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where Mrs. Van understood something .nearer like
"civilization" could be found.

Carl would have escaped this trip could he have
done so in any reasonable way, but there was no evad-
ing his latest promise to Mr. Lovejoy. He must not
allow Amy to run into danger before her father should
arrive. There was no other available escort. He
therefore acquiesced, engaging horses, coolies and
provisions, and making all necessary arrangements.

Amy, who had now entirely recovered her spirits,
danced joyously about the ho f el. She never came near
Olive without catching her around the waist and whirl-
ing her in an impromptu waltz. She kissed her
mother's cheek many times each day, though this act
was generally received with a mild protest. She spoke
politely to Mrs. Young, Who assumed a highly injured
air ; and even bore with good nature exasperating hints
of her "Seraphic" child. To Mr. Loring, though re-
served, she was courteous in the extreme. He was
wise enough not to allude as yet to the matter which
lay near his heart, being assured by Mrs. Van that
things would be quite different in the near future.

When Billy saw the party made up he said he wished
he could join it. As all the available saddle horses in
the neighborhood had been requisitioned this idea came
rather late.

It was a beautifully clear morning. Nature seemed
to smile across the fresh green of meadow and hillside.
The horses plodded slowly, each with its owner in
charge, and the narrowness of the road compelled a.


single file for most of fhe way. Cad rode affiead, his
thoughts wrapped up in matters not altogether con-
nected with the present occasion. Lisette came next,
as it happened, and not being well used to the saddle
had her attention confined to the novelty of the situa-
tion. Olive followed, at some little distance. She was
thinking 1 of "her brother, for whose continued absence
sfhe found it difficult to account. Had she been able to
do so without spoiling her friend's pleasure she would
have remained at Ikao and watched for fhe mail's. Amy
was occupied with plans as to what she would do in
certain conceivable emergencies. So the party went
on, almost as sombre as a funeral train, till die stop
for lunch and rest at noon.

Early in the evening the cavalcade came to tfhe ham-
let of Sowatari, a picturesque collection of houses and
shops, and alighted at the Japanese hotel. From the
time the village was entered it became evident that the
event was an unusual one. The people turned out en
masse to gaze on the strangers, something as an
American country population might stare at a menag-

All of the party were rather tired and soon after
the evening meal separated for the night. A little
later the sound of a horse's footsteps were heard in tihe
yard and a voice called out, in a low tout distinct tone,

Miss Thorn opened the paper-covered s'lide and
recognized her brother, who requested her to come
down. As the moon was shining brightly there was
light enough to enable her to dress, in Which she was


assisted by Lisette, dispatched by Amy to her aid.
There was no need for the others to interest them-
selves especially in the matter and in a few minutes
they were all asleep.

Miss Thorn found her brother in a nervous state.
He had many questions to ask. He explained that he
had not written because he was expecting hourly to
come in person. At the first opportunity he had flown
to Ikao, only to learn that she was gone. The landlord
had lent him his own horse and he had followed as
rapidly as he could.

"I hope your business matters were all right?" sihe
said, interrogatively.

"Not quite. I am afraid I have slipped up on one
or two things. The worst of it is I may have to return
to Honolulu and perhaps take you with me." He
paused and took a full inspiration. "What have you
learned " He inclined his head toward die hotel and
did 'not finish the sentence.

"Dear brother, I wish you had never thought of
her," replied Olive, in a sad tone. "You would be
much happier if you could dismiss her from your

"I can't," he responded, gloomily. "I shall propose
to her to-morrow ; or if not, the next day."

"How will you get an opportunity?"

"You can help me. Arrange the party so that she
will be at the rear and keep the others as far ahead as
you can. I will make some excuse to be late in start-
ing and when I overtake her I shall have her to myself
for a few moments It will only take a few mo-


"And if she positively refuses you?"

"Why, then then we must go away, as quickly as
possible." After a long pause he added, "Have you
any money with you?"

"A little. Do you want it?"

"I may. We will go together and will you love
me just the same, no matter if "

She assured him earnestly on this point.

"Something that happened at Ikao today may help
me a little," said he. "You had hardly left the village
when two detectives arrived and arrested Loring. Be-
fore I came they had taken him away with them."

She was too astounded to speak.

