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were exhibited until it was too late to retreat


During the two or three days before starting Carl
found himself the recipient of confidences from several
of the travelers with whom he was to be thrown in
company, as we'll as from Mr. Van Steuben. Mr. Love-
joy left him with Mrs. Van one afternoon, asking him
to consider any wislh of that lady quite as if it had been
uttered by him. As Carl was only an employe, accept-
ing a salary for duties which had thus far been exceed-
ingly light, he could hardly decline to listen to whatever
the lady had to say.

"My husband tells me, Mr. Meyer (I mean Mul/ler,
I wonder if I shall ever get your former name out of
my head) that I may have full confidence in you and
speak with perfect freedom. I will therefore say that
I have two principal objects in taking my children
abroad at this time. One is to remove William from
the society of a girl who has formed, I learn, an attach-
ment for him that is ludicrous when the difference in
their stations is considered, and who is, to make it still
worse, tainted with the blood of the native inhabitants
of these islands. The other is to introduce my daugh-
ter to more refined circles than can be found here,
where the people are as a rule very common. She has,
I believe, a brilliant future before her, if She is brought
in contact with the the right sort of people."

Quite stunned to be made the confidant of such in-
timate secrets, Carl could not find words to reply.

"But why," he managed to say at last, "why "

"Simply this. You are going to be, to a large ex-
tent, in charge of our party while we are abroad. I
wish you to have an eye on nay son, as reasons may sug-



^ast themselves to you, from time to time an influence
over him, if I may call it that, should you find him
inclined to lower himself in any way. And knowing
as you now do, my other purpose in making this jour-
ney, you may also be able to help me from time to time
in that matter."

Thunderstruck, the young man kept a dead silence.

"You are under an arrangement with Mr. Lovejoy,"
pursued the lady, "and I have no wish to interfere with
it in the least. I only want you to understand that I
am not apt to forget a service, and that you will be
handsomely recompensed for anything you may do on
the lines I have laid down. Good-day."

As Carl walked down the steps of the mansion he
felt his cheek burning with something akin to shame.
Mrs. Van evidently considered him entirely in the light
of a servant, to whom s'he could confide any of her
wfhims, and who would have no other consideration hi
his minid than the amount of cash he was to receive for
the service.

For the first time his new position galled him. Had
there been any feasible way to escape his arrangement
with Mr. Lovejoy he would have done so that very
night. He felt that if he were to tell his employer that
he could not undertake any affairs for Mrs. Van Steu-
ben, it would simply mean a termination of his engage-
ment. In what sort of position would that leave him ?
He owed Mr. Lovejoy $250, borrowed money. He had
not enough in his pocket to get back to the States, not
half enough to reach St. Louis. And even if he arrived
at his old home who was there that he could ask for


assistance with the certainty of getting it tmtil he could
look for some way to earn his living?

He was as much a contract laborer as any coolie from
Japan or China, out on the plantations. He almost
wished that he had a cane knife in his hand and their
$15 a month for awhile.

After the hotel was still, that night, he sat for hours
in his room thinking of Amy Van Steuben. Her
mother's wish to introduce her to "refined circles"
could mean but one thing. She was going to put that
delicate, beautiful, sensitive child up for the highest
bidder in the markets of the world. He realized again
the strength of his love and his helplessness to prevent
the contemplated outrage.

The talk that decided Amy in favor of going abroad
was held at a late hour on the evening following tine
dinner at which she had announced her intention ot
giving up the trip. She and her father were devotedly
attached to each other, and his delight in having her
at home was shown in a hundred ways that touched
her deeply. Wihen none of the others were present
it was her habit to creep into his lap, in the old fashion
of her childhood, and spend blissful hours for both of
them, her arms twined about his neck, her cheek press-
ed to his.

After the guests had gone she souglht him in his
library and ran joyfully to the profered embrace.

"I have thought it all over, my little Wild Goose,"
(his favorite name for her) he began, in a firm voice,
"and I am sure it is best for you to go with your


"But ycu don't really wish me to, Fopsie," she an-
swered, sitting up and touching his lips softly with her
own. "Just say you don't and that will end the thing.
Mamma and Billy can go and I'll stay here with you."

