
mured, without enthusiasm. 

A group formed about him. 

" What do you know of them?" pressed one. 

"Tell us all/' said another. 

The samurai shifted one of the swords. 

"Of a certainty I'll tell you all." 

"Yes?" 

"Of a truth they have come/' he answered, 
as with a movement of disclaimer he passed 
up the street. 

In the story-tellers' halls the reciter was 
besieged with requests for stories and informa- 
tion concerning the Americans. In some cases 
he frankly avowed his ignorance, and in others 
regaled his hearers with the weirdest tales of 
a resourceful imagination. 

Witnessing incidents of this kind upon every 
side, Keiki continued on his way to the palace. 
Of one thing he was now fully assured. What- 
ever policy for the future might be decided on 
by him and his associates could not be put into 
immediate effect. The popular impulse, the 
popular mind was dazed, and was not ready 
for action. Meanwhile he would learn all he 
could of the intentions of both foreigners and 
Shogun. 

Keiki was now quite near the palace of the 
Shogun. His cloak he threw carelessly about 
him in such wise that while his uniform was 
exposed his features were muffled. The gate j r 



240 



THE A/OOJNG Qf WJSTAR) A 

- %- ^ - :11P ^ - 1 



before which stood the samurai on guard at 
the outer post was open. Without a word Kei- 
ki strode haughtily past the guards. They 
gave no challenge. 

Within the grounds enclosed by the stone 
walls there was no reflection of the disquiet 
manifest throughout the city. From the broad, 
elevated balconies of the palace, shining in the 
soft light diffused through the fusuma, there 
floated down to the strained ears of Keiki the 
sound of women's laughter and the harsher 
tone of men's voices. Music mingled with 
other sounds that indicated the quiet enjoy- 
ment of the night. The very guards at the 
doors were careless in the performance of their 
duties, looking with the eye of artistic appre- 
ciation upon the night's gentle festivities. 

Still undisturbed, Keiki passed through the 
palace entrances. An officer of the guard 
stared curiously for a moment after him once, 
then turned in forgetfulness to answer a 
woman's jest. Keiki ascended a stairway. 
In an upper ante -room he met an under- 
menial. 

"The chamber of the Shogun," he said, 
coldly. 

"Honorable lord," began the menial. 

Prince Mori thrust a parchment before his 
eyes. 

"The chamber of the Shogun at once," he 
said, sternly; "these despatches admit of no 
delay." 



241 



TflE-VQQJiNG of VJ3TARJA r 

" His august excellency is very ill and has 
retired," said the servant. 

Keiki turned upon him shortly. 

"I know. Go!" 

The attendant preceded him. 

" One minute/' said Keiki ; " understand, my 
mission is secret. But pronounce the name 
Sakura to his augustness." 

The man bent low. Then he entered a 
chamber. He reappeared shortly, and having 
signed to Keiki to enter, disappeared down a 
stairway. Keiki waited until his footsteps had 
passed away. Then he crossed the threshold, 
hesitating in the fashion of one who enters a 
strange apartment for the first time, conscious 
that its occupant has an advantage of prior 
acquaintance. 



242 



T - 



wmAPJA 

3P-. XI 




OR a moment Keiki was blinded 
by the profusion of light that 

4 blazed near the door of entrance, 
leaving the rest of the cham- 
ber in shadow. It was a large 
room, its walls tapestried in silk, 
wrought with embossed figures 
telling the history of the early 
Tokugawa wars. At irregular 
intervals about the room were set 

4 screens bearing the same gold- 
embroidered, symbolic figures. 
There were a few low tables, 
against which were thrown the 
implements and paraphernalia 
of war swords, helmets, cui- 
rass, armor, all richly wrought. 

243 



VJJSTAPJA 



"Who are you?" 

Keiki became conscious of a presence in 
the room. Stretched upon a low divan in a 
shadowed recess lay an indistinct figure, at 
whose elbow a low table, piled high with parch- 
ment and writing materials, stood. 

"Who are you?" repeated the voice. 

Keiki approached nearer, bowing courteous- 
ly, though somewhat stiffly. 

"Sakura," he said, to gain time, while he 
held out a roll of paper in his hand. He drew 
nearer to the figure on the divan. The cold 
eyes of the other scanned him without fear. 

"You are not Sakura. You are 1 know 
you. Be good enough to bring me that 
cabinet." 

Keiki crossed the apartment to the spot in- 
dicated by the other's gesture. He brought 
a small, inlaid, lacquer box to the side of the 
divan. 

The one upon the divan, without a trace of 
nervousness, opened the box and held up to 
the Prince of Mori a picture of himself. 

"See," he said, "I have your portrait, with 
an interesting description attached of certain 
cannon foundries and works I believe you main- 
tain in the south. Ah, there is something 
else written beneath the picture." He held it 
to the light. "Mori, head of the rebel cause, 
to be followed and beheaded. WTiat is it you 
want with me?" he finished, replacing the 
portrait in the box. 

4 -Ji- & i . ^c= 

244 



Ttf E -VJOOjNG OF WJSTAR) A n 

3=& -a -y t 

Mori laid his hand upon his sword. 

"What do you want with lyesada? I am 
he, as you are well aware. It is less than a 
year, I believe, since your lordship was at my 
court." 

Mori winced. The memory of that last visit 
recalled his first meeting with Wistaria. He 
became very pale. 

"What do you want with me?" inquired the 
other, quietly watching him. 

"To know your intentions towards the for- 
eigners." 

"Are you aware," returned the Shogun, 
" that a single sign from me would bring down 
a thousand guards upon your head?" 

Mori smiled coldly, grimly. 

" Ah, but your highness will not make that 
sign," he said. 

"Why will I not?" 

"Because your highness loves life." 

"You would murder me?" 

" I would cut off your head and show it to the 
people as the head of a traitor and an enemy 
to the Son of Heaven." 

The Shogun appeared rather amused than 
alarmed. He regarded Mori with a peculiar 
and penetrating glance. Then he sighed. 
& "I was young and venturesome once," he 
said. " I, too, at one time, secretly believed as 
you do. Now " He shrugged his shoulders. 

"What are your intentions regarding these 
foreigners?" 



245 



TfiE BOOING ojr? \ttSTAR)A n 

-yr, . . . "^c* " ' "^IT ' " " Tjjfc" " ' " "TT ' 

"Are you here to treat with me, young 
Mori?" 

"If you wish, yes. I represent a consider- 
able party in the empire. I ask with right, 
for one day I shall unthrone your excellency." 

lyesada turned himself quickly upon his 
elbow, while his eyes continued to scrutinize 
the other keenly. 

"What would you do in my place?" he 
asked. 

" Refuse their every demand and drive them 
into the sea," returned Mori, as the blood tinged 
his cheek. 

"No, you would not; that is, not if you are 
as far-sighted as I take you to be. Japan has 
been sealed to the foreigners for two hundred 
years, during which time she has grown strong 
in the development of her resources and her 
civilization. That period is at an end. It can 
never return. Foreign nations will demand 
trade with us. They will not depart at our 
refusal. They will use force, if necessary, 
holding that every nation must share in the 
comity of nations. If a nation refuse, they 
will divide her." 

"Pah!" said Mori, impatiently. "Isthepoli- 
cy, then, of our Imperial realm to be dictated 
by a hoard of barbarous peoples concerning 
whom we know naught, save what our history 
in the past has taught us? When in the years 
long past they were admitted to our lands and 
we opened our arms in hospitality towards 



246 



n T flEWOO]NG OF VflSTAPJA 

them, what was our reward? Foreign disease, 
insolent demands, a fanatical religion, intol- 
erant and exacting. Finally we came to be 
treated as dogs by these our inferiors until 
we were forced to expel them, since which 
time has not our land been the happier for our 
seclusion?" 

"It would seem," said lyesada, "that you 
are not, in spite of the reports I have heard 
concerning you, keeping abreast of the times. 
You are not a son of the dawning new Japan ; 
you would retard the progression which is 
pressing upon us from all sides." 

"I would not have this progression come 
from the outside. I would have my country 
advance from within. That is the reason I am 
an Imperialist. You are right, my lord ; a new 
Japan is about to dawn, but not through the 
invasion of yonder barbarians, but because 
the rightful ruler of our country will be re- 
stored to his throne." 

lyesada frowned. 

" Again I ask," continued Mori, flushed with 
his feeling, " do you intend to treat with these 
foreigners?" 

"1 will treat with them. I will yield, but 
combating every step." 

" I could declare a truce with you," said Mori, 
"and I possess the power to enforce it, iS you 
will assume your rightful function of war 
lord and expel the foreigners." 

lyesada looked him through. There was in 



247 



7WE -WOOING of? \WSTARJA 



his glance the patient scorn of the man who 
sees beyond his life. 

"You appear, Prince of Mori, to appreciate 
European civilization, you who have fashioned 
rifles. I have looked to you as one who might 
think with me. I thought you represented 
progress, in spite of the fact that your activities 
were directed against myself. I have left you to 
yourself for a time. I thought you saw, as I 
see, the new Japan, the Japan that in self- 
defence must assimilate European civilization 
to beat back these Europeans. I could offer 
you much." 

" I belong to the Emperor, who rules by the 
right of the gods." 

To his feet the Shogun leaped. Into his 
disease-deadened eyes there came the fire of 
strong will. He raised his arm. 

"Sovereignty belongs to " 

" The Emperor," finished Mori, passion- 
ately. 

"To the strongest," said the Shogun; "to 
that one who, seizing it, by his ability and 
wisdom uses it for the good of all. I am strong 
he is weak. The strong " 

The Shogun ceased. Across his face there 
shot a spasm of acute pain. His breath came 
in gasps. Mori helped him to regain his couch. 
He smiled gently, sorrowfully. 

" I said I was strong, yet I am indeed weak. 
I cannot live to see the new Japan. You 
may; but go, go! I have tried to save you 

=ST JL - '-& I - 3 - 

248 



n TOE .WOOJNG <?p VNSTAPJA n 

=3p % ^ -y 1 a : 

from the folly of blind enthusiasm. You dis- 
appoint me " 

"My lord!" 

"I will allow you to go in peace. Until 
now I have thought well of you. Now I give 
you up to your fate. Your life is in danger." 

Mori's hands clutched his sword-hilt. The 
Shogun shook his hand weakly. 

" Not now. You may leave the place safely, 
but I warn you that henceforth you will be 
hunted. You will be killed the moment you 
show yourself. I give you twelve hours!" 

Keiki bowed profoundly but coldly. 

"As you please, my lord," he said, in leave- 
taking. 

As Mori retraced his steps through cross- 
streets he heard hesitating footsteps behind 
him. 

His sword flashed out. Running around 
an angle in the street, he came upon a slight 
figure. 

"Who goes there?" he shouted. 

"It is I, my lord," said a strangely sweet 
voice. 

" Jiro! Well, my boy, so you followed me?" 

"To protect you, my lord." 
'Mori's amused eyes scanned the slim figure 
of the stripling. He laughed tenderly. 

"There was no need. I have twelve hours 
yet," he said, reflectively. 



249 



of VJSTAPJA 

3 





S Jiro followed closely behind 
his master on their return to the 
little house by the water-front, 
he noticed signs of intense pre- 
occupation and irritation in Mori. 
The boy attempted to walk beside 
him, gazing into his face with 
that wistful appeal of the eye 
which Mori had been unable to 
fathom whenever his attention 
was caught by it. Now he was too 
much occupied with his thoughts 
to be more than disturbed by it. 
With a gesture of impatience he 
exclaimed, abruptly : 

" Thou, Jiro, walk a space be- 
hind me. " 



250 



WJSTAPJA 



Jiro fell back. In this wise they proceeded 
for some minutes until Jiro perceived that 
Mori was making signals to him. Jiro, quick- 
ening his step, came nearer to the Prince. 

"Jiro, thou sluggard, hasten," called the 
Prince. 

Jiro made trembling haste. 

" Call a norimon at once," ordered his master. 

Jiro ran into an adjacent street, returning 
shortly with the vehicle, at whose curtains he 
stood waiting for his lord to enter. Keiki's 
absent glance fell upon the face of Jiro. It 
was tear-stained. The eyes wore that strange 
expression of appeal which always touched 
certain emotions in the heart of Mori, so that 
even in his harshest mood he could never be 
otherwise than gentle with the lad. Enter- 
ing the palanquin, he drew Jiro in after him. 

For a time they travelled in silence. Jiro 
broke it to inquire very timidly: 

"Whither do we go, my lord?" 

If Mori heard him he made no sign. The 
journey was continued in silence. At the end 
of what seemed to Jiro two full hours, Mori 
dismounted from the carriage and bade the 
runners wait for him. Jiro saw that they were 
upon the ridge of a headland overlooking the 
bay at whose head stood the Shogun's city of 
Yedo. 

At a sign from Keiki the boy followed the 
Prince down a path leading to the shore below. 
As they made their rough way along, Jiro saw 



251 



TttE-WQQJNG qf* VJ5TAPJA n 

lights flashing out in the bay, and occasionally 
he thought he heard the sound of oars. 

A great distance up the shore he saw men at 
work upon a little building facing the bay. 
They were busily engaged by the light of 
abundant torches. The speed of Mori, how- 
ever, permitted the boy to take few observa- 
tions. Already his breathing was heavy and 
labored in his attempt to keep up with his 
master. 

As they neared the water the curvature of 
the shore hid the torch-lighted spot from view. 
With sullen glance directed ahead of him, 
Mori kept on until he stood almost at the edge 
of the water, which in lapping, inky darkness 
glided and twisted at his feet. Then with his 
chin resting upon his arm, half reclining 
against a giant bowlder which, torn from the 
headland above, had ploughed a grudging way 
hither, Keiki looked out across the water. 

It was silent a silence made impressive and 
accentuated by elemental sounds, the lapping 
of the water below, the bursting of a crested 
wave, the swirl of pebbles and sand thrust 
insistently up the beach by the drive of the 
water. The darkness seemed a thing alive, 
which, taking on fiendish, malign personali- 
ty, sought to blind the mind, the heart, the 
emotions, as it did the eyes. 

There was an all-pervading suggestion of 
fate, of adversity, of other propagated in- 
fluences through the night. Subtle spirits 

4 1 *- * J 

U 252 



TflE.WOOJNG of VJSTAPJA 

^rzrrr-% ' 3L --% .juz: 

hovered, circled through the air, met, clashed 
their wings, turned, trembled down, down. 
Jiro could have shrieked aloud, could he have 
found voice. 

Gradually, faintly, as the monotony of the 
natural sounds numbed his physical sense of 
hearing, Jiro found that a new sense of appeal 
to his ear was being made, off in the darkness. 
As they reached his consciousness, with their 
unmistakable human origin strongly impress- 
ed, his fright gave way. In its place came the 
calm of nerves raised to a higher tension. It 
was now the creaking of chains, the wooden 
friction of oars, the movements of men on board 
ship. All at once lights gleamed forth. They 
defined by their frequency and position the out- 
lines of a vessel not unlike the smaller native 
boats plying in the bay. Other lights appeared 
in quick succession. Soon the forms of four 
giant vessels were indicated rather than re- 
vealed. 

" The foreigner!" said Jiro, under his breath. 

Then high up in the air, above the lead- 
ing of the four defined vessels, flashed a vari- 
ety of colored lights. These were instantly 
answered from the others. There was the 
rhythmic sound of men at work upon some 
& machine, the clatter of chains at the bows, and 
the vessels moved nearer to the shore. 

These manoeuvres were partially understood 
by Keiki. The lord of that fleet, hitherto un- 
seen by any Japanese, was getting up his 

j. t ^_^_ _ -_- -. _- rrT ^ -_ : i \ 

C 3 a{ . ...JL, -gfc= JU . jdL- -^. 

*> 253 B 



*. WQ)N& 



anchors and drawing nearer to the shore, 
having sent out his boats first to take proper 
soundings. 

Every light below the deck line revealed an 
open port, and every open, lighted port show- 
ed a gun slung shoreward. The squadron's 
people were to land the next day, but they were 
all vigilance in the mean time. 

One by one the vessels moved to their new 
positions. After an interval, the noise and 
movement seemed to cease about them. A 
light was hoisted aloft on board the leading 
vessel. Instantly every light disappeared from 
the ports, and the blackness of the night again 
enveloped their movements. 

Mori turned towards the boy, noting curious- 
ly the spasmodic working of his features. 

"What is it, Jiro?" he asked, kindly. 

"It is a strange civilization," said Jiro, in a 
choking voice. 

" Civilization ! ' ' repeated Keiki " civiliza- 
tion! I seem to hear that word everywhere 
to-night." 



254 



TtfE 



ojf? NASTARtA 





LL through the night, while 
Mori and other Imperialists look- 
ed interrogatively to the forces 
within and without the coun- 
try, and while the dreaded 
foreigners kept careful watch 
upon their ships, native arti- 
sans reared the structure after- 
wards known in the memories 
of the strangers as the " Treaty 
House/' 

Simple as was the building, its 
erection was attended with cer- 
tain outward signs which would 
have led the observer to identify 
in them the same spirit pervad- 
ing the market - place, the open 

255 



THE .WOOJNG of WJSTAPJ A 






public gathering space, the theatres, the 
shops. 

Those who labored under torch-light, an un- 
usual proceeding in itself, were impressed with 
a misshapen, grotesque, wholly undefined fear. 
Artisans as they were, they realized, if sub- 
consciously, that their act had in it the germs 
of a future dark and ominous, their instincts 
asserted. The Japanese officials of a minor 
grade who directed the work, being higher in 
the scale of intelligence, were by no means so 
vague in their minds. They believed firmly 
that the raising of this simple building meant 
the downfall of their country, its government, 
its institutions. Rapacious foreigners for two 
centuries had insulted them and flouted at 
Japan, had returned to accept no delay or 
parley. 

Indeed, certain sub-rosa expressions of opin- 
ion and declarations of purpose among offi- 
cers of the fleet, translated to them by visitors 
to the foreign ships of that alien nation alone 
tolerated in Japan at this period the Dutch 
had deepened the alarm. The strangers had 
said in effect : " No nation has a right to with- 
draw herself from the comity and commerce of 
other nations. Japan must come to this view ; \ 
amicably, if possible, but through cannoned 
arguments if not otherwise." 

Every act of the strangers thus far had been 
in accord with this secret expression of policy. 
The reserve and punctilious etiquette of the L 



256 



* WISTARIA 



Japanese had been met with a bold advance 
by Commodore Perry's squadron. At each 
pretext for delay advanced by the Japanese 
the ships had moved nearer to Yedo, believed 
by the officers of the squadron, knowing noth- 
ing of the Shogun-Emperor relationship, to be 
the capital of the Emperor of Japan. 

When Perry had been told that he might de- 
liver his letters and credentials to minor of- 
ficials, he had replied that first they must send 
to him commissioners second in rank only to the 
Emperor. Perry himself, imitating the seclu- 
sion of those whom he sought to reach, took care 
to be seen or approached by no Japanese, dele- 
gating inferior officers to the task. Now for 
the first time he was to show himself to the 
people, and the nobles, the princes Aidzu and 
Catzu, in their capacity of high commissioners 
were to meet him. 

Thus it was that all watched the work upon 
the Treaty House in sullen emotion. The 
workmen themselves moved in complete si- 
lence, which was broken not by word, but 
only by the noise of their operations. Their 
superiors gave their instructions by gesture 
or brief word. 

The building itself was not pretentious, al- 
though its situation on a slight elevation near 
the water was central, in full view of the fleet 
out in the bay, and was overlooked by the sur- 
rounding heights and bluffs. It consisted of 
an ante-chamber and a long audience - hall, 

3 -X tfe- J a 

257 



TOE .V/OOJNG Qp \WSTAR) A 

_* I ,--. *T-~ -"J^ no- ""^r~" 



around whose side a sort of divan had been 
built. At the head of this apartment a number 
of chairs were placed for the comfort of the 
foreigners. In the centre of the space, upon a 
raised platform, whose tapestries and hang- 
ings suggested the altar of some semi - barba- 
rian church, stood an immense, red - lacquered 
box, destined for the reception of the papers 
brought by the foreigners for transmittal to the 
"Emperor." 

In the distance were the encampments con- 
taining the retinues of the princes Aidzu and 
Catzu, to which the artisans withdrew when, as 
a final touch of preparation, they had secluded 
the entire surrounding of the Treaty House by 
the erection of huge bamboo and silken screens. 

All were now awaiting the hour of eleven in 
the morning, the hour set for the ceremonial. 
The departure of a boat from the Susquehanna 
was observed. In addition to its rowing crew, 
it contained a single officer in the stern. 

Those about the Treaty House watched the 
dancing course of the boat over the waves, 
until, having discharged its officer at the coast- 
line, it withdrew into stiller water; watched 
with seeming apprehension his landward 
course up the heights. 

