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Meyer's presence, one word from him that he means
what his silence leads me to fear."

The gaze that was fixed on tihe speaker seemed to
pierce him through and through. If there was one
trait which Abel Van Steuiben believed he possessed
it was to read his fellow men. He saw into Carl's mind
as if with the Roetgen Rays. What he discovered
there the reader must be content to learn some chapters
further on.

"There are no steamers going to Maui tomorrow,
where I believe he is now," he said, slowly. "If you
will call at my office between nine and noon I will talk
with you. In the meantime you had best spend the
evening here/'


Carl adcepted the invitation to call at the office,
declined that to join in the reception. He wanted t
get to Wright's Villa as quickly as possible and see
if any clue could be obtained there to the mystery that
troubled him,



ALTHOUGH it was earlier than moonrise the night
was nearly as bright as day, and the fascination of the
tropical air was at its height. Carl walked with long
strides up the road he knew so well, breathing the per-
fume of flowering shrubs and trees with which the way
was lined, catching occasionally also the breath of the
sea, from across the meadows, When the lumbering
street car finally overtook him he let it pass unchal-
lenged. He was rather glad of the chance to stretch
his legs after the confinement of six days on shipboard.

At Wright's Villa there was little to learn. He
asked for his uncle in the name of Fischer, inquiring
as guardedly as possible whether anything special in
his manner had attracted attention, Mr. Hayden, the
landlord, met the question with a prompt affirmative.

"He didn't seem more than half in his right mind,"
he said. "He was quiet enough, perfectly polite, but
sort of wandering in his thoughts, uneasy and queer,
Has he had a fit of illness lately ?"

Several of the "stand-bys" among the regular board-
ers, wlho were on the lanai when this conversation took
place, joined in.

"If you want my opinion I think the fellow's nutty,"
said a dark-eyed and rather slender young man, in a


chipper tone. "He wouldn't know enough to come in
when it rains, only for that chap with him. I said so
the first time I saw him; didn't I?'' (appealing tc the

"You certainly did," said a second boarder, who
wore glasses and was in the lumber trade, "I heard
down street, too, that Fisdier wasn't his right name."

A Mr. Slitt, from Chicago, joined in the talk, agree^
ing with the others that Fischer had seemed decidedly
strange. As there was nothing more to learn,, Carl
took his leave with thanks, and, happening tc catch a
car, rode back to his hotel.

The next morning, at the hour stipulated, he found
Mr. Van Steuben ready to receive him, The conversa-
tion between them, though it lasted for several hours,
need not be repeated here at length, Suffice it to say
that the planter drew from the young man his entire
history and seemed impressed by the answers to his
numerous questions. Peter's conduct during the past
few months, the planter admitted, could be reconciled
with no theory except that of a confused brain or a
determination to rid himself forever of his protege.

To the latter's suggestion Car! gave a melancholy
assent. He was coming tc fee 1 that this offered the
only solution of Meyer's strange conduct.

"But he need not have put himself to all this
trouble," said he, with a clouded brow "I have no
claim upon him. A few words or a brief note if he
did not like to tell me directly -would have been suf-
ficient. It is true I should have asked an explanation,
not as a right, but to satisfy myself as to the cause ol


his changed attitude; and still he could have declined
to answer. I wish I knew what to do. If he is acting
under a mental delusion it is my duty as well as
pleasure to give him any assistance in my power."

"As he certainly executed a new will while here,
w ! hich disinherits you, is it not wiser to face the in-
evitable and look about for some means of earning your
livelihood? From your own statements you cannot
much longer put off that necessity,"

"I think I will try a little longer to settle the main
question. Mr. Meyer is somewhere in this group
of islands. It cannot be long now before I shall either
find him or convince myself that he does not wish to
see me,"

"Very well," was the reply. "As a friend of Mr.
Meyer's, you may apply to me for any financial aid
you find necessary, the amount to be repaid when

Showing the dejection he could not shake off, Carl
thanked the merchant in his usual quiet way and took
ihis leave respectfully.

The first steamer which arrived from a tour of the
islands brought some information about the wanderers.
The travelers, identified by the names of Fischer and
Swartz, had recently left Maui for Hilo, with the ex-
pressed intention of visiting the volcanic district. Carl
at once booked for Hilo, feeling that he was at last on
the right track.

