free, it ran lightly on, inquisitively
searching out remote nooks and craixnies.
Night had settled over the forest, and
though among the tree-tops all was dark
and sombre, at their feet the red flower
made merry, and shed a brightness in long
lines like rows of advancing soldiers. Soon
tiring of creeping silently, it grew bolder,
and leaped to the top of low-growing
shrubs with a gay crackle, and from here
to others and to others, not deigning to
touch the earth again in its mad flight.
It gained the low-growing limbs of a res-
inous pine, and with a wild shriek surged
to the top-most brarch. Here the night
wind, rising, caught it in its embrace, and
carried it faster and faster from tree-top
to tree-top with a wild, demoniac roar.
Long since it had ceased to play, and in-
toxicated with freedom, it flung itself with
relentless fury along its destroying path.
At the first faiclt whisper, the birds had
wakened, and with shrill, frightened cries,
had fluttered away in bewilderment,, seek-
ing a refuge from they knew not what,
Among the ashes and needles, the four-
footed denizens scurried, little knowing or
caring that beside them ran their bitterest
foes. Sometimes in a lull, great crashes
and roars could be heard as other forest
monarchs joined their fallen comrade.
The night wore on/, and the forest
writhed in throes of greatest agony. Alike
were the grizzled giants and tender young
saplings seared at a breath, and in their
perishing, shrieks of anguish like prayers
for mercy, were borne high on the wickd
to the heaven reflected blaze above.
Suddenly there was an imperceptible
pause, a hush, and then came surcease. A
fairy patter was heard, and the heaven
sent balsam fell upon the wounded. Soft-
ly it fell at first, and then faster an)d faster,
vanquishing the red flower which stopped
midway with great gasps of agony, until
finally it was routed, leaving only great
beacon lights in the forest like sentinel
fires, where it fought its last fight with
some giant tree. Gradually the wind
calmed ; the rain cleared ; and bright and
cheery the dawn broke after the harrowing
night, bringing with it peace, hope and the
song of returning birds. On the ground
lay the mothering oak, and by her side her
comrade of the years. Her great heart,
eaten out by the fires of many summers,
and the frosts of many winters, had broken
at last, and she had fallen to the hillside,
bearrrjlg to the long sleep the companion
who had fought the great fight of life at
In the growing time of the coming year
there sprang to life a new forest stronger,
sturdier for the travail of the old. Majes-
tically it lifted its head to the stars ever
murmuring a chant of thankfulness for
the gift of the red flower. Its seed once
sown! had wrought the bitterest desolation,
but in the final reaping had come regen-
THE MALAY KRISE
BY C. ASHTON SMITH
SAHIB," said the sword-dealer, "this
blade, which came from far Singa-
pore, has not its equal for sharp-
ness in all Delhi."
He handed me the blade for inspection.
It was a long krise, or Malay knife, with
a curious boat-shaped hilt, and, as he had
said, was very keen.
"I bought it of Sidi Hassen, a Singa-
pore dealer into whose possession it came
at the sale of Sultan Sujah All's weapons
and effects after the Sultan's capture by
the British. Hast heard the tale, sahib?
No? It runs thus:
"Sujah Ali was the younger son of a
great Sultan. There being little chance of
his ever coming to the throne, he left his
father's dominions, and becoming a pirate,
set out to carve for himself a name and an
empire. Though having at first but a few
prahus (boats) and less than a hundred
men, he made up this lack by his qualities
of leadership, which brought him many
victories, much plunder and considerable
renown. His fame caused many men to
join him, and his booty enabled him to
build more prahus. Adding continually
to his fleets, he soon swept the rivers of
THE MALAY KRISE.
the Peninsula, and then began to venture
upon the sea. In a few years his ships
were held in fear and respect by every
Dutch merchantman or Chinese junk
whose sails loomed above the waters of the
China sea. Inland he began to overrun
the dominions of the other Sultans, con-
quering, amongst others, that of his elder
brother, who had succeeded to his father's
throne. Sujah All's fame reached far,
and its shadow lay upon many peoples.
"Then the English came to the Penin-
sula and built Singapore. Sujah Ali des-
patched ships to prey upon their vessels,
many of whom he succeeded in capturing.
The English sent big ships after him,
bearing many heavy guns and many armed
The Sultan went to meet them in per-
son, with the greater part of his fleet. It
wa? a disastrous day for him. When the
red sun sank into the sea, fully fifty of his
best prahus, and thousands of his men,
amongst whom he mourned several of his
most noted captains, lay beneath the
waters. He fled inland with the shattered
remnant of his fleet.