The officer was young ; he knew a few words 
of Japanese, and went at once to the point 
upon his arrival before the Treaty House. 

"What do these screens mean?" he de- 
manded. 



258 



TflE -VjaojNG of? VflSTARJA 



The minor officials looked from one to an- 
other. One official, a determined expression 
passing for an instant over his face, stepped 
forward. He bowed politely. 

"We insignificant and unworthy brained 
men that we are cannot understand that 
honorable language that you speak. It is not 
Japanese, nor yet Dutch, which alone we know. " 

Enough of this speech was understood by 
the lieutenant. Plainly, they pretended not to 
understand his Japanese. 

" Wherefore these hidings of the light of the 
honorable sun from our insignificant eyes?" 
he continued in Japanese, changing his idiom. 

Again came the answer of the Japanese 
official. 

"Your excellency, we cannot understand." 

The lieutenant uttered an oath. These 
heathen were trying, he told himself. 

"Any one here speak English?" he de- 
manded. 

Instantly a figure sprang forward out of the 
crowd of sightseers beyond the military lines. 
Having advanced boldly, the volunteer hesi- 
tated an instant, as if he had acted upon an 
impulse, regretted a moment too late. It was 
Mori, but Mori still in disguise. 

The American lieutenant saw his hesitation. 

"Do you speak English?" 

Keiki summoned such knowledge of the 
language as Satsuma had taught him. He 
answered briefly: 



259 



"Yes." 

"Then ask what these screens have been 
put up for." 

Keiki repeated the question to the Japanese 
officer, who, angered at his penetration of their 
evasion, cast surly glances upon him. They 
answered readily, however. Mori translated 
their reply into English a moment later. 

"They say/' he reported, "that in Nippon 
all great gatherings are private. These 
screens keep off the common, low people." 

" Tell them these things must come down," 
ordered the officer, in what the Japanese con- 
sidered an impolite, not to say insolent, tone. 

Mori translated. 

"What do they say?" asked the lieutenant. 

There was a pause. 

"Nothing yet," said Mori, stiffly. 

While the officials still stared, the officer turn- 
ed to the offending screens. With his own 
hands he began their demolition. Slowly, one 
by one, the Japanese joined him. Soon the 
space once enclosed by the screens was bare 
to the view of all on the American vessels. 
The officer moved towards his boat. 

" I wish to speak some more words with you," 
said Mori, following him. 

"Oh, certainly. What is it?" 

"Not here, if you please. Down by the 
boat." 

"Come." 

Followed by the angry looks of the whole jj, 



260 



f 



TOE .WOPING Of \W5TAPJA n 

:=$ % 4 -'T- I -X 

group of Japanese sub-officials, in which there 
was distinct hostility towards himself, Mori 
went with the lieutenant to a spot towards 
which the boat was approaching. 

"Now what can I do for you?" inquired the 
officer, more affably. 

"You think you treat with the Emperor?" 
inquired Mori, his face flushed by the other's 
lack of courtesy. 

"Certainly." 

"You do not." 

"What?" 

The officer started, ygarding Mori scepti- 
cally. 

"No, you do not. You but treat with his 
war lord the Shogun." 

"What's the Shogun?" 

" There are two emperors in Japan ; one the 
rightful emperor, the Mikado; the other his 
vassal, his war lord, who is without authority 
to deal with you. He makes seeming sub- 
mission to the Emperor." 

"Is this true?" 

"Tell it to your master, that Lord Perry. 
Ask that he demand the truth from those sent 
to meet him, in the public gathering." 

" Why, this is astounding ! It must be look- 
ed into. Will you come on board with me and 
report it in person?" 

Mori shook his head. 

" No, I cannot," he replied, " but let him seek 
the truth where it must be told unto him." 

^foi " a "~ -^ *$- 3 *r 
* 261 



TOE ^QQJISG OF VJ1STAPJ A 

rfc % -$ ""^ X . . 

They had been speaking in Japanese, with 
an occasional word of English, when one was 
unable to understand the other's rendering of 
its equivalent. The officer returned to English. 

"Your name?" he asked. 

Mori replied in Japanese. 

" Your master is honorably ignorant of my 
name and rank. The truth from any source 
is sufficient. Ask at the proper place, and you 
will know that I speak truth/' 

The officer paused, with one leg lifted over 
the gunwale of the boat. He made a sudden 
movement towards his men, sitting with raised 
oars. 

"Seize him!" he ordered. 

Before the sailors could drop their oars and 
obey, Keiki, who divined the significance of 
the words, ran rapidly along the sandy beach, 
disappearing beyond a headland. 

"Damned awkward, this," commented the 
lieutenant, " but it must be reported to the old 
man." Then to his crew: 

"Give way, men!" 



262 



THE 





HATEVER speculation the sud- 
den friendly interposition of a 
Japanese into the American of- 
ficer's dilemma caused among 
the sub-officials in charge of the 
Treaty House, it did not run a 
lengthy course. News that was 
whispered about, first among the 
multitude of unofficial visitors 
crowding all the surrounding 
-} points of vantage not occupied 
by the Shogun's troops, pene- 
trated gradually to the focal 
spot of the greatest curiosity, 
the Treaty House. It was an 
event of secondary importance 
to the expected visit from the 

afe* jt 3THH 

263 



WiSTAPJ A 



men-of-war. The princes Aidzu and Catzu 
had arrived from Yedo, and were now awaiting 
the foreigners in the quarters prepared for them. 

Many of those present had never seen these 
powerful princes. So, crowding past the com- 
mon soldiers, they pressed upon their head- 
quarters, until stopped by the chosen guard 
of samurai surrounding the princely pavilions. 

About the tent of Catzu the press of the mob 
was heaviest. The huge Sir Genji, toying 
with his glittering blade significantly when- 
ever a curious citizen came too near the en- 
trance, remarked grimly to a fellow-samurai : 

"Of a truth, all the dogs of Nippon invade 
our ranks to-day. I have only to extend my 
sword to split a dozen fat merchants/' 

" Extend it, then/' growled the other, as with 
the flat of his blade he dealt a gentle blow upon 
the pate of a vender of wines. 

The treatment accorded to the crowd by the 
samurai engendered no bitterness. The mer- 
cantile classes, awed at all times by the sight 
of one in samurai orders, shrank back at the 
first sign of displeasure brought upon them- 
selves from the proudest grade in Japan. 

Nor, indeed, was the real displeasure of the 
samurai at any time in evidence. They, too, 
like the common people, were engrossed in the 
expectation of events. Although their im- 
passive faces did not permit the revelation of 
their real feeling, there was among them the 
same subtle curiosity and foreboding. 



264 



THE A 



From across the bay, rolling and reverberat- 
ing, striking the rocky angles of the highlands 
and driven back repulsed, came the long roar 
of the foreigners' saluting guns. Instantly 
the populace became silent, riveted to what- 
ever locality they occupied. 

Among the ships there was bustle and move- 
ment. The foreigners weje lowering boats 
from every vessel in their squadron. With 
their crews and officers sitting in them, the 
boats swung from the davits into the water. 
Plainly the squadron was sending every man 
and officer to be spared. 

While the guns were still vomiting forth 
their salute to the ^occasion, the Lord Catzu 
came forth from his tent. With a wave of his 
hand he turned to Genji. 

" Drive me back this rabble," he ordered. 

Instantly the samurai, joining with the com- 
mon troop, beat back the mass of citizens, 
forcing open a wide lane, that extended but 
a short distance towards the Treat} 7 House. 
Where no guards were, there the people ob- 
structed the passage. 

Genji quickly remedied this by despatching 
guards to clear a pathway to a point where 
a similar line from the Prince of Aidzu's pavil- 
ion should join. Into the two paths opened 
by the Shogun's troops the cortege of the two 
prince - commissioners passed. That of the 
Lord Catzu was headed by a troop of the young 
sons of samurai, boys small in stature, bearing 



265 



TtfE. WOOING <*F NWSTARlA 



aloft a silken banner whose gold embroideries 
were the crests of the Shogun and his feudal 
vassal Catzu. Next rode a troop of inferior 
samurai, heavily armed, on black horses. 
After them came the chief vassal of the Lord 
Catzu, mounted on a white horse, with three of 
his own vassals, each with his train of at- 
tendants. Finally, at the head of a brilliant 
and sparkling train of warriors and courtiers, 
came the imposing and portly Lord of Catzu, 
carried in a gilded norimon. A company of 
samurai, whose chief upon all ordinary oc- 
casions was Sir Genji, brought up the rear. 

The train of the Prince of Aidzu was, in 
general order and arrangement, similar to that 
of the Lord Catzu. 

The two corteges moved in lines slightly 
converging until they met. Then the heads 
of each side column or division rode side by 
side. Throughout the whole company, in 
perfect order, this arrangement held, the left 
train of the Lord Catzu being nearer the bay 
than that of Aidzu. So completely was the 
symmetry of the parallel movement carried 
out that the Prince of Catzu had on his left the 
Prince of Aidzu. 

At the moment of complete juncture, a word 
of command sped back among the allied ranks. 
In a moment Genji, at the head of a large body 
of mounted samurai, passed to the right of his 
lord on his way to the van. A similar body 
passed along the left. 



266 



These samurai, arrived at the front, rapidly 
drove the crowds back from the line of march, 
leaving a passage, which they lined at inter- 
vals, clear to the Treaty House. Each samu- 
rai rode back and forth in the side space he had 
kept free to himself. 

The gorgeous pageant advanced rapidly 
through the short passage until its head rested 
upon the entrance of the Treaty House. In- 
stantly the lines of the two princes divided as 
before, falling back on either side until the two 
norimons of the princes were reached. These 
advanced as before until the chief vassal of 
each prince stood before the Treaty House. 
Then the vassals assisted their lords to dis- 
mount from their norimons, bowing deeply 
and profoundly as they did so. 

Side by side the two commissioners marched 
to the door of entrance, whose threshold they 
crossed alone. After a respectful interval the 
chief vassals and functionaries, with a number 
of samurai, followed their lords. The military 
force and other attendants still stood with their 
ranks open outside. Genji gave a quick com- 
mand, and, the double ranks closing, faced 
about so as to present a solid armed front to 
any one moving against the Treaty House. 

Inside, the princes with their chief commis- 
sioners were ranged at the head of the Treaty 
House, in silent waiting on the foreigners. 

Meanwhile the fleet of small boats from the 
squadron were nearing the shore. Splendid 



267 



as was the retinue of the commissioners, and 
outnumbering as it did that of the Americans, 
yet it was apparent at a glance that Perry had 
stripped his ships of all but a small force. 
The boats, crowded to the gunwales, moved 
slowly to the landing-place, built over-night. 

First, the bodies of sailor-soldiers were dis- 
embarked. They wore the dress of sailors, 
but each carried a musket. Then a band came 
ashore. Finally the officers of the squadron 
and Perry's staff itself mingled with the others. 
A small guard was left with the boats before 
the march was taken up to the Treaty House. 
Then, in quick step to the music of the band, 
the company set off, travelling at twice the 
pace of the Japanese retinues. 

The band marched first. Then came the 
marines with their officers. In the centre was 
the Commodore Perry, with his staff. Follow- 
ing were more marines and officers. 

As this array proceeded in the quick, sharp, 
uniform step peculiar to disciplined bodies, 
there were no shouts of applause, no encourag- 
ing cheers, no uncovering of heads, no clapping 
of hands. The silent multitudes regarded 
them sullenly, expectantly, fearfully: 

"Gad!" exclaimed a young lieutenant, 
"they don't take to us. This is no Fifth 
Avenue parade/' 

"No, it is not. More like action," mumbled 
his companion. 

When the officers came within sight of the 

a - i. i 3~ 

268 



dU 



% a - -fr X: 



entrance and saw the columns hostilely ar- 
ranged, there was a movement of alarm. But 
quickly the dual force of Catzu and Aidzu 
spread out to permit a passage through itself. 

The Americans gave an order. Their band 
went suddenly to the rear, its place taken 
by a body of marines, who moved until their 
head rested upon the door of entrance. They 
in turn opened a way for the division at whose 
head marched the chief officer. With arms 
at "present," they stood awaiting its ap- 
proach. 

At the head of the division now advancing, 
under the colors and backed by minor of- 
ficers, strode a commanding figure. It was 
that of a full-bodied, ruddy, stern - featured 
man, in whose every poise of body and head 
was command. He was bareheaded. About 
his temples the breeze from the bay scattered 
his short, slightly gray hair. 

The sight of the Japanese army in its menac- 
ing position, facing the multitudes, may have 
carried alarm to his soul. It had been in- 
stantly met by his counter arraying of marines ; 
but there was no fear manifest in face, gait, or 
manner. Without pause he entered quickly 
the audience - hall, followed by his officers. 
Turning his head to neither side, he seated 
himself in a chair similar in respect and posi- 
tion to those occupied by the commissioners. 

There was a pause, a momentary embarrass- 
ment was felt by all present Then the Amer- 

* I * J * ~ 

269 



TflE J^OOJNG op \fl5TAPJA n 



ican commodore summoned the Dutch inter- 
preter, through whom the conversation was 
to take place. 

"Inform them/' he said, "that I have some 
questions to ask." 



270 



CEZ2E 





HEN the company of foreign- 
ers had passed into the Treaty 
House, the few moments in- 
tervening before the beginning 
of the ceremonies within were 
employed by the samurai still 
on guard outside in scrutinizing 
the cards of those citizens whose 
rank permitted them to fill the 
vacant rear of the hall. 

At first the samurai, exact- 
ing in their task, examined 
carefully the invitation of each 
applicant. When, however, 
those in charge warned them 
that the time was short, they 
crowded ceremoniously within 

4 - it- T. ii 

271 



TOE .WOOJMO <*F VJ3TAPJA 



their lines into the hall, while those without, 
whether card-holders or not, were driven back 
roughly. 

The movement had been noted in its first 
stages by Mori, who with Toro and Jiro had 
been forcing his way steadily towards the 
guarding samurai. When the first press of 
the rejected smote him on all sides, he turn- 
ed to Jiro. 

"If we are separated in this turmoil, I 
would charge you, Jiro " he began. 

The sudden interposition of a double rank 
of samurai drove him back, while it swept his 
companions within the circle of those being 
forced into the Treaty House. Turning, Jiro 
watched Mori struggle under the disadvantage 
the crowd imposed upon him. Then, with a 
resigned smile and a shrug of the shoulders, 
Mori made to Jiro a sign of writing. A mo- 
ment more and Toro and Jiro found them- 
selves within the audience - chamber. They 
gained places beside an opening through 
which the samurai preserving order outside 
could be seen. 

When the American commodore addressed 
his first words to the interpreter, the Lord of 
Catzu arose. Toro and Jiro whispered to- 
gether as they caught sight of the gorgeous 
figure. The interpreter translated to him the 
words of the American. Then through the 
interpreter the Lord of Catzu made reply: 

" August sir, Lord Admiral of the unknown 



272 



TOE .WOOJNG Of NflSTAR) A 

iff - ^ -1= -fr i 

fleet, we will have joy in answering your 
honorable questions any and all in good 
time/' he said. "But first allow us to offer 
our apologies. We were unable to provide 
you with arm-chairs such as your excellency 
is accustomed to occupy on board your honor- 
able ships; for that reason we are greatly 
pained, and trust you will overlook our im- 
politeness. But that chair which you now 
fill and whose brothers we humbly occupy, 
out of compliment to your excellency, re- 
sembles it so far as our abilities have been 
able to copy it." 

The American commodore looked at the 
chair he occupied. If the first words of the 
commissioner appealed at all to his risibili- 
ties, he was both too courteous a gentleman 
and too astute a diplomat to betray any sign. 
His face was grave to solemnity as he regard- 
ed the superb workmanship of the chair upon 
which he sat, plainly an Oriental interpreta- 
tion of an American article. 

"The chair is comfortable. It serves its 
purpose and honors its makers," he made 
reply. "But I desire before presenting my 
credentials to question the prince - commis- 
sioners." 

Some one tapped Jiro lightly upon the 
shoulder. Looking about, he saw that a 
samurai, half extended through the window, 
had thus drawn his attention, and he was 
now making him the peculiar secret sign of 



273 



QF VJSTAPJA 



n 



the Imperialist, that of dropping suddenly 
downward the left hand with the little finger 
extended. Jiro looked into the face of the 
samurai Genji, where a smile of peculiar 
meaning shone. In the shock of surprise, 
Jiro's face was raised so that Genji's eyes 
gazed closely upon the entire contour, as for 
a moment the hair fell back from the youth's 
brow. Instantly the smile in Genji's face 
changed. His expression became involved. 
In it, Jiro read surprise, then delight, distrust, 
and apprehension. 

As Jiro's eyes met Genji's again, the crim- 
son flushed with sudden violence the lad's 
cheeks. His eyes sank. Genji slipped into 
his hand a tiny roll. 

"What is it?" whispered Toro. 

"Genji," said Jiro, with an expression of 
terror; "he recognized me." 

"But what did he want?" 

Then Jiro recalled the paper in his hands. 
He opened it with trembling fingers. It was 
brief, and from Mori, who had evidently trust- 
ed his old friend Genji to deliver it to his at- 
tendant Jiro. 

" If aught is said of the cause, defend /"he 
read. 

"What is the meaning?" said Toro. 

"Plainly what he says," returned Jiro; "if 
any one speaks ill of the cause I am to silence 
and confound him." 

Toro smiled with superiority. 

IH3T 'A gr JL A 

274 



THE^VOOJNG ^ NWSTARJA 

"You!" he whispered; "it is for me." 

With a passionate movement of negation, 
Jiro thrust the epistle into his bosom. 

"Do nothing," urged Toro; "if you disturb 
this gathering you are as good as dead. For 
a samurai it would be a pleasing feat." Toro 
swelled in appreciation. " But for you " He 
broke off. "Mori would not have asked it if 
he had known " 

"Silence!" whispered Jiro. "Listen." 

Several of the Dutchman's translations had 
been lost by Toro and Jiro, but the interpreter 
was now speaking again for the American. 

"I desire to know," he said, "before I de- 
liver my letters, with whom I am treating with 
what Emperor with which of the two?" 

The Japanese were astounded. 

"You are dealing with the Emperor of 
Japan," they responded. 

"But there are two. Which one?" 

"We are unable to explain," said Aidzu; 
"we cannot account for your strange belief." 

"Perhaps," interjected the wily Catzu, "the 
Lord Admiral has confounded the head of our 
religion with the head of our state." 

" I must speak," said Jiro, who was laboring 
under repressed excitement. "It is time." 

"Tsh-h!" growled Toro, staying his effort 
to rise. 

"Let the prince - commissioner continue. I 
have been told that there are two emperors 
in this land, and that I have been placed in 



275 



TftE-WOQJNG Of? \W3TAR1A n 

% ^tn= -^ . . Urr~ 

communication with the inferior, who is with- 
out authority to ratify his acts." 

"I assure you, my Lord Admiral," said 
Catzu, "that you have fallen into an error 
common to foreigners." 

"Possibly," was Perry's brief assent. 

" We have two heads, one a font of wisdom, 
the other of action. The one is the spiritual 
head, the divine Emperor; the other the true 
ruler and Emperor, with whom you are in 
communication. The spiritual head is without 
authority in mundane affairs. You make no 
error, for we, the princes of Japan's real ruler, 
tell you this." 

Despite every attempted restraint of Toro, 
Jiro leaped to his feet. 

"Thou liest! Thou knowest there is but 
one true ruler in Japan, the Mikado!" he 
shouted, in a voice that, rapidly ascending in 
pitch, became femininely shrill. 

Every eye in the assembly, foreign and 
Japanese, turned upon the slight, quivering 
figure there by the breeze -swept opening. 
The Lord of Catzu, still upon his feet, stood 
like a sable statue, his arm still held aloft 
in the concluding gesture he had used a mo- 
ment before. The Prince of Aidzu remained 
in his chair, seemingly incapable of motion. 
The American Perry alone preserved his com- 
posure, looking from one to the other in a puz- 
zled effort to determine the meaning of this in- 
terruption. 



276 



f 



The silence within the hall deepened as the 
startled gaze of the assemblage continued 
fixed upon Jiro. So still was it that the voices 
of the samurai outside seemed annoyingly 
loud, as they floated into the quiet apart- 
ment. 

There was a long moment of this stunned, 
bewildered, yet intense stillness. It was bro- 
ken by Toro, who, ashamed of having been 
outdone in daring by his slighter companion, 
threw himself convulsively 'into the focus of 
the company. 

"Thou, my Lord of Catzu," he shouted 
"thou knowest that the youth speaks truth. 
Banzai the Mikado! Banzai Nippon!" 

Another sensational moment! The samurai 
Genji had placed himself nearer to the two. 

