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of young men you've saved, or who've saved you, an-
tioying the life out of us. I wouldn't have this last
exploit made public for anything. It might ruin your
chances forever to have it know you are such a tom-

"My chances for what ?" was the impatient question.
"For marriage, I suppose ! Well, as I'm never going to
get married, that won't matter."

"What did that Mr. What's-his-name say to you
when he recovered ?"

"He just said he was much obliged. He's a sour,
misanthropic sort of chap, I think, though I suppose
the death of his poor uncle is partly to blame for it
just now."

"Oh, yes, he's the one your father was talking about.
He won't be very gay, of course, till he finds out
how the will reads."

And Mrs. Van Steuben wondered what made her
daughter fling herself out of the room as if a mine was
about to explode in her proximity.




THOUGH Mr. Lindes took the next steamer back to
Honolulu Carl did not speak to him on the way.
Neither did he have any formal parting with the Van
Steubens, but this was rather on account of his early
departure than from any intention of slighting them.
The new condition, or rather the fixed condition, in
which the catastrophe left him made prompt action
necessary. There was every reason now Why he should
return as soon as possible to the United States and take
up the battle of life in earnest.

The first thing he did after reaching Honolulu was to
go to Mr. Van Steuben's office, and relate the fate
which had overtaken Mr. Meyer, witih the fruitless re-
sult of the search that had been made. The sugar
planter listened to the detaik with genuine distress.

"Has Mr. Lindes given no explanation of your
friend's strange actions concerning you ?" he inquired,
.When tine story came to an end.

"Yes, sir, but I would rather be excused from going
into that matter. Will you kindly direct me to the
office of the lawyer who I understood you to say has
executed Mr. Meyer's latest will, that I may put him in
possession of the facts of his death."

Mr. Van Steuben offered to accompany him to the


lawyer's office and they walked there together. The
will was produced, signed and sealed in proper form,
and the lawyer saw no objection when Mr. Van
Steuben asked the privilege of reading it.

"He has bequeathed you only the sum of one hundred
dollars," he said to Carl. "All tlhe rest goes to found
an orphan asylum."

'"And the executor "

"There are two, Mr. Lindes and Mr. Uhrig of St.

"Then I will inform you," said Carl to the attorney,
"that Mr. Lindes returned this morning from the
Island of Hawaii, and is at the Royal Hotel. As I
can be of no further use here," he added, rising, "I
Shall take the first steamer to the States."

When Mr. Van Steuben and Carl reached the latter's
office again, Carl declined an invitation to enter.

"Don't be too down-hearted," said the planter, kind-
ly. "Your friend has done you an injustice, Mr.
Meyer, but you have youth and health and a long life
before you."

"I don't think I can make it quite plain to you ju'st
how I feel," was the choking answer. "And you rriust
not call me Meyer. My name is Mufller. I used Mr.
Meyer's name to please him, though it was never made
mine legally, and my right to it has certainly expired."

Mr. Van Steuben felt more than ordinary interest in
the protege of his old friend. He was more than half
convinced that the will made in Honolulu could be set
aside, for it was clear that the testator was not in a
perfectly sound state of mind wfliem it was executed.


He determined to see Mr. Lindes as soon as possible
and ascertain his attitude in the matter. In the mean-
tfrne he desired to keep Carl from leaving the island
and set about some way to accomplish it without excit-
ing the young man's suspicions.

After long thought he evolved a plan. The Rev. Eli
Lovejoy, who was making a protracted stay in Hono-
lulu, made frequent calls at his residence. To him Mr.
Van Steuben unbosomed as mudh of the proposition as
he thought wise and asked his co-operation.

"Certainly, certainly," replied the minister, dream-
ily. "What do you wish me to do?"

"Well, let us see. You are traveling alone, going
to take a long journey, perhaps around the world. You
need to engage a young fellow who has been over the
same route to accompany you as a sort of companion
and secretary."

"Yes, yes," mused the clergyman, nodding several
times. "Now that you suggest the idea, I see it is just
what I do want. I wonder I haven't thought of it be-

"I don't know as our young friend will accept that
sort of position, but it will be easy to ascertain. The
Gaelic will be here in a few days and if I don't do
something he will sail off to San Francisco, which may
be the last we will ever see of him. You must meet
him at the hotel, get into a conversation and put out
a feeler."