"The British resolved to crush him de-
cisively, sent boats up the rivers, and in
numerous hard-fought battles they sunk
most of Sujah Ali's remaining prahus,
and cleared land and water of the infest-
ing pirates. The Sultan himself, how-
ever, they sought in vain. He had fled to
a well-nigh inaccessible hiding-place a
small village deep in a network of creeks,
swamps, and jungle-covered islands. Here
he remained with a few fighting-men while
the English hunted unsuccessfully for the
narrow, winding entrances.
"Amina, his favorite wife, was among
those who had accompanied him to this
refuge. She was passionately attached to
the Sultan, and, although such was his
wish, had positively refused to be left be-
"There was a beautiful girl in the vil-
lage, with whom Sujah Ali became infatu-
ated. He finally married her, and she ex-
ercised so great an influence over him that
Amina, who had hitherto considered her-
self first in her husband's estimation, grew
jealous. As time passed, and she perceived
more clearly how complete was his infatua-
tion, her jealousy grew more intense and
violent, and at last prompted her to leave
the village secretly one night, and to go to
the captain of a British vessel which had
been cruising up and down the river for
weeks. To this man, one Rankling Sahib,
she revealed the secret of Sujah Ali's hid-
ing place. In thus betraying him, her de-
sire was probably more for revenge upon
her rival than upon the Sultan.
"Rankling Sahib, guided by Amina,
passed at midnight through the network
of creek? and jungles. He landed his
crew and entered the village. The Ma-
lays, taken completely by surprise, offered
little or no resistance. Many awoke only
to find themselves confronted by loaded
rifles, and surrendered without opposition.
"Sujah Ali, who had lain awake all
evening wondering as to the cause of
Amina's absence, rushed out of his hut
with half a score of his men, and made a
futile attempt at escape. A desperate
fight ensued, in which he used his krise,
the same that thou seest, with deadly
effect. IVo of the English he stretched
dead, and a third he wounded severely.
"Rankling Sahib had given orders that
the Sultan be taken alive, if possible.
Finally, wounded, weary and surrounded
by his foes on all sides, the Sultan was
made prisoner. And the next morning
was taken down river to Singapore."
This is the krise vou see on the wall.
LIFE MEANS TO ME
Illustrated by George Coleman Dawson
Life means to me my very Soul,
My very soul and naught to stay;
Life means to me of parts the whole
And with my soul the price I'd pay.
Oh, seas that laugh and seas that weep,
And seas of passion, never still,
Forever washing sands that sleep
Yours is my instinct and my will.
Life means to me the struggle dear,
The egotism that is sweet,
To take my own, not knowing fear,
And master life beneath my feet.
Oh, sea that gathers all to brood,
Oh, sea that beats against the sky, -
Complete in, yearning, mastery, mood
Yours teaches me the perfect "I."
Life means to me my Soul Entire,
The Flame eternal of itself;
My farthest dreams, my single fire
Lit beyond creeds, conventions, delf.
Myself the Fate, Myself the Hope,
Myself the Question and the Creed,
The Scheme in total for my scope
To live it all I ask or need.
To live myself the Perfect Thing,
To make the most of all that's here;
To love and laugh and die with Spring
Still in the blood that would not sere.
To take my Heaven, face my Hell
The greater Hell is yet to lack ;
Destroy and rear the code is well;
Life at its best has been Attack.
That is what is, the Game's the Game
To play for what I am not less ;
The Tame have always been the Ta
x Vhose is the law that sets excess?
BY MARGAJRET ASHMTJN
The eye, far wandering, threads
through bush and bole,
Where, endless green and gold,
the vistas fade;
Then, slow returning, gathers for
A purple hare-be] 1 swaying in
SETH, A SINGED CAT
BY ADA E. FERRIS
NO, YOU SHAN'T go one step,"
declared Mrs. Markham, plant-
ing her stout figure before the
door. "You don't disgrace
your family and make yourself town talk
by any such tomfoolery. It's bad enough
now. If I'd let everybody know I expected
a young man to marry me, and then he
went and married somebody else, I would
not want to show my face, let alone going
to his wedding to show off my foolish-
"You took pains to let every one know
yourself," Hetty Marsden flashed back in-
dignantly. "You boasted of it more than
I did. And I had a right to believe it.
When he gave me this ring and said
Well, no matter what, but I did and I do
yet. He has sent me wedding cards.