The Lord of Catzu broke the spell of won- 
derment. As he frowned penetratingly upon 
Toro and Jiro, his face cleared in sudden rec- 
ognition of his son. He raised his arm in 
imperative signal to the samurai. 

"Eject for me these fanatics," he cried, 
"and guard them closely." 

Instantly the gigantic Genji, leaping 
through the opening, laid a heavy hand 
upon the shoulder of the youth. Back to the 
i opening he drew them. 

"They are in my custody, my lord," he 
answered. 

While the samurai drew the struggling 
comrades into the outer air, there was the 



277 



-y 



quick hum of voices over the assemblage that 
a moment before had seemed as stone. Neigh- 
bor conversed with neighbor, the Japanese 
in consternation, the Americans in wonder. 

The interpreter rapidly translated to the 
American officer the words that had passed 
between the commissioner and his interrupters. 
Some of the Americans caught at the drift of 
events even before their comrades sitting near 
to the interpreter understood the Dutchman's 
statements to their commander. 

" 'Pears to me to be something to this two- 
king business," said a marine to his fellow. 

" We'll leave our bones here, sure enough," 
was the pessimistic response. 

"What explanation can you offer of this?" 
demanded Perry. 

The Lord Catzu lifted his eyebrows. 

"Explanation! I do not explain it. They 
were fanatical priests, madmen, who thought 
that the head of the church should take over 
the direction of the state. You have such in 
your own country?" 

The American was not satisfied with this 
statement. The interpreter informed the com- 
missioners of this fact. Said the Lord Catzu : 

" If you do not believe me, I shall, with the 
concurrence of my colleague, be obliged to de- 
clare all proceedings estopped. I cannot con- 
tinue under such circumstances." 

The American saw thus slipping from him 
the rewards of the labor of months. He might ^ 

i $4 Ji .at- X ^ 

w 278 



THE -WOOJNG op VflSTAPJ A n 

_^^* a..^- -\~. Tl Qy 



be making a mistake, but he must proceed at 
once. 

"I am ready to continue/' he said. 

"Very well. You may deliver your letters 
to the Emperor of Japan/' responded Catzu, 
with great dignity. 

At a sign from Perry, two cabin-boys who 
had remained in the ante-chamber came up 
the central aisle, closely followed by two huge 
negroes in marine dress. The boys carried 
silver and gold salvers, upon which rested the 
richly set gold boxes containing the docu- 
ments signed by Millard Fillmore, President 
of the United States of America, asking con- 
sideration of a treaty for open ports. 

As the boys reached the red-lacquered box 
at the head of the hall they stood upon either 
side, while the negroes stopped between them. 
Lifting the letter receptacles from the salvers, 
the negroes deposited them in the red chest 
indicated by an aide of Catzu. This done, 
they retreated down the aisle. 

"All is now done," said Catzu. "Permit 
me to inquire when your excellency will re- 
turn for an answer." 

"In some months' time," was Perry's 
thoughtful reply. 

"We need not detain you longer," said the 
commissioner. " Permit us to express our grat- 
ification at meeting you and our compliments 
for your courtesy." 

The American commodore acknowledged the 



2 79 



\MSTARJA 



deep obeisance with which the commissioners 
and their staffs now favored him with a bow 
as courtly and dignified as their own. 

Then foreigners and Japanese filed out from 
the Treaty House of Yokohama. 






280 



TOE - 



G of \MSTAFU A n 




ITH the fecundity peculiar to 
the storm and stress period of a 
nation's history, the germ al- 
most forcibly implanted into 
Japanese soil by Commodore 
Perry waxed strong, came to 
blossom, fell into seed, and 
ended by multiplying itself into 
international form. No sooner 
had two seaports been opened 
through signature of the treaty 
passed by Perry than the Eng- 
lish sought and obtained the 
same privileges. Other nations 
followed the leaders in time- 
liness, differing as to their 
national equation. Then came 

fc . gfr- JC if 

281 



4 



the establishment of foreign legations and the 
general introduction into Japan of the hated 
foreigners. The hermit nation was no more 
permitted the luxury of the solitude which 
had made it internally strong. 

But now the foreigners were coming to un- 
derstand the dual state of Japanese govern- 
ment. The treaties which the shogunate had 
at first attempted to make without Imperial 
sanction were nominally submitted to the 
Mikado. In a measure, the brave daring of 
the boy Jiro was responsible for this latter 
development. 

During all this time Mori had remained in 
Yedo watching the course of events, and the 
gradual rise in prestige of the already power- 
ful shogunate. 

The policy advocated by Mori was the same 
outlined by him in his act of instruction to 
Jiro when he had bade the boy explain to the 
foreigners the true conditions of government. 
The shogunate must be embroiled with the 
foreign powers in such a way that retaliation 
of the world powers would fall upon the sho- 
gunate alone, destroying it, while at a leap 
the Imperial party would return to power 
upon an anti-Shogun basis. This policy he 
was foremost in pressing upon other lead- 
ers of his party, but without avail. The 
drift of events was too uncertain to permit 
civil war at this time, his compatriots asserted. 

Toro and Jiro did not share the Yedo vigil 



|: 



282 



TflE DOPING of wmAPJA n 

*t jjr~ Cfr " 3fc-_ \ 31 

of Mori. When, upon the evening of the 
Treaty House assemblage, Genji had brought 
them to Keiki's headquarters, the Prince had 
received them as from the grasp of death. The 
task he had set them, he knew, meant a risk 
of death, but even a samurai of lesser rank 
would have welcomed a death decreed by the 
cause. He had given them up as memories of 
the past when the great Genji brought them 
before him. 

"My prince," Genji had said, "I have ever 
been at heart one of your party. As an ear- 
nest of my desire to return to your allegiance, 
I bring you two prisoners, committed to my 
hands by the Lord of Catzu." 

The sight of the samurai Genji had called 
back into the life and soul of Mori things he 
had put aside as unfitting his consecration to 
the cause. Nevertheless, he received him glad- 
ly, and made no objection to the proposal of 
the samurai that he should be permitted to go 
with Toro and Jiro to the Mori fortress, since 
longer residence in Yedo was unsafe for the 
two who had exhibited themselves before the 
choice gathering of the Shogun's followers at 
the Treaty House. So it was that for a time 
Mori remained alone in Yedo. 

The continued presence in the Shogun's city 
of one known throughout the length and 
breadth of the land as the Imperialist leader 
could not in the nature of events remain un- 
known to the authorities. On several oc- 



283 



casions he was pressed so hard that he found 
an occasional sojourn outside of Yedo im- 
perative. It was upon his return from one 
of these Sittings that the Prince Mori found 
strange news awaiting him. 

The Shogun lyesada was dead. The choice 
of a successor devolving upon the Regent li, a 
man said to be of low birth, the wishes of a con- 
siderable number of the shogunate following 
had been ignored. Kii, a boy of twelve, had 
been selected by the Regent. 

To make a show of boasted power before 
the foreigners, now always pressing for trea- 
ty privileges, the Regent li had ratified with 
them a treaty then pending, afterwards report- 
ing it tardily to the Emperor at Kioto. 

Instantly the city rang with protest, and, 
following it, the country. 

"This li would remain alone with a boy 
Shogun 1" cried the nobles of both parties. 

Mori despatched instantly to his fortress 
couriers who conveyed orders to Toro that 
a considerable body of Mori's troops should 
proceed at once to Yedo. Before their arrival, 
however, a crisis had been reached. 

Ronins in great numbers had visited the Im- 
perialist headquarters, urging instant action. \ 
These roving samurai, having renounced all 
allegiance to their own lords, had become free 
agents (ronins),and had sworn never to return 
to their homes until the shogunate was over- 
thrown. 

y * 1 ^ ^ "*^ $ 

284 



** 



TWE .VJOQJNG OF NMSTAR) A 



One Hasuda headed a party that sought out 
the Prince Mori. 

"Let every foreign legation be burned this 
night," urged Hasuda. "Let us drive into 
the seas those dogs who already have de- 
layed our action too long. Let it be done 
to-night." 

"No," said Mori, 'firmly. " Do not let your 
acts, which hitherto, in spite of their lawless- 
ness, have been tinged with patriotism, be 
tainted by such action as you now propose. 
The function of a patriot is not that of assas- 
sination, but of honest warfare. Be coun- 
selled by me. Do nothing yet awhile. Wait! 
My men are on the march. They cannot ar- 
rive for some days. When they have come, 
and when our Mikado has given us the sig- 
nal, let us then attack and expel these for- 
eign barbarians." 

"No, no/' insisted Hasuda, whose sword 
itched for action; "the Mikado is influenced 
by those about him who are hostile to us. He 
dare not." 

" Only by his order will I attack the foreign- 
ers," Mori insisted. 

"He will not speak," said Hasuda. 

" He will," said Mori. " I have assurances 
to that effect." 

Hasuda altered his plea. 

"But, your highness," he urged, "what I 
now advocate is your own policy. The sho- 
gunate is responsible to the foreigners for the 



285 



WISTARIA 



peace. Destroy their legations and their wrath 
will descend upon the shogunate." 

" Listen ; I will not stoop to massacre, but I 
promise you that upon the order of the Em- 
peror I will fire at once upon their fleets and 
make warfare against them." 

The ronin Hasuda smiled slyly, as with a 
gesture of resignation he threw his arms aside. 

" Your highness," he said, " be it so. I con- 
sent, upon one condition. Go thou to Kio- 
to. Obtain at once audience with the Son 
of Heaven. Secure his consent. Thou hast 
means within the palace to reach him safely. 
Do so, then. I will await your return." 

"Agreed," answered Mori. 

Within a few moments his norimon was 
carrying him out of Yedo. 

Two ronins joined Hasuda near the head- 
quarters half an hour later. 

"Your news?" he demanded. 

"The Prince of Mori is on the highway to 
Kioto." 

"Good! Then let the bands separate." 

The several hundred ronins, divided into 
parties of some six or seven, set out in various 
directions. Two hours later they were in the 
shadow of the Sakurada gate of the Shogun's 
palace. 

A spy from the interior made his report to 
Hasuda. It was accompanied by many gest- 
ures directed towards the wide path which led 
through the garden to the palace within. 

=3T k ^ L- 3pr 

286 



of? <WJSTAR)A 



A stately procession was passing down the 
garden path and had taken the road. It was 
the cortege of the Baron li Kamon-no-Kami, 
the hated Regent of Japan. Only his ordi- 
nary train of attendants and samurai accom- 
panied him. Absorbed in their own personal 
reflections, they were apparently without sus- 
picion of a planned assault. 

Hasuda, in the shadow of the gate and the 
farther shadow of the cedars which bent their 
branches over the walls, raised his sword. 

"Now," he whispered, in a soft, penetrating 
voice, insistent as the hiss of a serpent. From 
the shadows of the walls against which they 
had stood ronins leaped upon the samurai and 
attendants about the norimon, of li. These 
gave way instantly, some were killed outright, 
others wounded, while still others were left 
engaged in deadly strife with ronin adver- 
saries. 

"Quick! Forward!" urged Hasuda. 

A chosen body sp*rang out from the ronin 
ranks, and surrounding the norimon of the 
Regent, drew him with rough hands out into 
the road. They dragged him before Hasu- 
da. Within the palace a cry of alarm rang 
through the night, followed by the hurried 
mustering of troops. 

Outside the Sakurada gate, however, the 
numerous ronins, showing no sign of fear, 
proceeded leisurely. li had fallen upon his 
knees. His mute lips moved in prayers for y, 

-ffi f -Jt. &. X *T 

w 287 



of \W5TAPJA 



mercy, though no sound escaped them. His 
lips were livid, his eyes glazed. 

At what seemed this manifestation of cow- 
ardice the ronins, outlawed samurai as they 
were, laughed scornfully. They would have 
died unflinchingly. li was not of samurai 
blood. 

"Death to the traitor!" roared a ronin 
chorus. 

"Ay," replied Hasuda "death!" Then to 
the Regent : " li, thou art a traitor. Rise and 
receive sentence." 

li seemed paralyzed with fear. 

"Let him die," said Hasuda. 

"Let him die," growled the ronins. 

Hasuda sent a keen glance over his ranks. 
He said, quickly : 

"Let a samurai volunteer as executioner, 
but let him remember that he, too, must die, 
that no Shogun follower may punish him." 

A grim, middle-aged ronin pushed forward. 

"I was of Satsuma," he said; "that is all 
you need know of me." 

"Do thy office," commanded Hasuda. 

The samurai thereupon forced the Regent 
to his knees, where he cringed trembling and 
shivering. The sword of the samurai hissed, 
curved, shone, shot through the air. The head 
of li lay upon the ground. 

Hasuda then spoke: 

" That no malice may be imputed to us, use 
thy second sword." 



288 



f 



THE JWOQJNG Q F WJSTAR)A n 



Without a word the Satsuma samurai drew 
his second sword from his belt. The hilt he 
rested upon the ground. In an instant he fell 
upon its point. 

The ronins left the vicinity of the palace, 
carrying the head of li with them. This they 
nailed to a post in a public place of the city. 

In a short time, from the newly established 
foreign quarter of Yedo, flames leaped forth in 
destruction of the legations. Many foreigners 
found Japanese graves that night. 

Yet, strange inconsistency! the ronins, still 
under the direction of Hasuda, went about 
everywhere, crying : " Down with the foreign- 
ers! Long live the Shogun!" 

Those foreigners who escaped believed that 
the Shogun had ordered the night's horrors. 

At the hour of dawn Hasuda wiped his sword 
on a foreign fabric. As the morning breezes 
from the bay cooled his tired brow he laughed 
grimly. 

" Ah," he exclaimed, " what the noble Prince 
of Mori could not countenance himself has 
been accomplished; and, being accomplished, 
I shall find in him no open friend, it is true, 
but no sworn enemy." 

The roar of guns came faintly to his ears. 

"To-morrow to-morrow!" he mused, with 
a chuckle. " Nay, to-day, the wrath of the for- 
eigners will descend upon the shogunate the 
innocent shogunate. Decidedly, it is droll. " 



289 




* "ff 




T was night when the runners 
of the Prince Mori's norimon, 
having travelled the highway 
to its gated termination, en- 
tered Kioto. Uncertain as to his 
exact course, the Prince was 
settled upon one thing haste 
haste to arrive in the neigh- 
borhood of the Mikado's pal- 
ace, that he might plan in the 
shadows his future actions. 

He had passed through the 
city's gates, and with new cries 
to his runners was again urging 
them forward, when a cloaked 
figure, holding in one hand a 
naked sword, barred to the 

IT . . -. . <- Jl . Hj 

290 



JL, 



norimon farther passage. The runners stop- 
ped abruptly. Impatiently Mori thrust his 
head through the curtains. 

"What now, you laggards?" he demanded, 
in no gentle voice. 

At the sound of Mori's words the man in the 
roadway uttered a cry of surprise. 

"Thou, Mori!" 

" What then?" inquired the Prince, defiantly, 
preparing to leap to the ground, sword in hand. 

"It is I, Echizen. I will join you in your 
norimon." 

" Good ! " said Mori. " Urgently I need your 
advice." 

Echizen climbed into the vehicle quickly. 
With a swift movement he drew Mori's cloak 
about 'his shoulders in such a way that it hid 
his face. 

" There is danger in Kioto for you," he said. 
"Just now as I passed, the sound of your 
voice instructing your runners struck me with 
its familiar tones. When you raised your 
voice I recognized you immediately. You 
must be more careful, my lord." 

"Why should there be danger for me in 
Kioto?" inquired Keiki, quickly. "I am in 
my Emperor's capital now." ^ 

"But the massacres you have just instigated 
in Yedo are being used to your disadvantage. 
Aidzu has come to Kioto two hours ahead of 
you, and all is known to his Majesty." 

"Massacres!" 

=3L.~ JU. ... - L T .. 

291 



VflSTAPJA 



"Are you ignorant of them?" 

"You do not mean " Keiki paused, a 
suspicion of Hasuda dawning upon him. 
"Massacres by the ronins?" 

"Yes." 

The Prince of Mori groaned. 

"Hasuda, the chief ronin," he said, "has 
broken his pledged word to me." He ex- 
plained briefly to Echizen his compact with 
Hasuda. 

The Prince of Echizen had received a courier 
who came on horseback but half an hour prior 
to Mori's arrival. He came shortly after the 
arrival of Aidzu, who was closeted with the 
Emperor. The courier's only definite news 
was that the Regent li had been assassinated 
and the foreign legations burned by a band 
of ronins under Hasuda, acting, it was be- 
lieved, under Mori's orders. The ronins had 
pretended to be the Shogun's men. 

The latter information pleased Mori. 

"Goodl" he said; "the foreigners will lay 
the blame upon the shogunate." 

Echizen leaned from the norimon. 

"Proceed slowly," he told the runner, "in 
that direction," pointing to a quarter of the 
town distant from the Imperial palace. 

"We must adopt some plan of action," he 
continued to Keiki. " These outbreaks, which 
I at first thought were at your order, will have 
fearful consequences. We must plan to turn 
them to account with the Emperor. 



fi 



292 



Tfl *WOPjnG QJF \W5TAPJA r 



"But he already knows of the massacres." 

" Assuredly. Aidzu is governor of the city, 
and a person of influence with him. He will 
use the Yedo massacres to your disadvantage." 

"But Aidzu is a shogunate." 

"True; but lately he has gone over to the 
Emperor. He is still at heart a shogunate. 
It is by the order of the Shogun that he has 
come to the Mikado's court, in fact. He is both 
a spy and an influence upon the Emperor for 
the shogunate." 

"How do you know all these things?" in- 
quired Keiki. 

"Since I left you in Yedo," replied Echizen, 
"I have made considerable progress in the 
favor of the Emperor, all for the sake of the 
cause. I try to set myself against Aidzu." 

"Well, and what is the disposition of the 
Emperor towards my wing of the party? What 
does he desire us to do? What attitude should 
we take towards the foreigners and the sho- 
gunate at this time? I have a purpose in these 
questions." 

Echizen looked thoughtfully towards the 
east, where the offshoots of the still distant 
day were charging the rear-guard of night. 

"My prince," he said, slowly, "I feel that 
this day will be a decisive one in our annals. 
I feel that there is a great opportunity to be 
born a new nation to-day." 

"Speak on," said Mori. 

" The Emperor Kommei is, of course, desir- ^ 



i ^ 



293 



Ttf E .WoojNG op VflSTAPJA n 

~ ^ 



ous of regaining the power once held by his 
ancestors. He knows, as an educated man, 
that the shogunate has no legitimate right to 
existence. But he is a man of two natures. 
Fear, which is not cowardice, and suspicion, 
which is not discretion, is his ruling motive. 
He is surrounded by shogunate spies. Every 
effort he has made up to this time to com- 
municate with us has been frustrated. Were 
he to put trust in a samurai and think of 
sending him as a messenger to us, the sho- 
gunate straightway removed that samurai." 

"By the sword, of course." 

"By secret means. In time the Emperor 
Kommei came to believe that the shogunate 
held his life in its hands, as it has. He came 
to distrust all men. He trusts neither Aidzu, 
his enemy, nor me, his friend." 

"What of the foreigners?" 

"I believe that he would desire above all 
things to issue an order for their expulsion, 
and encourage us. secretly to make war upon 
the shogunate, convinced as he is that his 
life and the very office of Emperor are at stake. " 

"Could he be brought to give us secret in- 
structions?" 

"He might," returned Echizen, dubiously, 
" but such is the temper of the man that, while 
bidding us make war upon the shogunate, he 
would also warn us that if the shogunate 
prevailed he could do nothing for us he 
would leave us to die." 

^ * L-^=ac==*: 

294 B 



7)^E .V/ v%r Ji ivj ^j * vvj-o j/*\j\jjet F 

-& . % . . 3i- % ml 73 

With knotted brows, Mori considered long. 
Then: 

"You think Aidzu is endeavoring at this 
moment to discredit me with the Emperor by 
laying responsibility for Hasuda at my door?" 

"Yes, this very instant." 

Mori leaned out from the norimon and signed 
to the runners. They halted. 

"One question more," he said to Echizen. 
" Have you convenient access to the Emperor?" 

"At any hour," Echizen answered. Mori 
bent towards the runners. 

"Full speed," he cried, "to the Emperor's 
palace." 

The norimon started ahead. 

"To the Emperor's palace?" repeated 
Echizen. "What are you going to do?" 

" To confront Aidzu, my accuser, and urge 
the Emperor to expel the foreigners," said 
Mori. 

"Perhaps it is the best course," answered 
Echizen, slowly. 

"It is the opportunity of which you spoke," 
said Mori. " The opportunity for which I have 
long waited." 



i 



29S 



VflSTARJA 





HE group of buildings set with- 
in the walled enclosure known 
as the Emperor's palace was 
not surrounded as were many 
feudal castles of the daimios, 
and indeed other of the Imperial 
residences, by a deep moat of 
stagnant water. The poetic 
temperament of a people who 
had returned to the pure Shinto 
religion, which made Japan a 
land of gods whose chief was the 
Emperor, would not permit the 
Kioto palace to resemble a for- 
tress. It seemed rather a temple, 
in the atmosphere created in out- 
side eyes by its carved exterior. 



