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cano "

Meyer's face brightened a little.

"The volcano, ah, yes ! That was where I got away


from him from Marcus .... I had my plan well laid

I took a vessel and sailed somewhere. Then I

had a long, long sleep, with strange dreams." (He
seemed struggling with his clouded recollection.)
"There were many nights at sea and many days on
horseback, with deaf and dumb men for grooms ; . . . .
and I kept thinking you would come and you did not ;

and Marcus, because I had run from him, never

came either. I can't find the book I kept my accounts
in," he continued, despondently, "and the landlord
says I owe him money. Do you think he will let me
starve ?"

It was inexpressibly sad to find this strong mind
overthrown, with only intermittent flashes in the dark-
ness. Carl guided the old gentleman to his own room,
where he ordered a meal to be served. While the wait-
ress was arranging the table he sought Amy and gave
her a brief outline of what had occurred, asking her to
tell the others and beg them not to disturb him for the

As the meal progressed Mr. Meyer brightened from
time to time, but he seemed to think they were in his
old home and inquired why Matilda did not appear.
He missed various articles of furniture and some pic-
tures and had to be reminded over and over that
he was in Japan, far from St. Louis. When conver-
sation flagged the old gentleman had one never-failing
resource. He always adverted triumphantly to the
falsity of Marcus Lindes' suspicions.

"I knew you would find me," he said, brightening
up like a candle nearly burned out. "I told him you


would follow me, across oceans and continents. Won't
I prove him a slanderer and falsifier !"

In what steamer he had reached Japan, how he had
managed to get to this remote spot, in what way he
had provided himself with funds, none of these tilings
was he able to make clear. Probably he had carried
originally a large sum in ready cash w*hich had only
recently become exhausted. It is not unlikely that
he had been imposed upon by people who realized his
weak mind. Unhappily human nature is much the
same in such things, in all parts of the world.

When the lunch was finished Carl ushered Mr.
Meyer into his sitting-room Where his friends were
gathered. He took a seat in a corner and no effort
was made to induce him to talk. The only time he
showed signs of interest was when he heard the minis-
ter address Amy as "Miss Van Steuben."

"Abel Van Steuben of Honolulu," he said, absently.
"Abel said Marcus was wrong he said Carl wasn't
tfie rascal >he wanted me to believe. And he was right ;
Abel Van Steuben was right!"

Immediately after this Mr. Meyer closed his eyes
and relapsed into slumber.

A messenger was dispatched to Gotemba for a chair
with bearers to carry him as far as the railway. Dur-
ing the next two days the visitors whiled away the
time by visiting the ice caves and other points of in-
terest in the vicinity, everywhere picturesque and at-
tractive. On the third day, the "kago" having arrived,
all set out on their return to Tokyo, stopping at Yosh-
ida over night as before.


Meyer made no trouble. His appetite was good and
he liked going about among the strange streets of the
Japanese metropolis, with a special attendant who was
provided for him. The others managed to fill up the
time agreeably until news came that Mr. Van Steu-
ben's steamer had been sighted. Then, when the meet-
ing with this all-important person was imminent, Carl
grew dispirited again*

' ' I know what the world will say that I have entrap-
ped an heiress for her money," he told Amy, repeated-
ly, "I am as proud, my love, as I am poor. If Mr.
Meyer had his proper senses he might undo his work
in disinheriting me. I should at least feel then that
I had 'expectations.' But, when I am merely a beg-

She saw how deep his feelings were and hesitated
to say more. She would leave it to her father to dis-
pose of these "ridiculous" notions.

Mr. Van Steuben's welcome was very warm. He
was rejoiced to see Peter Meyer, who recognized him
at once, but was surprised to hear that his wife had re-
turned home. He looked extremely well and was in
excellent spirits. The voyage had been so calm that
he had not had a bad quarter of an hour during the
whole of it.

A few days later all sailed for Honolulu, having the
extraordinary good fortune to catch the Coptic on her
return trip. Mr. Richgood, the purser, arranged that
the party should occupy his entire table and during the
voyage contributed largely to their comfort and pleas-
ure. On arriving Mr. Van Steu'ben, Amy and OliV


went of course to the family residence, while the
others registered at various hotels. Mrs. Van received
her daughter with great chilliness and gave absolute
orders to the servants that if Mr. Muller called he was
not to be admitted. Meetings between the couple were
therefore held for the present at Mr. Van Steuben's
office; and it may be added that they were of daily
occurrence and of prolonged duration.

