xt7cz8928d6h https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7cz8928d6h/data/mets.xml Little, Frances, 1863-1941. 1912  books b92-224-31182853 English Century, : New York : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Lady and Sada San  : a sequel to The lady of the decoration / by Frances Little [pseud.] text Lady and Sada San  : a sequel to The lady of the decoration / by Frances Little [pseud.] 1912 2002 true xt7cz8928d6h section xt7cz8928d6h 










      The
Lady and Sada San

 This page in the original text is blank.

 











































Beautiful even in her pallor

 

          The

Lady and Sada San
         A Sequel to
   The Lady of the Decoration



     By
Frances



Little



   New York
The Century Co.
     1912

 

























  Copyright, 1912, by
  THE CENTURY CO.

Fublished, October, Jqtz

 


























                 TO
        ELLEN CHURCHILL SEMPLE
                 AND
           CHARLOTTE SMITH

MY FELLOW WANDERERS THROUGH THE ORIENT

 This page in the original text is blank.

 











The Lady and Sada San

 This page in the original text is blank.

 
  The Lady and

        Sada San


   ON THE HIGH SEAs. June, 1911.
Mate:
You once told me, before you went to
Italy, that after having been my inti-
mate relative all these years, you had
drawn a red line through the word sur-
prise. Restore the abused thing to its
own at once. You will need it when the
end of this letter is reached. I have
left Kentucky after nine years of stay-
at-home happiness, and once again I
am on my way to Japan-this time in
wifely disobedience to Jack's wishes.
What do you think that same Jack
has "gone and done"! Of course he
                3

 
  The Lady and Sada San

is right. That is the provoking part
of Jack; it always turns out that he is
in the right. Two months ago he went
to some place in China which, from its
ungodly name, should be in the fur-
thermost parts of a wilderness. Per-
haps you have snatched enough time
from guarding the kiddies from a pre-
mature end in Como to read a head-
line or so in the home papers. If by
some wonderful chance, between baby
prattle, bumps and measles, they have
given you a moment's respite, then you
know that the Government has grown
decidedly restless for fear the energetic
and enterprising bubonic or pneumonic
germ might take passage on some of
the ships from the Orient. So it is
fortifying against invasion. The Gov-
ernment, knowing Jack's indomitable
determination to learn everything
knowable about the private life and
                 4

 
  The Lady and Sada San

character of a given germ, asked him
to join several other men it is send-
ing out to get information, provided of
course the germ does n't get them first.
  Jack read me the official-looking doc-
ument one night between puffs of his
after-dinner pipe.
  Another surprise awaits you. For
once in my life I had nothing to say.
Possibly it is just as well for the good
of the cause that the honorable writer
of the letter could not see how my
thoughts looked.
  I glanced about our little den, aglow
with soft lights; everything in it
seemed to smile. Well, as you know it,
Mate, I do not believe even you realize
the blissfulness of the hours of quiet
comradeship we have spent there.
With the great know-it-all old world
shut out, for joyful years we have
dwelt together in a home-made para-
                 5

 

  The Lady and Sada San

dise. And yet it seemed just then as
if I were dwelling in a home-made
Other Place.
  The difference in the speed of time
depends on whether love is your guest
or not.
The thought of the briefest interrup-
tion to my content made me feel like
cold storage. A break in happiness is
sometimes hard to mend. The blossom
does not return to the tree after the
storm, no matter how beautiful the sun-
shine; and the awful fear of the faint-
est echo of past sorrow made my heart
as numb as a snowball. To the old ter-
ror of loneliness was added fear for
Jack's safety. But I did not do what
you naturally would prophesy. After
seeing the look on Jack's face I
changed my mind, and my protest was
the silent kind that says so much. It
was lost! Already Jack had gone into
                 6

