CHARLES A. GUNNISON.
Press of Commercial Publishing Co. 34 California St., S.F.
FRAU JULIE FISCHER.
geb. von Seckendorff-Gutend.
Die beifolgenden, widme ich Ihnen, als Beweis in welch' unvergesslicher Erinnerung, die von mir in Beyern verlebte Zeit, gehalten wird, und besonders die unvergleichlichen Tage welche ich im Rothem Schloss zu Obernzeen zubringen durfte, Tage welche zu den schoensten meines Lebens zaehlten, und nie aus meinem Herzen verwischt werden koennen.
Charles A. Gunnison.
San Francisco, Cal., Xmas, 1892.
This is thy form, dear, native home of mine,— A gold-net hammock swung from palm to pine, Moved by the breezes of the peaceful sea, And in the net, smiling so drowsily, My mother California, queen divine, Rests, while the poppy garlands her entwine.
In her warm arms, 'neath cloudless summer skies, As child I heard her bee-hummed lullabies, Saw her red malvas, blue nemophylae, Pink manzanitas, deep-hued laurel tree, And what were marvels to my childish eyes, Her mariposas, (tethered butterflies).
What of the rich and wondrous foreign things Which each new tide to her in tribute brings! Although from olive, orange, fig, and vine, Her own fond children all their wealth consign, 'Tis Flora's gifts my royal mother sings, As, joined to palm and pine, her hammock swings.
A Story from the "Grasshopper's Library."
I was seated one pleasant day in the garden, which was given to the city of Macao by the Marcos family, near the grotto sacred to the poet Camoens, when a Portuguese priest came from among the wilderness of flowers and sat beside me. He spoke English with a pleasant accent and we read Bowring's effusion together, as it is engraved on the marble slab nearby. Scarcely had we finished, and the father was telling me of Goa in India, when my uncle Robert came from beneath the great banyan tree and stood before us. The father jumped to his feet, and throwing back his brown robe, rushed forward toward my uncle with a stilletto held ready for an upward stroke. Quickly my uncle drew a revolver and fired—and the father fell dead at my feet.
To those who have been in Southern Europe and have seen the towns along the Riviera, the first view of Macao, as the steamboat approaches from Hong Kong, gives the impression of having been suddenly transported to the sunny Mediterranean. Were it not for the colour of the water, and the Chinese junks, Macao would indeed be a perfect representation of any of those lovely spots, as she lies along her crescent bay, from Mount Nillau to Mount Charil, defended by the frowning forts of Sam Francisco and Our Lady of Bom Parto. Beautiful as this picture is, it was doubly so in the brilliant sunset colouring of a certain March day, as the steamer slowly came to her wharf and the passengers stepped ashore beneath the blue and white flag of Portugal, in this, her farthest eastern possession. The houses with their delicate washings of pink, blue, yellow or green, with white stucco ornaments, now golden in the light, had a warmth of colouring well set off by the dark foliage of camphor and banyan trees showing above the garden walls. The few passengers soon dispersed, in chairs or on foot, leaving but one of their number upon the wharf. He was apparently expecting some one to come for him, for he refused all offers of assistance from the coolies and seated himself just outside the gate. American, of medium height, brown haired and tanned by a tropical sun, Robert Adams was as good a specimen of Anglo Saxon youth as England herself could boast of. He was the last descendant of a New England family, which had preserved its purity for three centuries as unmixed with continental blood as though the three centuries had been passed in the quiet vales of Devon, instead of in the New World with its broken barriers.
For three years, after a successful college course, he had been in the only shipping house in Hong Kong which sickly American commerce of the day was able to support in the once flourishing China trade. A small fortune and a good salary, a constitution which even an Eastern summer could not break down, and above all, the heart of the girl he loved, were surely possessions which any king might envy him. Presently a neat bamboo chair borne by three liveried coolies came at a trot down the street, and being placed before this last of the passengers, carried him away into the darkness which, with the suddenness of the tropics, had fallen upon the city. The stillness was broken only by the noise of escaping steam from the boat and the regular patter of the barefooted chair carriers. When the chair had disappeared up the narrow, winding street, a Portuguese wrapped in a black cloak came from behind a wall, then by another way walked rapidly over the hill and down the other side to the Praya, arriving in front of one of the largest houses on that most beautiful promenade just as the coolies put down their burden.