Within a few weeks Olive received a letter from her
brother, asking her to come at once to New York. He
said he had settled all his business troubles satisfac-
torily and was prepared to offer her a home again with
him. Though sorry to leave Amy, she was very happy
at the news and took the first steamer for California.




MY Darling "Sister:" (So wrote Amy to Olive,
some weeks after the events narrated in the preceding
Chapter.) I have so much to say to you I hardly know
haw to begin. But before I record tihe news, some of
which I think will surprise you, let me say again how
glad I am your brother has been relieved of the
troubles whic'h hung over him. Papa tells
me it was never anything more than a dis-
agreement between partners and that Capt. Thorn did
right in trying to protect his interests. I suppose it
was owing to his suspicion of the men with whom he
had to deal that made him assume the name of Stone
to them. Give him my regards and say we shall be
glad to welcome him whenever he finds it convenient
to visit our island.

Now for my story. A short time ago Mr. Muliler
was informed through the agency of Maple & Pyne
'that he had fallen heir to the title and estates of Graf
Muller, a German nobleman, who was, I think, his
great uncle. There being no reason why he should re-
fuse the fortune he wrote promptly to Germany, send-
ing the necessary papers, and later went over himself.
He is now fully entitled to be called a " Count/' and


mamma has modified her objections to our marriage,
since she will after all have a Countess in the family.
To humor her, Carl (I must call him by his first
name) will consent to use his new title for a time,
though he agrees with papa that "handles" of that sort
are not becoming in a full-fledged republican, living
under the folds of the Star Spangled Banner.

Mr. Meyer is so well contented in Honolulu that he
has decided to remain here indefinitely. His mind is
completely restored and one of the first things he did
when he was able to execute papers was to destroy the
will by which he disinherited Carl and reaffirm the
previous one by which he devised his property to him.
In these altered circumstances, Carl has managed to
muster courage enough to ask papa for my hand (as if
that hadn't been arranged for all practical purposes
monitihs before) and as soon as he returns we are to
be wedded at my home in the most approved fashion.
I know you will congratulate me, dear. I never really
gave up expecting it would happen, but I confess
Carl's remarkable run of luck did not seem very prob-
able when we were in Japan last autumn.

And now for the strangest part of my history. I
don't think it was meant that I should ever know it at
all, but it has come out, little by little. Papa was so
fearful that mamma would marry me to some foreign-
er that he arranged with Maple & Pyne to have a man
follow us and keep him informed of our every move-
ment. Mr. Maple, the head of the firm, undertook the
important commission. You may think you didn't see
anything of him, but you did. He merely assumed a


new name and traveled with us as w<hat do you
think? the "Rev. Eli Lovejoy!!"

I understand that in his early days Mr. Maple was
an actor and that his most successful roles were those
of clergymen. He certainly filled the part this time
with some success, as I think you will agree. Nor is
this all. Feeling that mamma needed someone to in-
fluence her at the right moment, he had his wife, who
was already at Honolulu, on another case, go along
also. That lady, as you may now be able to guess,
passed under the name of "Mrs. Young." Her two
children, who for their age showed remarkable pro-
ficiency in the profession of their parents, came also,
as I think you will not forget.

When not engaged in his professional duties, Mr.
Maple is a most reticent man and Mrs. M. is almost
as hard to extract information from as he. I tried to
get a full explanation of tfhe plan they adopted, but all
Mr. Maple would say, when pressed, was that every-
thing worked exactly as he intended. If you will cast
your mind back over certain incidents I think you will
conceive, as I have done, a high regard for his cun-

Neither of these people were mudh disguised; and
yet when they took the steamer for the States I hardly
knew them. They had resumed their natural dress
and manners. Mr. Maple is under fifty yeans of age
and Mrs. M. considerably his junior. The children
bore themselves like respectable young things instead
of the unbearable imps I am not likely to forget in a
hurry. They would have passed for prize scholars in
a Sunday School.