 
   The Lady and Sada San

one of his trances, as he does when-
ever there is a possibility of bearding
a brand-new microbe in its den,
whether it is in his own country or
one beyond the seas. In body he was
-in a padded chair with all the comforts
of home and a charming wife within
speaking distance. In spirit he was in
dust-laden China, joyfully following the
trail of the wandering germ. Later on,
when Jack came to, we talked it over.
I truly remembered your warnings on
the danger of impetuosity; for I choked
off every hasty word and gave my con-
sent for Jack to go. Then I cried half
the night because I had.
  We both know that long ago Jack
headed for the topmost rung of a very
tall scientific ladder. Sometimes my
enthusiasm as chief booster and en-
courager has failed, as when it meant
absence and risk. Though I have
                  7

 
  The Lady and Sada San

known women who specialized in re-
nunciation, till they were the only
happy people in the neighborhood, its
charms have never lured me into any
violent sacrifice. Here was my chance
and I firmly refused to be the millstone
to ornament Jack's neck.
  You might know, Mate I was hop-
ing all the time that he would find it
quite impossible to leave such a nice
biddable wife at home. But I learn
something new about Jack every day.
After rather heated discussion it was
decided that I should stay in the little
home. That is, the heat and the discus-
sion was all on my side. The decision
lay in the set of Jack's mouth, despite
the tenderness in his eyes. He thought
the risks of the journey too great for
me; the hardships of the rough life too
much. Dear me! Will men never learn
                  8

 
  The Lady and Sada San

that hardship and risk are double cous-
ins to loneliness, and not even related
to love by marriage
  But just as well paint on water as to
argue with a scientist when he has
reached a conclusion.
  Besides, said Jack, the fatherly Gov-
ernment has no intention that petti-
coats, even hobbled ones, should be flit-
ting around while the habits and the
methods of the busy insect were being
examined through a microscope or a
telescope. The choice of instrument de-
pending, of course, upon the activity of
the bug.
  Black Charity was to be my chief-of-
police and comforter-in-general. Par-
ties-house, card and otherwise-were
to be my diversion, and I was to make
any little trips I cared for. Well,
that 's just what I am doing. Of
                 9

 

  The Lady and Sada San

course, there might be a difference of
opinion as to whether a journey from
Kentucky to Japan is a little trip.
  I am held by a vague uneasiness to-
day. Possibly it 's because I am not
certain as to Jack's attitude, when he
learns through my letter, which is sail-
ing along with me, that I am going to
Japan to be as near him as possible. I
hope he will appreciate my thoughtful-
ness in saving him all the bother of say-
ing no. Or it might be that my slightly
dampened spirits come from the discus-
sion I am still having with myself
whether it 's the part of a dutiful wife
to present herself a wiggling sacrifice to
science, or whether science should at-
tend to its own business and lead not
into temptation the scientifically in-
dined heads of peaceful households.
  You '11 say the decision of what was
best lay with Jack. Honey, there 's the
                  10

 
  The Lady and Sada San

error of your mortal mind ! In a ques-
tion like that my spouse is as one-sided
as a Civil War veteran. Say germ-hunt
to Jack and it 's like dangling a gaudy
fly before a hungry carp
  I saw Jack off at the station, and
went back to the little house. Charity
had sent the cook home and with her
own hands served all the beloved dain-
ties of my long-ago childhood, trying to
coax me into forgetfulness. As you
remember, Mate, dinner has always
been the happiest hour of the day in our
small domain. Now Well, every-
thing was just the same. The only dif-
ference was Jack. And the half circle
of bare tablecloth opposite me was
about as cheerful as a snowy afternoon
at the North Pole. I wandered around
the house for awhile, but every time I
turned a corner there was a memory
waiting to greet me. Now the merriest
                 11

 
  The Lady and Sada San

of them seemed to be covered with a
chilly shadow, and every one was pale
and ghostly. All night I lay awake,
playing at the old game of mental soli-
taire and keeping tryst with the wind
which seemed to tap with unseen fingers
at my window and sigh,
      "Then let come what come may

      I shall have had my day."
  Is it possible, Mate, that my glorious
day, which I thought had barely tipped
the hour of noon, is already lengthen-
ing into the still shadows of evening
  It was foolish but, for the small com-
fort I got out of it, I turned on the
light and looked inside my wedding-
ring. Time has worn it a bit but the
letters which spell "My Lady of the
Decoration," spelled again the old-time
thrill into my heart.
  What 's the use of tying your heart-
                 12