"Yes, they had a warrant for him for embezzlement
a lot of money, I heard. He made a fuss at first,
declaring it was a case of mistaken identity and that
his father was an English lord, but he decided to go
quietly. Nobody would have known it was an arrest
if young Angel hadn't been listening and told the
story. I I'm so tired!" he continued, yawning. "I
must go to my room now and get my sleep. Good-
night, clearest."

They found a mousme, who had waited for them,
lying in blissful unconsciousness across the doorway.
She lit a candle and escorted the guests to their rooms.

The procession started in the morning exact 1 y as
Capt. Thorn had suggested, Miss Vain Steuiben bring-
ing up ^he rear. When Thorn caught up with her,
it immediately occurred to Amy that he had remained
behind on purpose to obtain a private conversation.
Sihe had known for a long time tihat he would ask her,


sooner or later, to be his Wife, If this was his hrten-
tion the sooner it was over the better.

Passing through a small hamlet they carne to two
paths, one of which led through the valley, the other
over the hillside. Those in advance had taken the
valley road. Amy decided to take the upper path,
which she could explain on the ground that it afforded
a more beautiful view.

When she found herself entirely alone, however,
with Capt. Thorn, except for their two codlies (who
<Jid not count any more than the animals they led)
she had a moment of stage fright and began to think
of turning back. The Captain, however, did not give
her time to consider this plan. Pushing his horse to
her side he leaned toward her and said, in a voice of
feverish eagerness

"Can you guess why I am glad we have taken a
different path from the others, Miss Van Steuben?"




IT has been the habit of the fair sex from time in>
memorial to affect the utmost surprise on sudi occa-
sions, and Amy's face bore an utterly blank expression
as she looked at the questioner.

"Is it something about Olive?" she asked.

"No." He tried to smile, though his countenance
was troubled. "It is something about you. Can it
be you have not seen, in all the time I have been in
your company " He cou'ld not proceed.

"Oh," she said, composedly, "you want to marry

"I love you I" he cried. "With all my heart and
soul ! Will you trust your future to me ?"

"I can't," she replied. "I might as well say it in
plain words. Not only do I not love you but my af-
fections are engaged elsewhere."

There was a pause of a full minute before he spoke
again. Amy glanced toward the valley, where the
others of her party were, and thought Carl's face was
turned somewhat anxiously in her direction.

"If you have reference to Mr. Somerset Loring,"
said Capt. Thorn, gutterally, "he is under arrest for
embezzlement and now on his way to Yokohama,
where extradition proceedings will take place/'


"Mercy ! Is it possible we have had a man of that
character with us and never suspected him? He was
a great friend of Billy's. I am very sorry, indeed I
am. But it is not Mr. Loring. I don't think I will
tell you just yet who it is. Now, Captain, the worst is
over. I want to be good friends with you, for Olive's
sake. Promise me never to allude to this matter

She held out her little hand. Thorn took it and
raised it reverently to his lips. From the valley below
Carl Muller was a witness of the act.
,, "He has asked her to be his wife and she has accept-
ed. God help me to bear it like a man !"

Macduff was not the only personage in history who,
though he could "bear it like a man" must also "feel
it like a man."

After a painful pause Capt. Thorn said it would be
necessary for him to return to Ikao at once and take
his sister with him. It would be impossible for him
to remain with the excursion in his state of mind.

"Don't be foolish," she answered, soothingly. " 'Men
have died ere now and worms have eaten them, but
not for love,' you know. Ollie and I are sisters and I
want her to stay with me till I finish my journey. If
you are a nice, unselfish brother, you will do her that
favor, and if you care at all for me you should think a
little of my feelings. If you take Ollie away I shall
have to give up my trip."

"You will still have your maid and courier."

"Y-e-s, but I'm afraid it wouldn't look exactly right
io go on with them alone. I suppose you'll do as you've


a mind to. Why couldn't you have stayed away a
week longer ? I shall feel like going back to Honolulu,
rather than be separated from Ollie."

They were ascending the green hillside at every
step and the view was magnificent in all directions.
But the two travelers saw nothing but their individ-
ual troubles.

"Olive may not return to Honolulu," said Thorn.

"Why, where are you going?"

"I don't know."

"You speak so sadly!"

"What have I to make me happy?"