This, notwithstanding that less than a WCCK before,
they had driven Billy to the verge of distraction and
nearly broken the heart of pretty Minna King, the
quarter-Hawaiian girl you will remember I once point-
ed out to you.

It appears that mamma, after recovering from her
shock at finding out "Mrs. Young's" true profession,
seized the opportunity to make use of the children to
cause a rupture between Minna and Billy. The couple
were enjoying an evening at Waikiki, having 'had a
moonlight swim in the breakers, When Angel and
Seraph, concealed somewhere about the buildings on
the beach, chanted at intervals the most exasperating
references to people of color. One of tfhe guests at
Wright's Villa told me about it afterwards. It was
awfully mean and I gave Mrs. Mapile my opinion of
the affair, but the poor woman was only acting under
instructions from mamma, wiho I .think would rather
see Billy in his grave than have him marry Minna.

The night was still and the moon at its full Billy
was sitting on the beach whispering sweet nothings
to his idol when a shrill voice was heard, reciting these
lines :

"Nigger, nigger! Chew chew chew!
Black as a bull-dog! Boo-woo-woo!"

Billy sprang up and looked for the perpetrator of the
Outrage, but while he was trying to locate the sound a
came from another direction :

"Nigger, nigger, chew terbacker,
'If you die it is no matter!"


It was awful, as you can conceive. Minna's Head
was hanging down, for slue felt that the insults were
directed to her. A moment later a voice rang out

"/ had a little Nigger an' he wouldn't grow no bigger
An' I put him in de winder for a show
He tumbled out de winder an' broke his little finger
An' he couldn't play de old banjo!"

Billy asked Minna to leave the beadh, but while she
was still undecided the tormentors began again :

"There was an old Nigger, they called hint Uncle Ned.
He's dead long ago, long ago.
He had no hair on de top of his head,
De place where de wool oughter grow."

Then Minna rose to her feet and her anger burst
forth like a flame.

"This is either your work or that of some nuemfber
of your family!" she cried, fiercely. "I want you to
understand that I am not a 'nigger.' My mother's
grandfather was King in Hawaii, and not a Sugar
king either ! My father's people stand as high as any-
body in New York State. No immigrant family from
nobody knows where shall accuse me of having Afri-
can blood. Don't speak to me ! Don't follow me ! I
will never recognize you again !"

She went to the bathhouse, dressed for the street and
had the hotel keeper ring for a carriage 5 take her

Although I am sorry such a mean way was
taken to break up that match, I must admit I'm glad
it's broken. If Billy had married her he would ihave


suffered terribly some day at the slurs cast on his
children. For a month he was very downhearted, but
he is recovering 1 , and Minna's engagement is an-
nounced to a shopkeeper who has been trying to win
her for a long time. Enough of this unhappy affair.
I have heard from Mr. Loring, who was, it appears,
the only son of a live lord and whose sudden return to
England was caused by the fatal illness of his father.
He is now Lord Somerset, an earl, and entitled to call
his wife a countess (just the same as Carl.) He wrote
that he was coming here again, but when I send the
announcement of my engagement I think he may alter
his plan. Why did you not "bag that bird" yourself?
(What awful slang!) You might have had him just
as well as not and then we would have had two count-
esses in "our family."

That young fellow Barney who went witih us to
Shoji is getting out a book which he says is based on
some of Carl's adventures. He has been for years, I
learn, an associate of Mr. Pyne's, and is considered a
pretty shrewd fellow.

I know I am writing in a gay and frivolous vein, but
what can I do ? Every cloud that hung over my path-
way has been blown aside. I am to have the dearest,
best and noblest man on earth for my husband ; and as
he will go into business with Papa I shall henceforth
bask in the sunshine of those I love best, every hour
of my life. There is no wish of my heart that will then
be unfulfilled that is, if you will come and act as my
bridesmaid, which it is the main object of this wander-
ing letter to ask.


I cannot fix die exact date yet, but will give you am-
ple notice. If you don't want to furnish the only "spot
on the moon" (the honeymoon) you will respond at
once in the affirmative. I hope you will bring tihe
Captain with you.