 
  The Lady and Sada San

strings around a man, and then have
ambition slip the knot and leave you all
a-quiver
  Far be it from me to stand in Jack's
way if germ-stalking is necessary to his
success. Just the same, I could have
spent profitable moments reading the
burial service over every microbe,
home-grown and foreign.
  Really, Mate, I 've conscientiously
tried every plan Jack proposed and a
few of my own. It was no use. That
day-after-Christmas feeling promptly
suppressed any effort towards content-
ment.
  At first there was a certain exhilara-
tion in catching pace with the gay whirl
which for so long had been passed by
for homier things. You will remember
there was a time when the pace of that
same whirl was never swift enough for
me; but my taste for it now was gone,
                 13

 
  The Lady and Sada San

and it was like trying to do a two-step
to a funeral march. For once in my life
I knew the real meaning of that poor old
worn-to-a-frazzle call of the East, for
now the dominant note was the call of
love.
  I heard it above the clink of the tea-
cups. It was in the swish of every silk
petticoat. If I went to the theater,
church or concert, the call of that germ-
ridden spot of the unholy name beat
into my brain with the persistency of a
tom-tom on a Chinese holiday.
  Say what you will, Mate, it once took
all my courage to leave those I loved
best and go to far-away Japan. Now it
required more than I could dig up to
stay-with the best on the other side
of the Pacific.
  The struggle was easy and swift.
The tom-tom won and I am on my way
to be next-door neighbor to Jack.
                 14

 
  The Lady and Sada San

  Those whom it concerned here were
away from home, so I told no one
good-by, thus saving everybody so
much wasted advice. If there were a
tax on advice the necessities of life
would not come so high. Charity fol-
lowed me to the train, protesting to the
last that "Marse Jack gwine doubt her
velocity when she tell him de truf bout
her lady going a-gaddin' off by herse'f
and payin' no mind to her ole mammy's
prosterations." I asked her to come
with me as maid. She refused; said
her church was to have an ice-cream
sociable and she had "to fry de fish."
  This letter will find you joyfully busy
with the babies and the "only man."
Blest woman that you are.
  But I know you. I have a feeling
that you have a few remarks to make.
So hurry up. Let us get it off our
minds. Then I can better tell you what
                 15

 

  The Lady and Sada San

I am doing. Something is going to
happen. It usually does when I am
around. I have been asked to chap-
erone a young girl whose face and name
spell romance. If I were seeking occu-
pation here is the opportunity knocking
my door into splinters.

         STILL AT SEA. June, 1911.
  Any time you are out of a job and
want to overwork all your faculties and
a few emotions, try chaperoning a
young room-mate answering to the
name of Sada San, who is one-half
American dash, and the other half the
unnamable witchery of a Japanese
woman; a girl with the notes of a lark
in her voice when she sings to the soft
twang of an old guitar.
  If, too, you are seeking to study
psychological effect of such a combina-
tion on people, good, middlin' and oth-
                16

 
  The Lady and Sada San

erwise, I would suggest a Pacific liner
as offering fifty-seven varieties, and
then some.
  The last twinge of conscience I had
over coming, died a cheerful death.
I 'd do it again. For not only is ro-
mance surcharging the air, but fate
gives promise of weaving an intricate
pattern in the story of this maid whose
life is just fairly begun and whom the
luck of the road has given me as trav-
eling mate. Now, remembering a few
biffs fate has given me, I have no burn-
ing desire to meddle with her business.
Neither am I hungering for responsi-
bility. But what are you going to say
to yourself, when a young girl with a
look in her eyes you would wish your
daughter to have, unhesitatingly gives
you a letter addressed at large to some
" Christian Sister "! You read it to
find it 's from her home pastor, re-
                 17

 

  The Lady and Sada San

questing just a little companionship for
"a tender young soul who is trying her
wings for the first time in the big and
beautiful world"I I have a very pri-
vate opinion about reading my title
clear to the Christian Sister business,
but no woman with a heart as big as a
pinch of snuff could resist giving her
very best and much more to the slip of
a winsome maid, who confidingly asks
it-especially if the sister has any
knowledge of the shadows lurking in the
beautiful world.
  Mate, these steamers as they sail
from shore to shore are like giant the-
aters. Every trip is an impromptu
drama where comedy, farce, and often
startling tragedy offer large speaking
parts. The revelation of human na-
ture in the original package is funny
and pathetic. Amusement is always on
                 18