296 



X 



VJSTAPJA 



' The whole interior grounds, in which were 
the residence buildings, were separated from 
the city streets only by a heavy wall, rectan- 
gular in its completed course. Within, the 
foliage, set back from the street, rose high 
above the walls, intermingled with an oc- 
casional roof-top. 

The wall was entered at intervals by guard- 
ed gates, whose porticos protruded into the 
street. Set out into the street, upon a broad 
stone platform, approached by a multitude of 
tiny steps, were two tall pillars, about each of 
which twined, carved in the material itself, a 
scaly serpent. Above the serpent, in a carved 
galaxy of death, were the claws, heads, and 
bones of wild beasts. Between the pillars and 
the edge of the wall, and forming the sides of 
the portico, were two square, wooden panels, 
upon which were carved dragons, trumpets, 
and the long -curved, bodied stork. Resting 
upon the top of the carved pillars and extend- 
ing over the wall was the sinuous roof, each 
of whose lines seemed a snake curled in its 
tortuous travel path. 

The roof, made of highly polished bamboo, 
but preserving its natural form, the little logs 
being laid side by side, swept up to a curling 
point. Over the portico entrance of the gates, 
two carved, hideously grim faces leered into 
the faces of any descending the steps. Still 
higher up, under the shadow of the gabled 
roof, was the portrait of the Emperor. 



The buildings within, set in their garden^ 
and pleasure grounds, had in their roof lines 
the appearance of the gates. They were of 
two or three stories, over each of which a ga- 
bled, curiously wrought shelf projected from 
the sides, as a shield from the weather. The 
windows, small and narrow, were set together 
in pairs. In the centre of each long side on 
the lower floor a projecting angle, covered by a 
triangular roof, made a sort of bay-window. 
Sliding screens gave admittance to the rooms 
within. 

Before the carved gate in the eastern wall 
the norimon that had brought the Prince of 
Mori from Yedo discharged its passengers. 
Echizen and Mori passed into the interior. 
Once within, Mori, who had approached the 
structure with the feelings of a devout Japan- 
ese, saw that the buildings were set closely 
together, making an inner rectangular court, 
in whose exact centre a house more pretentious 
than its neighbors stood. This he took to be 
the residence of Kommei Tenno, the Mikado. 

To his surprise, Echizen directed his way 
towards a small edifice set quite without the 
quadrangle, and of a style more simple and 
humble than any within the grounds. 

"Why are we going this way?" Mori asked. 
"The Mikado must reside there," indicating 
the house within the rectangular circle. 

" He should live there, it is true, for that is 
the official residence of his Majesty ; but being 



2 9 8 



WJSTAPJA 



a suspicious man, he lives in the house least 
suited to be his residence," returned Echizen. 

As if in keeping with the supposed incognito 
character of the house, there were no guards 
before it, while the front of the official resi- 
dence was crowded with sword-wearers. 

At the threshold Mori paused. 

"Come," said Echizen. 

" But a moment," Mori said, in a low tone 
whose last sound died away in a note of sad, 
prophetic fear. 

He raised his eyes to the trees leafing in 
the enclosure, and then to the skies. The 
night mists had passed away, it is true, from 
the sight, but there was in the air a moistness 
which the feebly awakened sun-rays had not 
yet dissipated. A tear of expectation stood 
in nature's eye. Calm and peaceful the day 
was dawning, without a sound to ruffle the 
gentle awakening of drowsy nature. The 
purple - yellow tints crept up from beyond the 
horizon, touching the tops of trees and build- 
ings in soft sign of a later imperative sign of 
action. 

Mori bared his head. As he stood there, 
the longing of the patriotic soul surging 
through his body until his hands tingled to do 
noble deeds, the winds gently laved his brow 
in the cooling of unalterable nature. Mori 
was praying to his gods, for his country, to 
the war-god if need be, and to Kwannon, the 
goddess of mercy. 

j i. __^_ 1 3T= 

299 



TtfE .WOOJNG ojf? WJSTAPJ A 



Then, at the kiss of the wind, a mood, a 
thought, a picture came to Mori, overwhelm- 
ing in its potency. The Lady Wistaria ! The 
Lady Wistaria! Her name seemed to sing in 
his brain. In a flash of thought he realized 
that, however fierce the action, however great 
the striving, however complete the attainment, 
there was no joy in life or death ever for him. 
"The calm of accomplishment meant the wreck 
of hope. 

With a fierce attack upon this memory, 
Mori drove his faculties back to their duty. 

"I am ready," he said. 

The two passed within. 

A sort of confidential valet stopped them in 
the ante-chamber. He said: 

" The Serene Son of Heaven is closeted with 
my Lord of Aidzu." 

He turned, indicating a closed door. 

"You see," whispered Echizen, when the 
servant's back was turned "you see they 
have lost no time." 

Then to the servant: 

" You may announce to his Majesty that it 
is I, the Prince of Echizen." 

As the servant disappeared behind the door, 
Mori, on whose brow a slight contraction had 
come, seizing Echizen roughly by the arm, 
forced him into the chamber beyond, the secret 
resort of the Emperor Kommei Tenno. 

At the noise of their entrance the slight man 
who had been pacing up and down the cham- 



300 



TOE -WQOJNG Oj? vflSTAR) A n 

: 3E- 4= =fr I j 

her turned in nervous apprehension, his hand 
seeking uncertainly the naked dagger at his 
waist. The Prince Aidzu maintained the posi- 
tion assumed by him earlier in the interrupted 
interview. He was standing easily in an at- 
titude of apparent assurance. An evil smile, 
meant for Echizen, played over his features 
as he regarded the future premier and his 
present rival, for the disconcerting smile of 
my Lord Aidzu was a trick usual with him 
whenever an enemy surprised him with his 
master. It was meant to convey to an in- 
truder intimation of an understanding which 
might not have been reached prior to the in- 
terruption. Echizen met it with the greatest 
indifference. 

For the first time in his short period of vigor- 
ous effort in behalf of his Mikado, Mori stood 
in the presence of the man who was the focus 
and culmination, the terminal point, of his most 
honored principle. He saw a slight form 
which could not be the bodily temple of the 
vitality of genius. It was that of a man 
scarcely beyond the thirties, yet there was no 
promise of the developing years. The feat- 
ures, however, were delicately modelled, the 
turn of the ankles and hands were exquisite. 
About the whole manifest personality of the 
man there was the subtle stamp of effeminacy. 
The hand, the intelligence within the eye- 
neither gave hint of action. The brain could 
not conceive, the hand could not execute. 



TOE JWO.OJNG f MWSTARJ A 



"Poor lost, poor betrayed cause of Japan," 
would have been the formulation of Mori's 
conclusion as these details, tempered by re- 
flection, came to him. 

Then there passed through his mind from 
the little, hidden house of memory all those 
tales he had heard whispered in secret. The 
Shogun had bred the Emperor in indolence, 
in effeminate luxury, so that the war lord of 
the Mikado might overwhelm his master in 
the dwarfing shadow of real attainment. 
There was no hope in this man. Yet the 
principle was greater than the man, and it 
was a violation of the principle that had in- 
gulfed the man. 

These thoughts passed rapidly through 
Mori's mind as he prostrated himself before 
the Mikado. 

" Oh, it is you, Echizen." The voice, small, 
without interest, broke upon Mori. "Whom 
have you there with you?" 

"Your highness," answered Echizen, with 
every token of the deepest respect, "I beg to 
present to you Keiki, the Prince of Mori." 

Mori, who was still on his knees, touched 
the floor with his head, and remained for a 
moment in this humble attitude before his 
sovereign. When he raised his head and look- 
ed towards the Mikado he perceived at once that 
he was frowning, while he made a peculiar 
movement of understanding in Aidzu's direc- 
tion, perceiving which the latter shrugged his 



** 



302 



*& 



shoulders. Then, with the decisive cutting 
of nervous fear, the voice of the Mikado broke 
the gap of silence. 

"We were speaking of you just now, Prince 
of Mori," he said, with a sinister note in his 
voice. 

The evil smile again crossed Aidzu's coun- 
tenance. 



303 




6=$ 




OR a moment there was con- 
sternation in the breasts of the 
two men, Mori and Echizen, 
while the baleful personality of 
Aidzu, seeming to expand on 
wings of hate, diffused itself 
throughout the room. 

Mori answered before Echizen 
could interject a word. 

"You honored me by your 
attention, your Majesty," he 
said, while still upon his knees. 

" Say rather dishonored/' said 
Aidzu under his breath. 

"Mori," said the Mikado, 
with an effort at great stern- 
ness, "you have dared to mur- 



TflEWOQJMG Of* \fl5TAPJA n 

der the Regent li, to burn the treaty houses 
and legations of the foreigners. What have 
you to say for yourself?" 

"Oh, your Majesty 1" was all Mori could 
exclaim, between his desire to retain his re- 
spectful attitude and his impulse to protest 
against such injustice from the one for whom 
he had labored long. 

"No doubt," continued the Mikado, "you 
have come to me thinking I shall countenance 
such an act, and to ask for protection and 
mercy?" 

Mori sprang to his feet. Every nerve in 
him was tingling and quivering. He heeded 
not the traditional etiquette to be observed 
before the Son of Heaven, whereby no man 
must look the Mikado in the face. Mori was 
of princely blood himself, and of a lineage as 
proud and old as his master's. So his own 
eyes, keen and true as those of a brave and 
innocent man, met the shifting glance of 
Kommei Tenno. 

"Nay, your Majesty; I come not to ask for 
mercy, but for justice." 

"Justice?" 

"Ay, your Majesty." 

"But you have committed these atrocious 
crimes," said the Mikado, his glance wander- 
ing uneasily from Aidzu to Mori, "and these 
crimes will bring upon us the vengeance of 
these foreign peoples." 

"I have committed no crimes, your Maj- 



305 



THE *W0)NG Q F N*STARIA n 

-. , -~- ^^ ~*ir V "ml* 

_4fc VK- ,1 Jfc I 

esty. I am innocent of that of which you 
accuse me." 

Echizen interrupted quietly. 

"Your Majesty, I do assure you that the 
Prince Mori is guiltless." 

Kommei turned rapidly to the speaker. 

"You can explain, Echizen?" 

"I can." 

"Proofs are many," said Aidzu, thrusting 
his head forward, "that this young man in- 
cited the outrages." 

Again forgetting himself, the sensitive and 
impulsive Mori leaped towards the speaker. 

"You lie!" he thundered. Then recalling 
himself, he turned towards the Mikado. 

"I crave your Majesty's pardon, but" his 
voice trembled in spite of him "that worm 
lies." 

The Emperor stared from Aidzu to Mori, 
then back to Echizen. 

"You are prepared to report concerning 
this?" 

"I am, your Majesty," answered Echizen. 

"Proceed." 

The Prince of Echizen indicated the gov- 
ernor of the city with a slight toss of his 
head. 

"Privily, your Majesty, I beg," he said. 

Kommei hesitated. He seemed to be study- 
ing Echizen's face. If read correctly, he saw 
written there so much determination, so much 
loyalty and faith and truth, that its very ex- 



306 



f 



pression communicated to him some of its 
lofty strength and resolve. 

" My Lord of Aidzu will withdraw/' he said, 
quietly. 

"But, your Majesty " began Aidzu. 

The first expression of imperial command 
came into Kommei Tenno's face. His head 
elevated itself, his eyes enlarged and became 
purple with haughty command. 

"I have spoken," he said. 

Instantly Aidzu bowed deeply, but into his 
face there crept a malignant expression. He 
then withdrew from the chamber. When he 
was gone, the Emperor made a dignified gest- 
ure of permission to Echizen. 

"Sire, this young Prince Mori has devoted 
his life to your cause, as have I," he said, in 
a low but passionate voice. 

" Hush! not so loud," said the Emperor, with 
a slight shiver. "Wait." 

With quick footsteps he crossed to the door 
and flung it violently aside. There was none 
without. 

"Proceed," he said, almost in a whisper. 

Echizen lowered his voice still more. 

" Sire, the Prince of Mori did not incite these 
massacres, but protested strongly against 

them." 

"The proofs! Quick the proofs!" 
Echizen quietly withdrew his sword from his 

belt. Its point he applied to his own breast. 

Upon his knees he offered its hilt to his master. 



Qp VftSTARIA 



"Sire, my life is at your service, now as 
ever," he said. 

The Emperor bent upon him a gaze that in 
a man of genius would have shown his soul. 

" I believe you," he muttered. Then to him- 
self : " Whom may I, of a truth, believe whom 
may I trust?" 

The Prince of Echizen, regaining his feet, 
continued : 

" These massacres were the work of a ronin 
Hasuda who is all for the cause, although 
an unauthorized agent. By this deed, how- 
ever, he and his men will aid the cause." 

"How?" 

"They will embroil the shogunate with the 
powers the shogunate, which is responsible 
to the foreigners for the peace." 

" But the shogunate had naught to do with 
these burnings and killings." 

"True," said Echizen, smiling slightly, 
" but think you that the silly foreigner is pos- 
sessed with your penetration, sire? At the 
burning of the foreign houses the ronins cried 
in the name of the shogunate." 

"A stroke, truly," said the Emperor, 
thoughtfully. 

And having dared this observation the cau- 
tious Emperor hastened to qualifications. 

"That is," he began, "that is" Then, 
remembering the presence of Mori, "What is 
his errand?" he asked. 

Mori stepped forward. His head was thrown 

rc 

? -t &==n x. ^ 

308 B 



WJSTAPJA n 



back. The Shining Prince had forgotten 
again that he was in the presence of the 
Mikado. 

"I have come to urge a national necessity 
upon your Majesty," he said. 

"What is that?" 

"To urge your Majesty to give an order 
for the expulsion of all foreigners within your 
empire." 

"What!" exclaimed the startled Emperor. 

Fervently Mori continued: 

" The presence of these foreigners makes the 
re - establishment of your Majesty in your 
proper position impossible. They distract the 
Imperialists from their purpose. Fear, or, 
rather, uncertainty, in regard to them causes 
the Imperialists to hesitate in attacking the 
shogunate and forcing civil war upon the 
country while these foreigners are upon the 
soil. They have multiplied in such numbers 
lately that all over the country the people pro- 
test against the privileges granted to them by 
the shogunate." 

"This sounds logical," said the Emperor, 
half to himself. 

"Your Majesty, permit me to suggest that 
the wrath of the foreigners, through the recent 
acts in Yedo, will fall upon the shogunate. 
This is well for us. We must take advantage 
of these very acts of the ronins. Let us follow 
them up by expelling the foreigner. If thou 
wilt but issue such a command, a united coun- 

4 T Tfc I 3*-= 

309 



TflE . 



try will back you. The shogunate will fight 
because it must, while we will do so for our 
cause and our homes. Then, the foreigner 
expelled, thou, sire, thou and the weakened 
shogunate may reckon together." 

Eagerly Kommei listened to the Prince's 
words eagerly, and with his eyes fastened 
upon Mori's face. Down dropped his head 
in thought. 

Echizen, seizing the opportunity, seconded 
Mori's appeal. 

"Sire," he exclaimed, "the shogunate must 
fall through the foreigner. It cannot rest 
upon the people. Already is it weakened. 
Only give the command to expel the foreigner 
and we will drive him into the seas. He will 
attack the shogunate, and that once van- 
quished, thou wilt reign and make peace, 
perhaps friendship, with these foreigners." 

Still the weakened Emperor hesitated. 

"I see clearly the results you foreshadow," 
he said, "but if any detail were to mis- 
carry " He shrugged his shoulders and 
shivered. 

There was a sound at the door. The con- 
fidential valet appeared. 

"What is it?" demanded the Emperor, im- 
patiently. 

"Your Majesty," -said the valet, kneeling, 
"the Shogun Kii, accompanied by the Lord 
of Catzu, has entered the palace and craves 
audience of your Majesty." 

-$- ' 4 '" I - & X vT= 

310 



THE BOOING of \WSTAPJA n 



The valet backed from the room, drawing 
the sliding doors behind him. 

Mori drew near to his sovereign until his 
burning eyes held Kommei in an embrace of 
enthusiasm. 

"See see, sire," he said, slowly, strongly, 
so that every syllable tore its way to the un- 
derstanding of the Mikado "see, the sho- 
gunate is already weakened. It comes creep- 
ing to Kioto to give that nominal submission 
to your Majesty ordained by custom to be paid 
once a year, but deferred up to this day for 
just two hundred and thirty years. Already 
the shogunate, needing your divine support, 
crawls. Crush it, sire crush it!" 

To Echizen the diplomat, this new develop- 
ment in the situation had unfolded itself with 
intuitive rapidity. 

" Sire," said Echizen, " I can tell your Maj- 
esty what the shogunate will advocate." 

"What?" 

" The closing of the ports and the sending 
away of all foreigners." 

" But that is just the policy you advocate," 
said Kommei. " You will grant me that this 
is suspicious," he quickly added. 

Echizen answered: 

" Your Majesty, the shogunate, realizing its 
own weakness, will outwardly identify itself 
with a popular policy. In secret, it has its 
own policy." 

"Sire," interjected Mori, beseechingly, 



311 



pray you answer them with the majesty that 
is Japan, and commit yourself to no policy 
with them. Once they are gone, command the 
expulsion of the foreigner, and we, your true 
and faithful Imperialists, will obey you at once. " 

The Emperor's faith was still unsettled. 
Their proposals he respected, but their loyal- 
ty he distrusted. 

"You, Echizen, and you, Mori," he said, 
abruptly, closing a period of silence and 
thought " I shall put you to the test. Come 
with me to the audience -hall. If you have 
fathomed the counsels of the shogunate, it 
shall be as you wish." 

The Emperor left the chamber. Mori would 
have taken the Mikado blindly at his word 
and have followed him to the audience-hall, 
but for the detaining grasp of Echizen. 

"His Majesty means/' he explained, "that 
we shall join him in the ante-room of the 
audience-hall. He regains his own palace by 
paths of which we must appear ignorant." 

Although transported with joy, and in a 
state of mind that would permit of little re- 
straint, Mori was kept in the room by Echizen 
until a sufficient time had elapsed. Then 
Echizen conducted the Prince to his own quar- 
ters, where both made suitable changes in 
their attire. At the end of an hour the con- 
fidential servants of the Mikado came in per- 
son to summon them to the audience-hall. 

Early as was the hour, the whole Kioto court ,, 

^^ -* ^= I ^^ 

312 



TWE AGOING op VJSTAPJ A 



* 



was astir to enjoy a profound sensation the 
coming of the Shogun to Kioto. The news 
ran like fire through the palace, carried by 
servants and masters alike. Courtiers hast- 
ened to seek out the finery they too seldom 
wore of late. The astute reasoned, and the 
profound were dumb. 

Some rumor of the events in Yedo had gain- 
ed strength. Even the least consequential felt 
that a turn in fortune had come. 

Within the spacious audience-hall, Echizen 
and Mori found vantage spots on a side of 
the Emperor's screen, opposite to that occupied 
by the sullen Aidzu. Mori now found that he 
had enjoyed a privilege given to the few in 
having seen the whole person of his Emperor. 
Upon state occasions, only the face or voice, 
even gave sign of the presence of the Son of 
Heaven. 

At the head of the hall a raised platform ex- 
tended across the entire breadth of the apart- 
ment. To its edge there hung from the ceil- 
ing richly embroidered curtains of heavy silk. 
The design was that of a dragon whose two 
frightful bodies met at the head, which oc- 
cupied the exact centre of the tapestry. The 
closely observant eyes of Mori detected lines 
near the head, showing that a square of the 
material could be removed, leaving a small 
opening. It was through this alone that the 
Emperor, as the Shinto deity, received the 
homage of his court. 



TOE -VOOJNG OF VJSTAPJ A 



There was a signal from the samurai who 
acted as master of ceremonies. The outer 
doors were pushed to either side to admit the 
procession of the Shogun Kii, a boy scarce fif- 
teen years of age, and his numerous advis- 
ers, ministers, and court. Among the richly 
attired crowd of lords about him was Catzu, 
plainly the virtual Regent, and head of the 
bakufu. 

The Shogun, the Lord of Catzu, and the 
entire assemblage fell upon their knees at a 
sign from the master of ceremonies. 

There was a pause of expectation. Then 
the square in the head of the dragon moved 
aside. Dimly seen, appeared the upper portion 
of the head of the Emperor Kommei Tenno. 

The Lord of Catzu spoke while still kneeling, 
without daring to gaze in the direction of the 
Emperor behind the screen. 