"Y-e-s," was the drawling reply. 'Til I'll put out
a feeler."

It may be enough for the present to say that the


"feeler" was "put out," and that in his condition of im-
pecuniosity Carl did not hesitate long in his answer.

"It is not a question of what I would like to do, but
of what I must," he said frankly. "I have a fair edu-
cation an'd am willing to do any honest work. I realize
the difficulty of finding a position, without influence
or capital I therefore accept your offer, Mr. Lovejoy,
with the understanding that if I can better myself I
shall be at liberty to give you a month's notice. There
is one stipulation that I would like to make. It is
very important for me to have two hundred and fifty
dollars in advance, to liquidate a debt I owe."

Mr. Lovejoy agreed to this without debate.

"You may make your cheque payable to Howard
Pyne," said Carl.

"What! Mr. Pyne of the detective firm in San
Francisco ?"

"Yes. It was he who located Mr. Meyer in this part
of the world and was good enough to lend me that

Carl began his new duties at once, w*hich proved to
consist for the present of nothing more arduous than
attending his patron on various excursions, which they
generally took in a carriage. Mr. Lovejoy was an ex-
tremely absent-minded man and a very dull compan-
ion. He asked the same questions over and over and
frequently forgot appointments he had seemed anxious
to make. However Carl got along with him quite well
and tried to look on the bright side of a future that
seemed unusually devoid of sunshine.

As the minister insisted that he wanted his secretary


to act on terms of perfect equality, Carl was obligeu
to accompany him to several private houses to which
he was invited. One of these was Mr. Van Steuben's,
into whidh he was inveigled almost before he knew it.
They were taking a short drive, and as they reached
the residence, Mr. Lovejoy said he must stop there
for a moment. Van Steuben insisted upon both of
them coming in and an instant later Carl found his
hand grasped by Brother Billy, while Miss Amy stood
near, regarding him with an expression of interest and

"So you've forgotten me already," she said. "That's
tihe way of the world. Papa, here is a man whose life
I saved less than a fortnight ago, and he doesn't even
return my bow."

Then the maternal voice was heard from the next
room and with a smile the young lady withdrew.

This affair so upset Carl that when he was asked to
return to dinner, in company with Mr. Lovejoy, he
could not invent any reason for declining. His tacit
consent was accepted before he was aware of it.
He framed a slight hope that his absent-minded em-
ployer might forget the engagement when evening
came, but for once Mr. Lovejoy's memory served him
in good stead.

The dinner was not, on the wnole, an unpleasant ex-
perience. Among tfhe guests were several people whom
Carl had not met before, one of whom he thought he
should like particularly. This gentleman was intro-
duced as Capt. Ambrose Thorn, and seemed to be a
general favorite. He was about thirty years of age,


w<bat is called a well-groomed man, of intelligent face
and agreeable manners, and was accompanied by his
sister, Miss Olive, a young lady of perfiaps twentty.
Carl learned that Thorn represented a syndicate of
capitalists and had some projects under way in which
he was interesting local people. Mr. Van Steuben de-
voted a large Share of his conversation to him and his

Another guest was introduced as Mr. Somerset Lor-
ing, and after a surprised moment of doubt Carl iden-
tified him as the skipper of the sloop which had been
upset by the steam tug. Loring, who had, it appeared,
arrived on the latest liner from California, was an
Englishman making his way around the world in
leisurely fashion. He had made the acquaintance of
Billy in California, and through him of his mother and
sister. Mr. Loring had that well-bred air which edu-
cated Englishmen seem to have inherited as a matter of
right. He was about the same age as Capt. Thorn,
and was almost exactly the same build and height.
Good health imparted a ruddy color to a face that
might fairly be called intellectual. He was a litttle dif-
fident among so many strangers, but made fliat valu-
able addition to a dinner table which the late Mr. Nye
has called a "fluent listener."

The third stranger was Mrs. Caroline Young, a wid-
ow, who had come to Honolulu recently, bringing
letters of introduction to prominent people. She ad-
mitted possessing but little of the goods of flirs world,
but gave the impression of having laid up vast treas-
ures where moth and rust do not corrupt in other


words of being a very religious person. She was ex-
cessively plain in features and dress, and, if one might
be so bold as to hazard a guess, not far from fifty.