 
  The Lady and Sada San

tap and life stories are just hanging
out of the port-hole waiting to attack
your sympathy or tickle your funny
bone. But you 'd have to travel far to
find the beginning of a story so heaped
up with romantic interest as that of
Sada San as she told it to me, one long,
lazy afternoon as I lay on the couch in
my cabin, thanking my stars I was get-
ting the best of the bare tablecloth and
the empty house at home.
  Some twenty years ago Sada's
father, an American, grew tired of the
slow life in a slow town and lent ear to
the fairy stories told of the Far East,
where fortunes were made by looking
wise for a few moments every morn-
ing and devoting the rest of the day to
samisens and flutes. He found the
glorious country of Japan. The be-
guiling tea-houses, and softly swinging
                 19

 

  The Lady and Sada San

sampans were all too distracting.
They sang ambition to sleep and the
fortune escaped.
  He drifted, and at last sought a mean
existence as teacher of English in a
school of a remote seaside village. His
spirit broke when the message came of
the death of the girl in America who
was waiting for him. Isolation from
his kind and bitter hours left for
thought made life alone too ghastly.
He tried to make it more endurable by
taking the pretty daughter of the head
man of the village as his wife.
  My temperature took a tumble when
I saw proofs of a hard and fast mar-
riage ceremony, signed and counter-
signed by a missionary brother who
meant business.
  You say it is a sordid tale Mate, I
know a certain spot in this Land of
Blossoms, where only foreigners are
                20

 
  The Lady and Sada San

laid to rest, which bears testimony to a
hundred of its kind-strange and piti-
ful destinies begun with high and bril-
liant hopes in their native land; and
when illusions have faded, the end has
borne the stamp of tragedy, because
suicide proved the open door out of a
life of failure and exile.
  Sada's father was saved suicide and
long unhappiness by a timely tidal-
wave, which swept the village nearly
bare, and carried the man and his wife
out to sea and to eternity.
  The child was found by Susan West
who came from a neighboring town to
care for the sick and hungry. Susan
was a teacher-missionary. Not much
to look at, if her picture told the truth,
but from bits of her history that I 've
picked up her life was a brighter jewel
than most of us will ever find in a
heavenly crown. Instead of holding the
                 21

 
  The Lady and Sada San

unbeliever by the nape of the neck and
thrusting a not-understood doctrine
down his unwilling throat, she lived the
simple creed of loving her neighbor bet-
ter than herself. And the old pair of
goggles she wore made little halos
around the least speck of good she
found in any transgressor, no matter
how warped with evil.
  When she was n't helping some help-
less sinner to see the rainbow of prom-
ise at the end of the straight and nar-
row way, Susan spent her time and all
her salary, giving sick babies a fighting
chance for life. She took the half-
drowned little Sada home with her, and
searched for any kinsman left the child.
There was only one, her mother's
brother. He was very poor and gladly
gave his consent that Miss West should
keep the child-as long as it was a girl!
Susan had taught the man English once
                 22

 
  The Lady and Sada San

in the long ago and this was his chance
to repay her.
  Later on when the teacher found her
health failing and headed for home in
America, Uncle Mura was still more
generous and raised no objections to
her taking the baby with her.
  Together they lived in a small West-
ern town. The missionary reared the
child by rule of love only and went on
short rations to educate her. Sada's
eager mind absorbed everything offered
her like a young sponge, and when a
few months ago Susanna folded her
hands and joined her foremothers,
there was let loose on the world this
exquisite girl with her solitary legacy
of untried ideals and a blind enthusiasm
for her mother's people.
  Right here, Mate, was when I had a
prolonged attack of cold shivers. Just
before Miss West passed along, know-
                 23