The next morning an event occurred whioh served
to distract his attention, and whidh may be said to have
put the entire population in mourning. The Queen


Dowager, Kapiolani, the much-esteemed widow of
Kalakaua, who had lived in retirement since the death
of her husband, breathed her last, To the native Ha-
waiians it was as if the death of a dearly beloved rela-
tion had occurred. More than this, it was another re-
minder to this rapidly vanishing people that the last
of their old rulers were going with themselves "the way
of all the earth '"

The monarchies of these islands seem to many jour-
nalists a theme for jesting, but they certainty fitted wel 1
with their surroundings, The> gave color and beauty
to life in the most picturesque of countries With very
limited means at their disposal the entire line, from
Kamehameha I. to Lilioukalani, have shown a liberal-
ity toward objects of public welfare which nc royal
house of Europe has ever approached, proportionately.
That this tendency has affected even the white con-
sorts of their princesses the magnificent endowment, of
the public schools by Mr. Bishop well attests. No queen
among the great dynasties abroad has a memorial tc
her generosity comparable to Queen Emma's Hospital,
standing in the most beautiful grounds in all Honolulu.
Kapiolani Park, the broad recreation ground open to
all, to which the municipal band attracts thousands on
Sundays and holidays, was the free gift of t!he dark-
skinned lady for whom it was named.

The generosity of these sovereigns to old retainers
and dependents was unstinted as wel! as unassuming.
There are many people of pure Caucasian lineage in
Honolulu who openly express regret at the passing ol
the old order, and find their eyes filled with tears when-


ever the band sends out upon the balmy air the tender
strains of "Hawaii Ponoi."

Every man and woman whom Carl met that morn-
ing, as he strolled slowly toward the dead queen's late
home, showed traces of weeping. The women wore
without exception black holokus. Throngs of them
were marching bareheaded and barefooted towards
Waikiki, sure that no senitry would bar their way to
the side of the queen they had adored.

As soon as the body could be placed on its bed of
State all visitors were freely admitted, and from that
time until the end of the funeral ceremonies, some days
later, the grounds around the residence were filled with
hundreds of people, day and night. Liberal provision
for supplying food freely to all comers was made by
the two princes, Kapiolani's adopted sons, and the soft
herbage and warm air made no other shelter necessary
than the star-studded vault of heaven. The moon hap-
pened to be full and the scene when the numerous
groups were seated on the ground around old men and
.women, who chanted the "sagas" of the race, was one
never to be forgotten. The writer of these lines was
there also and found few things more interesting in the
travels which took him around the globe.

This is not the place pefhaps to detail the strange
mixture of ceremonies, half-barbaric, half-Christian,
that accompanied the funeral. Others have told how
the but recently raised American flags on the public
buildings were lowered to half mast ; how the American
troops quartered in the outskirts paraded in the pro-
cession, including four hundred Hawaiians who drew


the catafalque, while minute guns announced the fact
that a former ruler was being borne to her grave. But
Carl will never forget the tall figures of the numerous
chiefs who came from all quarters of the realm, with
their feather cloaks of ancient make and "kahilis" that
had waved over lines of dead princes whose very names
are now forgotten.

From the balcony of the native ahurdh he heard the
words of the English burial service read before an aud-
ience composed of many colors, races and costumes.
Representatives of foreign governments were there,
some in gorgeous insignia of rank, but few could have
seen in their own land a pomp more fitting or a grief
more real. The plumes of a hundred tall kahilis,
of nearly every color, waved from poles of immense
height and seemed to bend in sympathy toward the
throng where every person was a real mourner.

A few days later, as if like the music of a returning
drum-corps at a military burial, the first Fourth of
July under which Hawaii had been an American Col-
ony was ushered in with noise and excitement. The
mercurial natives, with citizens and visitors born else-
where, made the best they could of the occasion, while
almond-eyed Celestials and Japanese lined the streets
and looked on with wonder. The pretty town was en
fete, but while the mass were joining in the celebration
there were others hidden behind closed doors and shad-
ed windows, with saddened hearts.