The oil lamps along the Praya had been lighted, stretching out to the Estrada Sam Francisco, where the bright windows in the hospital of Sam Januarius seemed to be the lake of lights into which this long stream flowed. No one was abroad, no steps sounded along the pavement except those of the sentry as he walked, and smoked, before the neighbouring residence of the Governor. Death at night and sleep in the day time are the characteristics of Macao. No one seems to work, play, sing, dance or even read unless the latter indeed may be done in what Alphonse Daudet calls la Bibliotheque des cigales.
As Robert Adams stepped from the chair, the Portuguese came forward with outstretched hand saying: "What is the news Dom Robert in Hong Kong?" "Oh, Dom Pedro, you came out so suddenly I thought I was attacked. No news, unless it is that the rector of St. John's is to join me to the loveliest girl in Macao or the world, in just three weeks." "I hope you won't disappoint him Dom Robert, you came very near doing so to-night," said Pedro de Amaral with a laugh. "How, pray?" asked Adams as they entered the now unbarred gate. "You were within three feet of the water, if you had fallen in, that would have disappointed him. Not? Three feet is near. Not?" "Yes, and the boiler might have burst," replied Adams laughing. "Or more improbable yet the Portuguese government might have revived Macao, which would kill me with astonishment my dear Amaral."
Having entered the house he was followed by Dom Pedro, who bent upon him such a look of hatred as only the eyes of Latin races can give. The Portuguese turned to the right to his own apartments and Adams following a servant to the left, was soon in the dimly lighted library of Dom Luiz de Amaral the father of Dom Pedro. There were not many books on the shelves but a superb collection of Oriental swords and knives was arranged in the cases from which the shelves had been taken. Two old engravings, one of the poet Camoens and the other of Catarina de Atayde, his beloved, who died of grief at his banishment, hung on the wall; the rest of the furnishings was of that cosmopolitan character which is sure to collect in the home of a European resident in the far East.
"Can't you see me Robert?" said a laughing voice of great sweetness from a corner of the study. "One would think that both your eyes had met the same fate that the right one of poor Camoens did in Morocco." "My darling Priscilla how could I see you ten feet away from the light? You know olive oil don't give the brightest illumination. But its enough though." "Don't!" "Just one," and then a sound not unknown to many of us put a stop to the conversation. "Shall I leave the room children?" came in merry tones from another corner and immediately an old lady came forward giving both hands to him. "That miserable oil of Dom Amaral's has put me into a pretty mess," said Adams half annoyed, but laughing as he greeted the lady. "Don't berate me before my face dear friend about my light, especially when you are so soon to take our brightest light away from us." "Fairly trapped, Dom Amaral," cried Adams laughing heartily at this third interruption. "And here is Dom Pedro dressed for dinner," he continued as the younger Amaral entered the room. "I'll be with you presently and have my eyes toned down to your Macao standard."
Being so constant a visitor, Robert Adams had his own rooms at Dom Amaral's, where he found his bags unpacked and the clothes laid out by those deftest of servants, the Chinese. According to custom the dinner of Macao was served at the late hour of nine.
Dom Luiz Diego de Amaral was one of the wealthiest Portuguese in the city, having, unlike most of his fellow citizens, investments abroad which brought him a considerable income after the birth of Hong Kong killed Macao and left it a city of the past, of poverty and pride. Having in his youth married a Spanish woman who bore him one son, Pedro, he was left a widower before the age of twenty-five.
Some years after, being in Boston where he then had large shipping interests, he took a second wife, Priscilla Harvey, and returned to Macao. Madam de Amaral's only sister, wife of Captain Fernald had one child which was left an orphan at an early age by the drowning of both parents in Portsmouth harbour.
This orphan, Priscilla Fernald, was taken to her aunt in China and became a member of the household of Dom Amaral. It was a strange transplanting for such a flower from the cold coast of Puritan New England to the tropical, Roman Catholic colony in the heart of heathendom. But the flower of so sturdy a stock remained true. It was long accepted by all, even by the maiden Priscilla, that young Amaral was to be her husband though nothing had been said on the subject. Later, the small circle of Macao society, of which poverty and pride were the ruling features, became too dull for the young girl and her foster parents took her often to Hong Kong where she met with those of the outer world.