Mrs. Young had endeared herself to her hostess al-
ready by great humility and the high opinion slhe had
a/t once voiced of the eminent qualities of Mrs. Van
Steuben. That lady had long desired to meet some
woman of sufficient intelligence to thoroughly appre-
ciate her qualities. Mrs. Young furnished a valuable
perspective that had been wanting in the setting of the
picture of whidh she was the natural center.

Mrs. Van had been at one time decidedly good-look-
ing and would not for a moment have conceded tihat
her beauty had yet entirely vanished. She was dark,
as might be expected from the race of which she
sprung, and her hair showed few streaks of gray;
though there were malicious persons wfao hinted that
silver threads wouM have been more numerous if left
entirely to the due processes of nature. She had taken
on rather more avoirdupois that a sculptor might ad-
mire, but such things happen, with advancing years
and good living, even to the most charming of ladies.
By the aid of specially made stays and other devices
she concealed to some extent the ravages time was
making in a form that had once been more sylph-like*
Her gowns, if not always becoming, were at least al-
ways expensive; and her jewelry, as has already been
noted, was abundant and costly.

To paint the opposite side of the picture, Mrs. Young
was much taller than her hostess, and extremely ang-
ular. She had no ornaments but her wedding ring and


was without the slightest pretension, not orily to pre-
sent good looks, but to what are called "traces of form-
er beauty. Her hair was of a disagreeable shade
of brown, with streaks of brick red; her eyes of a
wholly uninteresting grey, and her features, when in
repose, as they generally were, of a sort that reminded
one of putty sprinkled with freckles.

It was a long time before Amy comprehended the at-
traction that Mrs. Young possessed for her mother,
which it may as well be stated grew stronger hour
by hour. The genius which impels a woman to select
as a companion one of strikingly inferior looks had
taken possession of the sugar king's wife and the con-
trast was decidedly favorable to her own appearance.

It should be said right here that, before accepting
Mrs. Young as a "chum," if such a low word can be
used in this connection, Mrs. Van Steuben had made
perfectly sure that her new friend was in the highest
degree "respectable." By this I do not mean merely
that she was of good moral character, for that is taken,
in a story of this kind, to be understood. What Mrs.
Van was most pleased with was the assurance Mrs.
Young gave her that, though at present reduced to a
modest competence, she belonged to a family which had
in its time stood high in the aristocratic circles of
Nortih Carolina. The Civil War had, it appeared, im-
poverished the Morgans, to which race she belonged,
and the Youngs as well ; and when her "late husband"
had succumbed to his trials she had felt compelled to
sacrifice the family estates and remove to the north.

But though poorer than she had once been, Mrs.


Young still retained (as she took occasion to mention)
her preference for the society of high-bred people
(such as Mrs. Van Steuben) and would have found it
quite impossible in any circumstances to associate with
ordinary persons. All of which delighted Mrs. Van
and made her ding closer than a sister to the putty-
faced addition to her list of acquaintances.

The conversation at dinner turned mainly upon a
project which the hostess had been maturing, of taking
a trip around the world, in company with her son and
daughter. The fact that Rev. Mr. Lovejoy was bent
on that errand, and had readily acceded to her sug-
gestion of joining his "party" made the opportunity
seem most opportune ; Mr. Van Steuben, as the reader
is already aware, not being of a traveling disposition,
on account of his intense dread of the sea. Mrs. Young,
who had come to Honolulu with no intention of pro-
ceeding farther, had reluctantly accepted a proposition
to accompany Mrs. Van as the latter's guest, though a
strong disinclination to permit her expenses to be paid
had to be overcome by artful argument.

As the talk passed around the table Mr. Loring made
bold to mention that he expected to start in a few weeks
for Japan and would consider it a high honor if he
might join the others. This being welcomed by all, and
particularly by Billy, the motion was carried ; where-
upon the gentle voice of Miss Olive Thorn was heard.

"I wish Ambrose and I could go, too," she said, in a
charming, childlike way.