Leonidas Armitage is to marry Grace El-
don, but his cousin Lonny is Leonidas Ar-
mitage too. Anyway, I am going to the
"Hetty Marsden, are you a natural-born
fool? Everybody knows it's Lee that's to
get married. Lonny's been out West for
"There's time enough for him to get
back, isn't there ?"
"Well, of all fools, commend me to a
girl in love," Mrs. Markham snorted
scornfully. "Nothing on earth'll make
her believe her young man isn't an angel.
What do you suppose Lee Armitage want-
ed of you anyhow?" (conveniently forget-
ting how confidently she herself had
boasted of her cousin's brilliant prospects
only a little while ago, rather to Lee's dis-
gust, Hetty suspected.) "You ain't ac-
complished, nor a genius, nor an heiress;
not bad looking, maybe, but not so hand-
some that a man need to lose his senses
about you. Now, Grace Eldon is one of
the big bugs. Lee Armitage isn't going
to throw himself away on a nobody when
he can get the Hon. John Eldon's daugh-
ter. And the best thing you can do is to
take it quiet, say nothing and quit turn-
ing up your nose at old Jed Price. You
might do a deal worse. He's got a good
farm and money in bank, and better be
an old man's darling than a young man's
"I'm not selling myself for money just
3^et. And I'm going to Lee Armitage's
wedding. I won't say he's a scoundrel
while there's a chance he isn't. But if he
is, I want to know it."
"What for? So's you can faint dead
away, or scream, or fly at him like a pan-
ther, and make yourself town talk? You
don't stir one step, I tell you, Hetty
"I will. I should go mad if I didn't,"
the girl cried.
"Mad or not, you don't stir. I ain't
going to be disgraced by no such foolish-
ness. Goodness, what's that?" whirling
around hastily, as a shuffling step crossed
the porch behind her. "Oh, it's only
Seth !" in relief that said plainer than
words it did not matter what Seth heard.
"Just Seth," agreed the newcomer,
cheerily. "Miss Brown said to tell you
she'd like that setting of eggs now, if
"Why, of course. I'll get it right away.
Take a chair, won't you ?"
She disappeared into the cellar. Hetty
turned her flushed face to the window.
Seth stood still with his child-like gaze
fixed on the ceiling. If you had been
shooting all the handsome men in the
country, Seth would have been perfectly
safe. He was tall, but awkward and sham-
bling. He had clear, kindly blue eyes, but
the no-colored hair and brows, and thin,
straggling beard gave him a faded,
washed-out appearance. His clothes al-
ways looked as if he had been sleeping in
them. Not that he looked repulsive or
loutish. He seemed just an awkward,
over-grown child, with all a child's con-
"Got any errands over at Oldtown to-
day?" he asked cheerily, before she could
command her voice to speak.
The wedding was at Oldtown. Hetty
"Are you going over? When?"
"Soon as I can harness up, I reckon.
Mis' Brown, she wants some things. You
might put on your hat and come along as
well as not."
Had he overheard what they were say-
Not that it mattered in the least?
Go ? Of course she would. "Shall I come
with you now?"
"Why, I haven't harnessed yet, you
know. You get dressed and I'll drive
around. You might meet me at the or-
Nothing could have suited her better
than to slip away unseen. Still, it was odd
that Seth should have suggested so easy
Half an hour later he drove up to the
orchard gate where Hetty waited impa-
tiently. Her eyes glowed, her cheeks were
pink as her ribbons, and she had never
looked prettier, or more dangerous. He
seemed bubbling over with cheery good-
nature and scraps of old song, but then
Seth often sang over his work.
"Hello, Hetty ! Sorry if I've kept you
waiting, but there's plenty of time. Pretty
da}% isn't it ? Fine for a ride."
"I thought you were going for Mr.
Brown," Hetty exclaimed suspiciously, as
he helped her into the light spring wagon.
"This is not his rig."
"Well, no. Turned out he'd lotted on
using his this afternoon, so I got this one.
It's just as good."
"Seth Lorimer! Did you hear what
Fanny and I were saying, and go and get
this rig on purpose to take me over?" she
"Sho, now, Hetty, you oughtn't to
blame a fellow for having ears. We was
made that way and can't help ourselves."
"You you scamp !" Hetty gasped. "If
I didn't want to go so desperately, I'd
jump right out."
"Sho, now, would you? But, you see,
when I heard that, I thought I'd go over
myself. I never saw a wedding in church."
v "Seth," she demanded, suddenly, "do
von think it is Lee who is to be married
She wouldn't have asked any one else,
but who cared what one said to Seth? His
reply came very deliberately.