In that hospitable society of the "city of the fragrant streams," where the dinner table seems to be the only rendezvous, save a garden party now and then, a Tarrantella dance or a Government House ball, the fair Priscilla met young Robert Adams, a native of her far away and almost unknown home. The acquaintance blossomed into friendship and ripened into love. The lover was accepted, and now a courtship of two years was in three weeks to see them married. There were many disappointed youths and envious of Robert Adams, but all took their misfortune as in the way of the world, except young Amaral, who, in silence, had watched the course of events and now hated the happy suitor with all the fierceness of his Southern blood.
That night Robert Adams, unlike the conventional lover, but like a healthy, light-hearted fellow, fell asleep without a sigh, listening to the waves as they broke regularly on the stone embankment before his window. In the room below, Dom Pedro walked until the early morning, no beating of waves could lull him to sleep, for his head ached and his eyes burned in the fever of jealousy. Thus he brooded over his loss till the sun gilded the hermitage fort of Our Lady of Guia.
The following day was Sunday, the liveliest, or rather the only day with any life at all, in Macao, for the visitors from Hong Kong then go about the city sight seeing to be ready for the early return of the steamboat on Monday morning.
A pleasant spot, and one not often molested by visitors on account of the somewhat toilsome climb required to reach it, is the church of Our Lady of Pehna on the summit of Mt. Nillau. Built in 1622 on this high point to be more easily protected from any possible invasion of the Chinese from the main island of Heang Shang, the church serves now only as an addition to the picturesqueness of Macao, and though repaired in 1837 is again in ruin. Priscilla and her affianced chose this for their Sabbath walk, for it is only through nature that the Protestants in Macao can worship nature's God, and surely the incense of flowers could bear to Him on high the thanksgiving of those two happy hearts, as truly as the frankincense and myrrh which the good Fathers of the last century burnt upon Mt. Nillau. The narrow but well paved streets with their stuccoed houses, barred windows and little peep-holes at the doors, for questioning the doubtful applicants for admission, even the two months old posters of Chiarini's circus had a new charm this Sunday morning; for Adams it was a day of quiet after his week of noise and bustle in Hong Kong, while for Priscilla it seemed a gala day full of life after the six silent days of sleepy monotony. "I can see that Pedro is not friendly toward you Robert," she said; "I could hear him walking during all the night and am sure he is planning something to annoy you, I know his ways so well." "Don't worry, Priscilla, Dom Pedro was probably troubled over some loss at the fan-tan table; they say he won five hundred Mexicans last week and then lost that sum doubled."
"That may be so, Robert, but our approaching marriage is a great cross to him. It is hard to tell what Pedro's thoughts are; his eyes are like our Macao windows of isinglass and let very little light either way."
The winding road between ruined walls of gray stone, half covered with clinging ficus, spanned by broken arches, with here and there a fallen urn, led them through picturesque turns and by mossy steps to the foot of the huge black cross erected before the empty church. Neither spoke; they did not care for words and the only expression which framed itself audibly was that oft repeated jubilate of health and youth, "How beautiful it is to live!"
Dim in the distance, of almost the same shade as the sky, rose the White Cloud Hills; lesser hills more distinct in waving outline lay before them; then rocky promontories and islands with grotesque forms like the twisted dragons of Chinese embroideries, and the low stretch which marked the position of the wonderful city of Canton. On the yellow water here and there were junks with tanned sails and gay banners; islands with graceful pagodas were seen, and the huge white cathedral of the near dependency of Taipa. Then in the foreground at their very feet was Macao, a feast of colour, red roofs, many-hued walls, green trees and brilliant gardens, beautiful as the jewel-set sheath of a Venetian dagger, with its poison and death-dealing wickedness hidden.
Dom Amaral with his wife had gone to the new cathedral to services; their well appointed chairs had scarcely left the court and the gates been bolted behind them when Dom Pedro came from his room. His face had changed greatly since the day before; the loss of sleep and the bitterness of his heart had made him look pale and thin. For the first time in his life he had spoken harshly to his valet, and that meek Celestial wore an expression of grief and surprise, for Pedro Amaral, whatever his faults, did not have the vulgar one of venting his spleen upon his inferiors, so that his lifelong servant was at a loss to account for the sudden change.