 
  The Lady and Sada San

ing that the Valley was near, she wrote
to Uncle in Japan and told him that his
niece would soon be alone. Can't you
imagine the picture she drew of her
foster child who had satisfied every
craving of her big mother heart Fas-
cinating and charming and so weighted
with possibilities, that Mura, who had
prospered, leaped for his chance and
sent Sada San money for the passage
over.
  Not a mite of anxiety shadowed her
eyes when she told me that Uncle kept
a wonderful tea-house in Kioto. He
must be very rich, she thought, because
he wrote her of the beautiful things
she was to have. About this time the
room seemed suffocating. I got up and
turned on the electric fan. The only
ilning required of her, she continued,
was to use her voice to entertain Un-
cle 's friends. But she hoped to do
                 24

 
  The Lady and Sada San

much more. Through Miss West she
knew how many of her mother's dear
people needed help. How glorious that
she was young and strong and could
give so much. Susan had also talked
to her of the flowers, the lovely scenery,
the poetry of the people and their
splendid spirit--making a dreamland
where even man was perfect. How she
loved it! How proud she was to feel
that in part it was her country. Faith-
fully would she serve it. Oh, Susanna
West! I 'd like to shake you till your
harp snapped a string. It 's like send-
ing a baby to pick flowers on the edge
of a bottomless pit.
  What could I say! The missionary-
teacher had told the truth. She simply
failed to mention that in the fairy-land
there are cherry-blossom lanes down
which no human can wander without
being torn by the brier patches.
                 25

 

  The Lady and Sada San

  The path usually starts from a won-
derful tea-house where Uncles have
grown rich. Miss West did n't mean
to shirk her duty. In most things the
begoggled lady was a visionary with a
theory that if you don't talk about a
thing it does not exist; and like most
of her kind she swept the disagreeables
into a dust heap and made for the high
places where all was lovely. And yet
she had toiled with the girl through all
the difficulties of the Japanese lan-
guage; and, to give her a musical edu-
cation, had pinched to the point of buy-
ing one hat in eight years!
  Now it is all done and Sada is
launched on the high seas of life with a
pleasure-house for a home and an un-
scrupulous Uncle with unlimited au-
thority for a chaperon. Shades of
Susan! but I am hoping guardian an-
                 26

 
  The Lady and Sada San

gels are "really truly," even if in-
visible.
  Good night, Mate. This game of
playing tag with jarring thoughts, new
and old, has made six extra wrinkles.
I am glad I came and you and Jack will
have to be, for to quote Charity, "I 'se
done resoluted on my word of honah"
to keep my hands, if possible, on Sada
whose eyes are as blue as her hair is
black.

                    PACIFIC OCEAN.
  Since morning the sea has been a
sheet of blue, streaked with the silver
of flying fish. That is all the scenery
there is; not a sail nor a bird nor an in-
sect. Either the unchanging view or
something in the air has stimulated
everybody into being their nicest. It
is surprising how quickly graciousness
                 27

 

  The Lady and Sada San

possesses some people when there is a
witching girl around. Vivacious young
men and benevolent officers have sud-
denly appeared out of nowhere, spick
and span in white duck and their win-
ningest smiles. Entertainments dove-
tail till there is barely time for change
of costume between acts.
  But let me tell you, Mate, living up
to being a mother is no idle pastime,
particularly if it means reviving the
lost art of managing love-smitten
youths and elderly male coquettes.
There is a specimen of each opposite
Sada and me at table who are so gen-
erous with their company on deck, be-
fore and after meals, I have almost run
out of excuses and am short on plans
to avoid the heavy obligations of their
eager attentions.
  The youth is a To-Be-Ruler of many
people, a Maharajah of India. But the
                 28

 
  The Lady and Sada San

name is bigger than the man. Two
years ago his father started the boy
around the world with a sack full of
rubles and a head full of ancient In-
dian lore. With these assets he paused
at Oxford that he might skim through
the classics. He had been told this was
where all the going-to-be-great men
stopped to acquire just the proper tone
of superiority so necessary in ruling a
country. Of course he picked up a bit
on electricity, mechanics, etc. This ac
complished to his satisfaction he ran
over to America to view the barbari-
ans' god of money and take a glance at
their houses which touched the sky.
But his whole purpose in living, he told
me, was to yield himself to certain med-
itations, so that in his final reincarna-
tion, which was only a few centuries
off, he would return to the real thing
in Buddha. In the meantime he was to
                  29