"Well, now, you see, Hetty, I never did
like Lee Armitage much. He never
wasted any great civility on me, and none
of the girls would look at another fellow
while he was around. So I kinder hope
it is. Miss Grace Eldon is rich and fine-
looking, and all that, but I take it she's
just the kind of girl you'd like a fellow
to marry if you had a grudge against
"None of the girls would look at you
anyway, whether Lee was around or not,"
Hetty flashed angrily.
"Well, they never did, that's a fact,"
Seth admitted cheerfully. "They might
have done worse, too. I'm getting along
"You deserve to do well," she said, hast-
ily, ashamed of her ingratitude. "There
never was any one so obliging as you,
Seth. You deserve the nicest girl going,
whoever she is. and I hope you may get
her, but I I can't think of anything but
but Grace Eldon's wedding to-day."
"Why, of course. Everybody's 1 wild
about it," cracking his whip gayly. "All
sure it's going to be Lee, too. I'm no
judge, 'cause I don't like him. But they
all say so."
He whistled the "Rose of Allandale"
twice through, not heeding her sternly
compressed lips; then talked of his own
affairs with the cheery confidence of a
child. Hetty had always had a strong
sympathy for him. Were they not both
orphans, poor and homeless, even though
she found shelter under Cousin Fanny's
roof while Seth knocked about the coun-
try, working for one and another ? A cer-
tain respect for his genuine kindness, too
but now her thoughts were elsewhere.
"Goin' to a wedding kinder makes a
feller think of getting married himself,
doesn't it ? Eeckon I could if I wanted
to always supposing I could find a girl
that would have me. Guess I could keep
"Got a pretty good team now. That
bay colt Squire Jones gave me when it
had the distemper so bad he thought it
would never be worth anything, and
SETH, A SINGED CAT.
Lightfoot there I took on a bad debt. Man
said he was too vicious to be trained ! Not
he; just a bit nervous and high-spirited,
and they hadn't patience enough to man-
age him. Now they're as fine a team as
anybody need have. But the best stroke
of luck came the other day. What do you
think, Hetty? I'vp taken the Kollins
"It's badly run down, but I suppose you
can bring it up if anybody can," Hetty
said, absently. She was recalling how Lee
Armitage slipped that ring on her finger
and kissed her. Had he only been amus-
ing himself with her fond credulity, or
her cheeks suddenly burned crimson as she
remembered more than one attempt to
take slight liberties which she had in-
stinctively evaded. Had he meant worse
than trifling ? Oh, no, no ! Surely he
had loved her, though not enough to lose
the chance of a more brilliant marriage.
Oh, she hated him, the traitor !
Seth snapped his whip, musically in-
forming all listeners that he was "bound
for the land of Canaan," and between
verses rambled on how Mr. Rollins, a re-
tired city merchant, unused to the coun-
try, had grown tired of his place after
spending a small fortune in stocking it
with rare plants and shrubs. "Didn't
have patience to wait for 'em to grow;
that's the trouble," Seth pronounced. "So
now he's let it go for half what it's worth
to anybody that's got gumption. Some
of 'em '11 die, but I'll make most of 'em
Small doubt of that. Seth had a posi-
tive genius for doctoring up sickly plants
and animals, or mending broken articles
as good as new the magic of sympathy
"Tell you what, Hetty, that place '11
be better than any gold mine. There's
money in gold mines some of 'em, at
least but sho', there's a heap more com-
fort in a good farm. It'll be one of the
prettiest places in the State soon as things
grow up no end of bushes and flowers
and fruits and berries such as nobody
'round here ever dreamed of. Folks '11
come miles to see it."
"Maybe, if they live; but everybody
says they won't. Mr. Rollins got lots of
things that couldn't grow here." Hetty
spoke absently, too wrapped in her own
troubles to be sympathetic as usual.
"Sho, now, Hetty, don't go to throw-
ing cold water. They don't all know every-
thing, no more than Mr. Rollins. They'll
live for me most of 'em. You'll see."
No answer. She was recalling those
vows of love which the tempting prospect
of Miss Eldon's wealth and social connec-
tion had made void. Her lips had bravely
protested disbelief, but her heart was sick
with conviction. Seth cheerily resumed
his hymn :
"Together let us sweetly live,
I'm bound for the land of Canaan."
"Mighty near town now. Don't want to
stop and prink somewheres, do you? Miss
Grace would, I reckon."
"No," said Hetty, shortly. Why should
she care how she looked, since Lee was
false? Seth surveyed her critically.