Dom Pedro walked to the library and drawing the curtains behind him sat down before the cases filled with brilliant steel. Suddenly he looked away and picked up a book from the table, opening it at random but constantly his eyes reverted to the cases before him. Slowly his features relaxed and with a broken sigh he was about to replace the book when a small photograph card fell from its pages; the face was that of Robert Adams, the book Priscilla's "Common Prayer." Like a flash the old lines came back in his forehead; he went to the case and opening the glass doors, carefully took down a small, silver sheath, the work of some artist of Goa, wherein the influence of both India and Europe showed in the execution. The pressure of a button pushed out a grooved dagger which fitted so low in the sheath as to show only the head of its jeweled hilt. Dom Pedro removed the dagger, wrapped it in his handkerchief and then putting it in his breast pocket replaced the empty sheath in its old position.
The government of Macao derives its greatest revenue from the licensing of gambling houses, and these form one of the principal attractions in the city to the European from Hong Kong as well as the native Portuguese and Chinese. Whatever fault the visitor finds, on moral grounds, with these houses he must admit the fact that they are quiet and orderly, while the picturesqueness of the life within them and that peculiar glamour which varnishes all that pertains to a great gambling hall where fortune shows herself directly face to face with us, has a charm which hides the immorality from even the most straight-laced Puritan.
One of these houses was the favourite and nightly resort of Dom Pedro, where he played high or low according to the state of his finances at the moment. Dom Amaral, though himself a devotee of the fan-tan table, observed with fear this controlling passion of his son which he believed would some day destroy the comfortable fortune he had amassed with so many years of labour.
Adams would have certainly preferred to spend the whole evening in the family circle, but Dom Pedro urged him with so much, and such unusual kindness to accompany him to the gambling house that he consented, and at about eleven o'clock the two young men left the Praya and walked into the town beneath the soft lights of the oil lamps. The streets were deserted as usual, here and there a policeman, hooded like a pilgrim, sauntered leisurely along, or the Chinese watchman with drum and clapper woke the echoes of the lonely ways warning thieves of his approach.
The only illuminated houses were fan-tan houses and these presently became numerous; now and then music was heard but not of a very seductive kind. Into one of the largest and most gaily decorated houses, Dom Pedro and Robert Adams went, climbing to the second floor by stairs bordered with shrubs in huge Chinese pots.
The main playing room contained several tables or counters arranged along the walls, behind which sat the croupiers; at one of these Dom Pedro stopped. On the table was a plate of metal divided into quarters of about a foot square by deep cut lines crossing it, each square being marked in Chinese characters indicating one, two, three and four. The croupiers rattled a pile of bright brass coins, with square holes in them, called cash; then as Dom Pedro made a sign that he was about to play, the croupier drew away a part of them under a bowl and Dom Pedro placed his wager on number three. The croupier with a bamboo wand then counted out the remaining cash one at a time in sets of four, until finally there were but three left; this being Dom Pedro's number, he won the stakes.
"In good luck to-night," he said, turning to Adams, "Try if this is a lucky day for you." Robert Adams placed his money on the same square which Dom Pedro had won from, and again the croupier counted the remainder slowly, having drawn away some of the cash under the bowl, four at a time until but two remained and Adams' stake became part of the bank. "Lucky in love, unlucky at play" he said with a laugh, "I shall bet no more to-night." Dom Pedro's face darkened but in silence he continued winning at every count.
Above the table was a square hole in the ceiling opening into an upper room where those could sit who did not wish to be seen, and were thus able to let their bets down in a little basket and with the same draw up their winnings. This upper room being purposely kept in half light enabled its occupants to see those below without being seen themselves.
Dom Pedro's luck was astonishing and quite a crowd of onlookers gathered about. Robert Adams growing weary of the play in which he took no interest, left, saying that he would walk slowly as far as the ruined cathedral of St. Paul and on his return step in again. As he stepped back from the table he looked up toward the opening in the ceiling where were two women with faces wrapped in black silk robosas, which showed only the eyes; as the eyes seemed fixed upon him he raised his hat. The action seemed to cause the women considerable consternation, for both hurriedly sprang back from the rail and in doing so one let fall, upon the table below, the basket with a bit of paper and several Mexican dollars which rolled about the room. Everyone looked up laughing at the accident but no one from above claimed the money. Adams left the room glad to be in the fresh air under the clear, starlit sky.