"Your Serene Majesty, Son of Heaven and 
Father of Earth/' he said, unctuously, "the 
insignificant shogunate desires, as of old, to 
render its filial submission to thee, and to give 
every evidence of its love and devotion." 

"It is well," said a voice from within the 
dragon's head. 

"The Shogun," continued Catzu, after a 
respectful pause, " as war lord of your Serene 
Highness, desires to ask your Majesty's per- 
mission to banish all foreigners now in your 
imperial realm as most noxious to your Maj- 
esty, and to close again the ports of Nippon. 

..-.. . ' A "-IE- 3T=i 

314 



-B- 



TtfE . 



"WISTARIA n 



na 



The Shogun has sent an embassy to Europe, 
that this may be done without violence and 
in dignity." 

This time there was no response from the 
Mikado behind the tapestry. Catzu, having 
paused an instant, resumed: 

" Has your Serene Highness any commands 
for his war lord?" 

The voice issued again from the dragon 
hangings. It was a trifle raised now, but 
perfectly clear. 

"It is decreed that the Prince of Echizen is 
made premier to the Shogun, and first minister 
in all our empire." 

Catzu was taken aback. His head, however, 
was bent to the ground in submission. 

"Thou art the Son of Heaven." he said, 
while rage choked his throat 



315 




A 




T last Prince Echizen, the new 
premier, and the Prince Mori 
completed all arrangements for 
the issue and execution of 
the order promised by the Mi- 
kado. 

It was agreed between the 
two and their Imperialist allies 
that when the bell within the 
Emperor's private belfry should 
sound, the transport of troops 
and cannon to Shimonoseki, in 
Choshui, should begin. When 
the hour struck, a vast army of 
laborers should move in the 
same direction, to build for- 
tifications under the direction 



of Mori, for there a foreign fleet was now 
lying. 

It was also agreed that everywhere with- 
in sound of the bell the order of the Emperor 
for the expulsion of the foreigners should be 
heralded and placarded by agents in waiting 
for this purpose. 

The Emperor, in spite of the protests of 
Aidzu, whom he distrusted but dared not re- 
move as yet from his governorship of the city, 
still held to his promise. Having once gained 
that promise, Echizen had troubled him as 
little as possible, knowing that to succeed, he 
must seek the Emperor last of all. 

Mori, on his part, had sent to the forces he 
had ordered to march on Yedo, other com- 
mands that bade them halt until he himself 
should join them. They would be the flower 
of his force against the foreigner. 

Knowing that Aidzu would interfere with 
his own person, if need be, to prevent the is- 
suing of the edict of expulsion, Echizen, on the 
afternoon of the day decided upon, caused it 
to be whispered about the court that two days 
hence he would give the signal. He thought 
thus to put Aidzu off his guard, for he knew 
that the shogunate meant nothing by its 
formal request of the Mikado. Meeting pop- 
ular demand, it had advocated the banish- 
ment of foreigners through diplomatic nego- 
tiation which signified little. Echizen knew 
that the shogunate desired open ports, and 



7WE ^WOOING ^ VW3TAPJ A n 

3^ -3r :3E \ * 



thought it extremely unlikely that the Mikado 
would issue any expulsion decrees in response 
to their statement. 

That night Mori and Echizen met the Em- 
peror by secret appointment. Aidzu was not 
in sight. The three took the way to the belfry, 
which stood near the outer wall on the west- 
ern side of the court enclosure. The path lay 
through a garden little used save by the Em- 
peror alone. Down the hill-side it went through 
a field of iris to the temple belfry, a low build- 
ing set on the ground, not in a tower. 

The Emperor was still doubtful, even while 
on the way to issue the order. 

"Is it the best thing to do?" he repeated, 
fretfully. 

"The only thing," replied Mori, firmly. 

"There is no other course," insisted Echizen. 

The wind, stirring in the tree-tops, swayed 
the shadows gloomily from side to side. 

"What is that?" exclaimed the Emperor, 
halting in alarm. 

"Only the wind, sire," answered Mori. 

"Come," repeated Echizen. 

Arrived at the belfry, the Emperor, gather- 
ing his cloak closely about him, stepped gin- 
gerly upon its broad platform, and stood there 
doubtfully regarding the swaying iron chain, 
from which was suspended, close to the bell, 
the heavy metal hammer. 

" 1 am to draw this back," mumbled Kommei, 
stupidly. 

: 4 "- l, fr ' , 1 . 3T 

tt 



TOE -VOOJNG of vmAPJ A n 



% 



a 



"You are to draw it back as far as the 
chain will permit, your Majesty/' answered 
Mori. "Do, 1 beg your Majesty, ring; sound 
the signal at once." 

The Emperor, stretching out his hand, reach- 
ed for the chain with its swinging hammer. 
A form burst from out the iris bed behind 
him. In alarm, the trembling Kommei dropped 
the chain. 

" Quick! " whispered Mori, excitedly. " Ring, 
sire ring!" 

"Ring, sire!" repeated Echizen, frantically. 

But the Emperor was staring with fascinated 
gaze into the face of Aidzu, who stood beside 
him. 

"Do nothing of the kind, sire," he panted, 
heavily. " Do nothing of the kind. It means 
ruin to the empire." 

" It means ruin to your enemies, sire," cried 
Echizen. 

"It means death," said Aidzu. 

"It is the doom of the shogunate," cried 
Mori. 

Still the Emperor hesitated and shivered. 

Again there was a sound of running feet. 
Suddenly a boyish figure leaped into the group 
of men and sprang upon the belfry platform. 
A quick hand drew back the swinging ham- 
mer to the full length of the chain. Then re- 
leasing it, the hand shot the hammer straight 
and true at the bell's heart. 

The signal, reverberating heavily, far-sound- 



319 



n r..rw~^,w--Jf VflSTARlA 

_rfl -f ^"^ ^ r ^itft^ ^tf 

ing, floated into the distance, filling the air 
with its sombre zoom! gohn! gohn! gohn! 

A slender boy knelt at the Emperor's feet. 

"Your Majesty commanded me to ring," 
said a voice. 

Mori, peering forward, recognized in an 
instant the boy Jiro. A great lump welled 
up in his throat, choking him with the in- 
tensity of his emotion. 

"Treason! Kill him!" shrieked Aidzu. 
"Your Majesty gave no such command." 

Nettled at the air of constant authority about 
Aidzu, the Emperor forgot his caution. Per- 
haps, too, the deed of the boy had touched 
him, just as it had relieved him of embarrass- 
ment. 

"I so commanded," he said. 

"But your Majesty spoke no words," ejac- 
ulated the infuriated Aidzu. 

" The Son of Heaven need not speak by word 
of mouth to be understood," was the exasper- 
ating and perfectly dignified response of the 
Mikado. 

Forgetting himself in his rage, Aidzu turned 
to Echizen and Mori. 

"I will thwart your plans yet, be assured, 
my lords." 

Mori drew himself up proudly, and throwing 
back his head, surveyed the governor con- 
temptuously. 

"It is too late," he said. "Listen!" 

From all quarters of the city about the 



320 



T 



4 



palace there came the sound of stirring move- 
ment. At first the noises mingled in con- 
fusion and were indistinguishable. Gradual- 
ly, as their several origins receded and drew 
apart, they became capable of separate identi- 
fication. Off to the west a large body of horse- 
men were fiercely galloping. To the east the 
tread of men marching in regular formation 
shook the ground. Farther south there was 
the indistinct tramp of distant horses, min- 
gled with the metallic clank of gun-fittings. 
Cannon were being moved. 
The march to Shimonoseki had begun. 



321 



a 



Ntf STAPJA 

-$- i 





T was the last stage of Mori's 
march to his seaport of Shimon- 
4 oseki. In the extreme rear, with 
a mounted force lately assem- 
bled under the direction of Toro, 
the Prince of Mori rode. Near 
him were Jiro and his ever- 
constant guardian, the samurai 
Genji, also mounted. An emp- 
ty norimon, which served as a 
travelling council - house, was 
borne by runners in advance of 
this, the rear-guard. 

The march of the expedition 
was slow, since it was regulated 
by the pace of the laborers who 
preceded the main body, as they 



322 



THE AgooiNG QJP\MSTAR)A n 

were to throw up the intrenchments without 
which the cannon of the Mori foundries were 
useless. 

j The division of laborers marched imme- 
diately behind the advance-guard. Feeling 
little apprehension of attack from the objective 
direction of their march, Mori had thrown his 
strength to the rear. Here, in addition to the 
cavalry forces, were the cannon brought from 
his provinces and those furnished by the 
Prince of Echizen. 

Over all a moon, screened by a filmy cloud, 
spread its diffused light, which rendered Mori 
impatient to begin the work of intrenchment, 
since much might be accomplished before the 
foreign ships could learn of the Imperialist 
plans. 

When Mori and Jiro, leaving the discom- 
fited Aidzu and the vacillating Emperor to- 
gether, had rushed from the palace enclosure 
to mount the horses provided by Echizen just 
outside, there had been no time for explana- 
tions. Mori was not even surprised to find 
Jiro joined by Genji before they had galloped 
a mile. He had become accustomed to the 
association of these two in a convenient com- 
radeship. 

The first work of that night had been the 
posting of mounted guards in advance and 
in the rear of the laborers, assembled by Echi- 
zen. This done, the three had galloped to the 
division of the cannon, which was hurriedly 



323 



organized into some semblance of individual 
batteries and despatched after the proletariat 
division. 

Then in a wild, quick dash across the coun- 
try the Prince of Mori had marshalled his in- 
fantry, swordsmen, and riflemen from the scat- 
tered columns into one compact corps. Time 
was now pressing, but the Shining Prince had 
yet to converge his parallel lines of cavalry. 

Fearing that the unstable Emperor, in some 
new doubt of expediency, might yet despatch 
other troops to recall him, Mori placed his 
strongest cavalry body under the command 
LI of Genji in the rear. 

While waiting for one of these divisions to 
file past him, Mori, turning suddenly to Jiro, 
asked : 

" How came you into the Emperor's palace, 
Jiro?" 

"It was simply done," replied the lad. "I 
returned with the couriers sent by you to your 
forces from the fortress of Mori." 

"You came in good time," Mori said, in 
quiet commendation. 

The distribution of the various forces com- 
pleted, Mori, ordering Genji to exercise a gen- 
eral oversight until his return, had turned to 
gallop back to the palace. He had gone but 
a short distance, however, when he found that 
the lad Jiro was close behind him. 

"Return to Genji's cavalry division," he 
-j ordered, briefly. 

, n , 

t ffi- it ...-- _.r -sites." " " . A *t 

324 



\WSTAR)A 



n 



"But, your highness, I am your personal 
armor-bearer; I must accompany you." 

The hard-riding form of Genji at this mo- 
ment had dashed forward. Mori was astound- 
ed at this singular disobedience. 

" What, you 1" he had cried. " You leave an 
army to care for itself!" 

" But the lad Jiro," said Genji. 

" Is he, then, so precious that you endanger 
the safety of a whole cause? Return at once, 
both of you, to your stations." 

Without a word more, Mori rode to the palace 
to confer with Echizen. He found the premier 
greatly troubled. 

"Mori," he said, "I cannot prevail upon the 
Emperor to make me his own premier as well 
as that of the Shogun. Already he is weak- 
ening. You must expect little aid from me 
now, since I will be under the Shogun. I may 
aid you unexpectedly, but rely upon nothing 
more than my willingness. Undoubtedly , efforts 
will be made to interfere with you, but disregard 
them. Obey the order you have received, and 
allow no Shogun to countermand it. The for- 
eigners once aroused, the rest will come in time. " 

So it was with an anxious heart that Mori 
rode in the rear of his forces on the last stage 
of the journey. Up to this time nothing un- 
toward had occurred. He had met and joined 
to his army the forces under Toro, ordered 
earlier to proceed from the Mori fortress to 
Yedo. All was well- with them. 



325 



The melancholy of the Prince was broken 
by the entrance through a sudden opening 
made in the group of his horsemen of some 
strange samurai. Straightway these samurai, 
having delivered to him some rolls of parch- 
ment, were dismissed to the advance. 

The general staff of Mori, which included 
Genji, Toro, and the boy Jiro, were summoned 
about the Prince for council. 

Mori, who had dismounted from his horse, 
spread out upon the ground and examined by 
the light of a lantern the plans of the heights 
overlooking Shimonoseki. Quickly he marked 
upon their surface black spots. 

"Here you will dig your trenches," he or- 
dered Toro. "It is time for the work." 

The heights overlooking the water below 
were entered first by the advance-guard, now 
under Mori in person. A cordon was placed 
about them, with every approach from the 
land guarded. Into the large circle thus form- 
ed Toro led the laborers under their direction. 
At once the trained pioneers began the erection 
of earthworks upon a system imparted by Mori 
to Toro, and from the latter direct to the chief 
pioneers. The entire space of the immense 
circle was soon filled by the burrowing, grub- 
bing laborers. 

While these were sinking holes on the land- 
ward side, it became apparent that no raised 
fortifications were to be made a target for 
ships. The hills themselves were cut into, but 

a : ~ -t & r . EL. 

*> 326 



n THE JWOOJNG OF VflSTAPJA n 

Jj Str ^L ~3 : 1 



always upon the landward side, leaving their 
natural elevation towards the sea. Thus the 
guns would lie in a pit below the surface of 
the highlands. The walls were all within. 

Mori's next task was the formation of the 
infantry into another circle to the landward 
of that occupied by the pioneers. Into the 
centre of it the cannon were drawn, where 
they were to remain until the trenches were 
ready for their occupancy. The remaining 
force of cavalry was massed at a convenient 
station, whence they could be sent quickly to 
any desired point. 

Now at last there came a period of inaction 
for Mori. The pioneers were making full 
speed, but nothing further could be done until 
the trenches were completed. In this breath- 
ing space Mori rode apart from all his forces, 
dismissing his temporary staff to their tasks 
of oversight. 

Upon a lonely bluff the Prince dismounted, 
where he Was able to make out indistinctly 
the foreign ships of war at anchor below. Con- 
cerning their identity he was little informed. 
He knew several nationalities were represent- 
ed, since the advent of the Americans had 
drawn English, Dutch, French, and Russian 
men-of-war to the coast. At least four nations 
must be represented in the little fleet that 
stretched out yonder over the water. 

" It little matters," said Mori. " They may 
be American, English, French, or Russian, 




WJSTARIA 



but they are all foreigners, and desire to en- 
croach upon our sacred realm." 

As he turned away from the water a young 
officer of his staff saluted him. 

"Many trenches are now prepared, your 
highness/' he said. 

At once the task of installing the guns was 
begun. Out from their guarded circle they 
were drawn. The horses originally transport- 
ing them were aided by the cavalry mounts, 
while footmen pulled enthusiastically at the 
wheels as they sank into the trampled mire 
or were blocked by natural obstructions. 

Once within the pits destined for their re- 
ception, the guns were levelled and adjusted 
by men from Mori's works. The crews ap- 
pointed to each gun were composed of the 
followers who had come from the Mori for- 
tress. 

Dawn found much of the work completed. 
The trenches were fashioned, the guns within 
the pits, and the cavalry in their appointed 
station. ' The outer cordon of guards was in- 
structed to dismount and to recline, horse and 
man, so that nothing suspicious could be seen 
from the decks of the vessels below. 

Within the trenches the adjustment of the 
heavy pieces was in progress, together with 
the levelling of a gun platform or the furtive 
sighting of a gun. Such of the infantry as 
were not engaged in this employment were 
thrown out as scouts on the landward side, 



328 



WJSTAPJA n 



that no Shogun force might attack them in 
the rear. 

Mori now made a round of inspection with- 
in the fortress. Seeing that a number of the 
guards were in position for their final firing 
elevation, the Prince called Toro to him. 

"Let the crews be drilled," he ordered, "but 
without raising the guns above the tops of the 
trenches." 

The young and impetuous Toro gave his 
orders speedily. The crews were thus famil- 
iarized with their pieces. 

During the course of the forenoon it was 
observed that the foreign fleet changed its 
position, standing off from land, and that two 
vessels left the squadron and disappeared 
around the headland. 

" They are in communication with the Sho- 
gun's people," said Mori, aloud. 

"Catzu will be upon us shortly," said a 
voice at his elbow. 

Turning, Mori found the youth Jiro. His 
eyes warmed with interest as he regarded 
kindly the boy who, with the spirit of a samu- 
rai, had never faltered in his service. Feel- 
ing strangely drawn towards Jiro, the Prince 
looked about him for some piece of especial 
employment to give him as a token of favor. 

"Ah, my boy," said he, "there is a rare 
spirit within thee. Would that thou wert a 
man." 

Hot blood colored the cheeks of the boy. 




TOE JWOOjNG op MflSTARJA 



His eyes clouded, then his head drooped for- 
ward. 

"My lord," he faltered, almost tremulously, 
"I am indeed a man, I do assure you." 

Mori smiled. 

"Only a boy, Jiro, that is all. But see yon- 
der, they are bringing in the last and largest 
of the guns. Do thou attend its mounting." 

" And after," asked Jiro " after it is mount- 
ed, my lord, who is then to have charge of it?" 

"Perhaps thou also," replied Mori, still 
smiling. 

"I thank thee, my lord," said Jiro, bowing 
deeply and hurrying away. 

The Prince was still standing there, smiling 
across the water, when Oguri, his chief of staff, 
approached him, and bowing low, awaited his 
pleasure. 

"What is it, Oguri?" he asked. 

" Your highness, the Lord of Catzu is at the 
outer guard -post, announcing that he comes 
with a message from the Shogun." 

Mori's brows darkened. 

"Tell him," he ordered, "that we know no 
Shogun here," and turned again to the water- 
front. 

In a flash he saw that the foreign fleet was 
approaching a spot opposite his position. 

Oguri maintained his place. 

"Will you not see him?" he asked. 

The sight of the fleet changed the deter- 
mination of Mori. 

: A. 1 4E==L *T= 

330 



\W3TAPJA 



"Tell my Lord of Catzu that I will see 
him outside the works, as Lord Catzu sim- 
ply. Have him conducted outside, if you 
please." 

The Lord of Catzu was brought to the spot 
mentioned by the samurai deputed by Oguri. 
Mori met him coldly. When Catzu offered 
credentials from the Yedo government the 
Prince waived them aside. 

"No credentials are necessary, my lord," 
he said. "I receive you as a private indi- 
vidual." 

"I come as an official," returned Catzu. 

" What is it you wish to say to me?" inquired 
Mori, in as haughty a tone as his own. 

" As a representative of the Shogun, I order 
you to disarm. The shogunate alone makes 
peace and war." 

"I have the sanction, the command, of the 
only master I acknowledge his Serene Maj- 
esty the Mikado." 

Catzu still breathed heavily from his labored 
ascent of the hill, for the Mori men had refused 
to permit him the attendance of even his run- 
ners. 

"Do you still refuse to obey the august 
Shogun?" he cried, testily and with difficulty. 

"I obey the Mikado," returned Mori. 

"Disarm!" roared the now infuriated Catzu. 

Mori raised his hands as though in prep- 
aration for a signal. He held them aloft as 
he shouted: 



; 



331 



-, JJJIZ.*. W^^JI 1V^ **J WJ'O ^/\rVI>s| 

*F" ^ ~ -%- 1 "'" 

"I shall give you my answer with awful 
effect, your highness." 

Sharply Mori lowered his hands. The sally- 
port facing them crashed sharply open, dis- 
closing the interior of the lately erected forti- 
fications. 

"Look, my Lord of Catzu." 

In trepidation Catzu looked about him. The 
silent, absorbed patriots were at their guns. 
Directly across from the sally-port within the 
works the gun of Jiro had been placed in posi- 
tion. The youth bent forward, was sighting 
the piece, while Toro, arms akimbo, stood back, 
approval written upon his face. 

"Guns and men," muttered Catzu; then, 
catching sight of Toro, he almost rushed upon 
him. Toro, surprised, turned about and faced 
his father. 

"Thou recreant son!" roared the senior Lord 
of Catzu. Meeting his father's eyes squarely, 
Toro kept silence. 

"Thou art," said Catzu, "truly a vicious 
product. Hast thou forgotten all the precepts 
^ of honor taught thee from childhood? Thou 
art no son of mine, nor indeed of Japan, for 
what man can be a patriot with honor who sets 
his father at defiance? It is admitted by even 
4 those more ignorant than thou that a true son 
owes his first allegiance in life to his parent." 

"Nay, my lord," replied Toro, quickly. 
"You do labor under a mistake. The first 
allegiance a son of Japan owes to any man is 

3 - _x . & r a=n= 

332 



op VflSTAPJA 



that claimed of him by his supreme master, 

the Emperor. Banzai, the Mikado!" 

: Mori stepped quietly before the enraged 

Catzu. 

"Now, my Lord of Catzu/' he said, "you 
shall have my answer." 