I can't tell you how happy I am. My "bosom's lord
sits lightly on his throne" as Mr. Shakespeare makes
some one say. lam a " Sugar Princessi" I shall be a
Countess of the German Empire but these are noth-
ing compared to being the pet of the most indulgent
of papas and the wife of a man who has been through
fire and come out, like the Hebrew children, with not
even the smell of burning on his garments.

Your own, AMY.

P. S. Don't wait for the mail. Telegraph your ac-
ceptance to our San Francisco house and they will for-
ward. You must come. A. V. S.



THACKERAY called Vanity Fair "a novel without a
hero." I have been reading over tihrs manuscript and
find that I have written a novel without a villain; un-
less, indeed, Mr. Lindes may be elected to that posi-
tion. And poor Marcus has been well punished for
and deeply repented of the obstinate freak that caused
him to furnish the groundwork for this tale. When
Mr. Van Steuben started for Japan he returned to St.
Louis, and though, in response to several letters of
regret at his fault, Peter Meyer wrote that he forgave
him, he added that it was best tihey should not meet
again. By a strange combination of circumstances all
had ended happily, but it was as well, on the whole,
that a large slice of the Pacific Ocean should continue
to separate them.

As to Capt. Thorn, I do not pretend that he was, in
his business relations, the highest type of man. He
belonged to a growing class of professional promoters
who exploit their schemes without too much regard
for the interest of investors. Such men are found oc-
cupying positions in good society, even prominent seats
in the churches, and seldom do anything that could be
twisted into an actual violation of law. Thorn was no
better nor worse than the average man of his ilk. He
happened to get involved witfh partners more un-


scrupulous than himself, who to facilitate a projected
robbery of his property and rights, brought against
him a technical charge of fraud.

Even when he joined forces with these men he sus-
pected their good faith and assumed the name of
Chatham Stone, as a loophole in case of trouble. While
his suit for Amy Van Steuben's hand was not at the
start wholly uninfluenced by her father's wealth, he
had grown extremely fond of the girl for her own
sake long before he made his proposal in set terms.
It was, as Olive had remarked, the one matrimonial
project of his life. In time, as is the case with most
men, except in very romantic fiction, he grew recon-
ciled to his loss and recovered his old spirits ; but when
Olive went to Honolulu to act as Amy's bridesmaid he
accompanied her only as far as San Francisco, not
feeling that he would enjoy tihe sight of his rival's
crowning victory.

The date of the wedding was fixed for the first week
in March and lest the selection should excite tihe sur-
prise of some of my feminine readers in America let
me remind them that that month is not, in Hawaii, the
kind one expects in the Central or New England
States. The weather is always mild, flowers are in full
bloom and everything in nature gladdens the heart of a
bride wihose happiness is bound up in her prospective
husband. In fact, there is no month in that ohairming
land unsuitable for wedlock.

Brother Billy was as glad to see Olive as was Amy,
and from the time she arrived constituted himself her
general escort and cavalier. She thought he had improv-
ed much since she last saw him and he began to wondet


Why he had never noticed what a remarkably lovely
girl she was. One day when tihey had ridden out be-
yond the Pali 'that precipice over which the great
Kamehameha is said (apochrypihally, I think) to have
driven his enemies Billy talked to her in plain

"Ollie," he said, "will you do something for me?"

"Anything in my power," she responded, without

"Well, I want you to marry me, thaft's all. I'm more
or less of a worry to father, and mother bothers me to
death every time I look at a girl. I want to get the
thing settled and off their minds. I know you're a
few months older than I am, and I know I'm not good
for much, anyway, but I like you awfully well; and
I'll make just the best husband I can, if you'll have me.
Will you?"

It was eviderit that he was making the proposal in
full earnestness. Miss Thorn did not know what to
say. He had always seemed to her little more tihan a
boy a boy she had always liked, but a boy for all
that. It was a serious problem. She was confused at
its unexpectedness and for some seconds could not
utter a word.

"Billy," she said, at last, "you are a good fellow and
I like you, but I never thought of a tihing like this.
You must give me time it is too sudden I want to
consider. Are you sure you love me so much? And
how would your mother feel I am not a person of
rank, you know, like von Mul'ler. And Amy who
loves me dearly now would she receive thi's idea
Jsindly? I must write to my brother, too. Let me


have a month to think of it. I will try to give you a
definite answer by that time."