No more lonely or picturesque ruin ever existed than the church of St. Paul; though human habitations crowd close upon it, they are however the houses of Chinese and make the Christian edifice seem the more solitary. The church is of that favourite style of architecture so common in new and old Spain, which always brings to the mind of the wanderer in foreign lands the name of good San Xavier.
The half moon had risen high enough to illuminate the whole front as Adams climbed the broad, massive steps to the paved space before it. Leaning against the heavy balustrade he enjoyed the picture. The shadows were deep and through the sightless windows shone a few silver stars. The magnificent front of solid granite with graceful scroll-work and carved outline, blackened here by smoke and there by age, with vines and trees growing from crevices, stood in wondrous beauty.
The detail showed clearer than by day; the panels in high relief, of full rigged ship, the double dolphin and the skeleton seemed too fragile to have stood through earthquake and typhoon and the conflagrations of war for more than two hundred years. The exquisite frieze composed of many unconventionalized flowers extending across the front, wherein the artist and worker had been one, was a petrified garland. This scene was a revelation to Adams for often as he had viewed and sketched the ruin, he had never been there by moonlight when its beauties were enhanced and its defects hidden. He could see plainly each Chinese character upon the carved scrolls and the words "Mater Dei" above the doorway.
Slowly the shadows crept along, making the six broken saints in their niches seem alive; slowly the shadows upon the ruin crept along, but a swifter shadow suddenly came forward from the steps and Adams having forgotten, in the entrancing scene the murderer and thief who lurk in all Macao's corners, turned as he heard a soft step, just in time to receive in his right arm the upward blow of a dagger aimed at his side. He lost his balance falling backward down the steps, striking his head upon a heap of broken roof-tiles where he lay insensible. As he fell, a woman's scream pierced the night. There was hurried tramping of sandaled feet, as of a dozen or more coolies. The shriek was again heard and then all was silent and the plaza empty.
Sleepy Macao the day after the attempted assassination of Robert Adams was treated to a sensation such as had not been its experience since the memorable day in 1848 when the old Governor de Amaral lost his head at the Porta de Cerco. Murder, attempted or accomplished, could not have stirred them up to such an extent, for that was too common an occurrence, but the mystery of the event was the cause. Priscilla Harvey and her maid with one of Dom Amaral's most trusted men servants had disappeared as completely as though the earth had swallowed them.
Robert Adams, since the night of the attack had not recovered his senses, and lay in the house of Dom Amaral apparently between life and death. The surgeons from Sam Januarius hospital had decided that to save him, the amputation of his arm would be necessary, for the dagger which had cut it had been poisoned.
In the midst of this trouble, Priscilla's absence was discovered, and Macao was alarmed. Men were sent from the Governor's house in all directions to search the public houses, the fishing boats, and every possible place within the small territory. Word was sent to Taipa. While the officials were thus employed, private parties of searchers went over the entire peninsula looking among the rocks and copses of the Estrada and even the Parsee Tower of Silence was examined, but all in vain. The fan-tan house proprietor told of two unknown women with a Chinese servant who had visited his house, but when they had left he did not know. No more was learned though the search still continued, for large rewards were offered by Dom Amaral as well as by the Governor.
Dom Pedro directed the movements, taking greatest interest in all that seemed possible to form a clue, and did not rest for nearly forty-eight hours. Days soon formed a week but no news came, and Macao began to drowze again. Detectives from Hong Kong came, made the usual fuss and reached the usual conclusions of their kind, that it was a mysterious event.
Contrary to all predictions Robert Adams, having become convalescent and the surgical operation by which he had lost his arm having proved successful when having heard the awful news, did not have a relapse into the fever but seemed with a determination to become more rapidly strong, and in five weeks was able to be about. He, of all Priscilla's friends, was most hopeful. To his mind vividly came the scene at the Ruins of St. Paul and that last sound he had heard. Adams' first walk was to the scene of his attempted assassination and Madam de Amaral, who was much broken with grief at the terrible event, accompanied him in her chair, Dom Pedro going with them.