" No, dear," he answered, " I want you to see the
world. It will be a great education in many ways and
when you come back you'll be all the better for it.
You will come back?" he added, earnestly, making it a
plaintive interrogation that went to her heart.

"Come back?" she echoed. "What do you mean?"

"You know," he said, hugging her closer, "that your
mother has ambitious ideas that she wants you to
make a grand marriage with some titled foreigner. In
that case you might never see poor Honolulu again."

She gently pressed a delicate hand over his mouth.

"Whatever happens, you needn't be afraid of that !"
she cried. "When I marry, which won't be right away,
my husband will have to wed me right in this dear
island and make me a home here and nowhere else.
Mother gets queer notions into her head, but I'm a
little set in my way, too. She says I get my con-
trariness from you," and the girl laughed. "Now
listen. You're the only sweetheart I've got or am
likely to have for a long time. And if any man ever
does get me into other notions I shall just bring him
here and let you talk it over and do exactly as you
think best. There'll never be any friend who can take
the place of my dear, indulgent, kind old Popsie."

"What about that chap who sprang to your assistance
at San Francisco," he asked, mischievously. "You
jwned to me that his protecting arm sent new sensa-
jfons Jfcroug'h your little heart"


Amy sat up and laughed again, half seriously. She
parted her father's beard with her fingers and looked
brightly into his smiling face.

"It was romantic," she admitted, biting her lip.
"Though it would seem more so if he had cared enough
to come and ask whether I lived or died." She took a
locket from her neck and opened it, revealing its con-
tents archly. "I wonder what he'd say if he knew I
had some of his hair ? I found those six strands twisted
around a button on my dress. They're all I've got of
my preserver and I can't marry just them, cam I ?"

He joined in her mood and inspected the hair inter-
estedly. "He was a blond, I see," he remarked. "Do
you like blond men?"

"I believe I do. Especially great, strong ones, that
make a girl feel as if they could crush her with one
embrace or save her from a wild lion in the forest.
Ah, Popsie, I ought to have taken more pains to find
that man, if you are ever to have a son-in-law. It will
either be he or no one; and that means, I guess, that
you'll have me on your hands forever."

She closed the locket and, carrying out the play to
the last, kissed the gold clasp as it closed on her

It had already been arranged that Olive Thorn
should make one of her party. The Captain obtained
due credit for his sacrifice, and the girls were wild wkh
joy that they were not to be separated.

On the next day it was Mr. Van Steuben's turn to
load Carl with responsibilities. He was very glad that
the young man had accepted the engagement with Mr.


Ix>vejoy. With his experience in travel over the coun-
tries the party proposed to visit he would be invaluable
in many ways. The planter was interested in him also,
as has been intimated, because he was a former protege
of his friend Meyer. The wisest thing was to keep
him away from St. Louis for the present. Sending for
Carl to come to his office he talked witih him for an
hour in the most confidential manner. He spoke in
plain language of his wife's aristocratic ideas, saying
he did not share them, and of his fear that sfhe wiould
endeavor to engage her daughter to some gentleman
of rank during her absence.

''You may guess how thoroughly I trust you," he
said, with great impressiveness, "when I say frankly
that I would advise Amy not to take the trip but
for the fact that you are to be in the party. If you find
my child likely to become entangled with a foreigner
no matter what his rank or station I want you to
Interpose in any way you deem necessary. These islands
are soon to be a part of the United States ; if Amy is
to marry, an American is good enough for her, and no
man can be too good for the dearest child in the world.
Please take this letter, giving you authority to draw
on me for money in case of emergency, and promise
that whatever happens you will guard my daughter
like a brother."

"I promise, with all my heart," was the answer, de-
livered with much feeling. "And I thank you sincerely
for your confidence."

As Carl rose, the subject of tlhis conversation looked
in at ihe doorway, radiant as an angel. Mr. Midler's


presence did not prevent her going to her father's
and kissing him affectionately.

"I have been asking Mr. Muller to take good care
of you," said Mr. Van Steuben, holding her face
between his hands.