 
  The Lady and Sada San

be a lion, a tiger and a little white bird.
At present he is plain human, with the
world-old malady gnawing at his heart,
a pain which threatens to send his
cogitations whooping down a thornier
and rosier lane than any Buddha ever
knew. Besides I am thinking a few
worldly vanities have crept in and set
him back an eon or so. He wears pur-
ple socks, pink ties and a dainty watch
strapped around his childish wrist.
  When I asked him what impressed
him most in America, he promptly an-
swered with his eyes on Sada, "Them
girls. They are rapturous!"
  Farewell Nirvana! With a camp
stool in one hand and a rosary in the
other, he follows Sada San like the
shadow on a sun dial. Wherever she is
seated, there is the stool and the royal
youth, his mournful eyes feasting on
                 30

 
  The Lady and Sada San

the curves and dimples of her face, her
lightest jest far sweeter than any
prayer, the beads in his hand forgotten.
  The other would-be swain calls him-
self a Seeker of Truth. Incidentally
he is hunting a wife. His general atti-
tude is a constant reminder of the un-
certainty of life. His presence makes
you glad that nothing lasts. He says
his days are heavy with the problems
of the universe, but you can see for
yourself that this very commercial
traveler carries a light side line in an
assortment of flirtations that surely
must be like dancing little sunbeams on
a life of gloom.
  Goodness knows how much of a nui-
sance he would be if it were not for
a little lady named Dolly, who sits be-
side him, gray in color, dress and expe-
rience. At no uncertain age she has
                 31

 
  The Lady and Sada San

found a belated youthfulness and is
starting on the first pleasure trip of her
life.
  Coming across the country to San
Francisco, her train was wrecked. In
the smash-up a rude chair struck her
just south of the belt line and she fears
brain fever from the blow. The alarm
is not general, for though just freed by
kind death from an unhappy life sen-
tence of matrimony she is ready to try
another jailer.
  Whether he spied Dolly first and
hoped that the gleam from her many
jewels would light up the path in his
search for Truth and a few other
things, or whether the Seeker was
sought, I do not know. However the
flirtation which seems to have no age
limit has flourished like a bamboo tree.
For once the man was too earnest.
Dolly gave heed and promptly attached
                 32

 
  The Lady and Sada San

herself with the persistency of a barna-
cle to a weather-beaten junk. By de-
vices worthy a finished fisher of men,
she holds him to his job of suitor, and
if in a moment of abstraction his would-
be ardor for Sada grows too percep-
tible, the little lady reels in a yard or
so of line to make sure her prize is still
dangling on the hook.
  To-day at tiffin the griefless widow
unconsciously scored at the expense of
the Seeker, to the delight of the whole
table. For Sada 's benefit this man
quoted a long passage from some Ger-
man philosopher. At least it sounded
like that. It was far above the little
gray head he was trying to ignore and
so weighty I feared for her mentality.
But I did not know Dolly. She rose
like a doughnut. Looking like a child
who delights in the rhythm of meaning-
less sounds, she heard him through,
                 33

 
  The Lady and Sada San

then exclaimed with breathless delight,
"Oh, ain't he fluid"
  The man fled, but not before he had
asked Sada for two dances at night.
  It is like a funny little curtain-raiser,
with jealousy as a gray-haired Cupid.
So far as Sada is concerned, it is ad-
miration gone to waste. Even if she
were not gaily indifferent, she is too
absorbed in the happy days she thinks
are awaiting her. Poor child! Little
she knows of the limited possibilities of
a Japanese girl's life; and what the ef-
fect of the painful restrictions will be
on one of her rearing, I dare not think.
  Once she is under the authority of
Uncle, the Prince, the Seeker, and all
mankind will be swept into oblivion;
and, until such time as she can be mar-
ried profitably and to her master's lik-
ing, she will know no man. The cruel-
est awakening she will face is the atti-
                 34