Our young friend stood on the sidewalk till the
parade had passed, but the shouts and music jarred on
his overwrought brain. Wlhen it was over he walked


slowly up to Waikiki and took a long swim among tihe

The beach was a scene of gaiety interesting to be-
hold. Hundreds were there besides himself. Occa-
sional groups of native boys and girls were to be seen,
as much at home in the water as a school of fishes, and
in many cases clad in raiment hardly more elaborate.
The survivors of the Hawaiian people are not ham-
pered very seriously in their old habits by tihe white
residents. Their brown skins, apparently of the tex-
ture of velvet, answers very well for a covering, and
regulations wliich custom has prescribed for the ligfhter
races are stretched good-naturedly for them.

This beadh is so shallow that bathers can walk three
or four hundred yards from shore without finding the
water above their necks, if they are careful to avoid a
few spots where the shelving sand takes a sudden and
deep descent. Far out from the land are reefs over
which the waves break ddiciously, and there the native
surfboard is a delight both to the Caucasian and

When he had been in the waiter nearly an hour, Carl
became aware that among the swimmers near him were
young Van Steuben and his sister. Billy recognized
him and nodded pleasantly, while Misis Amy stole a
giance in his direction as if she remembered seeing him

"Splendid surf, isn't it?" said Billy, when he got
nearer. "We've known this beach ever since we were
babies, and it's grand to get back to ft again. You're
making quite a stay. I hope you'll find our liMe island


Carl answered with some uneasiness that it was a
very beautiful place. The closeness of Miss Amy, who
was but a hundred feet away, confused him. He could
not quite get over the fear that she would address him
suddenly with, "Aren't you the man who rescued me
at San Francisco?"

Miss Van Steuben was not of the build which is con-
sidered tihe true type of a water nymph by artists and
novelists in general. She was too slender to fill tihe
picture usually drawn. But to the eyes that now
watched her she was very lovely in those clinging gar-
ments, with her dark hair half hidden under the oil-
skin cap. Her face lost nothing of its dharm with the
exercise and her laugh rang out like music when 3he
placed her surfboard before her and let a huge wave
carry her with the speed of a racehorse toward the land.

"She can swim like a porpoise," laughed the brother,
as he caught a nervous look on Carl's countenance.
"She learned that playing with the little Kanaka girls
when she was a mere baby. Yes, I'm coming!" he
Shouted, as Amy signalled to him.

Carl realized perfectly that he was desperately in
love with this siren, but he realized still more that his
passion must be a hopeless one. He was not only pen-
niless; the life he had led as the companion of Peter
Meyer had left him without any profession by which
money could be obtained. He was even in debt for
the amount of his fare to the island and the price of
his board at the hotel. He felt a sharp pang as he
reflected on the wide distance that must henceforth
separate him from every ambition but the sole one of
earning an honest livelihood.


He turned his face resolutely away from his fasci-
nator and, returning to the bathhouses, pulled off his
bathing suit and stood for some moments under the
cooling water of the shower bath. When he was
dressed he slowly strolled back to town. Street cars
passed him, crowded with merry passengers, Hawaii-
ans, Chinese, Japs, Portuguese and the nondescript
population which is growing out of their intermar-

When it comes to matrimony the Hawaiian girls pre-
fer any race, apparently, to their own, and the reason is
not far to seek. Few Kanaka lads have either com-
mercial instinct or industrious habits. To become the
wife of one of them promises little but the necessity of
earning the family's support on the part of the woman.

The native girls who have white fathers form a very
pretty type. With their brunette complexions, no
darker on an average than a Spaniard's, their luxuriant
black hair and unapproachable soft brown eyes,
they are generally successful in the desire of their
hearts to marry a white man. Those who cannot se-
cure so high a prize usually accept a Chinaman or
Japanese, who as a rule provide well for them and treat
them kindly.

It being a general holiday every public carriage was
in requisition and every person who owned a "rig" of
any description had it out. The National Band was
discoursing sweet music at Kapiolani Park, to which
point most of the merry-makers were tending. Saddle
animals were also numerous, many of them surmounted
by native women riding astride, in flowing garments


which reached nearly to the ground, and bicycles
abounded in full force.