"But you might try. I wish I had stayed on the
valley road. I want to throw my arms around Ollie's
neck and have a good cry!"

Not having "Ollie's neck" to weep on, Amy took
her horse's instead. After a little while she straighten-
ed herself up and wiped her eyes. Then for an hour
neither she nor her companion uttered a syllable. When
she did speak it was to make a strong plea that Thlorn
woufld reconsider his intention of taking h'is sister
away with him.

"I could not leave her if I would," he replied. "There
has been some trouble with my remittances."

"What nonsense! You leave Olive's expense to
me. She shall be just like a sister, as long as you let
her stay."

"Olive is very dear to me," said Capt. Thorn, after
some consideration. "I will leave her in your hands,
as you propose, for the present. And if anything
serious should happen to me "


Amy interrupted him with a shiver.

"The way you say that makes my flesh creep!" she
exclaimed. "Why should anything 'serious' happen
to you?"

"Accidents may befall anyone. If, as I say, a
serious accident should happen to me will you still
be Olive's protector?"

"Always. And now let us talk about something
not so sad. We are losing these beautiful views. I
wonder if that is Kusatsu in the distance. Shall you
really have to go away? What a pity that is about
Mr. Loring! One would think a character of that
sort would exhibit his nature, and he seemed a per-
fect gentleman in every way. I wonder if it's not
possible there's some mistake. Embezzling money
,from those who trusted him seems meaner than burg-
Jary or highway robbery.

Capt. Thorn had grown very pale. In answer to
Amy's inquiry if he were ill he admitted that he did
feel slightly faint. It was now nearly one o'clock
and soon they rode into the yard of the " besso " to
which they were bound. After waiting a moment to
see if it was expected of him, Capt. Thorn assisted
Amy to alight. Olive did not need to ask questions,
theexpressioninher brother's eyestellingits;own story.

Carl did not look closely at either of them. He 'had
seen enough from the valley. The bending over tlhe
young lady's hand was confirmed by their late arriv-
al, which indicated the deliberation of lovers rather
than the hastening of a maiden from an unwelcome


Presently Miss Thorn and her brother strolled a
little way up the street and there he told her every-

"I may have to leave you again soon," he said, un-
easily. "I have had some business trouble; men v/ith
whom I have had dealings are pursuing me with malice.
I mentioned this to Miss Van Steuben on the way here
and she asked me to leave you with her for the present
Are you willing to stay?"

"When must you go?" she asked.

"Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps tonight. I may have
a message at any moment."

Olive was much puzzled at his manner, but she
tried to conceal her apprehensions. He certainly must
know best.

"There is just one other thing I want to say," he
remarked. "I have made some bitter enemies. If
you hear anything to my disparagement, don't let any-
one make you believe it. These men may annoy me
for the present, but I will surely win in the end."

She responded, with a warm pressure on the arm
she held, that no one could ever make her believe any-
thing wrong of him, and after a little further talk they
returned to the hotel.

At about the hour of midnight, finding himself un-
able to sleep, Capt. Thorn quietly made his way down-
stairs and out of doors. He started for a stroll along
the deserted street, although it was hardly light
enough to see his way. So absorbed was he in his
thoughts that he did not notice until it was very near
a figure clad in "European" clothing, approaching
on horseback, preceded by a coolie.


The rider stopped almost at the same moment, di-
rectly in front of him. The action might have aroused
the apprehensions of a less nervous man than Capt.
Thorn was at that moment. He put his hand instant-
ly toward his hip pocket.

11 Why, Captain, don't you know me?" spoke the
familiar voice.

It was Mr. Somerset Loring.




THORN peered into the semi-darkness anid recog-
nized the traveller, upon which he returned the weapon
to his pocket and put on a more cordial front. Lotting
alighted from his horse and indicated to his coolie
that he might go on to the hotel.

"That is the hotel, I suppose," he said, indica!tin/g
the building.

Thorn signified an affirmative. "Will you explain
how you are here?" he asked. " I was told at the
Kindayo that you had a pressing engagement with
some gentlemen who called there."

"A case of mistaken identity," replied the English-
man, quietly. "They had an idea that I was a man
named Chatham Stone, wanted for embezzlement
somewhere in the States. I humored them so far as
to go to Maebashi, when we ran into the British
Minister, who was on the train, and I succeeded in
convincing them of their error.