It was the month of May and the heat being oppressive Madam d'Amaral after viewing the scene was carried home and the two young men walked on to the Marcos garden. "I have a clue Dom Robert," said Dom Pedro as they seated themselves beneath a broad banyan tree from which a view of St. Paul's ruin could be had. "There began your troubles," he said pointing, "and there this morning I received a paper which will I hope lead to a solution of this mystery." He handed Adams a bit of Chinese paper on which was written in Portuguese, "Come to the Praca de Luiz de Camoens at 8 A.M. to-morrow; follow the guide who meets you, and the lady Priscilla will be found." "I do not trust anonymous communications," said Adams, "but we must clutch at a straw now." "Nor do I," replied Dom Pedro, "and I will go with you; we will go well armed." Adams glanced down at his own empty sleeve and a cruel smile passed over the face of Dom Pedro as he noticed his comrade's pain.
The 22nd of May will be long remembered in Macao and never forgotten by the family of de Amaral. Early in the morning Robert Adams was up and impatiently waiting for Dom Pedro, who appeared a little before eight o'clock and the two, after a hurried breakfast, went to the Praca de Luiz de Camoens where a Chinese sailor met them. They followed him to the shore where a sampan was waiting in which they seated themselves and were soon gliding rapidly toward a huge junk of fine build which lay at anchor some distance beyond the Portuguese man-of-war, in the direction of Taipa. The tide was very low and the vessel did not seem far from shore.
The Sampan reached and made fast to the junk, and Adams followed by Dom Pedro climbed upon the deck.
Quick as a flash Adams' arm was seized and bound to his side while Dom Pedro stepped before him. "Fool!" he cried, "you have stepped into the trap with little trouble. It was I who stabbed you, Dom Robert, it was I, who took the bride who rightfully belonged to me, as it is I who will use you for my own good till I may throw you away. You of Northern blood are fools."
"I thought you my friend, Dom Pedro, and I thought you a man," was the only reply.
Every appointment of the junk was of exquisite finish, such as is seldom seen, and kept scrupulously clean. The men at work on deck, with usual Mongolian nonchalance, went about their business without giving the least notice to the events occurring. "The lady Priscilla waits you in the cabin," said Dom Pedro. "She knows my plans and though I shall not intrude upon you I have a Chinese on guard who will kill you if any attempt is made to free you. Enter." Adams stepped toward the cabin at the stern, where the usual shelf-like arrangements of a junk had been transformed into a cabin suited to European taste, with comfort and luxury. Adams entered and the door was closed. By it stood a guard with drawn sword; in the farther corner sat a woman at a table with her face buried in her hands.
"Robert, as you love me stay where you are. Do not move a step, but sit down where you are." Her voice was so full of pleading that Adams forgot his first impulse and obeyed her. "I know all that has occurred dear Robert, your sacrifice and pain and the pain of all my friends during these sad weeks. Do not move toward me or you will be killed. I will not look up, dare not look up. On that Sunday, which now seems so long ago, when I bid you good-night at the library door, when you and he went to the fan-tan house, I followed you with his valet and my maid, for I had been fearful of his intentions toward you, and when his valet told me that he had seen him secrete a dagger in his coat that morning, and when I found one missing from the case, I had my fears confirmed. We followed and sat in the floor above you and tried to call your attention. When I won at the table at last I put in a warning note and then overturned the basket. You did not see the paper but he did, and read it. For the rest, you were followed at once by him, and we as quickly as possible followed both, but only in time to see you fall and to be seized and carried away in a closed chair to the yellow house in the Marcos square where, till yesterday, I have been confined to the court and inner rooms, with only my maid as company and a daily visit from him at which I learned the news of your progress toward recovery. Last night we were removed to this vessel, and I have expected your arrival with hope and fear. His idea is to force a marriage with me by threats against your life, or to sail for Hainan or Formosa and accomplish his designs where law and justice for us are unknown."