It has doubtless been noticed by most readers that a
low condition of spirit is accentuated by the gaiety of
others. Carl's were at a very low ebb indeed that July
afternoon. Peter Meyer and Amy Van Steuben strug-
gled for first place in his worried brain. Though he
knew he must devote all his energies to the former and
blot out the image of the latter entirely, Nature would
have her way for the present. As he approached the
mansion where she lived, a carriage in which the
brother and sister were seated drove past him. To
Billy's cheery "Hello!" Carl lifted his hat and bowed;
and Miss Amy, apparently from pure thoughtlessness,
bowed in return as if he had saluted her also.

The throb which his heart gave contained a mixture
of pain and pleasure. She knew at least that he existed.
It was something. He straightened up and walked on
with just a shade less of depression on his mind.




ANXIOUSLY impatient to reach the island where he
had last heard of Peter Meyer, Carl was early at the
wharf on the morning following his swim, and boarded
the steamer Kjnau. There were quite a large number
of passengers in the first cabin and many Asiatics in
the steerage. As Carl was leaning listlessly on the
rail and watching these latter below him, engaged in
their interminable games of chance, he heard a familiar
voice at his elbow, and turned to see the smiling face
of young Van Steuben.

"Going over to Hilo?" he cried, heartily. "So am
I and my mother and sister. That's jolly ! Amy," he
called, before Carl could interpose an objection, "let me

introduce you to Mr. Muller of I don't know

where," (bursting into a laugh) "but it makes no dif-
ference. He came with us on the Australia and he's
going to Hilo."

A weight as of tons of lead pressed on the young
man's breast as he heard the silvery voice murmur the
commonplaces ; and he breathed easier when Miss Amy
excused herself, saying she must go to her mother.

"Look here!" cried Billy. "I do believe you're the
fellow my father was talking about at the table last
night. Aren't you hunting for a friend or relation or


something who's acting queer? Yes, I thought sot
The way the old gent made it out, he's treating you
mighty mean. I "

Something that scintillated in the blue eyes caused
the speaker to pause suddenly. It was quite as well,
for Carl had no notion of standing by and listening to
harsh criticisms of Mr. Meyer. At the same time, he
realized that an altercation with "her" brother was
something to be avoided if possible.

"Do you think the voyage is likely to be rough?" he
asked, to change the subject.

"Oh, I don't know. You never can tell. It's not
generally any too smooth. Sometimes I've seen old
sailors laid out going through the channel ; then again
it's like a millpond. What about the weather, George?"
he called familiarly to a dark man in semi-uniform.

"We'll have to wait and see," was the non-committal
reply. And then Billy explained that George's other
name was Barkley and that he was a "half-white" of
Hawiian extraction, of considerable importance on the
steamship line. Thoug'h nominally holding a minor
position, he was often dubbed "Commodore," for, being
a very large stockholder, he could give orders on occa-
sion even to the captain.

As various passengers passed near most of them
spoke to Billy and were presented by him to Carl. The
most noticeable was a certain Col. Park, also a half-
Hawaiian, a millionaire, (an especial distinction in that
fast-fading race) an ex-member of Kalakaua's cabinet
and perhaps, take him all in all, the finest living speci-
men of his type. Another was John Barker, Governoc


of the island of Hawaii under the oM regime, a Jolly

man of middle age with infinite capacity for fun.

Between each introduction young Van Steuben would
exclaim, as if he had been struck with an entirely ori-
ginal idea, "I say, come down and have a drink !" and
when, after accepting a couple of bottles of beer, Carl
begged to be excused, he took the refusals so much
to heart that his guest was seriously disturbed.

The afternoon passed without special incident. The
vessel took her course along the shore, which presented
a beautiful appearance with its lofty hills and tropical
vegetation. Miles of sugar-cane skirted the littoral and
most of the conversation among the passengers had ref-
erence to that industry in some form or other. One
who had recently been appointed luna of an immense
plantation that was yet undeveloped was plied with
questions as to the prospective value of shares recently
placed on the market.