As he spoke, he caught up a light rifle from 
a guard at the gate and fired into the air. In- 
stantly the crews, with hoarse cries, elevated 
their pieces until their muzzles stood above 
the breastworks; carefully they trained them 
upon the ships. 

"Ready, my lord," shouted Toro. 

"Ready, my lord," echoed Oguri. 

Mori made a sign. Instantly a heavy dis- 
charge rent the air and shook the ground 
whereon they stood. 

Jiro, at his gun, directly before Mori and 
Catzu, himself applied the match, and then, 
stepping back, squinted along the piece to 
see the effect of his fire. The ball broke a fore- 
mast on the leading vessel. In consternation 
Catzu left the place, the design of the crafty 
Mori to embroil him with the enemy through 
his accidental presence dawning upon him. 

For upward of an hour the firing continued. 
At the end of that period the ships drew off 
from range. Mori, elated at having held his 
own against the foreigners, and now certain 
of the consequences of his action, withdrew 
his people from the batteries. That night the 
army rested, for Mori knew that the foreigners 

f ' iff -l 1 * * ^C - - 

333 



TOE .WOOING of \STAR) A 



would lay the cause of the bombardment to the 
shogunate and make new demands upon it. 

The next day a courier from the Kioto court 
entered his works. 

"It is some new mark of the Mikado's re- 
gard/' cried Toro, impulsively. 

Sadly Mori smiled. 

"I fear me it is/' he said. 

With a calm face and firm hand Mori open- 
ed the despatch. His face darkened. 

"What is it?" cried Toro. 

"We are branded as outlaws/' answered 
Mori, his spirit quite gone, a deathly pallor 
creeping over his face. " We are forbidden to 
approach the Imperial city." 

"Aidzu?" whispered Jiro, almost in tears. 

"Yes, Aidzu," repeated Mori. 

A garrison was left in the works in charge 
of Oguri, who was to make more intrench- 
ments. Mori, with his cavalry and footmen, 
accompanied by Toro, Jiro, and Genji, returned 
inland that night to the fortress of the Prince. 



"* 334 



Of 





ITHOUT the Imperial city of 
Kioto, in an open field, lay en- 
camped a little army of thirteen 
hundred men. It was some 
months following the decisive 
action of Mori at Shimonoseki. 
Imperialists of the neighborhood 
could not have told who the 
commander of this force was. 
They were known simply as 
the "Irregulars." 

Small as was the force, it was 
admirably trained and drilled 
in all three of its divisions of 
cavalry, infantry, and artillery. 
Each division was the flower 
and choice of some larger body. 

> . ' . . -3fc. . r JL - tt. 

335 



The force, which had remained in inaction for 
a considerable period, showed nevertheless a 
state of ruling vigilance, whether for attack 
or defence could not have been told from its 
appearance. 

The camp was in the shape of an elongated 
circle, whose circumference was regularly de- 
fined by field- pieces set at regular intervals, 
and trained to oppose any invading force. 
Near each cannon were tethered the horses fur- 
nishing the motive power. Hard by, stretch- 
ed upon the ground, or lounging within the 
scant shadows of the gun-carriages, were the 
artillerymen. Infantry guards, in armor, and 
for the most part armed with rifles, patrolled 
the space without the circle. Other soldiers 
and samurai, armed only with swords, sat in 
the openings of tents assigned to their division, 
or occupied the time in sword exercise in the 
open spaces between their shelters. Near the 
centre of the encampment were assembled the 
horses of the cavalry division, saddled and in 
complete readiness for their riders, who lounged 
near by. 

Within a short stone 's-throw of the horse- 
men was pitched what seemed, from its com- 
manding position on a little eminence, the tent 
of the commander of the "Irregulars." Close 
by its entrance stood an enormous samurai, 
whose naked sword was held lightly, care- 
lessly, in his hand. In conversation with him 
stood a hardy youth, attired as a cavalryman. 



Fff 



336 



7H&WP01NC OF WJSTAPJA 

- -% 3 * i 

The curtains of the tent on the eminence 
were parted deftly, and the slight figure of a 
boy hastened towards the two. 

"My Lord of Catzu," he said, "the Prince 
Mori desires your presence, and that of you 
also, Sir Genji." 

Toro smiled at the youth's ceremoniousness. 

"Is there news, my Jiro?" he asked. 
i " Oguri, as you know, has arrived from the 
south, and our enemies have reported concern- 
ing the condition of the city." 

The three hastened within, where they found 
Oguri and Mori. 

" Now, then, Oguri, your news," commanded 
Mori. 

"Your highness," said Oguri, "the British 
have bombarded Kagoshima as a result of our 
attack upon the foreign fleet." 

"Kagoshima!" exclaimed Mori "the cap- 
ital of our old friend Satsuma. Then, indeed, 
have we brought trouble upon our allies." 

Other members of Mori's staff sent through 
Kioto reported the results of their investiga- 
f tions. The premier Echizen had abolished the 
custom of the daimio's compulsory residence 
in Yedo during a portion of each year, and now 
all these territorial lords resided in Kioto. 
Within the Imperial palace of Kommei Tenno 
the Lord Aidzu appeared to have controlling 
influence. The Lord of Catzu was there with 
him in consultation. Troops of the Aidzu clan 
had arrived at the palace in great numbers 



337 



WISTARIA 





and were encamped in the flower-gardens. 
Though loathing the shogunate, the Mikado L 





appeared to be completely under its control. 

Having ascertained these facts, Mori dis- 
missed all the staff save Oguri, Toro, Genji, 
and Jiro. 

"No answer has come to our petition?" he 
asked. 

The four shook their heads. 

"None," they said. 

"You have heard the reports," continued 
Mori, " and will perceive that the Aidzu-Catzu 
party, now in possession of the Emperor's 
person and the palace, are determined upon 
something. These constant arrivals of new 
troops, the silence of the Mikado to our peti- 
tion, the crowding of the palace with armed 
samurai all these things mean that we are 
to be punished for having petitioned the Mi- 
kado to remove from us the ban of outlaw." 

"Then, your highness," broke in Toro, 
"since the petition was not signed by you, 
but came from us, your followers, they may 
now know of your arrival here, and may be 
preparing to send out an expedition against 
you in the south." 

"No," replied Mori, "I think they know I 
am here with you, and propose to attack me 
at once here in my camp. Now, my friends, 
the time has come for me to disclose to you the 
real purpose of this expedition. We have re- 
% spectfully petitioned the Mikado to admit us 

c=4? 

338 



\W3TAPJA 



again to his favor. He is silent He is sur- 
rounded by his enemies. We must attack the 
palace and rid it of the Aidzu-Catzu combi- 
nation, thus allowing the Mikado once more 
to become a free agent." 

Oguri and Genji leaped to their swords. 

"Now, on the instant, my lord," they cried. 

Mori answered, calmly: 

"No; we must first gain some knowledge of 
the exact plans of those within the palace. 
I want a volunteer for this service." 

Simultaneously the four cried out for the 
service. Mori considered. 

"No, not you, Toro; you would be recog- 
nized too quickly; nor you, Oguri, for you are 
needed sorely here. Perhaps you, Genji, but 
you are too large." 

"I am small. The task is mine," broke in 
Jiro. "1 will go." 

"Not without me," said Genji. 

" Why not without you, Sir Genji?" inquired 
Mori, mildly. " The boy Jiro needs no guar- 
dian. He has proved his valor and discretion 
upon many an occasion." 

With a smile whose influence was ever potent 
with the Shining Prince, Jiro moved nearer 
his commander. He said, gently : 

" Permit Sir Genji to accompany me. I have 
resources within the palace I need not speak 
of now, which will insure me complete safety, 
but I would ask that the samurai be placed " 
he smiled boyishly " under my command, so 

jf - .JL ff--. I J 

339 



that if I am forced to remain within the palace 
he may carry to you whatever news I may 
gain." 

"What do you mean?" inquired Mori. 
"What resources can you have in the Mi- 
kado's palace?" 

The lad, stammering, blushed. 

"My lord," he said, "you know I visited the 
palace before, and and " 

He broke off in confusion. 

"As you will," said Mori, turning aside. 

An hour later the samurai Genji strode 
through the eastern gate of Kornmei Tenno's 
palace, accompanied by a young woman with 
the air of a princess. They were allowed to 
pass, while Genji answered the challenge of 
the guard readily. 

"Of the household of the Lord Catzu," he 
said, pointing to the young woman. "My 
lord's apartments?" 

The guard indicated the house in which the 
Lord Catzu had temporarily taken up his resi- 
dence. Without further challenge, the two 
reached the door of Catzu's private apartment. 
The guard at the door, recognizing the two, 
ushered them into the presence of the Lord 
Catzu. 

They found him before a table on which were 
spread plans and letters. In irritation at being 
disturbed in the midst of some important em- 
ployment, Catzu glanced up from his scrolls. 

His face became purple with astonishment 



340 




VJSTAPJA 



and mingled emotions. From the caverns of 
flesh surrounding his puffy cheeks his little 
eyes gleamed. He stared at the two with his 
mouth agape. They regarded him smilingly. 
Finally Catzu gasped out: 

"By the god Bishamon!" and again lapsed 
speechless. 

The woman, advancing, knelt at his feet. 

Catzu lifted her into his arms. 

"Wistaria!" he exclaimed. 

" Yes," she smiled up at him. " It is indeed 
Wistaria." 

Catzu held her at arm's-length. 

"Ah, my lady," he chuckled, wagging his 
head at her, " it is plain to be seen that a re- 
ligious life has dried your tears and honora- 
bly mended a foolish heart-break. The moun- 
tains have made you as rosy as its flowers 
and as strong and hardy as its trees." 

"And thou, dear uncle?" she inquired. 
"Thou, too, seemest in good health and 
spirits." 

Catzu sighed, somewhat out of keeping with 
his fat and happy appearance. 

"Alas, my dear Wistaria/' he said, "your 
poor old uncle has suffered much." 

"But how?" asked Wistaria with feigned 
surprise. 

A tear appeared in Catzu's eyes and rolled 
over his puffed cheeks. 

" I have lost my graceless son," he said. 

"My uncle!" said Wistaria, sympathetical- 



341 



ly, while she looked past him at Genji with a 
knowing glance. 

Catzu also turned towards Genji. 

"And you, Sir Genji, what became of you? 
Now, sir, tell me how it comes that you are 
here with my lady niece." 

"My lord," answered Genji, "I joined my 
lady, summoned by a messenger at Yoko- 
hama, on the day of the reception in the 
Treaty House. I turned my prisoners over to 
another. I trust they were deservedly pun- 
ished for their offence." 

"Nay/* said Catzu, "they escaped. But 
no matter. And you, Wistaria, have you any 
love left for that husband of yours who de- 
serted you on your wedding-day, or have the 
mountains and the gods taught you of his 
baseness?" 

Wistaria's features darkened in seeming 
hate. 

"I could kill him," she said. Under her 
breath she added, "Forgive me." 

The Lord Catzu appeared satisfied and turn- 
ed to Genji. 

"You may resume your old place in my 
train. There will be work for you soon." 

Genji bowing, withdrew. 

" Uncle," said Wistaria, " tell me what your 
words just now meant?" 

" Presently, presently," returned Catzu. " I 
have good news for you. But, first, what of 
yourself?" 



342 



TflE. WOOJNG Of? VflSTAPJA 



Wistaria shrugged her pretty shoulders. 

" Oh, of myself there is little to tell. I grew 
tired of the service of the temple. Thou know- 
est that I was never meant for a priestess. 
Thou didst use to declare/' she added, smil- 
ing roguishly, "that the gods designed me 
for the court." 

"True, true," said Catzu, regarding her 
fondly, "and more than ever I declare it. 
Thou hast budded into a very beautiful wom- 
an, my little niece. But continue. Thou 
wert tired of the temple yes?" 

"Well, I thought I had surely offered up 
sufficient supplication to the gods to have 
saved a hundred ancestors and parents' au- 
gust souls. So I sent for Genji, and have, as 
thou seest, returned unto thee. " 

"Thou didst well. And, what is more, it 
shall be my task to punish your husband." 

Wistaria averted her face for a moment. 
Then seating herself on the floor, comfortably 
against his knee, she raised to him innocent 
eyes. 

"Punish him? Why, how can that be, 
honorable uncle?" 

" He is encamped near by with a rebel army," 
said Catzu, lowering his voice confidentially; 
"the day after to-morrow we send an army 
of chastisement against him under the valiant 
Prince of Mi to." 

"The Prince of Mito/' repeated Wistaria, 
half aloud. 



"* 



VJJSTARJA 

^E - % 3 3E - 

" Yes, a brave nobleman I desire to become 
your husband in time. You will be free ere 
long, I do assure you." Catzu chuckled con- 
fidently. 

"What is the offence of of this rebel?" 

" Your husband dog? He conspires against 
the Mikado. Oh, we shall drive him out." 

An attendant, interrupting them, ushered in 
Aidzu. Wistaria slipped to the door. Catzu 
recalled her. 

"Thou mayest remain, niece. Hear our 
plans. They closely concern thee." 

"I will return in a moment; but Genji has 
my perfume sack, which I desire." 

Outside the door, Wistaria spoke in an ex- 
cited whisper to Genji. 

"Quick, Genji, you must hasten back to the 
camp without delay. Tell the Prince that an 
army of chastisement under the young Prince 
of Mito will attack him the day after to-morrow. 
You yourself have seen the forces in the gar- 
dens. Go to the camp at once. Make your 
report and return then to me." 

"And thou, my lady?" 

"I cannot return at this time without ex- 
citing suspicion, perhaps hastening the attack 
upon my lord by a day. I must remain. I 
can be of service here." 

" I like not to leave thee," said Genji, in great 
doubt and perplexity. 

"Nay, you must do so; I insist." 

"I cannot. My duty" 



344 



\W5TAPJA n 

. T S ^1 



"Ah, Genji," remonstrated Wistaria, "the 
devotion of a samurai is best proved by his 
obedience. Go thou to the camp of my lord; 
do, I beg nay, I command thee." 

Genji bent his forehead to her hand, then 
very slowly turned and left her. 

Her uncle, grown impatient for his niece, 
came into the ante-chamber. 



345 



TOE .WOOING of 





HE report of the samurai Genji 
caused an instant stir of prep- 
aration throughout the camp 
of Mori. The commanders of 
the batteries inspected their 
pieces carefully, giving orders 
for hurried repairs where neces- 
sary; horses were examined 
foot by foot, and within the 
tent of the Irregulars' leader a 
last council of the staff arranged 
the details of an early morning 
march. Then the rank and file 
were sent to sleep upon their 
arms. 

" You are certain Jiro is 
in no danger?" Mori asked, 



\MSTAPJA 



just before the samurai's return to the pal- 
ace. 

"None whatever," answered Genji, "even 
if I am not with him, your highness. He has 
friends at court and may yet serve us further." 

Relieved in mind concerning the safety of 
the youth, in whom Mori placed deep con- 
fidence and for whom he had great affection, 
the leader of the Irregulars returned to his tent. 
There he found his staff, the leading kuge of 
Choshui, still gathered, though the morning's 
attack had been thoroughly ordered. 

Seating himself, Mori began the composi- 
tion of a memorial to the Imperial throne. 
Glancing up, he saw his officers silently watch- 
ing him. 

"What is it?" he inquired. 

Oguri stepped forward. There was a strange 
gravity and even sadness in his face as he 
bowed deeply before his superior. 

"Your highness/' he said, "our cause is 
just, and history should accord us our proper 
place when the anti-Shogun government is 
established." 

"Yes." 

"But it is of the present we think." 

"Speak on." 

"The present esteem of our friends in the 
Kioto court we must advise them of our 
purity of motive." 

Mori held up quietly the scroll upon which 
he had been engaged. He replied: 



"I have thought of that. At this moment 
I am inditing a memorial to the throne, begging 
his Imperial Majesty's pardon for creating a 
disturbance so near to the base of the chariot 
(throne), but declaring that we do it that he 
may rule without a Shogun, the sole and Im- 
perial master of his own empire." 

The officers looked at each other with solemn 
expressions of approval. 

"My lord/' said Oguri, "we would wish 
also to write letters to our personal friends at 
the Imperial court. May we have your august 
permission to do so?" 

"Do so at once, my brave men," returned 
Mori, " but do not forget that we cannot send 
them this night, since that would warn them 
of our contemplated attack. Leave your let- 
ters with me. Write them here, if you wish, 
and I will be responsible for their delivery." 

Then the company, careful of their honor 
with their friends and foes alike at court, set 
to their task. With tears in their eyes, the 
patriots traced upon the paper words of devo- 
tion to their country and their cause. Soon 
a little pile of epistles lay under Mori's hand. 
Their valor was in no way diminished by this 
satisfaction of their honor. ft 

During the night Mori obtained some rest, 
which was broken at intervals when bands of 
ronins, who had devoted themselves since the 
Yedo troubles to the extermination of anti- 
.f Imperialists, came to his encampment, offer- 

ffi ~ .J, ~ . JL-7 3&- JL .^Cl . '~ 

348 



TflEJWOQliNGOf? VJ5TAPJA n 

fls-^ -* 3fc _JT ^F- H 



I 



ing their services in any movement against 
the Aidzu-Catzu combination. So small was 
Mori's force that he would have been glad of 
their aid, but for his unwillingness to stand 
sponsor for their unlicensed acts. 

At the hour when the Lord of Catzu was 
unsealing a letter from his son, Toro, justify- 
ing all his actions in the past, and at the same 
time beseeching his father's forgiveness, the 
little force of Irregulars encircled the Imperial 
palace. 

The Lord of Catzu had read enough of the 
letter to understand its import, when the move- 
ments of the army without, accentuated by the 
sharp cries of the guarding samurai, came to 
his ears. 

" There has been some strange treason here," 
cried Catzu, wildly, as he summoned his fol- 
lowers to arms. 

Mori's plan of battle was simple. The force 
had been divided into three divisions, com- 
manded by himself, Oguri, and Toro respec- 
tively. It was not without misgivings that 
the Prince had intrusted the command of a 
division to the rash Toro, but the reflection 
that his very temerity might be a valuable 
element in the day's events had decided 
him. 

Each of these divisions was to proceed to a 
different gate, through which a simultaneous 
attack upon the inner palace was to be made. 
Those within were to be driven out by the 




V0STAR1A 



infantry into the streets, where cavalry and 
artillery would cut and pound them to pieces. 

The artillery was upon no account to be 
directed against the palace itself, since the 
life of the Son of Heaven and the safety of 
the charging forces within might thereby be 
imperilled. A portion of the artillery was 
given to each division ; the cavalry, acting as 
one body, was to act as the circumstances 
might require. 

To himself and a band of chosen samurai, 
Mori reserved the capture and guarding of 
the Emperor's sacred person. 

At the western gate Mori halted the van of 
his division, while the cavalry, closely com- 
pact, rested on his right in readiness for their 
orders. At his left was his artillery force, 
so arranged that their fire should cut obliquely 
the line of entrance. 

The Irregulars who faced the samurai guard- 
ing this port of entrance presented a far from 
uniform aspect. They, the infantry of his 
force, were all in armor, but their weapons 
differed. Some carried rifles, others were 
armed with spears, swords, and bows and 
arrows. They were gathered into corps ac- 
cording to the nature of their arms, but all were 
infantry. 

At a signal from Mori a rifle volley cut down 
the samurai at the gate. Those who were 
struck dashed through the portals, whence 
issued audible proofs of the alarm felt within. 

3T ,JL ^ Jn=: *g 

350 



Instantly the ranks of the infantry parted 
to permit the passage of a body of laborers 
and sappers, who, attacking the gate with 
their tools, gave promise of a speedy breach. 

At the moment when one of the doors gave 
way, when the infantry, straining every nerve, 
waited couched for the charge, when Mori 
in their rear gathered about him the picked 
samurai he was to lead, there thundered from 
a point across the palace directly opposite the 
heavy detonation of artillery. 

The commander was thrown into grave anx- 
iety. From its volume he knew that one of 
his lieutenants, disobeying his orders, was 
shelling the Imperial palace. The safety of 
the Emperor, and his own good faith, were 
equally endangered, since the death of the 
Mikado would make him and his men choteki 
(traitors) in the eyes of the nation. 

Mori came to an instant decision. Even 
at the cost of the utter failure of the storming 
of the palace, such a false position must be 
avoided. Committing the assault of the west- 
ern gate to a young officer, and bidding his 
picked samurai follow him, he seized the horse 
an attendant held for him, and galloped around 
the angle of the palace wall. 

When he came within sight of the central 
gate of the eastern wall, Mori saw that Toro, 
wearying of the slowness of his pioneers, had 
ordered his artillery to batter down the doors. 
One small volley had been fired when the 

4 JL. & i a. - 

351 



VMSTARlA 



Prince, riding fiercely at the men serving the 
guns, beat them down with the flat of his 
sword. 