"And I am sure he will do so," dhe replied, looking
confidently at the blushing countenance of tihe young




DURING this time Howard Pyne had not been idle.
He had found the Meyer case (as the affair was
labelled on his books) a most interesting one. As is
sometimes remarked by persons who use slang, he was
not in business entirely for his health, and this affair
had given him no cause for regret from a pecuniary
standpoint. He had asked and received a substantial
retainer from Peter, when the old gentleman came to
him and revealed the details of his scheme to settle
beyond a shadow of doubt tfhe suspicions of Marcus

The talk which Lawyer Uhrig had with Carl, in the
first place, was an arrangement suggested by the detec-
tive. The first thing was to see how he would treat an
intimation that Meyer's fortune could be drawn on un-
der the supposition that its owner had departed this
life. Lindes, who had no idea that Carl would do any-
thing of the kind, endorsed the scheme, thinking it
would enable him the sooner to withdraw from the
plot. Uhrig acted according to instructions and Carl's
declination to touch a penny while the fate of its owner
was in doubt was communicated to Mr. Meyer at once.

Peter read this letter to Pyne and Lindes, wrtli a
triumphant expression on his face, but to the surprise


of both, and the consternation of one, he was still un-
satisfied. He had been slow to accept the idea that
his beloved boy could do anything dishonorable, but
now that the tests had begun he was determined that
they should be thorough. Nothing less than the reduc-
tion of Carl to penury would satisfy the unreasonable
old man. There would be time enough to recompense
the. boy for his sufferings When the ghost that Lindes
had raised was laid forever.

"I'm going to do this thing now in my own way,"
said Meyer, doggedly. "Carl has acted the part of a
decent fellow thus far, but I want something more.
I'm going to see how earnestly he will try to account
for my vanishing. Mr. Pyne can keep me informed of
every move he makes and I can judge him as if in a
mirror. I don't doubt the boy I never did. It was
you who called him a scoundrel and an ingrate, not I.
I'm going to prove now, not only that he's all I claimed
when we first talked the matter over, but more. I love
the lad as my own soul. I'll show you the sort of
metal he's made of. If he's unworthy of my affection
he'll give up the search for me, especially now he's been
told he can have my money by applying to the court.
You wanted a test, Marcus. I'm going to give you
one no man can shake !"

"But, my dear friend," Lindes expostulated, "do be
reason-able. How can you expect a boy left with noth-
ing in his pocket to follow you around the world, when
he don't even know in what direction you have gone?"

"I expect him to do what I'd do for him," retorted
(Meyer. "I'd follow him on foot, to the seaside, beg-


ging my way; I'd work my passage before the mast
on any vessel that was going to a port where I guessed
he might have gone. When my feet became too sore
to walk I'd crawl on my knees. If he loves me less
than that I'll never call him son again. He's got to
find me ; and he'll do k, Marcus, I give you my word,
he'll do it ! I'm going to Honolulu, to begin with. If
he loves me as I love him he'll either get there by boat
or swim. The boy," he added, wiping away the tears
that excess of emotion had brought to his eyes, "that
you said was a crawling, contemptible wretch, unfit
to lick the dust off my sfaoes !"

Lindes and Pyne exchanged glances of dismay. The
old gentleman had dwelt on his theme until he was
perilously near to an unbalanced mind. He arose,
tcok up his stout walking stick, and striding to the
door, announced that it was time for lunch. As he
siw Lindes' strange expression he muttered ill-natur-
edly, "Oh, I know the way to the hotel ; you can come
when you're ready." And he went out, closing the
door loudly behind him.

"I've got myself into a nice scrape, haven't I ?" said
Lindes pressing his lips tightly together. "Look here,
Pyne, you must help me out of this. Can't you let
Carl know we've gone to Honolulu and that this
thing all through was a damnable scheme?"

"Why don't you write him that yourself?" asked
the other, coolly.

"I'm too much ashamed. I shall have to meet them
both for the rest of my life and Peter's reproaches are
all I shall be able to bear. He'll be so pleased when


he's proved me an imbecile he won't hold any reai
grudge against me, but the boy's made of different
material. He's one of those quiet fellows that are
terrible when aroused. If he finds out bow deep I
am in this thing, there'll never be any peace for me

"I've got to keep faith with my client," Pyne re-
marked, thoughtfully.