"You don't need to. Pretty as a pink,
anyway. So here goes for church. My,
look at all the fine rigs pouring in! c lf
you get there before I do, look out for me,
I'm. coming too.' We'll have to take a
back seat, I guess."
"That will be just as well. I only want
to see the bride the bride and groom,"
Hetty gasped painfully.
"Oh, we'll do that, slick as a whistle.
Hello, talk about angels If here ain't
Lee Armitage himself ! Want to speak to
Yes, Armitage himself, erect and hand-
some, faultlessly attired, with a spray of
orange blossoms in his buttonhole and
conscious pride in his air, unmistakably
the hero of the day. Hetty's last faint
fluttering hope was drowned in a sudden
swelling flood of wrath. "Let me out,
Seth," she gasped hoarsely. "Yes, I want
to to speak to him."
A thousand cutting speeches were trem-
bling on her tongue. An Italian girl in
such a passionate mood might have
stabbed her false lover to the heart. But
Seth turned up to the sidewalk, seeming
blind to her reckless fury. "All right !
Hello, Mr. Armitage; you're wanted here
a minute, if you please."
Lee Armitage paused with a flush of
annoyance as he recognized Hetty and the
danger signals in her burning cheeks and
glittering eyes. No doubt he had felt
sure pride would keep her at home to-day.
"Keally, Seth, I haven't a moment to spare
now. Some other day, perhaps. Good-
morning, Miss Marsden."
Hetty half arose, her heart-heats like
muffled drums in her ears. "It is your
wedding day?" she questioned, hoarsely.
"Why, surely. Did you not receive a
card?" Armitage said boldly.
Blind with passion, Hetty was going to
spring out, for what she hardly knew her-
self, but Seth pushed her back and thrust
the lines into her hands. "You hold the
horses, Hetty. I'll tend to this." He
jumped out and caught the bridegroom's
shoulder as he was turning away. "Hold
on Lee, you're in too big a hurry. When
you've courted and kissed a girl and made
her think you meant marriage sure, you
might at least give her a civil good-bye
before you marry somebody else."
"Unhand me, you booby !" Lee demand-
ed angrily, for the waiting groups along
the street were looking on and grinning.
"Sho, now, don't fret; there's plenty of
time. Miss Grace hasn't come yet. Mind
your lines, Hetty. 9 Don't let that colt
The colt certainly needed attention, if
not so much as the girl. He seemed to
feel the storm in the air. The bridegroom
writhed angrily in the farmer's strong
"Are you crazy, you lout? Let me go,
"Sure, soon as I've done with you,"
Seth responded cheerily. "But you see,
there's one or two girls out our way that
have a crow to pick with you. Not but
that a fellow has a right to marry whom
the lawyers say. But when it's courting
one girl in the orchard and kissing an-
other behind the kitchen door and propos-
ing to a third in the parlor all in the same
day, so to speak, why, it's likely to make
trouble for a fellow when they get to com-
paring notes, you see. And when they
hear that he's going to marry another
young woman, why, that's the time they
begin comparing. (Look out for that colt,
Hetty! So, boy, so!) So you see, Mr.
Armitage, they're just hopping. And I'm
to give you their compliments, and a little
something to remember them by, seeing
e pleases, always supposing the lady's
illinff and there isn't a prior claim, as
it's your wedding day."
And then the grinning crowd was edi-
fied by seeing Seth snatch his whip and
lay it briskly over the gay bridegroom's
shoulders. Hetty started up, but the terri-
fied colt plunged so wildly it took all her
strength to control him, and who could
tell what she would have said or what
caused her excitement? Seth paid no
heed. He was doing his work with vigor
and despatch, and the slight, dandified
young bridegroom struggled in vain. Many
voices were raised in protest, calling for
help, for the police, but it takes a moment
for a surprised crowd to rally its wits for
action, and Seth made the most of that
moment. Then as the bride's carriage
drove up and her shriek was added to the
tumult, some one mustered courage to
seize the whip, commanding, "Stop that,
you brute !"
"All right, neighbor, just as you say,"
Seth acquiesced with the same cheerful
and childlike smile. "You'll remember
the young ladies, Mr. Armitage. All
right, ma'am, here he is," to the terrified
and wrathful bride. "Sorry to have kept
you waiting, but we've finished our little
business, and you're welcome to him now."
He deposited the sadly ruffled bridegroom
on her carriage step and returned to his
Had this little scene occurred a little
earlier there would probably have been no
wedding that day. But to break off after
the wedding dress is donned and the guests
Besides, Miss Eldon had not heard what
Seth said, nor understood what it was all
about. It was still possible for clever Lee