Hurried cries from the deck and a call at the door in Chinese were heard and the guide sheathing his sword rushed from the cabin. In a moment the lovers were together. The bonds which held Adams' arm were cut and Priscilla pointing to the little window cried, "Robert, God is with us!" With his one arm encircling Priscilla they looked from the window. Apparently a strong gale had suddenly sprung up from the south east and rain was falling in torrents; the wind continued to increase though the rain passed by, but in the distance appeared a dark tower of water slowly moving toward Macao, rushing with bending, changing outline from water to sky. The gale became fiercer and the tumult on deck increased. Immediately from Taipa came the sound of cannon and it was answered by Macao with her heaviest ordnance as if a battle were raging, and, indeed it was a terrible battle, one between man and the elements, but man was victor and the water spout was broken. The force of the tornado however had yet to reach its climax and for fully five minutes swept over the terrified city and bay with fearful power. Sampans and junks were hurled like egg-shells upon the shore, where but for the low tide, thousands instead of hundreds of lives would have been sacrificed. The men-of-war and the river steamboats did good service, for the course of the tornado, was so restricted that though but a hundred yards from its limit of violence they were untouched. Dom Pedro's junk with others was torn from its moorings and overturned, but not before Adams and Priscilla had jumped from the deck. Even in the awful confusion and the terror of the first plunge which carried them below the surface of the angry waves, she kept her hand clasped upon the empty sleeve of her recovered protector. Being both good swimmers they assisted each other with that knowledge of the water and the trust which all coast born people have in the mother sea. A boat from one of the war vessels picked them up and in a short time they were both beneath the roof of good Dom d'Amaral, and rumor with unusual tread, but suited to Macao, slowly announced the fact of Priscilla's return.
Dom Pedro weak, and with a broken arm, was also carried to the house of his father and none but the principal actors in the tragedy understood the mystery.
Priscilla had returned in the midst of the tornado, and that was all. The unfortunate young woman was completely prostrated by the terrible experiences through which she had lately passed and lay as if lifeless. The physicians dreaded an attack of fever would follow, and their worst fears were realized. Several weeks went by in anxious watching by the sick woman's bedside when at last the fever turned and she gradually grew better. Nothing was said of the occurrences which had brought the illness about, and Priscilla remembered nothing of them apparently, for she asked for no one and seemed happy and content to be left with her Chinese ama. When she had recovered strength enough to be carried into the court-yard it was with joyful expectancy that Adams went to greet her, yet his heart sank with sorrow when he saw the marks of the great suffering in her face and a terrible desire for revenge seized him, which became the dominant passion of his life.
The saddest part of this tale may be given in a few words. Priscilla Harvey never regained her reason, though she found pleasure in all the beauties of nature and her life was happy during the two years before her death. Dom Pedro went to Hong Kong and soon disappeared. Robert Adams remained in Macao taking charge of the d'Amaral foreign business. He was the daily companion of the unfortunate Priscilla in all her walks and it was but a year after her death, when I visited my uncle Robert in Macao, when the tragic event occurred which is narrated at the beginning of this history.
My uncle is near my own age and we are more like brothers and have been together, since the death of Dom Pedro at Camoen's Grotto. The Courts of Macao exonerated Adams and though the good Dom d'Amaral would willingly have had him remain in the house at Macao it was not pleasant to think, that, even justified as he was, he had killed the only son of his host.
It was early in the morning when we left the drowsy city; the sun had just touched the windows of Sam Januarius, and as the river boat dropped into the stream, the church of Our Lady of Guia received its morning salutation. The period had come to this story of love and loss, and the book closed.
Perhaps it is just as well not to work, or play, or read except in "the library of the grasshoppers" as do my own good, sleeping friends in Macao.
My Sapphire Ring.
Where have I seen the sapphire rimmed with gold? When on the dark blue Carribbean sea, Floating at sunset, dreaming lazily, I saw the God of Day the world enfold; There did my eyes the sapphire rare behold.
I saw the sapphire, when the day was young In royal Venice, as I lay and gazed Into the morning sky, and saw, amazed, Its deep hued brilliance, ere a bird had sung, Or Matin bells from San Stefano rung.
Once when my course, with myriad sea-flowers strewn, Was o'er Formosa's waves of purple dulse, Rising and falling like a fevered pulse, Moved by the hot and southern born monsoon, I saw the sapphire glow in tropic noon.
But in our home, beneath our own blue skies, Before I knew these treasures of the Earth, I saw the sapphire of far greater worth— The first born friendship in your boyhood's eyes— Of which this ring as token now I prize.
The Hen That Could Lay and Lie.
I had the following story from the bill of an old Spanish hen, an inveterate cackler, who used to fly over the neighbouring fence and wander, with happy, self-communing clucks about my vegetable garden.
"Yes young man you are young, you may feel bigger than I am, but you are not quite so tough, indeed toughness alone has saved me my life for a good many Christmas mornings. I am a tough old hen, I have seen the world; I have traveled. You know the island in the Napa River just above the railroad bridge? Well, I was wrecked there in my young days and it happened in this manner.