 
  The Lady and Sada San

tude of the Orient toward tne innocent
offspring in whose veins runs the blood
of two races, separated by differences
which never have been and never will
be overcome.
  In America the girl's way would not
have been so hard because her novel
charm would have carried her far. But
hear me: in Japan, the very wave in
her hair and the color of her eyes will
prove a barrier to the highest and best
in the land. Even with youth and
beauty and intelligence, unqualified
recognition for the Eurasian is as rare
as a square egg.
  Another thought hits me in the face
as if suddenly meeting a cross bumble-
bee. Will the teachings of the woman,
who lived with her head in the clouds,
hold hard and fast when Uncle puts on
the screws
  The Seeker says it is the fellow who
                 35

 

  The Lady and Sada San

thinks first that wins. He speaks feel-
ingly on the subject. Right now I am
going to begin cultivating first thought,
and try to be near if danger, whose
name is Uncle, threatens the girl who
has walked into my affections and made
herself at home.

Later.
  All the very good people are in bed.
The very worldly minded and the young
are on deck reluctantly finishing the
last dance under a canopy of make-be-
lieve cherry blossoms and wistaria. I
am on the deck between, closing this
letter to vou which I will mail in Yoko-
hama in a few hours.
  In a way I shall be glad to see a quiet
room in a hotel and hie me back to sim-
ple living, free from the responsibili-
ties of a temporary parent. I am not
promising myself any gay thrills in the
                 36

 
  The Lady and Sada San

meantime. What 's the use, with Jack
on the borderland of a sulphurous
country and you in the Garden of
Eden His letters and yours will be
my greatest excitement. So write and
keep on writing and never fear that I
will not do the same. You are the
safety-valve for my speaking emotions,
Mate; so let that help you bear it.
  Please mark with red ink one small
detail of Sada's story. When I was
fastening her simple white gown for the
dance her chatter was like that of a
sunny-hearted child. Indeed, she liked
to dance. Susan did not think it harm-
ful. She said if your heart was right
your feet would follow. When Miss
West could spare her she always went
to parties with Billy, and oh, how he
could dance if he was so big and had
red hair.
  So! there was a Billy I looked in
                 37

 

  The Lady and Sada San

her face for signs. The way was clear
but there was a soft little quiver in her
voice that caused me carefully to label
the unknown William, and lay him on
a shelf for future reference. What-
ever the coming days hold for her,
mine has been the privilege of giving
the girl three weeks of unclouded hap-
piness.
  Outside I hear the little Prince pa-
cing up and down, yielding up his soul
to holy meditations. I 'd be willing to
wager my best piece of jade his con-
templations are something like a cycle
from Nirvana, and closer far to a pair
of heavily fringed eyes. Poor little
imitation Buddha! He is grasping at
the moon 's reflection on the water.
Somewhere near I hear Dolly 's soft coo
and deep-voiced replies. But unfin-
ished packing, a bath and coffee are
awaiting me.
                 38

 
  The Lady and Sada San

  Dawn is coming, and already through
the port hole I see a dot of earth curled
against the horizon. Above floats
Fuji, the base wrapped in mists, the
peak eternally white, a giant snowdrop
swinging in a dome of perfect blue.
The vision is a call to prayer, a wooing
of the soul to the heights of undimmed
splendor.
  After all, Mate, I may give you and
Jack a glad surprise and justify Sada
handing me that letter addressed to a
Christian Sister.

             YOKOHAMA, July, 1911.
  Now that I am here, I am trying to
decide what to do with myself. At
home each day was so full of happy
things and the happiest of all was lis-
tening for Jack's merry whistle as he
opened the street door every night. At
home there are always demands, big
                 39

 

  The Lady and Sada San

and little, popping in on me which I
sometimes resent and yet being free
from makes me feel as dismal as a long
vacant house with the For Rent sign
up, looks. In this Lotus land there is
no must of any kind for the alien, and
the only whistles I hear belong to the
fierce little tugs that buzz around in
the harbor, in and out among the white
sails of the fishing fleet like big black
beetles in a field of lilies. But you
must not think life dull for me. Fate
and I have cried a truce, and she is
showing me a few hands she is dealing
other people. But first li