Stories of the wonderful yield of particular acres in
various places were circulated and the general feeling
was what a stockbroker would term " bullish." What
effect the war in the Philippines, the possible action of
Congress, the growing importance of the beet indus-
try, and a dozen other items might have kept the
talkers busy. Carl listened silently, for even if he had
felt like joining in he could have contributed nothing
to the discussion.

"I'd be glad to present you to my mother," remarked
Billy, at the dinner table, "but she's regularly knocked
out and Amy's taking care of her. She's the worst
sailor I know, is mother, except my father, and it's


Strange, too, for one who's travelled as much by water
BIS she has."

Though it can hardly be said that Cafl was glad to
hear of Mrs. Van Steuben's discomfort, he was not
Sorry to miss the proposed introduction. He was also
relieved at the non-appearance of Miss Amy, witti
whom he had feared he might have to carry on a
conversation. If he and that charming girl should be
by any accident left together for half an hour the secret
he wanted to keep from her might come out in some

Fortune favored him, for with the exception of a
short walk on deck just before retiring, Amy did not
make her appearance, and Carl seized even that oppor-
tunity to absent himself. He accepted an invitation of
John Barker to try two of the Hawaiian national dishes
of which he had heard much, raw fish and poi.

Now poi, that mainstay of all native tables, is simply
a preparation of the taro root, a perfectly healthy and
harmless vegetable of which many Europeans and
Americans grow inordinately fond. The young man
was able to eat a fair-sized dish of it without a wry
face, though he insisted on making his initial meal by
the aid of a spoon rather than with the first two
fingers, as Barker, following the native custom, did.
The raw fish gave him more trouble, though to tell the
truth the fish did not seem to deserve the eoithet anv
more than salt cod would, having been specially pre-
pared with condiments. The favorite native way is to
alternate a mouthful of the fish with one of poi; and
the Kanaka does not object if these are interspersed


wrth a drink of oka-la-hao, a fiery fluid extracted from
the root of the "ti" plant. Barker's contagious laugh
and a number of Hawaiian songs which he accom-
panied with the mandolin, entertained many of his fel-
low passengers till nearly morning, but shortly after
midnight Carl excused himself and went to hrs cabin.

"If you get anywhere near my house while you're in
Hawaii," were Barker's last words to him, "make your-
self at home there as long as you like. And then," he
added, "go off like the rest of them and say I'm nothing
but a blankety-blank Kanaka !"

A healthy and hearty laugh shook his rotund and
somewhat adipose figure a frame it was hard to be-
lieve had been some years before the model for that
perfection of symmetry, the bronze statute of Kameha-
meha which adorns the square before the Government

Just before retiring Carl had his attention attracted
to a strange light in the sky for which nobody had been
able to account. Some thought it was a large build-
ing on shore undergoing consumption by fire. Others
believed it a bit of meteorological phenomena. The
young man was early on deck the next morning and
learned that the cause of the illumination had been as-
certained. The great volcano of Mau'na Loa had sud-
denly burst into activity. There were those among the
passengers who connected the outburst at once with the
'death of the queen, and stories began to circulate of
strange incidents which had always followed misfor-
tunes to native sovereigns. Others said jestingly
that the mountain was merely celebrating the first


Fourth of July it had spent under the American
As Carl was waiting for an opportunity to go ashore,
hoping for information about his beloved friend, "Com-
modore" Barkley brought him some interesting news.

"You're anxious to meet a man named Fischer, aren't
you ?" he said. "Well, I learn that he was at the Club
in Kohala a few days ago. You could reacih Kohala
from here in a few hours, while if you stay on the
Kinau as far as Hilo it will take you several days.
Here is a man who saw him day before yesterday."

The man referred to, who was introduced under the
name of Fredenborg, and who had just come aboard,
corroborated this story. He was a bright appearing
person, dressed like a cowboy, but with a face of un-
usual intelligence. A brief talk with him convinced
Carl that he had really seen both Meyer and Lindes.
After inquiring as to the means of transportation, Carl
was not long in deciding to disembark at once. He
took his "grip," the only article of baggage he had
brought over, arid after thanking Barkley, went at
once to a little train of cars that stood a few rods away,

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Online LibraryAlbert RossA sugar princess → online text (page 6 of 19)