"Why don't you?" exclaimed Billy who, though he
had formed no particular admiration for Miss Thorn


(which was rather strange, ais he had knOwn Iter for a
month) could see that it was a case of "the more the

"Oh, that would be perfectly splendid!" cried Amy,
pressing beneath the table the hand of the young lady
who sat next to her. "Capt. Thorn," she continued,
coaxingly, "If you can't go, yourself, you might let me
take Olive ; won't you, please ?"

Before the Captain could reply Mr. Van Steuben

"Have you fully decided to go, yourself, Amy ?"

The girl noticed that he was a shade paler.

"Of course I mean, if I do," was her answer. She
was still unsettled about joining her mother's excur-
sion, as her father had intimated. The dislike to leave
him again so soon had hitherto left her uncertain. "If
I don't go," she explained, "of course I'd rather Olive
stayed here. But if I do if Papa thinks, on reflection,
that it would be best" (she lowered her voice delicious-
ly) "it would add so much to my pleasure to have her
with me !"

Capt. Thorn smiled at the ingenuousness of the pro-
position and asked, with good-natured raillery, where
his interests came in.

"Oh, I suppose you could come, too, if you really
wanted to," Amy replied, with a blush.

"And if you decide not to go, Olive and I can govern
ourselves accordingly?"

"I think, Amy, you are rather selfish," said Mrs.
Van, rebukingly; and though Mrs. Young did not
speak, it was quite clear that she agreed in the observa-


"Well, I am," Amy admitted, with a disturbed laugh.
"I don't know anyone who isn't, when you come right
r down to what they most want ; nobody in all this world,
excepting- darling old Popsie there ; and I ought to be
ashamed to think of leaving him so soon, when I've
been away nearly all the time for three years."

The thought brought the tears to her eyes and she
drew out her handkerchief to wipe them away.

"I'm not going," she said, as soon as she could
control her voice. "No, I'm not. So I hope you won't,
either, Ollie. I'm going to stay at home and be a nice
little girl to my dear father. Now it's settled, once
for all."

And with the latter words she broke into a laugfh tihat
was a mixture of happiness and pathos.

Rev. Mr. Love joy regarded the girl with paternal
benignity, through his spectacles. Carl stole glances
at her and at his plate alternately. He observed two
thing's, like flashes of lightning out of a troubled sky :
Capt. Thorn's face brightened when Miss Amy de-
dared her intention of giving up the journey and a
sliadow stole slowly over Mr. Loring's.

Were both of these men in love witih the young
lady? Why not? How could anyone see her for an
hour and escape her fascinations? He wondered, with
a pang, if either of them was to succeed, which it would

"Well, some of us are going, I suppose," Billy broke
in, suddenly. "We shan't give up the trip on account
of one person backing out, sfaall we? I tihink if we're
going we might as well start."


"We can safely engage passages for a month from
now," responded his mother, to whom the appeal was

"A month! And there's a steamer tomorrow !" he
replied, regretfully.

"It takes a little time for ladies to prepare for a long
journey," said Mrs. Van, with dignity, while Mrs.
Young looked as if she could not conceal her contempt
for a young man who did not know as much as that.
"But, Amy," Mrs. Van added, to her daughter, "you're
not really going to be insane enough to give up the

"Let her think of it till tomorrow," said Mr. Van
Steuben, gently. "There are many reasons in favor
of going," he added, as his daughter started to inter-
rupt him.

"Mr. Meyer of course I mean Muller (I never
shall get that name right very sad) don't you think
she will be a foolish girt if she neglects such an op-
portunity ?','

At this question, which Mrs. Van addressed unex-
pectedly to Carl, he turned very red and could not
utter a syllable.



IN Abel Van Steuben's office, the day before Marcus
Lindes sailed on the China, he revealed in full his con-
nection with the Meyer case.

"I shall never live long enough to forgive myself,"
he said, with a deep groan. "There never was the least
reason to suspect the boy and I knew it well. After I
began the work I would gladly have stopped it if I
could, but whenever I hinted at anything of the kind
Peter set his foot down. He had got it into his head
that there might be something in my suggestion and
there was nothing to do but let him run his course.

"He learned from Maple & Pyne, the detectives, that
they had seen Carl. Peter had consulted with that firm
before he left California and wrote them to test Carl
thoroughly. They were to send him here, with very
little money in his pocket, and see how long he would
keep up his search. Oh, Peter was in. earnest by this
time. He had it partly arranged that we should take a
sailing vessel for Seattle, but the outbreak of the Vol-
cano induced him to delay a few days."