"The spring of the year 18— was a wet one; snow fell in the foothills and when it melted, the waters rushed down through the canons and filled the river. Our coop, (I say ours as I had a husband then,) stood near the bank, and the rising water carried it away. I shall never forget the night. It was Billy's last night on earth; Billy was my better half, and a handsome, young cock he was, all the young pullets in the yard had yellow combs, from envy, the day we were married. Old Partlett with her brood of twelve ducks tried her best to get him, but Billy said he didn't think it was quite the most moral thing in the world for a hen of her age to hatch out ducks and it set a bad example to the young 'broilers' who were growing up about us, so he declined her proposals with thanks and sent her off with her ugly-mouthed off-spring. Well, as I was saying, our coop was carried down the stream, Billy and I balancing ourselves on the upper roost and speaking words of comfort to cheer up each other's fast fainting gizzards. We hens have a proverb which says, 'A life without hope is an egg without a yolk, a gizzard without gravel,' and that night proved the words to be true. Suddenly down went Billy into the roaring flood. I can see his yellow spurs as he went under, and his clutching claws, those beautiful, shining claws that only walked the path of virtue, as far as I knew. Alas how I fluttered, I tried to crow for help but it was useless, I could no more do it than the hens of your genus can whistle. Billy went out forever.
"How I remember his kindness now; how he would find the best worms and grasshoppers and always call me to see them before he ate them, not as that old beast Cochin China does, who not even lets his wife look at the delicious morsels he swallows.
"Billy is gone, so I will not regret him for he is probably chief crower in St. Peter's hennery now. How Peter must blush when he hears Billy crow, if he has any shame for his past sins. They say St. Peter has to keep all the dead cocks as a sort of punishment and reminder.
"That night I pulled all the yellow feathers out of my tail, (I have Cochin blood in my veins,) and I have gone in black Spanish costume ever since out of respect for Billy.
"By morning I was cast with the coop upon a deserted island; there was nothing but a coarse grass that was eatable, but I was almost dead with hunger, and was about giving up in despair when a happy thought struck me, and, I laid an egg, which with a little grass made me a good meal. Each day I laid an egg and ate it, feeling that my life at least could be saved, though I must be forever without society, yet I thanked heaven that hens were made with such resources. Alas! I began to notice that the eggs grew smaller each day and I felt starvation again taking me by the wattles. To die without friends on a desert island, horrible! Alone! Why? Can I not hatch these eggs, can I not raise a brood of little pullets who shall lay eggs for themselves and me? Time passed and I brought from the shells eight little chicks, but alas they were all cocks; poor me. What are they good for on a desert island? They cannot even keep themselves. Perhaps I had thought too much of Billy during the setting and that influenced the eggs. But my complaint was punished, for all of the brood were caught one day in the current and carried away. Poor, little, posthumous chicks, how your father Billy would have loved you and taught you to crow. Again I tried; this time with more success and brought from the eggs six little, fluffy pullets. All lived and we took turns, off and on, supplying the family with eggs, till one day men passing in a row boat, saw us and took us aboard. We had been on the island for two months. All my six pullets lived and married, and are now in the yard over the fence."
All this time I had been so interested in the story, that I had not noticed the narrator who was in the midst of my lettuce bed busily pulling up the young plants.
"Shew there! What are you doing?" I cried. Off she flew with a cackle of derision.
Looking after her in astonishment and at my poor lettuce bed, I caught the eye of an old turkey, roosting in an apple tree; he was smiling grimly.
"So you have been taken in too," he said, with a suppressed gobble. "You needn't believe a word of that tale, and if you knew anything about raising poultry you would have seen the weak point in her story. It was only to play on your sympathy while she made a meal of your lettuce. That old hen is one of the toughest confidence operators in the yard, and if you take my advice, (and I have lived over four Thanksgivings,) you will keep an eye open for all black Spanish hens who have lost a husband."
I thanked the old fellow and came into the house, and since then have kept on the guard against widows of every genus, with better success than Mr. Weller the elder attained.
"Oceanic" at Sea.
What shall I sing of thee, my ship, Lone center of this orb of blue, Horizoned by the rosy light Of peeping dawn, and sleeping evening too?
Thou art the pupil, ship of mine, Which lights this round and azure eye, Rimmed by the rosy lids of dawn, And lost in sleep when evening rules the sky.