"Remove these guns at once," he shouted; 
"you must not fire." 

Sheepishly the gunners picked themselves 
up, as the horses dragged the pieces to one 
side. Mori, dismounting, strode up to Toro, 
now standing abashed before the very gate he 
was to storm. 

"You are superseded," roared the enraged 
Mori. "I give the command to " 

With a quick, almost superhumanly nervous 
movement, the gates were thrust aside from 
within. The black muzzles of cannon threat- 
ened the now disorganized division of the 
Irregulars. 

"After me," cried Mori. 

A flying leap carried him across the line 
of cannon. Out from their mouths belched 
their fire. The invaders were swept aside. 
Mori, striking terrible blows about him, or- 
dered his men to advance, when the Shogun 
cannon were withdrawn, and a body of horse- 
men, with savage cries, rushed from within 
the palace, driving before them and scattering 
the survivors of Toro's division. 

A horse felled Mori and tossed him aside. 
As he struck the ground a gigantic samurai 
seized his motionless form, threw it across his 
shoulder, and carried it into the group of 
palaces. 

m~ m LJL . - X ' - = 

352 



TOE - 



The body of chosen samurai who had fol- 
lowed Mori, more slowly because on foot, now 
came up, and made a disheartening stand. 
A terrible cry arose that carried dismay, dis- 
organization, and defeat to all divisions of the 
Irregulars. 

"The Shining Prince is taken! Mori is 
killed!" was shouted by some witless mem- 
ber of Toro's division. 

Taken up by others, the report came to the 
officers in whose charge the various divi- 
sions had been placed. Although Oguri made 
every effort to carry cohesion throughout the 
force, the shout had done its work. Mori, 
the Shining Prince, their invincible leader, 
was dead, thought the rank and file. All was 
lost. With such a spirit to combat, the of- 
ficers could do nothing. 

A superstitious fear that the gods had de- 
serted them entirely for their sacrilegious act 
of attacking the palace of their representa- 
tive on earth, the divine Mikado, added ter- 
ror to the Irregulars. 

Some little advantage was gained here and 
there by charges into the gardens of the palace, 
but the great force of Aidzu easily repelled 
them. Then pouring out into the streets, ^ 
the army of chastisement, under the young 
Prince of Mito, cut asunder the already divided 
and leaderless force of Choshui. Away from 
the vicinity of the Imperial enclosure the 
J centre of battle rolled. The cavalry of Mori, 

az - LJL. . $- i a - 

13 353 



THE JWOOJNG <tf> VJiSTAPJ A 



dashing about compactly, made charges that 
were intended to rally the men of Choshui, 
but fruitlessly. They alone, of all the bodies 
of the Mori army, hung together. 

The Shogun troop, having seized the cannon 
of Toro's division, turned them upon the Im- 
perialists. Fresh troops, ordered to the palace 
some days before by Aidzu, now arriving, 
overwhelmed by sheer swamping effect the 
artillery of Mori, once their fire was drawn. 
Most of Mori's artillery was now in the hands 
of the shogunates. 

As the flood of fighting men surged through 
the city of Kioto in diverse, disintegrating 
directions, fire ingulfed large portions of the 
city. A gale sprang up from the west, fanning 
the work of incendiarism and cannon. Houses, 
squares, streets, yashishikis of the visiting 
daimios, whole districts were destroyed, while 
the bakufu followers cannonaded and beat 
to pieces the public store-houses, lest some 
Choshui men should find hiding there. The 
lowly Eta in their peaceful villages were driven 
out and their houses consumed before the 
breath of angry war. An Imperial city fell 
almost to ashes and ruin in a day and night. 

But scattered and isolated as they were, 
the valorous men of Choshui, once they re- 
covered themselves from the disaster of the 
palace, made a last, wild, determined resist- 
ance. 

A party under Toro, now insane with grief, 

ft "" Jt. .. 3& -X. . &. .,' 

354 



TOE J 

% 3 



occupied house after house and building after 
building, as with their rifles they brought down 
the enemy during a slow retreat, when they 
fired every edifice they were forced to abandon. 

Darkness drew no kindly curtain over the 
red-heated stage of action. The light of vast 
conflagrations gave sufficient illumination for 
sword to meet sword in a shock broken only 
by death. The houseless, homeless residents 
of the city, non-combatants, fleeing to the hills 
for their lives, deepened the tragedy of the 
scene. 

In the confusion of this isolated series of 
battles, Oguri had come upon the cavalry 
division. Vaulting into an empty saddle, he 
took command. Diffused as the avenging 
wave of the young Mito had now become, it 
could be broken through in some single spot, 
Oguri believed. The bakufu men thought 
only of attack, not of being attacked. 

Through a quarter of the town as yet un- 
touched by the fury of either party, Oguri led 
the cavalry back towards the palace. Coming 
upon Toro's party, he added them to his forces. 
But with his meeting of Toro he had chanced 
upon a fighting zone. Through the cleared 
space on which still smouldered the ruins of 
buildings fired by Toro, Oguri directed a 
charge against the infantry opposed to him, 
and passed on. In this way, Oguri gained 
gradually a passage towards the palace. 
Whenever he came to a region of houses 



355 



THE .WOJNGOJ* \WSTAFUA 



from which he was attacked, Toro and his 
followers, become pioneers and sappers, lev- 
elled and set fire to them, clearing the way 
for a new charge of Oguri's horse. 

Slowly, still undiscovered by the main body 
of the enemy, they reached the palace. 

Gray, dismal, haggard dawned the day, as 
though fearing to look with sun eyes upon 
the horror wrought by dark night. From 
the burning city great mists of smouldering 
debris hastened to veil, as though in sym- 
pathy, the eyes of the lord of day. 

Within the palace Mori came to conscious- 
ness. He lay in a chamber looking upon 
what he recognized as the inner court of the 
Imperial palace. One hand wandered in con- 
vulsive movements down his person. He 
found that his armor was still upon him, 
though loosened. Upon the floor by the side 
of his divan lay his swords and helmet. Mori 
fell, rather than rose, from the divan, and stood 
dizzily, uncertainly erect. Then attempting to 
raise his sword, he fell from weakness. 

At the sound a woman came forward from 
the recesses of the apartment. Mori regarded 
her with delirious eyes. She seemed a white 
phantom who had risen up in his path to taunt 
him with her wondrous loveliness. But over 
her there was the gauzy cloud of falsity. She 
was a vampire. 

"You are yourself?" she breathed, in soft 
question. 

^ 3i : -* __ 

356 




TOE .WOOJNG o^ 



Sullenly, dizzily, Mori raised himself, and, 
with the motion of a drunken man, stooped 
to his sword and helmet. Obtaining them, 
he turned on the woman burning eyes. 

" Touch me not," he muttered. Then fling- 
ing aside the door, and seeking the stairway 
as if by instinct, he tumbled rather than walk- 
ed down the stairs. 

He heard the tramp of horsemen without. 
Brandishing his sword, he rushed into the 
gardens. He was in the midst of Oguri's 
horsemen. The leader flung himself from his 
horse and threw his arms about his disabled 
chief. 

Mori tottered into the arms of the chief of 
his staff. 

"Seize the Emperor!" he half moaned, half 
gasped, in command; "then retreat south 
back to our provinces." 

Anxious to retrieve himself in the eyes of 
the army whose destruction he laid at his 
own door, Toro set off for the building with- 
j in the court, shouting to his men, as Oguri 
received the swooning Mori into his arms. 

"Follow me! To the Emperor!" shrilly 
cried Toro. 

If any of the bakufu troops still remained 
within the palace they did not show them- 
selves while Oguri, busied with Mori, let 
his cavalry stand idly by. The footfalls of 
Toro's party resounded through the inner 
quadrangle. 



357 



TOE JWOOJNG <*F VJ^TAR) A n 

^ 



Within an inner chamber, crouching in 
seeming fear, Toro found a figure dressed in 
the garments his knowledge told him were 
Imperial. He knew that the central palace 
was the Mikado's residence. To the crouch- 
ing figure Toro made respectful obeisance. 

"Oh, Son of Heaven, yield thyself to me. 
I shall care reverently for thy person/' he 
said. 

The figure raised a pallid face, while trem- 
bling lips murmured: 

" Wouldst thou lay profane hands upon the 
sacred person of thy Emperor?" 

"It is he!" cried Toro, delighted. "Seize 
him, my men, and carry him off." He modi- 
fied his command to add : " Touch him with 
respect, I command you." 

To Oguri they bore the still trembling man. 
The lieutenant ordered him placed in a nori- 
mon, where his sacred person might be shielded 
from the scrutiny of his men. 

"Is it indeed he?" Oguri questioned Toro. 

" No doubt of it," returned Toro. " He him- 
self admitted it." 

Oguri and Toro now consulted together as 
to their next course. Mori was still insen- 
sible, despite their efforts to arouse him. In \ 
\ the reduced condition of their force, Oguri did 
not deem it wise to remain longer, lest return- 
ing bakufu hosts should spoil all. He could 
not spare the men to carry an additional nori- 
mon. He spoke thoughtfully : 



358 



. WISTARIA 

$~3t^- - &. _ JT .at i - 

" His highness, our beloved Prince of Mori, 
is of royal lineage and blood himself, as thou 
knowest, my Lord of Catzu. It will, therefore, 
be meet that we place him within the same 
norimon with the Son of Heaven." 

The body of their senseless leader was placed 
in the norimon, while Ogtiri, in order to attend 
to his wishes when he should regain con- 
sciousness, was forced also to crowd into the 
vehicle. Eight strong samurai lifted the car- 
riage. 

"Back to Choshui," ordered Oguri, mind- 
ful of the last order of his chief. Moreover, 
the long march back to their base of supplies 
was the best, and indeed the only course left 
to them. 

Three miles outside the city, Mori, moaning, 
struggled in the arms of Oguri. 

"All is lost! All is lost!" cried Mori, with 
heart-breaking bitterness. 

" Nay, my prince, my dear lord," said Oguri, 
in a voice as tender and soft as a woman's, 
" all is not lost. We were but a portion of our 
one clan of Choshui. Our southern allies, our 
friends, are only waiting to rally to thy aid. 
Moreover, we have achieved a great triumph 
over our enemies." He lowered his voice. 
" Your highness, we have honorably captured 
the person of the Son of Heaven. See!" 

He lifted with one hand the head of Mori, 
while with the other he parted the curtains 
of the norimon, letting in the strong light of 



359 



day, which shone upon the face of the figure 
reclining on the opposite seat in the norimon. 

Painfully Mori looked. His head fell back. 

"Fools! Fools! "he mumbled. "You have 
been tricked by the cunning Aidzu. That is 
not the Emperor." 



u 



360 



TOE - 





OR two days the fleet carrying 
the flags of four foreign nations 
had bombarded Mori's intrench- 
ments on the heights of Shimon- 
oseki. Towards the evening of 
the second day, Mori cast up 
the results. 

Guns dismounted by the 
foreign fire lay in heaps of 
d6bris, the dead and the wound- 
ed impeded the steps of the 
living, and fully half of the 
guns were out of action. Yet 
steadily and fiercely the foreign 
vessels, sweeping across the 
fort's line of fire in a wide circle, 
one by one emptied their guns 

rf- I A 

361 



TflE. WOOING of 




into the fortress. Only a third of the garrison 
now remained to Mori. 

Again the Prince drew from his breast Jiro's 
brief letter, sent to him by Oguri, in charge 
of the Choshui fortress, whither it had gone 
from Kioto. 

"My lord," wrote Jiro, "your honorable 
family, together with the two cadet families 
of Nagate and Suwo, has been stripped of 
all its titles. An order has been issued for 
every loyal clan to march against you in your 
southern stronghold. They are sending a vast 
army against you. Be warned. It has al- 
ready departed for your province. Yet a lit- 
tle cheer a small light appears to me. The 
Shogun's troops, my lord, are garbed in Japan- 
ese fighting attire. They are, moreover, far 
from being a united or happy body of men. 
There is sore dissatisfaction and unrest among 
them. Many dislike the prospect of the long 
journey to your province, many are secretly 
opposed to the chastisement, many Kioto men 
are entirely unfit for service. If you will 
permit your insignificant vassal to suggest, 
I would remark that it will be well for your 
highness now to avail yourself of your many 
years of labor in the perfection of the training 
of your troops in the arts of Western warfare. 
When the shogunate troops finally reach the 
south, take advantage of their weakness." 

It was the month following Mori's disastrous 
expedition to Kioto, and the letter was now 



** 



362 



TOE .VJOOJNG cf WJ5TAPJ A n 

n 



many days old. As Mori bent his head in 
restoring the letter to its place, a dull impact 
shook the fortress. A shell from a heavy for- 
eign gun, striking the long cannon erected by 
the youth Jiro at the previous bombardment, 
bursting, rolled the bronze tube from the car- 
riage and swept it into a little knot of pio- 
neers, crushing and killing the majority of 
them outright. 

A bitter smile, torn from the heart of the 
commander, curled his lips. 

" Having defied the ' civilized ' world, I little 
fear the shogunate," he said; "and yet I can- 
not spend more time here. Our guns are dis- 
mantled. That is an omen for retreat. It was 
Jiro's gun, and here is Jiro's letter." 

Summoning his officers, the Prince gave 
the order to evacuate the works. Horses were 
attached to such of the guns as were worth 
saving. Then, with these in the rear, the 
remnant of the Shimonoseki garrison began 
the march to the Choshui fortress. 

Upon rejoining his chief ih the latter's private 
apartment, Oguri had news to impart. 

" It is a strange army, truly," he said, " that 
the Shogun has sent against us. They are 
encamped near the highway, a good day's 
journey north of us." 

" A strange army, you say?" inquired Mori, 
mindful of Jiro's letter. 

" Ay. Though all the clans were ordered to 
march against us, but few have done so, and 

=-T -Jl Tfc- T^=^C= 

363 



they are sick, silly fellows, growling at having 
to leave the court and its pleasures." 

"How are they armed? With rifles?" 

"Some." 

"Artillery?" 

"The pieces taken from us in Kioto." 

Mori was lost in reflection for some moments. 
Then: 

"Let all retire to rest at once." 

It was the middle of the afternoon. 

Mori added, without pausing to explain to 
his puzzled chief lieutenant the reason of his 
strange order: "At dusk report to me." 

However large an army the Shogun might 
have sent against the men of Choshui, the 
fortress defenders with its attendant army 
went to their unaccustomed rest without the 
slightest fear. The fortress might now well 
be considered impregnable. In addition to 
its regular defensive works, constructed im- 
mediately upon the return of Mori from his 
melancholy wedding-day, there were now a 
deep moat of great width constructed about 
the whole region of the fortress, gun-facto- 
ries, and the works built by the Prince of 
Satsuma. 

All that afternoon the army of Mori slept. | 
The first hour of darkness saw a departure 
from the fortress. First rode six companies 
of horsemen, from whose body scouts were 
thrown out. Next marched two thousand 
infantry, all with rifles. They wore no heavy 

3. " UL- .. &: - l-z: ^= 

364 



T 




armor, and as their company commanders 
gave their orders, their tactics were seen to 
be modelled upon European forms. Finally, 
in the rear lumbered sixty field-pieces. Oguri 
rode with the cavalry, directing the route of 
the army. Close behind him was Toro, who, 
since the affair of Kioto, was on intimate 
terms of good-fellowship with the chief lieu- 
tenant. 

Mori, attended at a distance by his staff, 
rode in the centre of the infantry division. 
The entire direction of the current routine he 
left to his subordinates, riding moodily apart 
from all. The men marched with firm and 
light step. On their own soil they were more 
assured and hopeful of the issue. 

" Oguri/' asked Toro, as in perfect quiet they 
advanced with their cavalry " Oguri, how 
may I atone for Kioto?" 

"By following my orders closely," answered 
the serious Oguri. "You, with the cavalry, 
are upon no account to charge before cannon- 
ading begins." 

"I swear by the god of war I will not," 
promised Toro. 

" You must move to the west at least four 
miles, throwing out your scouts regularly." 

"I will. Only give me the chance. Was 
not I responsible for the failure at Kioto?" said 
Toro, his face quivering in spite of himself. 

"Yes and no," said Oguri; "but, at all 
events, his highness has not held it against L 



365 



7HE-WOPJNG of* VJ)STAPv)A 

you. He told me that after -events justified 
you, since the enemy had artillery at your 
gate." 

"But he allowed me no chance to explain 
that I ordered the pioneers back when I heard 
their artillery being brought up. I wanted to 
check them at once." 

"The Prince has nothing but affection for 
you," said Oguri. 

"Ah!" cried Toro, in delight. 

The other smiled, half paternally, half re- 
provingly, at the enthusiasm of youth. 

" But you must restrain yourself during the 
first half of your manoeuvre," said the chief 
lieutenant; "during the latter part you may 
give free rein to your impetuosity." 

As the first sharp light of the September 
day began to make visible objects along the 
highway, Oguri held out his hand to Toro. 

"Now go," he said, "and remember all I 
have said to you. Now is your opportunity." 

Toro dashed a sleeve to his face. Then, 
turning to his cavalry, he raised his sword in 
command. 

"Forward!" 

Sharply turning, the six companies wheeled 
due east, to disappear in the distance. The 
main body advanced for two hours. Then 
Oguri saw that Toro had reached the spot set- 
tled upon in their plan of battle. 

Mori, leaving the centre, came briskly up 
with his staff, to assume the ordering of the 

W " 366 



VJSTAPJA JL 



formation. The infantry were set out in two 
close ranks. Back of them, in the centre, the 
sixty field-pieces were assembled, their horses 
tethered close by. 

"Scouts!" called Mori to Oguri. 

Scouts and skirmishers were thrown out. 
All rested upon their arms. 

The place was a broad and level plateau, 
through whose middle the highway ran. Back 
of Mori's artillery rose a steady height which 
the army had crossed. Facing the force, rest- 
ing upon its arms, the plateau stretched out 
for a mile until a sharp descent came into view. 
Up this the army of the bakufu must climb, 
since the great highway was also there. 

It was a time of idleness for Mori's troops, 
until towards noon, when the outposts reported 
to the main body : 

"The enemy is approaching." 

Mori issued a number of orders, the effect 
of which was instantly seen. The artillery 
horses were attached to the guns, the infantry 
closed ranks. All stood at arms. 

Oguri approached the Prince. 

" Shall I send the guns to sweep them down 
before they can gain the plateau?" he asked, 
in excitement, as the natural advantages of 
the place seized upon him. 

" No, let them reach the plain and form in 
their best order. I wish to crush them com- 
pletely." 

Even when the first ranks of the enemy ap- 



367 



peared, Mori remained inactive. They formed 
quickly and advanced. Still Mori remained 
impassive. 

When the bakufu troops had advanced half 
of the mile separating the two armies, Mori, 
turning upon the little eminence, whispered 
in the ear of his youngest lieutenant. The 
young man rode off at full speed to the ar- 
tillery. 

A moment more and the lines of infantry 
split apart to allow the passage of forty guns. 
At full gallop they rushed towards the enemy, 
sending up great clouds of dust from the dry 
plain as they sped on. Their carriages swayed 
from side to side without disturbing the pose 
of the impassive men seated there. The pos- 
tilions lashed their horses. 

Mori faced his staff. He smiled with a 
quiet smile. 

"Now we shall see, my lords, how the line 
holds." 

The officers addressed, thinking he refer- 
red to the cannonading, looked for an unex- 
pected fire from the batteries. None came. 
Straight and true towards the heart of the 
enemy's lines, the artillery, drawn by foam- 
ing horses, rushed. The enemy's lines held. 
But a hundred yards separated them. It 
held at eighty ; it wavered ; at sixty it 
broke. 

As if in answer to his unheard command, his 
flying batteries whirled in irregular curves, 



of WJSTAPJA 



stopped, unlimbered, fired, then with the speed 
of wings were off again, this time in retreat. 

Again Mori's infantry lines parted. Out 
went the twenty remaining guns, straight for 
the enemy. 

Mori's lips poured out a stream of orders. 
His staff flew over the ground. The whole 
army advanced to support the artillery at- 
tack, while the boomerang batteries were re- 
covered. 

" To the left wing," cried Mori to Oguri. 

Oguri placed himself to the left of the centre, 
while Mori took the right. Still in one com- 
pactly joined front, the infantry advanced. 

" Now, now," moaned Oguri. " Toro where 
is Toro?" 

As the line advanced, the artillery, having 
reloaded, bore down again upon the enemy's 
centre, pounding it. 

The infantry neared the bakufu. Mori 
despatched an officer to silence the batteries. 

Now was the crucial moment. Broken and 
scattered like a herd of untrained cattle was 
the bakufu 's centre. 

A cheer sounded in the enemy's rear. Just 
at the proper moment Toro's cavalry charged 
the rear, dashing through the centre. 