''Make me a client and keep faith with me," cried
Lindes, with eagerness. "Carl will come to San Fran-
cisco beyond doubt. Get into communication with
him and let him know where we are. If he's not got
funds to travel help him to find some. I tell you, man,
if this isn't cleared up soon Peter Meyer will be in
an asylum, a raving maniac. And any harm that
happens to him will be on my conscience for an idiotic,
meddling old dummkopf!"

Mr. Pyne still seemed to have doubts as to whether
he could reconcile his ideas of the fealty he owed Mr.
Meyer with the plan outlined ; but when Lindes placed
two bills on his desk, each of the denomination of one
hundred dollars, he went so far as to say he would
think about it and serve him as well as he could
"in fairness and honor." Later in the day he succeed-
ed in gaining Meyer's consent that he should give
Carl a hint where he had gone, sending Peter word
in season for him to double on his tracks if he wished
to prolong the hunt. Meyer admitted, on having the
case presented to him again, that his idea of swimming
a couple of thousand miles was rather visionary and
that few modern vessels wanted green hands before
the mast.


It was agreed, moreover, that Pyne might aid the
young fellow to a small amount of cash if he thought
wise. The detective was thus enabled to satisfy both
his new client and his conscience, which it must be
conceded is a nice thing for a man in his line of busi-
ness to do.

But the luck which had come to the firm of Maple
& Pyne did not end even here. While the Meyer matter
was moving along smoothly a letter was received from
the Sugar King of Honolulu asking that a trustworthy
representative of the firm be sent to him on a matter of
importance. It was considered best, considering the
financial station of the applicant, to entrust this mis-
sion to no less a person than Mr. Maple, who accord-
ingly took passage without delay for the Paradise of the
Pacific. Perhaps no better way of learning the result of
his mission can be obtained than looking over Mr.
Pyne's shoulder (begging that gentleman's pardon for
the liberty) and reading his transcription of a commun-
ication which his partner sent him some days after
reaching Honolulu.

My dear Pyne (said this letter) : The matter on which
Mr. X. sent for me is a rather peculiar one. It seems
that his wife is about to start on a trip afound the
world, with his son, aged 20, and his daughter, aged
21. Mr. X. and his good lady have widely different
views on many subjects, notably in reference to the
marriage prospects of their daughter and son, the
former especially. The wife is determined to wed
the young lady to nothing less than a duke, thus daz-
zling the social set of Honolulu and compelling it to
forget her own origin, which was decidedly humble.


The husband has old-fashioned notions that sudh 1
matters should be influenced by love; that "True
hearts are more than coronets" as Tennyson remark-
ed some years before he accepted the title of Baron.

To make my story short, X. wishes me to send a
representative with his party, introduced in such a
manner that he will not be open to suspicion. Hav-
ing thought the matter over, I have concluded that Y.
will about fill the bill and shall so direct. The young
Nephew of his uncle has also been engaged by a mem-
ber of the party, a Rev. Eli Lovejoy, as his pfivate
secretary and may be relied upon to aid if required.
The others who are to go include a Mr. Somerset
Loring, from England, and possibly a Capt. Thorn
and his sister Olive, from the United States. Also
a Mrs. Caroline Young and her two children, Angel
(a boy) and Seraph (a girl). It is as yet uncertain
whether the Thorns will go, but I think it probable.

The loss of his uncle still keeps the Nephew in a
state of depression, but I hear it would be useless to
approach him just yet with reference to the estiate.
As soon as Z. has secured a decision of the court that
the property is his we must have the information
conveyed to him gently.

Please write by each steamer and I will do tihe
same. X. has paid me a retainer of $1000. If you
have any suspicions about Q. you had best see thait
K. is set right.

Yours &c. MAPLE.

Now, Mr. Maple, being a very careful man, (as is
becoming in a detective) did not send even this am-
biguous letter in the language in which it is render-
ed here. It was written in a cypher, of which his
partner alone had the key, and it took Mr. Pyne the
better part of an hour to translate it. When he had


done so a contented expression stole over his count-
enance. He mused for some time before he wrote his
reply, which was also in cypher, but much briefer than
Mr. Maple's letter.

If you find the hunting satisfactory among the
islands (he wrote) there is no reason you should
hurry back. It might be a good idea to break in a pup
or two if you have a chance.