"Lucky for you. They might have taken you all
the way to America."

"Hardly as far as that. I knew I could get identi-
fied at Tokyo, if worse came to worst. Well, it has
done me no harm and is probably a good thing for


ifie real Chatham Stone, who yery likely will hear of
it and be able to profit by my annoyance. My friends
the detectives insist that he is somewhere in this part
of the country. Do you suppose I could get anything to

Thorn said he thought he could arouse some of the
servants and soon he succeeded in doing so. While
food was being prepared Loring went more particu-
larly into his adventure. Soon after the party had left
for Kusatsu the detectives came upon him a short way
from the hotel. They called him "Mr. Stone" and
said they had a warrant for his arrest. " The deuce
you have!" he told them. "What have I been doing
now?" They showed him a warrant and remarked
that they did not mean to stand any nonsense.

" 'If you want to go to the hotel and get your
things, all right/ they told me, 'but if you try to get
away you never'll put the Government to any expense
for your trial/ I was amued at their impudence, re-
turned to the hotel peaceably, got my traps, and went
along with them."

"You are cool enough about it," Thorn remarked,
shifting his gaze uneasily.

"Why, there was no danger. I knew I could send
for the British minister, who knows me very well,
when we got to Tokyo, but I didn't expect to find
him quite so soon/'

When the eggs and bread were brought he began
on them hungrily, drinking large cups of freshly brew-
ed tea at the same time.

"You havan't got a cigar about you, have you?"


said Loring, when at last he finished the meal.
"Thanks. And a match ? Awfully obliged. Mrs. Van
Steuben was anything but cordial to me when I came
back to Ikao. She wouldn't believe I was un-
justly accused, even when she saw me free again. So,
thinking the slander might reach the rest of her family,
I concluded to come at once and defend myself. Do
you know whether Miss Van Steuben has heard of my
misadventure ?"

"She has."

"And believes me a rascal fit for prison, eh?"


Loring looked searchingly at the speaker.

"Do you entertain the same view?"

"I know nothing about it," said Thorn, reddening
under the sharp gaze.

"Don't you ? This isn't a bad cigar. How long do
you expect to remain at Kusatsu?"

"Till the others go, three or four days perhaps."

"I wouldn't," said Loring, composedly. "This cli-
mate is dangerous for a man in your state of health.'*

There was no longer any mistaking his meaning.
Thorn's eyes were fixed upon the ground and the air,
about the two men grew oppressive.

"What do you advise a man in my 'state of health'
to do?" the Captain managed to ask after an awk-
ward pause.

"Not to waste an hour in leaving this place ; to go
as fast as possible to some point on the railway the
nearest way is over the Shibu-toge, I believe. Pick
your way carefully out of Japan. The night air may


be healthier than daylight for the greater part of Hhe

Thorn was looking anxiously down the road.

"One word; why do you do this?" he asked, absently.
"You must know I tried to save myself by putting the
police on your track."

"Yes, I know. I do this, Mr. Stone," (he spoke
the name very low) "on your sister's account."

Thorn sprang to his feet.

"You love her !" he exclaimed. "Why, I thought
I understood "

"Hush!" said Loring, warningly. "I do not love
Miss Thorn, but I honor and respect her and I would
avoid giving pain to her dearest friend, Miss Van Steu-

" How can I thank you? As soon as I say a few
words to my sister I will depart. If you remain you
may be able to keep my pursuers off my track a
little while."

"Make the parting short," warned Loring. "Half
an hour may mean everything to you. By the way,
are you sufficiently well in funds?"

Thorn shook his head dejectedly.

"I was afraid not. Here is 500 you can return
it when convenient. And what about Miss Olive?"

Hurriedly Thorn told him of the arrangement he
had made.

He then aroused his sister and had a few sad words,
during which he could not keep back the tears. A
servant had already summoned his coolie and his
horse was ready to mount. Pressing Mr. Loring's


Hand and looking the gratitude he could not speak,
the Captain vanished up the dimly lighted street.