"All right," he replied, moodily. "While you're
about it, you might write to President McKinley too,
and Richard . Croker and Paul Kruger and Agui-
naldo. If any of them should object I suppose that
would settle it. I don't mean to be cross," he proceed-
ed, as he saw that she looked troubled, "but I really
thought you'd just say, 'Why, certainly!' I was all
ready to put my arms around you and seal the bargain
with a kiss."

He was so straightforward that she had to smile,
which saved the situation for them both.

"I'll give you the kiss, at any rate, if you're sure
there's nobody looking," she said, bringing her horse
closer to his. "I like you well enough for that, and,
if nothing more comes of it, I'm sure you'll never tell."

When his lips had pressed her dainty cheek they rode
on at a faster pace, both happier for the experience.
He was the brother of her dear friend and she liked
him very much. But as a husband it required a little
more time to think that over.

(I need only add that among the ornaments which
Olive wore at the Muller-Van Steuben wedding was
a large solitaire diamond ring; and I learn that a plain
gold one is to supplement it some time during the
coming autumn.)

The gentlemanly editor of the Hawaiian Star has
sent me a copy of his newspaper, containing a full ac-
count of the wedding ceremony at die Van Steuben
residence, when, in the words of the reporter of that


paper, (Mr. R.) "one of the most noble houses of
Germany was united to one of the wealthiest and most
famous in the Paradise of the Pacific." I will not re-
peat the narrative in full, but merely note that the ex-
traordinary features of "youth and beauty" were not
lacking, while the "palatial mansion" was decorated
"with the most lovely effects which art and money
could procure." The Castletons were there, for once
if never again, as were also the Millerihams, the
Snookses and the Watermans. The pastor of the
Central Church tied the knot. (It would hardly have
been legal, according to Mrs. Van's belief, if tied by
any other clergyman.) The native Mandolin Club,
which combines Hawaiian songs with delicious instru-
mental music, was stationed in an improvised balcony
in the dining-room. All the foreign consuls were
there, President Dole, the American minister, the most
eminent representatives of the Hawaiian race, in fact,
as the reporter remarked, "it was an assemblage which
has, perhaps, never been excelled here on a similar
occasion." Among the guests none seemed happier
than Mr. Peter Meyer.

The costume which Mrs. Van wore attracted much
attention. She had imported a jewelry shop and
sported the entire contents on her hands, neck, hair
and gown, not to mention her shoes, which were fas-
tened with diamond buckles. During the evening she
asked everybody repeatedly, "Have you been present-
ed to the Countess?" It was a great night for her and
it was quite as well that her violent effort to break off
the match was still a secret from her guests.
. Mr. Van Steuben wore his ordinary evening clothes,


of a cut which he ha/d steadily refused to alter for the
previous thirty years. He tried to seem happy, but his
distraught countenance showed the strain under which
he labored. Only one who has occupied the position
cf giving an idolized child in marriage even to one
of the best of men can appreciate the feelings of a
father when he realizes that he has now an actual
rival in his daughter's affections. Van Steuben was
glad of Amy's happiness; he would not have changed
anything if he could; he knew she was following the
ordinances of Nature and of God ; but many times his
breath came with difficulty and he thought he surely
must withdraw from the scene to indulge in wtiiat has
been so aptly termed "the luxury of tears."

The wedded couple were to make a European tour
before settling down in Honolulu for the rest of their
days. Carl wanted Amy to see the wonderful sights
of the Old World and she wanted to be alone with
him anywhere. He was to dispose of his domains
in Germany and devote himself in a business way to
Hawaiian interests.

The wedding took place in the afternoon of the day
on which the favorite steamer Australia left for the
American coast. All Honolulu seemed to be at the
wharf when the bridal party arrived. The Govern-
ment Band was there, of course, and to its usual reper-
toire added many lively airs suitable to the occasion.

Just before the cables were cast off Carl and Amy
came out on the upper deck, almost buried in leis of
bright flowers and smiled their adieux to the assembled

"I shan't be long, Popsie," Amy whispered to hee


father, who was waiting till the very latest moment.
"It'll be only a little while and then you'll never lose
me again. Good-by, Billy! good-by, Ollie! good-by,

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Online LibraryAlbert RossA sugar princess → online text (page 18 of 19)