Let us now return for a few moments to the mem-
bers of the party preparing to cross the ocean. Mr.
Loring was troubled for some time at the prospect
that Capt. Thorn would be one of the number, feel-
ing that his opportunities for tete-a-tetes with Miss
Amy would be much lessened by the presence of the
lively and dashing American. He was highly grati-
fied, therefore, a week before starting, to learn that
Thorn's business interests would not permit his leav-
ing Honolulu at present. Mr. Loring had been a dis-
turbed witness of Miss Amy's enthusiasm when the
Captain said definitely that Olive might go.

"You are a perfect darling!" she had cried, grasp-
ing both of Thorn's hands. "I have a notion to kiss
you, you dear good fellow. I would do it, too," she
added, in response to the challenge that shown in his
laughing eyes, "If you wasn't a man there ! "

"Oh ! " said Capt. Thorn, smiling at her ingenious
statement. "Then perhaps you won't mind giving it
to Olive, just to keep it in the family."

Amy threw her arms around Miss Thorn's neck and
paid the penalty with gusto. Capt. Thorn had gained


a certain momentary a'dvantage over his rival, if eitHer,
of them might by any straining of words be said to
occupy that position. However, Mr. Loring reflected,
weeks and months passed together should more than
compensate for this ; and he consoled himself with the
prospect that such incidents would soon become im-

Having a sister who had been adopted as Amv's
dearest friend was something, though, that might tell
against him, and must be met with strong play.



IT was on the Steamer Coptic that the party sailed
for Yokohama, and surely no better managed boat
ever carried passengers across the broad Pacific. From
captain to chief steward each officer with whom our
friends came in contact did his very best to make the
voyage agreeable.

It was in what is generally called the dull season and
besides those with whom our story has to deal there
were few passengers worthy of special mention. All
of the adults were placed at one table, while Mrs.
Young's infants took their meals at the separate hour
reserved for those of their years. Carl would have
been glad o have been seated elsewhere, but he was
under Mr. Lovejoy's directions and did as he was bid-
den. He tried to master the sentiments which he
dreaded anyone should suspect and his excessive taci-
turnity served him in good stead.

Mrs. Van Steuben, in her aristocratic way, thought
the young man's reticence highly becoming to him.
His position was one which did not call for partici-
pation in the general conversation. She reproved
Billy several times, after meals, for asking "Mr. Love-
joy's secretary" for his opinion about matters which
did not particularly concern him. But her son re-


plied flippantly that he guessed Muller was as good
as the rest of them, even if he did have to earn his
living through a piece of bad luck.

"I must ask you to have a little higher regard for
my wishes," protested the lady. "Amy watches every-
thing you do and is inclined to imitate vour indis-

"Amy would pay about as much attention to what

I did " Billy started to say "as she would to

what you thought" but checked himself in time. He
did not mean to be unfilial in his speech. "I can't sit
at the table with a good sort of fellow like him and act
as if I thought him a doormat, mother. He's been
well brought up and only a miserable accident keeps
him at this moment from belonging to What you would
call 'our class.' "

It was Mrs. Van's usual way, when any argument
was prolonged, to cease from continuing it verbally.
She heaved a slight sigh, which said in effect that if
people would talk nonsense she could not stop them,
and seeing Mrs. Young approaching, turned her at-
tention to her. That lady brought the interesting in-
formation that a party of three young Japanese, who
formed a group by themselves, were titled gentlemen
and stood very high among the nobility of Japan.

"They are returning to their own country after some
years in Europe," she said. "Mr. Richgood, the pur-
ser, says they speak English with perfect fluency. The
one nearest us is the Marquis of Maebashi and very
rich. The one next to him is the Count of Kobe and
the other one is Baron of Nagasaki. They are all


graduates of Oxford University and are returning to
take their seats in the House of Lords."

Mrs. Van, to use a slang phrase, "pricked up her
ears," and was all attention.

"Why," she exclaimed, "I didn't know there was a
House of Lords in Japan. Is it like the one in Eng-
land, with dukes and that sort of thing?"

"I believe so. Japan is now one of the great powers
and I presume her nobility ranks with that of Europe

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Online LibraryAlbert RossA sugar princess → online text (page 9 of 19)