A room was soon found for the new arrival, where
he lay down on the "futons" and was tired enough to
get a sound sleep until morning. When he met the
others the next day he told them, with many a laugh,
of the strange mistake by which he had been arrested
and of his identification and release. He even
alluded to his cool reception by Mrs. Van Steuben, on
his return to Ikao, as a partial explanation for pre-
f ering to join the rest of the party rather than remain
at the Kindayo Hotel.

Amy, who had heard the first part of the story on
the previous day, was sincerely glad everything had
turned out so well. Carl's thoughts were too deeply
fixed on another subject for him to feel much interest
in the matter.

Presently Loring asked Miss Olive to ac-
company him for a walk to a Buddhist Temple above
the town, and she accepted. There were no other Eng-
lish speaking guests at the inn except Lisette, who
was occupied with a paper-covered novel up stairs, and
Miss Van Steuben decided she would never have a
better opportunity to get a definite declaration out of
Carl in relation to his feelings toward her. Mr. Love-
joy had convinced her that he only needed a litde en-
couragement. Surely the field could not be clearer.

"I wish Mr. Loring would fall in love with Ollie,"
she said, looking after the retreating couple. "She's
a sweet girl and he's really a good fellow."

"It's hardly a week since he asked you to be his


wife. Do you think a man can transfer his affections
Bo easily?"

"Oh, I don't know," she said, pursing up her mouth.
"Marriage is a good deal of an accident in many
cases. I hope Mr. Loring won't mope his life out
because one girl refused him when there is another
just as nice. I didn't want to marry him and I had
to tell him so. I've had another offer since then, too."

"Which you did not refuse," remarked Carl, quietly.

He had grown very bold to talk to her in that way,
but he thought it only a matter of a few weeks before
he would part from her forever.

"Perhaps you know all about it," she pouted.

"Yes," he assented. "And I take this, my first op-
portunity, to congratulate you."

The girl began to feel chilly. Could it be Mr. Love-
joy had made a mistake ?

"Well, if you'll allow me," she replied, with a toss
of her head, "you don't seem to know anything about
it. On the way here yesterday Capt. Thorn asked me
to marry him and I declined without a moment's hesi-
tation. If I had accepted him do you think he would
have gone away, as he did, in the middle of the night?"

"But I could not help seeing you, from the valley,'*
said Carl, surprised at his own courage. "He took
your hand twice and kissed it."

The girl uttered a long "Ah-a-ha !" "You're a very
poor judge of symptoms," she said, lightly. "If I had
accepted the man, he wouldn't have kissed my hand."

A pain shot through his heart and the muscles of
his face twitched.


"You seem to tfiink love and marriage very light-
things, Miss Van Steuben," he remarked, stiffly.

"On the contrary, I think them very serious things.
Here I have had proposals within a week from two men
I care nothing whatever about, arid no one I do care
for seems to care anything for me."

She spoke rapidly, fearing that he would interrupt

"You have had some experience in the world, Mr.
Muller. Do you think if a girl liked a gentleman very
much it would be an unpardonable sin to tell him so
if she thought he was afraid to speak first?"

" It would certainly be unusual."

"Yes," she answered, reflectively. "And if he re-
fused her, she'd feel badly cut up, too. But if a girl
loves a man and he won't speak, what is she to do ?"

It began to dawn on his mind that she was amusing
herself at his expense, and he felt, as he had often
done before, the degradation of a position thatf per-
mitted such liberties.

"I have some things to see to and must ask you
to excuse me," he stammered, turning away.

"But Mr. Lovejoy asked you to attend to me; and
you're not attending to me at all."

"Anything I can do I shall find a duty and a pleas-
ure," he responded, politely.

"Well, I want to ask you something of the ut-
most importance."

He placed himself in an attitude of attention. Amy
threw back her head and gazed intently into his eyes.
Her bosom rose and fell and color filled her fair


"It's a very simple question," she continued, "but a
very important one. Would you like me for your

"Miss Fan Steuben!" Carl straightened him'self to
his full height, his eyes ablaze. "Do not go too far !"

Her color deepened, her breath came in shorter
gasps, but she persisted.

''You have not answered me. Will you be my

"I cannot think what I have done to deserve this,"
he replied, deeply agitated. "I have conducted myself
toward you in all respects as a gentleman and you
would make me something lower than a servant.

He started toward the house, but her voice followed

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Online LibraryAlbert RossA sugar princess → online text (page 15 of 19)