There was a short pause and then Mr. Van Steuben
said impressively "What is your honest opinion about
Mr. Meyer, I mean in regard to his capacity for mak-
ing a will ?"


"He was totally unfit for it," was the unhesitating
reply. "I shall do all I can to have the one he made
here set aside. If necessary I will even tell t!he court
the full story of my fault."

"You can rely on me and on others htere for affi-
davits," said the planter. "He meant his property to
gx> to that young man and it is our duty to darry out
his wishes."

Lindes said he was afraid that even if the did will
was re-established Carl would refuse to accept anything
under it.

"We will see to that later," was the smiling reply.
"People don't refuse fortunes so easily. Let the court
decide that the estate is his and the rest will cdme af-

So Lindes went home and began the attempt to right
the great wrong he had done. The Van Steubens
pushed their preparations for the trans-Pacific voyage,
to which Amy had at last given her consent. Mr.
Lovejoy and Carl got along nicely together and Broth-
er Billy had but one thing to sigh for the fact that he
was to be absent for a long time from a certain olive-
tinted, brown-eyed girl of whom he was very fond.

The product of the mixture of European races with
the native Hawaiian's has haid, at least on the feminine
side, a marvellously pretty result. The gentleness of the
old race has had combined with it from the new a
greater intelligence and higher ambitions. The daugh-
ter of a Hawiian mother and a wlhite fatiher never
marries a native if any other alliance is open to her.
The result is that, in spite of the protests of Cau-


casians, their sons often unite in matrimony with the
"half-whites," and children born of these marriages
are quite apt to excel in physical attractiveness the pure
bloods around them.

It was one of the " three- quarter- whites " that
weakened the intensity of Billy Van Steuben's desire
to see foreign countries. Minna King was no darker
in complexion than many a Southern brunette. Her
features were as classic and regular as a sculptor,
could desire and she had one of those willowy forms
over which poets rave. Above all she had the great
attraction never inseparable from her class the soft
yet brilliant brown eyes, of a shade verging toward
tawny. These, with a wealth of coal-black hair, gave
her a charm that might well set a susceptible youth's
heart to palpitating.

The girl traced her ancestry on the mother's side to
the third Kamchameha and to one of the foremost
families among the "missionary element" on the other.
But Mrs. Van Steuben, notwithstanding her own weak-
ness in the matter of ancestors, was horrified when it
was hinted to her that her son had serious intentions
regarding the pretty maiden. She would not discuss
the subject seriously, declaring it preposterous; but she
was, for all that, very glad at the prospect of getting
Billy out of the country for a long period.

It was such a pity, she often remarked to her hus-
band, that their children showed so little regard for
their high position. And he only laughed at her, be-
lieving in his simple old heart that Mirma King was If
anything a little too good for his son.


As for Billy, he had never in do many words aslced
Minna to be his wife, but he was very fond of her.
She realized fully the disparity between them, for while
his father was the richest man in the island, where
plutocrats are almost as plenty as canefields, hers had
kft barely money enough to support her and her
mother. When Billy came to say good-by her lip
trembled, but she concealed her feelings. He asked if
she would answer his letters and s(he replied, with a
toss of her head, "Perhaps, if I have time."

The reason Billy did not press for anything more
definite was that he feared a scene might follow. He
need not have been afraid. Minna was too proud to
show deep feeling for a man who dared not speak
definitely. He only answered, "Don't forget, now,"
and so they parted.

Two encumbrances which Mrs. Young had brought
with her were kept carefully in the background until it
was too late to realize their full significance. She had
spoken of her children, mentioning that they were a
boy of fourteen named "Angel" and a girl of eleven
called "Seraph," but Mrs. Van had shown no further
interest in the matter. The young folks were at pres-
ent in an Alakea Street boarding house, where a sort
of governess was supposed to be attending to them.

It is more than probable that had tihese sweet young
creatures been exhibited in all their glory some means
would have been found to cancel the arrangement by
which the family was added to the Van Steuben group.
Perhaps Mrs. Young had some apprehension that this
aright be the case. Certainly neither of the infants

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Online LibraryAlbert RossA sugar princess → online text (page 8 of 19)