Now a movement of division took place in 
the forces of Mori. Oguri's left divided on the 
centre and swung to the west, while Mori's 
right swung eastward. The artillery became 
two corps, one for each of the divisions; the 

at i- - & T TT= 

'4 369 



TflE .VJOQJNG op VflSTAPJ A 



cavalry, divided, also followed the direction 
of the two leaders. 

Mori's forces had sundered the centre of the 
bakufu and were rolling up on either side, 
driving in two opposite directions the immense 
army of the shogunate. 

As panic and fear spread through the poor- 
spirited forces of the bakufu, the cavalry with- 
drew to pursue fugitives. Mori's infantry in 
its two divisions was now sufficient for the 
isolating and destroying of the two segments 
of the enemy. 

At last it was done. The forces of the sho- 
gunate were routed or destroyed at the first 
battle. 

With every mark of his favor, Mori received 
Toro into his circle of officers. Toro's face, 
black and grimy from the smoke of cannon 
and the dust of action and the road, never- 
theless was shining. 

"My lords," said Mori, "we are now at the 
crucial time in our career. We must advance 
instantly upon the capital. This time no small 
force will be sufficient. The entire army must 
accompany us to Kioto. Oguri, you take the 
cavalry. You know the country well. Ride 
forward to Kioto at full speed. Then throw 
out a long skirmish line and capture every 
fugitive from the bakufu, that the news of 
our advance may not reach Kioto. We shall 
give the depleted army of the shogunate now 
in Kioto a noble surprise." 

=3 I sfc^==E ^ = 

370 



TW -VOOJNG of? VMSTAR) A 



Mori drew Toro to him. 

"Return thou, Toro, to the fortress. Take 
every available man, leave only the company 
of the governor of the fortress, and march 
speedily to join me on the highway/' 



I 



3 



37* 





AYS went by. The entire force 
at the command of Mori moved 
4 slowly in the direction of the 
Emperor's capital of Kioto. As 
the days stretched into weeks 
and months, still the army 
moved without haste. Mori was 
now in communication with 
the other leaders of his party, 
through runners. All were con- 
centrating upon the capital. 

Echizen, moreover, had sent 
word to Mori by special courier. 
The boy Shogun was dead, and 
the young Prince of Mito, who 
had headed the army of chas- 
tisement against the Imperialists 



THE -WOOJNG of? WJSTAPJA 



in Kioto, had been appointed Shogun. But 
Echizen's tidings of death did not stop here. 
The Emperor Kommei Tenno had succumbed 
to disease and oppression, and upon his death, 
his son, 3^oung Mutsuhito, a youth of sixteen, 
had succeeded to the throne. 

When Mori learned of this latter event he 
despatched long epistles to each of the leaders. 
He urged that all should concentrate their 
forces in small parties, whose approach should 
be gradual upon the Imperial palace. Once 
having possession of the Imperial city and 
the palace, the Aidzu-Catzu supporters would 
be instantly expelled, and Mutsuhito, the new 
Mikado, should be proclaimed sole ruler of 
Japan. 

To this all assented. The 3d of January 
was settled upon as the day. 

Dividing his force into small parties, who 
were assigned a rendezvous in Kioto, Mori 
continued his advance. Then came the news 
to him from Echizen that the Prince of Mito 
(now the Shogun) had been persuaded to re- 
sign his office. Now there seemed small ob- 
stacle in the way of the Imperialist plan. 

On the day appointed, the various relays 
of Mori's force which had preceded him to 
Kioto met and joined his personal following. 
At the hour of noon they marched in perfect 
order to the western gate. Each of the nine 
gates was taken without force by a large body 
in command of one of the Imperialists. 

a: 

* 373 



OF NttSTARIA 



Two hours later Mori, Echizen, Oguri, and 
the other leaders were in full possession of the 
Mikado's person and policy. The shogunate 
was declared abolished. An edict was issued 
declaring the Mikado the sole ruler, and a gov- 
ernment was created. Aidzu and Catzu had 
been expelled from the palace. 

It was reported to Mori that the ex-Shogun, 
Mito, had left Kioto in anger, and that, re- 
gretting his resignation, he was gathering 
troops about him to dispute the coup d'etat. 

Wearily Mori assumed command of some 
two thousand troops, went to Fushimi, where 
he met the Prince of Mito, with an army much 
larger than his own. After three days' fight- 
ing the ex-Shogun was driven back to Ozaka, 
whence he departed for Yedo on an American 
vessel. Mori followed more slowly. 

He was now embarked upon the most des- 
perate stage of his undertaking. Mito pos- 
sessed in his capital, Yedo, forces, ships, and 
resources in great excess of any belonging 
to the new government. Nevertheless Mori 
marched upon Yedo steadily. At the gates of 
the city the senior Lord of Catzu met Mori. 

"How now, my lord?" demanded the Mi- 
kado's defender. "Are you come again to 
bid me lay down my arms?" 

"No," said Catzu, almost humbly, "I am 
come to offer you the submission of the Prince 
of Mito." 

"Ah!" Mori veiled his satisfaction. 



374 



TOE .WOOING op -WJSTAPJA n 

*Tr- *c- -x it ~u 



"Under my counsel," continued Catzu, 
" his highness the Prince of Mito has seen his 
error. Never again will he take up arms 
against his sovereign lord the Mikado. I but 
beseech you now to spare the city of Yedo." 

."My business here is done/' was Mori's 
reply. 

"Stay, my lord." Catzu entwined his fin- 
gers in an effort to conceal a strange ner- 
vousness. . 

"1 await your words, my lord." 

"Thy wife " began Catzu. 

The brain of the leader became clouded and 
dark with passion. 

" Another word, my lord," he replied, haugh- 
tily, -"and thou and Yedo shall both be put 
to the sword. Having found my armor in- 
vulnerable to the darts of your spears and 
arrows, you think to advantage yourself by 
an ancient weakness of mine. Be assured 
that I am as invincible in that regard, my lord, 
as in the matter of warfare." 

At the end of twelve days Mori was again 
in Kioto. The surrender of the late Shogun 
had not carried with it the submission of Aid- 
zu, who had fled to his province. The Prince 
despatched Oguri into the highlands of Aidzu 
to complete the unification of the country. 
Eventually Oguri fulfilled his mission, bring- 
ing complete victory to the Imperial cause. 

In the Kioto court the new party wrought 
speedy change. The daimios, or territorial 

4: ,1 *- J a 

375 







lords, were summoned, and resigned into the 
hands of the Mikado their feudal posses- 
sions. 

At one of the last councils attended by Mori, 
the Shining Prince made an address of deep 
import. 

"Your Majesty/' he said, "may not be in- 
sensible to the changes forced and hastened 
in your country by the advent of the foreigner. 
I have been fighting feudalism, the bakufu, 
and the shogunate with the civilization and 
weapons of the foreigners. Through them 
we have conquered and prevailed. Since we 
owe our supremacy to their rifle and cannon, 
a conviction has forced itself upon me. Your 
Majesty no longer lives behind a screen, seen 
by a few eyes only. Your Majesty is a world 
power, and must have relations with other 
nations. We must assimilate foreign civiliza- 
tion, if only to combat the foreigner." 

Thus Mori came to the spirit of New Japan, 
speaking almost the identical words uttered 
by lyesada long ago. 

Having accomplished his share of the es- 
tablishment of the new government, Mori felt 
that he could now turn his attention to the 
welfare of his faithful followers. 

He set a day for a final interview with them, 
when he should bestow such rewards as were 
now in his power, as chief adviser to his sov- 
ereign, to give. 

For himself, an important cabinet portfolio 



376 



* NW5TAPJA 



had been offered, but he had come to no de- 
cision. He felt that his work was done. He 
desired only peace. He was not ready to 
think further. 

Realizing that the lost Jiro, if alive, must 
be in some portion of the palace, Mori caused 
him to be sought for. 

On the evening prior to his final meeting 
with his officers, Jiro came to him as he sat 
alone in his chamber. The sight of the lad 
affected the Choshui Prince peculiarly. He 
realized in a moment of self-revelation that the 
feeling of loneliness and isolation among his 
officers had first manifested itself just after 
the departure of Jiro. While his relations 
with the youth had not been of an intimate 
nature, still Mori felt that he had ever sought 
and found tacitly a silent, unspoken under- 
standing and support of his purposes from 
him. He felt drawn towards the boy as one 
great soul seeks the penetrating sympathy 
of another. A longing, throbbing into wist- 
fulness, pervaded him. Wearily, yet patient- 
ly, he regarded the youth. 

"Jiro, my boy, why have you left me so 
long?" he said. 

The boy flushed slightly as an eager delight 
betrayed for a moment his pleasure in Mori's 
words. 

"Have you, then, missed me?" he began, 
in a warm voice, to break off abruptly as a 
.j forced coldness took possession of him. "I 

r ^ -ar JL ~~$~ J T 

*> 377 



TOE .M/ooj JSG OF VJJSTAPJ A n 

T- - ^r -. ' ^= -% _ r " 

have been much engaged, my lord," he said, 
without enthusiasm. 

"Ahl" said Mori, quietly, noting his flush- 
ing face; "and I am ready to wager it was 
with a maiden." 

"It was, my lord." 

"Ah! thou, too, Jiro," said Mori, sadly. 
" A youth, thou hast come to the gates of love, 
to enter paradise or hell." 

"It was not an affair of love, my lord." 

"No?"' 

"I have been endeavoring to right the 
wrongs of a woman a very near kinswom- 
an. But I find that I am without power to 
proceed further." 

" Nay, tell me, Jiro, thy troubles, and those 
of thy kinswoman. I am not without power 
now, and may assist thee." 

Mori smiled pitifully at thought of his power 
and the poor satisfaction it held, now that its 
great consummation had been crowned. 

A slight nervousness fell upon Jiro. While 
his hands tremblingly fingered his obi, there 
came into his eyes and his voice a suggestion 
of something ulterior, something beyond. 

" My lord, my kinswoman loved a man and 
he loved her," he said, pausing. 

"Sad," murmured Mori, with the cynicism 
of his broken mood. 

Without noticing the Prince's comment, Jiro 
continued : 

" My lord, has not a parent the right to ex- 



378 



THE . 



act obedience from his child, even though that 
obedience lead her to utmost misery?" 

"Such is the Japanese idea/' returned Mori. 

"Then, my lord, the parent of my kins- 
woman exacted a task from her. He forced 
her to betray her lover, though she, ignorant 
that he was the person implicated, yet sought 
to warn him of the danger to himself and the 
unknown." 

Mori's eyebrows contracted darkly. He half 
rose from his seat. Then with a forced calm 
he dropped back into his place. 

Jiro's face was now flushed a deep scarlet. 
He seemed to be using all his strength in an 
effort to control his emotions. 

"My lord," he added, "my kinswoman was 
not only forced to betray her lover by her fa- 
ther, but she was driven further into mar- 
rying, and, consequently, degrading him, be- 
cause only in that way could she save his life 
from the hands of the public executioner." 

Mori was white to the lips with his anger. 
But he controlled himself strongly. Jiro had 
claims upon his gratitude. 

"You have failed to tell me," he said, coldly, 
" in what way I can serve you and your kins- 
woman." 

"My lord, the lover put away my kins- 
woman, being in ignorance of the treachery 
of her parent. Yet so grievously is he wound- 
ed that he could not be approached by one so 
slight as I. He would not listen to truth." 

t Jig j. J .. ^E 1 r]T 

379 



THE 






Impenetrability masked the face of Mori. 
His thoughts were veiled behind a set coun- 
tenance. 

Half abashed, and fully shaken in his late 
confidence, Jiro spoke trembling words. 

" Do you, my lord, speak to this lover tell 
him that it was the fault of their fathers, and 
that his lady, indeed, loves him and has al- 
ways loved him." 

Still silent and motionless remained Mori. 

Jiro faltered. " I have served thee," he said, 
as he went a step closer to Mori ; " do thou this 
now for me." 

Mori spoke. 

"To-morrow," he said, "I take farewell of 
my officers. My worldly tasks are then fin- 
ished. Then I will endeavor to serve you, Jiro 
to-morrow." 

" But, my lord, thou speakest of thy worldly 
tasks. Wilt thou, then?" 

" Nay, Jiro, I will not take my life, I promise 
thee, before I have seen thee. To-morrow." 

"To-morrow," repeated Jiro, and was gone. 

Near the iris field in the Emperor's garden 
there is a slight hill, set upon whose sides 
are a number of fanciful shelters. Under one 
of these, upon a bench that night long sat 
Prince Mori Keiki. Above him the bare trees 
supporting the structure twined their naked 
boughs together into what in the leaftime was 
a natural roof. This night, bare of leaf, they 
were as open to the cold as the structure's 



380 



THE. WOOING O)' WJSTAPJA n 

4 * a .* . U- 

side, yet Mori seemed unaware of the season. 
There was no chill upon his limbs. A strange 
smile flitted across the features of the solitary 
Prince. 

With a shrug of the shoulders he glanced at 
the slight structure under which he sat. 

"It is a summer-house," he muttered, "and 
it is now winter. Fitting fitting." 

Farther up the hill above him, within the 
shadow of another similar structure, a slight 
form crouched, while burning eyes were fast- 
ened upon Mori. With chilled and shivering 
being, the youth watched. 

"He must not depart this life," said the 
little watcher on the hill; "he must live 
and believe. Oh! all the gods, lend me the 
strength and power to convince him!" 



3E- 



M0STARJA 





LONE in his deserted apart- 
ments the Mori sat prince no 

^ longer, for with other nobles 
and daimios he had resigned 
his fief into the Mikado's hands. 
The officers had long ago de- 
parted, to enter upon the new 
courses the parting benefits of 
their leader had determined for 
them. Some were already upon 

. their way to the provinces, the 
offices of Mori had procured for 
them, as governors appointed 
by the Mikado. 

Toro had gone to Catzu, to 
govern for the Mikado the ter- 
ritory his father had adminis- 



382 



i 







tered for the Shogun: Father and son had 
been reunited. The Lady Evening Glory had 
long been dead, and Catzu was without a mis- 
tress. 

Yet Mori had detailed for Toro what he con- 
sidered a greater reward. 

"Toro/' said Mori, "you will deliver this 
order, signed by me, in person to the Lady 
Hollyhock, directing her to cease forthwith 
her mutinous rebellion, and to render herself 
as a conquered province into thy hands/' 

"But, your highness/' said Toro, "I do not 
desire an unwilling bride, who yields herself 
but to superior command/' 

Mori's smile had within it the tinge of a sa- 
tirical wisdom. 

"Toro, my comrade and friend," he said, 
gravely, "I do assure you that you will not 
need that order. The heart of the lady is 
yours. Only her coquetry holds out, and 
finding in my writ a convenient pretext, she 
will gladly go the way the heart has long 
directed." 

With exuberant joy Toro had started from 
the apartment. 

" Yet, once again, Toro," said Mori. " While 
I aid you with the Lady Hollyhock, I warn 
you that you will never find your complete 
happiness in a woman. After the first days 
you must look to the faithful administration 
of your province for your chief satisfaction in 
living." 

. sL A. & I 3T= 

383 



HE % 



"I do not agree with you, your highness," 
Toro replied. Then he added, with a cheery 
laugh : 

"But there will be some satisfaction, truly, 
in administering my province, and mine an- 
cient, rebellious sire." 

Before the officers departed, Toro, as their 
spokesman, had presented to their old com- 
mander two swords, richly wrought, the usual 
token of the samurai as their parting tribute. 

"I do assure you," Mori had responded, 
" that in giving me these swords you have not 
merely given me a reminder, as your spokes- 
man has said, of our services for the New 
Japan, but you have given me as well the 
conquest of a newer, higher, more happy 
universe. As a citizen of a greater universe, 
I thank you." 

In these words, and in every act of the former 
Prince that day, the officers, save the delight- 
blinded Toro, had observed a touch of finality, 
the savoring grace of a farewell to earthly 
things, that, samurai as they were, had not 
failed to move them. Plainly their lord con- 
templated something that their order called 
honorable ; yet they shuddered at the thought. 

Now they were all gone out of Mori's life, 
into the new life he and they had created to- 
gether. The Shining Prince was left alone 
alone with two swords that lay upon a low 
table at his side. 

The moment long waited by Mori had come. 



384 



The Mikado had been restored to his ancient 
sovereignty; peace was once more upon the 
land. The great purpose of his efforts was 
attained; every thread connecting Mori with 
this new order of things had gone from his 
opponents from his life save two swords 
alone, which he had said were means for an- 
other conquest. 

Yet in spite of the atmosphere of finality that 
he felt pervading his apartments, Mori was not 
thinking of the termination he had set to his 
activities. His thoughts carried him beyond 
the black period he had said should close his 
sentence. Over into regions of life across 
finality his imagination strayed. The Lady 
Wistaria came back to his memory, his mind, 
his heart occupied his whole being with the 
force of the magic spell she had woven about 
him. 

When Jiro had made his plea the day pre- 
vious Mori had instantly recognized its mean- 
ing. It came with no joy to him. His course 
of thought and heart had been too long bent 
in one direction for the timid, blind words of a 
youth to swing it abruptly. 

"It is one more device, perchance, of my 
enemies," he had said, dully, in the first bit- 
terness that came when the lad's words had 
touched his heart. 

Now, when all was over, he was again, in 
spite of his will, weighing the possibilities. 
Of course there might be truth in what Jiro 

:r - -JL - & T^= 3 

*s 385 



WJSTAPJA 

a - - r- 



had said, but it could not be determined save in 
the eyes of the Lady Wistaria herself, and now 
the lad Jiro had not come, as he had promised. 

With a profound sigh, Mori, raising his head, 
caught sight again of the two swords. Yes, 
they held their meaning for him. Jiro's words 
were not worthy of belief. He stretched out 
his hands to the swords. 

" She was false and Jiro lied ! " he muttered. 

His hand sought and found the hilt of one 
of the swords and grasped it firmly, stiffened, 
and fell to his side. Suddenly the face of the 
Lady Wistaria with its all - pervading purity 
and truth-compelling quality arose before his 
vision. As he regarded the unsought vision 
which had come to his uncontrolled imagina- 
tion, it dawned upon him with a sudden, great 
light that he had been wrong wrong. Back 
to his consciousness floated that dark night 
by the side of the stagnant moat, the memory 
of the tortured white face that shone out from 
the interlacing boughs of bushes about them, 
the trembling hands and the little water-soak- 
ed feet. Were she utterly false as he had 
thought, would she have thus come to him to 
warn him of the danger that encompassed the 
one she did not know was he himself? fl 

^ A great upheaval arose in Keiki. The rush 
of emotions ingulfed him. A cry, a groan, 
escaped him, as, burying his face in his arms, 
he threw from him the swords. 

"She was truth itself," he said. "It is I 

=ZJC= JU &- T=3C= 

386 



NWSTARJA 



who have wronged her I who have been un- 
worthy. " 

"Too late!" a voice within his world-dulled 
soul said. He recalled now the intelligence he 
had heard somewhere many months before. 
The Princess of Mori had become a priestess 
of the Temple Zuiganji. 

"My lord!" 

The voice behind him, vaguely familiar, 
passed into that of the boy Jiro. 

"My lord," repeated the soft voice, "it is I, 
Jiro, returned to thee." 

Mori answered : 

"Alas, you come too late, my Jiro. Thou 
canst tell me nothing now, for I know that she 
was guiltless. I was at fault. The gods alone 
can forgive me." 

Again he bent over the swords. The figure 
behind him moved from its position. It stood 
before the bending Prince now. A white robe 
reached to the floor, brushing his hand and 
covering the swords at his feet. Impelled by 
a force he could not resist, Mori raised his head. 
Wistaria Wistaria in her bridal robes, with 
white flowers in her glorious hair, stood before 
him. 

Mori started to his feet. 

"Jiro- Jiro-' 

He looked about the room, as though he 
still thought the boy within the apartment. 
Was he dreaming, or had he actually heard 
the voice of the boy Jiro, saying: 



4 



387 



THE.WOOMNO of VB3TARJA 

"It is I, Jiro, returned to thee." 

But where was Jiro, and who was this white 
being who had taken his place? Not the 
Lady Wistaria, she who had become a priest- 
ess because of her wrongs. Then her lips 
framed themselves in words that reached his 
consciousness. 

"If it please thee, my lord, I am Jiro." 

"Lady Wistaria!" he gasped. 

"I am Wistaria," she said. 

Slowly, with the movement of one dazed, 
Mori moved towards her. Her exquisite hands 
she held out to him. He seized them with 
his own. For a moment he held them in a 
close, spasmodic clasp, then suddenly he sank 
to the floor, burying his face in the folds of her 
kimono. 

But the Lady Wistaria was upon her knees 
beside him, her hands upon his head. 



THE END 



I3E- -"I- *r- as, 

388 



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